Children With Autism: Habits for a Good Sleep

Children within the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more vulnerable to sleep disturbances. According to research, 44 to 83% of people with autism have sleep-related problems. These disorders adversely affect the behavior and emotional well-being of the child and the family by increasing the frequency of temper tantrums, irritability, and stress.

That is why it is important to help children learn and maintain good sleep habits. Here we offer you some advice on how to accomplish this.

 

Problematic sleep habits

 

Regular sleep cycles are influenced by daily routines, and children with ASD sometimes have trouble understanding and following them. Sometimes, they might get attached to unusual sleep habits and have trouble fitting into the regular family routine.

So the first thing you need to do is working on your child’s understanding of routines in general.

 

Bedtime routines for children within the autism spectrum disorder

 

  • Use a schedule and visual aids showing the bedtime routine, so your child can understand every step.
  • Praise your child for understanding and completing each step.
  • Put a sticker on the schedule every time your child completes a step correctly. This can help children see the situation as a game and will motivate them to follow the routine.

 

Appropriate bedtimes for children with ASD

 

Having an appropriate bedtime is essential for establishing a good routine. But, as we all know, children may have some trouble adapting to it, and it can be even harder for those within the spectrum. Here are a couple of things you can do to help them adopt good sleep habits:

  • It is convenient to create a short and simple bedtime routine. Structured activities help children with autism calm down, anticipate what is going to happen next, and think about what they need to do. So, we should create a simple routine consisting of 4 or 5 steps that need to be carried out before going to bed. Something like this, for example:

1-. Brush your teeth.

2-. Drink water.

3-. Read a story in bed.

4-. Turn off the light.

5-. Go to sleep.

  • Avoid highly stimulating activities at least two hours before bedtime. Limit things like watching TV or playing videogames, and try to propose relaxing activities, such as reading, listening to classical music, and taking a hot bath.
  • Adapt the stimulating conditions to the child’s needs. Some children with autism are extremely sensitive to things like light, sound, and touch. This hypersensitivity can interfere with their sleep, so we must regulate the light entering their room and avoid making loud noises.

It is all about finding the right information and tools to learn what to do. Remember, you must be patient and understanding throughout this whole process, adopting new habits can be a difficult task for your child.

Source: https://raisingchildren.net.au/autism/health-daily-care/sleep/sleep-for-children-with-asd

A good sleep and rest can do wonderful things for a child with autism.

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Teens With Autism: The Transition to Adulthood

Becoming an adult is a big step for teens with autism or special needs, so their transition to adulthood needs careful planning.

If your children present additional needs, helping them through their development is essential. Early planning will give you plenty of time to work on the skills they need to reach their goals for adulthood. It will also give you time to figure out how to support them when they need it.

Design a plan for their transition to adulthood

Teenagers have to be ready for their transition to adult life. To help them, you must take into account several factors, such as:

  • Their short, medium, and long-term goals for the future.
  • Their strengths, interests, and weaknesses.
  • Their current skills and abilities. Knowing them can help you decide what other skills to teach them and which ones should be improved with practice.
  • Your needs and how to balance them with theirs.

Talking with teachers, support staff, therapists, siblings, relatives, and friends is ideal to complement this plan.

Every teen’s transition plan should be different and tailored to their needs, but you should also consider these areas:

  • Education.
  • Work.
  • Developing an autonomous life.
  • Social interaction and community participation.

How to prepare them for transition periods

  • Let teens play an active role in their health care. It is important to explain their condition to them at a young age.
  • Make sure they can explain their condition to others. As they grow, teach them specific self-care routines, such as pain management, proper rest, and nutrition. Help them develop a relationship with their physician and encourage them to ask questions and participate in the appointments.
  • Consider their interests when seeking training and vocational programs.
  • Be a good role model. Remember that you, and other family members, are your child’s most important teachers.

Each one of our tips should be applied according to the condition of every teen. At this stage, we also recommend seeking the help of professionals, who will be able to tell you what to do and how, and will be by your side throughout the process.

Let’s remember that we must be patient, try to understand them, and inform ourselves about the way they see the world. Going into adulthood may not be easy for them, but with our help and support, it can be more bearable.

