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ABILITIESFIRST

Potential Made Possible

4710 Timber Trail Drive
Middletown, Ohio 45044

Autism Tips

Group Therapy

37342709 810276195843387 1755105030794379264 nAutism Parenting Magazine reports, "Kids with autism usually struggle socially and often find the teen years especially difficult. Anxiety and depression can emerge or worsen, along with a sense of helplessness, worthlessness and loneliness."

The Abilities First Pediatric Therapy Department offers groups for tweens, teens and young adults: Mini Kids Connect is for children, ages 5 - 7 years who are verbal and have challenges with social and play skills; Kids Connect 1 is a social group for children ages 8 - 10 who are verbal and have challenges with their social communication skills; and, Friends in STEP (Social Thinking, Executive function, Physical fitness) for young adults ages 16 - 25 which is designed to increase independence with activities of daily living social communication, fitness, nutrition and problem solving. The group incorporates community outings using orgazitional and planning skills that are used in everyday life situations. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 513-423-9496 Ext. 251.


Interpreting Negative Behaviors                                                                                                                          

36690380 797702117100795 2218763054093434880 nAutisMag author Ellen Notbohm, offers 10 things about teaching that a child wishes you knew, written from a child's perspective, as if a child is speaking to you. One of those principals is: "Behavior is communication. All behavior occurs for a reason. It tells you, even when my words can’t, how I perceive what is happening around me. Negative behavior interferes with my learning process. But merely interrupting these behaviors is not enough; teach me to exchange these behaviors with proper alternatives so that real learning can flow. Negative behavior usually means I am overwhelmed by some dysfunctions in my sensory systems, cannot communicate my wants or needs or don’t understand what is expected of me. Look beyond the behavior to find the source of my resistance." 


Children with Autism may have Sleep Disorders 

According to the Sleep Help Institute, between 44 to 83 percent of children with autism spectrum disorder experience sleep issues. Most commonly, children with autism have difficulty falling asleep and experience disturbed sleep once they do. Their sleep problems tend to compound other characteristics of ASD: daytime sleepiness from lack of sleep often results in hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and aggression during the day. Some people say that keeping the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet is helpful in getting their child to sleep. 


How to Enjoy a Grocery Trip With Your Child with Autism

grocery shopping with autistic childGrocery shopping can be a challenge with small children.  It is especially challenging if your child has Autism.  These children often have difficulties with transitioning, new surroundings, high stimulation and strangers…all of which can be found at the grocery store.  Often, the child has found that acting out in the grocery gets their needs met.  That is another way of saying that the child has been inadvertently trained to act out in the store. The professionals at Abilities First Autism Learning Center and the 4Plus1 Preschool for Children with Autism have developed a set of strategies and rules that you can use to bring back the joy of going to the grocery with your child. 

STRATEGIES for a Successful Grocery Shopping Experience
1. Advanced Preparation
Create a social story picture book for going to the grocery. Make First-Then statements - for example “First we’ll go to grandma’s house and then to the grocery store.” Be sure to follow through on your statements. Create a visual grocery list so your child can actively participate – they can find items and cross them off of the list. 

Establish the RULES
1. Stick to the RULES.
2. Start with small grocery lists - the longer the list, the more challenging the experience.
3. Be Prepared at the store– make sure you have snacks, special toy.
4. Shop during slow times – the busier the store is, the more challenging it will be.
5. Shop when your child is rested – if your child is tired, stressed or feeling ill, your trip may be doomed before you start.
6. Select a U-Scan check out – there are less items on display to be a distraction or grab that could trigger a tantrum.

RULES for a Successful Grocery Shopping Experience
1. Most important rule – The parent sets the rules.  Make sure the rules are specific and that you stick to them.
2. Give your child a special play toy that is only available for shopping trips.
3. Keep routine in-store behavior – if you want your child to sit in the cart, then keep them in the cart no matter how short or long the shopping trip.
4. Reinforce good behavior – Tell your child “I love how calm you’re being.”
5. Do NOT buy items they ask for, no matter what – instead, make a special day on the calendar for buying something they want, then cross off the days so they can see it coming.
6. If the child throws a tantrum because he wants something, then leave the store immediately – provide only one warning and then leave.  

Abilities First Development Department offers a number of ways you can support local children and adults with disabilities.

Please contact Development Department at 513-423-9496 if you have any questions.
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About Us

From birth through life, Abilities First of Middletown and Franklin, Ohio provides a broad array of individual and group programs for children and adults with disabilities.  

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Services for Children

Potential is Made Possible through our coordinated services - Autism Learning Center, Free Therapy Screenings, Pediatric Therapies, and Integrated Early Childhood Learning.

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Services for Adults

Adult independent living skills are an important aspect of creating a fulfilling life. Our residential and adult day programs provide a place of security, acceptance and a sense of belonging.

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We need YOU to help support local children and adults with disabilities. Donate to our mission, volunteer at one of our locations or special events, advocate for people with disabilities.