Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Friday, March 28, 2014

Unlocking the Social PotentialUnlocking the Social Potential_Final_Shadows
To your dismay, your child has received a diagnosis of autism. Along with this alarming news comes the barrage of emotions that suffocates you like an avalanche— denial—confusion—depression—guilt. You want to fix your child; you have a million questions; and you want answers immediately. Autism is a journey in which the child and her family navigate challenges and experience achievements along the way. To guide you in this rewarding journey, Dr. Karina Poirier offers her expertise in this book that parents will find incredibly useful. In this book, you will find the answers you’ve desperately been seeking. Dr. Poirier has provided in simple, easy to comprehend language, an overview of child development, a descriptive explanation of how autism affects each developmental area, and guidelines for advancing your child’s functioning in all developmental domains. You will appreciate the multitude of hands-on, full-color sample lessons for teaching social and emotional skills, language, problem-solving and decision making, and play skills to children with autism. Publisher: Social Cognition Publications | Irvine, CA Color: Full-color illustrations Pages: 300 ISBN (Print): 9780988798205 ISBN (Digital): 9780988798212 Available: March 2014

Available at: http://www.socialcognitionpublications.com/

Improving social and communication skills in children with autism

Dr. Karina Poirier, author of Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism, says that understanding a child’s unique needs is the key step to dealing with concerns and developing their strengths. “Bring everything into the light. The worst thing you can do,” she said, “is to ignore the issue. Parents can help their children learn how to communicate better and develop social skills that will help them thrive later in life. Get help early, identify the specific issues you are facing, ask questions, learn everything you can, and devise a concrete and detailed strategy for engaging your child so key skills are developed and strengthened”.

Here are her answers to some key concerns that parents of a child with autism are faced with.

Q: My child can sit through a learning task on the iPad or television; however, he becomes restless and fidgety when working with a teacher. Why?
 A: Your child’s attention system is reactive. Consider how much children learn from viewing television. Teachers struggle to get children’s attention when an activity does not include the sensory kaleidoscope children are used to receiving when sitting in front of the television.
 Key Action: Children must be taught at an early age how to develop the mental tools (attend, remember, think) to engage in deliberate and self-directed learning experiences with an adult’s guidance.

  Q: My child does not respond appropriately to mood changes in others (e.g., when a peer’s mood changes from happiness to distress). Why?
  A: Your child may be lacking the ability to read nonverbal cues. Children with autism often have impaired ability to read, interpret, and process social and emotional messages. Children who are unaware of others’ thoughts and feelings risk not developing the sense of self.
  Key Action: Treatment to teach the child the emotional codes that are part of the social experience. The child needs to develop the ability to understand other peoples’ emotions from their facial expression, tone of voice, and body posture. The child should be taught to recognize and interpret how people around him think and feel.

  Q: My child has difficulty with describing his/her day at school, recounting an experience, or relaying a message. Why?
  A: Delayed recall skills utilize episodic memory. Episodic memory allows us to remember past events and share these events with others. In other words, it is how we engage in reciprocal conversations with others. Episodic memory produces a conscious awareness of events that have occurred at any one time; it enables people to remember what happened to them in the past or to conceive the future.
  Key Action: Effective treatment is required for the child to learn about memory strategies and to practice remembering. Through repetition, the child develops not only better recall of past events, but also the skills to communicate the memory of the event to peers or adults during a conversation.

  Q: My child is verbal and has good command of language; however, he has trouble initiating conversation with others and taking turns during a conversation. Why?
  A: Children with autism have difficulties in social initiation and social-emotional understanding. Engaging in a reciprocal conversation with others requires the development and interaction of memory, information processing, and expressive communication skills—all of which are pervasive deficits of children with autism. It is not that these children do not desire involvement with their peers. On the contrary, they do have the desire to be socially engaged with others; however, the dilemma lies in the fact that these children lack knowledge of social norms.
  Key Action: Effective treatment that emphasizes social norms and rules, and teaches children how to process social information by distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information in a social situation. Initiating and maintaining a conversation requires a person to have social knowledge, which is knowledge of event schemas.

  Q: How much play time is appropriate to include in my child’s learning routine?
  A: For a young child, teaching through play is extremely important. Play gives children something to do with their ample free time; it also serves the important purpose of honing children’s physical, social and emotional development. Play does not occur spontaneously in children with autism the way it does for typical children. Key Action: Investing significant time teaching through play focuses the child on developing fine and gross motor skills, interpreting the social cues of other children and adults, and responding to those social cues appropriately. Play can be used to develop the ability to interact with, explore, and, ultimately master their surroundings. Play is an essential part of the learning process, and its ability to mimic real-life scenarios makes it an ideal way to stimulate overall development.