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Teens with Autism: Self-Esteem and Self-Identity

Adolescence is a decisive stage full of turbulent moments due to the physical and psychological changes young people experience. For this reason, the development of self-esteem and self-identity is extremely important for achieving greater confidence and feeling comfortable in this modern society.

Being different is what makes us special

Explain to your children in a casual conversation that all people are different, and that is what makes each of us unique and unrepeatable. Every human being is valuable and interesting for their peculiarities.

Help them see themselves as a valued and active part of society. You can also help them understand that people around can see, talk, think, and act in many ways.

Tell them that people are free to think and act differently, and we must accept it.

Kids within the autism spectrum may feel different from others at school because, in many cases, their classmates make them feel that way. Tell your child that no one in the world is completely equal to another and that he or she should not pay attention to others’ mean comments.

Getting to know others

Allow your children to join activities that they like, such as a sports club, a painting group, or a band. This will allow them to realize each of their strengths, discover what they like to do, and find a place where they feel safe.

This way, they will develop social skills by sharing with others who aren’t within the spectrum. In turn, it will be a great practice to start interacting with all kinds of people.

But promote activities in which they can share with other children with autism as well. Getting involved with people within the spectrum can help them understand more about their condition and the different ways in which it can affect people.

Sharing experiences with an audience that understands their situation is also helpful. The State Autism Association and the local council may recommend some local groups. These agencies are responsible for providing information on the places where children can meet others of the same age and condition.

Thinking about me

Encourage your children to explore their interests and discover what they love and what they don’t. Talk about the positive aspects of their personalities, for example, their good manners, generosity, solidarity, tolerance, among others. Also, ask them how they would describe themselves.

An effective strategy for kids to express what they think about themselves is teaching them how to write a journal. You could call it “All about me” and include photos of all the activities your children like and entries about their achievements.

Teens within the autism spectrum remember past events better through images, photos, and other documents. For example, school reports can help them remember their triumphs at school.

Knowing about the family

To help your children develop their self-identity, you should show them photographs of family members, build a family tree, and explain to them where their last names come. Tell them how the experience of watching them grow up to become teenagers has been for you.

If your children don’t have the support of their friends or classmates, let them know that their family will always be there for them, no matter the circumstances.

 

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Boys with Autism: Take Care of Your Body!

Puberty brings many physical and psychological changes that are difficult to handle, especially for teens with autism. Our responsibility as parents is to teach our children how to take care of their bodies during this stage. Here we show you the best way to educate your child with autism in all aspects related to the care and hygiene of the body.

The first thing you have to explain to an adolescent within the spectrum is why he needs to take care of his body. It is important to use a simple language according to his age and level of autism, so he can understand the changes he will experience as he grows and develops.

Let him know that as we age, our bodies change until we become adults. This transition from boy to man is what we call puberty. When it arrives, it will bring changes like:

  • Oily skin and hair.
  • Facial hair growth (beard).
  • Sweat will have a stronger and more penetrating smell, especially in the area under the arms.
  • The voice becomes deeper.
  • Frequent erections, ejaculation, and wet dreams.

This process is biological and natural. It happens to all men when they grow up. The changes are presented progressively, so you must help your child change his routines to stay clean and healthy.

A routine to stay clean

Talk to your child with autism about the daily routine he needs to follow to stay clean. Teach him that he should:

  • Wear clean underwear.
  • Wash his hands daily with soap and water, especially before and after eating or after using the bathroom.
  • Use a clean, dry towel after taking a bath.
  • Take a bath twice a day.
  • Make a greater effort to clean his genitals and armpits as they are the most sweaty areas and can produce a bad smell.
  • Brush his teeth twice a day and floss to prevent tooth decay and bad breath.

What about shaving?

In adolescence, facial hair begins to show.  For children with autism, it can be uncomfortable and they may try to remove it from their faces. Your son should not shave on his own. Guide him through the whole process and tell him that he should always ask an adult for help, at least until he learns how to do it safely.

Underwear, why wear it?

We recommend that you explain to your boy why it is convenient to wear underwear. This intimate garment should be comfortable, easy for him to put on and remove, and make him feel safe when walking, running or jumping.

