Thrive – October 2016 Issue (Part 2)

by A is for Apple, Inc. | Oct 20, 2016

Autism Tips: Tips on Successful Manding


“Manding” is the behavior your child should perform when they want something.  Encouraging good manding helps a child grow their language skills.

Parents usually want two things with manding:  the child to use their words, and to make complete requests.  For example, Susy says, “I want an apple please” and then waits for the apple.  Instead of Susy shouting, “Apple!” and grabbing for one.

We work on manding in our sessions, showing the parent and the child proper manding technique.  To help you reinforce proper manding at home, here are some tips.

  1. Keep it Short and Sweet.  If the child can only make one-word requests for now—Susy saying “Apple”—then honor those requests.  But as you give them what they want, prompt your child with a longer example.  You can say, “Can I have an apple?” to them, or maybe “want apple.” This builds up the child’s vocabulary, and associates the words with their request.
  2. Keep a mand separate from an echoic.  An “echoic” is when the child simply repeats what you say.  You: “Apple.”  Your child: “Apple.” That’s good, but they should also learn to use manding independently.  With Susy’s example, you could hold up the apple and ask, “Is this what you want?”  Then Susy has to give a mand (“I want the apple”) or she may just reach for it. If she reaches for the apple without manding, then prompt her with the word “apple.”  She repeats the word, you praise her, and then ask her again. “What do you want?”  When she makes her request in the form of a response, not just repeating what you say, you have a successful manding.
  3. Repeat, repeat, repeat.  To practice manding, you can give your child a small piece of what they want when they mand successfully.  One apple slice, for instance.  Then have the child repeat the mand (“More apple”) and give them another piece.

The coming holidays will give many chances to practice manding.  Think of it this way—a KitKat candy bar has four sticks.  That’s four chances for your child to practice manding.

If you’d like more ideas for manding practice, please ask your A is for Apple supervisor.

Please join us on our Facebook Page and share your manding successes!


Ask A is for Apple

Making Halloween Treats with Your Child


“Dear A is for Apple,

What kind of Halloween treats could we make at home?”

Some of our parents asked about making treats for Halloween parties.  Would it make sense to have their child participate?

It certainly would!  In fact, making things in the kitchen is a great learning opportunity as well as a good sensory activity.  Your child can even gain confidence from making something and sharing it with others.

Here’s how to make some Halloween cookies with your child.  Along with steps in the process where your child can help out.

Prepare to Bake Safely

First, gather the ingredients and supplies you’ll need.

  • Sugar cookie batter
  • Milk or non-dairy substitute
  • Baking sheet
  • Cookie cutters
  • Wax paper& foil
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar
  • Frosting (Vanilla, Chocolate or Orange)

Then, clean and sanitize the cooking area.  Wipe down the counter.  Move any items that could become an obstacle.

Finally, put a picture of the finished cookies someplace easily seen.  This helps motivate your child.  Organize the ingredients and supplies nearby.

Where Your Child Helps Out

Your child can help out at any point in the cookie-making process.  These are all the things he or she can do:

  1. Measure out ingredients.  If they can measure, have them measure out each ingredient.  If not, have them watch you do it.  Label the steps for the child’s learning.
  2. Cracking the eggs.
  3. Pouring ingredients into the bowl.
  4. 4.Mixing.  Either have them mix with a spoon, or ask them to push the mixer’s Start & Stop buttons.
  5. Put foil on baking sheet.  Some kids love the tactile sensation of aluminum foil.  If your child doesn’t like sudden noises though, careful with the foil.
  6. Knead the dough.  Use a heavy-bottom bowl so your child won’t accidentally tip it over.
  7. Roll the dough using a rolling pin.
  8. Use cookie cutters.
  9. Place cookies on the baking sheet.
  10. Spread icing.  Supervise the child on this; even the most skilled child can accidentally fling a blob of icing!
  11. Add sprinkles.  Place a little pile of sprinkles on a plate.  Have your child pick up a pinch, and sprinkle them on each cookie.  Great for working their fine motor skills.

Choose however many tasks you think your child can handle.  You can increase this amount over time, as they grow and learn more.

When they’re done, celebrate the cookies as a Halloween treat for everyone!  Your child will love the sense of accomplishment.

Looking for a non-sugary option?  Try making Halloween Chips or a Pumpkin Veggie Plate.

Share your Halloween pictures on our Facebook page



Local Events

More Places to Go for Halloween

Halloween’s getting closer.  Here are two more Halloween events you can bring your child to.  One is on Friday, October 28, and the other is on Halloween (during the day).

Halloween Monster Bash in Mountain View

  • Where:  Mountain View Community Center/Rengstorff Park. 201 South Rengstorff Avenue, Mountain View
  • When:  Friday, October 28, 2016 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm 
  • How to Contact:  (650) 903-6331 or the Monster Bash – City of Mountain View Website

Every year, the City of Mountain View puts on a Halloween “Monster Bash!”  The Monster Bash has games, music, and an outdoor movie.  This year, the featured movie is “Hotel Transylvania 2.”

 Willow Glen Trick-or-Treating Event

  • Where:  Lincoln Avenue between Minnesota and Willow, Downtown Willow Glen
  • When:  Monday, October 31, 2016
    • Session 1 (for toddlers, preschoolers, and kids in strollers) from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
    • Session 2 (for school-aged kids) from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm