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Picture to Picture matching

I started to teach my son at home with the help of the therapists when my son was 3.5 yrs old. To start with I used toys and objects to teach him. But it did not work, since my son was too hyper and he didn't allow me to keep anything on the table. It was very difficult for me to manage the teaching aids and also my son who was acting hyper.

In the initial days his therapist asked me to make him to sit for a minute and increase the sitting  time by 30 seconds for every session. With his hyperness it was really hard for me to manage the objects and toys on the table. Keeping this in mind, when I searched for some ideas to keep the things stable on the study table, I came across a website with the tab saying free printables.

Around that time  we attended training where we got to know the importance of visual schedule and how to use Velcro to prepare the same.

I extended the same idea to prepare the material for "Picture to Picture matching".  This was the first file folder sort material I prepared for my son. Later this became a method of teaching to him at home.

After I started using the material, I was able to manage my son a little bit better. But learning for me was enormous.

I learnt that my son was a visual learner, matching was his strength and if he knew the starting and finishing points of the activity, his anxiety was considerably reduced. Now my son is 9.5yrs old and this is method I follow him to teach anything at home.

How to Prepare :

1.Sometimes I use word document to prepare my own material based on the needs of my son.
2. Sometimes I download ready made materials from the internet. Many websites offer this and simply we have to download and use it. But the disadvantage is, sometimes it may not be exactly suitable to our requirement.
3.Once the material is ready, take printout.
4.Laminate it.
5.Cut it into pieces for matching cards.
6.Put Velcro where ever needed.

Whatever type of visual materials I prepare, I take care of two things:
1.Background of the picture should be white. (I use Google images for my document preparation)
2.Add text at the bottom of the visual.

How I am using this material :

When I started to use the above material, my son didn't know a single word. My objective was to make him to sit in a place and do something productive.

So to start with I physically prompted to match the picture from left hand side to right hand side. Once he learnt to match pictures, taking a picture and sticking it to the velcro became fun activity to him.

Once matching was done , I used to read the name of objects in the picture by pointing the picture with my son's hand. Slowly his focus level also increased.

Since fruits, vegetables, Vehicles and food items are grouped in separate pages, he learnt to sort very easily when sorting was introduced to him.

Even now I am using this material to teach him like
1. "This is Apple/ Car" etc.
2. These are Fruits/ Vegetables etc.
3. And good one recent thing in recent times is when some of the cards have got missing, my son has learnt to say "missing" which he is generalising in other day to day areas as well.

  1. Add text to the Visuals.
  2. Keep White Background for visuals.
  3. Generalize then and their.(for e.g. Child should not think the picture you show is the precise way the object looks, at variety of opportunities show him real version or other pictures. Like you can show Tiger in the pictures and later take the kid to Zoo to see a real Tiger)
  4. Make the child to understand the start and end point of an activity. e.g. By verbal or Written cue card say "Activity Time" and when finished say "Activity Over".

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Sounds are important

When I started to work with my son along with the therapist after his Autism diagnosis, he used to give sweet smiles but not a single word or a sound. If I made him to say a word by showing objects/pictures, he showed strong resistance or irritation and also avoided me or ran out of that place.

After consistent effort he started to respond to me with little sounds. Initially I took some 10 to 15 words which I thought are day to day important words like Water, Toilet, Bye Bye, some of his favorite food items and outing place like park.

I focused on these words and stressed these words wherever there was a need for those words, though I did not expect him to immediately say it after me.

After few months of sincere training he got the “Ba” sound for Bye-Bye. In the beginning even that single sound was not so consistent.

At this stage I used to sing rhymes for him. One song was “Johnny Johnny”. One day when I paused at the end he filled it with the sound “Ha Ha Ha”. This triggered me to focus on a single syllable sounds from the rhymes

Sheep says “baa baa”
Pig says “wee wee” etc.
Slowly he got it too.Along with the single syllable sounds, I focused on the original list of words that I took.Slowly he got some words from that list. For Toilet, he said as “Toiyee” and for water it was “Watayee”.

Whenever he said Toiyee and Wattayee, I gave him the correct pronunciation gently like Toilet, Water, etc. but left it without insisting him to repeat.  Earlier when I insisted him to repeat the right sound for the word, his only expression was irritation. And sometimes he gave up without even trying to make a sound.  So whenever he attempted to make sounds for the word, I gave him the right pronunciation for those words. Here is how a simple conversation happens.
My son: Wattayee
Myself: “Water” 

Though it took a little time for my son in the beginning to get the correct pronunciation, slowly time taken by him narrowed and now he can immediately echo a new word. Also it is not only word, he repeats/echoes even 3 to 4 new words in the sentence form.

