Like so many other aspects of growing up, bullying is a “typical” challenge this has unique dimensions for children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and their caregivers. Due to a number of high-profile cases in the news and the expansion of bullying into the realm of social media, bullying is getting a lot of media attention and as a result, is now appropriately recognized as a public health issue.
An explosion of research on bullying has identified far-reaching impacts not only on victims and perpetrators, but bystanders as well. Bullying is no longer considered socially normative or tolerable, as it once was. The consequences are too dire and far reaching. Victims experience the direct effects of fear, embarrassment, and vulnerability that can impact social and emotional development and impede learning. Furthermore, children with limited communication skills are at risk of expressing the associated distress in potentially harmful ways including self-injury, escape behaviors (running away from individual or situations) and aggression directed at caregivers. Children who observe bullying and parents who feel helpless to protect their children can experience an erosion of their sense of safety. Read full post »
With all the spooky costumes, scary decorations, eerie noises, and sugary candy, Halloween can be a pretty overwhelming day and night for a child with autism.
Here are 8 tips for a safe and enjoyable Halloween for your child with autism:
- Let your child practice wearing their costume at home. This gives you time to make any last minute modifications and time for your child to get used to it.
- Write a social narrative describing what your child will do on Halloween. Read the story several times before Halloween so your child has time to get used to the plan.
- Create a visual schedule. This might include a map of where you will go. Read full post »
Given that children with autism spectrum disorders often present with limited awareness of their surroundings and/or insight into the dangers in their environments, it can be helpful to provide interventions that work to keep kids safe.
Below are some resources and ideas regarding common safety tools for families:
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I’ll start by saying that the tips in this post can be applied universally, whether or not your child is affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, low sensory thresholds in kids on the spectrum can certainly affect your child’s willingness to take medications. Plus, some of these things really do taste bad, so it’s good to have some tricks in mind. Read full post »
Traveling with a child with autism presents a unique set of challenges while also providing opportunities for new experiences and shared family activities. Numerous questions present themselves: how do we make sure we have all the equipment and materials we need; where do we go if there is an emergency; how will my child react to new settings such as an airport or a hotel room; how can we help pass time during long travel periods; and many more. Read full post »