I have created the social narrative in a page by page format, so you the parent can include or exclude whatever information you feel is pertinent to you and your family.
It is highly probable at this juncture (11/03/2020) that schools will close so I have allocated a countdown box within the social narrative. This will help your son or daughter to understand in a concrete sense when school will reopen (if known).
Update– due to the overwhelming demand for the Coronavirus Social Narrative I have updated the link with a visual to help you locate it. I am receiving a great many messages requesting a copy to be sent directly. If you click on the above “Click to download visual”, you will receive an instant download.
I have also been in contact with many schools around the globe this morning seeking to print off multiple copies of the aforementioned social narratives to give to students. You absolutely have my persmission to do so. Absolutely no need to request permission. It is expressly given here.
For additional FREE printable downloads, go to my family blog www.littlepuddins.ie by clicking on the image below.
Update December 2020
I have been overwhelmed these past almost 10 months with the response globally to the Social Narrative I designed and released for FREE on the eve of Ireland’s premier lock down in March 2020. The Social Narrative has been recommended around the world by academics and professionals I have long admired who work in the field of autism. It has been recommended by charities and organisations renown for their progressive advocacy on behalf of autistic individuals and their families. I have been contacted by families, by parents, by teachers, therapists, by so many; each offering thanks for my helping their family member, student or friend understand what was happening in the world at that moment in time when we as a global community stood still and stopped what had been our normal daily lives. It overwhelms me now to think of those moments back in March, April, May.. even now online, weekly I am thanked by a member of our global community who has found their way to The Autism Educator in search of a social narrative to help their loved one understand.
I owe thanks to the creative genius that is Smarty Symbols. I have long been a subscriber to Smarty Symbols Communication System, as they have really helped me connect with my sons who are non-speaking, they have helped my speaking son, Jack make sense of his world, every day. We would be lost without Smarty Symbols and it is a testament to how magnificent and effective Smarty Symbols are, when I think of all the children who have read my Social Narrative and it helped them to understand what to most, at one time or another, has been incomprehensible.
To name but a few organisations, government bodies and charities who recommend my “What is the Coronavirus”? Social Narrative I attach their logos below.
Irish schools are to remain closed until the end of January 2021. For families like mine, we will now Home School our children, with online learning for some being an option. For my sons, I know that online-learning is not an option as it will not meet their needs or abilities. Home-schooling with the support and guidance of their brilliant school will be our way forward. Home School Visuals are essential to help your child or student understand the new “Home – School” routine and schedule.
Online through my social media platforms (Instagram & Facebook), I regularly advocate for the inclusion of visual supports in the environment of all autistic children, where possible. From a strength based perspective we know that autistic children are visual learners and using Visual Supports will aid their comprehension and understanding of information and expectations.
With the aforementioned at the forefront of my mind together with the overwhelm many parents feel at this juncture, I have designed Home School Visuals you can use as part of your Visual Schedule to help your child/student process what may be happening day to day as part of their Home School learning.
In the coming days I will be designing additional FREE Home School printables; you can use at home to help support your child/learner during this time of pandemic.
Home School Visual Icons
I have designed a selection of Home School Visual icons you can use as part of your Visual Schedule. Print off the Visual icons and laminate. Thereafter, cut out each individual square and attach a soft Velcro coin to the rear of each individual Home School visual. Attach to your Visual Schedule/Choice Boards as appropriate.
Home School Visual Support
I have designed two Home School visual supports you can laminate, and cut out. Attach the green “Start” Visual to one large container/basket and the red “Finished” to another container/basket.
When working at the table with your child/student place tasks “they have to work on” in the “Start” basket (the basket will be on the left hand side of the child/on the table/ground). Place tasks that your child completes into the “Finished” container/basket (this will be placed on the right hand side of your child/right hand side of the table/ground). The red & green Visual Supports will help your student understand what tasks they have to complete but also helps them to understand that once the “Start” basket/container is empty and the “Finished” basket is full, they will then be finished their work.
You can access your FREE Home School Visual Supports here.
If you have found these visual supports helpful, go to my Family Blog where you will find a host of other Free Printables.