I want to mention one more thing, in the beginning when he attempted to say words like Ice cream, Amma, Tiger, Zebra he added “ya” sound at the end of the word like Iceya, Annaya, Taya, Zeeya.  This was when he attempted to verbalize at the age of 5 and a half. And it took quiet a long time to correct himself as Tiger instead of Taya.

Now he is 9 years old, recently he used a word “asiya” which he learnt through TV ads. Though I struggled to understand him in the beginning, I later watched the commercial and understood he was trying to pronounce “Ashirwad” and I corrected him, whenever he said that word.  Within a month he corrected himself to Ashirwad. 

Since I am talking about sounds, I want to share one another difficulty crossed by my son. That is in the initial stages he struggled to get sounds like “Ka”, “Fa”, “Ra”.  For “Ka” sound in “Cow” he said “Thow” and for “Go” he said "Tho".

And he never attempted to say a word with the sound “F” or “Fa” sound like fish and finished etc.

For “RA” sound he replaced with “La” sound, for example instead of “Doctor” he said “Doctol”.

So I took some 10 to 20 words with “Ka” and a separate list for FA and Ra sounds. I used to read the words daily for him. Now he got “Ka” and “Fa” sounds and also “Ra” sounds. But in few words he still uses “La” sound instead of “Ra” sound like “callant” instead of “current”. But he got Rat, Rabbit, Doctor etc.
Hope he will get “current” also soon.

So I am really fascinated by the sounds made by my son. This gives me an opportunity to correct him and also to add a new vocabulary to his database. If I can summarize, Sounds are the first step to a full speech. The parents can learn to use it wisely.

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Learning not to ignore

In recent days my son kept on saying “Lotus Swamy”, “Lotus Shampoo” and “Ashiya Gulab Jamun”. For quiet sometime I ignored the Lotus & Ashiya and made him to say “Swamy”(meaning god), “Shampoo” and “Gulab Jamun” which were the correct forms according to me.

But whenever I corrected, he echoed it at that point of time. But whenever he said these words by himself, he repeated the way he said before.
At last a fine day came, when I came to know the mystery of these prefixes One day he picked up an advertisement pamphlet for a super market and showed it to me and my husband saying “Ashiya Gulab Jamun”. Then we realised the brand name was “Ashirwad” who were giving plenty of advertisements for their products in TV. They have a Gulab Jamun Product as well. Learning this from TV, he had said in his own version as “Ashiya Gulab Jamun”. We were stunned and of course very happy that he had started discovering things on his own and communicating it.

It was a big lesson for me that it was probably time for me to learn him from as well. In fact the next learning was even more profound. We used to drive to a specific place for some work, weekly once. When we were crossing that place, he showed a temple and said “Lotus Swamy”. Then I realised, that temple was in the design of a small flower curled upwards with a deity inside. I never correlated that with a lotus. But my son had and educated me once again.

The same way I figured “Lotus Shampoo” was in fact “L’oreal shampoo”. My son had with his evolving reading made L’oreal into Lotus. Now I have learnt not to ignore something he says which is not immediately understandable.

Another mystery between me and my son is “Chicken”, “Hen”, “Elisa”, “Teddy bear” and “Walrus”. These are all the sweet names by which he calls me when he feels an overflowing affection. In fact “Elisa” means Elephant which he corrected later and the latest name he has given me is Walrus.

I hope soon I will know the secret of above nick names like “Ashiya” and one day my son will also call me “mummy” instead.

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I am in the stage of making my son independent in Brushing. But to reach this stage, I should say that I had to undergo lot of struggles (and still undergoing☺).

I think even struggle is a very simple word to explain the journey of brushing with my son.
My son was diagnosed with Autism only at the age of 3 years. When he was around 1.5 years, I had met a Doctor for some purpose. Just like that I asked the Doctor about brushing my son’s teeth. She said it is natural that some children to resist brushing and not to worry. She suggested to use soft white cloth to start with instead of a brush. And also she advised to give lot of crunchy vegetables like carrot and cucumber.

On seeing the vegetables my son ran away and I got a good “crunchy” biting when I put my finger into his mouth with soft white cloth for brushing.

Now he is going to be 9 years and today he can take the brush, put the paste and start brushing, though not very thoroughly, wash the brush, keep it back and rinse the mouth.  The journey has been so long and very exhausting and he is still in the processes of learning (i.e. to become completely independent).

Let me now explain some of the routines that helped my son to bring him to this stage.
First, I introduced brushing as a routine and did the brushing like ritual though I didn’t get much support from my son. I didn’t keep it as a first task in the morning since I know it will upset him in the morning itself. So I mostly waited till he got into a good mood in the morning. In the beginning stages, screaming was the usual first outcome on seeing the toothpaste and toothbrush. Sometimes he allowed for a single stroke, sometimes we came out of the bathroom without brushing at all. And a very important thing here is I always used the same brand of tooth paste so that any change in the colour/taste of the paste didn’t lead to more anxiety. I also used a soft brush which helped to handle his sensitivity (about which I will explain little further down).

