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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Autistic Preschoolers - Five Gift Ideas For Autistic Toddlers And Preschoolers

As the mommy to a four-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I've discovered many fine mainstream toys the present are both fun and therapeutic. Toys that improve language development, sensory and motor regulation, craft core strength, muscle tone and coordination. Toys that spark my son's inner drive, encouraging further engagement and child-lead interaction.

Here are five of my favorite toys, from $18 - $300. Most of them are eco-friendly, which I personally love. I'm not speaking as a medical expert here, just as a mom. If you're the parent, relative or friend of an autistic child, maybe this list will make your holiday shopping a little bit easier. I hope so!

Wheely Bug - If you haven't seen these cute little ride-on critters, you need to check them out. I bought the cow for my boys last month and my ASD son loves it! (Also available in bee and ladybug!) It really helps him with coordination and balance, while building his core. We he first started riding it, he was wobbly. Now he can lift his feet and maneuver it around every corner. It has helped him adjust to motion that had bothered him in the past. In my opinion, this is one of the best gifts for an ASD child. Make sure you buy the big Wheely Bug to get the most use out of it. Eco-friendly! $70

Breakfast Menu Set - These types of wooden toys are great for a variety of reasons. Many autistic children have issues with food due to textures. By incorporating pretend food into playtime, it seems to make real mealtime easier. You can 'prepare' the pretend food together and takes turns 'tasting' it. That way your child is more open to the idea of trying different foods. Manipulating smaller toys, like shaking the salt & pepper shakers, improves fine motor skills too. Plan Toys is a wonderful green company and makes a huge selection of incredible wooden toys. Eco-friendly! $18

LIKEaBIKE - This is a unique eco-friendly bike sans pedals! That's because this bike was designed to boost your child's confidence and comfort in riding a bike, while building their balance, core strength, etc. They start out slow, usually walking with it and then as they improve, they can go much faster. Obviously this is not great for hills or steep surfaces, but on flat streets, in the driveway or at the park, it's a wonderful (and fun) toy. Our OT therapist has mentioned it multiple times. Eco-friendly! $300

Haba Ball Track Master Builder Set - Many autistic children love toys that spin and roll. My son does a variety of activities at OT therapy involving marbles, which is why I love this toy from Haba. Your child can build the track and then watch the marbles spin through it. This is the big set and Haba also makes a smaller set for $43. This toy is perfect for fine motor skill improvement and development. It also gets the imagination and interaction rolling. Eco-friendly! $200

Hopscotch Puzzle Mat - Another great toy for improving balance, motor skills, interaction and organizing thought processes is this cute Hopscotch mat by Alex. First you put it together like a puzzle, then you play the game. This gives you child a great opportunity to practice hopping on one foot and then jumping with two feet. It's also a good game for ASD kids to play with their friends or siblings. $23 Don't let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Autistic Preschoolers program now!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Best Practices Autism - Where's The Best Place For Socialization?

Your child has autism and you have been told overly social skills deficits are to be expected. So what can you do to improve the ability of your child learn how to behave properly, make friends, and get along in the world?

Like me, you may have been told that your child needs to be in a school setting with other children to be socialized. Let's consider for a minute what kind of social skills a child with autism may learn in school.

1. In a school or classroom setting, your child is exposed to both positive and negative socialization. This isn't really debated by any of us who have been in school. The question is whether or not the "good" socialization outweighs the "bad" socialization.

2. There are typically two placements for children with autism when it comes to schools. Each comes with its own drawbacks as far as social skills are concerned.

For those who are lower-functioning, there is the special ed classroom. If your child is placed in a special ed class, they may actually pick up negative behaviors from the other students. Children who have never said a bad word in their lives come home with all sorts of words that the parents know they didn't teach their child. Or maybe a child who wasn't aggressive previously starts imitating the hitting, biting, or screaming of a classmate. That's not what I think most parents are hoping for when they are told to put their child in school to learn social skills.

If your child is higher-functioning, they may be mainstreamed in a regular ed classroom. Will the typical behaviors of their peers be the positive socialization you hoped for? Unfortunately, many times children with autism become an easy target for bullies who cause them physical and emotional harm. Other classmates, who may be nice enough themselves, may still go along with cruel jokes or name calling at the expense of a child with autism just because they don't want to be ostracized from their peers. Whether it's bullying, teasing, or isolation, children who are "different" and don't possess the same social abilities as their peers often experience great difficulties just trying to survive a day at school. These children often exhibit signs of tremendous stress and anxiety, depression, and some even contemplate suicide.

So are there any alternatives? Families who are concerned about the educational and social well-being of their children often choose to teach them at home. Home-schooling offers a better opportunity for positive socialization while drastically limiting the possibility of negative social experiences. Home-schooled children are not isolated or "unsocialized". Home-schooling simply provides the opportunity for parents to expose their children to a variety of social situations when they feel their child is ready to handle them. Most communities have home-school groups that offer park days, sports teams, special classes or lessons, as well as informal get-togethers for home-schooled children.

-- Don't let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Best Practices Autism program now! --

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Add Classroom Strategies - Reducing Classroom Management Problems Through Student Participation Strategies

As a teacher, classroom management problems happen most any now and then. It is want a web this traps educators when properties least expect it. Much more, it can further drag you lowered the drain if pre-emptive measures are not taken. Without immediate action, it can consume your entirety, both professionally and personally.

Battling against classroom management problems is in fact easy. As a teacher, you need to know which methodology works on a specific classroom and which one won't. A very important component towards an effective procedure is to keep your students active in class. With their interest during your lectures, you can gain their support, their trust and their respect.

