Autism Using Structure To Help Autistic Kids Build Flexibility A tool to develop flexibility. But to prevent it from becoming a memorized routine, change the number and order of activities frequently, and don’t always start with the same one. Audience members will learn how conduct a thorough Functional Behavior Assessment, select appropriate and function-based strategies, and analyze data to determine growth and next steps. This may take time to fully understand. Honoring these rigidities gave me so much anxiety because the need for same gave my son so much anxiety. The key to successful data collection is to make it easy and doable! It’s easy to ignore the question of flexibility and keep moving forward with the status quo, especially if your clients are making progress in your sessions. The instructions need to tell them what to do, not a memorized routine that they have with the materials. For many students, including students on the autism spectrum, the benefits of flexibility aren’t immediately clear. We will also examine how appropriate and purposeful use of visuals helps build executive functioning skills with our younger learners. This doesn’t mean abandoning any structure and routine, it simply means trying to allow some flexibility into that routine. 2. We need consistency. This may mean checking things off of a list, moving pictures or objects to finished, turning pages in a flip book, or even using objects functionally. Finally, make a challenging change. Whether extreme or mild, these behaviors can stop our teaching and halt student progress. One thing we know about the learning style of people on the autism spectrum is that there is often a strong adherence to routines. Aggression and other problem behaviors can be the biggest obstacle to running a successful classroom. After collecting the data, then you need to use it! These maps illustrate the consequences that result from both appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. It can be tricky to navigate the often under-funded world of adult education in a way that is helpful and age appropriate for our adults. Browse autism flexibility resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, a marketplace trusted by millions of teachers for original educational resources. All this exacerbated their feelings of exclusion and otherness. We’ll create systems that allow our kids to know what to expect even though things may change day to day or session to session. However, the world is anything but predictable. Schedules are an essential component to any effective classroom. If your answer is yes, don’t worry. But teaching our kids flexibility is so much more functional for them in their lives, and also much more rewarding to us as therapists. This session is jam packed with ready to use strategies for general education and special education classrooms. The child always starts with the same activity, does four tasks at the table, plays with the same selection of toys, gets a snack, and leaves. Gravity always keeps your furniture on the ground. These cards are designed to increase their awareness of flexibility and its role in social interaction. This keynote presentation is perfect for a varied audience. For those of us who don’t struggle with flexibility, this is no big deal. Learn how to implement fluency instruction in your classroom with this interactive workshop. On the day when the friend was nice, the paint was nearly white. Change your spot at the kitchen table. Take a step back and consider the things you really count on to be the same. And it really helps! Your shoes fit on your feet every day. This session will also focus on the organizational aspect of reading instruction. Learning to be flexible is essential in creating a successful life with someone on the autism spectrum. At home, offer finger paints, a sand box, swing set, building blocks and stuffed toys. I prefer to drink my water from a plastic Starbucks cup with ice. Begin this process by identifying each learning and behavioral challenge as a Can’t Do or Won’t Do. In another situation the same blue cup might be used outside in the sand box as a toy. Copyright Learn Play Thrive, L.L.C.©. to see what to expect, rather than to rely on a memorized routine. Or perhaps you’ve created a routine for your therapy sessions to make the sessions more predictable. During my PhD research, autistic young people told me that mainstream education was a place they came to dread. In this session, learn how to make your data system work for you. Despite this, strict adherence to routines may not be the best approach, according to Temple Grandin, PhD., a gifted scientist who is herself autistic. Below are some tips and language to use in your daily life that can help your child become more flexible. Teach flexibility explicitly. And when they can do them, we mark the goal as complete. The more I honored these rigid needs- the more they showed up in our life and the more I realized that living this way is not realistic and ultimately causing more stress on my son- not less. When we teach flexibility, we can watch as our kids learn to look to their schedules to see what changes they can expect that day. Behavior Contingency Maps show a visual representation of everyday rules. The more experiences a child can have, the better. On the not so nice day, the paint was dark gray. In this session, learn how to use function-based interventions to efficiently and effectively reduce problem behaviors. This is when you’ve already shown the child the schedule, and suddenly you need to change something. Organization is the major component to a successful data system. It will just teach them not to trust the schedule. Cognitive flexibility is one of the executive functions that children with autism and ADHD often struggle with. Carrying on with the status quo can be tempting. If you create lists or instructions that are just for reference, they will certainly be ignored. Park in different parking spaces, take different routes to familiar places, rotate favorite cups/shirts/shoes etc. This can sometimes really work to their advantage. Ability to Adapt to Alternatives and Transitions Between Events and Activities Taylor an intervention based on the WHY you think the behavior is occurring. Instead, make a schedule that allows for change. Therefore, whenever possible, it is most effective to maintain a predictable routine when teaching children with autism. We will discuss everything from creating an efficient classroom schedule, the physical structure, using visuals, creating a data system, and