Monthly Archives: March 2016

Best Ways to Practice Emerging or New Skills While Engaged in Every Day Activities

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Sometimes we’re so focused on the task at hand that we miss great learning opportunities . It’s important to find every day activities that your child on the spectrum can relate to in order to practice new or emerging skills.

Use the strategies below to turn almost any activity into a fun learning opportunity!

  1. Make sure your have your child, who has been diagnosed with Autism’s goals are always on your mind and pre-select skills to work on during activities.  The first step is to make the most of your child’s experience when you choose a skill to target.  Encourage your child on the spectrum to learn from other children by pairing them up with their peers who all have different strengths and give this group of children roles that develop their skills while doing an activity like an art project, group skit, etc.
  2. Use every opportunity you have to practice these skills in different settings and while engaging in different activities, to always keep your child who has been diagnosed with autism interested. Assign a regular task that involves interacting with peers or adult and look for impromptu moments for skill building.
  3. If your child with autism shies away from group activities, try to use materials that encourage their learning process. Many children on the spectrum would rather select independent activities rather than group activities.  Although everyone needs time to themselves, plan activities where that you know your child will be interested in so that they want and have to interact with others.
  4. Prevent skill regression by letting your child with autism be the experts and use skills they have already mastered and intermix them with new or emerging skills throughout the day.  Plan events where they are in charge of the activity or are paired with a peer to be the group expert.  These opportunities will allow your child on the spectrum to practice and demonstrate their skills to family and friends.

Family and community activities often are viewed as breaks from learning, but they are great opportunities for practicing existing, emerging, and new skills.

Accepting an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis

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Suspecting and/or finding out that your son or daughter has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum can be very difficult for parents to deal with. There are many stages that a parent experience after this sort of diagnoses, but the sooner you accept that your child needs help, the sooner you can get them evolved in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy.

ABA is the use of positive reinforcement and behavioral techniques to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. These techniques can be used in structured situations such as a classroom lessons as well as in every day situations such as meal times, family outings, play dates, group interactions or one-on –one interactions.

Early identification and intervention can be the keys to helping your child on the spectrum adapt to their environments and eventually live as normal a life as possible, depending on the severity of their condition.

Here are some things to keep in mind after an autism diagnosis.

·  Early identification, diagnosis and intervention can make a significant difference. Autism can be reliably diagnosed by age 2. Yet, the average age of diagnosis is between ages 4 – 5. That’s why raising awareness and understanding the signs of autism is so important. The earlier you recognize and accept the signs of autism and get support for your son or daughter on the spectrum, the better outcomes they will experience throughout their lives. 

·  Everyone has their own unique experience with autism. Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning it affects people in many different ways and in varying degrees. To ensure everyone receives the care and supports they deserve we use tools and create specialized programs that will help you discover your child’s strengths and weaknesses and which areas  of their behavior need the most attention.

·  Autism is a lifelong condition. There is no “cure” for autism, but with hard work and dedication; early intervention and applied behavioral analysis, your child can learn to adapt to their environment and gain the ability to function in society.

Although coming to terms with your child’s diagnosis can be difficult, remember that acceptance is the answer. You, together with Beautiful Minds Center, can make a difference in yours and your child’s lives by accepting their many gifts and recognizing the challenges each one of us face.

Strategies for Staying Focused

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There are several times of year when routines change and adjustments need to be made. These changes can make it difficult for your child with autism to stay focused on school work. These are also times when you will need to remind your child on the spectrum of the guidelines that go along with times of transition.

  1. Try to stay consistent – Your child with autismdepends on a consistent schedule.   Schools often have events such as assemblies, field days, or exams, and many children, who have been diagnosed with autism, find these schedule changes difficult.  Minimize stress and anxiety by altering the schedule as little as possible.  Continue with scheduled lessons and regular individual and group instruction so your child understand that expectations for learning and behavior are still in place.
  2. Educate through scheduled eventsTrips and activities can be exciting events in a child’s life.  These experiences are opportunities for literacy, communication, and art activities.  Work with your child on the spectrum on discussing an event or trip through drawings, visuals, stories, role playing etc. Paln out scenarios, talk to them and show them examples of what they may see, smell, hear; focus on what they can expect from the overall experience.
  3. Develop Strategies for Using Energy – Schedule changes and special events can be exciting for many children.  Provide opportunities for using physical energy such as stress balls, trampolines, or walks so your child with autism can positively focus their energy.

Whenever you know of a planned schedule change; whether it’s a school break, a holiday, day-light savings, family vacation, etc. Make sure you begin preparing your child on the spectrum for the changes in advance. It is very important that your child, on the spectrum knows what to expect whenever possible in order to stay focused.