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Computers & Meltdowns

Computer Programs Can Help Reduce or Eliminate Autism Meltdowns

Persons with autism tend to be drawn to video and computer screens.

Computers and video can be used as a very effective tool to teach someone with autism how to self regulate. Videos can be used to teach social skills, speech, facial movements, expressions, and many other skills. Animated video and computer programs are more effective than real video.

Look for software that uses primary colors, and is very clear in its presentation of concepts. Computer programs that teach children with autism social situations and formation of words have the greatest long term impact.


Tyler's Notes:

I've been interested in computers since I was four. Even built myself one with the help of Dad when I was twelve. One thing about those machines that I enjoy very much is the sounds it would make. I would go up to a machine, put my ear on the side of the computer, and listen to whatever goes on as the computer runs after I turn it on. Could...

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Autism and Repetition

Many children with autism watch the same video over and over again. The question is: Should you let your child with autism watch the same video over and over again.

The answer is yes! Most likely they are using that part of the video to develop language, or are using it as a “touchstone” to help them handle the sensory input around them.

You can use that repetitive activity as a bridge into other interests. It may seem strange at first, but once you understand the reason that your child with autism watches a video over and over again, you will learn how to use that as a took for their development.

So next time that they are watching the same thing repetitively, sit with them, be interested in what they are doing, and have them show you the specific part of the video they are watching.

Look for faces, mouth movements, and other clues as to why your child might be watching that particular section.

Most likely they are trying to add that specific activity to their world,...

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Help Your Child with Autism Make Friends

How do you help your child with autism make friends? Friendships and relationships in general are hard for someone that has autism. Many times those with autism have a difficult time “putting themselves in another person’s shoes”.


That analogy alone is difficult for someone with autism to even understand.

Friendships can be formed with a understanding peer group. Those groups can be found in your general community, as part of your church, at school, a formal social skills group, or a wide variety of other places. It does take effort and some trial and error to find a workable solution.

Once you have an understanding peer group you can then start modeling behavior. A person with autism must create thousands of desperate social files, that can eventually be weaved together to form a framework of friendships and relationships.

It takes a lot of time, but it’s well worth it in the end, as your child develops the potential to have lifelong relationships.

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Introduction Tyler McNamer - Author & Writer

From humble beginnings, author and writer, Tyler McNamer, casually introduces himself as AutismWorks was still under development shortly after he wrote and published his first book, Population: ONE.

Here is Tyler's first appearance in the video sharing channel.

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What is AutismWorks? (First video of the channel.)

 

Introducing the first video to the AutismWorks video sharing channel. When we were first developing AutismWorks, my dad took the time to share the audience on what AutismWorks will be about as we were building the community.

Enjoy the first video!

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I went to the drag races.

Second time became the charm.

Long ago, Dad took me to the drag races when I was twelve. Felt like the worst place to be. Reasons for that was:

  • Outdoor
  • Cold
  • Strange smells involving foods and gasoline
  • Incredibly loud noises
  • Vibrations of the race cars as they speed by

Was a beautiful nightmare. I say beautiful because that trip has taught me something very important that I will get to in a little bit.

I had everything in attempt to make it a better experience. Earplugs, headphones, and layered coats; Still didn't work! Even when things got quieter on the race track, I just never knew when the next time the cars roar on the racetrack; Always anticipating the next loud sound that even with the earplugs and the headphones, I still felt like I needed to cover my ears and my head.

Lots of backlash for Dad. People would think that he was trying to hurt me in the drag races because of the whole autism thing, but Dad did this because of a very fascinating reason.

The reason why was this....

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The Hug

The girls had open arms,  but I thought they just wanted two high fives, but they came up to me and gave me a big hug. This happened a lot, and almost every time I was very surprised and  would just freeze. I knew they they were just being friendly and kind, but it was very uncomfortable for me.

I was used to receiving hugs from family members and that was pretty much it, but hugs from other people? “WHAT IS GOING ON?!” I said in my head. Being touched was a huge thing growing up. There were rules that I needed to follow. It was strictly forbidden because it’s not appropriate, and I needed to keep my hands to myself unless I’m introducing myself and shaking their hand. That was it. Those were the rules. So when someone I didn’t know gave me a hug, I wanted to be kind and not reject the offer, matter of fact I welcomed it.

But in my head it just felt very weird and odd and I didn’t  want to break the rule because it’s not...

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Repetitions

Repeating footage and/or sound over and over again. Why?

Here were some of the reasons for my part in terms of footage like videos.

  • Facial and body expressions in certain moments that spark interest
  • Part of the footage where there's a neat musical part even if it's short
  • Wanting to catch something thinking it was abnormal
  • A line of dialogue that sounds noteworthy for real life situations
  • Certain patches of color or lack of that is worth seeing again
  • A funny or cool moment

Here were some of the reasons for my part in terms of sounds including music.

  • Sound effects that involves a fat beat that sounds neat like a heartbeat
  • Sounds become so addictive in a way during a game that it's hard to move on
  • Parts of music that become calm all of a sudden after some energy
  • Music in itself calms and relaxes the mind
  • Hard to expand on music when the same song is being played over and oever
  • A part of the lyrics that feel most appropriate depending on what's going on

I would repeat VHS tapes and...

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Party!

Would you believe me when I say that partying is a skill to master? May not have been hard for many, in fact, so many people are looking forward for another social gathering involving food, drinks, and entertainment. I... wasn't so much way back in the day.

When parties would come up as a topic of choice, I would get so scared and nervous of the thought of parties. Why was that? For my case, it was:

  • Crowded areas
  • Loud music
  • Interacting with others
  • Confetti

Oh the confetti! That was the worst! I remembered one kid threw a bunch of confetti at me and just wanted to go home. Were we against parties when I was little? Nope; Mom and Dad knew some things can be challenging for parties, but that has been the idea of the challenges in the first place. To be challenged to better myself, because they know I can be better then what I was currently.

In a way, we learned how to celebrate properly; And there have been so many things to celebrate about. However we celebrated; Small ones like...

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Animals

What do you think? Do animals help children with autism? Why do animals tend to be a fascinating topic for me when it comes to the subject of autism? To me, it's because there are times where I can relate to them.

  • Quiet
  • Curious
  • Mysterious
  • Pretty to look at
  • Fearless
  • Calm
  • Relaxed

Some examples of a cat, and I do tend to like cats. Dogs too, but cats can be a bit more quieter at times. Many of these animals can relate in some way, even if it's a bear. I don't encourage others to have bears for pets, but thinking out loud, if I were to be sitting by a river stream and a bear comes up close to me, I would remain calm, look at the bear for a moment, and keep watching the stream. Not causing any harm, no cubs in the area, not catching any fish, just sitting there. Not a bear expert by any means, but that's what I think I would do. The way I kind of see animals is that it is neat to talk like them too. Talking to them without making a single sound; So relaxed body movements, eye contacts,...

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