Social Skills and Self-Esteem: Nine Strategies to Help Your Kids See Their Greatness By Ellen Mossman-Glazer

I like this article by Ellen Mossman-Glazer and would like to share her simple strategies.  It is very important to be conscious about words you use in communicating with your child or student with autism.  When we are praised there is no hardship or obstacle we feel is too difficult.  The child with autism responds to words of praise and especially your tone of voice because they may not understand the words themselves.  If you find yourself getting frustrated with them try stepping back and taking a break to regain your center and return when you are more together.   Watch how they blossom when you practice encouragement.  They have gifts and talents in many areas and you may need to start thinking out of the box to see them to acknowledge them.  Many children on the spectrum love all sorts of animals like chipmunks and racoons and bugs like caterpillars so learning how to appreciate some animals you may have thought are a menace may be helpful.  Bugs and beetles can fascinate them for long periods where they have a short attention with other things you may feel are more important.  Try looking at the world from their perspective and you never know you may find more joy in your life….Caroline

Social Skills and Self-Esteem: Nine Strategies to Help Your Kids See Their Greatness


Some kids and adults need clear information about the strengths and talents you know they have. This is especially true for children and many adults who have Asperger Syndrome, Autism, or ADHD. They may need to get their knowledge about where they shine, in a more direct way than you have been communicating so far. This knowledge is the nourishment of a healthy self-image.

Here are ten strategies to help your challenging loved ones to believe in themselves:

1. Give them a mental picture so they can ‘see’ what you mean. Instead of “That is a great story!” try something like: “The characters in your story seem like real people.”

2. Be sincere and specific. ‘Very good!’ is very good to say but when you can, compliment the action. “You are a whiz at finishing puzzles.” “You really know how to swing a bat.”

3. Compliment ‘in the moment’. Don’t wait. Tell her now so she makes the connection between a positive behavior and the good feeling of praise.

4. Be on the watch for unrecognized strengths. You may be overlooking some subtle but nonetheless strong qualities in your child. Think creatively and you will find them! If your teen avoids friends who do drugs, alcohol or smoke, he has good judgment. If she plays chess, she has good analytic skills, if he connects easily with people he is a good conversationalist. If she is involved in sports, she is a ‘team player.’ You can use these qualities as springboards to build more.

5. Help your child keep his weaknesses and ‘failures’ in perspective. Point out real life situations to illustrate that “everyone makes mistakes” and “everyone is learning all the time”. Find stories about famous people who worked around their limitations to become famous inventors, artists and authors. Continue reading “Social Skills and Self-Esteem: Nine Strategies to Help Your Kids See Their Greatness By Ellen Mossman-Glazer”

Creativity in Children – 3 Ways to Boost Your Child's Creative Intelligence By Joanne Froh

Caroline’s Commentary;
This is a great article by Joanne Froh which gives you 3 easy things you can do to help your child develop creative intelligence.
1.  Select creative toys that stimulate the child to figure it out for themselves.
2.  Set up a creative space in your home.
3.  Allow time during the day with nothing to do and nothing scheduled.

Try these 3 simple things and see what happens….Caroline

Creativity in Children – 3 Ways to Boost Your Child’s Creative Intelligence  By Joanne Froh

All babies are born with the ability to think creatively, that’s a given. But what we do as parents can either help or hinder this ability to flourish in our children as they grow. And flourish it must! For creativity and imagination are much more than artistic expression and play. They are the tools used to form mental images and thoughts of what has never been actually experienced. And for kids, that means just about everything!

Imagination, daydreams, games of make-believe. These are the cornerstones of curiosity, intellectual inventiveness, and ambition. And they are the tools kids use to tryout different scenarios — explore the what-ifs before they act, which in turn allows them to foresee consequences and make good choices. Vital in today’s world.

But as natural as it is, creativity is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing. If not exercised on a regular basis, it tends to fade; become harder to tap into. As adults running the rat race, we know this to be true. And when you consider the busy, technology-filled lives of today’s children — with everything coming “at” them rather than from within them — you realize what little workout their imaginations are getting.

However, all is not lost. As a parent, there are several things you can do to intercede, slow things down, and allow your child to exercise and strengthen their creative capacity. None are complicated or expensive, but they will require a certain stick-to-it-ness when it comes to tuning-out the inevitable: There’s nothing to do! refrain. But rest assured, employing even just one or two of these tactics is well worth the effort.

