Jumaat, 25 April 2014

10 Methods to Help Kids With Autism Communicate

Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Signs of an Autism Spectrum Disorder begin to show up by ages 2 or 3, and the earlier the treatment, the better the chances for success. The national Centers for Disease Control and the Mayo Clinic list these signs to watch for in a young child:
● doesn’t respond to his name by 12 months of age;
● has delayed speech and language skills;
● avoids eye contact;
● has trouble understanding others’ feelings or difficulty expressing her own;
● repeats words and phrases over and over;
● is obsessed with specific objects (such as the wheels of a toy truck, or a ceiling fan);
● repeatedly flaps hands, rocks or spins his body;
● becomes very upset with minor changes in routine;
● resists cuddling and seems to want to play alone.

Every single kid learns in his own unique way. What can you do to help your child with autism learn? Find out about nine methods that can help your kid continue on the road to lifelong learning.

1. Encourage play and social interaction. 

Children learn through play, and that includes learning language. Interactive play provides enjoyable opportunities for you and your child to communicate. Try a variety of games to find those your child enjoys. Also try playful activities that promote social interaction. Examples include singing, reciting nursery rhymes and gentle roughhousing. During your interactions, position yourself in front of your child and close to eye level – so it’s easier for your child to see and hear you.

2. Use ABA to Reward and Reinforce

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is about teaching new skills and behaviors to kids with autism. Individuals trained in ABA work one-on-one with children. Tasks are broken down into small pieces (or trials). When your child successfully completes a task, the behavior is rewarded. Disruptive behavior is ignored.

3. Use TEACH to Create a Classroom That's Molded to Your Child

Treatment & Education of Autistic and Related Communication of Handicapped Children (TEACH) is a teaching program that adapts the classroom to fit your child. The classroom is structured around charts, organizational aids and schedules. TEACH may discourage mainstream behavior for kids with high-functioning autism, but it can also improve social, communicative and coping skills.

4. Talk in Pictures Through PECS

Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) is an image-based communication system that helps children with autism learn to speak. It provides a way for nonverbal children to communicate. Children are encouraged to exchange a picture for an item or activity.

5. Go Au Naturel with PRT

Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) is one of the top treatments for autism in the U.S. Instead of targeting specific behaviors one at a time, PRT takes on all of the following areas: motivation, responsiveness, self-management and social interactions. Your child is  naturally rewarded with reinforcers that relate to the task or behavior.

6. Encourage Emotional Development Through Floor Play

Floor play is an approach developed by child psychiatrist Stanley Greenspan. Playing with kids on the floor allows your child to explore and grow. Follow your child's lead, and build on what your child does.

7. Use Social Stories to Create Scripts for Learning

In this method, stories are used to teach social skills and how to respond appropriately to an event or situation. These stories are written in the present tense and in your child's point of view. They help your child recognize feelings, points of views and others' needs.

8. Use Sensory Integration Therapy to Help Your Child Make Sense of Sensations

Occupational, speech and physical therapists use this kind of therapy to help autistic children who have trouble feeling things or who feel things too intensely. Your child might be asked to feel objects of various textures in order to help her reorganize how she perceives sensory information.

9. Stay in Touch Via Facilitated Communication

This controversial technique is based on the idea that communication is blocked by a movement disability, rather than a communication impairment. A facilitator guides the individual to communicate with a computer or typewriter. Critics believe that the facilitator's ideas are communicated, rather than the child's thoughts.

10. Have Your Child Participate in Music, Art and Animal Therapy

These complementary approaches are fun and effective! Music, art and animal therapy are believed to increase communication and reduce unwanted behaviors. Art therapy provides a nonverbal, symbolic way for your child to express himiself. Music assists the development of language and speech. Animal therapy, like horseback riding, helps improve coordination and motor development.

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