Jump to content
MrsSurvival Discussion Forums
Sign in to follow this  
gofish

Help. I need ideas.

Recommended Posts

The little angel I'm a Special Friend with in church has Autism. Smart little cookie one on one.

 

Special friends take a turn one Sunday a month and out of all the Friends they think I connect best with the child. I've done it twice this month. It's a large class and I can see how overwhelming it can be for the child.

I can see the early signs of shutdown and I think that's why I seem to connect with the child. I need more ideas to head off complete shutdown.

We have a box of toy's that's seems to help but complete shutdown and I have a kid huddling under a table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have an area that could be set up as a quiet space so the child can 'take space' when they need to? Or when you see the signs of a meltdown happening how about taking the child for a short walk outside of the classroom?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Children with autism can frequently hear noises that

others can't to an exaggerated level of sound, dumping

toys on a table could sound like and explosion..a raindrop

can sound like a hammer beating on a metal gong..

 

But autism affects differently ,finding the best route is going to take time

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure about the reasoning/thought behind it, or when it might be appropriate, but in the Kindergarten class I helped with at the public school, they sometimes used a "weighted vest" that helped to kind of center or calm the child.

 

http://autism.lovetoknow.com/Autism_Weighted_Vest

 

I'm not sure how old she is, and how much her parents have been exposed to possible treatments and helps. But the little boy I knew in the classroom seemed to benefit from his vest. It was an occasional thing, usually when he seemed anxious when ready to change activity to a quieter one, like sitting to listen to a story.

 

There is a lot of info online to explore if you have time to read it. Might give you ideas and insights, although, of course, all kids are different individuals.

 

Bless you for continuing this. Hmmmm, maybe you will explore a possible new career in the local school system as an Aide????

 

(Summers off, yanno!)

 

:hug3:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask his parents what methods they use. They probably know what works best for him and what doesn't. Trying new unfamiliar methods might send him into a shutdown. At least right now he seems to trust you. :shrug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find out if he can handle earplugs or a headset. It used to calm Bethany when she could just put the headset on and listen to some quiet music. If the group setting is too loud and boisterous it can be very upsetting. She never could deal with people just milling around and making random movements and noise. She'd start screaming and crying and have to be taken out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The weighted vest could be similar to the wraps they put on dogs

during storms that are afraid of thunder.

 

Babies wrapped in swaddling clothes are more calm that those that are not.

The headphones sound good too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are also weighted blankets some folks make. Of course, if the child doesn't mind you touching them, you can get under the table with them. Enter their world and hold their hand or hug them quietly there.

Going out for a nice walk is something that should be allowed too. Sunday school could just be too much stimuli and information and the child is just trying to process it and may not be able to keep up along with other distractions in the room adding to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's defiantly more a case of shutdown than meltdown.

Although I have no problem believing a meltdown would be spectacular.
The other kids don't seem to bother her too much. Changing from one active to anther is the stress point.

Sometimes we can get her to participate in class, but Sunday the teacher got a little lost on a game that was in the lesson and that made her shutdown fast.
She has a overly large fleece shirt on all the time. That's the first sign of shutdown. If she starts pulling it up over her face you're about to loose her.
She will let me touch her and I can play with the toys along with her as long as I remember to put them back in the same place she had them.
Talking to her softly and giving her a soft toy will help get her out of shutdown but I'm look for ways to stop it before it starts.
The parents are divorced and she only comes on the Sundays her Dad has her.( More stress) I think he's a little lost on what to do with her too.

Cat, most school systems now want aides to have at least a Associate degree. A Bachelor's degree is preferred. Although it doesn't have to be in education.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm by far no expert or even have any close-hand knowledge...but, I did work with a lady a few years ago that had a grand-daughter with problems similar to this. When her grand-daughter began to "unravel" ... she would grab some combs, brushes, etc., and say "Oh my...I need someone to perfectly arrange these". The grand-daughter would spend at least an hour arranging and re-arranging these items, and then lose interest and go on to a more normal routine. Just a novice's imput.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you ladies. Your ideas help Sunday. We got her to participate in class. She didn't do all the activites but did more than she has before.

I talked to someone who had worked with her before and she said that as long as the child was quiet she would just let her stay under the table.

To me that wouldn't be any fun or enriching for the child.

My goal is for her to enjoy children's church not be overwhelmed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know a young lady who is going to college to be a teacher for special need children and she volunteers at a class with children with autism. She told me that changing from one activity to another without notice or time to prepare is indeed very disturbing and stressful to the child with autism. If this group of kids is going from one activity to another, you may want to prepare your little angel by telling him/her what is about to happen in advance, for each and every activity. She does this and from what I understand, it helps tremendously.

 

Cootie

Edited by anyala

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My youngest son has autism and Anyala is right, the changing from one activity to another can cause an awful lot of stress for people on the autistic spectrum. When my son was younger, I used to prepare a visual timetable of what was going to happen to him during the day, you could do something like this for Sunday school....visual timetable sounds grand, but it was very simple, I just drew simple pictures of the day ahead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Annarchy, I joined ages ago then our old computer died and I forgot the name of this forum!

Today someone asked me about prepping, not a common topic here in the UK, and this forum came up in my Google search....so I have found my way back :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see you here again then, LilySue.

 

 

I've worked with some folks/kids with Autism and ....well there are some aspects of MS that can react like they do....in a temporary and much lessor degree.

 

--sensory stimulation ....easy to hear/see/feel TOO MUCH at once. The mechanism for 'filtering' sensory data might not be working and from my experience, I describe those times as tho I'm standing next to the engine of a huge jet. Or in the midst of a tornado. In MY reality....I just have to roll up the window of the car, tell DH to turn down his radio even further, brace my body from the motions with cushions, and slap on an ice pack cuz I'm likely getting too hot. [The ice pack won't help anyone with autism... :lol: It's jolting enough on my system to send me into writhing spasms sometimes. ] But, I believe those with autism might recognize my jet plane.

 

--change in plans ....mebbe cuz I'm so isolated in this period of time. But leaving the house is a big procedure for me. Not that I am reluctant to go...but I MUST have quiet and time to remember everything I need to do/bring. Can't handle rushing. If something comes up quickly, or a change occurs, my first reaction is that I can't do that. If those with autism have that feeling that I get - only magnified greatly AND further hampered by their young age - it would indeed be STRESSFUL! :runcirclsmiley2:

 

I think it helps when we can relate, if even a little, itty bit, to what another struggles with. Autism has a whole lot of other factors but I can become quite sympathetic to their challenge by simply remembering these two of mine.

 

MtRider :pray: that God lends His support to your fine effort with your lil' angel. What a great ministry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using the same tricks I used with my Son. Although he is not Autistic he did have problems in dealing with emotions of others and did not do well with groups or distracted teachers.
The other Special Friends are a couple that runs a date night once a month for people with disabled children and another Mother with a older Autistic child.
The children's director is happy that we all have some experience with these types of children. It's what she has been praying about. I'm glad I listened to the voice of God and volunteered.

I'm getting into the rhythm of the class room so I'll be better able to prepare her for changes next time. LylySue the visual timetable sounds like it would work for all the Special Friend's I'll tell the director.

Thanks again for all the tips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/strategies-and-approaches/visual-supports.aspx

 

I'm not really good with copy and paste on this new iPad we have, but hopefully the above might be a help.

 

I think what you are doing is wonderful, I would have so appreciated this kind of help when my son was younger, we eventually stopped going to church because it was just too stressful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.