Posts Tagged ‘Therapy strategies’

My child’s repetitive play is driving me nuts – Three things you can do

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By Monique Simpson | Speech Pathologist and Autism Specialist
As featured in Issue 02 of Autism World Magazine

 

I clearly remember watching my 3 year old daughter Siena playing with her dolls house. Back then she would put each of her little people precisely into bed with their blankets neatly folded before taking them all out to repeat the idea again and again.

Siena does not have ASD but she used to be quite an anxious child. Her need for repetitive play and predictably was merely a reflection on her internal world and needing to control her outside world. She felt comfortable, safe and motivated by playing in this way especially since so many other aspects of her day were not as black and white.

Take this example and then multiply it by hundreds for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. There is SOOO much about life that does not make sense to them and this will certainly be reflected in their play on lots of different levels.

Many of the families that I treat understandably can be ‘driven nuts’ by the repetitiveness of their children’s play because at times it can be an ‘in your face’ reminder of your child’s challenges and basically because it can get boring!

There are so many things to consider when building the variety in play of children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. I have tried to simplify this into three key steps:
Read more …

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 …

Blowing can help relax kids on the Autism Spectrum!

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Maintaining a calm and organised state of arousal is often at the forefront of our minds when treating children on the spectrum.

Why?…. because we know that this leads to more successful interaction and learning opportunities. There is so much about life that does not make sense for these kids and as a result anxiety can certainly be a constant challenge.

There are heaps of different strategies we can incorporate to achieve a greater calm. One of the things that I often try and implement into my therapy to achieve this is ‘blowing’. Since these kids are often spending significant periods of their day in ‘survival mode’ it means that their breath can be really quite shallow. Therefore the types of blowing activities you might want to incorporate are those that encourage deeper diaphragmatic breathing. My favourite pieces of equipment to achieve this are: Read more …

Improving Speech and Language in Children with Autism using Video Modeling

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Hi everyone,

I have to say I’m finding video to be a great way of explaining all of the concepts and techniques that I have to share with you and also for bringing to life many of the examples that will help with applying these tips to your own situation. So I hope you’re enjoying them too!

This week’s tip focuses on how you can improve your child’s articulation and speech clarity skills using a technique called Video Modeling. There are many ways to improve articulation, but Video Modeling is one technique that I’ve found to be very effective over the years with the children I treat.

So anyway, I created a quick, step-by-step guide to show you exactly how you can use Video modeling to help your child’s articulation and speech development. So if your child is struggling with this then I think you’re going to find this video tip particularly helpful.

It goes for about 10 minutes.

P.S: Please share any thoughts or stories you may have about this video by leaving your comments in the box provided below.