Avoid Meltdowns: 7 Steps to Help Ensure Social Success For Your Kids

Monday, September 24, 2018

When it comes to working with children, any parent, teacher, or therapist, will tell you that preparation is the key to success. This is especially true for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), ADD or ADHD, Anxiety, and OCD. New situations or social scenarios can provide quite a challenge. Unfamiliar sensory input, anxiety, and communication deficits can often lead to meltdowns.  But what if we could avoid the undesirable behaviors for all kids with some simple preparation beforehand? 

For many years, social stories have been used to help children prepare for new and challenging situations. These tools are stories written by parents or professionals to explain a social scenario or communication skill. Speech-language pathologists and hosts of Speechie Side Up podcast, Kimberly Tice, M.S. CCC-SLP and Venita Litvack, M.A. CCC-SLP created their Lou Knows What to Do social series because they found themselves constantly writing personalized social stories for their students. Why? Because they worked!
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But what if you don’t have time to draft a social story, or get a copy of a Lou Knows What To Do book?  Having a conversation with your child can help! Here are 7 Steps to Ensure Social Success.
  1. Set the scene: Describe the setting in as much detail as possible. Providing sensory information can help! For example, warn your child that the Thanksgiving family party may be noisy and have strong smelling food.
  2. Utilize visuals: Utilize visuals whenever possible: This may not always be doable. But in the age of smartphones and iPads, a quick google image search can sometimes clear up the confusion!
  3. Construct positive statements: No one enjoys long lectures filled with rules! For example, “no running,” “no hitting,” “don’t yell.” Kiddos may be more receptive to positive statements that tell them what they should do instead (i.e. remember to walk).
  4. Check for comprehension: Be sure to ask questions before, during, and after your conversation to assess your child’s understanding of the topic.
  5. Explain social customs: People with ASD often do not see the value in certain social customs such as saying “Happy Birthday!” Explaining these rituals can clear up any confusion.
  6. Suggest specific behaviors: Don’t assume your child knows what to do! Especially in a place where they have never been. Be clear about what you expect from them.
  7. Summarize the most important points: Repeating the pertinent information can help your child retain it!
Check out my reviews on Lou Knows What to Do Doctor’s Office & Lou Knows What to Do Resturant. These are great for children that have Autism, ADHD, OCD, Anxiety and more. Not only are these great to help kids that may have these diagnoses but they are great for all kids! 

Disclosure: I only recommend products, services, or ideas I use or would use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Your opinions may vary from my opinions. You can also go here and read my PR and Disclosure Policies. 

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