Every day the brushing task will be in his daily schedule (Note: A visual schedule showing all the important tasks for the day) and by showing it, I took him into the bathroom daily. Slowly his anxiety about brushing reduced, but the sensitivity in the mouth stopped him to co-operate with me. I knew about this sensitivity which is typical for many kids with Autism after he was diagnosed at 3 years.
At this stage therapists helped me to reduce the sensitivity in the mouth.

One therapist taught me to use the soft baby brushes and also how to make simple strokes on the cheeks (inside the mouth). So focus is on the cheek than teeth in the initial stages.

Another occupational therapist taught to gently massage the cheek, chin, upper lips, lower lips (outside, not inside the mouth) i.e. around the mouth.

So these massages along with the routines helped my son to brush. Today he is able to adjust to different toothpastes and almost independent.

To make him independent I use a detailed visual schedule specially for brushing with all the actions required to do brushing(like take the brush, take the toothpaste, put toothpaste etc).  This Visual schedule help him to understand what to do next.  The picture shown below is the visual schedule that my son uses daily while brushing.

 Let me explain how I prepared the above Schedule.

First step is to prepare the below base sheet. Base sheet is used to stick the visual cards one after the another.
To prepare the base sheet I laminate a A4 size paper and cut it into 3 equal strips. And stick the laminated strips one below the another with transparent cellotape(to make it long enough for all the visual cards).

Now, the next step is to prepare the visual cards to stick on the above schedule, separately.
I prepared the above visual cards using word document, laminated and cut it into individual pieces. The visuals in the visual cards are from google images and I have added text to my son's understanding. Then put velcros on both the sides of the visual cards.

Now the Visual schedule is ready for the use.  For the daily use I hanged this visual schedule near the wash basin.

Whenever my son finishes one action as per the visual cards, I flip it to indicate that action is complete(that is why there is Velcro on the front as well as the back), like picture shown below

The reason why I do the flipping myself is that my son gets distracted from the actions for brushing into the flipping action. So I make him focused on the actions and I do the flipping on his behalf.

After following this visual schedule, my son has become almost indepent with ability to follow this sequence independently. But does the brushing for front teeth only as of now and also does not necessarily do it as a part of morning duties, but rather any time he wants to brush. These are the two areas now I am continuing to work with my son as the next steps.

Hope this experience helps you make your own action plan for your kids. All the best.
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Schools for Kids with Autism in Lucknow

BMI – Autism Awareness & Action – Lucknow
8, Rabindra Palli,
Lucknow – 220 016

Schools for Kids with Autism in Noida

BMI Noida
H 41, Sector 51,
Noida, UP

School for kids with Autism in Madurai

Sparks autism special school
Plot no-63, 1st north cross street,
Anna nagar, madurai-20,
Tamilnadu : 625020
Ph : 9171568733,0452 2528733
Email : sparksmadurai@gmail.com

I LIKE .... Game (File Folder Game)

I prepared this file folder game for my son to teach the concept of turn taking. And also make him to talk in sentences
Following are the steps, how I prepared the file folder 
1.   Fig(2) has two pages. First let me explain about the right hand size page. 
  • Type I LIKE in the word document and draw five boxes.
  • Select all, that is the word I like and also the boxes. Copy the selected items and paste it, to make a another copy.
  • Now select all the copied items and by using the rotate option rotate the selected item. A mirror image is obtained now.
  • Separate by a horizontal line.
2. Take a printout of the prepared document.
3. Laminate the printout.
4. Laminte the another plane paper to get the left hand side page of the Fig(2).
5. Now join the two laminated sheet using transparent cello tape.

Fig (2)
                                                                          Fig (3)
Since food is the main attraction to my son. I took some food items of his choice. Fig(3) was also prepared using word document. I printed the prepared document and laminated it. After lamination I cut it to pieces like above.

I put velcro on the back of each images as shown in Fig(3) and also similar to the Fig(2).

Now the preparation part is over and i am going to explain how I play with my son.

1. I stick the food item pieces(fig 3) to the left side page of the Fig(2).
2. First I ask my son "WHOSE TURN ?"
3. I wait for my son to say "My turn" , otherwise I prompt him to say "My Turn".
4. Then I ask him "What do you like?" by showing the food pictures on the right hand side of Fig(1)
5. I wait for him to make his choice, otherwise physically prompt him to pick up a food item picture.
6. Once he picked up his choice , once again I ask " What do you like?".
7. I wait for him to say " I Like ....(the chosen food item name)", otherwise I prompt him to say the sentence "I Like....". e.g. I Like Pizza
8. Then I will say your turn over and ask him, "Now whose turn?"
9. I wait for him to say "Mummy's Turn", otherwise prompt him to say " Mummy's turn".
10 . Once my turn get over, we will repeat from the step 1, till all the food items pictures get over.

