How to Educate a Neurotypical Sibling?

No one prepared the parents of children with autism, nobody noticed or warned that the arrival of a child with ASD could be possible. So the education to raise our child with autism and our neurotypical child at the same time has been learned, after overcoming frustrations, book readings, training, patience, and a lot of creativity.

One of the most complex issues that parents face when it comes to educating children is to decide which pedagogical project or which educational line to choose. And things get even more complicated when you have to educate more than one child because the surprise is that there are no two children alike, and they never respond in the same way to the methods that already worked successfully in previous cases.

What to do when there’s a neurotypical sibling?

Imagine then what happens when one of the brothers requires somewhat peculiar educational methods. Educational methods that can’t be learned either from one’s own experience, from reflection during pregnancy, or from reading the books of preparation to be perfect parents of programmable children to respond accurately to each of the options.

In the case that a child with autism has neurotypical siblings, the situation may show clear divergences in the treatment given to the children. So, the question that parents should ask is: what to do when my child with autism needs certain strategies to learn but also does my neurotypical child?

How to integrate neurotypical and ASD children

When you have more than one child, and one of them has autism, there are two possible cases: the neurotypical being the firstborn or the child with autism being the firstborn. Let’s see:

  • If the first child has autism, and the parents have set to work, the second child arrives at a home where the pictograms and social stories are the order of the day. The second child simply learns to live like this, and in any case, it’s the parents who must re-practice a more relaxed and natural form of communication.

  • If the first child doesn’t have autism, and the parents already believe they have found the most appropriate educational method. In that case, it may become more difficult to integrate the older child into all those changes that occur in the dynamics of the family. Well for them, that looks like a great injustice. If they used to go out to any big party, why can’t they go now? If before spontaneously decided to go to the movies, to the circus, to the beach, why should we now live with an iron agenda that dictates our life?

Activities

We have to become accustomed to the normal jealousy of the children, to the competitiveness between brothers; but we need to change life and family dynamics for the new member of the family.

In a family, all members should know that they are part of a team and that they should be helping, supporting and waiting for others, when it’s necessary. Therefore, each of the members must have their spaces of freedom, and in the family as a whole should accommodate some dynamic and integration activities:

  • Days of games at home.
  • Family pajama parties.
  • Day of cooking, where the whole family participates in making meals.
  • Conversations where one of the parents is combined with one of the children, to maintain the family agenda without losing neither the spontaneity nor the multitudinous socialization.
  • Bread a weekly routine, where they have vacations, free days, family life. Activities and family time that will help them not to lose the energy of everyone. And so it allows the siblings of children with autism to develop and feel that they are listened to and taken into account, which they need.

 

Maintaining two lines of education can often be stressful, and above all frustrating for everyone, but with love, patience, and unity everything will be easier.

While neuroatypical children take energy and time, neurotypical children also have needs that require fulfillment from their parents and caretakers.

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Back to School: How to Help Your Child with Their New School Year

The school is an environment that encourages and helps the development and social adaptability of our children, but it can turn out to be a tense environment, with excess stimuli and provoking disruptive behaviors if we don’t pay attention to specific details. Parents of children with autism need to take into account general issues when preparing the children to go back to school. It’s not just about taking them and leaving them there, it’s about taking them to a place where they will be happy, and they will learn.

Tips for back to school

Communication with the teaching team (principals and teachers) is essential for a proper school experience process. Before returning to school, it’s advisable to have a meeting with your teachers and the school guidance team (pedagogical team).

It’s important to know the general project and the type of activities that we’ll have for our child; whether it’s inclusion or integration. There may also be plans to work individually and in a different environment of your classroom on some specific topics.

If the professionals involved in your child’s treatment have written instructions to apply in the school context, you should immediately inform the school. Thus the general project of the school year is modified according to the particular needs that arise.

In the meeting you make with the pedagogical team, it’s recommended that you comment on the needs or other relevant subjects that are necessary to share, such as:

  • What does the child like.
  • What subjects attract the attention and which ones don’t.
  • How to maintain or recover the child’s attention.
  • What situations can disorganize the child behaviorally, and how to recover it.
  • What can he eat and what can not.
  • Associated health problems.
  • Expose the areas of strength and areas that require support. A summary of the previous school year is very valuable.

Prepare the child

The school and teachers need to prepare to receive the child with autism, regardless of their adaptive level and academic performance. But it’s also necessary to prepare our child for the return to school, for this it’s advisable to take into account some things:

  • Have conversations with him about the school.
  • Visit previously the school where the child is going to study.
  • Make social stories about returning to school, with graphic media, toys or simulations of school activities.
  • The holidays are always out of control of the sleep schedule, so to begin to establish a schedule to sleep and wake up is fundamental.

