Body Language Activities Teach The Importance Of Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication is more important than many peoplethink, and teachers often teach body language activities to their students to learn more abouthow body language works. Below are some facts about body language and itsimportance in everyday communication, along with some activities specificallydesigned to teach about body language.
How To Teach Your Child With Special Needs To Dress Independently
Disabilities can make getting dressed independently difficult for your child. These skills can take longer to develop than for other children their age. In fact, your child might always need some assistance. But if youre ready to teach them to do as much as possible by themselves, these tips will help.
Hard To Look At You And Use A Gesture And Sound
Babies learn to use gestures and sounds from 9-16 months to let you know what they want or dont want, and what theyre interested in.
It should be easy for your baby to use a gesture and sound while theyre looking at you.
If its hard for your baby to look at you and use a gesture and sound, all at the same time, this can be an early sign of autism.
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Unusual Reaction To Sounds Sights Or Textures
Babies with autism can show unusual reactions or be very sensitive to certain sounds, sights, or textures. They may get overly excited about a page in a book or hold their hands over their ears in response to loud sounds, squint or flap their hands to certain lights, gag when they eat food with certain textures, or get upset about a tag in a shirt or something sticky or gooey.
If your child shows unusual reactions to sounds, sights, or textures, this may be an early sign of autism.
Puberty In Autism Teens
As we discussed last week, puberty is one of the most challenging developmental states both for the child and also the parents. Many parents fear approaching the subject and are worried on how to relate the information to a child with autism. Individuals on the spectrum often need longer to adjust and understand the process of puberty.
The same goes for boys. Boys also undergo various physical changes that may be unnerving to some of them. Generally, boys puberty lag behind girls and usually occur between the ages of 11 to 13 years old for boys. They develop growth spurts, bigger hands and feets, muscle mass, deepened voice, facial and underarm hair, development of the pubic area and also nocturnal emission.
Nocturnal emission and the first appearance of semen can be a very difficult process to explain for many parents. Therefore, many parents tend to avoid the subject altogether. It is important calmly explain what is happening and how theyre body is changing and developing.
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Physical Therapy And Occupational Therapy
Some children with ASD experience difficulties with controlling physical actions. For example, they may have an unusual gait or trouble with handwriting. Physical therapy can build your childs motor skills. A focus on posture, coordination, balance, and muscle control can improve a childs social life and sense of well-being.
Occupational therapy helps children with autism build everyday skills that are useful at school or around the home, such as feeding, grooming, and dressing themselves. Similar to physical therapy, occupational therapy can enhance motor skills.
Sessions focus on an individuals unique needs, so your child may also learn to use assistive devices to adapt to situations and complete tasks. Examples of such devices include a speech-to-text app for a child who struggles with handwriting and a dry-erase board for a child who has difficulty with verbal communication.
Terminology: Autistic With Autism And Aspergers
People use different language when talking about autism. Some prefer to say a child with autism because it emphasizes the childs identity outside of their diagnosis. This is commonly called person-first language and is often recommended as a respectful way to talk about disabilities and other health issues.
However, other people, including many autism activists, prefer to use the term autistic.
This is known as identity-first language. Autistic self-advocates assert that being autistic is in fact part of who they are just like other labels like Catholic, African-American, gifted, and so on. They argue that saying with autism implies that autism is a negative thing that has happened to a person, rather than an integral part of their identity.
In this guide we use both autistic and with autism to acknowledge the diversity of peoples opinions.
Some people also refer to their child having Aspergers disorder. That diagnosis is technically outdated, because in 2013 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders combined Aspergers disorder into autism spectrum disorder. However, many people do continue to use the term Aspergers to describe autistic children who are typically without language or intellectual impairment.
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Fun Books For Teaching Body Parts
1.) I love using books to introduce/teach/practice new vocabulary. For body parts, my favorite book is Toes, Ears, and Nose by Marion Dane Bauer and Karen Katz.
To turn this book into an interactive lesson for my little learners, I like to print out pictures of each body part featured in the book using a program like Boardmaker or Symbolstix. As we read the book, I help my students match the printed image to the picture in the book. This works on matching two non-identical pictures and helps my kiddos stay engaged while we are reading. I have yet to meet a kid who didnt like ripping apart two pieces of Velcro.
2.) I also adore Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley. This clever book uses layers of pictures to make the face of a monster. This book also has a repetitive theme, which I love in books for toddlers.
Teaching Body Parts To Children With Autism
Teaching children with autism to label and touch their body parts is one of the most important skills to teach. No matter if a child is very young and has no language or if a child is older and has some language. As both a parent of a son with autism, a registered nurse, and a behavior analyst, I believe that teaching body parts is important for many reasons. For instance, being able to touch and label body parts is the first step for a child to be able to tell someone he is in pain. Over my many years working with hundreds of children with autism, Ive come up with 3 successful strategies to help you teach this crucial skill.
