There is a new area of study emerging in autism called critical mass which means true mastery of a skill. Critical mass is the point where an individual has gained enough information to be successful in situations, activities, or skills for which instruction has not been provided. When there has been enough instruction and multiple experiences, a tipping point can…
Answer: iPads, iPhones and other tech devices are gaining popularity for assisting people on the autism spectrum. There are lots of positives going for technology: people on the spectrum often enjoy using technology, there is some autonomy, it takes the pencil out of the process to demonstrate learning, there are 1000’s of apps to teach a myriad of skills, and their use can be both motivating and rewarding. Nonverbal individuals have another way to express themselves. These tech devices are also becoming more affordable all the time. But is there a down side?
Answer: Introducing the topic of menstruation to girls on the autism spectrum can be a daunting task. Mothers worry about how their daughters will react to the event. Will there be sensory issues around blood flow and the use of sanitary pads? How will they feel about this change in their body? Will it be painful? How do you teach hygiene around menstruation? Will menstruation be understood and accepted?
Answer: In order to answer this question, we first have to ask ourselves the following question, “What does competent adulthood mean?” Often, the preparation that happens in high school is not what will help an individual be successful in the workforce. How often have we seen a sentence finished like this when talking about a person with ASD – “…allowing the student to reach their highest potential.” Peter Gerhardt from the Organization for Autism Research says this is an excuse for poor outcomes. Adaptive Daily Living skills is another way of saying chores. Keep in mind that adaptive behavior changes according to age, cultural expectations, and environmental demands. Learn to say no to working on unproductive activities.
Happy Autism Awareness Day! This year’s theme is inclusion and neurodiversity. This post was originally published on Judy Endow’s site, and is reposted here in honour of Autism Awareness Day. French Translation: Se faire violence pour « passer sous le radar » de l’autisme http://www.judyendow.com/french-blogs/se-faire/ It is a lot of work to look non-autistic …and yet, looking non-autistic is the ticket to…
iPads are becoming increasingly popular with the special needs population. We are discovering that using this accessible technology opens the door for increased communication, learning and independence. There is a new project called the Mission Project which has launched an iPad Initiative. It is an innovative program designed to teach adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities how to use an iPad to: increase independence in their daily lives, connect socially within & outside of their community, find new & appropriate activities of leisure, further their education with new & meaningful information, and improve management of their health.
Parent of special needs children are often placed on waiting lists for occupational therapy services. Educators can also be in the same boat, having OT consults only 2 – 3 times a year. Development of fine motor skills is important for lifelong success. They form the foundation for writing, eating, cooking, typing – even putting in a contact lens. How do you work on these skills without the help of an OT? Author Ahren Hoffman shows us how to develop fine motor skills using toys and household items.
I recently read an article about driving and ASD. It is one of the rites of passage to adulthood in our society. Driving is a complex task that involves many systems working together and a myriad of rules to follow. The question is, given some of the challenges people with ASD have, should they drive?
This past week Adult Life with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Self-Help Guide was published by the Autism Calgary Association. I was one of six authors who wrote this guide. Being involved in the research for this guide was a real eye-opener because I was unaware of the issues that needed to be addressed when facing adulthood.
Tasks Galore for the Real World teaches domestic, vocational, and other independent living skills to the adolescent and young adult. Applicable to home, school, community and training sites, this book uses a functional approach to tasks. Tasks are created using multi-modal presentations, which use visual, tactile and motor movement…