Laurie LeComer takes task analyses to a whole new level in her terrific book, “The Socially Included Child,” published by Berkeley Books, 2009. She describes a strategy to help your child with autism enjoy social events such as playdates and birthday parties. First you introduce the activity by previewing what is going to happen with your child. For example, you might give your child a little tour of his new school before it starts. You might read a book about visiting the dentist ahead of time, or make a social story about a playdate before he goes to his friend’s house for the first time. Next you detail exactly what you expect your child to do. For example, before a birthday party you might list expected steps for your child such as saying hello to the birthday child and his mother, handing the present to the child, jumping in the bouncehouse with the other children, coming to sing “Happy Birthday” when called, eating cake and ice cream, etc. Next you evaluate your expectations, and decide which goal(s) you want to concentrate on. For example, do you want to expend your energy assisting your child with interacting with the other children in the bouncehouse, or work on eye contact in greeting his hosts? Next you get your accomodations ready such as putting the noise cancellation earphones, gameboy, or gluten free dessert alternative in his backpack (some of these are my examples). Last you list all these components so you and your child can remember them and refer to them in a visual aide, such as a visual schedule with or without a reinforcement schedule. By thinking and planning ahead, you can help your child navigate the social world more enjoyably, and learn more from each experience.
- "I do not pray for success. I ask for faithfulness."
- Mother Teresa
Author of “Teaching Your Child with Love and Skill: a Guide for Parents and Other Educators of Children with Autism, Including Moderate to Severe Autism”Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Available at JKP website: http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book/9781849058766 ; also available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Your-Child-Love-Skill/dp/1849058768/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1336368295&sr=8-2