For some students, a simple checklist is all they need to get them started and keep them moving through academic activities. The following is an example of such a checklist:
The checklist corresponds to the numbered folders. The student knows to complete the work in the four folders. After checking each number off, the student then has a few minutes to engage in a highly reinforcing activity.
How do we decrease neurological stress? The following is an excerpt from my recent book titled “Visual Supports for Visual Thinkers: Practical Ideas for Students with ASDs and Other Special Educational Needs”
A research team funded by the National Institutes of Health found that, in people with autism, brain areas normally associated with visual tasks also appear to be active during language-related tasks. This provides evidence to explain a bias towards visual thinking that is common in those with autism.
Try this little activity: the following statement is about neurological processing. “Visual’s a strength, auditory ain’t.” As you say this, make goggles with your hands to cover your eyes. Then try saying it again while cupping your hands to make ear muffs over your ears. This little exercise will help your brain to remember a key statement about the preference for those with ASD for visual versus auditory learning. This understanding is the first step for taking a different course of action when responding to the behavior of those struggling with neurological stress.
Our increased knowledge about autism has profound implication. So in addition to discussing problems that specifically affect autistic individuals, we should explore what the mere existence of the autism spectrum can teach us about a wide range of social, cultural, political, and even philosophical issues.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning it affects each person in a different way. That being said, there are certain overriding traits that unite those of us on the autism spectrum.
Although sensory differences are very real and must be recognized as such, narratives can help to deal with these differences. For instance, there was a high school student that was having significant difficulty with the hallway transition from class to class. Not only was there the loud bell that signals the transition, but then it was followed by a crowded hallway and noisy teenagers talking in groups.
One way to address this might be to allow an early release from class to avoid much of this hallway chaos. Another option is to provide a narrative that helps deal with this difficult transition.
The following is an example of such a narrative:
You might already use mnemonic techniques in your life. If you have five things to get at the grocery store: sugar, tea, apples, rice and soup, you might create and visualize STARS remember your list. In classrooms, mnemonics is a memory enhancing instructional strategy that involves teaching students to
link new information that is taught to information they already know.
Mnemonic devices are patterns of letters, sounds, or associated ideas that aid people in remembering information. Keyword, pegword, and letter strategies were the mnemonic devices used in the studies included in this meta-analysis.
These mnemonic techniques use acoustically linked proxy words to connect two pieces of information. For example, students were given the keyword “rainy day” and told to think of a frog sitting in the rain to remember that the scientific classification for common frogs is ranidae.
Dr. Temple Grandin once told my son Sam: “when you’re looking for employment, you must show your work“. Indeed! For someone diagnosed with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers Syndrome, you must rely on the merit of your work, because oftentimes challenging social cues can override a large portion of the interviewing process.
Asperger Syndrome Training and Employment Partnership provides a very good checklist to review before you go through the interview process.
Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) remain highly vulnerable to bullying behavior. Parents, teachers, other students, and the community must be sensitive to the particular needs of these students and vigilant in bullying prevention and intervention.
This week’s blog will point families in the direction of multiple resources available.
As many of you already know, individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder may experience significant differences in how they perceive the world through their senses. Over the course of the next several blogs, we will take a closer look at each of the senses and explore possible strategies and techniques to help reach homeostasis or deal with the sensory difference. Not all children with ASD have sensory sensitivities, but some children might have several.
This week, we will begin with the sense of sight. Approximately 70% of information about the world is taken in through the eye. Firstly, it should be noted that research exploring the brain of individuals on the spectrum has found that there is generally a heightened awareness of visual details. Also, the brain processes information and makes decisions/plans in the visual region of the brain. The sense of vision is critical for all individuals and the implications for differences in this sense is especially important to understand.
I am so excited to tell you about a new website for families of children with disabilities and special health care needs: Navigate Life Texas (AvancemosJuntosTexas). We at Aspergers101.org are always seeking informative new streams of support for families trying to offer their autistic/aspergers child the very best in services and Navigate Life Texas fills the bill! If you do not live in Texas, then by all means inquire about getting a Navigate Life (or one like it) in your state/country. – Jennifer Allen/Aspergers101
This bilingual website was designed to be a place of support and a source of help. It was created by a task force that’s part of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
It was three years in the making and the website development team spent a lot of time talking to parents across Texas. They wanted to make sure the content would meet family’s needs.
One unique feature is that every page of the site was written, reviewed, or edited by parents of children with disabilities and special health-care needs.
The website has content to address the needs of parents of children of ALL ages. It contains articles on: