Tag Archives: Routine Changes

Question?: What Is Autism Disorder

Lisa asks…

Where can I find information on the results of harmful routine changes in children with autism?

My son has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. I’m attempting a stepparent adoption and trying to terminate his bio father’s rights. He has not seen him for almost a year. His father is bipolar and refusing to take meds. I want to show the court how harmful it can be for him to just pop in and out of my son’s life, but I can’t find anything to use.

admin answers:

I would suggest you find a developmental pediatrician to help you.

My son has PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) one of the many types of ASD’s (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Any type of change, large or small, in his routine greatly affects his behaviour and ability to function day to day.

A developmental pediatrician usually specializes in children with these types of disorders and would hopefully be able to prepare some type of report for you with regard to your son, his ASD and the effects his absent father has on the situation, that you in turn could present to the court. Definitely get a “professional” on your side.

I’m hoping this will help. Having an “ASD child” myself, I understand what you’re going through and I wish you lots of luck!

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Working with autistic children and young people

ASD – Autism spectrum disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder that affects more boys than girls. ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder is the one of the most common childhood disorders.

A vast majority of autistic children display sensory processing issues and are hypersensitive to stimuli like noise, light, touch, feel and smells.

Sensory processing issues are common to autism. Individuals with ASD will also have the triad of autistic impairments:

The triad of autistic impairments are deficits in:

Social interaction skills

Communication skills

And Imagination skills

These deficits can make teaching a child with autism difficult.

Generally autistic children prefer routines and structures and can become anxious and stressed when their routine is changed even in a small way.

Therefore when working with autistic children and young people it is normally a good idea to:

Organize the autistic child’s day into a set routines, this can be done using a visual schedule or timetable; that the child can refer to at regular intervals. Using a visual schedule will reassure the autistic child of structure and routine, taking away any uncertainty, thus reducing stresses.

Try to avoid routine changes wherever possible. However if routines change it is advisable to show these changes on the visual schedule whenever possible. It is also advisable to use supports like social skills stories to help explain any changes, which will reduce stress and help make the less predictable more routine.

A social skills story will show the change to routine and answer the important “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) reducing stress and showing possible outcomes allowing the child with autism to rehearse the change making them more comfortable with the change.

For the majority of teachers working with autistic children and young people using visual timetables, flash cards and social skills stories is very effective.

Autism social skills stories are easy to implement and need no formal training to use.

Sometimes when routines change a child with autism can become aggressive, anxious, stressed and confused. Therefore it is recommended an autism social skills story should be implemented prior to the change.

For example a temporary teacher; prior to the change an autism social skills story can be put in place to make the autistic child aware of the change and prepare them for the situation, this can help alleviate some of the anxiety and stress.

The autism social skills story is also an excellent autism resource for sudden changes like a teachers illness, unexpected visitors at home, a doctors appointment etc..

The social skills story will give clear focus on the key points giving the child with autism clear and precise instruction and information alleviating the anxiety they will be feeling.

This autism resource can be downloaded and personalized from sites such as: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

The autism social skills story is also used to teach vital social skills and re-enforce already learnt behaviors such as personal hygiene, shopping trips, hospital appointments, hair cuts and other issues such as bedtime, shared reading, death the list is endless.

Download social skills stories for your autistic child from:


Social skills stories are used to teach social and communication skills to children with autism
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