Summer camps for students with autism

Summer Camps for Kids with Autism: Why You Should Send Your Child

Summer camps exist for both neurotypical and special needs campers across the U.S. The fact that many communities have taken notice of the fact that kids with autism need a very different sort of program speaks to the fact that these communities are doing their part to be inclusive of every child, regardless of where he or she falls on the spectrum. If you are thinking about sending your child to a summer camp for autistic kids, there are several reasons why you absolutely should.

Summer camps for students with autism

REASON #1: The camps are highly organized and very structured. Kids with autism, as you know, love structure. It helps them feel safe and less anxious or nervous knowing the exact itinerary each and every day. There is nothing that will cause your child to run willy-nilly and get injured or cause injury to someone else.

REASON #2: Socialization. Seriously, you have to get the kids out to socialize during the summer, but you do not have to let it all fall on you. There will be other kids at autism camp that will have similar interests and skill levels as your own child, and he or she will absolutely love finding somebody else to talk to about Minecraft or Shopkins, ad nauseum.

REASON #3: It’s fun. The groups are always small, do tons of arts and crafts, play outdoors, explore new things (like yoga!), and go on a couple of field trips to places kids with autism would love to go. The staff tire the kids out for you by keeping them so busy all day, and the kids are happy and content when you pick them up (usually—there’s always one in the bunch that might be having a meltdown about going home, but it won’t happen every day).

REASON #4: It’s very, very safe. There are at least two camp “counselors” to each child, unless your child is very low functioning and needs assistance sitting up, standing, etc., then there are three counselors to a child. Everyone makes sure the kids are participating or getting a needed break and all the counselors go through a rigorous screening process before they are hired. Most of them are actually college students who plan to teach special ed!

REASON #5: Because you absolutely deserve a break. Hey, don’t feel guilty in the least if you cop to this reason—all parents of special needs kids need a break, and we don’t always get one. Autism camp during the summer gives you a week long break you can feel good about because you know your child is safe, having fun, and is in very good hands.

Read about,
Extra curricular activities for students with autism
20 Best iPad apps for preschoolers with autism

Extracurricular Activities and the Autistic Child

Extracurricular Activities and the Autistic Child
Obviously, we are talking about the high-functioning autistic child here, since most kids on the opposite end of the spectrum would not be able to participate in after-school activities with their peers. Although you want your child to experience all the world has for them to experience and want to support their interests completely, there is a parental learning curve here. Involving your child in a sport after school is great, but if the practices are too much or too long, your child will not have what he or she needs to maintain an even emotional keel for very long. That results in aggressive behavior, outbursts and meltdowns. Likewise, involving your child in too many after school activities will have the same effect.

So how do you choose what is right for your child? Most parents of “normal” kids figure it out by first limiting the number of activities their kids are involved in, and adding more as the child gets older or seems able to handle more activity and responsibility. However, the neuro-typical child has a filter that helps them block out excess environmental stimulation that ASD kids cannot.

So, simply put, if your son or daughter wants to experience an activity, like dance, soccer, music or art lessons, try it for short durations. The best time to enroll your child in a short-term experience is in the summer. It keeps him or her from getting bored and helps both of you figure out if the activity is a good fit . If your child wants to continue the activity once school begins again, he or she is already settled into the routine of the activity and can expect it with the same frequency as he or she did in the summer. It is best to try one activity at a time, and add only one more activity if your child requests it. If there are dramatic shifts in behavior or mood, then you know that two or more activities is too much, and you and your child will have to decide which one is most important before dropping the others.

Middle schoolers and High schoolers will have tons of opportunities and endless options for after-school activities. Although your child may be eager to try them all, you have to rein him or her in, because you already know what your child can manage and what is too much for him or her. Although your child may be heading to college and need those extracurriculars on his or her college application, most colleges are also forgiving and understanding of applicants who have ASD or other qualifying disability. What is more important is that your child finds out what he or she likes and sticks with it, rather than trying everything and sticking with nothing.

Read about,
Should flashcards be used for autistic child
Summer camps for students with autism

Soothing Kits for Kids on the Spectrum

Calming toys for special needs children

No doubt that as a parent of a child with ASD, you have witnessed your fair share of meltdowns. Other people who are not aware of your child’s diagnosis might accuse you of bad parenting or that your child is a spoiled brat. What they fail to understand is that your child is currently overstimulated, and needs to be soothed but not coddled.

Mental health therapists who meet with higher-functioning kids on the spectrum often suggest a soothing kit. Usually within the first two or three meetings, kids discuss with their therapists the different things they find comforting. Some kids like really soft objects to brush up against their skin, while other kids really love fidgets, a type of toy that lets them putz and explore but still helps them focus.

Using a rundown of sensory experiences, your child’s therapist will come up with different things you can put into a soothing kit for him or her. There should be at least two different objects for each sense in the kit, e.g., two objects for touch, two for sound, two for smell, etc. The only sense you might want to avoid is taste, because you will have to replace it far too frequently. Many kids on the spectrum already stick everything in their mouths for oral stimulation, so actual edibles in the soothing kit is discouraged. It is also discouraged because you do not want your child to learn that eating is a healthy way to soothe one’s feelings when it is not.

The other thing you want to keep in mind is that not all children on the spectrum will appreciate soothing items for sound or light, but if your child naturally gravitates towards certain objects and finds them comforting, in the kit they go. Because of their high distractibility, kids with ASD will move out of meltdown mode if given something pleasing and soothing to their currently raw nerves.

Special needs retailers, such as Fun and Function, sell a wide variety of sensory soothing kits and items small enough to throw into a Rubbermaid tote to create a kit. It can be a real trial and error process, especially if you do not have anything at home that your child already responds to positively. Whenever possible, take your child to an educational toy store and head for the special needs toy aisles. Being able to touch and play with fidgets and sensory toys helps your child have a say in what goes into the kit, even if he or she is non-verbal. Once you have a well-stocked kit, keep it close by at all times. If you want to travel with it, then putting your son’s or daughter’s favorite soothing items in a backpack will ensure a more peaceful trip for all.

Read this,

Is Lumosity worth it for my autistic child?
Best educational toys for autistic child

GPS Tracking Devices for Kids with Autism

Autism Tracking Devices

Because children with autism have no fear of their surroundings or the dangers of sexual predators, they put their parents in a terrifying position every time they wander off in public. If this sounds like your situation, you know exactly what that is like, and how difficult it is trying to explain to a sales clerk that your child isn’t going to respond to a loudspeaker announcement to come to the service desk. It is so hard to accomplish your errands when you have children with autism, but would you seriously want to
imbed a tracking device in your child?

That is a recent development, one which wealthy parents have chosen to do even with their non-autistic children. Parents ease their discomfort when their children wander off by tagging them like the family dog or cat, then use a special app or a handheld device which works something like a GPS locator. Although it is very effective at finding your lost child, it brings up many questions regarding ethics and physical pain.

Tracking devices for children with autism

There are also devices that do not go under the skin but over it. These tracking devices are less invasive than the chips some parents have decided to use. The devices look very much like criminal anklets or bracelets, and your child cannot remove them without a code. The biggest concern here is that a child with autism might find the bracelets or anklets very uncomfortable or they might obsess with chewing on them. There is also the potential for the bracelets and anklets to be cut off if a child predator can get
the autistic child alone long enough to cut the device off. Still, it is a better option than asking your doctor to implant a computer-tracking chip under your child’s skin.

If you want to keep track of your child and keep him or her from wandering off in a public place, less expensive and simpler devices are available. Mini-backpacks with detachable leashes are more ideal than a tracking device because you can hold onto the leash while still allowing your child room to explore around you. These mini-backpacks also have a small pocket in them that would allow you to put personal information in the pocket along with your child’s health conditions and diagnosis if someone
kind and decent finds your child and tries to help. This low-tech way of keeping your autistic child close to you could allow you to place a high-tech tracking device in the pocket which will not interfere with your child in any way, and thus the combined solution would lead you to your child and allow others to bring your child back to you.

  1. Best Software Programs For Children With Autism
  2. 20 Best iPad Apps for Children with Autism

How can I get my autistic child to consume healthy fruits and vegetables or vitamin supplements?

Kids on the spectrum share one major similarity with all other kids: a sweet tooth. Fruits are generally not difficult to get them to eat, and if mom ate a very healthy diet with them in utero, and then fed them baby food made with fruits and veggies, they are likely to consume them just fine. If not, making them sweet to the taste will get them to gobble them up.

