Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And Straight on Till Morning: A Book of Acceptance

The road to support autistic individuals is not a path of awareness, but acceptance.

In the world of autism, there are two relevant concepts, acceptance and awareness. Each of them plays a major role in the perception of this disorder.

The difference between concepts

On the one hand, awareness implies knowledge; it's well informed about a situation and being able to discern. As for autism, it is to know about the existence of the disorder; it's possible consequences and its manifestations. On the other hand, acceptance is the faculty that has a person to admit another person, his peculiarities, and thoughts. In the case of autism is to consider it as something more than a disorder and know that it exists; it’s to be involved and act according to the exigencies of this situation.

The importance

As you can see, there is a clear difference between awareness and acceptance. The latter is gaining increasing relevance due to the large number of diagnoses that occur each year: according to the World Health Organization, one in 160 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It’s for this reason that more and more autistic people and allies dedicated to going beyond awareness; it’s an initiative that promotes the image of the citizens with autism as part of the community, a part that must be included and accepted.

The book: And Straight on Till Morning

It’s for this purpose that the book And Straight on Till Morning: Essays on Autism Acceptance is released. It is a compilation of several writings in the context of the Autism Acceptance Month, edited by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), that seeks to collaborate with a campaign to change the discourse of the autism month. They want to move from the month of awareness to the month of acceptance, as awareness is just the first step to achieve the integration of the autistic people.

There are several types of writings in the book. Some essays are focused on the difference between awareness and acceptance, and to why acceptance is better. Likewise, you can find papers on important cases, such as McCollins guardian v. Von Heyn et al trial, in which an autistic person suffered damages due to the mistreatment of relatives or other fellow citizens

The idea of the book is not to confront the two concepts, awareness and acceptance, but to make people understand that today it takes more than awareness for people with autism to be seen as an active member of society.

The way to achieve a united and peaceful society is to educate the citizens of the world and teach them to understand and accept everyone equally. If you want to know more about autism and the truths about the disorder that few people know keep in contact with Autism Soccer through their social networks.

Acceptance means going further than just knowing about the condition, it's about acting and making a change from understanding.

Facebook: Autism Soccer
Instagram: Autism Soccer

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Guide to Plan Accessible and Inclusive Meetings

If you really want to make your events inclusive, there are many factors about the environment you must check.

The past article And Straight on Till Morning: Essays on Autism Acceptance addresses a subject of great importance for the integration of autistic people: acceptance. In a work environment context this term refers to “act according to the exigencies of the situation”; if you have autistic employees, you must take into consideration their needs to integrate them in the best possible way. But it’s not enough just to considerate those needs; it’s important to make some changes when a situation requires the active participation of a person with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

Considering the changes

The changes that must be made in favor of a person with some type of disorder or disability are called accommodation. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) indicates that to make the modifications you must take into account several aspects: what are the work limitations of the person with ASD; what problems these limitations cause to that employee; available accommodations; suggestions from the employee about accommodations; and the need to give staff training regarding ASD.

Accommodation ideas for work meetings

While considering the aspects above, several ideas to facilitate the integration of autistic people may emerge; many of them may be directly related to specific activities such as work meetings. In this matter, the alternatives offered by JAN can help any employer regarding possible accommodations in this particular situation. Here you can read the most common:

When speaking/communicating: employees with ASD may have trouble communicating with other co-workers, in these cases, the employer can notify him in advance about a future meeting and its content so that the individual could prepare himself better and eliminate anxiety. Likewise, he could allow a friend to be present at the meeting to reduce the nerves. Finally, the employer could give the employee the option of submitting a written and non-oral answer.

When developing social skills: people with ASD don’t possess typical social skills. In these cases, the employee could interrupt talks, discussions or meetings. Their behavioral differences can affect their work relationship with the employer, other employees or even clients. To avoid these situations they can train with job coaches that will teach them to understand several cues about the situation. Employees can also offer them daily guidance, videos and role-plays scenarios that show appropriate behaviors.

These are simple but effective ideas for an easy and straightforward integration. There are many other options in the case of accommodations for people with ASD; it’s only necessary to adequately analyze the aspects mentioned above to find the one that best fits the situation of your employee. It’s necessary to remember that, although the employer should always take into consideration the individual needs of his employees, agreeing on appropriate accommodations is a work between the two parties involved. Employees also have the responsibility of addressing their boss and communicating any accommodation they may require.

If you want to know more about autism and work environment, you can read the manual created by JAN on accommodations for employees with autism spectrum disorders. Likewise, follow Autism Soccer through its social networks to know more about this and other topics.
Take into consideration every detail by including people with dissabilities on the equation, this will provide a place for them to be comfortable.

