Monthly Archives: May 2017
Imitation means copying the action of others. Normally a child learns to imitate in his infancy. Imitation is the first and foremost tool for learning. Kids pay attention to their caregiver and imitate her actions, movements and behavior. Young children imitate adults without being taught to them. It comes natural to them. However, children with autism have great difficulty with imitation. They need to be taught imitation for their learning achievements as well as for developing social abilities. Imitation can be either object imitation or gestures and body movement imitation or sound imitations. Object imitation is the easiest one for the children with autism so it should be taught first. Some of the activities are nesting and towering of blocks, stacking rings, pushing cars, blowing whistle, playing piano etc. A child should be taught in isolation and if the child performs it successfully, then one or more distractor items can be included in the activity. Also, objects used in the imitation activities can be used in more than one way in order to build attention. For example, sometimes you should build a bridge using blocks, instead of using them to build towers.
Child sexual abuse is increasing everyday. While there is a risk to all children, those who are between ages 4 and 8 years are more vulnerable to sexual abuse. In most of the cases, victims do not disclose it or report it to anyone. Most probably the reason behind is that they are too young to understand the difference between right and wrong touch. So, it is the responsibility of parents and teachers to talk about such sensitive issue to them openly. Parents should inform their child about the danger and make them aware about good touch and bad touch. Children must understand that good touch is touch that makes them feel warm and safe whereas bad touch hurts their body or make them uncomfortable. Children should be told that if someone touches their private parts without a reason, they must say ‘NO’, get away from that place and immediately inform trustworthy persons like parents or teachers. Better and open parent-child communication will help the child to handle the unpleasant events in life in a healthier way .
Communication is very much essential for everyone. It is indeed a basic human need. But for children with ASD, communicating is really a challenging and difficult task. Most of them have limited speaking skills for which they cannot express their feelings, thoughts and needs. As a result, they often get frustrated and act in socially inappropriate ways. These children need to be taught non-verbal skills for communication purpose. Care givers and teachers should encourage children with ASD to use nonverbal cues and signals to interact with others. There are many different types of nonverbal communication: facial expression, eye contact, physically manipulating a person or object – for example, taking a person’s hand and pushing it towards something the child wants, pointing and showing the things he wants, etc. Once they learn to interact and we start paying attention to their signals from them, communication will be improved.
Transition occurs when there is any change in activities or routines or settings. Transition is a very normal thing in our everyday life. But children with autism feel uncomfortable with any type of transitions. It has been observed that they respond very well to any familiar routines or activities but any type of transition causes anxiety and challenging behavior in them. Transition means uncertainty and unpredictability of the new situation and this is the main reason of their nervousness. So, transition should be well planned for these children. Most of the children with ASD have strong visual skills so visual prompts and supports will be helpful for them. Visual timers, visual schedules, first/then schedules are some of the tools that can be used for successful transitions for children with ASD. Visual supports can create clear instructions, reduces unpredictability and hence decreases confusion and anxiety in them.
Motherhood is not only a beautiful and rewarding journey but also a tough one. Mother is the one who shapes an individual with care and love. Mother is the one who makes all sacrifices to bring happiness into a child’s life. She is the one who always stands besides her child like a shadow. There is no great warrior than a mother protecting her child. She is the one who teaches the child how to live life and make wise decision even in the toughest situation. Every mother deserves our thanks and appreciation.
But on this mother’s day, I especially want to appreciate all mothers who has special need children. For them, every day is a battle. Whether it is to assist their child in performing daily chores or help in learning new skill, she comes across lot of challenges and difficulties day in and day out. But their never give up attitude helps her to win all these battles. When the whole world including the child’s father lose faith on the child’s ability then her determination, patience and splendid perseverance takes the child to next level of learning. She ignores the words of others and focus on the betterment of her child’s future. Everyday they see other children doing more. But their understanding nature makes no big expectations from the child. They are more than happy if their child learn the word “ Maa” or if their child learns to wave goodbye or if the child learns to eat with spoon or if a child starts identify “ A” after a long wait or if their child starts expressing their basic needs or perform any other age appropriate activity. Most of the moms with a special need child engage in constant battle with school, neighbourhood, insurance company etc which is really exhausting and tiring but still they don’t lose hope and work hard to make sure that their children get what they deserve.
Let’s all take a moment to admire these mothers. Our small initiative can make the world a better place. I agree, it is difficult to understand what it is like to walk in their shoes but still our positive and caring behaviour towards these children can bring some relief to all these stressed out moms and bring happiness to the little ones. You don’t have to be a birth mother to show your unconditional love for them. Yes, a mother’s love comes can come in any way, shape or form and it is beautifully shown in the latest NIVEA ad which is a tribute to everyone who is #just like MAA.