So here are three things you can do now to boost your child’s creative intelligence:

Limit the number of toys that depend upon following step-by-step instructions
Instead, focus on those with open-ended purpose. For instance, when selecting Lego’s or Tinker Toys, go for the original collection of random pieces rather than the kits predestined to become something specific. Although the picture on the box may be cool and enticing (Johnny loves pirates!), it is the process of figuring out — through trial, error, and visualization — how to make something from nothing that exercises the imagination and strengthens problem-solving skills. Besides, for most people, there’s more joy and pride in realizing one’s own vision than replicating someone else’s.

Put out the crayons and leave them out
Ask any artist and they’ll tell you: having a studio, a place to create art where you don’t need to haul things out or clean-up afterward, is practically essential. Why? Because out of sight is out of mind, and the prospect of having to put things away when you’re done is often enough to stop a creative urge in its tracks.

So find a corner, preferably a low coffee table so the kids can sit on the floor. And on that table, leave out crayons, pencils and a big stack of blank paper. Ideally this should be in the room where the family gathers, where children spend most of their time. That way, drawing will become as spontaneous as any other form of entertainment. No need to make a big project of it. Ten minutes here, a half-hour there. The length is not important, nor is the quality of the output. The point is to make the tools of creative expression visible and enticing; so they beacon to your child from across the room. And to make satisfying their urge easy. No permission needed, no clean-up required.

Limit the visual entertainment and let their mind be still Continue reading “Creativity in Children – 3 Ways to Boost Your Child's Creative Intelligence By Joanne Froh”

How to Encourage Creative Thinking in Children Using Visual Art Supplies by Anne Ream

I chose this article by Anne Ream because I agree with what she is saying here.  I believe everyone is born with creative abilities and children need lots of encouragement and praise from adults to develop their innate creativity.  I have found that many adults who do not recognize this creativity in themselves, lost their confidence and creative skills at some point in their childhood or youth possibly from negative feedback or criticism.  If this is so for you do not lose hope it is always possible to get back in touch with your creativity.  In my own experience I failed art in grade school which resulted in me having to get back to it later on in my life.   Your child or student can help you reconnect with your innate creativity.  I encourage you to try drawing and painting along with your child.  The important thing is to let go of your inner critic and just have fun with the experience without trying to make something look realistic or perfect.  Children naturally love to draw and play with clay.  All they need is your positive feedback and for you to set some time aside regularly and create a creative space in your home or classroom.  I know you can do it!   ….Caroline

Drawing by Evan of Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle

Drawing by Evan May '10







How to Encourage Creative Thinking in Children Using Visual Art Supplies by Anne Ream

I have a firm belief that everyone is born with creative abilities. My experience is that many people who are not aware of their creative abilities do not understand what creativity is. Unfortunately many people were not encouraged to develop their creative abilities when they were children. This is one way to encourage creative thinking in your child.

Recognizing, developing and using our creative abilities is vital. Being able to stretch our thinking to include creative solutions to our problems, creates new brain cells, increases our choices and enhances our coping skills. The best time to learn creative thinking is during our childhood while our brains are growing. Any adult who is involved with children (parents, teachers, Scout leaders) can help children raise their creativity skills.

Coloring books and “cookie-cutter” art (the type of art in which every child makes the same item) discourage creativity. Although coloring books have a time and purpose, when a child is coloring in someone else’s creation they are not learning how to create something themselves. There is also a purpose for “cookie cutter” art, however, when doing this the child is learning to follow directions from someone else. Genuine creativity is self directed.

The most important step is to understand the developmental stages of drawing. Unnecessary criticism from adults diminishes a child’s ability to grow creatively. When adults respond negatively to children they will be less likely to repeat the activity. Children begin to enjoy drawing by the time they are old enough to hold a marker and will scribble with the marker. Markers are easier for toddlers to use than crayons and safer than pencils. Adult supervision is necessary to make sure the child draws on paper and does not put the marker in their mouth. A gentle reminder that markers are used on paper will generally suffice. If a child cannot comply with this, put the markers away and try again later. Toddlers enjoy learning to control the marker and are beginning to learn about creativity as they create marks on paper. Praising children for their work (“Look at what you can do!”) and putting the work on display will encourage them to continue their efforts.

Gradually, around three to four years of age children realize that lines and shapes actually stand for something and they begin to try to make deliberate representations. It is important to encourage children to continue to explore what they can do with markers and never criticize or change their drawing. Around the age of four children begin to make pictures. Adults can encourage this by recognizing the growth the child has made and expressing their appreciation of it. During this time children will enter a stage called “Named Scribbling” in which they will look at something they have drawn, see a shape that looks like “a bird” or “a frog” and name the scribble as such. Again it is vital to appreciate this creative ability in the child in order to encourage creative growth.

