Having ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) sessions within your home, we strive to help blend in with the environment and respect your home as much as possible. There are a few helpful ideas that can greatly increase the success of your child’s session and overall treatment.
1. Write down what is in your child’s daily routine. Think about what they like, need, and will surely ask for while away from home. You may not be able to get their favorite food or drink where you are going, so hit the local stores and pack these items. It may help to make a daily schedule while away which includes the time to enjoy some of these items in order to not stray too far from the routine. Think about including “snack breaks”.
2. As a safety precaution, make or order your child an ID tag for them to either carry on them or wear that includes a recent photo, contact phone number of the family, and an indication that your child has autism and may not be able to communicate similarly to the person who finds them. You can also do this with an ID card for older children who are able to carry it on them in a wallet. Some other important information to include are allergies, medications, and if the child is nonverbal.
3. Find or prepare a social story about vacations and traveling. Include possible situations that may occur to make the child feel more comfortable about the adventure that lies ahead. These may include eating at a restaurant or waiting in line (especially for Disney vacations as the lines tend to be long). This can include role-playing by the family and will help with transitions.
4. Going to a new place will include seeing new sights, hearing new sounds, and most likely experiencing new tastes. This may become extremely overwhelming. Make sure your child can access at all times to their favorite coping mechanisms. These may include a tablet, favorite stuffed animal, favorite toy, headphones, or anything that helps to calm them. OH! And be sure to load tons of videos and games onto any electronic device before leaving. Wi-Fi is not always available in flight.
5. Contact the airline and let them know you will be pre-boarding to allow your child a chance to get used to the airplane before others join. Make them aware of the situation and they will help accommodate you to make sure the child is comfortable. Airlines are required to make these accommodations, including having your child board first.
6. Use what is reinforcing and what the child is passionate about on the vacation to boost interest. If the child is into dinosaurs and animals, think about possible trips to the zoo or museums. If they like automobiles, find a city tour on a bus or a trolley. Let their passions guide certain parts of the vacation!
7. Bring your camera and be sure to TAKE TONS OF PHOTOS! Vacations are the perfect time to create family memories that will last forever. Capture as many of these moments as possible! Afterwards when it is time to leave on the next vacation, show these photos to your child and remind them of all the fun that was had. Photos from past experiences could possibly be very reinforcing and relieve any anxiety that they may have about future trips!
WHEN: April 7th, 2018 @ 1 PM
WHERE: Somerset Berkley Regional High School
~ 625 County St, Somerset, MA 02726
Somerset Berkley Regional High School is hosting a community wide walk to promote Autism awareness and acceptance. The Walk the Walk event (Stepping in the Right Direction Autism) is a two mile open walk around the beautiful new Somerset Berkley Regional High School track in which participants can join in on the track any time.
The entire community is welcome and encouraged to bring your families and friends.
The event will also feature informational booths along with interactivities for participants. All the proceeds of this event will go directly to the students at Somerset’s elementary schools, high school, and junior high.
The money will be used to fund individual projects by the teachers made to strengthen the learning experiences of the students. This could include special sensory equipment, field trips, software, supplies, or any other resources needed.
All of this will take place during the week of World Autism Awareness Day, which takes place on April 2nd.
The superintendent is asking both students and staff along with others in the community to wear blue on April 6th in honor of Autism and the upcoming event the next day. That week will also feature numerous other events at the other schools in Somerset.
Hurry and register online using the link below before 3/23/18 to receive a t-shirt commemorating the event!
“The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see” -Barry Neil Kaufman
Does your child experience conflicts during play dates?
Does your child get anxious when around other children?
Does your child have difficulty sharing?
Does your child often express themselves physically instead of verbally?
Does your child have trouble joining games and other group activities?
Does your child receive negative reports about peer interaction from teachers at school?
Social skills groups can help. Children already face challenges growing up and children with autism need extra support to help overcome them. Social skills groups involve learning how to communicate with others, but these groups are much more than that. These groups help increase the overall quality of life for the child and play a vital role in how they develop meaningful relationships. Remember, the children are in a safe and supportive environment which provides the optimal place to practice social skills.
Children with autism experience a deficit in in social interaction and have difficulty building relationships with peers. According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), one of the defining features of autism is deficits in social communication and interaction. It is the BCBA’s (Board Certified Behavior Analysts) job to identify the specific social skills that a child may be struggling with. The BCBA will choose target skills and once those skills are mastered, new target skills will be added. Social skills groups can help prepare your child for social settings that will inevitably occur in the future. For example, preparing a child for school where they will encounter other children in various social situations such as the classroom and on the playground. The playground is where many of the first friendships initially begin.
When the children are in the social skills groups, they can all learn from each other by observing different social situations and how others react. This will Increase self-confidence and lead to an increase of positive interactions. Building confidence is one of the major benefits of social skills groups. Confidence plays a large role in a child’s self-esteem. How a child views themselves and trusts their own instincts and abilities is important to living a successful life. When things do go wrong in life, self-esteem can help children cope better. Self-esteem allows the child to believe they can accomplish any task and leads to better grades, friendships, and overall success.
The following is a list of possible skills that could be targeted. The specific skills chosen depend completely on the individual.
The single largest controlled trial to track the how effective a social skills program is a young adult version of the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills, or PEERS. The findings were as follows: “the researchers evaluated the participants at the end of the 16-week course.
Those who completed the classes had significantly greater improvements in social skills and frequency of social engagement, compared to the comparison group on the waitlist. In addition, those who took the class had a significant decrease in autism symptoms related to social responsiveness”.
Furthermore, these skills were evaluated four months later and the participants had retained them and showed important gains in social skills and engagement.
Changing Lives. together