Posts Tagged ‘autism help’

Please help me improve my child’s attention span!

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By Monique Simpson | Speech Pathologist and Autism Specialist
As featured in Issue 01 of Autism World Magazine

 

A child with autism may have an unflinching ability to be able to maintain attention on a task that is motivating to them, like chatting about fire engines, repetitively turning taps on or off or perhaps lining up their favourite Thomas the Tank engines. However when asked to attend to an activity that doesn’t ‘tickle their fancy’, like labelling or matching some picture cards or building something with blocks, their attention may be very fleeting.

A study carried out by Garretson, Fein and Waterhouse in 1990 suggested that;

autistic children’s difficulties in sustaining attention on imposed tasks may be attributable partly to a developmental delay and partly to the motivational contingencies of a task rather than to a primary impairment in the ability to sustain attention.

I couldn’t agree more! Working with a child’s motivations and respecting and building upon their ideas are valuable tips to remember when improving attention span.

From my clinical experience here are three other critical points you should consider when working on increasing attention span: Read more …

If you want more language you need to expand your child’s world

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One of the main autism symptoms or characteristics of children with autism is their language delays and slower speech development.

The ability of a child with autism to talk well is not just dependent upon having the motor skills to be able to shape sounds into words and words into sentences. But more importantly the child needs to have thoughts, ideas and feelings that they want to ‘share’ and communicate with others.

The reason that I want to talk to you about this today is because I had a session with a little girl named Sasha on the weekend. She is a delightful little girl who has many of the pre-verbal skills necessary to be able to talk and in fact she has already started to appropriately use some important words in her life e.g. more, go, biscuit… which is a wonderful start.

However it is very obvious that the area of development that is going to get in the way of Sasha’s language and speech development is going to be her ‘limited interests’ in her life. Read more …