A Quick Tip on Plans

When planning for everyday outings, and special events, remember things can always change.  Make a preferred plan and have an alternate plan in case of unforeseen events.  Share these plans with the ones going on the outing, so that they have an idea of what to expect.

Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD.  Need help with mental flexibility? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.

An Ounce of Prevention…

Benjamin Franklin wrote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Although he was referring to fire prevention, this phrase applies to so much more.  It is especially true for helping people that have Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome.

When approaching a new experience, the more we can prepare for the expectations of that experience, the better off everyone will be.  There are many ways to do this.

Here’s one idea for you: If you are going to a new place, find a map of the location and then play with it.  Notice the different ways you can begin the experience.  Are there multiple entrances? What will the experience be like if you start in one entrance versus another.  Plan your journey. Draw the path on the map that you would like to take, draw a second path to present another option and also be prepared to draw another path on the map when you get there, if something unforeseen should occur.  Being aware that your plan may need to change, is a big part of the preparation.

Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD.  Need help creating your success strategies? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.

Communication Breakdown

Situation: The Bill

You are enjoying lunch with a friend.  It’s time for the check, and your friend offers to pay for your meal.  You gladly accept.  The next time the two of you go out, your friend is surprised when you want to split the bill.  What happened?

Aspie and autistic friends:  The social expectation is that when someone pays for you, the next time you should be prepared to pay for them. So the next time you go out, offer to pay for your friend’s meal.

Neurotypical friends: Your Aspie/ autistic friend may have missed the cues that it is their turn to pick up the tab.  Explain why you are feeling surprised, and decide how you both want to handle these types of situations in the future.

Quick Tip

During the Holidays:

There are a lot of exciting things to do this time of year.  Try to spread it out, and take breaks to keep everyone at their best.

What Is He Doing? A thought on behavior.

Today’s Tip: Behavior is communication.  It is how we communicate our wants and needs when language is a barrier.  When someone is behaving in a way that leaves you upset or baffled, consider they might be saying something different than your first interpretation.  Be objective as you “translate.”  Then, if you are concerned about the way it was “said,” give them another way to “say” it.

We are happy to help “translate” this communication at Independent with Autism.  Contact Rebecca@IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.

Holiday Help: 5 tips for big gatherings

It’s the time of year when we all recognize the wonderful people in our lives.  That usually involves a lot of parties and get togethers.  For our loved ones on the spectrum these parties can be extremely difficult.  Here are 5 ways we can make the Holidays pleasant for all.

  1.  Plan to arrive late, leave early – It is easy to become over stimulated at a party.  It is better to leave while everyone is still feeling good.  Having a good time at a previous party will increase the opportunities for success at the next one.
  2.  Bring foods they will enjoy – Being in a new environment with lots of social interaction is a difficult task, and feeling hungry and/ or thirsty makes it even harder.  You can tackle the food sensitivities another time.
  3. Have a schedule, write it down, and follow it – Make the party as predictable as possible.  Knowing when an activity will end makes it easier to self- regulate.  Schedule breaks and enjoyable activities.  *Remember, too many fun things can be as overwhelming as too many challenges.
  4. Assign a place to relax – Before doing anything else and after discussing with the host, show your loved one where they can go if they need quiet.
  5. Prepare the hosts/ friends/ family for your loved one’s needs – Ahead of the party,  talk to the people who will be there and explain the goal for your loved one is to attend the party and have fun, so you will need to leave earlier than expected, bring food for them, and have a quiet area available.  Your host will want you to have a pleasant experience or they would not have invited you.  Give them the opportunity to help you have fun!

Happy Holidays!

Conversation: Information Dump or More? A quick note on chatting for people with ASD

Ever notice how people are forever talking? Sometimes, they seem to talk about nothing.  Here are 3 points about conversation you might not know.

1. It’s more than sharing information

Conversation is about making a connection with another person.  The information exchanged is secondary.

2. It’s not about you

Conversation is about learning what the other person knows, and how they are interesting.

3. It’s the gateway to making friends, getting a job, making deals…

People are friends with those they share a connection with.  Employers hire people they have a connection with, even before others that have more knowledge.

Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD.  Need help with conversation and making connections? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.