Veggies are a little trickier, but there are some high quality fruit and vegetable blend juices on the market that takes care of that. Farmstand fruit and vegetable juice is 100% juice, and has beet, carrot, and one other kind of vegetable juice blended with strawberry and banana or other fruit juices kids love. Each serving of this brand gets kids one whole serving of fruit and one whole serving of veggies in every cup. It isn’t the best way, but if you absolutely can’t get them to eat a single vegetable, this will do it. Just be careful to read labels; not all fruit and vegetable juices are 100% natural and will not benefit the kids in any way besides giving them a ton of extra sugar.

As for vitamin supplements, companies are jumping on the “gummy” wagon. Kids that are texture-sensitive and don’t care for the chalky chewables are gobbling down the gummy vitamins left and right. Parents just have to be careful to keep them out of reach because kids will try to eat the whole bottle all at once. Fish oil, which is an excellent supplement for picky eaters and kids on the spectrum, now comes in a gel they can swallow that has no fishy taste at all. There are fruity fish oil gummies for kids too, which really helps get this much needed nutrient into their systems.

How to taking an autistic child to dentist?

Taking An Autistic Child To The Dentist: How To Do It Right

ASD children need to go to a dentist on a regular basis just like everyone else. If a parent has been brushing their gums and teeth since the children were infants, then it won’t be as challenging as a parent thinks. Dental visits need to start very young, about age three, even if the child isn’t speaking, because they will help get him or her used to the dental chair and other people poking around in their mouths. Some kids on the spectrum think it’s a blast, especially when the dentists have massaging dental chairs to calm their little patients (and even their big patients!).

When started early, there is rarely a problem with any child on the spectrum accepting a trip to the dentist. If good oral hygiene is practiced at home and sweets are kept to a minimum, then parents never have to worry about having a cavity filled either. The biggest thing parents need to remember is that if their ASD child(ren) see fear, anxiety or nervousness on their parents’ faces, they will begin to to experience those feelings with going to the dentist too.

Parents should be calm and smile, explain to their children what the dentist will do, maybe even get a library book or two on visiting a dentist to help their kids understand that it’s okay. A parent who approaches it with apprehension and the expectation that it will all go south and then dig their heels in and tell their child that “you have to go. You can’t avoid going to the dentist, and that’s that,” will only find that the experience is really horrible and not something they or their children are going to want to repeat.

Some related daily concerns:
1). How can I get my autistic child to consume healthy fruits and vegetables or vitamin supplements?
2). Top 20 games for autistic kids
3). How to manage autistic meltdowns?

How to potty train an autistic child

Potty Training a Child with Autism

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that occurs early in a child’s infancy or before birth, but often isn’t diagnosed until after the child reaches age three.  It primarily manifests in slower development or lack of normal social and interpersonal skills including speech, affection, and social understanding.  A significant percentage of children with autism also experience intellectual disability, which slows their acquisition of scholastic skills as well.

Of course, these delays cause significant challenges in regular life milestones, including switching from diapers to the toilet, a transition that is difficult even with average children.  Certain characteristics of autism, like need for routine, discomfort with change, and sensitivity to physical sensation can make potty-training a stressful experience for an autistic child, and he or she may be resistant to the idea.  Here are some tips for successfully potty-training your child with autism.

Don’t push it.  A non-autistic child may be potty trained by two or three, but don’t be afraid to wait longer for your autistic child.  Your child experiences the world in a unique way and a major transition for a child may be even more traumatic for a child with autism.  Make sure you feel he or she is ready mentally to make the transition.  This doesn’t mean you should wait until he or she is ready to transition on his or her own (since this may be much later than in practical, or may never happen) but when you feel he or she can handle the transition.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.  A major key to teaching and working with children with autism is creating an environment where they feel comfortable.  If new objects or furniture are added to the living space, a child with autism may be thrown for a loop.  If you are going to introduce potty training, introduce the instruments of potty-training (a child’s toilet, a potty-training book) weeks before you plan to actually implement potty-training.

Use a consistent reward system. If your child has a favorite treat, use it as an incentive to go to the bathroom.  One way to keep it on his or her mind, is to keep the treat displayed but out of reach.  Every time he or she asks for the treat remind him or her that it is only for when he or she successfully uses the toilet.

Use a sudden physical change as a reminder.  If your child still wears diapers, take them away and make him or her wear “big kid” underwear.  The changing sensation will make a big difference when he or she feels the urge to go.  Be warned, though, this may not stop a stubborn child from just “going” in his pants if the change is to great.

