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Looking Into the Future for a Child With Autism
As my son’s limitations became clearer, I found it harder every year to write a vision statement for his I.E.P. Then he showed us how.
Like One In A Hundred, social thinking camps are a small, supportive community that helps campers improve their social skills. The campers are bright, creative individuals who have difficulty connecting with their peers and navigating their way in social situations. Click here to learn more from the expert, Michelle Garcia Winner.
Executive functioning covers 8 specific skill areas that we address at camp ALL DAY LONG!
These skills are:
- Impulse control – children with weak impulse control might blurt out something inappropriate – at camp we work on “activating our tool box,” “read the room” and “think with our eyes” when we are in social situations
- Emotional control – sometimes children with emotional control challenges often overreact. We work directly on self-reflection via video monitoring – not only at times when they overreact but also when they respond appropriately.
- Flexible thinking – one of our many “mantras” at camp is “go with the flow” and “is it a big deal or a little deal?” Rolling with the punches is something we practice during our drama activities that mirror real life activities such as recess at school, eating lunch with friends, and sharing materials.
- Working memory – trouble with following directions is often a part of a weak working memory. Our speech and language pathologists are specifically trained to “chunk” verbal information into parts that our campers can process more effectively. We always provide visual supports to help with working memory challenges.
- Self-monitoring – it’s hard to look at how one’s behavior is perceived. During our drama activities we specifically reflect on how our behavior is being perceived by our peers by noting their non-verbal language.
- Planning and prioritizing – each group has a daily schedule as well as an all camp schedule. The team reviews the expectations at the start of each day with a morning meeting. This review shows the children what fun they are going to have all day!
- Task initiation – How do we even begin to begin? Starting a project sometimes can feel overwhelming. Our staff breaks down our activities into specific steps to help with “how to begin” challenges.
- Organization – keeping track of one’s belongings is developmental but sometimes we lose things. As we get ready for swim, we have a checklist of items we bring to the pool and what we need to have when we return. Also, we have rehearsals to help our campers become more independent and successful, such as keeping track of our lunchbox and goggles.