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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Just read an interesting article in Medical Xpress.  Lyall Constantino headed up a team of researchers looking at the social skills of the parents of autistic children.  Using the SRS (Social Responsiveness Scale) which identifies the presence and severity of social impairment, the study indicates children with autism are more likely to have one or both parents with elevated SRS scores.  It also shows that folks with elevated SRS scores are more likely to marry and have children with autism.

The article and the study information below:

More information: Lyall K, Constantino JN, Weisskopf MG, Roberts AL, Ascherio A, Santangelo SL, “Parental social responsiveness and risk of autism spectrum disorder in offspring.” JAMA Psychiatry, published online June 18, 2014. DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.476
Journal reference: JAMA Psychiatry search and more info website
Provided by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Posted in ADHD, Aspergers | Leave a comment

Parents often ask to observe their kids in group.  Confidentiality precludes us from allowing this, but here are a couple of social skills activities that our kids love and you can play them at home to help beef up their skills:

Dance Party: Play music and when the music stops, everybody freezes.  After the first round, make it harder, asking them when they freeze to pose in a certain way or say a funny word.  Debrief about how easy or hard it was to stop when you are having fun. This activity targets:  listening skills, attending, following directions, personal space.

Feeling Masks or Puppets: Discuss all different kinds of feelings.  Allow your child to choose a feeling and make a mask or puppet representing that feeling. They can use all different kinds of materials like feathers, glitter, and pompoms. Then, ask them to act out their feelings using their masks or puppets.  This activity targets:  identifying feelings, expressing feelings appropriately, connecting with peers, empathy building.

Feeling Painting: Give your child three different color paints: red, blue, and yellow.  Discuss feelings inside like being happy, sad and mad.  Tell your child when you say a feeling, they have to use the color paint associated with the feeling and paint a picture about that feeling.  They only get one piece of paper so they will have all the colors represented.  Discuss how we can have more than one feeling at a time and sometimes our feelings get mixed up like being sad and mad at the same time.  This activity targets: feelings.

The Conversation Game: Set a family goal for total points earned and an appropriate reward. Play the game and change the goal (each game) as many times as you wish. One point/coin is received when a family member waits for a pause and follows with an on-topic statement.  Two points are received when a family member asks a question that relates to the topic.  No points are given for off-topic responses.  This activity targets:  conversation and communication skills

Games and exercises played at home are a great way to practice new skills with your child.

Give one of these a try and let me know how it goes.

Posted in Behavior Management, Communication, Parenting, Social Skill Development | Leave a comment