Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
1. If you are living with an autistic family member, it won't take you long to discover that it can be a difficult as such a person can have special needs, which are challenging and demanding, but they also have the right equal to yours to lead a fulfilled life. In order to do this for your loved one, you can learn about ways to help the affected person bridge the gap between needs and fulfillment so they can enhance the quality of their life. Begin with educating yourself on the causes of the disorder: it is not because of anything the person did and the fault of the people around the person. Do not be judgmental in any way as it is frustrating for autistic people to deal with family members who are intolerant of their limitations, which are real and surmountable.
2. Work closely with the autistic family member to understand his or her feelings; teach them and train them in positive values and habits in a patient manner even as they get distracted as such persons tend to lose their mental grasp on concepts easily and frequently for no fault of theirs or yours. First ensure you have caught their attention then proceed to speak and explain new learning concepts; repetition is a good way to determine how much the autistic person has followed your teaching.
3. Going over the same thing a few times helps autistic persons grasp new concepts better as does providing a sense of routiness, especially if the affected person is a . Small children diagnosed with find it easier to adapt to new learning and surroundings when they are familiarized with a daily routine as this gives them a sense of comfort knowing they are about to re-learn something at a specific time or date.
4. Helping an autistic family member come to terms with his or her condition, especially when it is a young child, is most important to get them on the way to happy and healthy lifestyle: get as much information on the subject as possible from experts, books and reading material besides websites for tools regarding dealing with autism and the true nature of the disorder so you can understand the affected person's needs better.
Combining these tips and incorporating them in your daily contact with autistic family members as well as others in the community will help you connect better with such persons and help them lead normal, healthy lives. Therefore, it is important to have an open attitude towards learning about autism in order to build better relationships with affected people.
6 Key Social Skills
Social skills are arguably the most important set of abilities a person can have. Human beings are social animals and a lack of good social skills can lead to a lonely life, contributing to anxiety and depression. Great social skills help you meet interesting people, get that job you want, progress further in your career and relationships.
Happily, like any skill, social strategies and techniques can be learned…
The main social skills are as follows:
1) The ability to remain relaxed, or at a tolerable level of anxiety while in social situations
Regardless of how skillful you are in social situations, if you are too anxious, your brain is functioning in way unsuited to speaking and listening. In addition, if your body and face give the unconscious message that you are nervous, it will be more difficult to build rapport with others.
2) Listening skills, including letting others know you are listening
When you had dinner with Gladstone, you were left feeling that he was the most charming person you had ever met. But after dinner with Disraeli, you felt that you were the wittiest, the most intelligent, the most charming person.
Dr Warren Bennis PhD, University of California
There is little more attractive and seductive than being truly listened to. Good listening skills include:
* Making 'I'm listening' noises - 'Uh-huh', 'really?', 'oh yes?' etc.
* Feeding back what you've heard - "So he went to the dentist? What happened?"
* Referring back to others' comments later on - "You know how you were saying earlier…"
* Physical stillness, eye contact and attentiveness while the other person is talking.
3) Empathy with and interest in others' situations
A major part of social anxiety is self consciousness, which is greatly alleviated by focusing strongly on someone else. A fascination (even if forced at first) with another's conversation not only increases your comfort levels, it makes them feel interesting.
4) The ability to build rapport, whether natural or learned
Rapport is a state of understanding or connection that occurs in a good social interaction. It says basically "I am like you, we understand each other". Rapport occurs on an unconscious level, and when it happens, the language, speech patterns, body movement and posture and other aspects of communication can synchronise down to incredibly fine levels.
Rapport is an unconscious process, but it can be encouraged by conscious efforts.
* Body posture 'mirroring', or movement 'matching'
* Reflecting back language and speech, including rate, volume, tone, and words
* Feeding back what you have heard, as in 2) above
5) Knowing how, when and how much to talk about yourself - 'self disclosure'
Talking about yourself too much and too early can be a major turn-off for the other party in conversation. Good initial small-talk is often characterised by discussion of subjects not personal to either party, or by an exchanging of personal views in a balanced way.
However, as conversations and relationships progress, disclosing personal facts (small, non-emotional ones first!) leads to a feeling of getting to know each other.
6) Appropriate eye contact
If you don't look at someone when you are talking or listening to them, they will get the idea that:
* You are ignoring them
* You are untrustworthy
* You don't like the look of them (!)
This doesn't mean you have to stare at them. In fact, staring at someone while talking to them can give them the feeling you are angry with them. Keeping your eyes on them while you are listening, of course, is only polite.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Top 6 Tips to Teach Social Skills and Help Kids Make Friends
Teaching social skills and making friends may not be the first thing we think about when planning our children's individual education programs. In the middle of school IEP committee meetings, academics issues are at the forefront and not teaching social skills. Whether or not teaching social skills is ultimately included in an Individual Education Program, there are some things that can be done to help children with learning disabilities build the valuable social skills and relationships that are so important to their self-esteem and sense of belonging.
