Category Archives: communication
Words often escape individuals, especially children with Autism. Social interaction and communication are often trouble areas. Where we don’t think twice about asking someone to hand us a specific item, people with Autism find this seemingly simple task to be almost impossible, or at the very least, highly difficult. The Picture Exchange Communication System, or PECS, focuses on a child’s ability to communicate using methods other than speec
The behavior of Autistic children can be a very challenging thing to handle. From temper tantrums, to self-injury, to repetitive, destructive behavior, parents often don’t know where to turn to for behavior modification techniques. When “No!” doesn’t work, and time outs are ineffective, it almost seems as though it’s a lost cause. Behavior Modification Therapy focuses on these outbursts and trains the Autistic mind to relate good behavior with good feelings.
Every form of Autism is unique. There are many cases of Autism that are similar – similar symptoms, similar patterns, similar family background. However, it all boils down to the fact that people are different – so each Autism case will be different. Each and every story is very inspiring. Alexis Diaz’s story is no different.
When your child is diagnosed with autism, a million questions begin running through your mind. “How do I help him/her?” “How do I find a doctor that I know is qualified” “How am I going to pay for this?” “How can I effectively help my child in their development?” Many of these answers are dependent a variety of different factors and the nature of your specific situation.
Nowadays, whenever a “how-to” question is posed, typically one of two answers are given; A) ‘Google That’ or B) ‘There’s an app for that.”. The latter of course is referring to Apple’s revolutionary iPhone and iPod, both of which feature download-able applications (“apps”). There are apps available that assist you in a variety of tasks ranging from getting a cocktail recipe to ordering movie ticks and booking a hotel room. Even more impressive is the possibility that there will soon be an app available targeted to help children with autism.
Lisa Domican lives in Dublin, Ireland and is the mother of two children with Autism; Liam (11) and Grace (9). With both Liam and Grace, Lisa has practiced Picture Exchange Communication, also known as PECS which is an alternative form of communication that enables children to use pictures instead of words to create sentences and communicate.
“You are constantly having to replace loose cards and make new ones,” said Ms Domican. So out of that came the idea to develop an iPhone application that would make the process more efficient. Coincidentally, the application was created under the name “Grace”, her 9 year old daughter.
“With the iPhone, the screen looks like a Pecs book. It’s ok to have a four-year-old walking around with a Pecs book; it’s not ok for a 10 or 12-year-old. They’re very personal to the kids; it’s their voice. …
Countless children are sent to the principal’s office or given detention for their poor behavior or lacking social skills. It’s always assumed that these are “problem children” who come from “problem families” or who are never taught the proper way to act.
These are classic symptoms of Autism. Children with Autism often lack the social skills needed to maintain well behavior. This disorder and inability to develop skills is often noticeable in children younger than four years old.
Toddlers with Autism often do not respond as a child normally would to social situations. Typically at the age of 2 or 3, children begin to make friends. Autistic children often to not develop this social skill and seem a bit stand offish. Additionally, they may not respond to being hugged or shown affection from a parent or caregiver.
Autistic children also may develop a seemingly “obsessive” series of habits. For example, having to arrange things in a specific order and checking to make sure it remains that way several times. They also may have a slower speech progression. Autistic children sometimes have a limited vocabulary characterized by repeating the same words over and over again.
It’s worth mentioning that you may have a child who is simply shy, or who just takes a liking to a certain word and chooses to repeat it. There are even some children who are just naturally slower when it comes to developing speech. It’s usually when it’s a combination of these things that flags are raised.
If your child does develop a few of these common autism symptoms, or others such as unnatural attachment to objects, repetitive physical movements, or general lack of affection, it is strongly suggested that you bring it up with your physician as soon as you begin to notice it.
Adam and Dean Aviram are best friends – more than that, they’re brothers. At 9 and 10 years old respectively, Adam and Dean brag that they’re building a time machine together. Though he’s the younger of the two, Adam looks out for Dean and enjoys spending as much time playing with him as possible. They work as a team many times, especially because Dean has a wonderful memory so Adam loves that he doesn’t have to remember things.
Though alike in the traditional last name and DNA departments, Adam and Dean’s differences are many. Adam prefers to play soccer and Wii. Dean has a fascination with history and loves to have intelligent conversations about world leaders with anyone who is interested. Though you might not be able to tell by simply looking at them, Adam and Dean’s biggest difference is that Dean has Asperger’s Syndrome and Adam does not.
If I were to pose the question “What is Austism?”, I can only assume that you would head right to Google or WebMD and find the most technical and informative definition. Though it would be certainly accurate, your definition may differ from that of an Autistic child’s parent or even more, an autistic child’s brother or sister. The siblings of autistic children are undoubtedly intelligent and some of the best people to ask about the disease to get an honest, accurate description of what Autism looks like and means to them.
When Adam was asked what Asperger’s was, he answered, “Asperger’s is a type of autism and it’s hard for people to have a good conversation with other people.” His answer was not filled with technical words, however it was very accurate. He was also asked if his friends could notice that something was different about his brother, Dean. Adam answers …
A few weeks ago, we took a look at Carly, a young girl who has Autism. She is non-verbal however she independently communicates via keyboard to her family, friends, Twitter Followers and Facebook Friends. She often fields questions from followers and she answers them herself. Once in a while her father has been known to send out a message just making a general request. Recently, for example, Carly’s father sent a message out kindly asking that people use Twitter to communicate with Carly as opposed ro Facebook. This was simply because Carly prefers Twitter over Facebook. Other than these once-in-a-while instances, Carly communicates everything herself with near no assistance.
As common as individual communication methods have become, there are still some non-verbal people who are unable to successfully use a keyboard. Hand-eye coordination is required to be able to utilize the keyboard method and many people lack this skill, especially if they have Autism. There are alternative methods of communication that have opened the doors of possibility for those who are non-verbal and lack the hand-eye coordination to successfully use a keyboard. One method in particular is known as Facilitated Communication or FC. In this method, specifically targeted to those who cannot type, there are two people involved; the communicator, (whom is often autistic, deaf, mute, etc) and the Facilitator. The facilitator is responsible for conveying the message of the communicator by assisting them in finding the right key, easing their hand to the desired letter, or pressing they key down that the communicator indicates.
Despite the numerous success stories that have come from this method, it is still under much controversy and has been for years. In 1977, Rosemary Crossley claimed to have successfully used facilitated communication with a group of non verbal children. In 1989, the Facilitated Communication …