INTRO

hello hello and welcome to the autism  360 podcast the 360 method a weekly  podcast where we talk about everything  autism 360. each week we’ll be catching  you up with what’s going on in the  program chatting with team members and  talking all things mindset as well as  exploring relevant ideas that autism  parents think about  so welcome i’m your host ella bailey i’m  autism 360 veteran coach and explorer of  all things parenting support and lucky  me  today i’m joined by the talented and  fabulous ashley hyman one of our parent  coaches here on the program  ashley joined the program in august 2021  and has helped dozens of families since  then and especially developing a bit of  a um interest in adhd ashley how are you  hi hello good i’m happy to be here  thanks for having me uh always a  pleasure never a chore  um and welcome to our lovely listeners  we’re so happy to have you thank you for  tuning in and we care about your  thoughts and experiences whether you’re  a program member or not we would love to  hear from you so please drop us a line  at hello  autism360.com because we love our  listener feedback i’m sure ashley would  agree that the uh parents are the  paramount most important part of our  program so we’d love to hear from you  before we get started i’d like to  acknowledge the gadigal people of the  eora nation uh on whose land i live and  work and from where this podcast is  being broadcast today and also just  mention that this is not a substitute  for medical or allied health advice if  you’re worried about your kiddo or you  have concerns about yourself please do  get in contact with  your gp or get in contact with the  program we’d love to be able to support  you on your journey

 

 

Topic of the day: Stay on Task  ADHD and ASD

so ashley  now we get to talk about the good stuff  absolutely we can dive straight on into  it um  so most of us already know what adhd is  so today the main thing i want to cover  is strategies that we could employ to  help our little kiddos  so i’ll quickly cover what adhd is but  then move straight on to the exciting  stuff awesome let’s hear it  adhd it’s a condition that affects  somebody’s ability to concentrate  so people with adhd will usually  experience periods of time where they  are inattentive  hyperactive or impulsive  this generally will be at a level that  it will interfere with their daily  living functions  okay and so  uh if this is something that you see a  lot in the program you see a lot of  kiddos coming in with asd but then  showing a lot of adhd signs is that  right yeah absolutely i mean adhd and  asd there seems to be more and more  kiddos getting diagnosed with both  um if not you know sometimes parents  suspect it they’re going through the  process um so it’s definitely one to um  discuss because we can employ some  simple strategies that also help with  asd as well so definitely these  strategies um are quite helpful for the  both awesome okay well let’s get started  what’s your first pro

Strategy on Memory

my first hot tip is going to be a memory  prosthetic  so what it means is using written  instructions or visuals  to help the kiddo remember and  accomplish steps to a task  so you could create say a visual routine  for their morning or afternoon  it’s got pictures and the written words  of each step to complete that  so instead of just saying it’s time to  get ready for school and remembering  them to  expecting them to remember each step of  what that is  they can work step by step with  basically the visual being their memory  okay and so  what’s the difference between that sort  of support and just like a visual  schedule is it the way you implement it  yeah absolutely so it’s the way that  it’s implemented um  look they can be confused a lot um the  two can be considered quite similar but  what we want is we want to break down  every single step  so we’re not glossing over we’re very  specific  so that we are assisting with say if  they’re having an inattentive morning  they just have to simply glance at that  to remember where they were and where to  move on to  okay i see could you give an example of  a routine that you might use that kind  of prosthetic for  yeah absolutely so something as simple  as say brushing your teeth  so breaking that completely down down to  the point of we get our toothbrush we  get toothpaste we put toothpaste on the  toothbrush  we put it under the water and then going  through to the steps of what we brush  front teeth back teeth tongue  rinse our mouth  so every single little step just to set  them up for success  it can be done as simply as creating it  on a microsoft word document  um that’s visually attractive or there  is a great product you might have heard  of talking points  i think i have heard of that yeah what  are for parents what what is a talking  point  yeah so a talking point is  you can record your voice basically  talking you’re talking your kiddo  through a process  so it can be multi-step instructions  that you record and then your child can  press the button  to replay as many times as they need to  get through that process  so this could be a good one for say  after school  where their bag goes there is this big  button waiting to be pressed they press  the button and it tells them the  expectation of unpacking their bag  you know take your lunchbox out put it  in the kitchen get your drink bottle  shoes off  and so if they get distracted you could  refer them back to the button they press  it again and see where they got to  before  wandering off  so that’s a super helpful one and it’s  attractive for kiddos what kiddo doesn’t  want to push a giant button  if it’s red am i right  yes  absolutely  yeah so that’s a  few quick tips for memory um  but basically that’s there is apps these  days that will help  and

 

Strategy on Visual

if you don’t want to do apps then  going with visual instructions is a  really good starting point  yeah absolutely i think some of the um  kiddos that i’ve worked with who have  that  attention deficit it helps that  multi-sensory um support so you’ve got  the visual in combination with the audio  version of the um instruction like the  talking point or um it also helps to you  know you to move them through the  stations of their routine or whatever so  they have all these different  um ways to engage with the instruction  to help support their memory  yeah absolutely and that’s also really  kind to them considering everyone  remembers things differently um so you  know having both visual and verbal um  they’ve got that better chance of  absorbing the task and remembering the  steps for next time so yeah doubling up  um you know sometimes might be  overwhelming but in a lot of cases it  can improve their learning  totally and i’m uh you know i’m a verbal  processor no wonder i have a podcast  yeah  yeah  okay so what else have we got what other  strategies are your hot tips  number two is also a super important one  motivation  because honestly in order to persevere  with any task you have to be motivated  so we can’t expect any differently about  kiddos  so in the 21st century obviously a great  way of  utilizing motivation is going to be  apps and technology  um so starting there i guess is finding  the apps that can get the task done  in a motivating and fun way so an  example of that would be again the  morning routine we could utilize an app  like the kids to-do list by little eco  that allows you to edit and create a  visual routine  and when they complete it they tick off  stars that pop  and when they get through the whole  routine it gives them a little 30 second  game to play  that’s fun i love that okay  yeah so obviously increasing motivation  well how can we make it fun um you know  of course there is rewards which is when  they get to the end but the motivation  to get through is what we need to spend  some more time finding those creative  ways so that is one way  if you want kind of a technology free  version  there’s always working towards  tasks  so breaking it down they do step one  and they get a little reinforcer  motivation to keep going  so that’s kind of the simple ways but i  mean ella what’s your experience with  you know technologies and apps is a  motivational tool do you agree  yes  there’s one that’s um  there’s one that’s standing out to me  which was this  um beautiful little girl that i was  working with who um just wasn’t on board  with toothbrushing she was just not  about it it was not her mood  um and we were really struggling to  obviously help look after her oral  hygiene  so i found i went on a good old um  internet search  and i found this app that syncs with  their toothbrush  and um  as so the app brings up a picture it’s  all covered in bubbles they can’t see  what it is and as they move the  toothbrush around in their mouth it  slowly reveals a new picture every day  i love her yeah super fun and it um  whatever the character on their  toothbrush is like elsa or you know  whoever um  that’s the picture that comes up on the  app so that was a really fun one  yes that’s really good and what was that  oral b  in oral  b  good to know and see that’s just a quick  and easy way to you know utilize

Utilizing Technology 

technology we’re not saying if you do  this you get it  the ipad for an hour it’s using it in  the moment um that’s brilliant i love  that  yeah super fun and um it also  times the activity without timing the  activity because they have to see the  whole way through to be able to get  access to the that picture at the end  which takes time  yeah not a daunting countdown or  yeah i love that okay  yeah  well look i’ll dive into my third  strategy  um  right my third strategy is physical  exercise  um now we all know you know doctors say  physical exercise is good for everything  that’s nothing new  with adhd research has found um that  people with adhd have higher levels  of theta brain activity  now this activity is known as the sleepy  brainwave  um but exercise that increases a  different brainwave called beta  which  increases focus and attention so when  you look at it from that perspective  physical exercise is going to increase  the exact brainwave needed  to assist in attentional skills  just small amount of physical exercise  broken up throughout the day is going to  kind of fight for that good brain wave  activity that we need  yeah absolutely i found a lot of kiddos  that um do have that more hyperactive  form of adhd a really um highly  cardiovascular form of exercise actually  heightens their um hyperactivity have  you ever noticed that or gotten feedback

