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Social stories are carefully designed short stories that help children with autism understand new social situations. These social situations can include any type of interaction involving other people such as riding a school bus, visiting the dentist, or ordering food at a restaurant. Research indicates that these stories help children with autism develop an accurate understanding of new social situations (Gray, 1995).
COVID-19 has led to a new way of rethinking all aspects of our daily lives. For many of us, it has meant huge shifts in our physical, social, mental, and emotional health. Organizations and corporations have had to reconsider what productive and efficient work can look like, while schools have had to reimagine learning in the virtual world. For schools, this switch to mostly remote learning presents more opportunities for students to engage in technology and various social platforms like chat rooms and social media. This also presents more opportunities for students to engage in or be affected by cyberbullying.
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.
There can be many benefits to having a service or therapy dog, such as an autism assistance dog, for children with autism. The following article provides information to help you decide if a dog is right for your child with autism.
By choosing activities that will have a greater likelihood of success for your child, by adapting exercise programs for your child’s needs, and by drawing on ways to instill a sense of community, exercise can be fun for your child or teen and not frustrating!
Are you dreading your "au-some" child's first week back to school because he or she is used to sleeping in now? Are you wondering how they will shift their sleeping habits back to normal? I believe I have an answer to your conundrum...
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.
In K-12 education, there is no dispute that developing reading skills is fundamental. In fact, research suggests that early literacy instruction for students with and without disabilities is essential for future literacy development3. Teachers across the world are constantly utilizing various strategies to support students’ reading comprehension and decoding skills. For some, typical decoding and comprehension strategies may be fairly accessible. For others, reading comprehension or decoding may prove to be more difficult. Students with autism typically have challenges related to reading comprehension, such as answering questions or expressing ideas in traditional ways.
COVID-19 took the world by surprise leaving us all to adjust quickly and renavigate home, school, and work life. A top question on many families’ minds is how to explain the virus to our children with autism. The uncertainty of new situations can be stressful for anyone, especially when we are still discovering the facts. Incorporated here are helpful tips and resources to discuss the pandemic with your children with autism, to help them best understand, cope, and thrive during this time.
|"I have assessed and treated a great number of families affected by ASD...What I can say is this: When parents can move through the emotion and identify...the strengths in their child and in themselves, they are then able to consider the numerous options they have to support their family. When it comes to treating autism, it takes a community. When parents create the community they need for themselves and their families, they realize they are not alone. It instills hope and it is like watching a rainbow after a storm, which is the most rewarding part of the work." -- Aimee Adray Drescher, Ph.D., former Director of Psychological Services and a clinical psychologist for Unison Health in Ohio.|
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.
Picture books are a widely used resource in classrooms and homes around the world. Picture books support vocabulary development, story analysis skills, and sentence structure skills1. In addition to building language skills, picture books offer opportunities for children to understand what they are reading through illustrations while supporting engagement and encouraging imagination and creativity. For children with autism, picture books are especially helpful as many children with autism are very literal and visual learners.
Beginning at a young age, many children with autism can find it difficult to relate to and communicate with other people, and thus may have significant difficulty in expressive and receptive language (Simpson, Keen, & Lamb, 2015). Difficulties in language development can impact later functional outcomes, such as maintaining successful relationships and communicating wants and needs effectively. For students with autism, receptive language development is extremely important, as support in this area allows them to understand other’s requests and the surrounding environment. Thus, early intervention to support language development in young children with autism is necessary.
Stages Learning Materials is excited to announce the launch of Autism Learning Line (A.L.L.), an online community designed to support parents, teachers, therapists, homeschoolers, and anyone else touched by autism. Working with interns from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and after several years of planning, Stages is happy to have found a way to give back to our community. This new support group connects with our Autism Resources and Community blog that was launched 5 years ago and now has over 500 articles to support families, educators, and therapists. Our autism blog received the award for Top 25 Autism Blogs of 2020 by Action Behavior Center and is also the winner of the Feedspot Top 50 Blogs on Autism Award.
Recognizing and understanding emotions is a key part of development. Emotional awareness allows individuals to identify what they are feeling and why. This is a critical step towards building emotional intelligence, a key skill in life. Being able to identify our emotions and understand why we are feeling the way we are allows us to clearly communicate and helps us build relationships with other, thus supporting our social development.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced schools, offices, stores, care centers, and other businesses to close suddenly. While these closures are important to ensure the health and safety of all families, the disruption in routine and navigating unforeseen circumstances can leave families of children with autism stressed and anxious.
With schools and learning centers staying closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus, families and students are finding themselves having to adapt to learning from home.
Topics: Early Childhood Education, Inclusive Education, Advice for Parents and Caregivers, COVID-19 Emergency Response, Infant/Toddler (0-3), Elementary (4-12), Teen (13-17), Young Adult (18-21), Parents, Adult (22+), Articles
Art therapy provides many benefits for children with autism because it promotes emotional and mental growth as well as independence and collaboration skills. As an outlet for self-expression, imagination, and creativity, art can contribute deeply to improving a child’s fine motor skills, visual and spatial discrepancies, and coping (ActToday.org) For children with autism, art therapy can be particularly effective, especially because many are strong visual learners and process information differently from their typically developing peers.