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, July 14, 2014

Focusing on Practical Skills for Autism Spectrum Children

Many children with Autism Spectrum are involved in home education therapeutic programs. It is often difficult to determine what types of skills should be the focus of these programs. This is a matter that should be discussed between the person directing the program and the child's parents. Here are some suggestions.
It is astonishing how many Autism Spectrum programs waste valuable time teaching skills that are useless. Useless skills are those which have no practical application in the real world. Although some say these skills, "teach children how to learn," in many cases these programs are just a waste of time. Remember, many children with Autism are delayed, so time is of the essence.
Easily Measurable 
Considering how often Autism Spectrum children are tested, it is wise to concentrate on easily measurable skills. For instance, either the child can tie his shoe, or he cannot. Apart from being practical, this type of easily measurable skill can get children with Autism some "points" on tests. Developmental exams are often language focused and tough for Autism Spectrum children to score well on.
Often Tested 
Why not focus on skills that are often tested? For instance, colors, shapes, numbers and letters are definitely going to be on Kindergarten readiness tests. Give the child something he or she can succeed in. Of course reading readiness will be tested so therapy should be slanted in this direction prior to testing.
I think it is kind to request a non-verbal IQ test for a non- verbal child. Although this seems obvious, it is amazing how many times "limited verbal" or non verbal children are subjected to verbal IQ tests. In fact, unless the parent specifically asks for a nonverbal IQ test the "defacto" choice always seems to be a verbal one. This upsets and frustrates children with limited verbal abilities. Giving a non- verbal or limited verbal child a verbal IQ test is a bit like giving an IQ test in a foreign language that the child does not speak. It is unkind and unfair.
These are some of the skills and testing tips that work for Autism Spectrum children. Children with Autism should be taught useful skills. These skills should be easily measurable. It is important to focus on skills that are tested often so as to give the child the best chance. Also, make sure the test is effective by being sure that non-verbal or limited verbal children are given a non-verbal IQ test to ensure fairness. 

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