For Autism Awareness month, The Hanen Centre have contacted me with an offer of a free e-seminar “Starting Early – Red Flags and Treatment Tips for Toddlers on the Autism Spectrum” for one of the readers of this blog. I have just done this e-seminar and recommend it. It provides clear information on how to identify toddlers who are at risk for ASD as well as useful treatment tips. See at the end of this blog how to participate to win it.
There is definitely greater awareness of autism in the community and the question “Do you think it could be autism?” is one I hear a lot, especially where toddlers are concerned. Whilst I don’t specialise in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and would never put a label of autism so early, I need to address that question and identify children who may be at risk for ASD. Communication begins well before the first words and occurs through a variety of verbal and non-verbal behaviours which can be observed through play-based assessment. Here are some behaviours that can be considered "red flags" for ASD:
All speech pathologists play and create games to teach various communication skills. It’s a lot of fun and a powerful way to learn. Many games have a competitive component to them and some kids are less philosophical than others about losing. While a degree of competitiveness is expected, there are circumstances when winning or losing can get in the way of having fun!
Child psychologist and play therapist Melanie Jansen from Play, Heal, Grow says: “From experience, children who lack self-confidence tend to value winning more than others, and in turn, tend to catastrophize losing a game. These children are more prone to cheating, giving up prematurely, or becoming angry if they don't win”. For a speech pathologist, a child who is upset is not focussed on learning new skills. So, how can we get around this?
Looking for language tips, activities and ideas? This blog is for parents, speech pathologists, teachers, educators and anyone with an interest in speech and language.