November 5, 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. Catherine Faherty provides a full-day conference presentation, as part of a two-day seminar sponsored by the SYNAPSIS Foundation in Poland.
by Catherine Faherty, written in 2010, remains valid – in fact essential – today.
Treatment options and teaching strategies in the field of autism spectrum disorders abound, and most if not all dictate that individuals with ASD must ultimately change something about themselves: how they act, how they behave, how they respond to others, the way they think, what they think – how they interact and communicate. Most non-autistic people may not be aware of – nor acknowledge the courage it takes for children and adults on the spectrum to respond to a teacher’s or parent’s unquestioned expectations that they change something as basic as their natural way of interacting and communicating. On top of that, students more often than not, experience our teaching objectives and “their” educational goals as random, or even nonsensical demands. more “Make Agreements To Improve Mutual Communication”
Everyday communication practice for children with autism.
Your child must learn that there is power in communication – that it is worthwhile to communicate, and that it can be fun! You must teach this intentionally and directly because typically, children with ASD do not automatically or easily engage in communication, and even if they speak (or type), they still do not initiate communication. Verbal skills often develop separately from communication skills. You will teach these important concepts by showing children that communication is an action; a “back-and-forth” action – a powerful action. They need to learn that they CAN make things happen, and HOW to make things happen!
Remember that visual learners learn most quickly and easily when teachers and parents use visual teaching strategies. So the key for teachers and parents is to teach in a way that their children can literally SEE reciprocity; the “back-and-forth” of communication. more “How To Teach The Power Of Communication”
July 25, 2017 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Catherine Faherty provides training in Social Stories as part of the Summer Institute for North Carolina Public School Special Educators.
May 8, 2017, Catherine Faherty provides in-service training for the therapists and staff of The Heart of Horse Sense, a therapeutic equestrian program for children and adults in Leicester, North Carolina.
Teachers and parents can follow these instructions on how to make a game to help your students or children learn what exactly is an “arm’s length”. This is a prerequisite to the PERSONAL SPACE GAME that can be played with the whole family or whole class!
SKILL TO LEARN: How to allow a socially comfortable space between you and another person.
NEW UNDERSTANDING: I know what it means to stand an “arm’s length” away from someone else.
EXAMPLE SITUATION: The child may stand too close to others, so much so that it bothers most people.
PREPARATION FOR GAME: First, you prepare with the class. You will define, literally, what is meant by “an arm’s length” by using a measuring stick. Measure different children’s arms. Make a list on the board to show the range of “arm’s length”. Find the average arm’s length. With stiff cardboard or a piece of light wood, make a measuring stick that represents the average arm’s length. Write on it “Average Arm’s Length”. (You can make a math lesson out of figuring out the average arm length of the members of the class.)
THE ARM’S LENGTH GAME: A child picks a card out of a hat which has either a location, or object, or a person’s name on it. (Examples of what can be written on different cards are: “classroom door”, “Julie’s desk”, “my locker”, “Mrs. Smith”, “fish aquarium”, “bookshelf”, and individual children’s names, “Daniel”, “Athena”, “Rickie” etc…) After reading the card that he or she picked, the child is supposed to then go to that object, location, or person, and stand approximately an arm’s length from the object or the person.
Repeat the routine reminder that we are supposed to stand “approximately an arm’s length away from people most of the time”. The child will use the measuring stick which has been marked to show the average arm’s length to help him or her know how far away to stand.
As time goes on, the children can estimate (without using the measuring stick) and then someone else can check with the measuring stick to see if they are close to the proper distance. Continue the game by taking turns picking cards from the hat.
Eventually, you will modify this game, using the same general idea by playing THE PERSONAL SPACE GAME.
First write a Social Story about personal space, and explain that personal space can be determined by using an arm’s length as a general measure. You will summarize by literally and concretely defining “personal space” as an average “arm’s length”. For more detailed instructions see directions for THE PERSONAL SPACE GAME.
Remember to write Social Stories™. Social Stories describe life. Teachers and parents are encouraged to be trained in writing Social Stories by Catherine Faherty, or another member of Carol Gray’s Team Social Stories™.
April 27, 2017 at Caswell Developmental Center in Kinston, North Carolina, sponsored by the University of North Carolina AHEC, specifically for the Allied Health Staff, Psychologists, Social Workers, Direct Care Staff, Nurses, Teachers and other staff at Caswell Developmental Center. This training covers the rationale and practical use of Social Stories with in-depth training in the preparation, writing, and creative use of Social Stories to nurture greater mutual understanding for individuals on the autism spectrum, and those who work with them – therapists, teachers, parents, and others.
April 7, 2017 at Caswell Developmental Center in Kinston, North Carolina, sponsored by the University of North Carolina AHEC, specifically for the Allied Health Staff, Psychologists, Social Workers, Direct Care Staff, Nurses, Teachers and other staff at Caswell Developmental Center. This full day training is an in-depth overview of the rationale and implementation of a variety of visually structured strategies for a variety of purposes, from organizational skills to communication support; and for a wide range of individuals, from children to adults.
January 21, 2017. Catherine Faherty and co-presenter, Alberto Breccia, LCSW, present at the 2017 CARD Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference occurs at the Florida Mall, in Orlando, Florida.