What About Eye Contact in Children with Autism?

One of the most known characteristics of the autism spectrum disorder is lack of eye contact, which presents in the first years of the life of these children, with some professionals suggesting that it can start on the first months. This lack of social interaction is not by any means a sign or rudeness from them, but actually, it’s a way to feel more comfortable among people. Children with ASD can get highly anxious with eye contact, especially if the other person responds to it.

Symptoms

As every characteristic within the spectrum, avoiding eye contact can manifest in multiple ways:

  • Some actively seem to avoid eye contact because they feel uncomfortable with it, as with every social interaction.
  • Others can make eye contact in familiar environments, with well-known people.
  • And others can look at you in strange ways, staring either at you or at a specific object.

Why does this happen?

There are two major reasons that explain why children and adults alike avoid this action. First, they feel indifference toward eye contact; they think that it isn’t important to establish it. Remember, they often don’t have the same instincts about social interactions as neurotypical people, so they cannot fully comprehend why it is necessary to make direct contact. This normally happens during childhood.

However, when they grow up, teenagers and adults with ASD feel eye contact in an uncomfortable way that can trigger anxiety episodes and other adverse reactions or behaviors. Some completely hate it, especially if they are pushed to do it, so never pressure them; instead, you should encourage them to improve their social abilities but never to the point of generating the opposite reaction. Professionals haven’t found the reason behind this change from children to teenagers because children can learn how to make eye contact without rejecting it, but while growing up, they feel it as a burden.

There are still many questions about this, and many ongoing studies exploring possible reasons; but meanwhile, working with these kids to develop their social skills is the best way to change these behaviors, with patience and hard work.

Can lack of eye contact be treated?

With the autism spectrum disorder, there are usually more questions than answers, and that leaving aside the controversy in many studies and therapies. In that regard, eye contact is no the exception; however, therapists now believe that there’s no symptomatic answer, instead, it can depend on every individual and the way they feel towards it. Instead of trying to fix this, we as educators, parents, and facilitators should listen to their own voice in that regard, accept that they don’t like it, and teach them to communicate it by simply saying something like “I’m listening but i won’t look at you directly.” The most important thing we have to do is understand that this preference is totally fine, that making eye contact isn’t essential for communication and that we must accept this preference, instead of trying to force a change.

Remember eye contact isn’t the most important skill when dealing with a person with autism; if they are more comfortable without looking at you, but are still listening and can have a satisfying conversation with you on many different topics, then that’s all that should matter. Come to Autism Soccer, where we offer excellent programs for the development of your children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Why eye contact is a problem for some people with ASD

Eye contact, which is close nonverbal communication, may generate anxiety in people within the spectrum.

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Tips to Develop the Children’s Occupational Performance in School

Teaching is a hard work, but teaching several children in a classroom can be quite a challenge. If those kids are diagnosed within the autism spectrum disorder, the teaching process becomes an even greater challenge. However, a classroom adapted to them and their needs can increase their attention, focus, reduce stress, and in general aid the learning process..

It’s not just adapting your teaching process; even the decoration of the classroom in a way that will make them to consider it a safe place can make a difference in the proper development of their skills, and could even help encourage them to try new things, even when they’re reluctant to try new stuff.

There are many things that can trigger a bad episode in children in the spectrum, and these episodes make them to lose concentration and make the learning process slower overall, so take in consideration the following points, so you can avoid these episode and optimize the learning experience.

Work space

Many kids with autism feel better with a special place to work, and it doesn’t have to be a specifically designed table or chair for them; just a couple of accessories can make the difference. Things like: an air cushion for the chair, a theraband for kicking, or a training ball, among others, can help the kids to release their anxiety. It’s also advisable to rotate your students around the classroom seats, particularly in places where they could feel more anxious, such as corners, near windows, or close to the door. This can both reduce their stress, and help them get used to small changes. You can also be mindful of the classroom’s decoration, making it personalized, so the kids can feel more at home and comfortable, but not too overwhelming with colors and figures, as to be a source of distraction.

Be active

Kids with autism get bored easily, so play with them between subject lessons. This playtime not necessarily has to be a game, it can be some yoga movements to relax their bodies, or play some music and dance; just be creative and make them move to release tension. Find an activity that they enjoy while moving and make it at least a weekly routine.

