10 Guidelines for Telling Your Child about ASD

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, a highly controversial topic of conversation amongst parents and professionals was the question, “Should we tell our child that she has autism?”

German Translation

Greek Translation

Today most will agree that such self-knowledge is essential, that children need to understand how and why they may feel different from others around them…and what it means. In the absence of accurate information, all sorts of wrong conclusions may automatically fill in the gaps, which negatively affects a person’s self-knowledge. Now the question has changed to “How do I tell my child that she is autistic?” I have developed these guidelines in the years since 1990 when I first tried to explain autism to a 10-year-old boy, one of my former students. The method you use must be autism-friendly! These ideas are visually clear and orderly, and features the familiar process of sorting concrete pieces of information into two categories. more “10 Guidelines for Telling Your Child about ASD”

“BEING SECOND, THIRD,…OR EVEN LAST!”

Making Social Concepts Into Games:

“BEING SECOND, THIRD,…OR EVEN LAST!”

©Catherine Faherty 2000-2017

SKILL TO LEARN: 

How to be second, third, or….last, and feel okay no matter what position in the sequence you find yourself in (as in a line, queue, or a race).

 NEW UNDERSTANDING:

It’s okay to be second, third,…or last. I don’t always have to be first. Other people can be first sometimes. Being first doesn’t mean “right”; just like being other-than-first doesn’t mean “wrong”. It’s okay to be in any order. The order can change from day to day, and activity to activity. more ““BEING SECOND, THIRD,…OR EVEN LAST!””

“THE PERSONAL SPACE GAME!”

Making Social Concepts Into Games:

“THE PERSONAL SPACE GAME!”

(To be played after mastering THE ARM’S LENGTH GAME)
©Catherine Faherty 2000-2017

SKILL TO LEARN: 

Allowing appropriate space between you and another person.

 NEW UNDERSTANDING:

I know what “personal space” means. To respect someone’s personal space means to stand approximately an “arms’ length” away from him or her. Giving people personal space is respectful. more ““THE PERSONAL SPACE GAME!””

THE MISTAKE GAME

Making Social Concepts Into Games: Learning New Behaviors Can Be Fun

“THE MISTAKE GAME”

©Catherine Faherty 2000-2017

 SKILL TO LEARN: 

How to acknowledge that a mistake is discovered; understand that mistakes can be corrected; and feel okay with mistakes and the act of correcting.

 NEW UNDERSTANDING:

It’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes can be corrected. Some mistakes can be funny. It’s even okay to laugh about one’s own mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Mistakes aren’t “bad”. Mistakes can be keys to learning new things.* (See reference with asterick below.) more “THE MISTAKE GAME”

Understanding Friends

A program to educate children about differences; to foster empathy and mutual understanding; with the option of supporting self-expression/self-advocacy by children on the spectrum.

German Translation

Greek Translation

Understanding Friends is designed to be presented to classes of students in the elementary and middle grades. Adaptations can be made for older classes. This article contains lesson plans and a list of supplies that you will need. After presenting this program in all its revisions, to thousands of students since 1985, I have found that usually it is most effective to go beyond the generic program (Option A) and to discuss specific issues, giving accurate information about real students in concrete situations. Options B and C will help you with this. Option D suggests ways to include the student with ASD in the presentation of this program, if so desired by the student. more “Understanding Friends”