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autism spectrum disorder Archives - Brooklyn Letters

Event: Autism Friendly Spaces and The New Victory Theater

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Autism Friendly Spaces (AFS) is partnering with The New Victory Theater to present an autism‐friendly performance on Saturday October 18th and on Friday December 12th 2014

This performance will be modified to accommodate and support the sensory, social, and emotional needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Throughout the event, the Autism Friendly Spaces (AFS) team will be on site and ready to welcome families into a judgment-free and accommodating environment, complete with:

  • Trained Autism Support Specialists to help facilitate activities, and assist families throughout the performance
  • An array of visual supports and fidget tools
  • A Calming Corner & Activity Area, stocked with a variety of tools for anyone needing a break
  • Downloadable social narratives will be designed exclusively for the New Victory Theater, and will be made available online at the New Victory Theater’s website: http://www.newvictory.org.

    Download a flyer here: AFS Flier

    Park Slope Speech Language Therapy for Children

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    Park Slope Speech Therapy

    Park Slope, Brooklyn speech therapy services in the convenience of your home or come to one of our offices!

    Speech language services include:

    Pronunciation (all ages)
    Early Childhood Expressive Language
    School Age Expressive Language
    Tongue Thrust Therapy
    Autism Spectrum Disorder (PDD, Aspergers, etc.)
    Social Skills
    Stuttering
    Listening Difficulties (auditory and language processing)
    Picky Eaters and Early Childhood Feeding Delays
    Voice (Dysphonia) Therapy
    Augmentative and Alternative Therapy (AAC)
    Adult Speech Therapy

    Our Licensed Speech & Language Therapists’ qualifications include: – Master’s degree in speech language pathology – New York State and national certification – PROMPT training – We offer bilingual services (Spanish, French, Hebrew, or Hungarian).

    Here’s our team.

    Speech, Language, Feeding Therapy

    We are experienced to treat babies to adolescents (we are now offering adult speech language therapy!) with a variety of speech language difficulties, including articulation/enunciation difficulties (e.g lisp, tongue thrust, and/or difficulty saying sounds, and more), speech delay (including apraxia, oral motor difficulties, cleft palate), late talkers/expressive and receptive language delay (including multilingual homes), autism spectrum, e.g. Asperger’s, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD-NOS), social language delays, disfluency (stuttering), and feeding delays (including picky eaters, oral motor delays, medically fragile).

    Contact Craig for more information at craig@brooklynletters.com

    Finding the Right Social Skills Group for Your Child

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    Social skills refer to the set of unwritten rules that facilitate effective interaction with others at home and in the community. These skills impact appropriate classroom behavior, study skills, and the ability to sustain age appropriate friendships.

    In Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), deficits in social-communication skills can have a profound effect on functioning and well-being. ADHD, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders are associated with social skills difficulties as well. In addition, one may present with social skills deficits without meeting criteria for a disorder.

    One intervention for improving social skills is involvement in a social skills group. However, it is important that the group be carefully selected to ensure that it is an appropriate match for the participant. In this article, I plan to outline the features that I have found make for a successful social skills group. Please keep in mind that these characteristics are based on impressions from my experience.

    1. A group should consist of children around the same age and verbal ability:
    Ensuring that the other participants are of about the same age and verbal ability will maximize opportunities for socialization.

    2. Look for a small-sized group, or a group with more than one leader:
    To my knowledge, there is no magic number for how many children should be in a social skills group. I can say from experience, however, that smaller groups allow leaders to provide more individualized training to group participants, as well as the opportunity to offer more intensive behavioral support. Social skills dyads (groups consisting of 2 children) can be very effective if the children are well matched. However, the downside may be less consistent treatment, as the group will be canceled if one participant is unavailable.

    3. Parent Involvement:
    Parent involvement is very important for skill generalization. Some research has shown that while participants are able to acquire skills within the social skills group, they may not show these skills in other settings, such as home, school, and community.

    I recommend that parents share their concerns with the group leader prior to the date when their child will begin attending group. Supporting documentation, such as previous evaluations, letters from teachers, etc. are also informative for group leaders. I also suggest that parents ask to review the group curriculum. The curriculum should reflect at least some of the skills on which your child is working to improve.

    Once group attendance has begun, regular communication between parents and leaders is important for gauging progress across settings. In addition, if homework assignments are not being given, parents should ask the leaders what exercises they can do at home to practice the skill and provide regular feedback on how their child responds to these exercises.

    In addition, play dates can serve as an excellent venue for facilitating effective social interaction. Ask the group leader for suggestions about games that one can organize during a play date that promote social-communication, as well as strategies for managing social-interaction during a play date.

    In summary, social skills are required of us every day and in various settings. Improving social skills requires consistent practice across these settings. Social skills groups can be very helpful when they are focused on specific goals. Groups should facilitate interaction in a way that mirrors real life situations and demands, and that encourages participants to expand their social behavioral repertoire.

    Jennifer (Rodman) Keluskar, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist whose areas of specialization include Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities, behavior management, and anxiety disorders. She can be contacted at jennifer@brooklynletters.com or (347) 974-1106.

    The Value of Schedules for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Carolyn Kessler, Ph.D.

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    Visual supports are often recommended for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, but the many reasons for this are often misunderstood. One commonly used visual support are visual schedules, which can be based on objects, pictures, and/or words. There are several advantages to the use of schedules, whether the individual knows the general daily routine or not.

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