Making (and keeping) friends: A model for social skills instruction

by Dr. Scott Bellini – Autism Support Network

Social Skill Deficits in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Indeed, many parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) echo this sentiment concerning their child’s social functioning. They know that their child has many wonderful qualities to offer others, but the nature of their disability, or more precisely, their poor social skills, often preclude them from establishing meaningful social relationships. This frustration is amplified when parents know that their children want desperately to have friends, but fail miserably when trying to make friends. Often, their failure is a direct result of ineffectual programs and inadequate resources typically made available for social skills instruction. For most children, basic social skills (e.g., turn taking, initiating conversation) are acquired quickly and easily. For children with ASD, the process is much more difficult. Whereas, many children learn these basic skills simply by exposure to social situations, children with ASD often need to be taught skills explicitly, and as early as possible. The present article addresses social skill deficits in young children with ASD by providing a systematic five-step model for social skills instruction, with particular emphasis placed on an emerging intervention strategy, video self-modeling (VSM). Continue reading

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Secrets Of Spiritual Happiness

By Sharon Janis

The first step in finding happiness is to understand that happiness always comes from inside yourself.   Even if your experience of happiness appears to be coming from an outer source or experience, the actual happiness is coming from within you.

Happiness arises from within us, and dances with whatever appears to be bringing those apparently outer enjoyments.   This inner-outer happiness dance may create the illusion that your happiness is actually coming from the outer enjoyments, however it is not.

This becomes clear when we discover that certain situations that had once brought great happiness no longer create the same effect.   Time and time again, each of us is given opportunities to learn and remember that it is not outer things that bring happiness, but the interactions of our inner thoughts and feelings with those things.   Our inner thoughts and feelings are the basis of both our happiness and our unhappiness.

Because happiness comes from within, even when things don’t appear to be going perfectly well outwardly, it is still possible to experience sincere happiness. It is our inner feeling that creates happiness, along with how we interpret the events of life.

Saya kutip dari penulis Spirituality for Dummies, karena rasanya kok ‘guwe banget gitu loh…’ 🙂

25 Manners Every Kid Should Know By Age 9

by Parents.Com

Helping your child master these simple rules of etiquette will get him noticed — for all the right reasons.
(David Lowry, Ph.D.
)

Your child’s rude ‘tude isn’t always intentional. Sometimes kids just don’t realize it’s impolite to interrupt, pick their nose, or loudly observe that the lady walking in front of them has a large behind. And in the hustle and bustle of daily life, busy moms and dads don’t always have the time to focus on etiquette. But if you reinforce these 25 must-do manners, you’ll raise a polite, kind, well-liked child.-

Manner #1

When asking for something, say “Please.”

Manner #2

When receiving something, say “Thank you.” Continue reading

7 Untraditional Extracurricular Activities for Kids

By The Circle Of Moms

While common children’s activities like team sports, dance classes and music lessons hold widespread appeal, they’re not enjoyable for every child. If you’re struggling to find activities that truly engage your child, consider these 7 recommendations from Circle of Moms members.

1. Art and Acting Classes

Is your child especially creative? As Morgan V. shares, “A lot of places offer acting lessons or art classes.” Community centers, art studios and theater companies often offer children’s programs, from ceramics or watercolors to theater workshops. And as Bethanie L. shares, art classes aren’t necessarily expensive: “We have a local art studio that has cheap art classes…Only $5 each time we go and he can paint and make a mess (that I don’t have to clean up!) for two hours straight.”

2. Volunteering with Animals

Whether your child is a regular Dr. Doolittle or simply loves puppies, encouraging an interest in animals can lead to a rewarding extracurricular experience. As Joanne M. shared: “My son has a love for birds, so at age 8 he helps at a bird of prey sanctuary.” Another possibility is volunteering at a local animal shelter, says Dawn M.: “If they love animals, volunteer together at the ASPCA.” Continue reading

Your Child is Diagnosed With Autism… Now What?

By Barbara Mannino

May 3, 2911

“Your child has autism.” Experts say that far too many parents are hearing those words today.

According to a 2009 The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, 1 in 110 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comprising Asperger’s, autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD – NOS).

An estimated 1.5 million children have been diagnosed in the U.S. alone, and millions more are affected worldwide. The prevalence of the condition has increased 600% over the last two decades, according to Autism Speaks; 20 years ago, only 1 in 2,000 children was diagnosed with ASD.

Experts say it is common for parents to grieve when they learn their child has been diagnosed with autism. Anger, frustration and worry manifest as parents grapple with the fear that the success and independence they had expected for their child may actually not occur, says Lee Grossman, president and CEO of the Autism Society. Grossman’s son Vance, now 22, has autism.

“I was in total denial and mad as hell,” says Grossman. Continue reading