When dealing with a child on spectrum, the presence of sudden or chronic behaviours that are aggressive, odd, or socially inappropriate can present challenges one may feel ill-equipped to understand and deal with. Being prepared ahead of time can help a great deal in managing these issues in the calm, logical way. The following questions and answers cover some of the most common problems that arise with the behaviour of children (and some adults) who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Click here for the rest of the story.
Shopping Centers (or malls as we call them in North America) provide a great way for customers to walk from one store to another without the hassles of having to leave one store in order to go into another. Through the years, Shopping centers have added on movie theatres, arcades, and food eateries. This has led to a variety of ways of teaching children and adults with disabilities a number of skills.
Increasing money skills can be used in almost all areas of a shopping mall. Opportunities include stores such as banking, clothing , restaurants, etc. examples of items to teach include:
Will identify coins
Will identify money
Will count change
Will create a budget
will fill out deposit slip
Will fill out a withdrawal slip
Will use an ATM
A shopping center provides a low-cost and effective way of arousing more of more of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch). Yankee Candle offers candles with a variety of fragrances including apple pumpkin, apple spice, beachwood, black cherry, etc. Bath and Body Works also provides samples for both olfactory (smell) and touch. Samples of fragrances include lotions, cream, massage oils and fragrance mist. Window shopping is an additional opportunity to enhance visual cues with teaching a number of basic skills. Other places include day spas, massage chairs and nail salons. Examples of sensory teaching activities include:
Window Shopping (Visual)
Will describe the color of the outfits
Will identify which items cost the most
Will describe how many of the outfits are the same, different
Will describe the various shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangular)
Will count the number of items in the window
Will identify a good smell
Will identify a bad smell
Will identify the smell (i.e. smells like apples)
Will identify the object
Will tolerate hand massage
Will touch the object
Will describe the shape of the object
*** Be mindful some children and adults may have sensory processing issues and can be oversensitive to sights, textures, flavors and smells.
Teaching social skills involves communication, decision-making, self-management and relationship building. Locations in a shopping center to develop these skills includes, eatery and restaurants, banks, department stores and movie theatres. Samples of teaching social skills includes:
Will greet the store associate
Will say thank you
When promoted, will ask for help
Will wait patiently
Will make eye contact
Will use appropriately voice tone
A few guidelines in teaching new skills:
Teach a new skill at least 2-3 times. The shopping center allows multiple opportunities to work on a number of skills including money management, and social skills.
Allow the person to think for themselves use prompt levels to help navigate levels of independence: Independent, verbal, gestural and physical.
Allow for real choice-making. Choice is more realistic when it involves at least 3 items or more. Choosing a new outfit or an item from a menu are perfect examples.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
If you are in the New Jersey area, The Special Needs Expos will be hosting an event in New Jersey on September 18th, 2016 from 11:00am to 4:00pm. The expo will be held at Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe.
The free event is geared towards delivering information to parents, caregivers, professionals and children. Resources and information include special needs schools, camps, recreational sports, respite programs and social service groups. Additional exhibitors include non-profit organizations, special needs trust information and non-traditional therapist.