School age

Using technology

The National Autistic Society has a guide to using technology for parents.       Click icon to view.

Computer games are said to be beneficial for children on the spectrum.       Here are two web sites, the first offering help in choosing games and the second offering a self-contained experience with the games on the site.

  • Learning Works for Kids is a site based in the USA.        It identifies computer games that they say help with particular learning or life skills.        The Find Games or Apps menu option takes you to their search page.       This is free to use.        The approach is said to draw on original research and decades of experience in education and psychology – see their About page.
  • Autism Games is a website created by a university and an eTherapy centre in Australia.         It is free to use and it aims to assist children with moderate to severe autism to develop independent living skills.        Click on website and hover over the Gamesmenu to see what is available.        Click the Whiz Kids Games link on their home page to play the games.        You need to have Adobe Flash on your computer to play the games.       Take care to use the Adobe website to install to keep your computer safe.        But if you are not sure about any of this please ask someone who understands computers for help.


  • Fidgetbum is designed to keep bedding in place during the night.        The website is well presented.
  • Bouncy Bands look like an interesting idea for children with fidgety feet.             It gets the thumbs up from a teacher in the UK in principle.         Amazon UK stocks them.         Probably wise to check the reviews for the items that have them.
  • Do you fidget at your desk?           Here is an article about a fidget cube.            See Amazon.

Sleep & Dreams

Click page icon for a comprehensive article or Options picture for helpsheet on sleep and autism – new         See also:  Nightmares          Social stories below might be adapted.

Social skills

  • The National Autistic Society has produced a guide to social skills.           Click on one of the
    following:  Children        Teenagers
  • Click picture on the right for Options Group help sheet about developing emotional and social skills.          For more about Options Group see  Specialist services
  • Here is a review of an animation game that it is said could help children with autism develop social skills.              See the maker’s website for more information, including What it does and Scientific research.                At time of launch, July 2015, it was pricey.
  • Prep for social success is a book aimed at parents of children on the autistic spectrum.            Amazon offers an eBook version.               The Amazon page says that it offers a four step programme:   PLAN, REHEARSE, ENCOURAGE, PRAISE and, Facbook small iconthe PREP program can be applied to a number of settings including school and group activities such as sports or clubs.               There are good reviews on Amazon but the NAS, Ambitious about Autism and NetMums did not seem to mention the book as of Aug 2015.             Click icon to see the authors’ Facebook site.


See also Preparing for change about leaving primary and secondary school.

First step to independence

Ellen Notbohm’s son, Bryce, says, “I always wanted to learn to do things for myself.     Without that, I how would I ever have freedom?”             See also about Ellen.

See also The loving push              Best-selling author, autism advocate, and animal science professor Dr. Temple Grandin joins psychologist and autism specialist Dr. Debra Moore in spelling out what steps you can take to restore your child’s hope and motivation, and what you must avoid.

Social stories

Social stories for kids with Asperger’s can help to teach basic social skills in a simple and direct way that they can understand.

  • For an example, click icon for a video clip explaining having blood drawn.
  • Here is a guide to social stories.
  • This is a book of containing many social stories – The New Social Stories book (2015).           See:  Amazon       Good Reads.          Have a look at four examples by clicking Look Inside on the Amazon page and then clicking First pages in the left margin.

Autism assistance dogs

Specially trained dogs can be a great help to people with autism but they are very hard to come by in the UK.             Here are some links:

  • Autism service dogs:   A description the idea from a charity based in the USA.
  • Dogs for good has centres around the UK.           They hold workshops to help families get the most out of their pet dog for a child with autism.          The booking link at the bottom of the page takes you to locations of workshops, e.g. Leicester.        See also FAQ about the barriers and options.
  • Here is a heart-warming story about a boy and his dog working together particularly well.

Medical appointments

Click icon for an autism help sheet on preparing for appointments with medical or clinical professionals, produced by a speech therapist with Options.          See also more help sheets.

Explaining to a child

  • Children with special needs: How to explain disability to a child – Huffington Post.          See  article
  • Question:    We recently got a diagnosis.      How should I explain high functioning autism to my affected son and his ‘typical’ siblings?           See:   Answer.          Also, this book is highly recommended by parents.           See  Amazon UK
  • 15 children’s books.         See  article         Amazon UK

Amazing things happen

Click play button for a video for children explaining autism.             It comes from the Facebook page on the right.

Pokemon Go

The “Pokemon Go” craze has been linked to car crashes, grim discoveries and even reports of people falling off a cliff.       But the wildly popular mobile game has also led to a beautiful awakening in a 6-year-old boy named Ralphie.                 See article.

Thula the therapy cat

Iris was a 6 year old on the autism spectrum.         Her mother was surprised to see the way her daughter bonded with a cat that the family was looking after.           She bought a cat of a recommend bread.         Here is a brief video presentation of the story and here is an illustrated article.          See also more pictures.

Here is another case of a father who took is son cat shopping at an animal shelter.

Aukids magazine

A magazine offering information, encouragement and support for parents of children with autism spectrum conditions.           For four issues a year, AuKids costs £15 per year and includes access to a downloadable archive, too.           They offer an Ask the Experts section, among other things.           Click icon for information.             Visitors can get a rough idea what each issue contains in the Archive section.
See Welcome page to download a sample copy of the magazine.             The website and publishers have a UK address.

Water safety

This guide is aimed at parents and carers of children with autism.             See also Related Activities for Grantham Lynx Swim.


  • ERIC website has a page about children with additional needs.              See also:  website      about – it includes an outline of their services.         Help & support menu along the top of their screen, e.g. helpline includes email address.
  • Bladder & bowel is a UK Disability Living support group for promoting continence and product awareness.           Their helpline is  0161 607 8219, a Manchester number.         Click also for email address.

Netmums logoMothers’ Experiences

Click icon to read about parents whose school-age children have either autism or Aspergers.

Special clothing

Children with autism often have sensory issues.       They may be fussy about the clothes they wear, for example.       Hear is a list of some of the suppliers of specialist clothing .

Some children with autism may engage in fecal smearing.        Click on this  forum  to find out how mothers tackle the problem.       Hear is a list of some of the discussion  and supplier sites of specialist body suits.

Early Support Co-ordination

Lincolnshire County Council provide an Early Support, Care and Co-ordination service, or ESCO for short.         The eligibility criteria have been extended from children with complex health needs or disabilities under five to include young people up to eighteen years of age.
Click icon for more information.


GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.