Fidgets

In the last few years a little toy called fidget spinner became very famous among neurotypical children. However, these toys were created for kids with autism and ADHD to help them concentrate and pay attention in lessons. You can find this sort of fidget or similar ones to make them do a repetitive action while teaching your lessons, hence enhancing their focus.

Sensory calm space

The day can be long for a kid with ASD, and for that reason it is good to have a space, even if it is just a corner, where kids can shut off everything outside of it. Make a tent, a teepee, a big box, or just use a pair of blankets to set that corner apart of the rest; the main point here is to give them the sensation of protection, that nothing can reach them there and hurt them. Remember, children within the spectrum can become stressed very easily, due to sensory overload. Teach them how to use this space to deal with their stress and encourage parents to do the same at home.

Plan ahead of time

Routines are basic for children with ASD. It doesn’t matter the level, they develop better with plans. If they know in advance what is going to happen the following week, they can be prepare and get ready for what could otherwise be unexpected and uncomfortable situations. However use this with care and only tell them what is coming ahead every week, because if a child within  the spectrum knows, for example, all the month’s schedule in advance, then their anxiety can become even bigger, affecting their behavior at home and maybe even their eating and sleeping patterns. .

Make the learning process fun

In the end, kids with ASD are just kids, and because of that learning with fun activities can help to be more in sync with the schedule and school duties. Kids can get to enjoy the classroom and the lessons if they feel like they’re playing a game. So it’s up to you, as their teacher, to be creative and make the lessons fun for them, and of course, for you.

Teaching kids with autism is a wonderful experience that can change your life as teacher for the best, so don’t be afraid, have fun teaching these children, and try to leave you mark on them. A teacher that is good with their students will be one that they never forget. Come to Autism Soccer, where we offer excellent programs for the development of your children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

What a child with ASD needs to do in school

There are many activities that you can apply in your classroom, all according to the sensory needs of each child.

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10 Q&A about Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that can affect several skills in a person, especially language, motor, and social skills. It’s classified in three levels for diagnosis; however, many people still don’t fully comprehend it completely, and the different aspects that are associated with it. With these ten questions and answers, we hope to expand your knowledge about it.

What are the causes of autism?

This is the most common question about the disorders in the spectrum, but scientists and medical professionals haven’t found a specific cause or causes. There are many studies about the possible reasons, but the results haven’t been conclusive; some think that a genetic mutation is the main cause; others point to differences in the development of the brain in during the pregnancy, which would cause the behavioral conditions associated with it. Still, this question doesn’t have a specific answer.

Is it common?

Yes, it is. Autism is the most common developmental disorder, 1 in 150 children can be diagnosed within one of the three levels of the spectrum.

Who can suffer autism?

Anyone. ASD doesn’t distinguish among social status or ethnicity. However, gender seems to be a factor, as it has been proven that 4 out of 5 people within the spectrum are male.

How does autism influence behavior?

It depends on the level, but the primary challenge among people with ASD is social interaction. People with autism tend not to be able to grasp all the aspects of human communication fully, so subtle details can be tough for them. Besides, people placed in level 3 tend to have erratic and compulsive behavior; which is why they’ll always need a caregiver.

How severe is the behavior of a person with autism?

This can be subjective; it will depend on the level in which that person is placed, with the third level being the most severe. However, behavior can be controlled with a correct diagnosis during the early years and with the proper treatment; children with autism can be calm and behave normally. The real problem here is that parents struggle to accept their kid’s condition, and it can take years for them to start the correct treatments.

Can they manage to be independent?

Again, this will depend on the level of ASD, but many of them can manage to have an independent life when they reach adulthood, just by following the right treatment and having the correct guidance.

Is autism a cognitive disability?

No, both terms are not synonyms. ASD is a developmental disorder, while cognitive disabilities affect learning and motor skills; some children within the spectrum can show display these disabilities, but not necessarily all of them. As noted before, the more significant challenges are social interaction and personal relationships.

Can autism appear with other conditions?

Yes, there are other disorders associated with developmental skills that are present with ASD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), learning disabilities, bipolarity, and epilepsy can all appear in kids with autism, sometimes in combinations. It’s for this reason that doctors recommend for parents to be very observant of their children’s behavior during the early years so that these problems can be adequately identified and treated.

Can people with autism work?

Yes, with the correct therapy people within the spectrum can work in many different areas, as a matter of fact, people diagnosed with the first level of ASD can become very successful on their fields; some of them can even have above average intelligence.