With that said, what you need to prioritize is how to extract the interest of your students during an hour or long hours of lecture. We know for a fact that the attention rate of any student during a class is limited. To keep their ears and eyes fixated on you with great discussion retention, participation is the key. Here is a list of strategies you can incorporate in your lectures to reduce classroom management problems.

Strategy #1: Oral participation. This is a strategy where you can ask your students questions about your lectures. With every answer depending on the content of it, you can give due scores or quiz points. This strategy allows active involvement from your students and will also give them the eagerness to listen to your discussion. Much more you can make this even a quiz for everyone so they need to answer your questions every time with the correct input. To add a little logic twist, you can give open ended questions to allow them to assess and analyze your discussion and input their personal view points.  

Strategy #2: Individual or group reporting. You can cater five to ten minutes of student's reporting before or after class. Your student's topic can range from a simple review to an immediate synthesis on what was earlier discussed. Not only will they learn how to listen attentively to your lectures but also consolidate the whole lecture period in just an ample amount of time. You can also give the students points on how well they elaborated your lesson and how effective their reports are.  

Strategy #3: Student questioning. Though this may not be widely adapted by majority of teachers, sometimes it is best to ask students if they have any concerns. Their questions may range from a mere rundown of the lesson or an area where someone wasn't able to grasp. It is also a good exercise to allow your student to think outside the box. Make them ask questions that will directly connect your lecture to any real world scenario.

After generating such questions, you can even allow yourself or a student to respond. In this way, you are not only touching the depth of their thoughts but how they relate your discussion to any given scenario. Don't let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Add Classroom Strategies program now!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Autism Behaviour Strategies - 15 Autism Strategies For Managing Autistic Children

Managing an autistic child can be difficult at times, that is why suffering autism strategies in place can make the change between coping and feeling overwhelmed. The strategies don’t undergo to be difficult or complex, it’s in essence simply a question of ensuring so your child feels secure, comfortable, and calm, so that properties can develop and enhance in a sure environment.

It’s important to remember that a number of the behaviors autistics display are those that they have developed in order to provide security and certainty to the world that surrounds them. Some of the behaviors that an autistic child naturally develops are designed to shut out situations they find too difficult to cope with. Thus applying the right approach can help a parent reach their autistic child instead of being shut out.

The following is a list of 15 different autism strategy suggestions parents can utilize to help them manage their children with autism spectrum disorders:

1. Provide a predictable environment and daily routine

2. Prepare your child in advance for any changes that need to occur to the routine, don’t spring surprises on them. Keep in mind changes should only be made when absolutely necessary.

3. Activities should have structure.

4. Distractions should be kept to a minimum, especially when communicating, so don’t try competing with the TV or lots of background noise when giving instructions.

5. Ensure you have your child’s full attention when trying to communicate with them.

6. When giving instructions they should be simple and direct so there is no room for misunderstandings.  

7. When instructions are given, you need to allow enough time for your child to process them. Autism strategies require patience – don’t rush your child.

8. Try using visual aids like flash cards or picture books when communicating as these can help get your message across and cement understanding.

9. Try to be as consistent as possible with everything you do involving your autistic child. This includes punishments.

10. If an autistic individual is not coping, he/she requires a “safe” place where they can retreat in order to calm down and de-stress.

11. If your child is not coping with a situation, consider if underlying causes (I.E. confusion, stress, fear, pain or over-stimulation) could be a factor and try to remove that cause.

12. When the stress levels of an autistic have reduced, encourage them to return to group activities or situations.

13. Speak to the school to see if a buddy system could be introduced to help provide academic and social support. This involves pairing autistic kids with non-autistic peers.

14. Before attempting to alter or discourage a behavior that you think is inappropriate, carefully consider if this is necessary, as the behavior you are trying to diminish may be replaced by something worse.

15. Don’t take autism behaviors personally, find ways to de-stress yourself and remember that laughter is often the best medicine when you’re at your wits end.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Autistic Children Behavior - Modifying The Behavior Of Autistic Children

There are a large number of programs which one can use in order to change the wrongful behavior of an autistic child. Most of them are actually rooted on the training of the child to act in a further appropriate way when in society. Temper tantrums provided be fought as soon as they give the impression in the patient, mostly by employing a special possessing technique on the child. Leaving the patient untreated may lid to severe complications.

Symptoms have got to be fought as soon as they appear; if not mad and impulsive behavior may influence the autistic patient sometimes living much to institutionalization. The most common mistake finished today is the current the whole family, revolving around the child, unrest its behavior instead of the other way around. All the family members should participate in restraining all the bad and terrible behavior signs of the child, when ever this are present. Temper tantrums should frequently try to be avoided as still as possible. Letting the kids act wildly and not restraining them when the present as long as be completed would only postpone
and aggravate the total amount that the tantrum is going to have.
Studies have shown that a daily routine is very important in the cases of autistic children. Families should always be near the child and respond accordingly to what his or her actions are. If signs of improvement are seen the routine can be gradually modified letting some more space to the child.

Another very important fact in helping the patient is the control of temper tantrums. This is done by using the holding technique on the child. The parent must hold the child patient to the chest with a tight grip on the body and all of its limbs. Communicating with the child at all times is of utmost importance if good results are to be seen. One should never give in to the child’s erratic behavior. Some consider this to be a sort of punishment but they couldn’t be more wrong. This actual form of restrain is devised in such a way so that both the patient and the people surrounding the child are safe from the tantrum’s wild effects.

Holding of the child must be done in such a way as not to harm him at any time. Still the message must very clear to the patient: this is not fun and the parent’s authority must be imposed. The level of restraint should be done in accordance to the level of the temper tantrum. This whole program must teach the child that what he is doing is very wrong and that his behavior must change. The action is also to normalize his actions so that a social un aggressive life is possible.