beginning your curricular planning. We will review instructional planning, activity ideas, and specific interventions. As therapists, we must ask ourselves: are our interventions creating new rigid routines? So- how do we factor those things into an autistics environment? By Lauren Kerstein, LCSW Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) often experience enormous challenges in the area of flexibility. However, it can also be used in the bath to rinse shampoo out of hair. They have problems dealing with changes and they have problems trying things new ways. We live in a rule-driven world yet so often our children and adults lack the understanding of these guidelines. Making data based decisions is critical in determining if progress has been made. So if today they are sorting red bears from blue, tomorrow their instructions may show them to sort bears from balls. Fluency is accuracy plus speed and is a must-have when it comes to making the skills we teach functional in the real world. Or what if you came home and your furniture was on the ceiling. In this session, we will discuss a multitude of interventions for each type of behavior. Then, make a neutral change. This approach will focus on the changing outcomes of behaviors by looking at the entire context and approaching behavior from a function based perspective. Flexible thinking skills are crucial for children developing in the real world as they promote important learning and social skills and behaviours. Parents and teachers often find themselves responding to the behavioral outcome of the stress and anxiety involved with this “inflexible thinking,” rather than teaching flexible thinking in a systematic way. Or if today they are putting silverware away into a drawer, maybe tomorrow they will put it away into canisters. 5 Opportunities to Teach Flexibility. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. If you make a schedule that will stay the same and laminate it, not only will your clients not use it, they will also expect it to remain the same. “This prevented rigid behavior patterns from forming.”. Tactile (Kinesthetic) Learning Style & Teaching Tools for Autism. This is something I try to consistently provide for my boys. It is frequently believed that challenges with flexibility may be related to anxiety. Don't miss a free resource: Join my mailing list. We teach our kids to play with toys, to eat new foods, to follow a schedule, to do academic or fine motor activities at the table. Celebrate the ways that inflexibility is … In this session, learn how to identify the skill deficits that your students are struggling with under the area of executive functioning skills. Many kids on the autism spectrum have a great deal of flexibility. In the long run that won’t help, and even in the short run it will reach its limit of feasibility very quickly. Cognitive flexibility also strongly relates to having or developing coping skills and stress management skills. We use that to help teach concepts and keep learning engaging. The concepts can be applied to a wide range of environments. Learn how to work with your staff so data is taken consistently across all areas of your classroom! Make changes early and often on your schedules. Then I may be surprised that I’ve missed an important one-time appointment (sorry dentist!). So it’s best to practice this intentionally. In this full day workshop, we will explore methods to increase vocabulary, literacy skills, independence, and communication skills in your preschool students! Learn how you can incorporate these strategies to effectively teaching reading to students with autism. When Parker was into the Statue of Liberty- we read about it, got books about it, watched videos on it, and even dressed like it. First- ensure that there aren’t any underlying medical issues that need to be addressed by a professional. Working memory and cognitive flexibility-training for children with an autism spectrum disorder: a randomized controlled trial J Child Psychol Psychiatry. We will discuss methods of organizing your data so you can access it readily. Increasingly, the literature has focused on the role of anxiety in the world of a child on the autism spectrum. But these differences in flexibility may also hold the key to helping young people on the autism spectrum to “get stuck” on being more flexible and using big picture thinking. But the changes will keep it from becoming a memorized rigid routine. Learn how to use your academic data to drive your instructional decisions and plan supplemental activities, write additional goals, or strengthen foundational skills. Tactile or Kinesthetic learners take information in by doing - hands-on, manipulating materials, and moving. This full day workshop will offer practical solutions to foster increases in positive behaviors and decreases in problem behaviors. But you can teach them early on that there are lots of ways to play with a toy, and that sometimes mom or another kid may be playing with the materials too. These changes tend to present themselves at the last minute. Individuals with autism are all so different and have a vast array of needs. It’s a daunting task to create an environment that is meaningful and engaging. Nov 27, 2018 - Explore Donna Morrison's board "Flexible Thinking", followed by 128 people on Pinterest. Flexibility in kids with ASD - Card activity to teach this social skill to children on the autism spectrum Children with Asperger’s and other autism spectrum disorders have a lot of problems with rigidity. When you create schedules or to-do lists for your clients, create systems that require them to do something. We cannot expect our children to change their behavior if we are never willing to change our own. There are fieldtrips and fire drills; parents have appointments and holidays; weather interferes with our outdoor plans. We will discuss scheduling, grouping students, training paraprofessionals, and more! 8:51. Autism Today has always and continues to be a platform to display global autism information, and resources in an unbiased manner. 3 Biggest Mistakes in Behavior Plans (and how to fix them), The Real Life Skills of Executive Functions: a Growth Mindset Approach, Can’t Do or Won’t Do? That’s not realistic. If you went to the library after lunch last Tuesday, go before lunch this Wednesday. Means trying to allow some flexibility into that routine these rigidities gave me so much harder to change data... And when they do, they will put it away into a drawer, tomorrow... 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