What type of work can a person with autism perform?

Because of their compulsive and repetitive behavior, structured jobs tend to be the best for them. They develop better with routines and repetitive activities; however, many prefer the type of job where they don’t have to interact with the public, or with large amounts of people. Keep in mind that individuals within the spectrum tend to struggle with social interactions.

As you can see, autism is no longer a disorder that few people know, it has become a thoroughly studied condition; in this era of inclusion, we as a society are trying to give people with ASD the space that they need, and to understand them the best way we could. Come to Autism Soccer, where we offer excellent programs for the development of your children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Autism Soccer answer your questions regarding autism

On today’s article, we answer all your questions.

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5 Facts about Asperger’s Syndrome You Can’t Miss

Asperger’s is a widely accepted condition, in part thanks to the existence of characters in TV shows and movies with this syndrome; and because it’s now associated with ASD. However, there isn’t a lot of information about all the characteristics of this syndrome, since every individual can show a wide variety of symptoms.

It’s not longer a separate syndrome.

Since the publication of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – 5 in 2013, which is the leading authority in the description of mental health conditions, Asperger is now part of the autism spectrum disorder or ASD. Typically, people with this diagnosis are placed in the first level of the spectrum. As part of the changes, the term “Asperger’s syndrome” has mostly been replaced with “high functioning autism,” because the behavior is not that severe. However, they can present some problems associated with social interactions and communication.

The cause hasn’t been found

Some questions still surround autism; there are conditions without a definitive cause. Researchers have agreed that the problem with Asperger is in the brain, especially with the development during pregnancy and the child’s first years, and also that genetic factors can play a big part in it.

It is a developmental disorder

According to The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, which is one of the most critical medical resources, developmental disorders “…are neurologically based conditions that can interfere with the acquisition, retention, or application of specific skills or sets of information.” This means that people with Asperger struggle with the acquisition of social skills; they are not good making friends or committing to relationships, and this syndrome cannot be cured; people have to learn how to live with it while finding their own ways to develop those skills.

Intelligence is a good aspect in Asperger

People diagnosed with this ASD tend to have a normal or to be above average IQ. Because individuals within it often obsess with some topic or subject, they often can excel in that field. They tend to prefer professions like physics, space engineering, astrophysics, and programming. Besides, their knowledge of random topics can be vast; they can learn everything from the names of dinosaurs to recognizing weather patterns. They also tend to follow a strict use of proper grammar, which tends to make them come off as snobbish.

Asperger is not connected with violence

There is no evidence that this condition causes violent behavior; however, there are others that can be present in these individuals that can lead to violence, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is especially common among people with Asperger, but with correct therapy, any of these conditions can be treated and the risk of violence can be reduced.

Asperger has mainstream recognition nowadays, and with the different campaigns in favor of tolerance and inclusion, all of us now can better understand the people diagnosed with it. All it takes is to follow the proper therapies and to be patient; and with the collaboration of their loved ones, people within the spectrum can lead happy and fulfilling lives. Come to Autism Soccer; we offer excellent programs for the development of your children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Asperger things that you need to know

We show you 5 things you can’t miss about this condition.

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10 Simple Exercises for Language Problems

Language problems can affect many children diagnosed within the autism spectrum disorder. However, some kids suffer those problems and aren’t in the spectrum. This happens because there are many reasons behind language problems besides autism: ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), difficulties in the muscles involved in the speech process, or even emotional distress. Sometimes, there’s no external factor: the most common source for these sort of problem is the way in which children acquire their language skills.  

Speech ability can get better with the appropriate therapy, and activities specially designed for improving language skills, depending on how children develop those. Many of them consist of performing certain movements, where u the main speech organs (cheeks, mouth, lips, tongue and vocal cords) are involved. Here we have ten exercises that therapists use, and that are easy to do at home.

Breathing exercises

These are simple and repetitive movements while producing sounds along with the breathing. Kids can do nasal and vocal inspirations and expirations, retaining the air between the changes is good, too. Another way to do it is to maintain the air inside the mouth and nose alternating progressively between the two. Changing the breathing speed is one of the final exercises to practice, it can be done with inspirations and exhalations; it has to be practiced with both shallow and deep breaths.

