Autism Awareness: Tips For Reaching Out

Autism Speaks Light It Up Blue

If you know someone who has autism or a child with autism, it may be difficult for you to know how to interact with them or their child.  This can be made more difficult by misinformation you may have been given that people with autism are not affectionate, loving, or interested in social interactions.  This is not true.  What’s true is that everyone is a unique individual and has their own social preferences.  

A few useful tips when reaching out to a  child with autism:

  • Don’t be afraid to say “hi” and invite them to participate in things you are doing; they might just say no, but frequently they’re not sure how to join in on their own. 
  • Children with autism may need a little more time to be in an environment and watch before they feel comfortable to join in.
  • When giving directions or interacting, be as direct and concrete as possible.
  • Give lots of choices, both for participation and within the activity.  (“You can keep watching or  come stand here and throw the ball.”)

Ask a the child’s parent for tips on interacting with their individual child, BUT, don’t do it in front of the child.  

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.  And as you go about your day today, you might notice lots of blue.  

Autism Speaks has started it’s “Light It Up Blue” campaign to help spread awareness. You can learn more about autism here or support them and this project from their website. 

 

Playing at Home: Caterpillar Puppets

If your child is in early intervention with us, we’ve been reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar this month.  Here’s a fun language extension to play at home.

Using either a sock as a puppet or another item that you could pretend is a caterpillar, read the story.  Have the caterpillar pretend to eat the foods on each page, “yum yum yum.”  Don’t forget to get some good nibbles of your child’s belly while doing this.  After the story, look around the house for things that the caterpillar might like to eat.  Try some food, “yum yum yum.” And some non-foods, “Ewww yucky!”  Have fun, include lots of tickles and nibbles.

Here are some links to the The Very Hungry Caterpillar book and a fun caterpillar puppet if you are in need of supplies.

Building BLOCS Upcoming Playgroup Sessions

Building BLOCS is now enrolling for spring playgroup sessions 1 and 2.

Playing Store

Our playgroups are designed for children that have high language skills, but struggle with interactions with other children. All lessons incorporate lessons and concepts from Michelle Garcia Winner’s “The Incredible Flexible You” curriculum. Additionally, each session has a theme that is based on well-loved literature that help provides a base for games, play and pretend activities throughout the session.

Session 1: Eric Carle – Using several familiar books to talk about things we hear/see/feel.

Session 2: Pete the Cat!

Groups meet for one hour weekly at 4:15

Younger Preschool aged children meet on Tuesdays
Session 1: 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, ($250)
Session 2: 4/22, 4/29, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20 ($250)

Older Preschoolers and Kindergartener Groups Meet on Wednesday
Session 1: 3/19, 4/4, 4/9, 4/16 ($200)
Session 2: 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14, 5/21 ($250)

Building BLOCS is now able to accept insurance for groups from some heath care plans.

For more information email us at therapy@blocsaustin.com or call 512-827-7011.

Brandy Windham- Speech Therapist and BCBA!

Brandy Playing

In an effort to better serve our clients, Brandy Windham, the lead speech therapist and co-owner of Building BLOCS, went back to graduate school this past year and completed all the course work necessary to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Exam.  In addition to the coursework, Brandy also completed 1,500 supervised hours.  In September, Brandy sat for the exam, and on Friday, we got the happy news that Brandy passed the exam and is now a BCBA!   Continue reading “Brandy Windham- Speech Therapist and BCBA!”

Rett Syndrome Awareness Month

purple ribbon

October is Rett Syndrome Awareness Month.  At Building BLOCS, this topic is very close to our hearts.  As we spend time researching therapy approaches that will be most successful for children with Rett syndrome, we learn again and again that the research in this field is still very limited.  The International Rett Syndrome Foundation is helping lead the charge in this area.  Here are some of their resources that can help you learn more about Rett syndrome and ways you can help.

Continue reading “Rett Syndrome Awareness Month”