“For Leo, it’s especially important to use social stories to help him prepare for trips, and know what to expect. We used to print them out, but now we mostly use apps like Pictello as we can make social stories in five minutes, and it lets us record voiceover so Leo can “read” his social stories to himself. ”
I’m Shannon Des Roches Rosa. I’ve been writing about autism and parenting since 2003 at www.squidalicious.com and am also the senior editor of Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. My kids are Isobel (Iz, 13), Leo (11), and Mali (7). Leo is autistic; all three kids are intense, silly, and too much fun.
We are a bunch of geeks.
My husband and I work in the science and education media fields, so we incorporate learning at every opportunity — but in things that interest the kids rather than all-day-long lectures, as kids don’t have a lot of patience for pedants.
We tend to visit lots of state and national parks; right now we’re spending a lot of time foraging for, identifying, and eating mushrooms (did I mention that we’re geeks?).
And it’s important to have time just to play as well, as well as be active — we spend lots of time hiking, bouldering, playing/swimming at beaches, etc.Yes, we are also ‘outdoors folks.’
When we go on outings, we always have a bag of tricks — changes of clothes, snacks to ward off low blood sugar, and all sorts of activities and books for downtime.
I-Pads and I-Pods are particularly useful as compact education-and-entertainment centers while we’re traveling — ours have cameras, so they’re also perfect for documenting our adventures.The kids love to see the pictures and remember their experiences.
For Leo, it’s especially important to use social stories to help him prepare for trips, and know what to expect.
We used to print them out, but now we mostly use apps like Pictello as we can make social stories in five minutes, and it lets us record voiceover so Leo can “read” his social stories to himself.
We also use visual schedules to let him know what’s happening during specific times, as not knowing what’s going to happen next makes him anxious, especially when we’re not at home.
And while we’re out and about, we can use photo labeling/identification game apps like Word SLaPps to help him learn about the new things we’re seeing — food, people, landmarks, plants, anything.