Monthly Archives: August 2016

Help your child develop close friendships

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Now that the new school year is upon us, this is a great opportunity for your child on the spectrum to meet new people and build friendships. Since your child with autism spends a significant amount of time in the classroom which is a wonderful environment to build lasting friendships, here are some great tips on how they enjoy a new school year filled with new and old friends.

1. Group Lessons or Activities– Many teachers will build lesson plans that revolve around children collaborating and working together. These are great opportunities to encourage your child on the spectrum to interactive with and be friendly to their group, team or partner. Role play ways to engage in conversation during group lessons, team sports, partnering activities etc. That way, your child with autism will feel more comfortable interacting with hew students, team members, or new participants in their regular activities.

2. Practice Social Skills – Sometimes it is necessary to discuss and outline social skills clearly for a child on the spectrum to understand them. Role plays and group discussions about meeting someone new, having a conversation, sharing, helping, and being a good sport can illustrate aspects of the skills children may overlook. Work with your child with autism at home to rehearse new scenarios, frequent interactions, or a past event to practice real-world situations.

3. Work with Your Child’s Teacher – Parents and teachers should work together to promote an interest in school friendships. Reach out to your child’s teacher to let them know that you are working with your child on relationship skills in hopes of them making new friends in the new school year. Listen to their teachers advise and learn from their teachers who they are close to and how you can help them feel more comfortable building stronger friendships

4. Extracurricular Activities – Your child on the spectrum often see their classmates as c community and may feel more comfortable around them than they do with people or peers outside of their classroom. It is always good to encourage your child with autism to join a new activity, team, or class outside of school to build new friendships. Maybe even join these activities with another friend from school so that they know someone going into a new situation and feel less anxious from the start. This will help them acquire additional interests and meet additional friends along the way.

Teaching your child on the spectrum how to be a good friend is important. Sometimes they will develop close friendships this way, other times they will remain nice to their classmates, but not form the everlasting bond you hoped they would. . Do not force a friendship, but encourage children to share, say kind things, and be good to their classmates, teammates and to peers they meet doing extracurricular activities.

Enjoy the beginnings of a wonderful new school year and we hope it is filled with good times, laughter, and good friendships for your child.

30 Ways To Relax & Enjoy Some Down Time

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Now that school is in full swing and your child with autism’s schedule is becoming more and more hectic. It is important to make sure that they have some time to relax and take a break.

Here are 30 ways that your child on the spectrum can enjoy some down time from their busy daily lives!

Take a bath
Learn something new
Listen to some guided relaxation
Write in a journal
Walk outside
Play with friends
Eat in silence
Examine an everyday object with fresh eyes
Color with crayons
Do some gentle stretches
Paint on a surface other than paper
Play an instrument
Go somewhere new
Turn off all electronics and engage in pretend play
Go for a run
Read a book
Listen to music
Take a swim
Fly a kite
Sit in nature
Call a friend
View some art
Put music on and dance
Play with your pet
Go to the park
Take a bike ride
Watch a funny show or movie
Engage in small acts of kindness
Hug someone

How To Present & Reinforce Rules at School and at Home

bmca logoHelping your child on the spectrum understand classroom rules and expectations is a priority at the beginning of the school year. Since your child with autism has to make the transition from his summer schedule to a new school year schedule, we found that it was important to help parents take the proper steps to posting, presenting and reinforcing their new schedule and new school rules.

1. Find out classroom rules and post them at home – To get your child with autism used to specific classroom rules, it is always a good idea to get a copy of the classroom rules and create a poster board, list or picture board that is posted in a location that is easy for your child on the spectrum to see. This you’re your child acquainted with the new rules and provides a visual children can refer to if there are questions about the rules.

2. Review Regularly – At the beginning of the year, it is important to review these rules with your child with autism daily. As time passes, your child will need less frequent verbal reminders, but they still may need reminders at the beginning of the week and after returning from a break.

3. Enforce Rules at Home– It is also important to discuss the importance of the classroom rules at home. Maybe even enforce some of the rules in your home. Start with the ones that your child on the spectrum has the most trouble following.

4. Address Other Rules – Classroom rules are not the only rules your child with autism should learn and live by. The home, cafeteria, playground, hallway, friend’s homes, relatives homes etc all have different rules. Although broad rules such as respecting property and people may cover different areas, prepare your child on the spectrum for expectations across environments by addressing rules specific to each environment they visit.

Helping your child on the spectrum understand classroom rules and expectations is a priority at the beginning of the school year. How rules are developed, posted, and reviewed is important for a child with autism.