by Marcia Hinds – Megan and Ryan’s Mom
Did you ever notice our kids usually talk too loud? The way I taught my son volume control was by saying in a whisper, “Sometimes we talk real soft like this.” Then I would yell in a loud voice, “And sometimes we talk loud like this.” Our children need to recognize that there are different volumes before you can teach the correct volume to use in different settings.
It helps to exaggerate the volume to teach this. When we are in the library in a whisper I said, “We use a quiet voice.” I had Ryan come up with other places we needed to use a quiet voice. Next I said to Ryan almost yelling, “When we are playing outside, we can be loud like this.” And then in with a normal volume I said, “But when we are in a store we use a regular voice, not our outside voice.”
My kid did not generalize this rule or realize that you have to use a similar volume in the classroom. In the beginning they do not generalize well. This is another sign of autism. So our kids need to learn the different volumes to use in each place you take them.
We had a similar problem generalizing how to act to other settings. Eventually, I taught my son how to behave during circle time in Kindergarten. It took a long time, but finally he learned what he needed to do. Just when I thought we had it under control, I got a note from his teacher. She told me how disruptive my son was when the librarian was reading the class a story. My son had no idea that this was simply circle time in a different room. Ryan didn’t make the connection (“generalize”) that rules were the same for story time in the library and circle time in his classroom. We helped him make the connection by playing “library” at home.
Making learning fun and using his obsessions to teach always worked best. Most times my son never realized our playing was actually teaching. At first it seems very tedious to teach the rules over and over again, one at a time. Eventually over time, Ryan finally started to learn like other kids without the direct teaching component.
NOTE FROM MARCIA HINDS – Megan and Ryan’s mom:
Ryan became an aerospace engineer, because he received proper medical treatment combined with behavioral, and educational interventions. To preview my book, “I Know You’re In There – winning our war against autism”go to Amazon or my website www.autism-and-treatment.com
Contact info for Marcia: