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.
SEE VIDEO OF PROGRAM IN ACTION —>Son Rise
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 http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org
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 Amazon.com click on this link http://amzn.to/ias48l
- 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