Facebook: Autism Soccer
Instagram: Autism Soccer
Twitter Autism Soccer

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sensory Ideas for Children on the Spectrum

If you provide children with crafts and games fit for them, they'll feel more confident and happy.

The autism spectrum is a rare array of disorders that affect the brain. For a long time, professionals and parents have tried to understand how it functions, making some positive results. Most of the hardships autistic children face are related to lack of interaction with their peers, further affecting the way they communicate.

Many therapies and ideas have been tried out to help children develop these skills and all complications that come with autism. Among them is the sensory integration, which focuses on the sensible side of children. Are you seeking for some ways to help your kids out? Here are some sensory ideas you should try:

Toddlers painting with balls

Sensory balls are becoming the best alternatives for autism children. This idea consists of making the ball move across a box full of paint. This activity helps children improve sensory and cognitive skills, as it allows them to focus on holding the box lid and moving the ball back and forth.


  • Sensory balls
  • Tempera paint (washable)
  • Trays
  • White paper
  • Cardboard box lids


  1. Put some of the paint on the tray. Preferably use two or more colors to mix them.
  2. Add the sensory balls on the tray. Roll them over the paint.
  3. Place paper in the box and dip the balls into the paint.
  4. You’re ready to go! All you have to do is let children play with the balls themselves and see colors on the paper.

This idea was developed by Sheryl Cooper; you can check all the information about her here.  

Painted rice for little kids

Colored rice is a fun, smart way to put use to rice for sensory purposes. By adding different colors to the rice, little kids will immediately feel drawn to them, turning it to an excellent tool for sensory games. You can either let them mix different colors of rice and make drawings with it by pasting it on paper; this will also boost their creativity and abstraction skills.

Materials needed

  • Rice
  • Food coloring
  • Paper towels
  • Alcohol, vinegar or plain water
  • White paper
  • Glue
  • Airtight container (to store the rice)


  1. Mix a tablespoon or two of rubbing alcohol/vinegar/plain water with some food color, add it to the airtight container.
  2. Add 1 cup of rice to the bowl with the mix, close it real tight and shake it until every grain of rice is all colored.
  3. Open the container and put the rice to dry over cartoon surface filled with paper towels.
  4. Once the grains are dehydrated, store them back in the container.
  5. All set! Give the kids the pieces of paper and let them make figures and draw with the different sets of colored rice you've done.
This idea was originally created by Praying for Parker, a website with thousands of ideas like this one; check it out for more activities your children will truly enjoy.
Just like the two above, there are many other ideas you can try to help children with the autism disorder. Do not limit on what you have read on the internet and experiment by yourself! Creativity is the source of great ideas if you develop them with love. Keep in mind that there’s nothing not worth trying if it’s for children who need support.
The more you can do for them, the better! Your children will appreciate it. The team of Autism Soccer is composed of caring professionals who only want the best for children with autism, so why not contact them and put your loved ones in their hands? Do it; you won’t regret making that call.
The more comfortable they feel, the better their development will be. 

Facebook: Autism Soccer
Instagram: Autism Soccer

Friday, September 15, 2017

Understanding Meltdowns in Autism

This type of sensorial crisis is the consequence of high levels of anxiety; you shouldn’t scold the child or yell at him/her.

Often, there are moments where autistic children feel overwhelmed by their surroundings, causing meltdowns to occur. Parents have a hard time differentiating if the child is making a tantrum or a meltdown is happening. To differentiate them, we bring you a complete guide to understand and assist your children when meltdowns take over.
Before getting into meltdowns, you should be acutely aware of the condition to know its traits and characteristics. Here’s a list of websites you can check to learn more about this disorder.


A meltdown is a complete loss of control in response to overwhelming situations. This situation occurs when children are unable to process the current situation and temporarily lose control. Meltdowns signs are express by shouting, crying and may be seen as a rebellious behavior.
To understand what triggers meltdowns in your children, you need to know what they dislike, like places where they feel less comfortable and sounds that, might cause your kids to overwhelm. For example, an autistic child who doesn’t like crowded places is likely to be affected when going to the mall or public spaces.

Meltdowns and tantrums are NOT the same

Temperamental children are likely to show tantrums, but they should never be compared to meltdowns of autistic children. Meltdowns are not bad behavior-related and should never be labeled or associated with tantrums. If you pay attention to the moments before a meltdown, you’ll notice just how difficult it is to face an overwhelming situation.
Not every situation triggers a meltdown; there are levels of how much children can handle before even getting to that point. When your kids show signs of withdrawal or just avoids getting involved, they might be facing a difficult time or feel uncomfortable.

