Beautiful Minds Blog

Helping Your Child On The Spectrum Get and Stay Organized

It’s often easier to do something for your child on the spectrum, but it’s always better to teach them how to do things for themselves. When you empower them to be responsible you bring them one step closer to being independent.

Here are some tips on how to help your child with autism get organized.

1. Put things in their place– Use pictures or drawings of items to remind your child with autism where things below. This includes items like toys, shoes, clothes, dirty dishes, backpacks, school work, books…the list goes on and on. Cut out pictures of specific items and tape them on shelves, toy boxes, cabinets, closet doors etc. so that your child on the spectrum knows exactly where things belong. Pictures and labels can be used both inside the house and outside in the back yard for optimal organization around the entire house.
2. Room Origination – Sometimes further origination is needed in specific rooms. The bathroom is a good example of this. It is always a good idea to use toothbrush, soap, cup, and toothpaste holders to reminder where things belong. IF this reminder isn’t strong enough, images or signs work very well also. It is important to teach your child on the spectrum where things live, for example, towels should be on a towel rod or ring, toilet seat should be put down, etc. Make sure that all areas are accessible to your child with autism when they are either standing on the floor or on a step stool so that they can be responsible for putting their own things away.
3. Desk Organization – To make sure that your child on the spectrum is organized when it comes to school work, it is important to teach them the best ways to organize their desks at home. When their desks are organized they spend less time looking for the supplies they need, and more time focused on their homework or extracurricular work outside of school. Create signs, pictures or outline the locations of where their desk objects belong. Please these signs or images on top of the desk and on each drawer so that your child can return each item they use to its proper place after they finish using it… When you clearly define specific areas for specific supplies you give your child on the spectrum the independence they need to get their own supplies out and put them back without your help.
4. Backpack Organization – It’s important to give your child the resources they need to organize their school supplies Intheir backpacks so that they are most efficient when arriving and leaving school. When their backpack is organized they spend less time looking for their homework, paperwork, and supplies needed to complete an assignment. Folders are a great way to keep papers sorted by subject. Another good organization trick is to label notebooks and use different color books for different subjects. A backpack with a special pocket for pencils, pens, markers, erasers etc., is always best, but if you can’t find one, make sure to supply your child with a pencil box for these items so they can keep them all together in one place. Work with your child with autism to make a weekly routine of going through their backpack to get rid of any unnecessary paperwork or materials so that they can stay organized.

By providing your child on the spectrum with key organizations skills will help promote their independence and lead them to live a more structured lifestyle

Autumn Activites For Children With Autism

 

There’s no better time of year than Fall. The colors are changing, the leaves are falling, the air is becoming cool and crisp, and it’s the best time of year to enjoy outdoor activities with your child on the spectrum. Use the Fall season to your advantage this year by spending as much time as possible with your child on the spectrum in an outdoor sensory playground. What is an outdoor sensory playground? Here are some ideas for outdoor activities that will enhance your child’s sensory, communication and motor skills.

1. Roll Down a Hill

What? You may be asking yourself right now. Although this may not seem like the best idea at first, rolling down a small hill can be a great way to encourage motor coordination and planning, plus it’s a whole lot of fun and will keep your child laughing and happy all afternoon.

2. Jumping on a Pile of Leaves

Go find a large pile of leaves, either in your own back yard or a nearby park and jump in it with your child on the spectrum. Not only will they enjoy the sounds and smells that they experience, it is also a great workout and sensory integration therapy.  If you’re stomping away the leaves in your back yard, incorporate some yard work for your child on the spectrum. Grab a couple of rakes and let your child rake the leaves, drag branches, and sweep up. All of these activities promote muscle tone, circulation, motor skills and responsibility.

3. Take Your Child on a Nature Hike

October is the perfect time of year for a great nature hike. Turn your trek into an exploration by assigning tasks to your child on the spectrum. Ask them to find branches, leaves, pine cones, rocks, or anything else you can think of that can be found along your nearby hiking trails. Create stories with these items, or gather them to bring home with you to make a fall inspired art project. These activities promote good communication skills, imagination building, fine and gross motor skills and on top of everything else, they are a lot of fun and will really motivate your child to participate.

4. Make a Pumpkin Face!

There is nothing that goes together more than Fall and pumpkins. Depending on your child’s age and abilities, you can use pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting, or pumpkin face cut outs to work with your child on facial expressions and feelings. Carving pumpkins requires great tactile and sensory skills, but it is also a lot of fun to dig your hands inside a gooey pumpkin and pull out all of the guts and seeds.  If your child is unable to carve a pumpkin then you can paint facial features such as eyes, ears, and a nose on the pumpkin and draw different mouths on paper. Cut out the mouths and have your child put the appropriate expression on the pumpkin that correlates with your instructions. Use simple expressions of feelings such as happy, sad, surprised, excited, scared, etc.

Take advantage of the weather outside and try to find activities that help your child enhance their social and communication skills, as well as their motor skills, and sensory skills; all while enjoying the outdoors and quality time with your child on the spectrum.

 

 

Accepting An Autism Diagnosis and Helping Your Child Live A “Normal” Life.

 

You give birth to a perfect and healthy baby. You remember the first time you hold your baby in your arms, the first time your baby grabs your finger with their tiny little hands. You remember the first time (s)he imitates something you do, their first word, the first time they give you a big strong hug. Then one day it suddenly stops. Your perfect and healthy child no longer looks you in the eyes, (s)he stairs blankly into space. The words or gestures decrease, your child becomes easily upset and suddenly withdraws from your touch.

As a parent you begin to worry, you take your child to a doctor or specialist and you learn that your perfect and healthy baby has just been diagnosed with autism. To most parents, this diagnosis is shocking. Many times, parents are in denial, blame one another, or withdraw all together, BUT none of it is anyone’s “fault”.

Now that you know your child’s diagnosis, it is time to take the proper steps to make sure that your child on the spectrum is able to live as normal of a life as possible. It is also time for parents to learn how to adjust their lives and their schedule to help their children thrive, and to give themselves a chance to understand, accept and support their child through their stages of development.

Here is some good news! If you saw the signs early on, early intervention will give you and your child on the spectrum a REAL a chance to learn and develop behaviors that will help them interact and communicate with others appropriately throughout their lives. Although no cure exists for autism, many families turn to professionals like those working at Beautiful Minds Center to help them learn and discover methods that leverage the disability’s strengths to improve the lives of everyone affected.

Beautiful Minds Center believes that each child is unique and prides itself on creating individualized programs that best suit the child and their families. They believe that Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), or the process of applying systematic interventions to improve socially significant behaviors is one of the most impactful ways to educate and work with children that have been diagnosed with autism.

By working with a team of ABA professionals you will help your child on the spectrum processes information and enhance learning in a systematic, scientifically based way that prompts social, communication, and other functional life skills with amazing success.

If you have or know someone who has a child on the autism spectrum who needs therapy to help them reach their maximum potential and enhance their quality of life, then Beautiful Minds Center can help. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s development go to http://www.beautifulmindscenterforautism.com/contact.htmlto e-mail one of Beautiful Minds Center’s certified behavioral specialists.

No one has to be alone, Beautiful Minds Center has built a community of Board Certified Behavioral Analysts, professional and dedicated therapists, and a staff that will help support you every step of the way.