Welcome to my “Make a Difference” Blog.

Tips, Strategies, Time Savers and Inspiration to help make difference for a child with an ASD in your class, home or community.

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Using Timers to Support Students with Autism Educating at Home

Using Timers To Support Students with Autism Educating at HomeWhy You Should Use Timers with Students with Autism Timers tell the student HOW LONG and WHEN they are going to have to do an activity. Timers allow you to pre-warn the student about activities finishing or starting. They help answer many of the questions these students may have: What is happening? What order? What time? What is next? How long? Timers also add certainty. As they inform the student of what to expect when and for how long. This can help to drastically reduce anxiety, which is especially important during this stressful Coronavirus period. Here is a review from one of my lovely members in my Facebook podcast community  Using Timers to Manage and Reduce Anxiety Time Management = Anxiety Management = Improved Behaviour Remember the higher student's anxiety the less flexibility they will have in completing tasks. By using Timers & Schedules anxiety is reduced and there is less need to fight for control....

Schedules: The Number One Strategy for Students with Autism in these Uncertain Times

Schedules: Number One Strategy for Students with Autism in these Uncertain TimesIs your child/student struggling to Stay engaged with online learning Get into a routine when learning from home Handle anxiety in this strange time Stay away from the screen Stay on task If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then I recommend you start using SCHEDULES Why YOU Should Use Schedules for Students with Autism  Schedules provide students with autism, ADHD & ODD a way to understand what is happening, when it is happening and any changes that are happening. They are the number one strategy for students with autism because they can make a huge difference to the overall wellbeing of the child. Why do Schedules Work for Students With Autism? Schedules work so well for students with autism because they address many of the fundamental issues students with autism may have. These are: Rigidity and a need for sameness - changes can create considerable stress for students with autism...

Using Social Scripts to Help Students With Autism Understand Coronavirus

Using Social Scripts to Help Students With Autism Understand CoronavirusDuring these stressful and uncertain times, it is vital that we help our students with autism understand coronavirus; what it is and why everything is changing all the time. This is because uncertainty can often result in intense feelings of anxiety for students with autism. Social scripts are the key for helping students with autism to understand events and situations. This is why I love the quote below "Improvements in behaviour doesn’t come from the social script. It comes from improved understanding of events and situations."The advantage of social scripts is the children can refer back to them many times to boost understanding. Social scripts can also tell students what they can do, by providing alternative situations (e.g. whilst the social script might explain why students are unable to see the grandparents for a while, they can also explain that students are still able to FaceTime them). This is why I...

How and Why to Use Visuals When Teaching Students With Autism

❤️ USING VISUALS WHEN TEACHING STUDENTS WITH AUTISM ❤️ Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASDChildren on the autism spectrum often can struggle with processing verbal or written cues. This is why it can be so effective to use visuals when teaching students with autism. Visuals include real objects, parts of objects or remnants (e.g. empty packet of sultanas), photographs of the actual object, photographs of similar objects, drawings, computer generated symbols (e.g. Boardmaker, Pics for PECS) and written words. Why Use Visuals When Teaching Students with Autism? Up to 80% of families have their child’s (with autism spectrum disorder) hearing test first because of delays in language development and not responding to verbal cues. The hearing test normally shows no problems, the issue is actually difficulty processing or understanding language.  This is why visuals are very important to use with a child on the autism...

9 Homework Strategies for Students with Autism or ADHD

Homework Strategies for Children with Autism/ADHDSubscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD I have created some strategies and ideas to help students with autism or ADHD complete homework. Be aware that often students with autism or ADHD complete homework but don't hand it in. This can be due to anxiety that it isn't good enough or the teacher didn't specifically request it and the student didn't automatically hand it in. This is where home and school communication is vital. We recommend that as soon as a student doesn't hand in homework contact the parents that day so it can be actioned immediately. Keep in mind the very real stress and mental exhaustion that many of these students with autism or ADHD have at the end of the school day. The social aspect of school leaves them with an absence of breaks during the school day and for these students, school is for learning and home is for relaxation and time out. Students...

How to Help Students with ADHD

How to Help Students with ADHD Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD Joanne Steers and Kate Horstmann have put together a fantastic book full of hundreds of ideas to help students with ADHD in school. I believe these strategies are great for a range of children, including those with ASD. The book is full of ideas for every day school situations, and provides easy strategies to implement. Kate has kindly put together some quick tips for keeping kids cool and calm, which will helpfully help you prevent a child's anxiety!   Quick Tips for Helping Kids with ADHD Keep Cool and Calm at SchoolGet Organised. Rushing is nearly always stressful, and so is forgetting things. Having clear systems for everyday tasks is vital, and so is scheduling regular ‘chill out’ times in between activities.Get Active! Regular exercise is great for kids with ADHD to release tension and creates a natural ‘happy buzz’. Getting active...

