By Kristina Tindall
There's never a one size fits all when it comes to teaching social skills, and having a child with autism can be more challenging. As a mother who raised a child with autism, I would like to share a few tips that I found helpful and I hope you will too.
First of all, there are many social stories that start with the very basics: "Hello, my name is ______, what is your name?" So simple, but it's a start. I read many books that would have stories with short dialogue between two characters. It didn't have to be a specific social story, but I picked out books that would have this simple back-and-forth conversation.
My son watched videos on social skills which were mainly provided by his teachers in school.
I also drew him pictures of different social situations which kept his attention a bit longer.
His teachers created an extensive binder of photos and short stories that had different types of social situations that would be familiar to him and his dad and...
Thank the teachers with me.
I would not be where I am in AutismWorks without the help of my teachers. They gave so much to help their students. Every teacher is different and that same goes for the students too when learning; Teaching differently and learning differently from each other. Here are ten things that have helped me the most from elementary to high school.
Admittingly, I was not an easy student in the classroom. Standing on top of desks, making a mess, having an attitude, etcetera, etcetera; Lots of patience coming from the teachers. The thing that became the game changer was that most of the things I have done were unintentional and didn’t know I was not supposed to do what I was doing. I really did want to improve and to learn.
“He’s just being himself, he doesn’t know better” is one of the worst things I have heard; The teachers I have...
The Real Reason Why I Look At The Reflection
It is a strange habit that I find myself doing for as long as I can remember. I just thought about this recently when I was on my lunch break and it got me thinking long and hard about it. I find myself looking at myself in the mirror almost every day; Not just mirrors, windows, lake water, and anything else where I can see myself.
I promise you, this is not a “you are so full of yourself, Tyler'' moment; trust me, I have heard of that reply from a good friend of mine several times. I laughed it off. It’s not really funny though I do not think. Oh no, most of the time as much as I do not want to look at the reflection, I just could not resist and this is why.
I get lonesome really easily ya know. I sort of figured if there was anyone I could talk to, it would be him, the boy in the reflection. How I talk to him doesn’t come from talking with the mouth, no it does not; we...
Pick a favorite animal! Any animal you can think of. From the anemone to the elephant; I know one of my favorite animals is the tiger. I explained in Population ONE on why I chose the tiger to be one of my favorite animals. Ask yourself why you love that particular animal of choice; It may tell a lot about who you are.
On the topic of autism, many children with it would feel much more comfortable around animals than with people.
Here are some of the main reasons why a lot of animals help people with autism. More specifically, animals that are experienced in person, and not seen on a computer or a television or a book.
For zoo animals:
Most animals have something in common that people with autism can relate to.
So quiet that when someone talks to the animal, it feels like they are listening.
When there is no one else that takes the time to listen, leave it...
While every child is different, I can only go by my own experience of when my parents told me I had autism and why I feel it was the perfect timing.
They chose to tell me at age thirteen when I started asking a lot more questions.
Why age thirteen? Why not an earlier age like five or six? Here are my thoughts ~
I truly believe there is power in innocence. Children do not need to know about autism in grade school. Let children be children. Run around and play, make friends, and let kids be kids. Autism is not a priority for them. Even if they start to question things that revolve around some of their differences with other children, I still believe it’s better to wait until the early teenage years, but always letting them know they are special and perfect just the way they are.
So why do I feel that waiting until the age of thirteen is a good time? Because it’s the beginning of the teenage years when things get incredibly emotional. Holding these...
I am a humongous supporter of the idea of early childhood education in terms of repetition in the daily routine of the week now that I am older, but that wasn't always the case. Get up, eat breakfast, take a shower, put on clothes, take the bus to go to school and all that jazz. The same goes for teenagers too and I see no difference in the routine, but there are times that I rebelled against that routine. Maybe you have been rebellious too.
How do we SNAP INTO IT? That is easier said than done, I must admit, but one trick I learned was to not think about it too much, just DO IT! One thing that helped was that my parents used lists with pictures to illustrate the routine. Another thing to learn is the cause and effect.... if you don't brush your teeth, you get cavities and your breath smells badly; if you don't wash your body with soap when bathing and use deodorant, your body smells badly. That was a motivator for me because I don't like bad smells, they...
Don’t follow my example.
That’s my advice when it comes to this example. All kidding aside, I have explained why so many times in my two books that it became extremely exhausting. However, I’ll try my best to see what I would have done differently.
Never have been a huge fan of the bullying stuff; and I do not speak for everyone but I can very well imagine a large majority of people do not want to be bullied. Same with people who would want to talk about it; I know I am one of those people. But I’ll still share.
It is not an easy topic to talk about really. Always feel like I have to be extra careful on what to say in providing advice. I will do my best. The first thing I would do when being bullied is to not say anything and avoid eye contact; Avoiding eye contact gives bullies some extra unneeded attention and it is best to avoid them the best you can.
It's not fun being around them, and after such a terrible experience, it is always important to tell...
Let’s get this over and done with.
I’ve talked a lot about what causes a meltdown, but for this blog post, I’ll talk about what it felt like to have one. I don’t have them today, though I do get mad easily at times; not gonna lie. Mostly over the stupidest of things and for the fun of it to use that energy to get stuff done by letting off all that steam.
The vast majority of children with autism do not want to have a meltdown, same with everyone else that does not have autism. No one wants these things to happen. Here is why.
When a person doesn’t keep it together as hard as they try, eventually, the brain starts to explode! I like to think of a meltdown as a ticking time bomb. I know the old saying that relates to having a short fuse in the topic of temper; I know I get that way when I’m starving. Meltdowns are a lot like having a fuse and the length varies on everyone. Keeping a meltdown from happening is like putting out the fuse however way...
Top. Sounds very cruel when saying it out loud really. Too lazy to change the title now, so here are the to- err… Five Autism Meltdown Triggers. I will share the five and tell you why I believe they make sense through experience. As much as I do not want to think back to those kinds of moments, I think it may be helpful to understand why they happen. I hope you understand. Here we go!
This is a very common trigger for an autism meltdown. Okay, for the rest of this blog post, I don’t want to use the word “trigger” or anything like that. Sounds silly and weird to me. Rather be “Tiggered”. I like the Winnie the Pooh books. Anyway, back to the topic! A common… buildup…! Yeah, I like that better. Buildup. A common buildup for an autism meltdown is being completely overwhelmed. Here are a few examples.
Keep in mind that I never speak for everyone. Everyone is different and would say things differently. What would you say to someone about autism? Feel free to share. Here are five things that someone with autism would want you to know about autism.
A lot of people with autism, myself included, welcome any kind of help. Sometimes they say they don’t need help but in reality, they truly do. Why refuse help? Most likely because of the fear of being embarrassed and asking for assistance can be a sign of weakness; Not true by the way. Everyone asks for help every so often; Even the smartest people on Earth ask for help. It’s okay to ask the person with autism if he or she needs any help. It is the job of that person with autism to say yes and receive the offer for help. Once there is that connection, breakthroughs are bound to happen. People can help others who have autism and it can be the other way around. Those...