I am autistic. This year I received an adult autism diagnosis.
I have been autistic all my life. Over the course of the last decade, on three separate occasions I booked and later cancelled 3 different adult autism assessments. But this past year, with the support of my husband, my parents, my family and closest friends, I went ahead with an adult autism assessment and was left shell-shocked by what the Psychologist told me and advised me to do going forward.
I have always known that I am different. I am one of 11 children and each of my brothers and sisters will tell you that I am unlike anyone else in our household.
My beloved sister will tell you that she could barely get into our childhood bedroom for I had filled every crevice with books, researching my interests. Staying up late at night to highlight my favourite words in the dictionary, later looking up synonyms for words I had just taught myself. I colour coded our wardrobes and constantly rearranged our furniture. I was lucky I had a sister who loved me dearly and who had the patience of a saint.
My mother will tell you that when I started school at 4 I was already an advanced reader, yet no one in the household had taught me. No one ever had to teach me anything, I would take my books and devour them. I would do my homework and then teach my brothers and sisters.
My Father’s Daughter
My dad saw that I needed space to study and do my research so gave me a key to his office. I spent many happy days and nights all throughout my education even into my university days studying at my father’s office desk. He eventually bought me my own desk for his office. So, he worked, and I studied whatever interest I had at that time. I will always be thankful for his love that saw my potential and ensured I had a space in a busy household to be myself and do what I enjoyed most, being on my own, researching.
Later I met my husband, who when he first walked into my study room, saw walls of books, and started to laugh, not knowing what to make of this woman he was falling in love with. I being so particular about order and rules and research, have been incredibly lucky to find a husband who is the balance our household needs. He accepts me as I am, and I will always be thankful for his nature and kindness.
As each of my children have grown older, the boys become more like me every day. Hailey so like my husband, Jack so like me. His interests and passions, I found myself just like my dad, making space for my child in my room. Jack comes in and hangs out with me everyday and evening. Researching his passions; diggers, dinosaurs, and bin trucks. He is my mirror and I, his.
The latter part of this year saw my attending an adult autism diagnosis / assessment. The Psychologist identified me as being autistic. He told me he has never in all his days met someone as exceptional as me.
He explained to me that the rate and manner with which I process information is exceptional. He told me of a study that was conducted on a handful of autistic individuals in the world who process information at the rate and manner with which I do. He said I belonged in that study.
Adult Autism Diagnosis
He wanted me to understand that I was being diagnosed as having Asperger Syndrome because of my exceptional visual mind; the fact that my mind was cinematic, that I could access immeasurable information within my mind in a moments notice, that I could “see” whole days as a reel within my mind. The fact I deconstruct information visually within my mind and reconstruct it back piece by piece until I have the answer I am looking for.
I have always found speaking so difficult as while I try to speak in that same moment, my mind shows be cinematic imagery of that which I speak about. I find myself speaking so fast, I call it a ramble, but he explained it wasn’t a ramble at all. With a large smile he told me that my ability to process information at the incredible rate with which I can, meant that when I spoke the information came out just as quickly as I tried to decipher the cinematic information and formulate words.
He told me that my intelligence was on par with leading academics in the world and he told me the questionnaire I filled out as part of the assessment stopped him in his tracks. He told me he had never read anything like it.
He advised I return to University obtain my Masters, and later a PHD in Autism. He advised that I begin writing academic papers on autism and the manner within which I process and access information. He said he would expect to see my name on books with a PHD after my name in a few years’ time.
He told me that the manner with which I process information would be of great interest to leading academics and experts in the field of autism and to ready myself for busy years ahead.
He told me there was only one word for me and that was exceptional and said going forward he was very excited to see what I do next.
I am so thankful to the Psychologist who has made such a deep irrevocable difference to my understanding of myself going forward but also retrospectively.
I am thankful to every person who has supported me here on Little Puddins and The Autism Educator. I owe an incredibly special thank you to Fiona Ferris of AsIam who I spoke to after my diagnosis. She and the AsIam team are incredible autism advocates.
I am Amanda Mc Guinness, I am Autistic.
Contact me on Social Media if you would like more information about Adult Autism Diagnosis.