Archive | Social Skills

08 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Interacting with Others

A high school teacher of typical students asked about a new student who is diagnosed with autism. “I was under the impression that people with autism preferred not to interact with other people,” he said. “But my new student is almost too friendly.” The teacher went on to say the student tended to stand too […]

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08 August 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Daily Chores

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is certainly easier to just take care of every detail of the lives of our friends with autism. In reality, all children and teens, whether they have autism or not, benefit from having the responsibility of daily chores. Listen Now:

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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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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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03 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Favorite Clothes

At what point do favorite clothes become an obsession rather than a preference. A high-school friend who functions on the spectrum of autism reports that she only wears t-shirts featuring her favorite television star. She said, “I don’t know if it is an obsession, but I just feel like I can’t wear any other shirts […]

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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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24 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Pre-School Chaos

More and more pre-school teachers are encountering youngsters diagnosed with autism in their classrooms. From the perspective of a child with autism, the group pre-school experience can seem chaotic, even under the leadership of the most extraordinary teacher. The youngster is having to process all the sounds, songs, colorful decorations, activities, people, and events swirling […]

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23 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Ready for Pre-School

At the tender young age of three, youngsters with autism often embark on an exciting and challenging adventure: pre-school. By its very nature, pre-school requires youngsters to function in three different spheres – group time, free time, and transition from one to another. Each sphere requires different skills, many of which are foreign to little […]

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20 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Meteor Showers

Mid-August is a great time for a Shooting Star Party. Just gather with some family and friends after sunset, spread sheets on the ground, and gaze upward. Although some individuals with autism might not seem to notice the bright streaks through the night sky, it is still a relaxing, enjoyable experience. A bit of planning […]

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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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12 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Swimming Pools, Part 2

In part 1 of our discussions about swimming pools, we looked at one example of water safety rules a family implements every time their youngster with autism goes swimming. Safety is, of course, the first consideration when it comes to our friends with autism and water. In part 2 of this discussion, we will take […]

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