Blow exercises

These can be done with different objects, but the main point is to get better lip movement and air control. Among the activities there are:

  • Blowing paper balls across a table: which could be turned into a game like soccer where the kid that put his paper ball inside the goal wins.
  • Blowing out candles: they can be of different sizes.
  • Taking down a paper tower: make one with small papers and have the kid take it down by blowing on the stack.
  • Blowing soap bubbles: you can let your kid have some fun with these; it’s better if children practice the blowing movements while having fun. You can also ask them to try to incorporate sounds which each blow.

Vowel pronunciation

In this exercise, children have to constantly repeat the vowels while exhaling slowly. They ought to do as many repetitions as the therapist wishes, as long as the kid feel good and comfortable. Usually, vowels are the easiest letters to pronounce, hence why a better pronunciation of vowels can be a good starting point to build up language skills.

Rhythm exercise

Using a drum or any surface that has a good enough sound produce different beats, and then have the kid repeat them using his voice and mouth. You have to pay attention to his performance and help him to follow the rhythm with his own sounds, correcting when necessary. Rhythm is essential for children, that way they can learn to articulate words better.

Syllable game

Here therapist will use common consonants with vowels, children have to repeat the syllable with the same vowel several times to catch rhythm and pronunciation, than change the vowel, repeat the process until all the vowels are used with the chosen consonant. Next day the therapist can choose another consonant and continuing the game, their pronunciation will improve with the constant repetition.

Articulate phrases

Here therapists use poetry, tongue twister or short sentences from children’s books, to make kids pronounce and articulate the letters and syllables that they are mastering. With practice they will get a better use of them; it can be accompanied with beats for rhythm.

Tongue exercises

Some issues with the complex phonemes are related to tongue movements, therefore doing exercises with it can help achieve a better pronunciation. These can be: turns in every direction, stretching the tongue to the top palate, eating chewing gum, touching each tooth with the tip of the tongue, and using a pencil or a chopstick under the tongue while speaking to improve pronunciation.

Silent exercises

Both the child and whoever plays the role of the therapist will be in a room entirely silent. Then the therapist will perform a series of sounds, and the kid needs to pay attention to identify and repeat them. One of the benefits of this is that children can recognize sounds and where are they come from.

Lip exercises

There are many movements with which to exercise the lips, just like the tongue. They can be tightened and loosened, separated and put back together quickly, or you can have children repeat a consonant that uses the lips exclusively for its pronunciation. At home, you can look up ways how singers warm-up, and then practice them with your kids. These can be fun to do together because they can bring laughter for both.

Facial movements

Inflate the cheeks, while retaining air for some seconds and then deflate them, and start over doing several repetitions. Finally use water, keeping it on the mouth and then moving it from cheek to cheek.

All these exercises can be done at home. Remember that, for children, approaching them as if they’re just games is always the best. Practice with them and in time you will observe the difference and see how their skills are improving. Come to Autism Soccer, we offer excellent programs for the development of children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Simple exercises for language problems

Several exercises can help to overcome speech problems. They can be practiced in the classroom or even from home.

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Types of autism spectrum disorders

Autism spectrum disorders can affect the communication process, social interactions, and present behavioral challenges. The symptoms can be recognized during the children’s early years, for that reason, parents must be very attentive to their behavior. However, several of these disorders appear for genetic causes, hence why doctors recommend that every kid should be genetically tested for any condition.

Since 2013, with the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth version), “autism spectrum disorders” is the terminology used to refer children with this diagnosis. The four previous denominations within the spectrum; autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder, are now all considered different manifestations of autism. Doctors use DSM-5 to unify their criteria and tests for a correct diagnosis of ASD, and thus have a better understatement of the various symptoms that present themselves in the children.

DSM-5 has three functional levels according to the support that children will need while growing up. These levels reflect how people within the spectrum can communicate, have social interactions, react to new situations, and manage daily life. But, even while the classification system is perfectly defined, it’s not always easy for doctors to fully evaluate a patient with symptoms of ASD and assign them to a specific level, especially because they can change levels while growing up and learning new skills.

Levels of ASD

The autism spectrum disorder can be so broad, that in it, there are individuals with severe intellectual and motor disabilities and others that have above average IQ; and while some people struggle with communication, others are public figures. That is the main reason behind the creation of the DSM-5’s three levels of ASD, which are:

Level 1

“Require support”: children and adults within this level have problems with communication and social interactions; usually people previously diagnosed with Asperger’s are here. This kind of people find it difficult to maintain conversations for long periods, and sometimes it’s hard for them to make friends. Routines are essential for them; even a small change can produce an adverse reaction. Therapy is a great way to help them develop social skills and control their anxiety.