The return to school is an activity that we must prepare with a special dedication.

Our child must be happy and safe at school.

Learning what makes your child happy in the academic sense is fundamental to help them reach their success in their school year.

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The Real Parental Responsibility When It Comes to Schooling

Many parents assume that teaching is a responsibility that belongs solely to schools, so teachers are perceived as the only ones with a say in the matter of education. But this is not the case: the people responsible for what children learn are first and foremost the parents or caretakers since they are the ones who model their behaviors as lessons for their children.

Today we give you some information about the role of parents and their responsibility in the continued education of children outside of the classroom, and the importance of reinforcement of lessons at home. Keep reading!

Parent’s responsibility in the education of children

The first educators of children are the adults at home. Children learn by observing their parents, these model their behavior by showing them how to act. Later, learning is done at school where teachers and classmates are other important influences.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder learn much more quickly through interactive, visual, and auditory strategies. They also learn by observing and taking behavioral cues from the people they consider their role models. It is necessary to emphasize here, how vital the commitment of the parents to the education of their children is. Ensure good education via example.

Learning for children with autism is a combination of two teaching scenarios, parenting, and schooling. Although both environments are fundamental for their development, the responsibility falls primarily on the parents.

Children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) learn at their own pace and with different teaching techniques and strategies. While it is true that teachers must be adequately prepared to help them in the learning process, parents are required to assume the more prominent role.

What is the main responsibility of parents when it comes to continued schooling?

  • Reinforcing lessons from school.
  • Acting according to the lessons they give their children; being coherent with actions and words.
  • Speaking to children about positive attitudes when it comes to school and homework.
  • Doing homework with them, and guiding them through it, but not doing the work for them.
  • Listening to their feedback on lessons.
  • Asking pertinent questions: How was your day? What did you learn today? What was your favorite lesson? And so on.
  • Requesting feedback from teachers from time to time.
  • Further encouraging them to participate in activities that are appealing and instructive to them.

Parents collaborate with this process by asking for a follow-up to certain tasks, practicing lessons with their children at home, maintaining good communication lines with their teachers, educating themselves on different subjects to better know how to help. In this way, they can work in unity with the educators to whom total responsibility has been assigned. With the help of a sport, children can grow with a positive and proactive attitude towards school in general!

Make sure to contact us to know more about our project, Autism Soccer.

If we work together, we will see great changes in our children.

It’s much more than taking them to and from, it’s hands-on in the process of learning.

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Teach Your Child to Play

The game is one of the forms that the human being has of self-expression and self-exploration. Fundamental in the structuring of children’s thinking, the construction of language, and the objective representation of reality.

The game contributes to the development by providing the child with a sense of mastery over their own body and the environment.

Autism and games

Games can stimulate different skills, such as:

  • Social: the child learns to relate to others. Also through the game the child gets knowledge of cultural norms.
  • Motor, sensory and perception: the sensory and motor activity teaches the child the capabilities and limitations of his own body and the world around him. Besides, the activities produce a release of excessive energy, restoring the corporal equilibrium freeing the child to initiate new tasks.
  • Emotional: the game gives the child the power to express their feelings without fear of punishment and helps them learn to control their frustrations and impulses. This control provides self-confidence and potential adaptation to future needs. The game is fun, opens a world of joy, humor, and creativity.
  • Cognitive: the child learns to manipulate events and objects in the internal and external environment.

Children with ASD have few interests, tendencies to repeat tasks, and present numerous self-stimulations.

To your child with ASD:

  • Make you enjoy more experiences.
  • Find new activities.
  • Teach him to identify the cause of things.
  • Organizes short cycle activities giving them a functional use.

By carrying out guided activities your child will be able to:

  • Improve the attention.
  • Learn how to use objects and toys.
  • Your behavior will improve.
  • It will increase your self-esteem through success in group activities.

 

Motivate your child and teach him to play, this will bring many benefits for him.

At Autism Soccer, we have educational learning programs for your child with soccer sessions for more personal development.

The game contributes to the development by providing the child with a sense of mastery over his own body and the environment.

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Feeling of Failure in Autism

The environment, in general, can be very hostile towards people within the autism spectrum disorder; either by sensory saturation, by incomprehension of what’s happening, by zero empathy on the part of others towards him or her. We’re talking about an environment that makes it difficult daily, and as a result, we see that those pleasant moments are scarce.

But we must not forget that the person can develop a sustained sense of failure, an aspect that often begins in childhood. When a child with problems managing his own emotions and frustration presents explosive behaviors, he receives, in many cases, a correction of inappropriate behavior. That is, in the face of frustration at not being able to do something, he gets an attitude that he perceives as correct.

