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Archive for November, 2014

peltor 2

Dear Parents,

Below is a link to several earmuff/headphone reviews that parents strongly recommend for child with ASD and/or Auditory Processing Disorder. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Peltor (4.5/5 stars by 272 reviewers on amazon) as well as this particular set by Howard Leight – (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=ac2cf66bec&view=fimg&th=149b07667356d80a&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ-7YKWh3YGURm9AMun4xtSuNsCrr7R_n8nEKe7ILzWPEdIvGkLcnwJkLnwfsRpGLtGcw_Q73YuxUzM_zK6nZRnVKD4c6qdv8WNPmccg5eWfD0GoZsLakWDwLgw&ats=1416416978348&rm=149b07667356d80a&zw&sz=w1194-h550). One parent I work with swears by the above headphones for her 8 year old son. He even sleeps in them.
Here’s the link to “8 Headphones for children with Autism and Auditory Processing Disorder”:
Let me know if you have additional recommendations. Please keep cost in mind.
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Inflexibility in teens with autism is hard wired. You can read about it in every book, article, memoir, and blog out there. It’s not driven by the same kind of “choice” or intentionality we give to a typically developing teen. This seems obvious to most and yet we often forget to carry this knowledge with us into challenging situations. We demand, “he knew exactly what he was doing and did it anyway”. Well, hear me out and see if you buy what I’m selling.

Let’s use a very familiar example.
A typically developing teen is refusing to turn off the computer and start homework. With their refusal comes a quick weighing of options on their part:
‘How is my parent going to react if I don’t listen?’
‘What will the consequences of my actions be?’
‘How much do they really need me to listen and how much of this is over-parenting/posturing?’
‘How far can I push this before it’s really an issue?’
‘Am I really willing to fight for this? Is it worth it?’
‘I wonder if they’ll actually follow through?’

When a teen with autism is acting inflexibly (same scenario), this weighing of perspectives, possibilities, outcomes IS NOT HAPPENING. This means they are not asking the vital questions that make the teen in the first example reconsider or not (choice).
This is an important distinction because it changes the way we speak about “choice” and what influences choice. The teen with ASD is largely unable to reach these conclusions on their own. Unable to ask the questions and weigh the options before making an informed, intentional decision.
Instead, he or she is stuck in the NOW – responding to feelings that loudly tell them, “I’m not ready”, “I don’t want to stop”, “I’m not done yet”, “Must finish.finish. finish”. This “I” mindset means that I cannot consider “you” or the after. He is not hard wired to consider how his actions are effecting you.
As practitioners who work to aid this individual in their social and emotional development, we need to recognize this. Once we do, we will work much harder to make expectations crystal clear, always review daily schedules , and make +/- consequences to specific actions consistent.

I’m sure many reading this thought, ‘Anthony’s giving typically developing teens way too much credit’. You might be right:)

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First, here is the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice?language=en

I recently watched this lecture thinking that I’d hear all the wonderful reasons why we as humans need and should have choice. I’m a big proponent of giving kids choice, especially when it allows them to better engage with the world and build their skills and capabilities. However, this lecture poses some of the downsides of TOO MUCH CHOICE. In the end, the lecturer gives a wonderful analogy of a fishbowl. It made me think about the importance of giving our kids structure and containment. Not allowing the idea of choice to overshadow or replace the need to make the world smaller sometimes and more manageable so that they can live in it successfully. I’d be interested to hear what others take from this video lecture.

Thanks,

Anthony

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