Autism message

superhero child

Aspergers child singled out

 

The Social Express

Autistic Spectrum : AS

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

- Albert Einstein

 

Children on the Autistic Spectrum have a unique way of interpreting the world around them; often they can have a high intellect and sometimes can be gifted in particular areas. They often see patterns where others don’t and see ways of accomplishing things others cannot. This different way of seeing the world can enable them to be inventors, designers and scientists.

Some of the greatest minds in history have had higher functioning Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, but children on the Autistic spectrum often have problems with social interactions, and have problems with reading body language and facial expressions, therefore they can have difficulty making friends and communicating with others. They may also experience sensory issues like: finding sounds too loud and lights being too bright, they can be very sensitive to touch. Sometimes these difficulties can result in them being "overloaded" and unable to cope.

A misconception can be that when children with AS have a meltdown/overload they need to calm down in a room with flashing lights and calming music because everything is too much for them, but this is now understood to be unhelpful. Children with higher functioning AS and Asperger's Syndrome need to be taught/helped to focus their minds and not to stimulate them.

Using the SMILE room to remove sensory stimulations and allowing them to calm by focusing is key, but because this can be different for each student the SMILE room can be used as a diagnostics tool as well to help find what helps each child. For example different types of music may have different emotional responses and different visuals will have different affects.

The SMILE room can also be made use of when it comes to helping with social situations and understanding body language and facial expressions. Using the mirror we can help with understanding facial expressions and with the projection screens we can use photos and apps to help with understanding these expressions. The SMILE room could also be used with software like The Social Express- www.thesocialexpress.com to help with social skills. We are also looking at Crazy Talk software (please see the interactions section under learning for more information) which will help teach expressions in a fun and creative way.


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SMILE room Project - 27 Cresswell Drive, Hilperton, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 7TN
E: smile@bythegate.com