AARC Tip of the Month - June 2018
Having an Autism-Friendly 4th of July
This month we're focusing on having an autism-friendly 4th of July celebration! The 4th of July can bring social challenges, sensory needs, and a change in the normal routine. Here are some tips to provide supports for your child so that they can be included in the festivities and enjoy them along with the rest of the family!

Communicate with your child about expectations, particularly with crowds and fireworks. Let them know the plan for the day. Helpful tools include a social story and a visual, such as a "First ____, Then ______" strip. If this will be your child's first time attending an event or seeing fireworks, explaining using a video or other visuals can be helpful. Let them know what to expect .

If attending a large event at an unfamiliar location, arrive early to show your child the important locations, such as restrooms, where it is safe to go, etc.

Set up camp at a distance from the fireworks to allow your family to still enjoy the display, but minimize the intensity of the noise. Using a simple map or drawing during this visit can be helpful if your child becomes disoriented. It also provides a natural environment for lifeskills instruction.

Stay positive! If you are prepared and stay positive, you will be relaxed and subsequently, so will your child. Share what excites you about the holiday and what high-interest things they will experience (e.g., seeing a friend they like, eating food or playing games).

Have a space set aside for your child that is only theirs , such as a blanket/towel or chair. This lets them know that they have their own space where they can feel safe from large groups of people or sensations that feel like chaos. Having headphones and other sensory items can provide comfort when the stimulation becomes overwhelming. Also, use the same system that you use at home for breaks when you are away. Adapt as needed.

Bring along favorite snacks, toys, games, etc . that can keep your child busy during down times or allow for a quiet break time when they need it.

Safety first! Make sure that you include safety procedures for the event. These can be as simple as staying in a certain area (mark this area with a visual in some way) or firework safety if your family is using personal fireworks.

AARC is closed for the summer until
August 3rd, 2018

Have a safe and wonderful summer!
Books of the Month:
The books of the month are available in the Special Education Service Agency (SESA) Library. Search for books on the  SESA website, or contact the librarian, Anne Freitag, at  afreitag@sesa.org  or  907-334-1301 

Electronic books may be accessed from anywhere in the state. If you've used our ebooks before,  go to the login page here.  If you haven't, please contact Anne so she can set up a username and password for you.  Learn more about ebooks here.
Make Social Learning Stick!: How to guide and nurture social competence through everyday routines and activities
By:  Elizabeth A. Sautter
AAPC Publishing, c2014
ISBN: 9781937473839

Description: A series of activities parents can easily fit into everyday routines as a way to help children gain and improve social competence. Arranged around three major themes: at home, in the community, and holidays and special events. - Publisher.
Raising Martians - From Crash-Landing to Leaving Home: How to help a child with Asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism
By: Joshua Muggleton
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012
ISBN:  9781849050029

Description: Provides tips and guidance for parents of children with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism, based on the author's personal experiences with Asperger syndrome, and covering friendships and social situations; anxiety; sensory issues; school; bullying; and related topics.

Contents: Asperger syndrome : welcome to Mars! -- Mental health : where normal isn't a setting on a washing machine -- The five senses (plus two) -- Stimming, obsessions and rituals : some of our more noticeable behaviour explained -- Friendships and social situations : your heaven, our hell -- Shopping, travelling and holidays : out and about in a scary world -- School : the survival guide -- Bullying : when being different isn't cool -- Toolbox : popular problems and helpful hints.
The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Asperger's Syndrome: Help, hope, and guidance
By: William Stillman.
Adams Media, c2005.
ISBN:  1593371535

Description: While children with Asperger's are generally of average or above average intelligence, they experience challenges with social skills, communication, and coordination, among other issues. The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Asperger's Syndrome is an informative resource that helps parents to recognize areas in which their child needs support. Filled with helpful hints and practical guidance, this authoritative work is designed to provide parents with the latest information on the best treatments and therapies available, education options, and ways to make life easier for parent and child on a day to day basis. Parents learn how to begin the process of seeking diagnosis, introduce their child to social settings, build positive relationships inside and outside the family unit, prepare their child for adolescence and adulthood. There is a section on managing holidays.
By: Karen A. Smith, Karen R. Gouze
Harper Resource, 2005, c2004
ISBN:  0060527188

Description: "...Drs. Smith and Gouze explain the central and frequently unrecognized role that sensory processing problems play in a child's emotional and behavioral difficulties. Practicing child psychologists, and themselves parents of children with sensory integration problems, their message is innovative, practical, and, above all, full of hope.

A child with sensory processing problems overreacts or underreacts to sensory experiences most of us take in stride. A busy classroom, new clothes, food smells, sports activities, even hugs can send such a child spinning out of control. The result can be heartbreaking: battles over dressing, bathing, schoolwork, social functions, holidays, and countless other events. In addition, the authors say, many childhood psychiatric disorders may have an unidentified sensory component.

Readers will learn:
  • the latest scientific knowledge about sensory integration
  • how to recognize sensory processing problems in children and evaluate the options for treatment
  • how to prevent conflicts by viewing the child's world through a "sensory lens" 
  • strategies for handling sensory integration challenges at home, at school, and in twenty-first century kid culture..." - Publisher's website.
Stay in touch with the AARC!
Like us on Facebook