Monthly Archives: July 2017

Teach Your Child To Be Kind

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It is important to teach your child on the spectrum how to act around others, especially how to be kind to others. Modeling kindness and practicing acts of kindness can help your child, who has been diagnosed with autism develop proper social skills. Here are some ways that Beautiful Minds Center believes you can educate your child to practice acts of kindness.

Be a role model to your child – Your child on the spectrum looks to you to set a good example. When you say unkind things, they learn that this form of communication is acceptable. Try to speak positively about others around your child. Act how you would like your child to act around others.

Use stories to show examples of kindness– By reading stories to your child centered on kind acts, you show them examples of how others react to given situations. Talk to your child about the actions the characters in the story take to be kind to others and teach your child different types of kind acts. It is also great to ask your child to share times when they were kind to others and when others were kind to them.

Practice small acts of kindness – In addition to reading your child stories about kind acts, work with them on practicing kind acts on a regular basis. Teach your child to help others, create scenarios where your child on the spectrum can help someone and have your child role play what they would do to be helpful in each situation.

Support a charity – If your child on the spectrum is passionate about something, find a way to turn that passion into supporting a charity or doing volunteer work. Charity and volunteer activities teach your child that even a small amount of time and energy spent trying to help a cause can make a big difference.

From setting a good example for your child on how to be a kind to others, to working with them on different types of kind acts, practicing kindness is something that every family should make a priority. Taking the time to be selfless and give to others will make each of you a better person and will allow you and your children to lead more fulfilling lives.

Summer Activities That Are Fun, Education and Social

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The weather is warm, school is out and there is a multitude of fun to be had! Make the most of summer break by helping your child on the spectrum have fun and learn new things.

1. Enjoy the Outdoors – The sun is out, it’s warm outside, so why not enjoy outdoor activities. Enroll your child in swim lessons; join sports camps or group activities. Encourage your child to participate in fun activities where they can meet new people and make new friends. If your child on the spectrum is hesitant to try something new, maybe one of their peers wants to join in the fun with them to make the transition a little less stressful for them. Your child may be more interested in an activity if they have a friend to team up with. Doing outdoor activities is a great way to spend quality time with your children and show the importance of physical fitness. Take an evening walk or bike ride with your child on the spectrum and explore the beauty of nature in your community. Make summer picnics in the park and read stories or watch your child enjoy the playground…the options are limitless.

2. Stimulate Your Child’s Creativity – There are many fun art projects and activities that your child with autism can participate in that allow them to be creative during their summer break. Depending on what your child is interested in, you can build models, paint paintings, go online and print free games, color in coloring books etc. Take advantage of some of the online resources available to come up with some fun art projects or experiments your child on the spectrum will enjoy To locate activities, search the internet using keywords like ‘children’s art activities’, “kid friendly science projects” etc. If your child with autism enjoys a more social environment, look up some local art classes for their age group and sign them up for art or pottery classes.

3. Plan Play Dates – Whether your child is in camp or at home, it is important for them to stay in touch with friends from the school year in order to maintain relationships and to continue to develop social skills. Plan dates in the park, at a playground, at each other’s homes…it doesn’t matter as long as they are interacting with each other. This allows them to play, have fun, work social skills, conflict interaction and more.

Summer camps, educational programs, and trips are also a great way for your child on the spectrum to spend time during their summer vacation. Don’t forget to enjoy the warm weather with your child as well with some relaxing and educational activities and games that are family friendly. It’s important for you as a parent to work with your child on the spectrum and prepare them for new experiences in a fun and personal way

How To Enjoy A Fun And Stress Free Family Vacation

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Its summer, school is out and it’s the perfect time for a family get-away! It doesn’t matter if you are planning a full-fledged vacation or a weekend retreat, time away with your family creates memories, teaches your children about new places, introduces them to new people and allows them to explore and discover new things.

For many, vacation time is an exciting time, but for a child that has been diagnosed with autism, it can be an unsettling time. Unfortunately, some children on the spectrum have a difficult time with new places, people and schedules; so here are some great tips to help make your family vacation a more enjoyable one.

It is important to make sure you prepare your child who has been diagnosed with autism for a new adventure. When headed to unfamiliar places, showing our child a brochure, website, or book about the locations you will be visiting will get them prepared and excited for what they will be seeing and doing. Show them your hotel, the room you booked, the types of activities the hotel offers or tours you want to take them on. Show them pictures of the local foods etc. It is also important (if you are flying to a destination), to prepare them for the plane ride. It’s great to show your child on the spectrum pictures of planes (both the interior and exterior), and even take them to the airport to watch the planes land and take off).

Practicing using your inside voice, keeping your seatbelt on and other securities processes and etiquette will also ensure a smooth flight.
Involve your kids in the planning process. Let them pick an activity they want to do, allow them to help while you pack their suitcase or bag and use this opportunity to disc topics like what the weather will be like, if it’s a casual trip, if there will be an event to dress up for etc. Also let your child pack their own bag of toys, games and activity books that they will enjoy either in the car or on the plane so that they are occupied during long travel times, delays or when unexpected situations come up.

Many children who have been diagnosed with autism have a hard time when schedules shift or change. Although you may not be able to keep their schedule exactly the way it is at home, try to figure out a way to offer them some sort of consistent schedule while away. Creating a written or picture schedule for your trip can help your child on the spectrum transition, also verbal reminders work wonderfully at notifying your child of schedule changes. By making sure your child has some sort of consistency while you are away, you allow for a less stressful, more relaxing vacation.

It is important to make time to relax. Many times families feel that they need to overschedule their activities while on vacation. In between running from location to location try to plan some downtime to rest, play games, read or nap with your child. Downtime will reenergize your child on the spectrum and will allow them to process each activity and event.

Don’t forget to talk to your child on the spectrum about the things you have done together as a family, while you were away. Take lots of pictures and even allow your child to take pictures of things that they like and want to remember. Buy your child a journal before the trip and encourage them to write about each day during down time. Have them add their ticket stubs, images, brochures etc. in the journal as well so that they can look back at it any time and remember the fun they had. By talking about your trip and looking at images of the places you went, the people you met and the things you saw, you give your child the opportunity to remember their experiences.

Family vacations are meant to be fun, so now that you know how to prepare your child for what to expect, go enjoy your family vacation and travel safe! We wish you all a very happy and safe summer, filled with fun times and great memories.