Friday, February 16, 2018

Tips to Make Your Home Autism-Friendly for Your Child

One of the things that parents of autistic children need to do is make their home as comfortable as they can for their children.

Many people on the autism spectrum are sensitive to sensory “strikes” –ranging from loud noises to bright lights and crowds. For people with autism, school, work, social and cultural events, even birthday parties can affect them, possibly causing sensory overload, frustration, bullying, confusion, or just plain unpleasantness.

They are also more likely to be overwhelmed or upset when changes in routine, new foods, new people or new settings occur. Given the difficulties that autistic people can sometimes carry in their daily life, it makes sense that home should be a really comfortable place.

Sometimes, making home a comfortable place for an autistic person is not that easy. Here are just a few of the issues standing in the way:

  • Siblings and parents also have needs. Sometimes they may choose to invite friends, make noise, try different food, or change daily life in some way that might be hard for the autistic member.
  • Many of the treatments recommended for autistic children are home-based, meaning that after hours in school (with school-based therapies too), children may return home to more hours of therapy.
  • When not so predictable emergencies or life-changing events such as a grandparent being sick or a sibling being injured, daily life and routine might have to change. 

Given the fact they can't always have a perfectly calm life, what can families do to encourage a relaxed experience for the family member with autism? Here are some realistic tips and recommendations:

  • Provide a real schedule that you and your autistic family member can follow, at least most of the time. This type of schedule works just as well for siblings and young autistic members. A schedule such as “come home, take a shower, eat dinner, watch TV for one hour, do homework, go to bed” may work.
  • Give your child time and space to relax alone. For many people with and without autism, calm and alone time is essential.
  • Keep their favorite foods in the house, so that your autistic family member can enjoy eating at least one item every now and then. 
  • Try to remove smells, lights, and sounds that may bother your autistic family member. You’ll need some cleaning supplies, yes, but you can find some with minimal odors. Yes, siblings can listen to music, but they may be able to use headphones too. You need light at home, but fluorescent lights can be uncomfortable even for someone without sensory challenges.
  • Try to incorporate a minimum amount of therapies to be at home, unless they are really useful, necessary, and relatively pleasant for your child. It’s possible to provide play-based therapies or relaxing occupational or sensory therapies at home. This types of treatments may be of greater pleasure for the child.
  • Keep alert for signs of stress in your autistic family member. Sometimes it may be hard for them to communicate what is exactly bothering them, so you should keep your eyes open to determine what it can be. Maybe they’re not enjoying the smell of broccoli cooking, or their sister’s phone sound is irritating.

Always keep an eye on small details, they can make a difference. Whether you’re a parent or a person living on the spectrum, remember that is okay to ask for help and guidance.

You need to make sure to have the right amount of stimulation and repose for your child to grow happily.

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Reasons Why an Autism Diagnosis Can Also Be Good News for Your Child

An autism diagnosis doesn't mean the end of the world, but it doesn't mean your child will be an autistic "savant" either.

Could an autism diagnosis be good news for your child? Under the right circumstances, YES.
Finding out that your child is diagnosed with autism might not be the best news, but it can also bring positive things. Here are the reasons why an autism diagnosis can also be good news for your child:

  • It’s a diagnosis that comes with a healthy helping of hope

Since autism has no “cure,” several treatments can help autistic people improve in tremendous positive and significant ways. In other words, specific actions can be taken into consideration to help autistic people improve their lives, and develop skills and healthy relationships but to achieve this; the diagnosis is needed.

  • It offers a clear path forward

Sometimes it’s hard for families because, before getting to the right diagnose they go through a considerable amount of imprecise diagnoses until they finally learn that all those symptoms describe only one category: autism spectrum disorder. After realizing the right diagnosis, families could direct their attention towards finding the proper treatment and support to help their child achieve success.

  • It comes along with funding and services

Insurance companies, State and Federal agencies, and also school districts usually provide support opportunities, and funding services for autistic people and their families. To obtain these benefits, a diagnosis is needed.

  • It makes it easier to explain your child’s behavior without making it look as a tantrum or being spoiled

Instead of feeling uncomfortable with the diagnosis, parents can finally obtain the right information about their child’s behavior which can lead to having help and support from other family members.

  • It helps parents create a better life plan for their children

Knowing your child has autism will help you and your family members understand their behavior and needs so much better. You and your family will finally realize that their usual behavior is neither naughty nor intentional. You can adjust to their needs and come with a successful plan to help them develop positively.

A diagnosis like this one can make it easier for families to understand and respond to the child's behavior. 

  • It can provide a sense of identity

For an autistic teen or adult, being diagnosed with this condition might be freeing to discover that there's nothing wrong with you, but you’re unique and belong to a group of people who have created significant communities, written books, and even developed the means to represent yourself without anyone’s help. The diagnosis is the key to be part of it.

