Welcome to Autism Fundraising Guide. I focus on therapies, treatment, advice, trends and personal anecdotes based upon my experience as a parent of a sixteen year old with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have seen this disorder go from relatively obscure when my child was diagnosed thirteen years ago, to a very maintream epidemic today.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stress Relief Techniques for Children With Autism

Children with autism spectrum disorder are incredibly stressed and anxious in many cases. It is important to devise stress relief techniques for children with autism. When children are relaxed they can concentrate more on their therapy and treatment. Also, if they are continually tense they will have difficulty enjoying the fun moments of childhood. Stress relief techniques for children with autism must be practiced. Parents can have children practice stress relief techniques for physical as well as emotional well- being.

Here's how to have children with autism practice relaxation:

1. Learn to recognize feelings of anxiety

One of the first steps to overcoming anxiety is to recognize that it exists. There is a book entitled I Have Feelings, Too! It is an interactive book of emotions and feelings to help children recognize how they feel. Also, there is a CD-ROM entitled Fun With Feelings that can help children identify their emotions. Finally, there are Personalized Success Stories that address the topic of feelings. All these resources are available at Different Roads to Learning http://www.difflearn.com/

2. Provide relaxing sensory input

Children with autism respond well to relaxing sensory input. This can be provided in the form of vibrating massagers since the children normally like the sensation. Also, sensory balls of various textures can be very relaxing for children with autism. Some of the types of balls available include squishy balls, string balls, fuzzy balls, slime balls and bead balls. These balls do not normally bounce. Kids think these tactile toys are very squeezable and generally fun.

3. Put on relaxing music

Pay attention to what type of music the child likes. It is beneficial to have a quiet time in which the child's favorite music is on.

4. Discuss the day in advance

One of the things that increases anxiety in children with autism is changes in routine. Also, some children have limited ability to ask questions about an upcoming event in their day. It is best if parents and therapists "go over" the day in advance, using visual schedules if possible. Visual schedules provide a pictorial of how the child's day or upcoming event will be. Children find visual schedules reassuring and it provides improved communication between parents and children, which reduces anxiety. Visuals and visual schedules may be obtained at http://www.meyer-johnson.com/.

At first it may seem hard to get into the habit of practicing the stress relieving tips for children with autism. It may seem like just another task in an already overloaded schedule. But by making it part of the child's daily life, children will receive great physical and emotional benefit.

Children With Autism: How to Have Improved Behavior During Doctor Visits

Would you like your child's visit to doctors to go more smoothly? Children with autism see many specialists and these doctor visits are often so trying for parents.

Let's look at three tips for improved behavior in doctor's offices. If you do all three, your doctor's visits will go much more smoothly.

1. Get the first appointment of the day

The importance of this tip cannot be overstated. Taking children with autism to the doctor in the middle of the day, or worse, in the late afternoon is a clear recipe for disaster. This is because the doctor's staff generally overbooks the doctor. This often causes doctors to "run behind" by a half hour to an hour a day. Many doctors still do not know that children with autism have difficulty waiting patiently. Hence, it is imperative that you obtain the first appointment of the day for any type of medical personnel interaction with children with autism.

2. Visit the doctor's office before the visit without the child

It is best to visit the doctor's office unaccompanied by the child at least once prior to the visit. The purpose of this is to check out the waiting room environment. Are there any toys there? If so, what kind? It there are toys, are these the kind of toys that your child loves so much that a tantrum could begin because of it? Just check out the waiting room environment. Remember, you intend to book the first appointment of the day anyway so hopefully you won't be in the waiting room long.

3. Bring a reinforcer bag

Carefully pack a bag of reinforcer items that your child loves. Some ideas include play-doh, toys that light up and spin or have soft music. Also, pack some snacks that are winners with your child. There is usually a no- eating policy in doctor's offices, so keep the items very small. Finally, do not forget sensory comfort items. Some ideas are soft clothing, a small blanket and "chewy tube" type items. It can get loud in there. Do not forget the headphones or earplugs if your child likes them.