Archive | Communication

17 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Evening Round-up

No matter how tired everyone is in the evenings, you may discover taking some time to slow down, get organized, and make connections with your youngster with autism is an invaluable investment of time and energy. Remember that the goal is not perfection, but rather to increase contentment and decrease stress for everyone. Listen Now: […]

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08 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Calm Meals

The modern traditions of family dinners can drive a person with autism right through the roof. Take a look at three simple tips to calm things down and make meals more enjoyable for your friend(s) with autism and everyone else in the house. Listen Now:

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08 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Love My Blankie

Parents of a teen with autism are concerned about their son’s love for his childhood blankie. They said he won’t go to sleep without it, but that it is wearing down to shreds. They are wondering if it is appropriate to allow him to keep the blankie. And, if so, how can they help him […]

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08 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

State the Facts

Some people with autism need the detailed descriptions and social stories well in advance to give them time to prepare emotionally for transition or for an upcoming event. Others tend to focus on the reality of the moment, making extraneous explanations and detailed advance preparation rather irritating. In some cases, it is better if we […]

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07 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Unexpected Personal Connections

Some of my friends diagnosed with autism seem to be engrossed in their own internal world and rather oblivious to people and events around them, only initiating contact when they want something. But occasionally even the most detached person looks up and reaches out for no apparent reason. A music therapy colleague, Roia Rafieyan, describes […]

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01 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Refusing to Eat

What are our options if our friend with autism becomes so attached to a certain cup, plate, spoon, or chair that they literally refuse to eat or drink without it? What can we do if they do not respond to our attempts to coerce, bribe, threaten to take away a privilege, or otherwise encourage them […]

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29 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Safety ID

Individuals with autism who need some assistance in an emergency situation will usually have someone close by to help in the event of an unexpected disaster such as a fire, storm, car wreck, or earthquake. But the possibility of separation always exists, so we should consider the options for a safety ID in the event […]

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24 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Creative Writing

Teachers, therapists, and families are always looking for creative ways to help individuals with autism learn and practice new skills such as composing and writing sentences and paragraphs. Some students with autism find it difficult to focus on repetitive drills under the best of circumstances, so traditional teaching methods simply do not capture and hold […]

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14 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Let’s Go Potty

For a variety of reasons, some individuals with autism are not toilet trained. Not being able to go to the bathroom independently raises a variety of challenges, one of which is needing reminders to go to the bathroom. Let’s look at that issue, particularly from the standpoint of privacy and respect. Listen Now:

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13 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Real Life Skills

A new teacher in a junior high life skills classroom asked for some input into the types of skills her students with autism will need when they graduate from high school at age 18 or 22. The specific list must, of course, be individualized to each teen, but there are some general skills that everyone […]

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08 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Making Everything Perfect

School started this week, so I’ve seen several challenging issues arise as young friends with autism attempt to adjust to new campuses, new classrooms, new teachers and classroom aids, new school routines, and new students in the hallways and classrooms. Moving to a new school can challenge even the most secure person, but the change […]

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07 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Recess Stinks

An articulate friend with autism is not very happy. She doesn’t like recess. Most fifth graders love recess and lunch, but this youngster does not. Interestingly, the reasons for her aversion to free time are different from what I expected. Listen Now:

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02 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Be Quiet

What exactly do we mean when we tell someone to be quiet? Do we mean that they must be totally silent, making not a tiny sound? When we say, “be quiet,” do we mean to talk softly so they don’t interrupt a conversation? Or do we say “be quiet” just when we get irritated or […]

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27 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Transition to New School

Even if youngsters with autism get along pretty well in school, the transition to a new school can be challenging. For example, when moving from elementary to middle school, students are expected to listen to and remember about various procedures and rules given to an assembly of the whole student body on the first day […]

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26 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

School Glitches

Many of my friends with autism are a bit lost during the first few weeks in a new school. Sometimes we assume that all students are soaking in the flood of information – school traditions, procedures, rules, and routines – presented to youngsters in an assembly on the first day of school. Listen Now:

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25 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Back to School Blues

Some folks just don’t like change. Some folks with autism HATE change! As summer comes to an end, and the first day of school approaches, some students with autism respond with temper outbursts, poor sleeping habits, and stubborn refusal to follow directions. Even youngsters who seem to like school struggle with the transition. What can […]

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17 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Amusement Parks and Autism

Several friends with autism and their families have gone to amusement parks over the summer. The experiences have been different for all involved, so we are taking a few minutes to look at some challenges that may arise when visiting a large amusement park. Listen Now:

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16 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Cooking Over a Campfire

Over the years, many of my friends of all ages with autism have been intrigued with the process of cooking over a fire. Even people who have never shown much interest in eating have taken bites of food they have helped prepare over the colorful glowing embers and dancing flames. Listen Now:

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16 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Extreme Communication

What is a person trying to communicate when they suddenly start screaming, hitting, or biting? What are they saying when they suddenly drop to the floor or scratch their arm or hit their face? Teachers, family members, job coaches, therapists, and others spend a great deal of time and energy attempting to translate these characteristic […]

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13 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Summer Campfire

Gathering around a campfire is a traditional summertime experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and interests. There are few experiences more enjoyable than watching the flames of a campfire leap up from the logs, cooking s’mores with family and friends, singing some silly songs, then watching the embers glow and fade. […]

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