As humans, our beautiful brains do many jobs, from keeping our bodies moving to learning, processing language and emotions and even navigating the world at large. For those on the autism spectrum, their unique brain wiring offers both special ways of seeing the world and daily challenges.
Parents of children on the spectrum will know that many of the daily tasks and life skills we often take for granted, such as following instructions, reading social cues or switching tasks, can be a big ask for a child with autism and may take training or assistance to achieve. One of the best ways to engage and connect with children on the autism spectrum is to use the ancient human art of storytelling.
All children are unique, but the universal language of storytelling offers a way of understanding the world that can bring increased freedom, build skills and confidence and assist parents in supporting their child in the best way possible. Finding a resource bank tailored especially to the needs of your child is the first step. A go-to place where you can connect with the resources you need on a daily basis, from people who understand your child's unique challenges.
Not only does storytelling connect people with the world around them, but it helps the individual to understand new information and remove the fear of new situation and experiences. Here we look at why storytelling is so powerful and tap into one of the best resources around that you can add to your toolkit as a parent of a child on the autism spectrum.
Storytelling – a brief history
Beginning with cave paintings on walls, to tales, fables, myths, legends and songs passed down through generations by word of mouth, stories are an essential part of culture and history. They help us make sense of the world, by putting characters and people into various situations and observing how they behave and overcome their difficulties. Often we ask, 'What happened next?' our curiosity drives us to put ourselves into the shoes of another; to develop the fundamental skill of empathy.
With the printed word and now with digital technology and multi-media storytelling, there are many dynamic ways of showing children situations and circumstances and what to do when they happen. For example, building story time into your daily routine, helps children process language and also recall similar situations in their own day. With mobile and tablet devices, you can take stories wherever you are to offer a fun escape or a way to connect. All you need is an internet connection to access fantastic tailored techniques from experts in autism spectrum storytelling.
How storytelling affects the brain
Scientists have proven that our brains become more active when we tell stories and that they are a great, fun and educational way to learn new information and to develop social skills. Story recall aids in memory and information processing. Our ready-made social stories teach self-care and social skills to children with autism and developmental delays. Our stories are a proactive approach, not reactive, making life events less scary and more predictable through repetition of storytelling, ensuring the child is aware of what is expected to occur and how to behave in different situations.
Our story books are a picture story-based intervention, created in a simple, easy to read language children understand. The pictures used have been carefully selected for each unique story to cater for the visual learner, to help reduce anxiety and stress in transitions, preventing meltdowns. The stories are designed to celebrate the child’s learning which promotes them thinking “I can do it”. Our life skill stories are a visual support tool that helps you communicate with the child in an awesome interactive way, promoting positive behaviour, supporting them to be involved in life activities the FUN way!
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