Do not give in.  Changing routines is a major step for a child with autism and he or she may be resistant to the transition.  Giving in to one temper tantrum teaches your child that he can have his way if he pouts enough.  Once you make the decision that it’s time to potty train, commit to the change.

Read more on, “How can you help a child with autism” and “Managing aggressive behaviour in autistic children

How can you help a child with autism

What CanWe Do For the Autistic Children?

For a child with autism, life can be stressful, scary, and downright hard to cope with on a daily basis.  It’s not that there is so much anything wrong with an autistic child, it’s just that their brains function differently, as well as receive & respond to things differently. When it comes to the “world” of autism, it’s about perception; how they perceive the world around them & how they respond to it. There are different levels or degrees of autism; those that are considered more “functioning” are sometimes diagnosed as having Asperger’s or “High-functioning autism”.  Some autistic children may seem overly sensitive, some may not be able to speak or communicate, some may have outbursts or meltdowns, some may do things that seem strange to a “normal” person, etc.  Many autistic children don’t know how to express their feelings, emotions, frustrations, or fears.  For a parent raising an autistic child, there are many challenges to face, many unanswered questions, many fears and doubts, and so forth.  To make matters worse, you have to deal with society’s ignorance & issues surrounding autism.  People who don’t know what it’s like to raise a child with autism, or what it’s like to have autism, are quick to judge, make rude comments, criticize, and even cause more problems.  However, there are many things that parents can do to help an autistic child.  There are also things that others can do when in the presence of an autistic child.  You must keep in mind, though, that when it comes to autistic children, or anyone with autism for that matter, each one is different.  There is no one right or wrong way across the board to interact or work with a person with autism, and it’s imperative that you treat the person as an individual; not as a disease.

Children with autism are commonly known to have a variety of sensitivities; light, colors, temperature, sounds, smells, touch, etc.  Some children may not like to be held or be touched, and some may crave touch on a constant basis.  Some children will insist on wearing layers of clothing during the day, and can only sleep if they have “weight” or layers of bedding on them at night.  Some children have a hard time in rooms with certain types of lighting. For the first example, many offices & grocery stores use fluorescent lighting.  This can be a nightmare for some children who are sensitive to certain lights; it can cause headaches, dizziness, or sometimes outbursts.  These outbursts are not the child “acting out”, but merely a way for the child to express their emotions & feelings.  For the parent of an autistic child out in public, if your child begins to behave strangely, or some may even tell their parents, it is best to remove the child from that environment as quickly as you can.  Unfortunately, no matter how many times you take a child who has a sensitivity to light into that environment, they never completely “get used to it”.  Another common sensitivity is temperatures; they either get really cold easily, really warm easily, or some even aren’t sure when they are either.  Some children, for example, who insist on the layers during the day won’t recognize the fact that their bodies are getting sweaty & warm.  At the same time, there are many children who will wear as little clothing as possible.  This can be a great battle for the parents because there may be times that your little one running around in his underwear may not be the best; especially if you have company.  One of the more common issues for autistic children are sounds, especially for those considered “non-verbal” (those who can’t verbally communicate).  There are children who can hear the slightest sounds & it will frighten them. There are also children where specific sounds will startle them; vacuums, horns, doors closing, a loud bang, traffic, water running, and even thunderstorms.  For children like these, a good idea is to use ear plugs or headphones.  Playing soft music or “white noise”, especially at night, can help to drown out any noises that may cause issues for the child.

If you have a child that is sensitive or has issues with ear plugs, use headphones that sit lightly enough on their heads to not cause a problem, but cover the ears enough to where the sounds around them won’t be heard.

Something else that is very common for children with autism is issues with bedwetting.  Again, this is not something that the child is doing on purpose, nor is there something necessarily medically wrong with your child.  A lot of it has to do again with sensory & how the brain processes things.  Many children do fine with bladder control throughout the day, but when they go to sleep at night, they can’t control it anymore.  This can be a very frustrating time for the parents.  It’s a good idea to at least have your child seen by their Pediatrician to be sure there isn’t any medical reason for this; kidney or bladder infections, and so on.  If there is no medical problem or reason, then try to understand that it’s just part of your child.  Most children grow out of it eventually, but as with anything else, each child is different.  Make sure you don’t scold your child, or make your child feel guilty for his accidents.  Don’t make your child “clean up his mess” thinking that is going to cause the child to stop having accidents.  As with many parts to raising any child, especially an autistic child, patience & compassion are crucial.  Let your child know that you love them, and that they’re not in trouble for what happened.  The more you can build confidence in your child, the better.  A frequent suggestion in this situation is to make sure your child is drinking plenty of water (not juice, soda, or milk) throughout the day.  If you can, start to diminish the liquid intake more towards the evening & nighttime.  Also, be sure your child uses the bathroom before lying down to go to sleep at night. And if you get up in the middle of the night, have your child get up to use the bathroom as well.