At the end of the game, my Son learnt to
  •  Make choices
  • Wait for his turn
  • Take turns
  • To answer "Whose" and "What" questions
  • Learnt to answer in sentence form
Another good thing is after playing this game for some time, we are able to play the game verbally without any of these materials. I simply say what I like and in his turn he says what he likes. That is very lively game. Hopefully soon this will help him to reduce anxiety in a public place like
a hotel or when shopping where he can say what he likes and wants.

Simple Game ideas and Activities for Daily Living(ADL)

I believe fun can be a part of learning. Most of the kids with autism have repetitive behaviours, ofcourse my son has too. He will be into his own world with his favourite/ obessesed activities. But during some structured activities if I stress something twice or make him do an activity more than once, the result is irritation. That's when I realised the power of fun games.

In this section I am going to share some of the interesting games I play with my son. And also how I integrated these games to teach him the new concepts/recollect the known things in funful ways.

Along with the fun activities, I am also going to share some of the ADL (Activities for the Daily Living) which I have started recently to make my kid independent.

Games with Trampoline

My Son loves to play physical games. Because of his sensory needs he used to jump, run etc.
So we bought him a trampoline. In the beginning it was fun, but after sometimes simply jumping didn't give him any fun.

When he started to lose interest in simply jumping I thought of introducing a game around the trampoline with the known concepts to him.

He knows “Shapes” and some “Locations” and also things to get and find in that particular location. With the above known things I added the concept of “making a Choice” in the game.

Here's how we play the game with him.

I drew various shapes with marker pen on the floor(which I was able to clean later) around the trampoline

  1. Now he went and jumped in the trampoline as usual
  2. After he finished some jumps, I told him to step into one of the shapes, by calling out his name and saying “Step into the Triangle”. He looked around and stepped into the triangle
  3. And I asked him where are you standing and with some prompt he was able to respond, “In the triangle”
  4. It became instant fun for him as this variant was new. He was excitedly looking at all the shapes. Now I asked him, “Do you want to jump more”. When he answered yes, allowed him to jump in the trampoline for some more turns
  5. And then told him, now “Step into the Hexagon”. And the game went on for many turns.

Slight Variation with the same concept:

    1. Drew 4 or 5 Circles around the Trampoline.
    2. Wrote some Location names inside those circles such as Park, McDonalds, Cafe Coffee day, Petrol Bunk etc which are known to my son and of his interest.
    3. Now I made him to jump on the Trampoline. After few jumps I told him to “Stop”.
    4. Then I asked him “Where do You Want To Go”? Since all the places which I had drawn are of his interest , he got excited and he said “Park”.
    5. I said “Lets go to Park” and made him to step into the circle where the word “Park” was written.
    6. Then I asked him to “What do you do in the Park”? . He Replied “Slide”
      1. Likewise after few jumps , I made him to choose something of his interest and asked questions which are known to him.
In this way he took lots of turns since everything is known and of his interest.
Every time during the game my son learnt
        1. Actions like Jump, Stop, Step into.
        2. Learnt to answer questions in a funful way.
        3. Learnt to make choice.

  1. When we make games funful, there is less stress on the kids and the parents/therapists. The kids also get some variation.
  2. When the kid is unable to answer any questions, prompt him with the answer and the kid will soon learn it.
  3. If he did answers in one word, help him to expand that into simple sentence. By this way language also can be improved.
  4. When we play games with kids, instead of introducing completely unknown games/concepts we can merge things known to them and of their interest. These kind of games will be much more funful and lots of learning.
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My journey with my son

1. Where it Starts. Click Here

2. First understanding about my son and his communication. Click Here

3. How I made my son speak through NurseryRhymes. Click Here

4. How I changed my son's gesture into words. Click Here

5. Extend Stress-Pause-fill ups in the day to day routine. Click Here 

6. Picture for communication. Click Here

7. How I am teaching Colours for my son. Click Here
8. ipad and my son. Click Here

9. Autism……………Tantrums.(part 1) Click Here

10.Autism……………Tantrums.(part 2) Click Here

11.Calender for my son. Click Here

12.Learning not to ignore.Click Here

13.Sounds are important .Click Here

14.Picture to Picture Matching .Click Here

15. Using photos to improve the communication.Click Here

16. Schedules. Click Here 

17. Word to Picture and Picture to Word matching. Click Here

18. I Love R.O.C.K. Click Here

19. Go to Child’s level. Click Here

20. Magic Words according to me. Click Here

21. How my son leant to write. Click Here

22. Teaching Copying Skills using Pattern. Click Here

23. Learning Numbers. Click Here