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Summer 2014 Learning Lab Group Program

Summer 2014 Learning Lab Group Program

Access to Better Communication is offering a Learning Lab group program for the summer 2014. This group will work to create better learners and students by using visual strategies to develop improved executive functioning, reading, and writing while interacting with peers in a small group setting. Executive Functioning (E.F.) represents a group of skills that an individual uses to better focus on and process multiple sets of information at the same time and revise plans as necessary. Students who have E.F. deficits (also referred to as Executive Dysfunction) demonstrate weaknesses in areas including writing, organization, time management, initiation of tasks, and planning, which impact overall academic performance and activities of daily living.

Focused topics will include:

  • Initiation/planning for writing: We have discovered that many students with E.F. challenges have difficulty when assigned a writing task. “Getting started” can sometimes be the hardest part. These students struggle with reading a prompt, steps for prewriting, developing outlines, and writing the introduction.
  • Self-awareness and monitoring in group tasks: By participating in a small group setting, we are able to incorporate aspects of “Social Thinking®” with these traditionally “academic only” students. The students will learn how to monitor one’s self for “time robbers,” how to participate cooperatively in a group, and how to monitor one’s own attention to group discussions and projects. Many teachers are reporting this to be a tough skill for students, particularly those with EF difficulties who also have a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD.
  • Time management/organization for long-term projects and group tasks: Time management skills will be targeted through small group and individual tasks, as well as project planning. Students will learn how to estimate the amount of time it takes to complete an assignment, break the assignment into smaller steps, and execute those steps within a deadline so that they may complete assignments and projects from start to finish.
  • Reading comprehension and note taking: Students will learn to improve reading comprehension through strategies such as “visual mapping,” “information chunking,” “if/then thinking,” and summary writing. Students with E.F. weaknesses often have difficulty being concise and narrowing in on the most important information.

In summary, ABC’s Learning Lab group program is an opportunity for students to develop greater independence, organization, and time management skills over the summer that will be applicable in the academic setting. Opportunities for further enhancing these skills throughout the school year will be discussed at the end of this 8 week program.

For more information regarding ABC’s Learning Lab group program, please contact Kelli Renfro, Speech-Language Pathologist at (225) 930-0208 or email her directly at kelli@abclouisiana.com.

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Looking for More Information on Speech Disorders? Start Here!

Speech disorder. It’s a term that you may or may not be familiar with. You may have heard a teacher or a doctor mention the term and looking for more information. We hope the information in this article will help!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for Baton Rouge speech therapist! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

Many young children have difficulty with communication at some time in their lives. Most will eventually catch up. However, some will continue to have problems. Communication disorders include speech disorders and language disorders. Speech disorders are discussed in this article. Some general guidelines are also given. This will help you decide if your child needs to be tested by a speech-language pathologist.

A child with a speech disorder may have difficulty with articulation, voice, fluency or any combination of these.

Speech Sound Disorders
Articulation is the physical production of speech sounds. A child with speech sound disorders will have difficulty articulating certain speech sounds. This can make the child hard to understand.

Types of Errors
Omissions: Sounds in words and sentences may be completely left out. For example: “I go a coo o the buh” (I go to school on the bus); or “I ree a boo” (I read a book).

Substitutions: An incorrect (usually easier) sound is used instead of the correct one. For example: “I saw a wittle wamb”; “I tee de tun in the ty”; “I have a wed wadio”; “I’m a dood dirl.”

Distortions: The child tries to make the right sound, but cannot produce it clearly. For example, an /s/ sound may whistle, or the air comes out the sides of the mouth, making a “slushy” sound (a “lateral lisp”); or, the tongue may push between the teeth causing a “frontal lisp.”

Causes
For most children, the cause of the speech sound disorder in unknown. Other speech sound disorders can be linked to things such as a cleft palate, problems with the teeth, hearing loss, or difficulty controlling the movements of the mouth. Neurological disorders that can affect articulation include cerebral palsy.

Oral Apraxia: Difficulty making voluntary movements of the tongue and lips or with combining movements including those needed to make speech sounds. As a result, speech may be difficult to produce or have many inconsistent articulation errors.
Dysarthria: Paralysis, weakness or generally poor coordination of the muscles of the mouth. This can make speech slow, inaccurate, slurred, and/or hypernasal (when too much sound comes through the nose).

