Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Betty Carmon- Parent to Parent Coordinator- Powell Region

Betty Carmon- Parent to Parent Coordinator- Powell Region

My son Steele who has autism is now 22 years old and I have been teaching autism strategies for most of his life, when Steele was diagnosed at 2 ½ there wasn’t a lot in the form of education and training for kids with autism so I did whatever I could to learn about autism in order to help my son, and with all that training the best teacher I had was Steele, he taught me more about how the brain of a person with autism thinks and that in turn allowed me to come up with strategies that made huge impacts on his life, and I would like to share a few of those with you.

1. Write it down, a task, a question, an emotion, anything that you want them to really understand.

2. Beginning and end, it could be a task, the day, dinner, a game, anything, by allowing them the information of beginning and end and to process that information early enough gives them calm and allows them to feel accomplishment.

3. Talk to yourself, as your doing this (with your child in the room) say the things that you need to do, example; “Oh my trash is really full and it stinks I better go empty it.” then do it. Don’t ask him to watch or look at you, if you continue to do this all the time, they will learn how to observe their surroundings, you’ve modeled a task, and they can take information in at their own rate.

4. Pay attention to good behavior, whenever they are doing something right or acting appropriately make them aware of it, sometimes they don’t know which behavior is which, and when you focus on the positive so will they.

5. Opportunity, Make them try everything, skiing, art, football, swimming, clubs, choir; don’t ever think that just because they have a disability they can’t do it, they will surprise you.

Have any tips of your own to share?

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Comments on: "Meet My Reason for Knowing about Autism, What’s Yours?" (6)

  1. Visual schedules or calendars are awesome tools to use with our children with autism! Children with autism are usually visual learners.

  2. Tammy Wilson said:

    Thanks Betty we are currently blessed with two children in our program that have autism. Of the many classes and trainings I have been to I have never heard about talking out loud while you are doing your own tasks. Sounds like a great teaching tool. I can’t wait to try it!

  3. Blanca Moye said:

    Great tips for everybody. Thank you

  4. Michele said:

    Great job Betty. Wonderful ideas to pass along to other parents

  5. Jennifer said:

    Those are such useful and realistic ideas. The fact that you have tried them yourself and know what works and what doesn’t makes is valuable. I know that many parents in my area have told me that they have gotten great advice from you. Good post, Betty.

  6. Stephanie Harris said:

    These are great tips Betty! Another thing that I’ve found very helpful in my work with children with Autism is the use of visual schedules. This can be as simple as a “checklist” with each activity or task that a child is expected to perform. Or, a picture schedule can be used to show each step of a task. For example, to help a child develop a better morning routine, you could put pictures (polaroids of the child doing it themselves is best) portraying getting dressed, brushing teeth, combing hair, and eating breakfast. These pictures can be attached to a board or poster with velcro. After the child completes a step, he or she removes the picture, puts it in an “all done” pocket, and receives a small reward (small candy or other desired trinket). Breaking the task down, displaying it visually, and rewarding the child make this a powerful tool for parents!

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