Autism and failure

This feeling of failure accompanies low self-esteem. A problem that, although many believe it wakes up in adolescence, we can begin to observe it in childhood. And there’s nothing sadder than seeing 5-year-olds with low self-esteem, although it’s sadder to see that nobody notices.

This can difficult the social life of the person with autism, and generate not only anxiety, frustration, and irritability, but also a sensation of failure. This can lead the person with autism to never assume new challenges in the future; creating a depressing feeling, which must be identified and stopped as soon as possible.

Working the self-determination and independence of the person is fundamental. It’s very important that we have as one of our objectives to promote independence, always create the necessary supports, and make sure that the person understands the process so he can succeed. The emotional reinforcer, always suitable to the age and environment of the person with autism, must be present in every step of the process.

Promoting independence and self-determination will strengthen the emotional state, the person must understand that things don’t always come out the first time.

The states of anxiety in people with autism are present since childhood. Understanding this is essential to develop educational and intervention programs in autism.

A program of emotional reinforcement is indicated for these situations.

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Autism: What Will Happen When Parents Are no Longer Around?

One of the concerns we parents have about children with autism is related to the future in all its dimensions. We know that we are not eternal and that temporality marks our passage through life: one day, inevitably, we will leave our children’s life.

The biggest question arises: who will take care in our absence of our son with autism when we are no longer around? It’s a concern that we carry within us; perhaps it’s not a topic that we discuss with the professionals who assist us in the intervention and care of our children. However, it’s something that worries us, and we need guidance.

What will happen to my child who has autism when I am no longer around?

If the child has siblings, we may begin to think of their brother or one of them as the future recipient of a special responsibility: to entrust the guardianship and custody. Our neurotypical children know this, or at least they intuit it as they get older. That is to say; his future already carries a component of commitment: his sibling with autism.

It’s a complex and delicate issue because we must not compromise the freedom of our neurotypical children. Therefore, within our possibilities, the planning of the lives of our children with some level of dependence has to be done, so it can be addressed when we are no longer there.

Assuming the guardianship must be a voluntary act of one of the brothers, it can’t be forced. The commitment arises from love, and that’s something we parents have to cultivate.

We must seek the highest level of financial autonomy for the person with autism (learning a job that ensures their livelihood), and achieve the greatest acquisition of independence of daily life and self-care skills of our child with autism. Prepare him to fend for himself as much as possible.

Talk openly to the family about the diagnosis and difficulties of the child with ASD, spend time with your neurotypical children, have a special time to share and talk with them too. We must avoid encouraging the feeling of “not being rewarded.” It’s also important to teach our child with autism to respect the personal space of their siblings.

As parents, we must create a family environment in which the autism of one of the children is lived naturally, without complexes and resolving fears. It facilitates the relationship between the members of the family and ensures that, in the absence of one, the others will come out in support.

In the absence of one, the others will come out in support.

Caring for our neurotypical children’s good relationship with their siblings with autism is a determining factor in their future quality of life.

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The Correct Behavior that Parents of Children With Autism Should Have

The children modify their parents’ behavior, and not the other way around, as is usually thought. Yes, as you read. It often happens that parents are the only ones subjected to behavior modification processes, which are provided by children, whether they have autism or not.

In this article, we explain everything about it. Keep on reading!

Autism and parents: behavior

Not everyone has the knowledge, the disposition, the time, the patience, or all the skills that are necessary for the learning process of a child with autism. And if nobody explains anything to you, nobody advises you, and no one guides you, there are many chances that you’ll be making several mistakes.

In many cases, the children have perfect control of their house. They do what they want, get away with it, and they can do things that other children are not allowed to. The main reason for this is the autism. We can’t forget that the children with autism are, above all, children; therefore, they will do the things that children usually do.

The misbehaviors of the children with autism are encouraged, or awarded, or allowed, or excused since the child has autism. The result: the child has no limits, no discipline, and learns to get what he wants, when he wants, and in an inappropriate way.

How to prevent our son from modifying our behavior?

We must be very clear about what behaviors we want to eliminate, and to what point we have encouraged them. This is something to consider: we could be the ones encouraging these behaviors, without realizing it.

  • Don’t give in to requests out of place.
  • Don’t turn the child into the center of attention.
  • Ensure that the child understands what you want him to do.
  • Be tenacious and coherent. Nothing is worse than not allowing something today but accepting it tomorrow.
  • Teamwork and constant communication with the therapist or school. Establish the same guidelines and limits in all contexts of the child’s life.

It’s important to avoid being managed by the children, this will lead us to very complex situations. Controlling the behavior of children with ASD is not easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible; having professionals who support and advise us is always a great help. But don’t forget that a teacher or therapist only spends a couple hours with our child, while we parents are with them all the time; we must strive to educate and establish a good relationship with them. This will result in a good quality of life in the family.