Reasons for Concern

  • If the child doesn’t babble using consonant sounds (particularly b, d, m, and n) by age 8 or 9 months
  • If the child does not producing one word other than mom or dad by 12 months
  • If the child uses mostly vowel sounds and gestures for communication after 18 months
  • If speech cannot be understood by strangers at the age of 3
  • If the child often leaves out consonants from words at the age of 3
  • If speech is still difficult to understand at the age of 4
  • If, by 6, the child is still unable to produce many sounds
  • If the child is leaving out, substituting, or distorting sounds after the age of 7
  • If the child is embarrassed or worried about his speech at any age

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Looking for more information on language disorders? Checkout this article about language disorders that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/s/speech-disorder/

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Looking to Have a Family Night at Home? Try One of These 40 Ideas!

Having time together is so important. Knowing what to do though to involve everyone in this digital age can be a big challenge though. In order to help you out we found this article with 40 different family activities. We hope it helps you plan many fun nights with your family!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for Baton Rouge dyslexia assessment! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

Game night: This is a fun one! seriously… we hope to even bust out the old candy land when our kids are older. just for goofiness of it!

Cooking night: cooking with kids can be as easy or complicated as you want. pizza, grilled cheese, MACARONI and cheese, salads.. these are all great kid friendly meals that everyone can help with. As they get older, more complicated meals would be fun, and they will also be gaining some kitchen knowledge!

Minute to win it game night: This is something that my youth group goes nuts over! you can find so many ideas of games on pinterest, or even just make up your own relays.

Inside camping: You can make a tent, or put one of your own up. and enjoy a camping night, in the warmth of your family room! Have a camp food meal, tell spooky stories, etc.. My kids love this!!

Baking cookies: are you a family who realizes 2 days before christmas that you forgot to bake the cookies? Well, if you have one or two family baking nights, then you could freeze some cookies and never have that problem again! genius!

Time capsule: wouldn’t it be neat to start this family night in tradition by creating a time CAPSULE, hide it in the ATTIC.. and in 5 years or so, open it up! I’m sure you’ll get some laughs and “momma sighs” with this one. SENTIMENTAL goes a long way!

Sundae party: set up a buffet of different toppings and ice cream flavors! If everyone has a small dish, then they can create all sorts of different combinations. This is a great option to do combined with another event, like movie night or game night!

Karaoke night: “Let it go!” anyone? I’m sure we can all think of some family friendly songs to sing karaoke with… Disney songs are rockin’ for this! And the best part is, even if you don’t have a karaoke machine, you can just look up the songs on YouTube, and it will play the music instrumentals And show the lyrics! What a fun night!

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Looking for more family fun ideas? Checkout this article about family fun ideas that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.creativelyhomespun.com/2015/10/29/40-at-home-family-nights/

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Kids Driving Your Crazy? Learn Ways for Them to Burn Off the Extra Energy Here!

Kids have so much energy. Especially during the summer it seems when they have nothing to break up their day. In order to help you out so they don’t destroy your house we found this article. It has ten different ways for kids to burn off their extra energy. We hope it helps!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for Baton Rouge speech therapist! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

With four boys, our house has a lot of noise and a lot of energy! I would say it gets better with age, but my oldest son (9.5 years old) has the most energy of all of them, so I think it’s probably a personality. My 3 year old has a lot of energy too, although he’s not quite as loud. Over the years, I’ve gathered a list of ways that are okay for them to burn off a little steam, because we all know that if high-energy kids have nothing to do, they’re going to find something!

Some of these ideas are good for inside, and others for outside. Also, I think it’s important to mention that for some kids, an activity that requires a lot of thinking rather than a lot of physical exertion is actually more calming. So at the end of the list I have some ideas for kids that will challenge their minds and their creativity. Since I have all boys, most of these ideas will appeal to boys, but girls will probably enjoy many of them too!

Hit balloons back and forth with homemade cardboard paddles.

An indoor ball game with one of those cheap lightweight balls from the toy department.
My boys invented a game that they named “Jump It.” Several versions have grown out of the original version. To play Jump It, two players stand across the room from each other, facing each other. They take turns throwing the ball at each other. The other person must jump over the ball, dodge the ball, or catch the ball. If the ball hits them, they lose a “life.” The boys usually start with 8 lives each, and they play until someone has lost all of their lives.

Fling cotton balls with plastic fork catapults. This is as simple (and fun!) as it sounds.

Throwing ice. Simple, yet so much fun! We did this the other night after a long school day. I took a plastic container of ice out front, and let the boys throw the ice out into the street. They had a blast watching the ice break as it hit the pavement. Then they went out and gathered up the ones that didn’t break and threw them some more, then stomped on what was left.