Level 2

“Substantial support”: children and adults classified within this level of ASD have even more trouble with social interactions; some of them are non-verbal, don’t fully comprehend social cues, and their understanding of body language is practically non-existent. Casual observers can notice the difference between them and the neurotypical people. Both children and adults alike will need more specific types of therapy, such as sensory and occupational therapies, to engage in their surroundings.

Level 3

“Very substantial support”: children and adults placed in this level will require more attention by doctors and family because they have a severe lack of social skills and present repetitive and restrictive conducts that affect their lives and people around them. They really can’t tolerate any changes in their environments and have very few interests. Treatment can be challenging: therapy has to be more regular and cover a wide range of requirements, and they will also need a permanent caregiver to be in charge of them. Sometimes medication can help them to be calm and focused, but it must be administered at a doctor’s discretion.

This is a condition that can affect people in different ways, but that doesn’t mean they’re destined to have an unpleasant or dull life; on the contrary, most people within the spectrum try to enjoy their lives to the fullest while struggling with their daily challenges. These conditions don’t distinguish between races, gender, nationalities, and social status, anyone can be diagnosed with ASD.

Come to Autism Soccer, we offer excellent programs for the development of children and a place for them to be comfortable and happy.

Types of autism with Autism Soccer

At Autism Soccer, we inform you all about this great theme of ASD.

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Explore the Different Types of Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual disabilities are those neurologic disorders whose main characteristic is an IQ (intelligence quotient) below 70 when the standard is around 100. For these type of person, difficulties with daily activities are common, and behavior like self-care, social interactions, and communication can be a challenge. People diagnosed with one of these disabilities often have problems processing information and dealing with abstract concepts like money and time; for them living alone can be challenging if they’ve not been taught the proper strategies to handle these situations.

There are many causes of intellectual disability: many of them have it from a genetic condition, others because of problems during pregnancy or childbirth, health conditions while growing up, and even environmental factors. However, people with intellectual disabilities can live an independent life, because while they still have some challenges, they can learn to overcome them and live their lives to the fullest regardless of their condition.

Types of intellectual disabilities!

Fragile X syndrome (FXS)

One of many genetic disorders, it’s caused by a mutation in the X chromosome that affects the development, learning abilities, communication skills, and physical appearance. The level of severity may vary between individuals with this diagnosis.

It can be confused with autism because there are similar symptoms, such as hand flailing, poor social interactions and communication, and no eye contact. It is more common in boys than girls; the syndrome can appear in 1 in 3,600 boys, while with girls it is a 1 in 4,000-6,000 ratio.

Down syndrome

An extra copy of chromosome 21 in the DNA is the cause of the Down syndrome. This is the most common of the genetic disorders that cause intellectual disability. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 6,000 babies are born with this syndrome each year in the U.S.

People with Down syndrome can present a variety of characteristics: the intellectual disabilities can range from mild to moderate, and for these children, development is usually slower than for others. Among the characteristic physical features, we can find a slight upward slant of the eyes, a rounded face, and a short stature because of poor muscle tone. They can also present respiratory and heart conditions. With correct treatment and support, their lifespan can be increased up to 60 years.

Autism spectrum disorder

ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social skills, learning, and interaction abilities. It changes the structure and function of the brain; for that reason, children with ASD can present different characteristics, hence why autism is known as a spectrum disorder. But the most important aspect of autism is the struggle with social interactions.

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)

A genetic disorder that affects chromosome 15, and generates dangerous levels of obesity, because people with this condition suffer from an insatiable hunger; it also causes poor muscle tone and short stature. Children with Prader-Willi find school challenging, especially language and math. Some of the children can be born with distinct facial characteristics like almond-shaped eyes, a narrowing of the head, a thin upper-lip, light skin and hair, and a turned-down mouth.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)

FASD is a series of conditions that a child presents when the mother has a high-level ingest of alcohol while pregnant because the unborn baby feeds through the mother’s bloodstream. Among the symptoms, we can find distinctive facial features, heart and kidney problems, slow growth, learning disabilities, and memory problems. There is no consensus about what is the safest amount of alcohol a mother-to-be can drink while pregnant, for that reason doctors recommend no-alcohol during pregnancy.

