May 23, 2010

Autism Shop

I went to the locally-based Autism Shop last week and found some great resources for helping Jackson. The shop is a non-profit too, so all of the proceeds go to support Autism research.


Engaging Autism: Using the Floortime Approach to Help Children Relate, Communicate and Think (2006) by Stanly I. Greenspan, M.D. and Serena Wieder, Ph.D.
• The D.I.R./Floortime model is something that we're exploring at a local Autism support center, Celebrate the Spectrum, and has been recommended for Jackson by a few people (including the developmental doc).
Stanley Greenspan recently passed away on April 27, 2010.

The New Social Story Book (2010) by Carol Gray
Carol Gray will be at the conference I'm attending in a few weeks so I'm excited to have her latest book in hand. Social Stories are creative and clear ways to "brainwash" children on the Spectrum to learn the things that they will not learn by osmosis (like the rest of us do). For example, we may use a Social Story to help Jackson understand "When is it my turn to listen?" or "Learning to help others."

Try and Stick with It (2004) by Cheri Meiners
• This is a child's story book from the "Learning to Get Along" series and the title seemed very appropriate for us since Jackson has a mental block with trying new things...a lot...

All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome (2006) by Kathy Hoopmann
• This picture book filled with adorable photos of cats takes both a funny and a serious approach to learning about Asperger's. It takes about 5 minutes to read it, so it's a really easy to way to share the main traits of Asperger's with friends and family, in a very cute way. "An Asperger child looks at the world in his own unique way. He likes to be near those he loves, but doesn't want them to hold him..."

Visual Aids

My Schedule Board and Eye Pics Set 1
• These tools will be indispensable in teaching Jackson what comes next in his day and the things he needs to do before an activity (i.e. the steps he has to take in the morning to get up, use the bathroom, get dressed and come down for breakfast). We're learning that he's a visual learner and these little 2" cards that get attached to a strip that he can carry around as a cue card if he wants will help to ease the stress of mom and dad always telling him what to do and Jackson always opposing it. Now, we'll be able to say "Check your schedule board!"

3" Time Timer
• This is the same type of deal as the schedule board. It's a visual timer that can help Jackson learn how long a length of time is and also be prepared to, for example, get in the car in 10 minutes. You set the timer and the red section slowly disappears as time ticks down. There's an audible bell that can be switched on or off. I'm a little worried about Jackson having some anxiety related to "oh my gosh, I don't have enough time left!" but I think overall this will work for him because, again, it takes the "blame" away from the parents ("check your timer!") and is a visual time cue that will work for his stage of development since he can't read clocks yet.

We also got some fun toys like a cyclone tube connector and Thomas the Tank Engine card game to learn turn-taking through one of his favorite toys.

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