The Hope Source

The Purple Philosophy: Social Communication 

When it comes to ASD and social communication, supporting social interaction is an important piece of the puzzle. At The Hope Source, we recognize that offering safe, supportive opportunities for students to engage in age-appropriate peer interaction facilitates growth and leads to competence. Fostering social competence is reliant on honing the skills of social referencing and reciprocity.
In order to engage in a social interaction, a person needs to be able to take another’s perspective and adjust the interaction accordingly. One of the challenges faced by individuals with autism is an overall lack of awareness of the feelings and emotional states of others and failure to pick up on nonverbal cues like facial expressions, inflection and intonation of voice.
We often see that a child or adolescent on the spectrum is failing in traditional school environments, not because of academic content, but because the social environment and demands in social cognition and social communication are so high.
Individuals with ASD often do not understand why friendships are not developing or how to recognize and repair the breakdown. This leads to anxiety surrounding school and thus, impacts academic success. By creating an environment in which students on the spectrum can explore peer interaction and develop academic skills, The Hope Source and Dynamic Minds Academy offers the best of both worlds!
Aristotle knew and we agree; Both are critical to education and long term quality of life.

 

Want more information? Here’s a start:

  1. To read the most recent Purple Philosophy blog post, click here: http://asdhopesource.com/the-purple-philosophy-regulation/
  2. For more information about social communication and how it relates to autism and the D12, click here: http://asdhopesource.com/autism-resources/
  3. To learn how to use simple games to practice nonverbal communication with your child, click here: http://asdhopesource.com/games-without-words/

 

 

nonverbal_games

Game Time! 

This is a revisit of a Facebook post we made way back in 2013 but it’s a good one!

Try these fun, nonverbal games/activities with your family to practice and strengthen your child’s ability to “read” others’ nonverbal cues and communication:

Charades: try acting out different emotions to help your child interpret your body language, facial expressions, and gestures.

Name that Face: you could practice the skill of interpreting others’ facial expressions in a variety of ways.

Peek-a-Boo with a twist: Hide your face and reveal a different expression, giving your child time to process and label the emotion being expressed.

Facial Expression Sort: Have a pictorial collection of faces expressing a wide range of emotions (magazine clippings would work great) and sort through the faces, categorizing them by the emotion expressed.

Mirror Me: Use a mirror so both you and your child can see your faces. Take turns making a facial expressions that the partner practices matching.

Family Feelings: Take pictures of each of your family members expressing several different emotions. Print off the pictures and create collages or posters for each emotion. To extend the activity further, list different scenarios in daily life that make you feel that emotion.

Have fun! We’d love to hear about your experience so comment below!

speech

MYTH: My child will never develop vocal speech if they use a device or sign language to communicate.

As a Speech-Language Pathologist I’ve heard this concern frequently when an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) modality was recommended. In fact, this is a common concern shared amongst parents, family members, and other professionals. I get the thought, if we focus on teaching communication in a different way (sign language, using a communication device, PECS®) how will the child learn to use his/her voice to communicate; However, research is showing quite the opposite. We know that when providing and teaching alternative ways of communication that may be initially “easier”, there is no direct correlation to an individual never developing and using vocal speech. While, there are some individuals on the autism spectrum that may never develop functional speech (approximately 25% of individuals diagnosed with ASD), others begin to use vocal speech after using an alternative mode of communication.

For more information visit www.asha.org

Kasey Kanger, MS, CCC-SLP
Assistant Clinical Director
The Hope Source

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