Mention that there are different types of underwear and he can choose the one he likes best and suits his needs.

How can he remember this much information?

At first, changing his daily routine can be hard work, but over time, your child will end up getting used to it. He will eventually understand that these new habits will help him prevent diseases, the appearance of infections, and keep him clean and fresh.

Remind him how the routine should go every day. For this, you can use these strategies:

  • Make a schedule about the times he is supposed to wash his face, shave, or take a bath.
  • Use images to remind him of the steps he needs to take every morning.
  • Put numbers on daily items, such as shampoo and deodorant, to let him know which one he should apply first.
  • Prepare special kits with the supplies he needs. For example, the first kit should have soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, and a hairbrush.
  • Choose the supplies he likes to use for their smell, texture, or pleasant sensations they produce. In stores, there are many different brands and smells. Encourage him to choose the one likes the most.
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Take care of your body is a must, check out our tips!

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How to Strengthen the Relationship between a Child Within the Spectrum and His/Her Siblings?

Having a child with ASD causes a great impact on the family and, at the same time, becomes a challenge for the child’s parents and even siblings.

This condition affects a child in his/her way of conceiving the world which is different from others, to the parents who assume the additional commitment of raising a child who needs more attention and also to the siblings who make an effort to interact with their brother/sister with autism.

The relationship between a neurotypical child and his/her sibling with autism can become tense. However, the guidance of parents and some changes in the way of educating children can help them share and live with each other.

Here are some tips to promote a healthy relationship between an autistic child and his/her siblings:

1. Explain autism to neurotypical siblings

Depending on the age and maturity of your son or daughter, you can explain the notions about autism, and, as they acquire a greater understanding of the subject, try to incorporate more information, making it clear that his/her brother’s/sister’s condition is not temporary. You must adopt terms that the neurotypical child can clearly understand.

2. Promote time with siblings and friends

Neurotypical children want to spend time with friends, and for them to spend a lot of time with their sibling with autism is not something fun, but forced or the fulfillment of a duty. Fundamentally, difficulties in establishing communication, common interests or affection can be factors that interfere with sibling relationships.

This can cause a fracture in the union that exists between them, because they cannot anticipate the long-term benefits of facing and overcoming the situation. For them, it can be frustrating to have to prioritize a brother/sister with autism over their classmates and friends. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a balance and not force them into exclusive company with their autistic sibling.

Neurotypical children should, in fact, socialize with their own friends. This is even healthier and helps reduce tensions between siblings, thus providing a better environment for interaction with their sibling with autism.

3. Enhance the importance of the neurotypical child’s work

Value your neurotypical child and highlight his/her qualities. Make him/her feel that he/she is important in the family nucleus. Children love to be given attention, but not in a manipulated way. Many praise phrases can be used to motivate typical children to interact with their brother/sister with autism.

Never convince your child in a forceful way to play with his/her autistic sibling – rather, you can persuade him with these words:

  • “You are a good listener when your brother tells you about his new toys; I bet that makes you feel happy!”
  • “You are a super helper, Tom! You read that book very well with your brother.”

The goal is that the child can interact with a sibling within the spectrum and feel that his/her actions and support are appreciated by others.

4. Take the children to a play date that other children with and without autism will attend

You are probably scheduled to attend an activity with children within the spectrum in the company of your child.

This could be counterproductive because your neurotypical child may feel excluded, and may even begin to feel envious because you are expressing favoritism or preference for the autistic brother or sister. It is best to take them both to the appointment to play and prevent them from developing feelings of resentment or rivalry.

In addition, they can better understand the condition of their sibling/s by interacting with others and perceive these differences in a fun and entertaining way, which will undoubtedly strengthen their understanding of autism.

5. Share your attention

An infallible way to prevent your little one from looking at his brother or sister with feelings of envy and resentment is to try to take an interest in and pay attention to him/her. Although it is true that a child with ASD demands great attention, you should look for ways to find the time to make both children feel loved equally.

Show affection to children in an effusive way.  Hug them, kiss them, express your love for them, congratulate them. It is important to make them feel that they are valued. Choose a special day for individualized attention. For example, attend a park or pool, etc… so you can take advantage of a quality moment with your neurotypical child. This can promote strong bonds of union between siblings.

 

sisters

Having a kid with autism is hard, but for a sibling can be more difficult. Teach them how to strengthen their relationship.

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Genetic Aspects of the Autism Spectrum Disorder

Scientists have always thought that genetic aspects play an essential role in autism, but some agree that most diagnoses have an environmental origin. Recent research by specialists in the field of ASD predicts that genetics can be the cause of up to 90% of cases, and environmental problems also intervene, but to a lesser extent.

What does genetics mean for researchers?

The National Institutes of Health define a gene as:

“The basic physical and functional unit of inheritance. Genes, which are made up of DNA, act to produce molecules called proteins. In humans, genes vary in size from a few hundred DNA bases to more than two million bases. The Human Genome Project has estimated that humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes.”

These genes are very similar between one person and another, and even 1% of our DNA defines an individual and their particular characteristics. That is what makes us unique.

It is no secret to anyone that genetics causes physical and mental impact. This is because genetic changes or spontaneous mutations can occur (without a specific origin), or due to the result of exposure to the environment.

Autism researchers analyze the development of genetics to answer several questions that do not yet have an accurate answer:

  • To what extent is autism a condition inherited from parents?
  • To what extent does autism occur due to spontaneous changes in genes that are not inherited?
  • What are the genes or set of determining genes for a person to be autistic?
  • What changes in individual genes cause autism?
  • What is the relationship between autism and genetic disorders?
  • Are the genes responsible for different types of autism different?
  • What is the relationship between the environment and the genetic changes that lead to autism?

What information do we have about autism and genetics?

To date, many of these questions are a mystery to science. For this reason, a variety of studies are needed to keep moving forward, because they do not have an infallible answer.

It is not known whether combinations in genetic changes can cause autism, nor is it known whether genetic changes in any way lead to a high or low level of this condition. In addition, there are still doubts about the probability that it is an inherited condition. Another question is to know if gene therapy could have positive effects on people with ASD.

But there is information that we do know. For example, ASDs are born without an inheritance pattern. People with a family history associated with autism are at greater risk of developing this condition.

Any genetic alteration can generate an effect and when there is a lot of variability in the genes it can be linked to other environmental risk factors such as the age of the parents, complications during pregnancy and others that have not yet been discovered, and these can increase the level of a person’s risk of developing this condition.

Autism researchers think that 2 to 4% of people with autism have genetic mutations or chromosomal abnormalities that cause the disorder.

Even the resulting signs and symptoms can affect various parts of the body.

According to scientists, up to 2500 different genes could be related to autism. This figure was discovered using advanced technology, and it means that autism is a condition of great complexity.

Genetics and environment

There are environmental elements that, when linked to the genetic factor, can cause the appearance of various types of autism.

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, certain environmental factors increase the risk of autism, but it is not certain that they are determinants in the development of ASD.

  • Advanced age at the time of conception.
  • Exposure during pregnancy to pollutants or toxic agents.
  • Diabetes.
  • Being overweight.
  • Low birth weight.
  • Problems at birth: lack of oxygen to the brain or any other prenatal limitation.
  • Poor prenatal nutrition.

How could any of these factors affect genetics?

This question remains a riddle for researchers; however, studies continue.

Environmental factors are not determining, because many elderly parents have neurotypical children, and there are premature children without this condition.

Now, children with a genetic risk of autism can develop the condition by undergoing the environmental factors described above.

Genetics or environment?

Several studies in 2017 showed that most of the causes are genetic. These are the most relevant results:

  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is added in families, and studies with twins estimate that the proportion of phenotypic variation due to genetic factors (heritability) is approximately 90 percent.
  • The heritability of ASD was estimated at 0.50, and the family environmental influences shared at 0.04.
  • The incidence of ‘inherited’ autism was approximately 83 percent, while the non-shared environmental influence was estimated at 17 percent.

Apparently, most people inherit autism. These results are transcendental for the treatment and prevention of autism with gene therapy in the future to help those families with people with autism.

 

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Our DNA can define who we are and what is our personality, including certain conditions such as ASD.