1. Teaching Social Skills in Extra-Curricular Activities
Surprisingly, many children in special education programs do not participate in extracurricular activities, and they miss this important social skills teaching opportunity. Help your child discover his strengths and interests to help him choose the right place for him to learn social skills. Whatever your child enjoys, it is likely there are opportunities to teach social skills in your community and for him to join with others. For social skills teaching ideas, contact community resources such as the local library, YMCA, church youth group, 4-H clubs, or other clubs scouting organizers, or community parks and recreation staff.
2. Organized Activities Help Teach Social Skills and How to Make Friends
Teaching Social Skills with Activities Beyond School
Your child will benefit from social skills teaching inherent in social interaction outside the school setting. With your encouragement, even reluctant or shy children can be taught social skills through interaction with others through activities. Many relationships he builds will flow naturally back into the school environment. Just as importantly, non-disabled students will have the opportunity to see your child in successful roles outside of school and get to know him as a friend, rather than an acquaintance.
3. Teaching Social Skills and Building Friendships in Easy-to-Manage Steps
Teaching Social Skills with Easy Step-by-Step Tasks
Teach your child social skills needed to develop friendships in small, easy steps. Social skills may not come easily for her. Children with disabilities may feel intimidated by other kids, and they may find it too uncomfortable to try to reach out to them. Help your child work on these social skills by setting small goals. Ask your child to smile and greet one new child each day. Just say, "Hi." This is often enough to reduce the pressure and begin some conversations that build toward relationships. Each night, have a friendly chat about his day, and talk about how many people he spoke to. Try these tips as well.
4. Teaching Social Skills and Making Friends Takes Practice
Role Play Social Situations to Teach Social Skills
Teach social skills by rehearsing social situations ahead of time. Role play meeting a new person with each other. Take turns being the greeter and "greetee." Teach your child the art of getting others to talk about themselves. Help him see that by doing this, he can learn about his peers and find common interests. Kids can use friendly, polite questions to encourage kids to talk and break the ice. Focusing on others will also help your child feel less self-conscious. Help your child learn how to choose good friends to develop healthy relationships.
5. Game and Sportsmanship can Teach Social Skills in Advance
Teach Social Skills at Home Before They are Needed
Teach your child social skills by helping him learn and practice games and activities at home that are popular at school. Aside from being a good way to practice skills such as reading, counting, and fitness, learning these games will help your child participate in them with other children, while reducing the impact of his learning disability on his ability to play. He will feel more confident and enjoy his interaction with others if he knows the games and can play them with some skill. Consider making your house the hangout for outdoor fun.
6. Schedule Fun Time to Make Social Skills and Making Friends a Priority
Create a circle of friends by encouraging playtime with a few neighborhood children. Invest in some quality time and snacks, and you'll cultivate friendships that may stay with your child throughout high school, maybe even for life. Friends from the same class at school can provide important social and emotional support, and not to mention, occasional homework help when a worksheet or assignment fails to make it from school to your house.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
This page presents an overview of the developmental tasks involved in the social and emotional development of children and teenagers which continues into adulthood. The presentation is based on the Eight Stages of Development developed by psychiatrist, Erik Erikson in 1956.
According to Erikson, the socialization process consists of eight phases - the "eight stages of man." His eight stages of man were formulated, not through experimental work, but through wide - ranging experience in psychotherapy, including extensive experience with children and adolescents from low - as well as upper - and middle - social classes. Each stage is regarded by Erikson as a "psychosocial crisis," which arises and demands resolution before the next stage can be satisfactorily negotiated. These stages are conceived in an almost architectural sense: satisfactory learning and resolution of each crisis is necessary if the child is to manage the next and subsequent ones satisfactorily, just as the foundation of a house is essential to the first floor, which in turn must be structurally sound to support and the second story, and so on.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Hi, we are still seeking parents with children with social disability to provide us with feedback on our product. Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey at
Thank you! :)
Thursday, April 1, 2010
What Conditions Are Considered Pervasive Development Disorders?
There are five types of pervasive development disorders:
* Autism :
Children with autism have problems with social interaction, pretend play, and communication. They also have a limited range of activities and interests. Many (nearly 75%) of children with autism also have some degree of mental retardation.
* Asperger's syndrome :
Like children with autism, children with Asperger's syndrome have difficulty with social interaction and communication, and have a narrow range of interests. However, children with Asperger's have average or above average intelligence, and develop normally in the areas of language and cognition (the mental processes related to thinking and learning). Children with Asperger's often also have difficulty concentrating and may have poor coordination.
* Childhood disintegrative disorder:
Children with this rare condition begin their development normally in all areas, physical and mental. At some point, usually between 2 and 10 years of age, a child with this illness loses many of the skills he or she has developed. In addition to the loss of social and language skills, a child with disintegrative disorder may lose control of other functions, including bowel and bladder control.
* Rett's syndrome :
Children with this very rare disorder have the symptoms associated with a PDD and also suffer problems with physical development. They generally suffer the loss of many motor or movement, skills -- such as walking and use of their hands -- and develop poor coordination. This condition has been linked to a defect on the X chromosome, so it almost always affects girls.
* Pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS):
This category is used to refer to children who have significant problems with communication and play, and some difficulty interacting with others, but are too social to be considered autistic.