A key element of world autism awareness is having an understanding of social behaviors. One of the earliest signs of autism is a difference in social skill abilities or lack thereof. For those living with ASD, the ability to make eye contact, communicate, speak, play, or engage in joint attention (such as mimicking what others do) is, in most cases, depleted, or at least not very strong.
On World Autism Day, it’s important to raise awareness of the tools that can help autistic individuals improve their social skills. For some, using communication tools like phones, iPads, and communication boards can help, but for others, even those tools are not helpful. Even so, an electronic device used for communication is void of certain face to face attributes and does not open a connection or what we know as real human interaction.
There are many instances where animals can assist in this area. Having a pet can open dialog, provide comfort, and help engage. One thing for sure is that these human interactive qualities are not usually innate in those with sensory differences and must be taught.
Social skills classes or one-on-one therapies can make a tremendous difference in the ability to socialize, as can focused groups like specialized summer programs, or summer camps. Having these experiences can make the difference between being isolated and having a social network.
Specialized sensory equipment, like bubble tubes and fiber optics, are also effective tools for encouraging social skill development in individuals with ASD.
We all struggle with our emotions at some time in our lives, but for those with ASD, it can be a moment-to-moment struggle. Understanding the emotional challenges that autistic individuals struggle with is vital for improving world autism awareness and compassion. It also raises awareness of how to adapt to better support those with ASD.
Learning to regulate emotion can take a team and family approach that includes looking for signs of emotional instability and learning to catch emotional outbursts before they occur.
Using emotional regulation tools such as a multisensory room, a visual tracker that displays emotional feelings, or regular therapy and medication can help individuals regulate and become aware of their emotional needs.
Many individuals on the autism spectrum engage in stimming or self-stimulatory behavior. Stimming describes repetitive movements that stimulate the brain. Understanding stimming and what it means is a key component of world autism awareness.
Some people argue that stimming is beneficial and can help people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome to focus. Others say that it needs to be somewhat regulated, as there is the potential for certain types of stimming to be damaging.
For people who engage in stimming, it can be a regulator for both under-stimulation and over-stimulation. For example, if someone feels under-stimulated, stimming can help them fully feel parts of their body when perhaps they couldn’t before. On the other hand, in situations where there might be too much going on, this may lead someone to feel over-stimulated. Stimming, in this case, can help to relax and focus.
A multisensory room can be of great help here, as they have many benefits for those with ASD. Multisensory rooms help provide the right level of stimulation for people with autism and can be both calming and focusing.
Multisensory environments can be massively beneficial for dementia patients. Learn more about how to create an effective sensory room for dementia.
Developing, maintaining and improving fine motor skills is key at all stages of life. We take a look at a few ways to keep those fine motor skills sharp in both children and adults.
We take a look at what you should include or avoid when ensuring that an environment is suitable for someone with dementia.
If you know a senior living in an assisted living facility, these tips are a great way to reconnect, bond and entertain yourselves in a fun and accessible way.
At the heart of every sensory room are calming sensory lights. Sensory lights provide stunning effects and help to create stimulating environments for all needs
The benefits of indoor play for children's development are endless! Sensory soft play is very popular with children of all ages and needs as soft play provides a safe and fun environment for them to explore and hone their skills.
There are many multi-sensory room benefits and creating a multi-sensory room is a fantastic way to provide a safe and interactive environment for users to explore their senses and improve the way they process new information
Though difficulty with sensory integration can be a developmental hurdle for those with ASD, a sensory room for an autistic child can help them facilitate communication, engage with sensory skills, and develop motor skills, among many other benefits.
As a hidden disability, dyslexia symptoms can often be hard to recognize, especially the signs of dyslexia in toddlers and early signs of dyslexia in children
According to The Society for Neuroscience, headquartered in Washington DC, an astonishing 5 to 15 percent of Americans have dyslexia, making it difficult for them to spell, read, and write.
With the school year coming to an end, investing in sensory equipment for schools is an excellent way to make learning facilities more inclusive for years to come and put leftover budget dollars to good use.
Outdoor sensory play activities provide the opportunity to immerse young minds in their senses in a new environment
An occupational therapy sensory room will provide a host of benefits for individuals with sensory processing disorder (SPD).
If you know or care for someone with autism, you’ll understand how difficult it can sometimes be to communicate with them.
Engaging in sensory activities for kids with cerebral palsy is incredibly beneficial and important for their development.
Individuals that have Alzheimer’s or dementia may also experience anxiety.
What is stimming? Also known as self-stimulatory behavior, different types of stimming are a common occurrence in people with autism and sensory processing difficulties.
All over the world, people’s regular routines have been disrupted in impactful ways, due to the restrictions in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Sensory rooms can work wonders for people who face sensory challenges. But, sometimes, you need access to these sensory tools on-the-go.