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Halloween for Children with Autism

Halloween scares many children. The themes attract their fear as there are terrifying decorations, costumes, scary movies, and not to mention an increase in the price of sweets.

The most complicated of all is to create the conditions so that this day does not affect our son/daughter with autism, and he/she can understand it in the best way. In this sense, what can we do to make this day not so chilling for them?

Remove the surprise factor

Take the time to talk with your child before Halloween. Explain to him/her in advance to prepare them for the subject. You can display images and videos with kids in disguise and with the usual “trick or treat” sign. Describe the environment and atmosphere you will find on the streets at night.

You can even show photos of previous celebrations and create a social story so that your child does not feel scared, and perceives the celebration as a repetitive event. This builds confidence and greater security.

Check out the neighborhood

Start a night walk through the neighborhood to see the decorations of the houses. Some may be more frightening than others. As a result, you may prefer to prevent your kid from visiting the most terrifying.

It is convenient to talk with the neighbors beforehand to find out what they plan to do, for example, if they plan to receive children with a costume when they get home. These scenes can cause fear in children with autism. For this reason, it is recommended to go to houses, parties, and even Halloween stores before taking your little one.

Teach trick or treat rules

Provide clear and precise instructions to your child about “trick or treat” rules. For example, don’t enter the house, say thanks and visit the next home, etc. Practice with him/her what that experience would be like and the steps you should follow, even when facing an unforeseen event such as if the neighbour is not at home.

One of the things we teach our infants is that they never accept sweets from strangers, so it is difficult to contradict this rule. It is better to explain that it is a party and that it is valid to do it this way, except you are going to shopping centers or stores.

Do a general rehearsal

Kids with sensory difficulties may experience discomfort with the clothing of Halloween. Many may suffer itching if the costume is too tight. The texture of the fabric is also likely to cause discomfort.

For children within the spectrum, makeup on the face may seem sticky. It can even make them feel weird. Besides, masks and accessories can make vision and hearing difficult, which can lead to the child feeling frustrated and forced to participate in Halloween activities.

Encourage your son/daughter to do a simulation of everything put on the costume, ask how they feel with it, and make the appropriate adjustments to make the event fun for the child.

You can also create a costume with everyday clothes. Choose a character that your child loves, but also clarify that it is not mandatory to wear a costume.

Make a candy plan

Be careful with your child’s diet. Remember that on Halloween, kids can exceed the consumption of sweets. In case of a restricted diet, deliver a bag of goodies acceptable to your neighbor beforehand so they can give it to your child.

It is also possible to exchange sweets with his/her sibling. Tell your son/daughter what he/she can and should do with sweets when he/she gets home. Set consumption limits before the party.

Promote the company of friends

Ask one of your little one’s neurotypical friends to accompany you and monitor compliance with the rules of trick or treating.

In turn, that friend can help your child with any eventuality. If you have other children, plan a solution in case your kid with ASD wants to retire before the other children have completed their activities.

Source: http://bit.ly/2kwORuX

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Tips for Parents: How to Help Your Teen with Autism Approach Dating and Intimacy?

Talking with your teenage children with autism about dating and intimacy may be difficult for you. Hence, we have prepared this post with some advice for parents to help their young people with autism understand the complicated atmosphere of dating, romantic feelings, and intimacy as a couple.

All teenagers are different, but most teens with autism suffer dating and sexuality problems late compared to typical teenagers.

Many of them have no interest in this until much later, but there are others overwhelmed by anxiety because of the physical and psychological changes of this stage.

Of course, these problems have an impact on the family environment, as the first date of adolescence can be an exciting experience but also a challenge for the life of any of them.

Teens with ASD face many difficulties, but they can be overcome. The most important thing is to support your teen in this difficult stage for him/her, in which dating produces restlessness, anxiety, and in many cases, feelings of insecurity.

Interpret and send the signals

One of the limitations of teenagers with autism is the understanding of the social signs involved in dating. Interpreting a flirt or an invitation is somewhat complex, so understanding these signals is a difficult mission for most teenagers with autism.

This situation can be confusing and disconcerting for your son/daughter, and for the other, it can cause frustration and discomfort because your child’s potential “date” perceive that their messages and feelings are not being heard or valued.

Talking with your child can help establish the qualities of a good partner. There may be important questions in this conversation, such as: should I tell the person about the autism spectrum? Should I relate intimately with someone else on the autism spectrum?

Tips to help your teen with autism approach dating and intimacy

Taking these aspects into account, we have put together a series of general tips so that your child can get closer to dating and intimacy, but its application will depend on a series of variables such as age, experience, etc.

  1. Promote family dialogue

Talk with your child openly about dating. Approach the subject as something natural- even mention that all people find it difficult this experience at first.

  1. Be proactive

Get ahead of the facts. If your son/daughter has not yet begun to talk about their dates, take an opportune moment to do it, for example, when you are in the mood. Let him/her know that you are willing to talk about these topics.

  1. Do not postpone the conversation about this topic

If your child is sexually active or is beginning to interact with others more intimately, you should immediately address the issue of safe sex and the implications of irresponsible or unprotected sex. It addresses other topics such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, preventive measures, among others.

  1. Use role plays to play a dating scene

Pay attention to their interest when expressing compliments, verbal and nonverbal. Explain that some behaviors convey positive messages to the other person. Show your child some examples of demonstrations of interest such as smiling, nodding and maintaining eye contact.

Tell your child that everyone likes someone to show sincere interest. The brainstorm technique is highly recommended for the adolescent to generate spontaneous ideas about the subject.

  1. Deliberate about who, when, where, and how to invite someone out

To whom? People your age, someone you like, people you know and talk to you, someone who treats you well.

When? When you already know each other, when there is interest from the other person.

Where? When you are alone with the individual you want to date.

How? Ask if the person has no partner, assess the interest, plan an activity that is enjoyable for both of you, request contact information to confirm attendance.

  1. Bear in mind that we are all exposed to rejection at some point

Express the possible reasons why someone might refuse the dating proposal. School/work responsibilities, the person is committed to another person, or is not interested in a relationship could be some reasons.

  1. Discuss the basic process of a date

Explain to your child that he/she should know the exact date and place of the date, and how the couple will arrive at the place.

  1. Educate your child in everything related to signs

Ask the teenager if he/she would like to hug or kiss at the end of the date, and emphasize that he/she must be sure that the other person has an interest. For this, he/she must know how to interpret the related signals. Kissing or hugging someone requires a mutual interest and should be asked politely.

  1. Discuss the different levels of intimacy

Explain that kissing on the lips is more intimate than holding hands and that the important thing is that you feel comfortable and that many things are different from what is shown in the media.

  1. Support your child on the day of the dating

Orientate your son/daughter about the appropriate customs to make him/her look their best. If you have already taken the first step and decided to invite someone, encourage them to pay the bill, and if someone else asked you out, encourage them to pay their share.

Dating is intimidating for any adult, much more for an inexperienced teenager, so parents must provide full support in this area. Emphasize that dating is a positive and enriching experience that allows people to get to know each other better and that mutual friendships can arise from there.

Fuente: http://bit.ly/2ZuF1sG

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Living within the spectrum is not easy, but it can be twice as hard when they are starting experience dating and intimacy. Help your teens with these tips!

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How Important Is Social Skills Therapy in Autism?

The main difficulty faced by people with autism is social interaction. This problem can occur at different levels, some in a severe state, such as those who do not express themselves through speech, or in a mild way. However, even in mild cases, social communication can be limited and have an unfavorable impact on relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. That is why it is highly recommended to go to social skills therapy.

Social skills affected by autism

Autism is a disorder that triggers a series of signs; one of them is the lack of basic social skills. The limitations extend to difficulty making eye contact, asking questions, or giving correct answers, and using daily courtesy phrases such as: please, thank you, permission, excuse me.

These fundamental skills are necessary to interact with others, even for self-defense. There are cases of autism in which these communication skills are not affected, but complications can be evidenced for the understanding of the thoughts and for interpreting the feelings of others.

Most people have the ability to “infer” what others think through gestural signals of body language, and can even react quickly because they understand what is happening in their environment.

