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Summer is near end and it’s almost time to head back to school! Gearing your child up for a normal school routine after summer fun is no easy feat; however, practice makes perfect! We know children with autism thrive with consistency and previewing, so these seven tips should provide some comfort before that first day of school appears.
Sesame Street is a treasured TV show that has educated children worldwide for more than 50 years. It has brought characters like Elmo, Big Bird, Abby, and Cookie Monster into children’s lives and has brought forth lessons that build foundational skills. Through this show, we have learned how to count, how to read, how to sing, how to build relationships, how to channel our emotions, and so much more. In March of 2017, Sesame Street proved that its life lessons are not diminishing. Instead, they are becoming larger than life. Sesame Street introduced their newest character, Julia, to America’s favorite street, bringing knowledge about the autism spectrum to its audience. Here are 5 reasons why this is such a positive initiative in terms of autism awareness:
The phrase “coping strategy” can be thrown around often in the autism (ASD) community. But what are they? How do we find the best ones for our children? How do each of them work? I had the chance to interview an occupational therapist, Gabrielle Mele-Algus (OT, OTR, MS) who offers her insight about types of coping strategies, zones of regulation, and finding the best fit for your child’s sensory needs.
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a common practice used with individuals with high functioning autism. The practice of ABA mainly focuses on the principles of behavior, and uses such to create an environment filled with consistency, predictability, and sensory intervention. I had the opportunity to sit down with Eleanor Brown and Jaime Povinelli, both Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) in Boston, Massachusetts. They enlightened me about ABA specifics, how they determine what level of ABA support is necessary, where ABA is found, as well as what needs to happen to increase access to ABA services.
These six tips will help you create a proactive environment in your home to foster task productivity and offer solutions to address undesired behaviors before they arise. By adopting a proactive approach, you are creating a structured and consistent environment that will help your child succeed. If you consistently react to behaviors, work to shift your approach and provide more support and scaffolding to prevent behaviors from occurring. Naturally, your child may exhibit behaviors even with foundational supports in place. That is okay! Look to these guiding factors to address challenging behaviors.
A family's bond is one of the strongest, purest forms of love. Each component is essential - parents, siblings, and extended family. When we consider a family consisting of a child with autism, the familial ties become increasingly vital. Parents and caregivers definitely become surrounded by more demands than anticipated and have limited time for other tasks and relationships. There is also a heavy reliance on extended family and friends for physical and emotional support. A sibling can become heavily involved in the development of their brother or sister with autism by helping foster social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. However, throughout the process, siblings may be overwhelmed by the mature role they play in their sibling's lives, feel overshadowed by their sibling with autism's required parental attention, or struggle to understand the ramifications of having a sibling with autism. So how can we support the siblings of children with autism? Here are strategies that can help: