People always like to feel heard. Often, they need to feel heard in order to move past a difficult experience or process something exciting or upsetting. Knowing how to ask the right questions is a way to show empathy and can a powerful tool for building trust and intimacy.Read More
It's a challenge for children who have so many ideas rushing around their minds to know how and when to break into a conversation in a way that is not disruptive. They can become anxious about butting in, or conversely, disruptive to the conversation by contributing at an awkward or inappropriate time. But there is one trick for becoming a great conversationalist. Ready for this?Read More
This week in social group we created video scavenger hunts. The group split into two and each came up with a list of things for the other team to capture on video. Some of the items included "Say something nice to the person on your right" and "work together to create an obstacle course".
Video is a particularly good medium for children on the autism spectrum or with ADHD. A study by Corbett & Abdullah (2005), found video feedback effective because it plays to the strengths of children who express:
- over-selective attention (making them very prone to distraction)
- restricted field of focus
- preference for visual stimuli and visually cued instruction
- avoidance of face-to-face interactions
- ability to process visual information more readily than verbal information
Do any of these sound familiar?
Dude is a fun way to teach eye contact, which is important because it is a social marker for a wide variety of expressions including trust, respect, interest, and understanding. Eye contact also creates an ineffable human connection which is difficult to quantify or describe, and lack of eye contact makes it difficult to trust someone.Read More
The trick when teaching the reading of facial expression is that while each person expresses happiness, gratitude, anger, and frustration uniquely, there is an almost ineffable element of commonality just below the surface which can be difficult to identify.Read More
Has your child been in trouble for a behavior that the teacher interpreted as disengaged but which you knew was a coping strategy or sensory regulation technique? New research validates that doodling increases productivity rather than being a distraction.Read More
By understanding the stages of normative development and watching for the early warning signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder, we can get children early intervention help and put resources and information in the hands of parents.Read More
The best lessons to teach are the ones you've learned yourself. One of my favorite things to do growing up was to pour over my books of The Far Side comics by Gary Larson. A scientist by trade, Larson drew what he knew best. Science, animals, and anxiety related to the pranks his older brother would play on him growing up, and his awareness of the randomness of life and death.Read More
This great video from the Dutch Autism Association is a good introduction to Autism that can be shared with your friends and family.Read More
The school year is upon us. For teens and adolescents on the Autism Spectrum, the most stressful factor besides a new routine is forming new friendships and renegotiating the terms of existing relationships after a summer break in which a lot of growth and change has occurred. Here are some conversation starters that will help you to get your teen thinking about the important factors in building and maintaining relationships with peers.Read More
As parents, a common hope for our children is that they will make good, confident decisions and think for themselves. Your child's perception of whether the course of their lives are controlled primarily by their own thoughts and actions, or external circumstances is referred to by developmental psychologists as "locus of control".Read More
The two main concepts related to understanding Autism are Executive Function and Theory of Mind. This post will focus on Theory of Mind which is the ability to intuit the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of others. Social skills coaching leans heavily on this model of understanding Autism, and brings resources to bear on helping people to modify their behavior for situational appropriateness.Read More
As my friend and co-host of the Therapy and Rockets podcast says, we all get angry. As adults we get frustrated with our kids, and they get frustrated and angry with us, their friends and themselves. Short of finding inner peace, the best thing to do is to help your teenager identify a few strategies that work, and practice them when emotional tension is low so that they become second nature.
Here are five tools that Nathan recommends from his own work as a teen crisis counselor:Read More
F. Scott Fitzgerald said that "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."
Paradox is everywhere in the world of Autism. It is embedded in the name Autism Spectrum itself. A diagnosis, autism, coupled to spectrum, a fierce rejection of the very idea that a diagnosis can define or describe.Read More
The two main concepts related to understanding Autism are Executive Function and Theory of Mind. This post will focus on executive function which includes the cognitive tasks related to planning, focus, organizing, error correction, recognizing danger, and impulse control.Read More
At Kids Cooperate, one of the the pillars of our practice is a strengths based approach to everything we do. So when I saw that some of the top autism spectrum disorder related google searches are: "Asperger's traits" and "Asperger's symptoms", I saw ti as an opportunity to reframe some of the common characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome as strengths.Read More