EAP was recently asked the question of what are the necessary steps a school should take in order to successfully integrate a child with autism to school. While there are a number of specific recommendations ranging from minor adaptations to the school facility to human resource development, the change starts with a change of mindset.
Children with autism normally struggle with social skills, whether it is playing nicely with their peers and siblings, or enjoying a birthday party. Here at EAP Malaysia, we want to make sure that our kids grow up having learnt how to share, take turns and most importantly, interact appropriately with their friends and families. Therefore, we have set up Social Skills Group Classes for our kids, with different group classes catering to the different needs of the children.
Here is another quick project that you can whip up for your kids, especially for sensory play and even interactive and peer play! You can also make this with your kids as this is a pretty safe DIY project, but do ensure that there is heavy supervision, and that the Borax, slime and any fingers involved are kept away from the eyes, nose and mouth.
Here at EAP Malaysia, we believe in honouring and celebrating moments, big or small. Whether it is one of our kids saying “mummy” or “daddy” for the first time, or learning how to use communication appropriately, or a team member that stands out, we want to celebrate each and every victory and milestone.
On the 5th of September, we held our last Sibling Day for the year. We saw 6 children from 4 different families come together for a day of bonding and fun-filled activities. From fun games to sharing time, it is without a doubt that the children left with a assurance that they were not alone in this journey.
Just like any typical children, children with autism love getting involved, getting messy, and getting creative in their own ways. After all, that is what childhood is all about! There are many ways a child with autism can learn and have fun at the same time, and one of the ways we can get creative with our kids include paint! Did you know that with just your hands and paint, you can create over a hundred different handprint art, including animals, characters and greeting cards?
Raising a child with autism places some extraordinary demands on a family as a whole (Autism Society, n.d.). Parents are not the only ones affected. In fact, a child’s siblings are just as much affected, if not more. It is without doubt that every child’s dream is to have a sibling or siblings to play with, to grow up with and to share their childhood with. However, children with autism may not be able to play or interact with their siblings just like typical children would. Furthermore, they require more attention and care from their parents and this may affect their siblings. Sometimes, their siblings may suffer in silence, feeling neglected and less loved, or even feel the pressure for the need to be a role model.
On the 15th August, last Saturday, EAP Malaysia held our first ever (but definitely not last!) EAP Family Day to celebrate all the families of our kids. It was a carnival themed event, with a bouncy castle and pinwheels, special booths for ring toss, count the candy, face painting and tattoos! It was a huge success as we saw families come together on a Saturday morning to see their kids perform, dance, sing and act on stage. There was pride and love on every single face throughout the kids’ performances. These are the moments we work for, the moments we look forward to. We also had an honour moment, where we specially honoured one family for the incredible sacrifice they make to make sure their child receives 35 full hours of therapy as recommended.