The Effectiveness of Visual Schedules for kids with Autism

Source: Autism Parenting

Everyday tasks can prove to be a challenge with an autistic child because they need constant reminders.  Transitioning from one task to another can cause anxiety or a meltdown to occur.  However, social stories, visual schedules, and reminder strips can help alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with the everyday tasks that so many of us do with ease.

To many parents, hearing the word “schedule” can be overbearing.  When it was first suggested that I create a picture/visual schedule for my autistic child, I thought that it wouldn’t be helpful. I mean, if my child is already so rigid with the order of things – wouldn’t creating a schedule make her even more dependent on everything being in order all the time?  I came up with many excuses to avoid making the first picture chart.  I found it intimidating to create charts and schedules, but at the same time I understood that no one could make the chart for us.  Since every family has their own routine, it must be created for the individual.  Of course, there are some tasks that need to be performed everyday such as waking up, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, combing hair, and putting on shoes.  However, on weekdays “putting on shoes” would be followed by “put on coat” and “get on the bus.”  The problem is, my child wasn’t attending school every day of the week and was too young to understand the days of the week.  So then I would have to deal with meltdowns when the weekend came or if there was a cancelation of school because of inclement weather. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Sensory-Friendly Home Modifications for Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder

Source: Big Rentz
Written by: Lior Zitzman

When you have a child or family member on the autism spectrum, creating a safe and functional home environment is an important task. Autism can have a huge impact on an individual’s development, lifestyle, and social connections. People on the spectrum can be particularly sensitive to lights, sounds, and other stimuli. Many crave order and routines to make sense of the world. Safety can be a concern for those who wander, are drawn to water, or are prone to head banging or self injury.

According to the Autism Society, about 1 percent of the world’s population has autism spectrum disorder, and the condition affects about 1 in every 59 children born in the United States. This means that in America, 3.5 million people are on the autism spectrum. This number is growing as diagnostic criteria are becoming better understood.

Children and adults with autism often struggle with sensory integration, the neurobiological process of  interpreting and managing the sensory input they receive. It can be hard for them to make sense of sights, sounds, smells, and other sensory information.There are three main sensory systems that may be affected when an individual has autism. Understanding these three sensory systems is key to understanding individuals with autism and how they interact with their home environments: Click here to read the rest of the story

How to design a neurodiverse workplace – simple tips from inclusivity experts

Source: Telegraph
Written by: Sian Phillips

For a significant minority, including those with ADHD, autism and dyslexia, background noise and bright lighting in the workplace is a problem. But there are ways to improve the working environment

Maybe it’s a colleague’s booming voice, a garish, ill-chosen mural or the persistent pong of garlic from the canteen, but every workplace has its irritating quirks.

While most people can ignore such annoyances, for a significant minority it is impossible and keeping them out of work.

Background noise is commonly a problem for people with dyslexia, ADHD and autism – so-called neurodivergent conditions – while bright lighting can also be a source of stress that can be particularly acute for some people. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Is ‘high-functioning autism’ a misleading term?

High-functioning autism is a term used for people with autism spectrum disorder without an intellectual disability, but Australian researchers say it should be abandoned because of the misleading and potentially harmful expectations it creates around the abilities of children on the autism spectrum.

Coined in the ’80s, it is now part of everyday language and has come to imply that people can function adequately, whether at school or at work, without much in the way of challenges.

For many individuals with autism spectrum disorder, this couldn’t be further from the truth, according to lead author Gail Alvares.

Alveres and her team from the Telethon Kids Institute and the University of Western Australia reviewed data for 2225 children and young people (aged 1-18) diagnosed with autism, about half of whom had intellectual disability, and half of whom did not.

They found those with an intellectual disability had functional skills which closely matched their IQ. However, those typically deemed to be high functioning due to having an average or higher IQ, had functional abilities well below what would be expected, given their IQ. Click here to read the rest of the story.