I’ll never forget the date, August 31 2011, when our only daughter Sophie had her first seizure due to high fever (40 degrees Celsius). Thereafter, she experienced another seizure the following day. That was the start of our special journey with Sophie.
Sophie was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was 2 years old. Right after her seizure episodes, we met a number of neuro paediatrician doctors, followed by a neurodevelopmental paediatrician to accurately assess Sophie’s condition.
The doctors initially diagnosed Sophie with attention delay. She underwent a lot of clinical tests to assess her brain condition such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and etc. She also went to an occupational therapist (OT) as the initial program was recommended by her doctor. Thereafter, when she reached 3 years old, Sophie’s neurodevelopmental paediatrician gave the official assessment that Sophie has autism spectrum disorder and she needed to...
The story of the Humble Marble
One bright sunny day, as I sat in my therapy room waiting for my three-year-old client, the wide array of toys all around me caught my attention. They were all branded, shiny, bold, and bright coloured toys.
The child who would come to me for Autism intervention had language limitations. “I am sure he would have fun playing around here. These toys are way too good. They will surely engage him. Sure they will also alleviate parental concerns and give me an opportunity to help in his treatment” I thought.
Hiding behind the mother, the kid walked through the door. The cat-eyed cute little boy saw me from the corner of his eye for a fleeting second and quickly looked away. As I greeted and welcomed him, he continued to shy away from me.
After a while, his mother and I sat down to talk. Back of my mind, I was sure the little champ would head straight to play with the toys I had laid out.
Not really! A tiny green pebble kept in a vase on my...
The content of this article is derived from a video by Global Autism Solutions, particularly by Gerd Winkler, the director of the establishment, who has had an extensive amount of experience with families of children on the Autism Spectrum. You may find the video, titled “Understanding and responding to self-stimulating repetitive behaviour”, here.
In this video, a parent shared with the audience an observation she made of her son, where he tended to repeat a series of behaviours such as bargaining, getting angry, and crying before he adheres to perform a particular same task every day. Gerd addressed this observation by explaining the concept of self-stimulating repetitive behaviours and why children do them and extended his sharing by inspiring parents on how they can appropriately respond to such behaviours. The key essence of Gerd’s sharing focused on building trust in the child, and how this process is multi-staged and cannot be rushed or forced.
The content of this article is derived from a video by Global Autism Solutions, particularly by Gerd Winkler, the director of the establishment, who has had an extensive amount of experience with families of children on the Autism Spectrum. You may find the video, titled “When Parents Change, So Do Their Children”, here.
In this video, parents voiced out their concerns about not being able to change certain “undesirable” behaviours of their children despite many attempts to correct them. Their conversations with Gerd presented important issues that reflected the impact parents have on their children’s learning and challenged them to be aware of their beliefs, assumptions, and judgements they have on their children, which may sometimes be unhelpful. Respecting children’s interest, and refraining from imposing expectations on them are two learning points that can be made from the video.
I am from Balikpapan, Indonesia and I am a mother of two children. My first child is a girl and my second child is a boy. We realized there was something wrong with my second child when he was two years old. He liked spinning the wheel of a toy car for hours instead of playing with it. He also liked walking in circles and only stopped when you held him. He never responded when we called his name. We did not think his actions and responses were unusual. We thought if we waited, these actions and responses would change as he grew older. We were wrong. After 6 months, he remained the same. So, we decided to bring him to a pediatrician and after examining him, he diagnosed my son as having autism. He was two and a half years old.
Autism never crossed our mind. We thought he only needed more stimuli to improve. I remembered crying the whole night after hearing the diagnosis. We felt depressed and helpless because we did not know what to do for our boy.
The following morning, we...
Reading is a skill and we are all aware reading fluency is critical. Learning to read can be a daunting task for learners with autism spectrum. However, by applying the correct coaching techniques and understanding the learner’s interest and learning capability, coaching a learner with autism spectrum to read can be much easier.
Learners with autism spectrum disorder are vulnerable to distractions. They have the tendency to get distracted by sounds and brightness and may not be capable to filter out irrelevant details such as noises and visual information. They may get distracted from the sounds or noises coming from fans or even the air conditioners.
It is recommended to provide a quiet room for the learner. Ensure outside noise are kept to a minimum. And do not sit the learner facing bright sunlight or near to a flickering fluorescent lighting. Instead, try opting for natural light or reading lamp for the reading session, as this can...
COVID-19 has not only introduced a global pandemic, but has also significantly changed the way we operate in our daily lives. Due to spatial distancing measures imposed because of the pandemic, the closure of both mainstream and special needs schools were necessary to curb the spread of the virus.
As a result, families made arrangements to incorporate home-based learning and also had to think of ways to ensure that the children can continue to learn and develop, and not regress in this unfortunate circumstance that we are in. Particularly for children with ASD, the regular face-to-face interventions they have been receiving from professionals had to be restricted and parents, in turn, may experience an increased level of stress during this period.
Though these restrictions are being lifted gradually, going about our days like how we used to before the pandemic might not be possible just yet. The aim of this post is to give some suggestions, summarised in 5 tips, to help...