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Old 07-08-2008, 05:01 PM
Location: Leaving fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada
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Get the PECS or if your school has it, ask them to make the pictures!

Mayer Johnson
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:09 PM
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Hello, I have a 16 year old daughter with autism and have pretty much home-schooled her from the time she was three. My daughter is also not severely autistic but despite being highly functioning still struggles at times with abstract reasoning if it is not paired with pictorial representation to help her make a connection. For example: at age ten she asked for a grilled cheese sandwich, I informed her that we had no cheese and she looked at me as if to say "that's nice" but where is my cheese sandwich? I don’t believe she was trying to be difficult, she just had a harder time with abstract reasoning than kids her own age. What I did was give her the benefit of the doubt and realize that if she wasn’t getting it I must not be explaining it the best way I could. So, I thought about how she learns best and since it is visually I made a social story explaining to her the significance of the "no cheese" factor and then she got it. Many kids with autism respond very well to social stories paired with pictures and repetition.

My thought about your son’s difficulty is this: If the behavior eliciting the with holding of the toy occurs in school and you are with holding the toy later at home that may explain part of the reason why he is not getting it. Perhaps you can help him establish more of a relationship between the two: perhaps you can make a photo of the toy and send it to school for the aide or teacher to use when the behavior occurs. You could establish a distinct place on the board for the toy photo to go if the unwanted behavior occurs. I would even let your son place the photo there himself (he should be as involved in the making of and utilization of the board as he can understand) Then, when he engages in the unwanted behavior then the aide or teacher could immediately point out to him what he has done wrong and show him the photo card, allowing him to be the one to place it in a box or space that has been established to indicate clearly that he does not get it.

The added benefit of sending the board back and forth from school to home is that when he has questions later or insists on the toy you can “answer him” by taking out the board and gently showing him again that he cannot have it and show him why. The target in school should be to control the behavior, the emphasis at home could be to help him communicate about it! You can elaborate on his insistence of the toy by encouraging him to talk about his feelings, which may help him more fully understand.
Also, (and you probably already are aware of this) but you will want to get advice from a developmental behaviorist because you will want to make sure he is in control of the behavior he is being expected to regulate or refrain from doing in school. Does that make sense? I hope it helps. Best of luck!

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Old 07-08-2009, 09:46 PM
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I too have a 4 year old with ASD. Do you use PECS with him? Even if you don't have PECS you can simplify what your'e taking away by saying " First, whatever you want him to do and show him a picture and then you say "THEN you get the helicopter" and show him the helicopter. ALWAYS praise him for good behavior but more than just " GOod job." Be specific. EX: Alex that was great listening or that was very good waiting, etc. My son has PDD NOS and is pretty high functioning, speaks fairly well for a kid on the spectrum and the PECS & regular pictures work wonderfully!
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