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Teaching caring and kindness to children with autism is an important part of social-emotional development. Having empathy and kindness towards others improves the quality of everyone's life. It also allows us to understand how others are feeling and develop greater empathy for others. This helps us better understand how to respond appropriately when others are in need. These important social skills allow children to connect socially and emotionally with others and develop stronger relationships and friendships.
Building with blocks is a favorite pastime for many young children. They’re available in different sizes, colors, textures, and types, making it suitable for children of any age and ability level! Building blocks can also be used in a variety of educational and fun ways. This article explains how to use blocks to support gross and fine motor skills, cognitive development, social and emotional development, and math and science skills. Blocks also provide a good avenue for helping children learn to play and play while learning!
Online gaming has been shown to improve social skills in teenagers with autism. It is estimated that more than 41% of adolescents with autism spend the majority of their leisure time playing video games, versus 18% of neurotypical peers. Social interactions don’t always come easy for teenagers with autism. They may lack social initiation, experience challenges connecting socially, and difficulty reading common social cues. Struggles in navigating social situations can lead to a lack of confidence, bullying, and isolation. “Theory of mind” is the ability to infer others’ thoughts and feelings in social settings. Teenagers with autism can use online gaming as a way to: practice communication, build meaningful relationships, and boost their theory of mind. Gaming offers fun, low-stress environments for teens to build their social skills!
Topics: Teen (13-17)
Never has there been a more important time to vote. In 2016 only 60% of eligible voters actually voted! That missing 40% of voters would have had a huge impact on federal and local elections.
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.
Today we are going to discuss the basics of collecting data when teaching your child new skills. Data collection is a necessary part of any applied behavior analysis (ABA) program. It provides vital information about how the child is doing with that skill, if they are making progress, and can even help to troubleshoot when progress is not being made. It is also the best way to determine if the child is ready to learn a new or more difficult skill.
Among my favorite books is Authentic Leadership by Bill George. The book opens with:
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.
So much of a students’ understanding of language development and positive social skill development can come from the experiences students have while reading. Language development and social communication are areas that can be more challenging skillsets to develop for students with autism, thereby affecting their reading comprehension and fluency abilities (Teaching Exceptional Thinkers, n.d.). Sight word instruction provides a tool that can support students with autism as they learn to read by recognizing whole words quickly, rather than sounding them out.
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.
The issue of gender bias is as antiquated as it is familiar to women around the globe. Despite immense political, social, and economic advances in the last century, aspects of female biology continue to be grossly understudied, contributing to a knowledge gap that permeates the scientific community. This gender disparity greatly looms over the study of Autism Spectrum Disorder, contributing to flawed diagnostic practices that are still used today throughout the medical community and beyond.
We’ve wanted to do an article about girls and autism for some time now. There is so much to say: under-diagnosis, different presenting characteristics, treatment options… where to start?