Monthly Archives: January 2015

Building Positive Relationships with Peers

Children with autism have a complex nature that is hard for most professionals, parents and teachers to understand, so imagine how hard it is for children to understand the proper way to interact with, and build relationships with children who have been diagnosed with autism. Due to the lack of awareness by peers, teasing and bullying have become major problems at school and affect many children who have been diagnosed with autism. It is important to help your child learn the best ways to react to unkind words and criticism and to know the difference between constructive criticism, teasing, bullying and play. Remember to keep your child’s temperament, age, and their level of communication in mind when working on strategies to help them through difficult interactions in order to build successful relationships and be part of positive social interactions.

Begin by teaching your child self-control to help even out their temperament. Teach them the importance of keeping their cool and reading situations properly. The first thing to focus on is to prevent them from the urge to lash out physically when confronted with a difficult situation. It is important for them to learn how to use their words and to control their energy level.

Teaching your children that it is important to take time to think about a response and to assess their situation is a valuable lesson and will allow them to truly process the situation. Work with them on how to differentiate possible situations and how to read social ques. They should ask themselves questions like: Was the comment they heard truly provoking? Was it a joke? Are they in danger or being bullied? There are many ways that social interactions occur and being able to read the situation properly is very important. Sometimes a simple “Excuse me” or “that wasn’t very nice” is a great responses to social situations that mean no harm. Telling a teacher or parent about a situation where they are getting teased or bullied before starting a fight or reacting in a temperamental way is a good way to handle a potentially more harmful situation. It is very important to understand and determine what an appropriate response to any situation would be and to discuss these responses and possible scenarios with your child.

A great way to showcase several different situations is to role play. This allows you to show your child examples of situations that may happen and practice different scenarios when your child is calm and able to process information. Social stories with visuals are also great tools to showcase different types of social interactions and how they can play out. Making a game out of your social stories can be fun as well. Create several versions of the same scenario and allow your child to pick from a list of options how they would respond. Depending on what they pick, you can change the ending to reflect the consequences of their answers. This will show them both verbally and visually how their actions can affect how others respond. In the end you want to make sure that your child is well rounded, happy and safe and able to interact appropriately with others.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions in 2015?

A new year is upon us and as with the start of every new year, we spend time thinking about our resolutions, what we want for ourselves, or families and our kids in the year to come. This is the time of year that we are the more determined and motivated than ever to make this year a better year than the year before. Since we have started a new year, Beautiful Minds Center thought we would share with you some new year’s resolutions we’ve heard parents make to start the year off in the right direction. So here goes!

  1. I will exercise more and eat a healthier diet, I will cook healthy food for my family as well.
  2. I will try to figure out a way to spend a little more time on myself and with my spouse without feeling guilty that I have not giving my child 100% of my undivided attention.
  3. I will find a way to manage my anxieties, and turn them into motivation and determination to improve being in social situations with my child.
  4. I will try to see the world through my child’s eyes and try to understand their needs from their perspective
  5. I will identify and help my child develop areas of strength
  6. I will get involved in the autism community more by building a stronger support network for myself and my child so that we have the emotional and social backing we need.
  7. I will spread more awareness of autism and seek out more informational support.
  8. I will be a strong advocate for my child, for the autism cause and I will work hard on monitoring my child’s progress at home, in school and in the community.
  9. I will help raise money and/or donate time or money to grow and strengthen autism awareness
  10. I will take things one day at t time.

What are some of the resolutions you have made this year? Let us know!! We’d love to hear what motivates you. Ours are simple. Our new year’s resolution is to make sure we offer the best possible service and therapy to our clients. We resolve to work with our families to make their lives better day by day and to help them through their struggles and answer any questions they may have. We vow to spread awareness.

Happy 2015 everyone! May this year be a successful year for all of us, both personally and professionally!