August 13, 2012

Back to School - It's Transition Time!

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The transition from summer back to school can be tough for everyone, especially families of individuals with autism. The daily routine established over the last few months is changing, and the time has come to go back to the classroom.

For the next few weeks our blog will be dedicated to supporting families as they help their children pack up their backpacks and head back to school.

To help smooth the transition for you and your family, we will be providing an array of articles and tips for everyone involved in the process, including students, parents, teachers and peers.

The posts listed below have already appeared in our blog and new articles will be added daily.

Be here Now
I have been hearing all sorts of comments and expressions lately that have been making my head spin. Given the level of “autism awareness” combined with all of the emphasis on training of staff/educators, and the emphasis on parent training and counseling, I never would have thought that these comments would be so widespread...
No matter whether you are wondering what classes your child should take in elementary school, middle school, high school, or even college, there is a secret ingredient to making the most knowledgeable decision – the corpus callosum.

Autism, Homework & Beyond
Our daily lives are made up of an endless stream of thoughts, decisions, actions and reactions to the people and environment in which we live. The internal and external actions fit together, sometimes seamlessly sometimes not, largely dependent upon a set of invisible yet highly important skills we call Executive Functioning (EF). These skills, which involve planning, organizing, sequencing, prioritizing, shifting attention, and time management can be well-developed in some people...

UCSB autism researchers find that focusing on strengths improves social skills of adolescents

The junior high and high school years are emotionally challenging even under the best of circumstances, but for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), that time can be particularly painful. Lacking the social skills that enable them to interact successfully with their peers, these students are often ostracized and even bullied by their classmates... has found that by playing on their strengths –– high intelligence and very specific interests –– these adolescents are as capable as anyone else of forging strong friendships...

Suggested Book:  How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger's

In the real world, people on the autism spectrum need the same kinds of day-to-day skills everyone else needs to be functional!
It's true. No matter how high-functioning children with autism or Asperger's may be or may become, they function better as adults if they’ve had the chance to learn basic skills, from being on time to good personal hygiene. But many reach adulthood without those skills.
Enter Jennifer McIlwee Myers, Aspie at Large.
Coauthor of the groundbreaking book Asperger's and Girls, Jennifer's personal experience with Asperger's Syndrome and having a brother with autism makes her perspective doubly insightful.
Jennifer can show you how to:
  • Create opportunities for children to learn in natural settings and situations
  • Teach vital skills such as everyday domestic tasks, choosing appropriate attire, and being polite
  • Help individuals on the spectrum develop good habits that will help them be more fit and healthy
  • Improve time management skills such as punctuality and task-switching
  • And much more!
 Jennifer's straightforward and humorous delivery will keep you eagerly turning the page for her next creative solution!

Teaching Children With Autism to Imitate Others May Improve Social Skills

Teaching young children with autism to imitate others may improve a broader range of social skills, according to a new study by a Michigan State University scholar.

The findings come at a pivotal time in autism research. In the past several years, researchers have begun to detect behaviors and symptoms of autism that could make earlier diagnosis and even intervention like this possible, said Brooke Ingersoll, MSU assistant professor of psychology...

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"School Zone" image courtesy of anankkml /

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