visual schedules

definition of visual schedules: Personalized tool used to visually communicate a series of activities or the steps of a specific activity. Visual schedules may be created with photographs, pictures, written words, or physical objects.

New App Created by Brother of Youngster with Autism

Teaser: 

AutisMate is a communications app created by a Jonathan Izak in response to his brother’s problems with speech.

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AutisMate is a communications app created by a Jonathan Izak in response to his brother’s trouble with speech. His company, SpecialNeedsWare, is focused on improving communication potential for people on the spectrum. AutisMate contains visual stories and a visual scheduler, along with other functions, such as GPS and a content library – the app can be personalized for each child and his environment. Izak explained about his brother, “He is still struggling with speech but he does communicate using the app and also he uses it to be more independent. We really learned about his desire to connect with others and how he really wanted to be involved in what was around him….”

Dad Develops iPad App to Help His Son and Others with Autism

Teaser: 

New Zealand dad and computer developer Wayne Lewis created an app for the iPad to help his non-verbal son with autism.

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New Zealand dad and computer developer Wayne Lewis created an app for the iPad to help his non-verbal son with autism. Communicate Easy, available at the Apple App store, uses visuals to teach skills. The app acts as a visual schedule to show the child what tasks to do next, such as getting dressed or going to the bathroom. Lewis explained, “Ciaran points to the pictures on the screen and we know what he needs, so it works both ways and cuts down on his frustration.” Lewis hopes the app will find a global audience. If you’re from New Zealand and you purchase the app, 100% of the proceeds go to Autism New Zealand.

A Library in Wisconsin Becomes Autism-Friendly

Teaser: 

Georgia Jones, a librarian at Friday Memorial Library, went to a workshop to train librarians how to make their libraries autism-friendly.

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Georgia Jones, the youth librarian at Friday Memorial Library, went to a workshop designed to train librarians about autism and how to make their libraries autism-friendly. Jones began a Sensory Storytime and she focuses on “consistency, slower speaking and transition time.” The library also provides fidgets (sensory hand toys) and weighted blankets so the children will feel more comfortable. As well as the training Jones received, the library has purchased books and DVDs related to autism. They also have in place Boardmaker software for families to create PECS, flashcards, and visual schedules. The library hopes to expand into working with teens and adults with autism.

Where Do You Learn Parenting Skills when Your Child has Autism?

Teaser: 

Jodi Goldberg is an educator and the mom of a child with autism.

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Jodi Goldberg is an educator and the mom of a child with autism. She saw a gap between diagnosis of autism and deciding what therapies to use, so she started Autism Family Life Coach. Goldberg, based in Florida, either meets or Skypes with families to find out exactly what their needs are. She may provide visual aids to help in learning, create social skills materials, provide behavioral ideas, and educate parents on autism. She offers a weekly online radio show - Blooming with Autism.

Be Like Buddy is an Online Series Offering Education Tools for Kids with Autism

Teaser: 

Dan Kalinowski, dad to a child with autism, has developed an online education series called Be Like Buddy.

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Dan Kalinowski, dad to a child with autism, has developed an online education series called Be Like Buddy. Buddy is a puppet with autism who is supported by adults using applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy. Kalinowski hopes the series will make therapy and education fun for kids. In addition to the videos, parents and teachers can download visual schedules and social stories. Kalinowski explained, “We also hope the fact that Buddy has autism makes him familiar and shows that using visual schedules and reward systems is a perfectly acceptable part of life that deserve screen time, too.”

Workshop Provides Coping Skills for Children with Special Needs

Teaser: 

Loresa Stansell, a counselor, provided a workshop in TN titled, No More Chasing Normal, to families, and teachers of kids with autism.

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Loresa Stansell, a counselor, provided a workshop in Tennessee entitled, No More Chasing Normal, to families, caregivers, and teachers of kids with autism. She offered suggestions, including visual schedules even for verbal children, to help with behavior and communication. Another idea she suggested was a “rehearsal manual” that parents can use to set longer term goals for their children, for example, learning to wash laundry, or cook. Stansell also uses her own A-typical Episodic Grief Model; rather than ending with acceptance, it ends with adaptation, because children with special needs are always growing and changing.

Oregon Library Provides Sensory Storytime for Kids with Autism

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Multnomah County Library has started a Sensory Storytime at several of its branches for kids on the autism spectrum.

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Multnomah County Library has started a Sensory Storytime at several of its branches for kids on the autism spectrum. Librarian Peter Ford says he tries to channel a calm "Mr. Rogers" when he does storytime with the children. He reads more slowly, points at the illustrations, and asks questions. The county has been using this form of storytime for about six years when two librarians realized there were kids on the spectrum not being served by library activities. They coordinated with Therapy Solutions for Kids to create a sensory rich experience incorporating speech and occupational therapy methods. The story sessions are completed using Boardmaker, which is a form of a visual schedule so that children know what's coming next in the session. For example, icons let the children know when it is time to start, play a game based on the story, and say goodbye.

Support for Parents of Children with Autism

Teaser: 

The local branch of Wales’ National Autistic Society is co-sponsoring a support conference to help parents with coping skills.

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The local branch of Wales’ National Autistic Society is co-sponsoring a parent support conference to help parents with coping skills. Topics at the conference include parenting strategies and school issues. There are also practical suggestions for parents that include visual schedules, communication skills, and overcoming sensory issues. Parents are encouraged to join their local autism chapter in order to receive education and support, but also to act as advocates for their children.

Cooperatives Provide Assistance to Rural Families with Autism

Teaser: 

We have written about the difficulties that some rural families with autism have in finding nearby therapies and special education resources.

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We have written about the difficulties that some rural families with autism have in finding nearby therapies and special education resources. In an Oklahoma community, two cooperatives have formed to provide services to a number of schools for less than the cost the schools could provide services themselves. Services provided by the Cherokee County Cooperative and the Cherokee County Interlocal Cooperative include: special education teacher salaries, speech and language therapy, visual therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and a host of other opportunities for kids with special needs.

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