Showing posts from December, 2019

Transitions for children with autism.

We all like routines in our daily lives. It helps us to feel in control and feel secure. Any kind of change throws us off. We as adults are better equipped to handle the changes to our daily routine. It is a very well known fact transition or any kind of changes in daily routine is very stressful for children on the spectrum as they love a structure. It helps them feel secure and in control to know what's going to happen in their day. There are certain things we can do to ease the transitions for children with autism. Visual schedules are a very good transition strategy for children with autism. This helps them to know how their day will be and what will come next. This helps them to be better prepared as they know what to expect. It helps them to remain calm as unstructured time can be very hard for these children. We all like to engage in preferred activities of our choice but for children with autism transitioning from a preferred activity to a nonpreferred activity can be v

Social Skills in children with autism

One of the hallmarks in children with autism is impairment in social skills. Social skills are a set of rules we use to interact with others.  Initiating interactions, play skills, joint attention, Turn-taking are examples of some of the social skills children have to learn to communicate and interact with other people daily. This was not an area of strength for Aarian.  He loved being around other children but never interacted with them. He would engage in parallel play around other kids. Eye contact was another area that Aarian struggled with. He would only make eye contact if he wanted something or he wanted to play with us sometimes. Aarian's ability to participate in a group activity was very limited. In a typical school day 20-25 minutes was set aside for Aarian to participate in a structured group activity. The group consisted of 3 to 4 students. They played simple games that focused on turn-taking. He was able to attend and sit through the group activity but rarely inte

The Second Diagnosis.

It is a well-known fact the majority of children with Autism have a secondary diagnosis. Our son around five years of age started saying single words. At one point he was saying 100 single words. I had kept a running record of all the words Aarian was saying. It was very encouraging for us to see Aarian was finally using single words to communicate. In the meanwhile, we were doing speech therapy for Aarian in order to help him develop communication and play skills.  This explosion of words stopped suddenly one day when he turned 7  The speech therapist was very concerned when we told him about regression in Aarian. He asked us to take him to a Neurologist.  We made an appointment with the Neurologist. He was very concerned when he heard the regression our son was demonstrating. He asked us to take him to a hospital to do an EEG to rule out the possibility of a second diagnosis of Landau Kleffner syndrome.  The results of the EEG were consistent with Landau -Kleffner syndrome which in

Picky Eating in children with Autism.

This is a very common problem in children with Autism. Most of the children with Autism are fussy or picky eaters and will eat only certain kinds of food.  A big reason for this is sensory issues and the way certain types of foods feel in their mouth. This creates difficulties for parents to feed their kids with a wide variety of foods to grow and thrive. Our son is a picky eater to this day. Right from the beginning he showed a preference for crunchy textured foods. He started disliking foods which were mushy or creamy in texture. This continues till today and he is very reluctant to even try or put those foods in his mouth. Children in general love junk food which has no nutritional value. My son loved eating junk foods. We did try to introduce him to a variety of foods when he was a toddler but we were unsuccessful in our attempts.  The good thing with my son is from the early days he started eating regular home-cooked food and disliked eating fast food. This a list of f