These are some of the most common intellectual disabilities that affect many children around the world. Thanks to the advances in medical and treatments techniques, kids with these disorders can have happy and comfortable lives. Come to Autism Soccer and learn about all the programs that we offer to help in the development of children with intellectual disabilities.

Autism Soccer shows all the intellectual disabilities

Levels of cognitive deficit classify the different types of intellectual disability.

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How to Understand a Friend with Autism?

Making friends and sharing great memories with them are some of the highlights of growing up; but for children within the spectrum, this is a delicate subject because one of their main challenges is their difficulty engaging with traditional social skills. However, if both sides make efforts there can be an everlasting friendship and common understanding.

When a neurotypical child wants to make friends with one with ASD, as parents you should explain to them what are the differences between them, and what is the correct approach. These tips can help you prepare all the family to welcome their new friend!

Let’s make new friends!

Acceptance

The first step is to accept the differences between each child. Children with ASD face their own challenges, but they also have abilities that can surprise you! An excellent way to help them connect is finding a common activity or hobby that both kids can enjoy. Remember that while we have different abilities and personalities, those make us the people we are.

Learning

After the first few encounters, you can start to learn the kid’s routine and what he or she can enjoy at your home. For example, you can ask the child’s parents what kind of food he or she likes, and try alternatives to make their food time an enjoyable activity with your children. Both families can become close while the friendship between the kids is growing. It’s vital to learn the preferences of the members of that family, as it can be useful for the future. Who knows, maybe you can plan a trip together!

Understanding

Now that you know what the new friend likes, you have to understand that sometimes he would prefer to be alone or immersed in a game or activity. TV, an external conversation or game will require focus, and it might be hard to keep their attention if they’re focused on something else. But that doesn’t mean that they’re rude, it’s just how they focus on specific tasks.

Invitations

Try always to invite and include your new friend in the activities and gatherings that you host. Kids within the spectrum want to be part of said activities but don’t know how to ask, or don’t catch the rules of the game. Try to explain to them while playing and most important go to their pace.

Never be afraid

If you are worried about how to act in front of your new friend or don’t know how to approach a situation, just ask them directly. More often than not, they’ll be more than ready to explain the reasons behind their behavior or what is affecting them. Also, you should always speak the truth; when they ask a question about participating in a game, and you think that it couldn’t be good for them, discuss it and get a mutual solution.

Communication

Some children within the spectrum understand things better with a visual explanation, others with a verbal one. While with some kids their attention span is short, and for that reason, easy and quick explanations are the best. Find the perfect way to communicate with your new friend, and don’t be afraid to make strange gestures; they will appreciate the effort.

Patience and kindness

Kindness is the way to approach a kid with ASD, and once the friendship is set, you need to be patient. It’s important because sometimes they’ll need time to catch a question, situation or scenario. Remember with children within the spectrum, patience and time are critical in maintaining a good relationship.

Behavior

Always be alert in the changes that kids within the spectrum can show in determined situations. They tend to feel uncomfortable in large crowds, with some noises, smells and even lights, for that reason staying alert for sudden changes is basic to prevent a negative response that can even be dangerous for them. He or she will only need a break to calm down and feel better, just give them space and time.

Be a counselor

Commonly, when kids with ASD feel comfortable with their friends, they can ask for help in some situations, or if you see something strange discuss it with them privately, help them to navigate the tricky world of social interactions.

Stand up for them

If you are a good person, you won’t let your friend with ASD become a target for bullies. When you see someone making fun of them take a stand for your friend and yourself, you can feel great after defending them. But If you think that the situation is turning worse, talk to an adult and let them find a solution to the situation at hand.

A friendship with a kid or teen with ASD is not that difficult when you put your heart and a great effort in it. Take these tips and start to see the benefits of having a friend within the spectrum. Come to Autism Soccer to learn and observe our programs that facilitate children becoming friends!

Autism and friends with it

We’re all the same.

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Strategies to Develop Social Skills in an ASD Child

As parents, you always want the best for your children, including a good social life with incredible friends. But when your little one is diagnosed with ASD, normal situations like making friends can become a challenge. Some strategies can help kids to develop social skills that will help them.