Get your kids busy with something that involves the mind. For some kids, active play will only make them wilder! Everyone needs exercise, of course, but sometimes an activity that challenges the brain can be just the thing for soaking up some of that excess energy. For older kids, challenge them to build a bridge out of straws and straight pins or to build a Lego boat that will really float. For preschoolers, try having them cut alphabet letters out of cereal boxes and other food packages. My 3 year old will happily spend a long time cutting and gluing, and he had fun cutting out the letters of his name to make a poster!

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Looking for more physical activities for your kids? Checkout this article about physical activities for kids that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://frugalfun4boys.com/2013/03/17/ten-ways-for-kids-to-burn-off-energy/

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Does Your Child Have a Sensory Processing Disorder? Learn More Here!

Sensory Processing Disorder can be a big scary term when you first hear it. In order to break it down so you can actually understand it and how it applies to your child we found this great article for you to read. We hope it helps!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for Baton Rouge speech therapy for toddlers! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

Sensory processing disorder is a stand alone disability as well as being prevalent in many other diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, Down syndrome, learning disability, nonverbal learning disability and Tourette syndrome. In addition to senses being under and over-stimulated, sensory processing disorder can adversely affect attention, learning and daily living. In this guide we’ve collected resources to help you understand this disorder, recognize different sensory issues and behaviors and engage in many fun sensory integration activities.

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Looking for ways to encourage sensory play at home? Checkout this article about sensory play at home that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.oneplaceforspecialneeds.com/main/library_sensory_processing.html

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Does Your Child Love Sesame Street? Learn How They Can Help Your Child With Autism Here!

Everyone loves Sesame Street. It’s an educational show but they have always found a way to make learning fun. They are committed to helping every child, even ones with autism. One of the ways they have done that is have a special area of their website focusing only on children with autism. We hope both you and your child enjoy this section and learn something in the process!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for pediatric speech therapy! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:


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Looking for more help with autism? Checkout this article about autism games that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://autism.sesamestreet.org/

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Looking for New Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained? Try These!

Summer might be winding down but keeping kids entertained is a year long struggle. In order to help you out we found this article with 39 different healthy family activities all year long. We hope it helps you and your family create family memories that’ll last a lifetime!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for Baton Rouge speech therapist! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

We spent the last week in Jackson, Wyoming, totally snowed-in and enjoying each other’s company. Trying to keep three boys busy in an ice-cold town with access only to a hotel suite and whatever Amazon Prime will deliver is…interesting. The experience made me realize that there are actually a TON of healthy family activities that can be enacted at the drop of a hat, if you have a few ideas and are open to going with the flow.

As a parent, it can be exhausting to come up with new activities to keep the kiddos entertained. I’ll admit that there was a time or two when I retreated to the bathroom just to get a moment of peace and brainstorm the next time-passer.

A lot was learned, though, and now I have a seemingly-endless reserve of entertainment ideas! You can benefit from my experience. Here’s my list of healthy family activities that are sure to keep the family busy and learning in as much time – or as little – as you have available.

Tell a never-ending story. Now that our boys are getting older, this has become a favorite pastime for us. A parent sets the scene like, “Once upon a time, there lived a _______” and then the kids fill in the blank. Take turns stopping abruptly at pivotal parts of the story and seeing where the next person takes it.
Practice yoga. With a 4-year-old, the downward dog can be downright hilarious.
Play a board game.
Bath time. Not just ANY bath time, though. Bust out the shaving cream and see what funny designs the kids can create on the walls!
Animal charades. Each kid thinks of an animal and acts it out until the other participants guess what it is.
Play Two Truths and a Lie. The old college frat favorite is actually a blast with kids. Each person takes turns saying three statements. Two are true and one is a lie. Everyone else tries to guess what’s real and what’s not.
Indoor bowling. Set up some old water bottles and take turns trying to knock them down with a soft ball.
Bat a balloon back-and-forth. Balloons can come in handy for so many entertaining ideas, we always have some on-hand – even in our travel bags.
Play “memory.” Show the group a tray full of eight or nine items for 30 seconds. Then, give them 2 minutes to write down as many items as they can remember.
Masking tape bulls-eye. Create a target on the ground with masking tape and have your kids take turns seeing who can roll a small ball or toy car closest to the center.

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Looking for more fun family activities to try? Checkout this article about healthy family activities that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://somedayilllearn.com/healthy-family-activities/#_a5y_p=4966251

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Looking For Ways to Teach Your Child With Asperger’s Social Skills? Start Here!