About the author:

Karina Poirier, Psy.D., BCBA-D Dr. Karina Poirier is the Director of the Center for Social Cognition , a board certified behavior analyst at the doc-toral level (BCBA-D), and a certified cognitive educational therapist. Her clinical practice is devoted to providing outstanding individuals and group therapy that improves social and cognitive outcomes for individuals with autism, ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and related disorders. Learn more at www.drkarinapoirier.com.


ONLINE RESOURCES

http://www.drkarinapoirier.com http://www.facebook.com/CenterforSocialCognition http://www.twitter.com/SocialCognition https://plus.google.com/+Centerforsocialcognition/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2hZCpP_TDdGzWxrREAbJ4w

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Book Review: Life Support

Posted by Katrina Roets at 7:37 PM

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Nurse Lauren Barclay put her life on hold to keep a watchful eye on her troubled sister. It’s why she’s back in Houston. But that means confronting the brooding physician assistant who caused painful turmoil in her family—and left Lauren with memories her heart can’t forget.

PA and single parent Elijah Landry is no stranger to stormy relationships, including one with his father, who is threatening him with a restraining order. It won’t stop Eli from protecting his disabled brother—or from making peace with Lauren. He wants that and so much more.

But as Lauren and Eli draw closer, a powerful hurricane roars toward Houston. Survival instincts take priority and everything changes. Can hope weather the storm?

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This is the third book in a series, but the first one that I had read by this author. Honestly, I'm going to tell you right off the bat that while I liked the book, I wouldn't necessarily consider it chick lit or even romance. It's deeper than that. It's a complex story that held my attention right until the end and one that truly spoke of hope and how difficult it is to hold onto at times but how if you hold on, you'll find that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't necessarily an oncoming train. If you're looking for some light romance, then this might not be the book for you. However, if you're looking for something a little deeper, I'd recommend picking up a copy of Life Support.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: A Lady's Plight

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:44 PM

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Lady Isabella Winton  waited four years to marry her fiancĂ©, but each year Lord Alexander Fitzroy, Earl of Standford, a serving officer and  reformed rake, finds an excuse to delay the nuptials. This time, with the marriage set for the next month, he tells her he received an urgent message from his Colonel. He is needed in Belgium almost immediately. He warns her it may be dangerous for her to accompany him.

Isabella realizes he is bluffing, things would not change so suddenly. Brussels is the centre of a social whirl with riding, the theatre, and lavish balls. Fearing Alex may have returned to his rakish ways and already installed a mistress, she insists on travelling with him. Will he agree?

Isabella is unaware Lord Everard Ladness, heir to a dukedom, is obsessed with her and will go to any lengths to possess her."

While not my favorite book that I've read so far this year, it was still one that kept me engaged right up until the end. My problems with it? Well, the main character had me frowning more than once as I read. She was very much "it's my way, or nothing" and at times acted out in a violent manner, which I found disconcerting. That being said, there is something to be said for feisty women and later in the book, you see right where Isabella gets it from! The story is engaging, the characters are interesting and overall, I'd say it's a good read. Just watch out for the few editing errors that drift in and out. :)


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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Peacock Swamp Book 1: The Nine

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:46 PM

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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Peacock Swamp: Book 1 | The Nine

In 2064, The Nine are preparing to assemble. This board of individuals is President Madame LaFonte’s solution to an ailing nation in search of medical care. While it seemed ideal at first, the folks of the borough are quickly discovering it isn’t quite what it seems. The lucky ones are issued a red gown and another chance at life. That’s the happy ending. However, not everyone gets a red gown. The others have to make their own second chance at life--if they’ve got the heart to do what it takes. When the superstitions of the swamplands run just as deep as the mud, every little bit of luck helps. They named her Vitalia, a name that means life. But her name was the only advantage that she had. In need of a heart transplant, Vita leaves Peacock Swamp behind to stand before The Nine. With her family by her side, they run into the dangers that government healthcare has created: an underground medical clinic that services the rejected citizens...for a price. Her whole life has been a struggle. Why should her death be any different?

Purchase on Amazon - Paperback / Ebook

 
Katie Femia took a leap of faith several years ago and left her career as an elementary school teacher to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She now enjoys the day-to-day musings of writing for a variety of blogs and websites as a regular contributor. She covers topics such as home finance, DIY projects, money saving strategies, and everything in between. While a number of manuscripts still slumber in a kitchen drawer, Peacock Swamp | Book One: The Nine is her first published novel. She lives in South Bend, Indiana with her husband and three children, where they enjoy the typical Hoosier summers of chasing fireflies in their bare feet. When she isn’t writing, Katie can be found making over vintage furniture pieces and scouring local thrift spots.
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Book Review: A Heart's Rebellion

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, March 17, 2014

In a world governed by unspoken rules, one young woman is about to break them all . . .

