ADEPT (Autism Distance Education Parent Training) Interactive Learning

adept

ADEPT (Autism Distance Education Parent Training) Interactive Learning

An original MIND Institute/CEDD 10-lesson interactive, self-paced, online learning module providing parents with tools and training to more effectively teach their child with autism and other related neurodevelopmental disorders functional skills using applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques.

 

Resources

Autism Distance Education Parent Training (ADEPT) PPT Presented By: Patricia Schetter, MA, BCBA

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Autism and the Holidays

Twelve Tips for Helping Individuals with Autism Have a Happy Holiday Season

While many happily anticipate the coming holiday season, families of people on the autism spectrum also understand the special challenges that may occur when schedules are disrupted and routines broken. Our hope is that by following these few helpful tips, families may lessen the stress of the holiday season and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. The following tips were developed with input from the Autism Society, the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Easter Seals Crossroads, the Sonya Ansari Center for Autism at Logan and the Indiana Autism Leadership Network..

1. Preparation is crucial for many individuals. At the same time, it is important to determine how much preparation a specific person may need. For example, if your son or daughter has a tendency to become anxious when anticipating an event that is to occur in the future, you may want to adjust how many days in advance you prepare him or her. Preparation can occur in various ways by using a calendar and marking the dates of various holiday events, or by creating a social story that highlights what will happen at a given event.

2. Decorations around the house may be disruptive for some. It may be helpful to revisit pictures from previous holidays that show decorations in the house. If such a photo book does not exist, use this holiday season to create one. For some it may also be helpful to take them shopping with you for holiday decorations so that they are engaged in the process. Or involve them in the process of decorating the house. And once holiday decorations have been put up, you may need to create rules about those that can and cannot be touched. Be direct, specific and consistent.

3. If a person with autism has difficulty with change, you may want to gradually decorate the house. For example, on the first day, put up the Christmas tree, then on the next day, decorate the tree and so on. And again, engage them as much as possible in this process. It may be helpful to develop a visual schedule or calendar that shows what will be done on each day.

4. If a person with autism begins to obsess about a particular gift or item they want, it may be helpful to be specific and direct about the number of times they can mention the gift. One suggestion is to give them five chips. They are allowed to exchange one chip for five minutes of talking about the desired gift. Also, if you have no intention of purchasing a specific item, it serves no purpose to tell them that maybe they will get the gift. This will only lead to problems in the future. Always choose to be direct and specific about your intentions.

5. Teach them how to leave a situation and/or how to access support when an event becomes overwhelming. For example, if you are having visitors, have a space set aside for the child as his/her safe/calm space. The individual should be taught ahead of time that they should go to their space when feeling overwhelmed. This self-management tool will serve the individual into adulthood. For those who are not at that level of self-management, develop a signal or cue for them to show when they are getting anxious, and prompt them to use the space. For individuals with more significant challenges, practice using this space in a calm manner at various times prior to your guests’ arrival. Take them into the room and engage them in calming activities (e.g., play soft music, rub his/her back, turn down the lights, etc.). Then when you notice the individual becoming anxious, calmly remove him/her from the anxiety-provoking setting immediately and take him/her into the calming environment.

6. If you are traveling for the holidays, make sure you have their favorite foods, books or toys available. Having familiar items readily available can help to calm stressful situations. Also, prepare them via social stories or other communication systems for any unexpected delays in travel. If you are flying for the first time, it may be helpful to bring the individual to the airport in advance and help him/her to become accustomed to airports and planes. Use social stories and pictures to rehearse what will happen when boarding and flying.

7. Know your loved one with autism and how much noise and activity they can tolerate. If you detect that a situation may be becoming overwhelming, help them find a quiet area in which to regroup. And there may be some situations that you simply avoid (e.g., crowded shopping malls the day after Thanksgiving).

8. Prepare a photo album in advance of the relatives and other guests who will be visiting during the holidays. Allow the person with autism access to these photos at all times and also go through the photo album with him/her while talking briefly about each family member.

9. Practice opening gifts, taking turns and waiting for others, and giving gifts. Role play scenarios with your child in preparation for him/her getting a gift they do not want. Talk through this process to avoid embarrassing moments with family members. You might also choose to practice certain religious rituals. Work with a speech language pathologist to construct pages of vocabulary or topic boards that relate to the holidays and family traditions.

10. Prepare family members for strategies to use to minimize anxiety or behavioral incidents, and to enhance participation. Help them to understand if the person with autism prefers to be hugged or not, needs calm discussions or provide other suggestions that will facilitate a smoother holiday season. If the individual becomes upset, it might also be helpful to coach others to remain calm and neutral in an effort to minimize behavioral outbursts.

11. If the person with autism is on special diet, make sure there is food available that he/she can eat. And even if they are not on a special diet, be cautious of the amount of sugar consumed. And try to maintain a sleep and meal routine.

12. Above all, know your loved one with autism. Know how much noise and other sensory input they can take. Know their level of anxiety and the amount of preparation it may take. Know their fears and those things that will make the season more enjoyable for them.

Don’t stress. Plan in advance. And most of all have a wonderful holiday season! Source

Articles for Parents

Great Resource- Thriving During the Holidays

Reducing Holiday Stress for Families of Children with Autism

Holiday Road Trips: Five Tips to Reduce Stress

7 TIPS FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON WITH YOUR LOVED ONE AFFECTED BY AUTISM

Preparing for the Holidays with Autism

Dealing with the “Back-to-School” Blues: Tips for Parents of Asperger’s Kids

Back to School with ASD

Social Stories

Visiting Family at Christmas

Going to Visit Santa

What to Expect at Christmas (PowerPoint) edit to meet your needs*

Airplane Trip (good example)

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Holiday/Winter Break Social Stories & Visual Supports

Calendar Icons

Christmas Presents A social narrative to help individuals understand social expectations when receiving presents.

 

 

 

Hand Flapping in children

What Causes Flapping and Self-Stimulatory Behaviors?

“Self-stimulatory behaviors are common in children with autism as well as those with sensory processing disorders. However, typically-developing children sometimes do these things as well. Just because your child is flapping or doing other self-stimulatory behaviors, it doesn’t mean he has autism. Many people see a child rocking or flapping and they think, “Oh, that child has autism.” That’s not always the case!”

Source: Speech and Language Kids

Great Handout with step by step details on how to intervien with flapping behaviors: stop-flapping-handout

How to decrease hand flapping

Bullying and Special Needs Students

Middle Schools can be a tough place to navigate socially for all children. For children who have cognitive and social deficits it can be especially difficult. Recently while looking into different options to help support kids on our campus, I ran across the Ohio Center For Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) website. On the site it has a multitude of resources including some on the topic of Bullying. They have an easy to implement anti-bullying intervention called “Be an Upstander”.

Anti-Bullying Supports for Peers: Be An Upstander
Be an Upstander is a video for use with middle- and high-school students. It demonstrates strategies that can turn bystanders (persons not directly involved in the bullying incident) into Upstanders, those who can help diffuse a bullying situation. Resources to help facilitators use this video include a Facilitator Guide and Strategy List.

Webcast and Resource Materials on Bullying

Awesome Brochure

Stats from the Autism Safety Site:

A 2009 survey on bullying revealed the following:

  • 65% of parents reported that their children with Asperger’s syndrome had been victimized by peers in some way within the past year
  • 47% reported that their children had been hit by peers or siblings
  • 50% reported them to be scared by their peers
  • 9% were attacked by a gang and hurt in the private parts
  • 12% indicated their child had never been invited to a birthday party
  • 6% were almost always picked last for teams
  • 3% ate alone at lunch every day

Source: Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing (2009)

Expected verses Unexpected Behaviors

Perspective taking is really important for our kiddos building capacity in the area of social skills. Categorizing Expected verses Unexpected can be crucial to developing a filter when making a good choice verses and not so good choices.

DEFINITION OF EXPECTED VS UNEXPECTED (Kid friendly)

MAPPING EXPECTED AND UNEXPECTED
Expected -Simple Map
Unexpected – Simple Map
Expected vs Unexpected – Sophisticated

ACTIVITY
Expected vs Unexpected Activity

POWERPOINT ACTIVITY

PPT

GENERAL PERSPECTIVE TAKING RESOURCES
1st Link

2nd Link

3rd Link

Education Celebrity Nod

Michelle Garcia Winner has been a great resource in my work with children with Autism. Her strategies and concepts to support kids on the spectrum really work for both kids and educators alike. Here is a list of concepts and products that she has to offer

Social Thinking Vocabulary and Materials

She has a great website as well.

http://www.socialthinking.com/