There are many techniques to handle these situations, but we must keep in mind that each child is a world, so a little creativity and analysis will come in hand to manage their character and help them to have good behavior.


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Autism and Bad Behavior

We know that the misbehavior of our children can become stressful and frustrating when we don’t know why these attitudes are present. Whether it is a child with ASD or not, bad behavior is something that parents and teachers must take into account to seek solutions.

In today’s article, we give you a list of ideas and advice regarding the behavior problems of your son or daughter, or one of your students. The vast majority apply to any child, whether or not they have an ASD.

How to deal with the child’s behavior

We know that sometimes bad behavior in our children can become a headache. The objective is not to spoil them but to teach them to handle different situations and to control their impulses. With this list, you can have a little more guidance when facing a behavior situation with your child.

  • Frequent behavior: any behavior has a reason to be. A child with ASD may use bad behavior to communicate that he doesn’t understand what’s happening or how to express his frustration when things aren’t as he expects. So pay attention to what might be happening.

  • Bad behavior isn’t removed with bad compression: we have to learn to respond to these bad attitudes, to act calm and not to react in a bad way, this could increase the anger. The idea is to teach him to change that behavior for another that is acceptable.

  • Wait for him to calm down: don’t try to impose discipline or correct him when he’s angry, distracted, overstimulated, locked up, anxious or in any other emotional state where his instability at that moment prevents him from interacting with you.

  • Be positive: instead of telling him what he doesn’t have to do, tell him what he has to do. Reinforce when he has done something right. Use a positive language that encourages the child to keep on acting well.

  • Practice with him: all children need to repeat an activity until it’s incorporated into their daily life. A child with an ASD may need more time and more repetitions. It’s better to practice in a quiet environment and, when he has mastered it, provide some variations to expand this learning.

  • Explain: it’s easier for any child to do something if he understands the reasons. If you ask him to behave in a certain way because it is the best for his safety and for his health, correctly tell him at an appropriate level for his age and personal characteristics.

  • Sensory problems: investigate if there is a sensory problem. A common reason for the bad behavior is feeling discomfort for some sensory input, whether visual, auditory, tactile or otherwise.

  • Search for good partners: teachers, therapists, and pediatricians sometimes have good ideas that they have been able to prove in their work. Exchange information with them, try some of those things.  

  • Exercise: physical activity is an excellent way to stabilize mental processes and to teach self-control. Team sports that require good coordination, skills, and social interactions can help you reduce stress. At Autism Soccer, we would be happy to talk to you and help you by providing some ideas and techniques to handle these situations.

Start paying attention and identify the circumstances in which a bad behavior appears, any information that helps you to correct it is important. One of the great ideas that exist for good development in the behavior, health, and abilities of your child, is the sports.

Autism Soccer has programs for the development of your child.

Contact us for more information!

Educating a child with ASD requires time, effort, and flexibility.


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Autism: Social Disability?

Every day more people refer to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as social disabilities, and it indeed has a lot of social components. We are not talking about a matter of physical health, but about a social health one. One of the most significant problems that the person with ASD faces is the social exclusion at all levels, which in many cases also affects the family.

This exclusion generates a series of problems. The society in which the person with ASD must develop is usually not prepared for the social inclusion of such a “novel” concept of diversity.

Is autism a social disability?

Initially, the term “social disability” was attributed to people who were at risk of social exclusion because of poverty or race. In the case of people with autism, it’s the difficulty to establish channels of social interaction according to the accepted cultural norm of the environment in which the person lives.

The person with autism is ruled, it’s not understood that it should be accepted in the group, because of its difficulty for this interaction. The social group is simply inaccessible to those who present a minimum degree of difficulty. Therefore, the “disability” of the person isn’t something attributable to it, but rather a social imposition.

This social exclusion can affect not only the person with ASD but also their family members. Most people with ASD don’t have problems of mobility or health, but they do have deficiencies in the communication aspects of social management. Gaps that can be improved if the person has access to the media and to society, which generates an interaction that could help them integrate with their peers.

Although there’s much talk about inclusive education, the reality is that it doesn’t exist. It’s not the education the one that should be inclusive, but the society. Technicians, specialists, relatives, and affected people see with despair how the future of these people is obscured by the lack of consideration and inclusion.

Autism spectrum disorders aren’t known, they aren’t understood; thus they aren’t contemplated. This situation entails the elimination of the identity of the person with ASD.

More inclusion, less rejection!

Autism itself can’t define a person, the use of the attribute as a social conditioner entails the impulse of exclusion, and of the social rarity.


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