Communication has always been one of the basic guidelines & symptoms to diagnosing a child with autism, although now they have found that there are children (and adults) who are highly intelligent, can communicate, and can function like most people.  These are the ones who are considered “high functioning”, or Asperger’s.  For the rest of the autistic diagnoses, a child who isn’t able to verbally communicate brings about many challenges for parents, teachers, and counselors.  Most of all, it’s quite a challenge for the child because they’re not able to communicate their wants, needs, feelings, fears, etc.  There have many studies related to non-verbal autistic children, and there have been many therapy-related programs to help these children find a way to express what they’re trying to say.  Some are taught a type of hand signals or sign language, some use picture boards, etc.  It can be very frustrating & disheartening for a parent with an autistic child who can’t speak.  You want to help your child, be there for your child, provide your child’s needs… but you just aren’t sure sometimes what they are.  The most important thing you can’t do as a parent is blame yourself, the other parent, OR your child.  Just  because your child may not be able to verbally communicate doesn’t make them any less special, unique, and deserving of all the love & attention possible.

Anyone who grew up in the 80’s remembers the movie, “Rain Man” with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.  It was a movie loosely based on an autistic man (considered idiot savant back then), with a twist & humor mixed in.  Many of you probably remember different instances in that movie where the character “Raymond” would go off in a tangent & start banging his head, swaying back & forth, or even banging on doors & screaming.  Some of Raymond’s behaviors in the movie were considered funny by many, and to an extent, they were meant to be.  Yet that didn’t take away from the truths & reality that were in that movie.  For example, there was a part in the movie where Raymond’s brother, Charlie, was in his room at the hospital.  Charlie was walking around Raymond’s room, going through his things, moving them around, looking through them.  That made Raymond very uncomfortable.  In this instance, Raymond didn’t physically act out, but you could tell that he was beginning to panic, as he began to call for the worker that was supervising.  One of the most intense scenes was towards the end when Charlie brought Raymond to his home in California.  Charlie was in bed sleeping, and Raymond got up & headed for the kitchen intending on making something to eat.  After a few minutes, the smoke detector went off; Raymond severely panicked as Charlie jumped out of bed & come running to the kitchen to see what was going on.  When Charlie arrived, he found Raymond beating his head against the door trying to get out.  Then Charlie went over to let Raymond know it was okay but attempting to put his arm around him; that wasn’t a good idea.

As intense of a scene as that was, it gave a great example of how autistic people react to various triggers, fears, and situations.  A response such as this is often called a “meltdown” or “outburst”.  To most people, these reactions or responses seem funny, strange, unnecessary, and even uncalled for; many people who don’t understand usually judge, criticize & even stare at a child going through this.  Many parents get told things like, “you need to discipline your child more/better”, or “you need to control your child”.  Judgment statements like these do nothing to help the situation, the parent, or the child. There are a variety of things that can be done to assist an autistic child/person in a situation like this.  One thing you shouldn’t do is automatically run up to or towards the autistic child having a meltdown.  If the response is due to fear, having someone running towards them will only heighten the fear, and in turn worsen the outburst.  You want to find out what may be causing the reaction; a sound, something they feel, etc.  Remove whatever is causing the response from the area first, then attempt in a calming & comforting way to reassure the child.  If the child has an item or sound that comforts them, bringing that to them might help calm the child.  Just remember that screaming, scolding, and physical discipline do nothing but make matters worse.  Many of us parents grew up in an era when grabbing, grounding, spanking, and even ‘beating’ was a common way our parents disciplined us; so naturally it is our “go to” method for our children.  These forms of discipline can’t be used on an autistic child in anyway.  One of the biggest reasons goes back to how their brains process things; cause & effect isn’t something that makes sense to an autistic child.  Most kids are raised to know that, “you do the crime, you get punished”.  Autistic children, in this manner, aren’t able to put 2+2 together to understand why they’re receiving the punishment.  That is not saying that you can’t discipline your child, but it takes special care & ways of going about it.  To them, physical discipline is just an attack, and could send them into a meltdown, or cause even more fear of those inflicting the discipline-their parents.

As mentioned before, many autistic children have strange behaviors, habits, or things that they do that only make sense to them.  Some of the behaviors could even resemble those of a person suffering with OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.  For example, some children may have certain items in their room set up a certain way.  A child could have a row of Hot Wheels cars lined up on their dresser; maybe they believe those cars are there to protect him. To the parent, it is a mess or unnecessary item out & should get put away.  To the child, it may be done for security.  Or a child may have their stuffed animals surrounding them in bed when they sleep.  The parent looks at the situation & thinks that it’s too much & the child needs to narrow the number of toys in the bed.  To the child, it helps them feel safe.  There are children who will go around the house in nothing but their underwear & a heavy winter coat.  Again, to a parent this seems totally uncalled for, weird, and even embarrassing. To the child, it’s not only perfectly normal, but it’s necessary for the child to feel safe.  Many of the behaviors, rituals, and habits of an autistic child are usually done for security.  It’s not necessarily that the parents are doing anything to make the child not feel safe; again, it’s just how the autistic child perceives things.  If the behavior or habit isn’t putting anyone in harm’s way, isn’t causing major problems, then it’s best to just leave it alone.

Autistic children have a very unique, creative, and interesting way of viewing the world around them.  They should be treated with the same love, respect, and support as any child; although how you give this love & attention may have to be done a little differently depending on the child. For example, you may have a child who doesn’t like to be held or hugged.  This isn’t easy for a parent to deal with, but there may be other ways to show your love to your child.  In no way do material things replace the love of a parent, but if you have a child who doesn’t like to be touched, maybe cooking their favorite meal or playing their favorite game might do the trick.  If you have a child who likes layers on them when they go to bed at night, be sure that you have plenty of blankets.  It’s also a good idea to have a couple backup comforters & blankets.  That way, no matter when “laundry day” is, your child always has enough to make them feel safe & secure.  If your child insists on certain toys sitting out in their rooms, try to negotiate with them without making them feel threatened.  For parents & families with an autistic child, life doesn’t have to be a stressful nightmare.  And no matter what specialists, therapists, or doctors your child may be seeing, NO ONE knows your child better than you… you are their greatest ally and advocate.

Let’s review some cool, fun and interesting facts about autism

Traveling with an Autistic Child

Children with autism have many gifts, abilities, and unique traits that set them apart from other children.  They also have many struggles & behaviors that can make life very challenging for their parents & caregivers.  For example, many children with autism are sensitive to change, to noises, to quick movements, etc.  For parents who want to travel with their autistic children, this usually creates quite a battle; as the autistic children are faced with all kinds of triggers & stressful situations.  Many families end up deciding not to go on anymore vacations with their children. The good news is there are ways you can make the event a little less stressful, a little less of a surprise, and seem a little less sudden for the child with autism.  Knowing the necessary steps to take in planning & going through with a vacation can make a huge difference-for any family!  This can turn what could’ve been a stressful, hectic time of travel into something fun, exciting, and a time the whole family can enjoy.

In order for any vacation to go smoothly, preparation has to be an important key.  Planning & preparation for a vacation make a huge difference, no matter if you have an autistic child or not.  But for families with autistic children the preparation is even more important.  Say you’re planning to take a plane on your vacation.  If you happen to live close to the airport you’re going to be taking, start exposing your child to the environment early; the sounds, the smells, the commotion of the airport.  If you’re going to be visiting amusement parks on your vacation, be aware of how certain rides, movements, and other factors that may trigger or upset your child.  If the noises may bother your child, you could have them wear sound-deadening headphone to help drown out audio sounds.  Also keep in mind if your child has sensitivities to food; be sure to pack some snacks so that your child won’t go hungry while enjoying the day.

Maybe you’re planning a vacation to the beach, which is a great spot for just about anyone.  But if you have a child with sensitivities to sound, or to how things feel, it may not be the best idea.  You could fill a bucket of sand for them to put their feet in, or you could get a CD with ocean wave sounds for them to listen to.  The thing to remember is you’re going to want to do this repeatedly for more than just the day before you leave, as that won’t be enough time for your child to become familiar with the sound, sensation or feel.

Another great idea used by many families with autistic children is to expose them to the great outdoors.  Take them camping, hiking, fishing, etc.  Parents off worry prior to their first camping trip how their child is going to handle all that space, all that freedom, and even all those new things to get into; poison ivy, thick forests, etc.  But many families have found that once they take their family camping, they realize they actually have more fun than they originally anticipated.  The parents are able to have fun with the child, on their level.  They can go exploring together in the woods, they can enjoy the unique sounds & sights in nature you don’t normally get to hear in a busy city.  It’s always a good idea to bring along earplugs or headphones; especially in case you’re camping in a campground where you have neighbors close by.  Your neighbors might not be the quietest when your child is trying to go to sleep.  Or the environmental sounds your child hears late at night might frighten them.

Whatever you decide to do for a family vacation, there are things you can do ahead of time to prepare your special child so that it won’t cause as much stress & strain on them, or you.  It will increase the likelihood the whole family will enjoy the time together, the time away from the usual, and most importantly, less worries equals more relaxation for everyone.  It may take a little extra preparation, or some added pieces to the equation, but it is possible for a family with autistic children to not only go on vacations, but to thoroughly enjoy them together, and look forward to them.

More Related Topics,
1). Respite Care Information for Children with Autism
2). Fun activities for autistic children
3). 20 Best social games for children with autism, aspergers, ADHD
4). Reinforcers for kids with autism

Using Reinforcers for Kids With Autism

The rates of autism are continuing to rise and the number of therapy options is also rising. This is due to the many different types of research that is in the progress or that has been completed. Reinforcers for kids with autism help to reduce many of the symptoms and behaviors of autism. Vibrating and auditory reinforcers, as well as visual stimulation, can all work hand in hand in giving an autistic child the information that they need to make connections that many other children are able to make with a simple “Good going.”

While typical children respond to social feedback such as “Great job” or “Way to go” to reinforce behavior, autistic children are not as likely to respond to social feedback in the same way. Autism stimulation toys work in much the same way for autistic children as social feedback does for typical children in helping to reinforce behavior and connections, such as being able to focus in academic settings.

One of the reinforcers for kids with autism is toys. Vibrating toys for kids serve as a reinforcer for many children. Cause and effect can create brain pathways in autistic children between the left and right side of the brain. That is why a vibrating toy that they have to maneuver or work to get to vibrate can be a great reinforcer. They learn that in order to get it to vibrate they have to do a certain action.

Doing this over and over may seem like it is doing no good to most adults that are looking on, but it is, in fact, working the same way as social feedback does to other children who learn in more normal ways. This, in conjunction with visual stimulation, can help autistic children to find the boundaries that they need to succeed.

Autistic children, adolescents, and adults need to learn how to deal with different stimuli without becoming overstimulated. That is why many therapists and professionals used visual stimulation for autism. They gradually introduce visual stimulation, such as repetitive scenery, to reinforce different behaviors that they are working on.

Visual stimulation for autism can be found in many different forms. Twinkling lights, blowing bubbles, a snowglobe, laser pointer, looking in a mirror, or a lava lamp are just a few of the things that can be considered visual stimulation. Using these at the end of a learning session can reinforce learning and focus.

There are many different toys that are marketed to autistic children and their families. It is important to note, however, that unsupervised or unrecommended stimulation or reinforcement can be more harmful than good. That is why you want to be sure that you consult a therapist or professional before you begin using something to reinforce behavior or use visual stimulation. If it is not used in the correct way, it may reinforce behaviors in a negative way.

An autistic child needs the guidance that reinforcers can give them to learn the proper behavior and more efficient learning. However, if the same reinforcer is used a lot, then the effect will, of course, wear off. That is why you want to be sure to use it in the healthy and proper way, and when you begin to see that it is not working as well, find another reinforcer to use.

Autistic children need reinforcement to aid them in learning the behaviors that you want to encourage. That is why many people turn to toys, such as vibrating toys, or visual stimulation to aid them in learning and in exhibiting positive behaviors. Check with your therapist or other medical professional to see what they recommend.

Please read these related topics as well,
1). Best Software Programs, IPad Apps For Children With Autism
2). 20 Best Social Games for Children With Autism, Aspergers, ADHD
3). Establishing Joint Attention with your Autistic Child
4). Activities For Children With Autism
5). Teaching and Working With Kids With Autism