Social skills for kids, especially those with Asperger’s can be a real challenge. Teaching your child social skills can be extremely difficult which is why we wanted to share this article with you. We hope it helps you teach your child social skills!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for pediatric therapy in Baton Rouge! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

In this episode of Dr. G Aspie Show, Mary B. Moore teaches Dr. G some awesome social skills games. The key ingredient to developing and keeping friendships is having shared joy and conversation skills. These social skills games are great tools to help your child find shared joy with others and have a fun and interesting conversation with them as a result!

1. Teach the perspective-taking to understand the “why” before the “what and how to:” When we share space with others, we need to think and act differently. Learning the reasons behind social situations is more effective than rote memorization of a list of social skills. Memorizing certain behavior responses or scripts (e.g. how to give a great greeting) is a good place to start when building basic social skills. The problem with rote memorization, however, is that social situations change making a “if A, then B” one-size approach limiting. Therefore, a better and more effective approach is to teach your child to think through what other people may be expecting in a social situation and what responses could favorably match those expectations. Specifically, how to observe, read various social cues to deduce what the other person is feeling, thinking, and expecting in order to decide which response will result in a positive outcome for all.

Use your child’s special interests to teach this concept. For example, great scientists and inventors take time to observe, collect data, recognize patterns, and make educated predictions, which in turn can lead to successful decisions, discoveries and outcomes. Using this analogy can help your Aspie understand the steps to successful social interpretation, social problem-solving, and social skills.

2. Prioritize: Start by asking “What is my child doing too little or too much of that is getting in the way of his/her social success?” Does he tend to withdraw from others and not initiate play or conversation with others? Or does she initiate in frequently intrusive, impulsive or disruptive ways to the annoyance of others? Answering these questions will help guide you in identifying your child’s individual social skill needs.

3. Point out (builds social awareness): Point out to the child when a target skill is demonstrated in the environment. Using examples in “fake life” such as characters in books, movies, or TV shows are often easier and less threatening, especially to kids who are highly sensitive to criticism. For example: “Look how the girl is showing her friend she is listening by looking at her, turning her body towards her and keeping a still body.” Playing “Social Detective” which is like a social I-Spy game where you take turns pointing out the skill in real life by watching people in public places such as in restaurant or shopping mall.

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Looking for more ways to teach social skills? Checkout this article about social skills austism that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/how-to-help-your-aspie-learn-social-skills/

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Looking for Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends! Get Ideas Here!

Having friends is essential to life. Sometimes it can be harder to make friends for some rather than others. If your child is one that has a harder time than others making friends then you’ve come to the right place. We found this article with ideas on ways you can help your child make more friends. We hope it helps!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for Baton Rouge pediatric therapists! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

How do kids make friends? Newborn babies are born ready to socialize, and no wonder: Throughout our evolutionary history, the ability to make friends has been a crucial survival skill.

But that doesn’t mean that marvelous good manners and irresistible charm will “just emerge” during your child’s development.

Decades of research suggests that parents play a big role in teaching children how to make friends. The most popular kids are prosocial—i.e., caring, sharing, and helpful. They also have strong verbal skills and know how to keep their selfish or aggressive impulses in check. Most of all, popular kids are good at interpersonal skills: empathy, perspective-taking, and moral reasoning (Slaughter et al 2002; Dekovic and Gerris 1994).

So it seems that making friends depends on skills that kids can develop with practice:
– conversational skills
– interpersonal skills
– emotional self-control

Here are some research-based tips to help kids make friends.

1. Be an “emotion coach.”

Everybody has negative emotions and selfish impulses. But to make friends, we need to keep these responses under control. Studies of Western kids suggest that children develop better emotional self-control when their parents talk to them about their feelings in a sympathetic, problem-solving way.

By contrast, kids whose negative emotions are usually trivialized (“You’re just being silly”) or punished (“Go to your room and cool off”) tend to have more trouble with self-control (Davidov and Grusec 1996; Denham 1997; Denham et al 1997; Denham 1989; Denham and Grout 1993; Eisenberg et al 1996).

Does emotion coaching really help kids make friends? That seems likely. A recent study found that that the emotion socialization strategies mothers used on their 5-year-olds predicted changes in how well their children regulated their own emotions. This, in turn, was linked with children’s friendship quality 2-5 years later (Blair et al 2013).

2. Practice authorative (not authoritarian) parenting
Studies of both Western and Chinese children report that kids are more likely to be rejected by their peers when their parents practice authoritarian parenting –an approach characterized by low levels of warmth and high levels of control.

