ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is an umbrella term used to describe a range of developmental disorders such as Autism, atypical autism, high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).
Generally a child with autism will have Social skills deficits in social interaction skills, communication skills and imagination skills. Some children on the autism spectrum may also have difficulties with sensory processing issues, for example – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.
Difficulties in these areas mean that a child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) will probably have difficulties understanding and following instructions.
A child with autism may understand simple commands but may have difficulties with long or complicated instructions.
For many children on the autism spectrum shifting their attention from one activity to another can be difficult and cause anxieties, generally an autistic child will need time to process given instructions.
For parents and teachers this can be frustrating, however repeating the instruction is not going to help, this will just add to the child’s anxieties, the more you talk the more pressure the autistic child is going to feel under and the more confused they will become.
All autistic children will struggle to understand spoken or written instruction this is mainly due to their social skills deficits which as we learnt earlier are common to autism. Communication difficulties are probably one of the major struggles parents face with their child.
For children with autism communication difficulties are common, a child on the spectrum may fail to recognise nonverbal communication such as facial expression or body language and may not recognise nonverbal communication such as gesturing or pointing etc.
However there are strategies that help autistic children learn appropriate social interaction, communication and imagination skills.
For example PECS, flash cards and social skills stories are all strategies that help autistic children learn vital every day and less common social interaction skills, address communication difficulties and help develop imagination skills.
The purpose or goal of a social story is to provide the child with autism with a prompt for socially appropriate behaviour, help them become familiar with a situation, and to respond appropriately.
The social story is also used as a transition tool, helping the child with autism move on, help prepare them for a new experience, change to routine and prevent negative or inappropriate reactions that stem from a lack of social understanding.
A social story is a short story that has been written in a specific style and format. That uses visual images much like a comic script that gives the child with autism information through pictures and text providing clear, concise and accurate information about what is happening.
The social skills story answers the “wh” questions ~ who, what, why, where and when as well as giving an insight into the emotions, thoughts and feelings of others and giving appropriate responses to social skills and situations the child with autism may otherwise be struggling with or may find confusing.
To obtain social skills stories that are used as strategies that help autistic children learn appropriate social interaction, communication and imagination skills visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com