Are you interested in a simple strategy that will get your child doing things they do not want to do, without the stress?
Does your child ever get anxious and restless in the waiting room for an appointment?
A simple solution is a bubble pack...
Bubbles can provide children with autism hours of entertainment. Kids love to play with bubbles and they are so much FUN! So while you are waiting for that appointment with your child who is becoming restless, pull out your bubble pack. The great thing is that you can get compact sizes that fit in your handbag or pocket.
Bubbles are great in the home too! There are times when you really need your child to do something you ask of them, like getting dressed in the morning. Bubbles are a great way to provide a distraction to get your child dressed as they focus on the FUN activity awaiting, which is the bubbles.
An example I would say to Jacob “first get dressed, then play bubbles”. When saying this to Jacob I would get the bubble bottle to show him the visual object of what I was talking about. Because he was non-verbal and had speech and language delays, I wasn’t sure how much he understood.
I can’t remember the number of times when the bubbles became my life line. I knew that my sons loved it when I played bubbles with them, with me blowing and them in competition in popping them first.
I even blew big and small bubbles to teach the boys size differences. Then when they had enough of each other and getting agitated, I then introduced the waiting chair and did one on one play.
I said, “Lachlan’s turn, Jacob needs to sit in the waiting chair” (which was any chair I designated as the waiting chair). Jacob sat in the waiting chair for his turn. I was amazed how effective this strategy was. Then when it was Jacob’s turn, I repeated the process with Lachlan, voicing “Jacob’s turn, Lachlan needs to sit in the waiting chair”. They loved this because they got to have their own special time with me. This strategy helped prevent many undesirable behaviours that got in the way of what I was asking them to do.
As I mentioned earlier, bubbles were my life line, especially from birth to six years old when it was immunisation time for the boys which meant “it’s time for lots of needles”.
I always made sure I had enough bubble solution in the container when it was that time, because after the needles, we had to wait in a huge hall, full of other children for at least 15 minutes (which seemed like forever).
The crying surprising stopped very quickly once I got the bubble pack out and started blowing! Then it seemed like my family extended instantly as all the other kids came and joined in the bubble popping. This ended up making the experience a positive one.
Bubbles can give kids with autism a lot of help in developing valuable skills such as social skills where both the adult and child are interacting together. Sharing is a vital skill and there is plenty of turn taking and waiting with bubbles! If there are other children around, get them involved too. Guide your child whilst taking turns of sharing bubble blowing. Provide hand-over-hand assistance, if required and verbalise “Whose turn is it?’ Provide praise when your child shares with saying “good sharing”.
Chasing and popping bubbles helps with hand-eye coordination, watching to see where the bubbles go, and land helps with visual tracking skills. Another awesome thing about bubbles is the skill of following instructions and requesting. Encourage your child to request their needs and wants.
If your child does not request the bubbles equipment, model the correct language and provide more time for your child to copy the request. Repetition is the key. Practice a number of times throughout the bubble activity.
Developing functional play skills during structured activities like blowing bubbles, supports your child with the activity by you modelling the correct actions and provide your child with some examples to copy.
Even though bubbles are sticky, wet and smell, they serve a great purpose. Bubbles can help your child if they have sensory processing difficulties.
Bubbles are inexpensive and easy to access from a variety of stores. This activity can reduce those unwanted behaviours and promote the positive ones.
Have FUN with bubbles!
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