Nili Geldwert, M.A. CCC-SLP and Julie Pike, M.A., CCC-SLP
Are you planning on taking an adventure, big or small, with your child? Perhaps you want to visit the new ice-cream store down the block or the zoo. We at Social Adventures NYC understand the needs of children who have autism and/or those that have social communication challenges during these outings. We've put together some helpful strategies that can make the experience more pleasurable for your child and for you. Our social communication support strategies are divided into three categories: pre-adventure, adventure, and post-adventure.
Take a moment and think about how you prepare yourself to go to a new place. Now that we have technology at our fingertips, we Google the destination, look at the website, check the location, figure out how we’re going to get there, and take note on what to expect. This process is called priming; we get ourselves ready for what to expect. Children with social communication challenges need similar priming. Before going on an adventure, a child might feel nervous or apprehensive. He or she may not be able to express their feelings but might show it in their behaviors. Since children usually cannot prime themselves, parents can do that for them.
Things to keep in mind:
Pre-Adventure Priming tips:
Reflection time is a dedicated time to debrief on an experience or set of experiences. This time is highly valuable and helps to solidify the experience and the emotions for the child. Here a few strategies to facilitate reflection time: