Autism and ADHD

How do we teach our kiddos to use skills and not the medication for their impulsivity and hyperactivity? One method could be to teach them the 10-minute rule. Focus on one activity for at least 10 minutes. This can be accomplished with noise in the background or in a busy room. This may be distracting when first starting but will eventually be the only way to test ‘real life’ ability for classroom or outings. The 10-minute rule is located in a blog on this site. I have used this rule with most of my clients and have seen great success.

One other thing we do include: puzzle races (25 piece puzzles), perfection game, clack, and card races (normal playing cards) locating colors or numbers as they are flipped over qickly.

Do Autism & Sensory Procssing Disorder Overlap

When asked if Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder are similar or cross over, I have to respond with a yes. 

I have noticed with my grandson and others with have SPD and struggled in a similar area. They may even have a diagnosis of Autism or a miss diagnosed with other childhood disorders. Comorbidity is high in childhood disorders causing difficulty for parents, doctors, therapists, or other medical professionals to pinpoint the actual disability. 

What I have noticed with overlap are

  1. meltdowns
  2. low working memory 
  3. sensory needs (avoidant or seeker)
  4. repetitive movement or actons
  5. noise sensitivity
  6. OCD tendencies 
  7. attention struggles
  8. focus
  9. language skills
  10. social skills
  11. immaturity
  12. anger or frustration

These are just a few overlaps that I see in my Autism and SPD. What is different between Autism and SPD may be the following

  1. flapping
  2. self-regulation ability
  3. attachment- eye contact
  4. social ability
  5. touch 

I am not saying this is a complete list by any means- I am saying these are the things I have witnessed with my clients. What I have noticed with children who have both diagnoses is the ability to use Theraplay. This therapy has a component of attachment and occupational therapy, which helps with interactions, social skills, and speech. 

Emotional Language

How do we teach our children to stand up for themselves when we are not there to help them? When do we step in or allow them to grow and develop coping skills and emotional language skills which will follow them throughout their life? All Children can learn to give us insight into their emotions and understand what they need when we as adults take the time to listen.

One of the first things my clients learn is emotional language. We play games, role play, and used feeling cards to help with emotional language skills. We also learn to journal. Journal is a lot like vlogging or blogging only on paper. Private thoughts only you know and can understand. My clients are allowed to use their journaling time for coloring, writing, scribbling, or just doodling. Their journaling is something I do not look at unless asked. This may seem strange as we are in a therapy session; however, my thought process is for all the children to learn to trust me.

Once I have gained the trust they will always show me what has been written- in turn we can work on what is on their minds, heart, dreams, or fears. We follow up by touching on emotional language. It is hard for children to speak to a teacher, parent, or peer when upset, frustrated, or angry-sometimes even happy moments are a struggle. When we teach emotional language we give the child a tool and skill which allows them to express themselves in a positive way in most or all situations. We can not make the hearer accept what our child is saying or even understand what they are going through; however, we can give them the confidence to walk away with an understanding of how to take a higher road or agree to disagree. Power struggles are never pleasant and always end badly.

Teachers who are always right, want to keep order, or have a classroom agenda may be hard for our children to feel comfortable enough to approach. Parents who have high expectations, are busy, or lack the same level of emotional understanding (EQ) may cause out children to question their emotions and ability to communicate. We may be challenge for our children to discuss how they actually feel.

Teaching emotional language may not be exciting but it is rewarding!! Allowing others to express themselves in a positive way: either bad or good helps us all to live a life of openness and honesty. Are you ready for total honesty? Are your children ready to communicate with complete honesty and discuss their struggles?

Do we allow our children to approach us with honesty and tell us when we are wrong, address a lack of understanding, or explain what they need?

Hard questions for all of us. But Question We need to ask ourselves

Using the 10 -minute rule for Therapy

Jerry runs into the therapist’s office, screams as he throws himself on the floor. “You will take my toys away I know it!!!” He thrashes on the floor as he rolls into a ball. He moves from one end of the office to the other. His father stares with mouth gaping. He shakes his head […]

Therapy For Everyday Life

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken. — Oscar Wilde “It is easy to say be yourself but harder for most of us to do it or know who we are if we are ‘ourselves’ “. This blog will touch on topics from anxiety to Zzzzz related to families with children who have special needs. […]