December 2016 Newsletter Mercyhealth AuTism

Autism Support Fund

Families in Walworth County are encouraged to apply for the ASF grant. The ASF makes financial resources available for things such as: social skills classes, sensory equipment, safety equipment, respite care and therapeutic materials. Start thinking of your ideas now - applications will be accepted from January 1st - January 31st. Click the link below for an application.

Family Time with Apps

Are tablets and other devices on the holiday wish lists at your house? Visit the Joan Ganz Cooney Center for information on how to use your child's technology time to grow their knowledge and social skills by actively participating in app use with him or her. Read tips and fun examples through a comic strip style presentation. Ideas covered are: playing games together, reading, preparing for new experiences and more! Click the link to see all of the information, tips and extension activities.

Speech and Language Ideas

Helping your child retrieve a word

Some children on the autism spectrum may have difficulty retrieving the words that they want to use. This can impact their ability to communicate effectively for social and academic purposes. Sometimes the communication difficulty is due to a lack of knowledge. Exposing and educating your child on the word or concept can help them learn new vocabulary. Othertimes, it is a problem with retrieving or initiating the word. Here are some techniques for cuing your child to help retrieve words. These can be modified and used for any language level.

1. Modeling The Word

Saying the word and having your child repeat it provides your child with a direct model for the target vocabulary.

2. Providing a Semantic Cue

A semantic cue provides context clues to help your child retrieve a word. I like to think of this strategy as getting a running start! You can provide a sentence with the target word missing: I need to tie my ______ (shoes); Put the book on the _____ (shelf). You can give an opposite or synonym: It's not big, it's _____ (small); Another word for quick is _____ (fast). You can give clues about an object's appearance or function: You put it on a birthday cake and blow it out (candle); It has black and white stripes and looks like a horse (zebra).

3. Providing a Phonemic Cue

Providing a phonemic cue can help a child retrieve the word with just a little prompt. Provide the first sound of the word and wait.

Providing a Visual

Remember a visual cue, whether a picture or the actual object, is an effective way to support language use.

Contact Amber Becher with questions or for more information at abecher@mhemail.org.

Welcome to our new December staff members: Autism Technicians Isaac and Liz!

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