From the age of 9 to about 12 years old children begin to try to make their drawings more realistic. It becomes important to them to try to make their drawings more proportional, to fill the drawing with details, make colors more realistic and learn how to overlap. At this stage children begin to feel frustrated and may ask adults for more help. Those children who have not received adult encouragement may stop drawing. If children do seem interested in being able to draw this is a good time for them to receive some drawing instruction. Drawing is a learned skill. Continue reading “How to Encourage Creative Thinking in Children Using Visual Art Supplies by Anne Ream”

How to Teach Children with Autism Speech and Language by Isy Bee

I came across this article by Isabella Bee which I want to share with you.  Isabella is a young woman who has her own website too.  She shares her first hand experience here where her parents made use of the computer and colour and sound to help Isy learn to speak and they made the learning fun for her…Caroline

Teaching an Autistic child speech and language can be difficult. Each child on the Autism spectrum can differ greatly with their learning abilities, however most seem to have difficulty grasping language and communication.

Here is a method my parents used to teach me to speak, read and eventually to write. My mum has also used this method successfully with other Autistic children that had no language or speech skills.

Before I was diagnosed with Autism, my parents thought I might have had a speech developmental delay, and so I was seeing a speech therapist when they suggested I get checked out for Autism, as in their opinion I was showing some classic traits of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders).

Not long after I was diagnosed with Autism my mum went to America to participate in the SON-RISE program. On her return they set up a therapy room and began intensive Early Intervention / ABA style work with me.

My dad put together a computer for use in the therapy room, as they noticed that at the special school I was attending a few days of the week, I really enjoyed interactive learning programs and looking at pictures on the computer. At that point they had an idea and dad started to make up some Flash Card style PowerPoint presentations I could view and interact with on the computer.

PowerPoint was a good way to make up interactive Flash Cards that he could add sound to. They found that by using pictures that I liked and adding colourful letters and words with the sound of their voices, I was really intrigued and wanted to look at the Flash Cards, so much so that I thrashed them.

The first set they made up were of the alphabet with each colourful letter popping up in succession along with the phonetic sound of the letter which my dad recorded. The interactive Flash Cards progressed onto words then stories. I absolutely loved them and that had a huge impact on my speech and language learning.

For most Autistic or ASD children and children with special learning needs this is a good way to teach them basic language skills, particularly the phonetic alphabet and how those sounds are used to create words.

Unlike videos and or classroom type learning, they can control the learning themselves by interacting, going back and forward as they need, with the Flash Cards with sound. It is also important to make the learning fun, and when they see pictures of things they like and you make them colourful with sounds and voices they recognise it makes them want to learn even more.

Just recently we converted some of the PowerPoint Interactive Flash Cards to the Adobe Flash Media format so they can be viewed on an internet browser. This makes them much easier to view on all computer platforms and easier to share.

So, in summary the Interactive Flash Cards with Sound can be made in a variety of ways either by using PowerPoint style software, including Open Office Impress or with Adobe Flash Media which has the advantage of being easier to share and completely cross platform.

To see a demonstration of the Interactive Flash Cards with Sound visit:

Hi, my name is Isabella, Isy for short. I was born in mid 1997 and was diagnosed with autism at the age of two.

My parents originally started Isabella’s Autism Pages and Isybee Autism web pages to help other parents in similar circumstances, and to give recognition to other people and organisations who have helped them help me.

We hope to cover a lot of ground writing articles and providing information and resources for families and persons affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Please visit my website for more information and resources: – Autism ASD ABA information and resources.

Article Source:

Article Source:

Welcome Friend!

Are you feeling stressed out and drained?  Here on the Home Blog you can find free helpful resources to support you.

Do you sometimes feel the situation is hopeless? Are you worrying about your child’s future? On the Inspirational page you can find stories about individuals who have overcome the challenges of  autism including my own journey.

Do you sometimes feel you cannot connect with your autistic child or student?  I can help you reach and teach the autistic student with fun, easy creative tools. I’ll be posting my teaching experiences and creative tools in Learning.

You can easily download my new eManual ‘Simple Creative Tools for Teaching Children with Autism’ now available on the Products page.

You can find recommended books and videos in the Store page.

Hope this helps make your visit enjoyable and educational.   I welcome your comments.  Have a great visit! Let’s connect hereCaroline F. Butson

Follow Me on Pinterest


About the New Tree of Life Centre for Creativity