People with ASD do not possess these skills, so specialized attention and training are important; otherwise, they can make social mistakes without knowing it, hurt feelings, have inappropriate behaviors, ask awkward questions, etc.

Social skills therapist

Currently, there are many people with autism spectrum disorders. This has led to the existence of multiple businesses related to teaching and social skills for people of all ages.

For now, there is no specific certification or association of therapists, so people dedicated to this field come from different professions and specialties such as psychologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and language therapists with experience in the application of techniques to develop the social skills of people with autism.

The current virtual market also offers a series of interactive teaching tools in the form of texts and videos for parents and adults with autism.

How do social skills therapists help people with autism?

Therapists help people with autism through effective techniques to develop social skills. These are applicable depending on the environment.

School environment

  • Group activities: Games and activities that favor communication and exchange with friends and colleagues with autism.

Groups should be supervised by school psychologists or social workers both inside and outside the classroom.

External environment

In order to improve these skills outside of school, private consultations and sessions must be paid.

In general, children are incorporated into curricula organized by age and ability of each of them. Personalized professional attention is developed by experts in social skills therapy.

One of the variants of social skills therapy is dramatic therapy, characterized by being educational and fun. It includes video models, group therapy, among others, and is aimed at adolescents and adults.

Some parents opt for cognitive therapy specialists who can be referred by psychologists or psychiatrists.

Are social skills therapies effective?

Therapy is expected to give people with autism the ability to interact with others, talk, play, share, and participate in activities with typical people.

The idea is that it allows individuals with ASD to integrate into society fully and not distinguish themselves from each other.

The average duration of a social skills therapy session is two hours a week, and although it is effective in some cases such as getting the person with autism to look at the face of another when they talk through specific techniques, it is very difficult for them to achieve social behavior similar to neurotypical people.

To reach this level of impact, an intensive program is required compared to the social skills programs currently taught.

How to find a qualified social skills therapist?

In the absence of an official certification that supports social skills therapists, it is a challenge to find the ideal and qualified specialist in the area. However, you can follow these tips that can help you make the best decision.

  • Attend some sessions with your child. Inquire among the participants about the results obtained and the effectiveness of the techniques.
  • Find out if social skills therapy is included in your child’s school program.
  • Verify that the person who imparts these therapies is trained and has experience in a related area.
  • If you decide on a private social skills therapy, consult the Autism Society of America or AutismLink for information and knowledge about local professionals.

Source: http://bit.ly/2Kurv1M

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Find out why this therapy is highly recommended for everybody within the spectrum!

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Teens with Autism | How to Explain Physical and Emotional Changes?

Sex education is fundamental for teenagers; let them know that they are about to undergo physical and emotional changes and to be fully aware of that world at the right age. It is important to have good communication with them to nurture them of everything they need to know in this process that they will begin to experience.

When is the perfect time? 

The school is usually the main source of information, after the parents, that address this topic at an appropriate level and according to the age of the adolescent. Working with teachers can be an excellent idea to reinforce what is taught at school.

We know that children with autism need a longer and slower period to assimilate perfectly what they are being taught. Starting to address these behaviors a little before they reach puberty would be the right thing to do.

Language

You should be careful about using language when communicating with your son or daughter. Certain denominations and words can be strong for a child with the autism spectrum.

Private and public

Your child should know the difference between private and public, what to do and what not to do:

– Talk about puberty and sexuality only with parents, teachers, and family doctor.

– The door is knocked before entering; we must respect the privacy of all.

– Change of clothes should always be in private places (some individuals with autism spectrum take attitudes of removing clothes from one moment to another in any place, we must teach them that it is not right.)

Physical and emotional changes

Physical and emotional changes are the main springboard to puberty. If it is often a complicated process to understand for adolescents who do not have the spectrum, it is even more so for children with ASD. It’s all about knowing how to explain, communicate, therapies, learning materials, and always inform yourself, so you know what to respond to and be honest with your son or daughter.

Today, we give you a link to a page where you will get good information that will serve you on this topic: https://www.autism.org.uk/about/communication/sex-education.aspx.

 

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Be part of the Autism Spectrum and becoming a teen is not easy, but you will always be there for them!


 

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