AARC Top of the Month - October 2015
Social Groups and Play Dates
Now that the school year is back in full swing, activities such as play dates come up.  For many students with autism these activities can be difficult due to sensory and social skills challenges. While many parents just want to see their child included in the fun, the activity may not be fun to the child with autism. As much as the child may want friends or is interested in other children, being overstimulated or not knowing the "rules" to a playdate can be confusing. There are ways, however, to minimize the stress around these activities and make a playdate an enjoyable activity for your child:
  1. Start small when planning events. Choose 1 child to have a playdate with.
  2. Plan in advance so that you can prepare your child for the upcoming activity. Preparation for the playdate might be a social story, a video of a past successful playdate, or role playing what your child might do.
  3. It is also a good idea to keep the time relatively short for the first few playdates. This will allow your child to have success without becoming overwhelmed. The more success a child has, the more fun he or she will have at the next play date!
Halloween and Food Allergies
Keep your eyes peeled for teal pumpkins! This signifies houses that offer non-food trick-or-treats for kids with food sensitivities. Click here to learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project. 
Books of the Month:
The books of the month are available in the SESA Library. You may search the library on the  SESA website , or you may contact our 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, this link will take you to the title and log you in
If you haven't used our ebooks before, please contact Anne so she can set up a username and password for you. Click here for more information about ebooks.
For easy searching on the SESA Library site, we've added the ISBN number. Simply copy, paste, and search!
Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me: The top 25 friendship problems and how to solve them
By: Michele Borba
Jossey-Bass, c2005.
ISBN: 9780787976620

Description: "Based on a survey of five thousand teachers and parents, Nobody Likes Me shows how to teach your child the 25 most essential friendship-building skills kids need to find, make, and keep friends, as well as survive that social pressure from peers." While not specifically for students on the autism spectrum, this is a great starting place. It includes information on organizing playgroups.
Pivotal Response Treatments for Autism : Communication, social & academic development.  
By: Robert L. Koegel and Lynn Kern Koegel, with invited contributors.
Brookes, 2006.
ISBN:  1557668191

Description: This book has a chapter specifically on play dates and friendships.
Watch Me Learn. Volume 4, Friends [videorecording (DVD)].
Watch Me Learn, 2008.

Description: This DVD shows video modeling of friendship skills. Children with autism will learn how to go on playdates, and what types of activities there are! Includes learning how to play catch, what snack time is, an exciting treasure hunt, baking with friends, and more.
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