Modeling Animals with Clay

Yesterday the kids had great fun modeling animals with clay.  Madelyne started everyone off with her giraffe that she gave a long moustache and a beard we called the Fu Man Chu Giraffe.  Megan created a bunny rabbit she called Sad Gerald.  Leela modeled an unknown creature with a monacle and a moustache. They acted out some of Part 3 of the Story of the Sacred Tree which Megan recorded with the iPhone4 and everyone got to watch the video afterwards.  We went outdoors in spite of the drizzle to plant our sunflower seedlings in the garden – this was their first experience planting ever.  They drew up weather and human geography charts and then presented their chart to the rest of the class.

Temple Grandin, Conversation with

Here is a wonderful interview packed with knowledge – I love what Temple is saying about her own experience and her work with animals.


Autism and Social Skills by Angela Williamson

January 16th, 2011

Individuals with autism often lack the necessary skills to socialize  within the norm. Multitudes of  parents use alternative medicine, educational methods, and support services, such as occupational therapy to help their children. These  methods have helped this population significantly. Many were able to live independently but  still lack social skills.

Teaching individuals with autism social skills is hugely debated among parents and professionals alike. Is it possible for individuals with autism across the spectrum to obtain social skills? Multitudes of professionals say no. They claim only high functioning individuals with autism can be taught social skills.  This excludes  the ones who are labeled as low functioning.  They also theorize that individuals with autism cannot learn after a certain age, which is untrue. You can teach individuals with autism social skills  at any age. If they are alive and well, they can learn. Many of these techniques discussed in this blog are based from the Son-Rise program.

SEE VIDEO BY CLICKING THIS LINK   –> Principles of the Son-Rise Program

Here are some important things you must realize and use before you begin teaching people with autism social skills. It is important to change your mindset. Think about these questions and answer them. Are you openly inviting? Do you easily get displease and start to scream, because of behavioral difficulties or for not being compliant? How is your body language around the individual with autism?

It is important for you to have a nonjudgmental and loving attitude when working among individuals with autism.  If it is difficult for you to change your mindset,  then you must start by loving yourself. You must love and accept yourself  first by going within. This will allow you to remove any blocks that prevents you from changing your mindset.

How do you approach your child with autism? Are you controlling  and demanding? If you say yes,  you must change your method now. Approach the child with energy, excitement, and enthusiasm.  Your child  will be  more receptive in learning how to socialize with you. Seek training in the Son-Rise program.  Once you learn the program well, get others to volunteer their time to help you (See resources below).

Prepare a room for you to teach the child or individual with autism  social skills. This room should not have  any pictures. There should be plenty of room to move around. Place appropriate and interesting  items that will capture the child’s interest. This makes learning fun. The room should also have some of the following items: a trampoline, therapy ball, chewy tube, flash cards, writing utensils, paper, etc.


Take the time to teach social skills for several hours or more during the week. This can be done by joining in with the child. For example, if the child spins dishes,  then you spin the dishes. Place yourself  nearby where the child can see you. When the child stops and looks at you, celebrate for giving you good eye contact. Go into your child’s world and gently bring him or her into your world.

You should install a two-way mirror or video camera inside the room, if applicable. This will allow you to see your volunteers while they are  interacting with your child. You will be able to provide feedback, which is very crucial in helping your child progress.  Create data sheets to record what is effective or ineffective . Brainstorm with your volunteers on how to improve the individual with autism social skills and learning. Utilize these suggestions with your child.

How do you respond to your child’s needs or wants? Do you give the child what he or she wants when having a tantrum or crying? Think about this for a moment and answer the question. If you say yes, then you are teaching the child how to communicate this way. Delay giving them anything if they are crying  or throwing a tantrum. Let them understand that you do not know what he or she wants by crying or throwing a tantrum. Calm them down. Establish eye contact, say the word calmly and patiently. Praise the child if he or she makes an attempt to speak and for establishing eye contact. Pointing is okay and can be worked up to  verbal language. If the child has some form of verbal communication,  then extend  it by connecting  unknown words to his or her vocabulary. For example, if the child says ” juice”, teach the child the word cup. Make a connection when the juice is pouring inside the cup and a create sentence.

Mostly importantly, pay attention to how you are speaking  and your body language to  individuals with autism. This makes a big difference in reaching them or not.

For more info on the Son-Rise program go to

Here are some books or Cd’s you want to read  or heard such as

  • COMING SOON!  Effective Treatments and Solutions for the Autistic Population by Angela Williamson, PRE-ORDER  NOW on click on this link
  • Breakthrough Strategies for Autism Spectrum Disorders by Raun K. Kaufman.
  • Son Rise: The Miracle Continues by Barry Neil Kaufman
  • Special Children/Special Solutions CD by Samahria Lyte Kaufman
  • Happiness is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman
  • Autism Can be Cured  CD by Barry Neil Kaufman

Creative Art Adventures in Rosseau!