Back when Lucas was little before I knew he had autism and he was just getting evaluated by early intervention for speech and language delays there were some questions about identifying or touching his body parts.
I mistakenly said yes, even though he couldnt. But when they assessed him and asked him to touch his belly or touch his eyes, Lucas didnt do it. So I was asked to show how I had him touch his body parts. I said I have to sing the Barney song first to the rhyme we touch our head and then our toes and then our belly and then our nose. Thats the only way Lucas knew how to touch his body parts. He was not comprehending touch eyes versus nose or head. He had no idea. And I wasnt trying to make him look better than he was. I just was clueless about how to even assess body parts. So you might be thinking, well whats the big deal, Mary?
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Medication For Children On The Autism Spectrum
There is no medication for the symptoms of autism. But children on the spectrum may take medication that is aimed at curbing aggression or other problematic or dangerous behavior. And kids on the spectrum may take medication for other disorders that they may have, including anxiety, depression or ADHD. Any doctor prescribing medication should do so carefully, but this is particularly important for children who may have multiple diagnoses.
Medication for behavior problems
Risperdal is a medication thats widely used to treat children who are aggressive or excessively irritable. Risperdal can successfully calm down kids with severe behavior problems, enabling them to function in school and within their families. The FDA has approved it for that use. Without it, some children would require residential treatment.
Its important to know that Risperdal has side effects that include substantial weight gain and metabolic, neurological and hormonal changes that can be harmful. Without effective monitoring by a professional, some children experience irreversible damage. Some experts are concerned that children are being treated with this medication in lieu of other treatment including behavioral treatment that could be effective without the risk of these side effects.
Tips For Socks And Shoes
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Handling A Lack Of Responsiveness
What Would You Do
For a take-home activity you can share with families, try this What Would You Do? game. Families can go through different scenarios together and decide how they would react with questions like How would you help? or What would you say?
This activity keeps social skills sharp and reinforces relationship-building skills.
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Understanding Autism Treatment Options
Finding out that your child has autism spectrum disorder can be a shock. You might feel upset and even fearful about their future. But its important to remember that every child has their own strengths and weaknessesand a child with autism is no exception.
There are many treatments that can help children with ASD acquire new skills and overcome a variety of developmental challenges. These treatments dont aim to cure ASD. Instead, they help improve your childs ability to socialize and play, function academically, and move through everyday life with adaptive skills.
Not every ASD treatment approach is effective for every child, though. It may take some time to tailor the treatment options to your childs specific needs. But a little patience and persistence can make a big difference in your childs life. Learning about the many treatments available can help you start to identify which approaches are best for your child and ensure they develop to their full potential.
Coping With Language And Communication Problems
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How To Teach Your Autistic Child
As with anyone, teaching a child with autism is most effective when you consider how they are best able to learn. Whether youre teaching your child to communicate more, get dressed on his own, improve his social skills or become more independent, these strategies will help. These are generalizations based on common characteristics of children with autism. Adjust your approach as you discover what works best for your individual child.
Fun Games To Help Teach Your Toddler About Body Parts
Medical Causes For Autism
Its not unusual for medical problems to be overlooked in kids with autism, especially those who are nonverbal. When evaluating your childs behaviors, its crucial to consider that some may actually be reactions to pain or discomfort from treatable medical or dental conditions that may have gone unrecognized. Kids with ASD may not be able identify or articulate the source of the pain or discomfort they are experiencing effectively.
Here are some commonly misinterpreted behaviors that may have medical causes:
- Gulping or grimacing
Teaching Your Child To Follow Instructions
One of the most valuable skills for children and adults with autism is the ability to follow instructions. When people with autism can follow instructions, this opens up more options for learning, making friends, options for school, and options for life after school.
If your child can follow most one step instructions with just one reminder, then they will need less support at preschool. If your child can follow 2 step instructions, then they can have a much higher chance of managing in a mainstream school. If your teenager can follow instructions at home to complete regular daily routines independently or with minimal help, then they have more opportunity for work placement after school. When children and adults with autism follow instructions, to the best of their ability and with the least amount of help, it is easier for the people who are caring for them parents, grandparents, teachers, group home staff, and the boss at work!
Why are following instructions difficult?
Following instructions requires a lot of underlying skills including the ability to:
- Pay attention to the verbal instruction
- Understand what the instruction means
- Remember the instruction
- Physically follow the instruction
These are the 5 steps you use to teach your child to follow instructions:
There is a hierarchy for learning to follow instructions. In this article, we will go as far as 2-step instructions:
Teaching your child has 4 steps:
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