These strategies focus on the basics of social interactions, especially for small children with ASD that cannot fully comprehend all the process of human interactions. Children will always keep it simple, and kids within the spectrum struggle with social situations, but they still see the world simple.

The strategies!

Be a role model

Children are always following your actions, but those within the spectrum won’t understand all the socials behavior that they are observing, for that reason it would be better to take some time and explain to them what is happening. For example, in a family reunion or when a friend is paying a visit, even when shopping groceries the interactions with the store’s personnel can be confusing for your little one. Remember to keep a good behavior because children are observing all, and the explanations are important for the ones with ASD since their comprehension is better with the verbal description.

Talk about possible scenarios

Don’t keep with the interactions that his or her surroundings can show to them, think in the future and what he or she is going to observe. Make a list and discuss it with them, or watch a movie with them and try to explain every question related to relationships and scenarios that are developing on screen.

Roleplay

Even with the observation and the verbal explanations, there will be some interactions with their peers that can make them feel uncomfortable, so it can be good to act them out. Engage all the family here and go through different situations that kids can face, every member has to explain what is happening and how to behave correctly. Role play allows them to practice conversations, body language and other points of communications between humans, in a controlled environment.

Find support

Other families are suffering the same challenges as you, for that reason find and discuss with them how they are helping their little ones with their social skills. Maybe you can arrange a playdate for them, and they can practice the different situations that you have been explaining to them. Later, you can talk to the other parents and how were the interactions, and compare the developing.

Kids with ASD have a tough time with social interactions but believe that they can make friends, that they will speak with the family, and get involved in some activities. And when they start to get a better communication with their peers, others aspects like self-esteem, regulating emotions and motivation will also improve. Come to Autism Soccer and find out programs that will help with your kid’s socials interactions plus other benefits.

Communication in ASD.

Your kid will need to develop social skills to make friends, communicating with others and understand social situations.

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Children’s Books about the Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children with autism can learn the different aspects of their diagnosis with a single book. They can also feel related to the characters that appear in the story since there is nothing more appealing than an individual facing the same challenge as you. These kinds of books can be a helpful guide for every person that knows someone within the spectrum, and they can give small tips for daily interactions.

Because 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, it’s very common to meet someone within the spectrum (it could even be your new neighbor). So these books can give a better understatement of their struggles, and it doesn’t matter the age: preschoolers or teens can read these.

Let’s get the books!

All My Stripes by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer (Ages: 4-8)

Zane is the main character of the book, a zebra with autism that is worried because his differences can make him stand out. But his mother helps him learn that autism is just one of his many qualities that make him unique. The book also contents a foreword by Alison Singer, President of the Autism Science Foundation.

The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin (Ages: 6-13)

This is an activity book ideal for classrooms and other group settings. It is an educational tool and a great way to engage a conversation between students to learn how to embrace people’s differences and to treat them with kindness. The activities help them know how a child with autism can feel and how they can react.

Ethan’s Story; My Life with Autism by Ethan Rice (Ages: 6-9)

This is a special book because it was written by a kid with autism, something very surprising since he was only seven and his single thought was to help his classmates to understand him and what is like living with autism. Here Ethan explains his challenges and struggles using his way, and how he is always grateful.

My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete (Ages: 7-10)

“Charlie has autism. His brain works in a special way. It’s harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe.” This is one of the amazing lines that the book gives us. Holly is an actress and autism spokesperson whose son Charlie was diagnosed with ASD and, for that reason, this book was created along with her daughter. Ryan shows us what is like to be a big sibling for children with autism, and how proud she is that her brother knows all the American presidents and can play the piano.

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes by Jennifer Elder (Ages: 8-12)

An eight-year-old boy named Quinn is the main character here, and he takes us to meet his autism heroes: inspirational people that excelled in different fields like math, science, physics, literature, and even philosophy. These heroes are well known historical figures, and it has been rumored for years that they could be within the spectrum because of their behavior. Different Like Me is fully illustrated and can be a great educational tool.

These books can show you that your child is not alone: there are many people with the same challenges and struggles as your family, and also important historical figures lived with ASD. Reading to your child can be a great activity and a way to form bonds, so start the reading time at home! Come to Autism Soccer and check our different programs for your children.

Reading and ASD.


Reading is a fantastic gift for kids, but for children with autism, it can mean a new understanding of their condition.
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15165 NW 77 Ave Suite 1005 Miami Lakes FL 33014

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