  • It offers access to specialized support groups, programs, events, and many opportunities

There is a vast amount of groups, programs, and events that give the opportunity to autistic people to develop and relate to others that have similar characteristics. There are many support groups, camps and schools with activities designed for kids and teens on the spectrum.

The key to live a confident and successful life on the spectrum is knowing how to ask for help and be surrounded by people who will support and help to achieve better development and success.

Autism Soccer wants to help and support children to develop their skills and social relationships through soccer. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us through our social networks or website.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

"Un sueño compartido", conocimiento para miles de familias

Una vez más se alza una voz de esperanza sobre el problema de la desinformación. 

¿Alguna vez tuviste un sueño tan grande que creíste que era imposible? Todos lo tenemos, y cada sueño es distinto. Para hacerlo realidad el trabajo arduo siempre será la mejor opción. Como prueba de esto, Miriam Reyes Oliva, fundadora de la ONG Aprendices Visuales, nos muestra el resultado de uno de sus sueños. “Un sueño compartido” es un documental que nos enseña que, entre su diversidad, algunos sueños pueden ser compartidos con toda una comunidad, devolviéndonos la esperanza sobre la existencia de personas buenas, y que la bondad no pasa de moda.

Un sueño, una esperanza

Este documental nos muestra muy de cerca la voluntad de una joven española al conocer el diagnóstico de un familiar cercano. Este evento fue un detonante para que tomara la decisión de redireccionar su vida y dedicarse a brindar las herramientas necesarias a los niños con autismo, para que estos puedan aprender y desarrollarse.

Todo gran sueño se hace realidad desde un pequeño comienzo. En este caso, el primer paso de Miriam fue publicar un cuento con pictogramas diseñado por ella para su primo diagnosticado con autismo. Gracias al relato titulado “El calzoncillo de José”, Miriam recibió no solo elogios sino también agradecimientos por parte de familias y profesionales alrededor del mundo. Este material, y la receptividad mostrada por quienes harían uso de él, llevó a Miriam a estructurar su sueño: ¡Desarrollar al máximo el potencial de los, para ese momento, 64 millones de niños con autismo!

“Un sueño compartido”, un documental para todo el mundo

El día 2 de abril del año 2017, se materializó el documental que vendría a tocarnos la fibra más humana a todos. “Un sueño compartido” es el título que lleva la producción de los directores Marcos Barón y Manuel Troya, los encargados de dar vida a la idea que Miriam habría creado con ambición y amor.

Una obra maravillosa y refrescante para quienes desean comprender de cerca el autismo. Este documental nos sumerge en todo lo que se puede conocer acerca de esta condición, nos hace conscientes del punto del cual podemos partir para impulsarnos a ayudar. Haciendo uso de recursos como entrevistas a especialistas y padres de niños con autismo, “Un sueño compartido” nos acerca al uso de pictogramas, aprendizaje visual y, finalmente, la evolución de los niños.

Realizar este documental no parece haber sido una tarea sencilla, tomó 2 años de entrevistas a 6 familias, monitoreo, ayuda de especialistas en psicología y, en total, la participación de 26 participantes. Y como nada sucede por casualidad, este proyecto convertido en una ONG tiene como objetivo concientizar a toda una comunidad; el documental fue estrenado el día mundial de la concienciación social sobre el autismo del año 2017.

Una vez más, alguien habla sobre el autismo. La toma de acción ante esta condición era completamente ajena hasta hace unos años, aún existiendo numerosos casos. Hoy en día son cada vez más las fundaciones y asociaciones que, al igual que Autism Soccer, se suman al estudio y concientización sobre el autismo. Soñar nos hará libres, y “Un sueño compartido” es solo una muestra de ello. Si deseas ayudar, infórmate. ¡Síguenos en nuestras redes sociales!

Aprende mucho más sobre tu pequeño.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Incentiva la lectura en tu niño con TEA

No es una tarea sencilla, pero con mucha dedicación y paciencia puedes conseguirlo.

La lectura y la escritura es, probablemente, el primer aprendizaje académico que reciben los niños a temprana edad, y el más significativo ya que marca un camino de conocimiento a lo largo de sus vidas. Aún así para un niño con autismo no resulta tan sencillo aprender a leer y escribir en primer lugar. Tampoco es una labor sencilla para quienes tienen la tarea de enseñar a los niños con autismo a dicho aprendizaje.

¡Claro que es posible!

Muchos educadores descartan la posibilidad de enseñar a niños con autismo a leer o escribir, sin embargo, otros profesionales mantienen firme la convicción de que el autismo no debe ser causa de analfabetismo, ¡y no debe serlo! Una vez que los niños con esta condición comienzan a desarrollar habilidades al leer y escribir, tienen mejores oportunidades de poseer una mejor comprensión del lenguaje. Incluso a la hora de hablar y entender el lenguaje verbal de otras personas.