Focusing on the activity

from parents around that absolutely yeah  absolutely and i guess it’s just how we  pick and choose the activities suitable  for those moments then  so for example if we’re just needing  them to focus and attend to their meal  at hand and not get distracted so that  they eat enough um well it’s meal time  and if it’s dinner it’s going to be  bedtime soon we’re definitely not going  to recommend something that’s  too  stimulating but it could be something as  simple as  breaking up their dinner time into hey  can you go get this from the other room  for me and just giving them that small  permission to move  um you know if they end up skipping or  running there that’s  that’s their exercise that’s their  movement um but yeah absolutely it’s  kind of picking and choosing that level  of stimulation um in the right moment  yeah i’ve definitely found that when i  guide my  more hyperactive  um kiddos towards  um  weight bearing type exercises rather  than high cardiovascular output type  exercises you tend to see an increase in  the regulating nature of it so things  like um  hanging from a set of monkey bars where  they’re having to support their own  weight  or um  doing um wheelbarrow runs where they’re  having to  move but with the weight of a pier or  whatever with them or um a backpack full  of books while they’re running or  something like that um helps to decrease  that like agitation response that you  can get from high cardiovascular output  output activities whilst also getting  the benefits of those beta brain waves  that are brought on by exercise that’s  my little  pro tip from the field yeah love that  definitely simple things like moving the  laundry basket um pushing it along the  floor brilliant yeah yeah awesome  okay and my final strategy um is music  now  it can be considered an interesting one  hear me out okay  playing music in the background believe  it or not will help with overall focus  so i’m not talking something too  engaging like the kiddos favorite song  that they can’t help but sing and dance  to  that’s going to pull them away from that  homework you’re trying to get them to do  but i’m talking music with a constant  and slow beat  um so this could be you know a spotify  playlist spotify has a bunch of adhd  playlists  that all follow that constant slow beat  wow  now having that in the background  is in their subconscious awareness  but it allows them to focus more on the  task in front of them instead of trying  to  process multiple things at once there is  something that’s at least consistent in  the background  interesting okay  so it’s a bit of an interesting one it’s  one that you’ve kind of gotta give it a  go before you believe it i i hear you  that’s fine  absolutely instead of getting distracted  by say the changing of tv channels in  the background this consistent beat  is going to be a lot less stimulating  and therefore focusing on the task at  hand is a lot easier  yeah interesting i’ve um in the past had  some success with families whose whose  children were struggling with that  auditory overwhelm or  um being overly stimulated by the  auditory input in their environment  with  trying out a bunch of different um  uh  white noise track so there’s all sorts  of different um  sound wave levels and stuff that are on  uh coming in through like white noise or  pink noise or brown noise they all have  different um  frequency frequency yeah that’s the word  i was looking for  kind of auditory qualities and they  could really help because our brain  after a little while of processing the  same sound for um  you know a few minutes at a time it  starts to um  uh tune it out and you know everybody  has had this experience where  you tune back into something and you  think how long have i been listening to  this for i don’t know  where am i you know  absolutely yeah and i think that  sometimes those like white noise or pink  noise tracks in the background  because they’re so easy for our brain to  tune out it can actually help with  reducing the auditory overwhelm which is  kind of counter-intuitive  it is yes  yes  yes absolutely yeah and that is the  thing after 10 minutes we do  um so you know if you take away that  spontaneity of the child is oh what was  that sound or what am i missing out on  um you know and put that consistent beat  in it is a lot easier in the long run  yeah fascinating how the brain works  right absolutely yes endless endless um  okay awesome well thank you for that I

Community Questions 

do have a um parent question for this  week on this topic  um which i’m going to inspire at you and  folks actually has had no preparation  for this i do not apologize  for that  um rhonda from darwin asks  my child isn’t hyperactive but you can’t  seem to concentrate on any task even  once she likes it also seems like she  gets fatigued really easily do you have  any suggestions  absolutely the two quick ones that come  to mind one is chunking tasks  so if a task has a designated finish  who says that’s the designated finish  let’s you know chunk it into  three separate intervals that they can  get through  and that allows for a little break in  between  so instead of having to push through  what they perceive as a big task we can  break it down into three bite-sized  little pieces  so chunking that’s a really important  one and the second one i would say is  including movement breaks in there  so like i said with the dinner time um  you know  while your child is is kind of low and  not hyperactive they might still need to  just wander around to then come back to  the task at hand  so giving them little movement breaks  that you can specifically suggest what  they do star jumps can you go get this  from the kitchen  it just allows them to have that little  break before continuing on  amazing  any other thoughts for ronda  look honestly with that it’s just  keeping in mind that  if your child’s kiddo is of school age  school is is a really taxing time they  have a lot of demands placed on them  they have a lot to get through so if  you’re noticing that kind of exhaustion  at the in the afternoon um put in more  of those respite breaks so do chunk all  tasks give them time to rest and recover  so just be mindful of you know what part  is there a part of the day  um where these sorts of strategies are  needed most  and and having a look at that  okay i love that idea and i think you’re  right in um  i guess just flagging to parents how  much  more of um a demand  uh our kiddos on the spectrum are having  to deal with in a school day than a  neurotypical kid  you know they really are having to work  much harder to engage um in school  especially if it’s a mainstream school  they were having to work so much harder  to engage in the tasks that a  neurotypical child  you know potentially is breezing through  um absolutely  and taking that into consideration when  we’re um again expecting them to be able  to continue on that focus into the  afternoon or yeah  and that is yeah it’s a lot more taxing  for them to get through that day so you  know when you think about um the demands  of school it’s it’s no surprise that you  might notice it more in the afternoon  if you’re noticing it more in the  morning then obviously there’s looking  into sleep and that sort of thing  but um yeah when it comes to that low

OUTRO

energy side um it’s just making sure  that we’re being fair to their little  growing bodies  yeah absolutely i remember being  exhausted after school and i didn’t even  have adhd so um  oh thank you for coming on ashley i love  picking your brain about this sort of  thing  my pleasure thank you for having me  absolutely and um no doubt i will uh  come and knock in on your door again  sometime soon  um until then everybody um i can’t wait  until next week where we talk about  another uh topic that’s relevant to  autism parenting until then please do  drop us a line hello at  hello at autism360.com  um and until then think360.

Summary
Stay on Task  ADHD and ASD
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Stay on Task ADHD and ASD
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This week Ella and Ashleigh will talk about Stay on Task ADHD and ASD
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Autism 360
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