Help for Haiti

Help for Haiti
This organization has been in Haiti for many years. They are trustworthy.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Socialization for ADD/Aspergers/Autistic kids

We just got back from the Homeschooling conference in Indianapolis, where HUMom presented a workshop entitled "When Socialization IS an Issue." Kids with ADD, Aspergers, Autism, learning disabilities or just plain quirkiness often have difficulties relating to others on a social level. This can cause tremendous stress on the family and frustration to the parents as well as the kids.

HUMom suggested many ideas for helping to train social skills, such as role playing, identification of non-verbal communication, recognizing emotional cues, teaching through literature, rehearsal, using photos & videos to study social situations, games that work on social skills (Moods, Express Yourself, the Ungame, etc.) and social stories written together by parent & child. It was well received and there were many questions and good discussion afterwards.

Has anyone else discovered effective ways of training social skills?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Update: Current events

Sorry for the long absence.

Starting last August HUMom has experienced some drastic health problems, which resulted in extreme fatigue. We have been through four doctors, some medical procedures and many treatments & tests to try and find the cause. My neuro-typical daughter had wrist surgery and I had back surgery last week, so we have been having a swell time.

Wish you were here!

Anyway, "Anonymous" posted a comment & article on the last thread and one point stood out to me as an interesting topic. Namely, "Why is ADHD on the increase?"

The article's author maintains that there is no increase, rather we are systematically identifying and labeling children with these behaviors, thus the size of the group is growing because we are looking for them more efficiently.

While this may be partial explanation, I do not buy it totally. Here are two thoughts (not quite random) on the subject, to be expanded upon at some later date.

1) It has struck me that there appears to be a corrolation between the rise in ADHD and the Video generation. I grew up with arcade games Pong, Space Invaders, sitcoms, movies, which rapidly gave way to First-Person-Shooter games on the PC and DDR (Dance Dance Revolution). It is undeniable that hand-eye coordination is stimulated by such activities, but I wonder what effect they have on rapid-eye movement and brain chemistry. I have absolutely zero research to support or deny this idea, but it seems like a great coincidence to me.

2) There is much more scientific research and evidence to indicate a connection between ADHD and Autism, more to the point, that both conditions lie somewhere on a common continuum. The tremendous increase in occurance of Autism is proven fact, and closely follows the growth of manditory immunizations. I have read studies suggesting while vacines are not connected to this rise in Autism, the mercury derivitive used to extend the shelf life of vacines is extremely suspect.

When I get a chance, I will post links to some studies.

Are there any other theories out there?