How to assist children in a meltdown

It’s important to be aware that meltdowns are shown with subtle details you might not notice at first, but if you’re paying attention, there are ways to help them. We’ll subdivide these into three subcategories: before, during and after a meltdown takes place.


  • Know what your children like and dislike. Ask before going to a particular place and see if they’re willing to, this might avoid potential complications for them.
  • Check on them. The more you pay attention to these signs, you’ll be more likely to keep their condition in control. If you see any switch in them, take a look around and find answers.
  • Avoid places with excessive sounds, people, and colors. These factors are potential triggers of meltdowns.


  • Leave the place you’re at that moment. The causes of the meltdown might be because of certain factors in the environment that affected them.
  • Don’t lose it. Stay calm and never mistreat the child, it will cause things to get worse. Calmly ask if they’re okay and be patient.
  • Give them space. Let the kids relax, turn down bright lights and lower the volume if there’s loud music playing.


  • Write down the causes. Having these details written down will help you avoid future meltdowns. Doing so will prevent your children to feel uncomfortable next time.
  • Talk it out. Sit down and have a conversation about what just happened and kindly ask what the reasons of their sensory overload were.
  • Communicate with your family about the causes. Give your family all the information needed so they can avoid putting the children under distress.
Meltdowns can be hard to understand if not identified correctly. Luckily, you can avoid situations like this from ever happening again, and if they do, you’ll be able to act fast and assist them.
Parents often feel discouraged to let their children do things on their own because of meltdowns. Fear not! With Autism Soccer, you’ll have a safe place and professionals in the matter. Let them enjoy their childhood and learn the basics of soccer; your children will appreciate it.
For children with autism, these tantrums have a very specific origin.

Facebook: Autism Soccer
Instagram: Autism Soccer
Twitter: Autism Soccer

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Comprehensive List of Tools to Improve Visual Skills

These visual tools aim to improve and develop very specific aspects such as sensory exploration, and object recognition.

Autistic children demand more than just attention and care. For them, life is no easy task to accomplish, as they find everyday activities a challenge to overcome. Even communication is difficult to carry out, due to the lack of visual understanding or interpretation of nonverbal language.
What does it take to improve these skills? It might seem hard, but through visual supports, children will stand a chance. Parents should identify these visual supports and start putting them into practice, the sooner, the better.

What are visual supports?

Visual supports refer to a set of tools that focus on reaching out to children and improve their visual-related skills, such as understanding social cues and emotions. Pictures, photographs, drawings, written words and even lists are considered to be visual supports. Their primary role should be to help children communicate with their parents.
Because they focus on basic learning skills, visual supports are necessary for growing children who lack or have troubles in understanding language and signals. Through them, social interaction can be developed early on.
To develop each of the visual tools included here, we’ll show you how they work and how to use them properly.

Visual schedules

Perhaps you have one yourself, a schedule to guide you on your day, but visual schedules are somewhat different. By creating a visual schedule for your children, they’ll be able to understand and develop a clearer image of each activity. A sequence of images with a brief explanation will do.
Regular schedules are not useful since they won’t engage with the children visually. With the addition of pictures, children might develop interest towards the program. It creates both a good habit and a visual tool for them. Be sure to reward each activity completed by your children throughout the day.


For a long time, pictures have been one of the strongest visual stimuli in general. Taking advantage of pictures can help children learn certain concepts, such as activities in the morning routine or words of daily use. Pictures are the best source of information children can get their hands on, which is why they need to be catchy and easy to comprehend.
Parents and educators must focus on pictures that can help them have a clearer understanding. Every time an image is given, make a brief explanation of the picture so they can associate images with concepts.


Technology is continuously growing towards supporting children with autism. With all the educational applications and games adapted for them, parents must seek for the best option to help children improve their skills. Most apps focus on teaching basic vocabulary, while others showcase social cues and manners when communicating.
As we speak, there’s an app being developed to help your children out! But you must test them beforehand; then you can hand your smartphone or tablet to your kids and let them learn. Games can become quite addictive for autistic children, so be moderate with the times they spend with these.
Visual skills are necessary tools that shouldn’t be left out. Most autistic children face complications because they lack the needed skills to communicate or understand social cues. By improving their visual understanding of things, they’ll know how to interpret these signs better, turning a challenge into another easy task.
Ensuring a brighter future is your responsibility, which is why we recommend you reaching out to the team of Autism Soccer. Their staff is fully capable of teaching your children necessary developmental skills while teaching them to play soccer at the same time! See them happily grow as they exercise and enjoy their childhood, reach out to our team.
This list of tools will help you develop their visual and cognitive skills.

Facebook: Autism Soccer
Instagram: Autism Soccer
Twitter: Autism Soccer