Authoritarian parents discourage thoughtful discussion and attempt to control behavior through punishment. Kids raised this way are less likely to develop an internalized sense of right and wrong. And kids subjected to harsh punishments tend to show more hostility and aggression (Xu et al 2009; Chen and Rubin 1994).

Authoritative parenting is also characterized by high levels of control, in that parents set limits and demand maturity from their kids. But authoritative parents relate to their kids with warmth, and attempt to shape behavior through rational discussion and explanation of the reasons for rules.

Studies show that authoritative parents tend to have kids who are less aggressive, more self-reliant, more self-controlled, and better-liked by peers (Brotman et al 2009; Sheehan and Watson 2008; Hastings et al 2007).

What’s cause and what’s effect? It’s possible that some kids are more inclined to be defiant, and these kids elicit more heavy-handed discipline from their parents. But it also seems likely that certain aspects of authoritative parenting–like the fostering of discussion, particularly discussion about emotions and social conflicts–might boost social skills and help kids make friends.

3. Teach kids how to converse in a polite way
The earliest lessons kids learn about communication happen at home, and it seems they make a difference. In a recent study tracking young children over a period of many years, Ruth Feldman and her colleagues found that parents who showed high levels of reciprocity in their communication with children had kids who developed more social competence and better negotiation skills over time (Feldman et al 2013).

But we can do more than engage kids in the give-and-take of family dialogue. We can also offer concrete advice about how to make new friends.

A number of experimental studies have reported that unpopular kids improve their status with peers after they’ve been trained in “active listening” (e.g., Bierman 1986). An active listener is someone who makes it clear he is paying attention–by making appropriate eye contact, orienting the body in the direction of the speaker, remaining quiet, and making relevant verbal responses.

In their book, Children’s Friendship Training, Fred Frankel and Robert Myatt of the UCLA Semel Institute outline a formal program for grade school kids who have trouble making friends. One aspect of the program involves making conversation. Frankel and Myatt argue that kids need to practice the art of “trading information.” Tips to pass onto kids include:

– When starting a conversation with someone new, trade information about your “likes” and “dislikes.”
– Don’t be a conversation hog. When engaged in conversation, only answer the question at hand. Then give your partner a chance to talk, or ask a question of your own.
– Don’t be an interviewer. Don’t just ask questions. Offer information about yourself.

Frankel and Myatt suggest that kids practice their conversational skills by making phone calls to each other.

For kids struggling to make friends, avoid competitive games and other situations that can provoke conflict or discourage cooperation

Several studies suggest that kids get along better when they are engaged in cooperative activities—i.e., activities in which kids work toward a common goal (Roseth et al 2008). This is true in the classroom, and it’s also true when kids play. For example, one study compared how 4th grade boys behaved during competitive and cooperative games. During cooperative games, unpopular boys were less disruptive and behaved with greater maturity. Popular boys showed greater tolerance (Gelb and Jacobson 1988).

Based on such findings, Fred Frankel and Robert Myatt recommend that parents steer kids away from competitive games, at least until kids develop better social skills (Frankel and Myatt 2002).

Got a play date? Frankel and Myatt also recommend that parents plan ahead and put away toys that discourage social interaction or provoke fighting. That means putting away toy weapons. It also means putting away toys designed for solitary play or which inspire self-absorption, like video games. And if your child can’t bear to share something, it’s best to hide it until the play date is over.

4. Foster empathy and sympathetic concern for others.
Although even babies shown signs of empathy, I think it’s a mistake to imagine that full-blown empathy will “just emerge” if you leave kids alone. Here are some tips for fostering empathy, perspective-taking, and sympathy in kids.

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Looking for more ways to help your child make friends? Checkout this article about help child make friends that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.parentingscience.com/kids-make-friends.html

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Parenting a Child on the Spectrum? Learn How Being Happy and Healthy Will Help Here!

As parents we are responsible for a lot. If you’ve got a child on the Autism spectrum though it can seem like you’re responsible for even more. One thing you might not be aware of that affects your child is how happy and healthy you are. In order to tell you a more we found this article with more information on why and how you can be happier and healthier. We hope it helps!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for Baton Rouge speech and language therapy! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

Parenting a child on the autism spectrum can be very rewarding, however, it also comes with unique challenges. Some of the unique differences that parenting a child on the spectrum can bring are feelings of isolation due to anti-social behaviors that are often extreme and aggressive; the need for constant routine and daily repetitive tasks; communication challenges and the constant fight to advocate for our children within the education, legal and medical systems. Our lives are often guided by our child’s needs and the truth is, as special parents, we need to have extra stamina and energy to keep up with these ongoing demands.

In 2012, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the impact that parenting a child on the autism spectrum can have on mothers’ stress levels. The results were shocking: hormone levels were consistent with chronic stress. The researchers compared the blood work to that of soldiers on the front line of combat.

The largest concern with these finding is that at least 70% of all illnesses have been linked to stress and as special parents we don’t have time to be sick. Maintaining our own health and well-being are paramount so we are fully available to deal with the extra demands that our daily life puts upon us.

So what can we do to take control of this and counterbalance negative stress in our lives? We need to develop a stress reduction plan that works for us; one that is practical, doable and fun!

When I was just 24, I burned out from executive stress. What seemed like a total disaster at the time has gone on to be the greatest gift I ever received. Now, as the mother of two boys, each with an Individual Education Plan (IEP), one whom is on the autism spectrum, I understand that this early ‘health hiccup’ was building my resolve. It allowed me to develop a tool-kit of strategies that I could use, not only for myself, but also share with others who find themselves with a special needs child to support.

Empowering ourselves and increasing our health levels requires us to begin with developing awareness of our current stress levels and how it is impacting us. This is the first step in consciously creating a self-care program that will sustain your health and well-being. As Albert Einstein said: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

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Looking for ways to make parenting easier? Checkout this article about parenting apps that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/new-ways-to-be-happy-and-healthy-while-parenting-an-asd-child/

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Does Your Child Suffer From Self-Regulation? Learn How to Help Them Here!

Tantrums can be a common occurrence for some people depending upon how old their children are. If you think your child should have outgrown it by now and they have it then you’ve come to the right place. This article discusses one of the possible causes for continued tantrums. We hope it helps!

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Do you need an experienced, licensed, and caring speech therapist for your child in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area? Look no further! Access to Better Communication is your #1 Choice for Baton Rouge cognitive behavioral therapy! Call us today at 225-930-0208 to schedule your initial consultation!
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From the article:

f you’re a parent, chances are you’ve witnessed a tantrum or two in your day. We expect them in two-year-olds. But if your child reaches school age and meltdowns and outbursts are still frequent, it may be a sign that he or she has difficulty with emotional self-regulation.

Simply put, self-regulation is the difference between a two-year-old and a five-year-old, who is more able to control his emotions. Helping kids who haven’t developed self-regulation skills at the typical age is the goal of parent training programs. And many older children, even if they’re beyond tantrums, continue to struggle with impulsive and inappropriate behavior.

What is self-regulation?
Self-regulation is the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. It includes being able to resist highly emotional reactions to upsetting stimuli, to calm yourself down when you get upset, to adjust to a change in expectations and to handle frustration without an outburst. It is a set of skills that enables children, as they mature, to direct their own behavior towards a goal, despite the unpredictability of the world and our own feelings.

What does emotional dysregulation look like?
Problems with self-regulation manifest in different ways depending on the child, says Dr. Matthew Rouse, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. “Some kids are instantaneous — they have a huge, strong reaction and there’s no lead-in or build-up,” he says. “They can’t inhibit that immediate behavior response.”

For other kids, he notes, distress seems to build up and they can only take it for so long. Eventually it leads to some sort of behavioral outburst. “You can see them going down the wrong path but you don’t know how to stop it.”

The key for both kinds of kids is to learn to handle those strong reactions and find ways to express their emotions that are more effective (and less disruptive) than having a meltdown.

Why do some kids struggle with self-regulation?
Dr. Rouse sees emotional control issues as a combination of temperament and learned behavior.

“A child’s innate capacities for self-regulation are temperament and personality-based,” he explains. Some babies have trouble self-soothing, he adds, and get very distressed when you’re trying to bathe them or put on clothes. Those kids may be more likely to experience trouble with emotional self-regulation when they’re older.

But the environment plays a role as well. When parents give in to tantrums or work overtime to soothe their children when they get upset and act out, kids have a hard time developing self-discipline. “In those situations, the child is basically looking to the parents to be external self-regulators,” Dr. Rouse says. “If that’s a pattern that happens again and again, and a child is able to ‘outsource’ self-regulation, then that’s something that might develop as a habit.”

Children with ADHD or anxiety may find it particularly challenging to manage their emotions, and need more help to develop emotional regulation skills.

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Looking for information on behavior therapy? Checkout this article about behavior therapy that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: https://childmind.org/article/can-help-kids-self-regulation/

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