Complete Sue Larkey January 2020 Newsletter

What you will learn Social Skills pg 2 10 Tips to Remember When Teaching Social Skills pg 3 How and Why to Use Visuals pg 6 9 Ways to Use Visuals pg 7 ODD and PDA; Definitions pg 8 11 Quick Tips for Supporting Students with ODD/PDA pg 9 Online Courses - Dr Tony Attwood pg 11 Anxiety, ASD and the Power of Preventative Breaks pg 12 How to Use Break Cards pg 13 How to Support Motor Skills pg 15 Essential Sue Larkey Books pg 17 ADHD 9 Quick Tips pg 20 ADHD Essential Resources pg 22 9 Essential Strategies for Homework pg 23 Ideas to Help Students with Homework pg 24 6 Key Strategies for Quick Results in Secondary School pg 25 Recommended Resources pg 28 Online Accredited Courses - Term 1 Course starts  pg 33 Upcoming Workshops starts Feb 20 pg 34 [activecampaign...

ODD and PDA

ODD AND PDASubscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASDHave you heard of ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) & PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)? I am seeing more and more children with a dual diagnosis of ASD and ODD & PDA. It is generally agreed PDA is part of the Autism Spectrum Conditions whereas ODD can occur on its own. Phil Christie, a child psychologist, said “It is inevitably the case that when conditions are defined by lists of behavioural features there will be interconnections and overlaps. This results in certain aspects of ODD and PDA presenting in a similar ways”What you might see with either ODD or PDA Refuses to do what is asked Always answers with “No” Talks back Deliberately ignores instructions Won’t participate in activities Makes own rules Angers very easily Stuck in negative thought patterns Has strong likes and dislikes but often can’t tell you why Withdrawing into fantasy world Giving...

Top Tips for Toilet Training

Subscribe to my podcast via my podcast page to get weekly episodes about ASD just like this one delivered automatically to where ever you listen to podcasts. Tips for Toileting (easy to Print Version below) Toilet training your child is a big task even for neuro-typical children. Parents often procrastinate over when to start and we keep delaying it for whatever reason we can think of! My biggest concern for children with ASD is if they are not out of nappies by five years of age then they often start to lose muscle control and can end up with long term bowel and bladder issues. Toileting is not something that the child will grow into or get better with age. We all need to action ASAP – and this includes schools. If a child is attending pre-school or school when the parents are toilet training then we all need to get behind the toileting programme and provide consistency all day every day until the child has mastered it. When to Start Toilet Training Signs of readiness in children...

How to Support Motor Skills for Students with Autism

HOW TO SUPPORT MOTOR SKILLS FOR STUDENTS WITH AUTISMSubscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD A WHOLE BODY APPROACH By Sally McNamara (OT) As an occupational therapist I am often asked for ideas on how to support or 'fix' a specific motor skill in a student with autism. For example, a student might hold their pencil incorrectly, have difficulty riding a bike or be unable to dress independently. Students with autism often have motor difficulties, this is where I highly recommend using a whole body approach. While most people hope there is a quick solution to the problem the truth is that each motor skill involves a series of complex connections between many different parts of the brain and body. As a consequence the development of each motor skill requires consideration of the whole body and how it works together. So while fine motor skills are still important for students with autism who have fine motor...

Anxiety, Autism and the Power of Preventative Breaks

ANXIETY, AUTISM AND THE POWER OF PREVENTATIVE BREAKSSubscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASD Research has shown that more than 75% of all children with ASD experience INTENSE anxious feelings. Today education is full of choices, open ended tasks and constant changes. For most students this makes learning interesting BUT for students with ASD, ADHD, ODD, etc. this creates many challenges and one of these is anxiety. Anxiety can look like Avoidance of new situations Preference for sameness Rigidity Insisting on same rules/routines Social withdrawal Anger Meltdowns Repetitive noise, movement or sentence The power of Preventative Breaks Students self-regulating their anxiety is a VERY important part of their behaviour management programme A student being able to request a break before a meltdown is a fantastic strategy You will need to teach them a range of strategies to calm themselves. When you are teaching them, you...

2019 Christmas Catalogue

Christmas Catalogue 2019 Subscribe to this podcast via your favourite app Join my newsletter for more awesome information about ASDWhat you will find in the 2019 Christmas / End of Year Celebrations Catalogue ???? 14 Tips for Christmas / Holiday Season ???? Beautiful Picture Books to Educate the Whole Family this Christmas ????Holiday Reading Ideas ????6 Key Strategies for Creating a Calming Area at School and Home ????12 Essential Tips for Concerts and End of Year Celebrates ???? Beautiful Books to Help Regulate Emotions ????Great Stocking Fillers ????How to Use Timers in the Holiday Period   Click on the link below to download the new Christmas Catalogue....