En vista de que el aprendizaje de la lectura es complicado por ruta fonológica para los niños con autismo, el método más efectivo utilizado por profesionales para enseñarles a leer es la lectura global. La lectura global es un método inverso al que regularmente se emplea, mientras el método regular utiliza la estructura letras-sílabas-palabras, el método global hace uso de la estructura palabras-sílabas-letras. Posteriormente, a la hora de enseñar las letras se explica lo referente a letras mayúsculas y minúsculas. Este método parece ser más efectivo para cultivar la lectura, y aunque puede llevar un lapso de tiempo prolongado, al final garantiza buenos resultados.

A pesar de que hay muy poca información documentada acerca de esta estrategia, es importante que los educadores adquieran conocimiento sobre ella. Que aprendan a realizar su propio material y que este esté destinado a estimular el interés y desarrolle las habilidades de los niños en la lectura.

Luego, para incentivar aún más la lectura en los niños, puedes utilizar aplicaciones digitales destinadas específicamente a esto. Algunas de las que puedes encontrar disponibles, tanto para Android como para iOS, son:

Ambas herramientas son ideales para incursionar en la lectura global de la mano con tu hijo.

Lo que hay que tener muy claro, desde el primer momento, es que la paciencia es la piedra angular para aprender a vivir con esta condición. En Autism Soccer estamos convencidos de que con amor y entrega no hay nada imposible para nuestros niños. ¡Infórmate! Si tu intención es ayudar, capacítate y sirve de apoyo para padres y profesionales.

¿Sabías de la lectura global? ¡Queremos conocer tu experiencia a través de nuestras redes sociales!
Una vez hayas cultivado el interés por la lectura, podrás emplear diversas herramientas para mantener vivo dicho interés.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Myths and Facts That Can Change the Way You See Autism

There are a lot of myths that make it hard to understand what autism is really like.

Everyone is different. When you find stories about autistic people that are tragic or outrageous, it's just about a single person. Media news shares heartwarming and, sometimes, heartbreaking stories about individuals with autism. This news sometimes change the way people see autism in today’s society!

As you read through these myths, remember to have in mind that most of the people with autism are neither disabled individuals nor geniuses.

Here are some myths and facts that can change the way you see autism:

  • Autistic people don’t have feelings
The myth: Autistic people cannot feel or express empathy or love.
The fact: Autistic people are extremely capable of feeling and expressing those emotions, maybe not in the most typical way, but autistic people are far more empathic than the average person.
  • Autistic people are all alike
The myth: If you meet an autistic person, you’ll probably get an idea of how all autistic people are like.
The fact: All autistic people seem to have a common difficulty with social communication, but they are all as different as they could be.

  • Autistic people are a danger to society
The myth: People with autism are dangerous in today’s world.
The fact: Public news reports of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder committing violent crimes have led people to fear and think that autism leads to violence. Some autistic individuals may have violent behaviors, but these behaviors are often directed towards themselves rather than others. Also, aggressive behaviors from people with autism are almost always caused by physical or sensory overload, frustration, or similar issues.

  • Autistic people don’t build relationships
The myth: Autistic people cannot build solid relationships with others.
The fact: Yes, it’s true that is very unlikely that an autistic person will be a cheerleader or football captain, but that doesn’t mean that they are unable to have solid relationships with others. Many autistic people build strong friendships and relationships, get married and have satisfying romantic relationships.

  • Autistic people have no language skills
The myth: Most autistic people are nonverbal or almost nonverbal.
The facts: Some autistic people are nonverbal or almost nonverbal. But people diagnosed with this spectrum can also be extremely verbal individuals with high language skills.

  • All autistic people are savants
The myth: All autistic people have extraordinary “savant” abilities, such as amazing musical or mathematical skills.
The fact: A few autistic people are “savant.” While some autistic savants use their abilities for practical purposes, most of them aren’t that skillful. They are unable to use their skills in the context of school or business setting. The majority of autistic people have ordinary skills that they can develop.

  • Autistic people have little or no potential for success
The myth: Due to their lack of average skills, autistic people are considered to have little or no potential for success.
The fact: Autistic people, like the average, can achieve great things, supported by those who believe in their potential. Autistic people are innovative individuals; they see the world through a different lens and with a different perspective. That can make a great impact in the world!  

Everyone is different. When you find stories about autistic people as tragic or outrageous, it's just about a single person.

Autistic people are not ordinary but do have certain abilities and skills that represent them. Apart from some unusual facts, autistic people prove to be capable of doing good in the world and achieving success with the right support.

For more content about the Autism Spectrum Disorder, myths, facts, and general information about the topic, make sure to follow our social media and keep reading our blog. Autism Soccer is here to help autistic children develop safely and offer them support to achieve success!

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