This afternoon we held our first Creative Art Adventures  in Rosseau!   Hooray!  Kim told us about her Great Aunt Elsie who used to live on a farm outside Rosseau -she and Uncle Lloyd used to collect rocks.  We took turns reading  the story called ‘Everybody Needs A Rock’ – Madelyne read out loud for the first time a couple of pages even!  After the story we went outdoors to find our own rock in the garden surrounding the Ruth Dare Clinic.  We also discovered an unusual type of mushroom that looked like a rock.   It was a scorching hot afternoon so we did not stay outside for long.  We got onto the topic of Family Trees and everyone drew their own version of their family tree.  It was a challenge to remember all the names of our grandparents and great grandparents as well as uncles and aunts then we shared our family tree with everyone.   Evan talked more than he has ever in class for about 10 minutes non stop.  He was explaining to us how the water level of Georgian Bay has gone up and down in cycles over the past 11 years of his life and why that is so.  We also talked about building the new Tree of Life Centre and Evan suggested we need blueprints.   Meredith’s son Aiden joined us for The Rabbit Dance when it was time to close.  We all enjoyed being in this beautiful environment and had fun learning.

The Story of the Sacred Tree

Here is this morning’s entry from my teaching journal in which I record the progress of each class.

“I felt uplifted and good about yesterday’s class – ‘Creative Art Adventures’  We all had fun learning and laughed alot as we acted out the ‘Story of the Sacred Tree’ Part 2.  The boys both wanted to be the ‘bad guy’ who tries to cut down the Tree of Life so I gave them both the opportunity by going over it a couple of times.  Evan had a wicked smile on his face as he got his chain saw going and got into the roar of the engine,  meanwhile Trevor waited for his turn trying to contain his excitement.  He was the Golden Eagle perched on top of the Tree ( Megan was the Tree of Life) who later swoops down and grazes the shoulder of the man to try to stop him from cutting down the Sacred Tree.  Madelyne wanted to be a chipmunk and she had fun scurrying around the base of the Tree.  Leela was just about everyone else switching from one to the next,  first the Elders then the Salmon,  then the Racoon, the Deer , the Wolf and finally last but not least the Rabbit.

The second time round Evan narrated the story while Trevor got to be the ‘bad guy’ he got to stamp his boots and show off his new running shoes which flashed their lights each time he stomped.  Madelyne still wanted to be the chipmunk.  Leela became the Sacred Tree while Megan got to be everyone else.  I made a video clip with my iPhone4 and everyone got to watch themselves afterwards which produced  peals of laughter.

We went outdoors and observed the fresh new growth of spring.  The old maple tree has just budding it’s new leaves.   The garden has burst forth this week with all the rain and sunshine we have had”.

Using Art to Break Down the Barriers by Marilyn Rogers

The following article by Marilyn Rogers recommends Teaching Autistic Children through Art as a form of therapy.  I would like to add that you do not have to be a professional artist or art therapist yourself.  Anyone can do this. Simply setting up a creative space in your home or classroom and providing the creative tools one at a time.  Designate one area as a creative space.  It does not have to be a lot of space.  Keep the art supplies stored away in a cupboard or shelf and pull out one at a time.

For example one day let the child play with clay.  You can sit down with them and get them started by kneeding a small ball of clay into different shapes.  The natural clay has a calming effect and it is easy to find at most art supply stores – get low firing clay which is inexpensive and natural.  You can keep re using it if you want.  Children of all ages love modelling with clay.  Don’t worry about making something.  You may need to warm and soften it up first with your hands…  You can get more helpful tools in my new eGuide ‘How to Have Fun Teaching Children with Autism’ only $1 you can easily download and read more about the Tree of Life teaching method.

Try this and let me know how it goes.


It seems there is a new angle to teaching autistic children. The idea comes from autistic children themselves. The parents of autistic children only want the best and any latest findings that may work for them; they should be made aware of it.

For those children with Autism Spectrum Disorder there is a new safe and intelligent way to give them a voice which has been silent. It gives them a bridge to the outside world and lets them speak. Teaching Autistic Children through Art actually invites you into their world. Their need to draw to visualize their non verbal expressions gives them that voice.

Many autistic children from the ages 12 and up have come forward and given an inspirational testimonial which is amazing in itself. But the autistic community is actually listening like never before. And there is something to listen to, and consider because it is actually working.

By Teaching Autistic Children through Art, it demonstrates its effectiveness by changing your child’s behavior. This therapy is a clinically-sound and safe treatment option with so many benefits, such as an increase in self awareness, developing problem solving strategies, the feeling of a safe environment and the accomplishment of their own creative thinking and self accomplishment. The development of social skill in a group or with parents is good feeling for all that participate.

Teaching Autistic Children through Art is a therapy that both parents and therapists can have a goal as they both want the child to succeed. In groups the therapists can offer many social skills and interaction with others through art techniques for certain autistic needs. The self accomplishment to create an art product would be a safe forum for emotion and self-expression. For non verbal autistic children this way of communicating is an awareness to express so many feelings which otherwise you would not “hear”.

The art visual activity provides the social skills with group integration giving a strong feeling of peer support and can be a lot of fun. Of course the social skills benefit, as they are related with recreation and leisure which are developed through the interaction.

Of course safety is an absolute when working with any art supplies. Depending on the age and comprehension of the child, the use of pencil, clay, paint, collage or even glue should be closely watched. With the building of trust you can reap great rewards and encourage communication which in the long run makes for a happier child. There may be many goals reached, so depending on the age of the child and what they are interested in see what rewards you can gather.

If you have a child with autism then you no doubt realize there are many challenges facing you as the child grows up. One of these such challenges facing parents and care givers alike is teaching autistic children.

Our site is dedicated to providing you with the information that will help you face these challenges now and in the future. Visit our site at to find out more.

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I would like to share Rupert’s message with you here and please leave your comment.  I feel it is important and profound what he is saying.