4 Tips On Task Initiation For Children and Adults

Task Initiation is often a challenge for children and adults with an executive functioning disorder. For a child, it may be lack of initiative in doing homework while for an adult, it may include forgetting or putting off paying bills. Children and adults with task initiation issues generally have a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, Intellectual disability or a learning disorder.

Signs of a task initiation impaired executive functioning skill would be someone having difficulty in getting started on a task and keeping the effort needed in order to complete the task. A child or an adult require external cues in order to complete the task. Also, it will require understanding what is expected and understanding the task. Here are a few strategies:

  1. Limit Distractions. In the classroom any type of added sensory input can defer the student from getting started in their school work.
  2. Create a List. Visual support will help to increase getting the work done for a school-age child, you may want to create a to-do list which the steps are broken down into smaller steps. When a person with an executive function is given a task, it may be overwhelming, making it more difficult to get started.
  3. Use Cues. A clock or a timer will help the child or adult stay on time and understanding the amount of time it will take to complete a task
  4. Break task down. Create where the work is done in chunks so that the work will not be as overwhelming for the student.

16 Must-Read Training Resources In The U.K.

There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the U.K.- An estimated 1 in 100 people are affected. Studies also show that 60% of teachers in England do not feel they have adequate training to teach children with autism.

Thankfully across the U.K., a number of trainings that focus on autism help parents, professionals, caregivers and educators learn more about the autism spectrum disorder. below are links to trainings in the U.K.

England

Autism West Midlands
  • Autism West Midlands supports families and people with autism. Seminars and workshops are offered as well as an annual conference on autism.
Child Autism U.K.
  • Child Autism U.K. provides information and support for parents of children with autism. Training courses for parents includes beginner ABA and social skills.
The National Autistic Society- 
  • Leading U.K. charity for autistic children and their families. Provides information, support and services. NAS offers scheduled training events, in-house training and online training modules including training modules on communication, sensory experiences, stress and anxiety and physical activity.

Northern Ireland

Autism Initiatives
  • Provides a range of person-centered services throughout the U.K. Autism Initiatives Northern Ireland includes a learning and development department which is designed to meet the needs of all professional staff. Upcoming training topics for July includes, Understanding Autism, Epilepsy Awareness, and Keeping Children Safe. E-Learning courses are also available.
Autism NI
  • Northern Ireland’s longest-serving autism charity and training provider. Autism NI  provides family support workshops and discussion group. Training topics include, Fundamentals of Autism, Understanding Social Skills, Sensory Processing, and PECS training courses are held off-site.
Centre For Autism
  • Provides a wide range of training for professionals working with autistic children to parents, educators and caregivers. The organization also publishes a research bulletin designed to meet the needs of professionals working in education with autistic children. Trainings for parents include topics on, transition, sensory processing and life skills
PEAT
  • PEAT provides a wide range of training services for parents of children with autism and professionals involved with individuals with autism. PEAT provides in-house training and tailors made programs to meet the needs of parent groups and specific organizations.
The National Autistic Society, Northern Ireland
  • Provides information, support and training for autistic people, families, and professionals. Offers a variety of scheduled events, courses and online training modules.

Scotland

Autism Forth Valley
  • The Autism Forth Valley Website includes a table which contains information on training providers and courses including university courses on autism, professional organizations and social service agencies.
NHS Education for Scotland
  • NES offers a wide range of education and training support for both clinical and non-clinical staff in Scotland. Formats include e-learning, workbooks, publications and blended learning.
Scottish Autism
  • Provides a wide range of support services across Scotland for individuals with autism, their families and professionals. Scottish Autism offers external training core courses including, Introduction to Autism and Autism Profiling.

Wales

ASDinfoWales
  • An E-learning introductory course on autism spectrum disorder. Participants will be asked to answer a series of 20 questions. Once completed, participants will receive a certification.
Awares
  • Provides a library with a wealth of information on autism topics from previous conferences in Microsoft PowerPoint format. Geared towards professionals however this are also useful information for parents as well. Sample topics include; psychosexual development in ASD, A guide for practioners and resources for families living in Wales.
Learning Disability Wales
  • Training program includes a range of person-centered and practical courses for people in the public, voluntary and private sectors as well as parents and caregivers. Courses include a fee at an onsite facility. Training topics include, An Introduction to Mindfulness and Making Information Easy to Read and Understand
Ringway Training

A training provider delivering online courses on autism for professionals working with children, young people and adults on a host of topics including, Autism Spectrum Condition Advance Level Training and Autism and ADHD

The National Autistic Society/Wales
  • Offers a host of free one-hour webinars for teachers, professionals and parents. The website includes two series of one hour webinars on various topics such as, promoting inclusion, preventing bullying, and neurodevelopment and social competence in autism spectrum disorder.

Talking About Autism, Listen To Families


Source: The Spectrum News
Author: Shannon Des Roches Rosa

I take a deep breath before reading any article, popular or scientific, about autism. I steel myself because most of these stories paint people like my curly-haired, autistic teenage son as burdens to their families — as changelings or enigmas. I love my son Leo fiercely and consider him none of those things, so these stories hurt. My adult autistic friends are even more pained than I am by these puzzlingly negative portrayals. Click here to read the rest of the story

March Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the March article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of March on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

3 key lessons no one told about dyslexia (The Pavlovic Today)

7 key social skills to help children with autism cope with bullying (Upbility)

7 signs adult ADHD might be interfering with your performance at work (Techco)

7 tips for motivating kids on the autism spectrum (PopSugar)

11 signs of autism in girls (Very Well)

Helping Asperger’s teens transition to college (My Asperger’s Child)

Helping your ADHD child with homework (Healthy Place)

Is sensory processing disorder the same as sensory processing sensitivity? (The Highly Sensitive Person)

Organization and attention challenges related to sensory processing disorder (The O.T. Toolbox)

Parents: Don’t hide your children’s autism diagnoses from them (Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism)

Sensory processing disorder at home ideas (Kids Activities Blog)

Sleep strategies for kids with autism and sensory needs (And Next Comes L)

What an autistic shutdown is like for me (The Mighty)

What teachers should know about ADHD and ASD (Edutopia)

 

Autism and Managing Multi-Tasking and Memory


Source: (Huffington Post)
Writer: Mary Bailey

There are studies and articles that explore the mysteries of multi-tasking and memory in the life of individuals with autism, but there are still huge question marks which have yet to be answered. In my own search for the keys to Chase’s brain, I learned that researchers have discovered that the brains of children with autism are inflexible at rest-to-task performance. This basically means that specific brain connections do not change or function as they should, when switching from a resting-state to a task-state. There can also be impairments in the parts of the brain responsible for prospective memory (remembering things that need to be done in the future) and retrospective memory (remembering things that occurred in the past). Click here to read the rest of the story

Tax Planning for Parents of Children with Autism (And Special Needs)

Tax Planning for Parents of Children with Autism
Source: (Parenting Special Needs Magazine)
Author: Karen F. Greenberg, CFP

Parents or other caregivers of loved ones with autism may qualify for valuable tax benefits, which may be overlooked by some tax preparers who are unfamiliar with the autism spectrum disorder. These unique tax benefits may entitle parents to additional refunds of thousands of dollars.

Families often incur a myriad of expenses because of their child’s treatment and life style expenses many of which are deductible as medical expenses. Taxpayers who itemize deductions can claim medical expenses to the extent that they exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income .The challenge is to be aware of which expenses may be allowable and to keep track of them. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

February Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the February links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of February on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

specialneedslinks

10 fun activities for children with autism (education.com)

12 things to remember when working with challenging students (Think Inclusive)

Autism awareness and wandering- tips for parents and the wider community (Patient Talk)

Adults with autism: Scarce funds and wait lists (WUWF)

Adults with autism see interests as strengths, career paths (NYU)

Imaging study confirms differences in ADHD brains (The Conversation)

Justice side with Michigan girl in dispute over service dog (ABCNews)

Sensory processing disorder and autism: Task and the picky eater (Aspergers 101)

Supporting students with autism in the classroom: What teachers need to know (My Disability Matters)

 

 

Good Communication Can Make Medical Visits More Successful For Patients With Autism

Hospital, Doctor, Nurse, Medical, Health, Professional
Source: (News Medical)

Doctor visits can be a challenge for patients with autism, their families and health care providers. Kristin Sohl, associate professor of child health at the University of Missouri, offers several steps providers and families can take to make medical visits more successful. She says that all of them require good communication between the provider and parent before, during and after medical visits.

Before a Visit

“Parents or caregivers should call ahead to the provider’s office to discuss individual accommodations that the patient might need during the visit, such as a comfort item or a distraction toy,” Sohl said. “Tell the office staff if there have been prior negative experiences—or successful ones—so the office can provide a supportive environment and avoid triggering anxiety in the patient.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

What’s the Difference Between High and Low Functioning Autism?

Teacher helping student in classroom
Source: (Very Well)
Author: Lisa Jo Rudy

People with autism are often described as being “high functioning”  or ” low functioning” But there are no such diagnoses in the diagnostic manual.

In 2013, new diagnostic criteria for autism were created to describe three levels of autism. These levels are supposed to describe the level of support each individual requires.  But there is nothing in the criteria that describes which strengths or challenges would slot an individual into a particular level.

And of course the level of support required by any individual varies based on the situation and setting.

So what is meant by these terms? The answer isn’t obvious. Click here to read the rest of the story.

For Those With Autism, Fixations Can Be Beneficial

Consuelo Martinez watches her daughter Chelsea, who has autism, play the violin
Source: (Disability Scoop)
Author: Shaun Heasley

Parents and teachers should do more to embrace the preferred interests of those with autism, researchers say, pointing out that such aptitudes can be calming and form the basis for careers.

Individuals on the spectrum often display intense interests in topics like computers, animals or trains. Traditionally, many experts thought that such preferences might inhibit social development. Click here to read the rest of the story.