Dutiful Jessamine Barry is tired of waiting patiently for a man to decide her future. So even though Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, is taking an interest in her during the London season, she refuses to consider him as a suitor. Instead, she's ready to take fashionable society by storm--and finds a rakish young man all too willing to help her do it.

Can Jessamine trust her heart to lead her to a love that proves true through thick and thin? Or will her rash actions close the door on the life she really desires?


First of all, can I just say that I love the name Jessamine? It's so pretty. In fact, I loved all of the names and characters in this book. I picked it up last night for some before bed reading and didn't put it back down until I'd closed the back cover. Jessamine, damaged by a past relationship, is searching for her place in this world during a time when your place was determined by who you wed. I don't know that she really broke all the rules, but she did what she could to get herself noticed and it led her to places she never ever considered. Again, another book that I sighed when I closed the back cover because I wasn't ready for it to be over. I hope that the author comes back to these characters, not just Jessamine and Lancelot but Rees, Megan and Celine as well.

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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are 100% my own.
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Book Review: Emma of Aurora

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:55 PM

Friday, March 14, 2014

"The Change and Cherish trilogy, based on the true story of Emma Wagner Giesy, now available in one volume:

A Clearing in the Wild
When Emma’s outspoken ways and growing skepticism lead to a clash with the 1850s Bethel, Missouri colony’s beloved leader, she finds new opportunities to pursue her dreams of independence. But as she clears a pathway West to her truest and deepest self, she discovers something she never expected: a yearning for the warm embrace of community.

A Tendering in the Storm
Determined to raise her children on her own terms, Emma suddenly finds herself alone and pregnant with her third child, struggling to keep her family secure in the remote coastal forest of the Washington Territory. As clouds of despair close in, she must decide whether to continue in her own waning strength or to humble herself and accept help from the very people she once so eagerly left behind.

A Mending at the Edge
As a mother, daughter, sister, and estranged wife, Emma struggles to find her place inside—and outside—the confines of her religious community. Emma reaches out to others on the fringe, searching for healing and purpose. By blending her unique talents with service to others, she creates renewed hope as she weaves together the threads of family, friends, and faith."


I have a soft spot for historical fiction, that's no secret. This book was a blessing in the fact that it took three books and put them all into one very large one. That meant, when I finished the first book, I didn't have to go scrambling to try to track down the second. I confess though that this series was one that ebbed and flowed for me. At times, I couldn't stop reading and at others, I felt like I was a bit bogged down. In the end, I was glad to have finished the whole series and even more glad when I realized that it was based on a real person! Did I mention that the author was brilliant enough to include a cast of characters? In a book this long, that's nearly an essential thing.


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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: A Marriage Carol

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:05 PM

Monday, March 10, 2014

On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married in a snowstorm.   This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they're traveling and as blocked with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer's office, on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow , spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly, freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Jacob is nowhere to be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside, built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker is in the shape of a wedding ring.

The red door opens and the first thing she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore marriages. She laughs-and begins a journey through her past, present, and future that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available. Which will she choose?

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A great little one sitting read. While using the names Marlee and Jacob is a little corny, it seems to fit within the new telling of a classic Christmas story that we all know. It's a story of finding hope when maybe you didn't think there was any left to be found, how one choice can change everything and how with some hard work and hope, everything can work out.

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Book Review: The Dream Dress

Posted by Katrina Roets at 11:04 AM

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique, Gabi Delgado dreams of doing more than ripping out seams and fitting dresses to doe-eyed brides. She wants to see her own dress designs gracing the young women of Texas. When Jordan Spencer, the editor of Texas Bride magazine visits the shop to do a feature, Gabi is devastated to lose her job in his very influential presence. Convinced she'll never get her dreams off the ground now, Gabi needs lots of encouragement--especially from her friend Bella Neeley--to take a chance and start her business. And as she gets to know Jordan, she discovers that she may have to take a chance on love as well. Could it be that she'll have to design her own wedding dress soon?

As always, Janice Thompson delivers fun, laughter, and romance as she takes readers back to Galveston, Texas, to spend more time with their favorite quirky characters along with fabulous new ones.

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Love, love, loved this book and wished I'd read the first ones in the series! Gabi is such a super sweet character that you can't help but fall in love with her and with her friends and family. You'll wish that you were part of this group of amazing ladies from the very beginning. Honestly, I can't say enough about Janice Thompson's fantastic skills at bringing characters to life. This book probably has one of every single type of person that you know...from the snob, to the insecure and everything in between.


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I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.

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