Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sorting Laundry

This is something that I hit upon this week when trying to help my two sons with ASD figure out how to tell which pair of pants are theirs and how to sort out their laundry.  My youngest son kept wearing his older brother's pair of pants and couldn't figure out how to tell whose clothes were whose.  I recently had bought a new pair of multi-colored sharpies and an idea came to me to color code their pants for them.  So for my youngest, I drew a thick line down the middle of the tag in green and did the same in red for my other son.  If there wasn't a tag (which sometimes get cut out because they don't like the feeling of tags) I just drew a line down the back part of the pants close to where a tag usually is.  Because they are permanent sharpies, the color doesn't wash out.  Now, when they help sort their laundry all they have to do is check to see what color is on the pants and they know whose pants are whose.  Now only one question remains.  Why didn't I think of this sooner??

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Giving Choices 

"How can I get my student to work?"  One way to do this is by giving choices.  You can ask the child if he wants to "do his math page first or his handwriting."  I have also given choices such as using a pencil or using a marker.  It is interesting how many times giving a choice seems to work.  It allows the child to still be in charge, make a choice, and distracts him from the idea that he doesn't want to work.

Giving choices has also been very helpful at home when trying to get my kids to eat something.  I would ask, "Do you want to eat 4 bites or 3 bites?"  They would say 3 bites and feel like they won the negotiation war.  When they would try to beg for more cookies or other treats, I would simply say, "do you want one cookie or two?"  It also helped in getting my children dressed as I gave them two choices of what shirt or pants to wear.  Once they made their choice of what to wear, then they would get dressed. 

I hope this little trick helps, even if it doesn't work all the time!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Today I am going to share a freebie, a "Going Potty" social story.  This story goes over the steps of going to bathroom.  This story is also helpful for going over when to pull down pants and underwear.  Go over the story multiple times per day while you are training your child.  You can also download the story with pictures (just look at the bottom of the page of the story). 


Monday, September 2, 2013

Teaching Eye Contact

Teaching Eye Contact
"My child is able to talk and has some social skills, but he won't make eye contact.  How do you teach them this?'  
There are two different things you can to do work on this.  The first one is to play with your child and move objects towards your face to draw your child's attention there then try to get your child to talk to you.  Some examples would be asking, "what do you want?" or "what color is this?"  Over time your child will hopefully begin to look naturally towards your face to request something.  
Another way is to teach your child about "thinking eyes."  Michelle G. Winner uses this term when teaching social thinking (  Explain to your child that where people look gives others an idea of what they may be thinking about.  Play a game where your child has to guess what you are thinking about by looking where your eyes are looking.  You can also pause movies (Toy Story for example) and ask your child to tell you what the character is thinking about.  Because you are giving a reason for making eye contact, your child is more likely to understand the importance of looking and be more willing to give eye contact.  Once you have taught your child about thinking eyes, say, "show me your thinking eyes."  Avoid the "look at me" as this phrase does not seem as effective.  
Once your child understands thinking eyes, then you can help your child understand that he or she needs to have thinking eyes before talking.  Otherwise the child won't know if the person is thinking about what the child is saying.  This was a big help at the dinner table for my family because my son would get mad that someone didn't pass him something such  as the potatoes.  I was then able to explain that he didn't have anyone's thinking eyes so nobody was thinking about what he was saying.  So he learned to say someone's name first to get their thinking eyes before asking for the food to be passed to him.