If you are new to the world of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), chances are you’re a bit overwhelmed! ASD research has come a long way in the past few years alone, and technology is making it easier than ever to share the current best practices in the field. Luckily, parents of children with autism do not need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to expanding their understanding of autism!
Pinterest has become a great online resource for learning about autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. The social media platform allows users to curate collections, called boards, with a selection of high-quality resources on a topic or theme. “Autism Pinterest” is bursting with ideas and information that might inspire you.
Read on to learn about how to access ten of the best Pinterest boards for autistic people!
What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social media platform that lets people save and share websites and resources on a variety of topics and themes. You may have seen it used for something other than autism learning. Many individuals create Pinterest boards to collect recipes, wedding ideas, home decor inspiration, and more.
It didn’t take long for teachers, ABA therapy practitioners and special needs parents to learn how to take advantage of the app. It’s a great way for people who work with autistic children to share the resources that have worked for them. The interface is visual, allowing you to scroll through images that lead to blogs, articles and videos on subjects related to autism.
The images and associated links are called “pins.” Users organize those pins into collections called “boards.” Think of them as a visual representation of a well-organized bookmarks folder on your browser.
You can create your own Pinterest boards, too. If you see resources or ideas that inspire you, you can pin them to your own board with the press of a single button. This makes it easier to access and share what you have learned with friends, family or your child’s applied behavior analysis team.
Pinterest has uses beyond learning, too. You can use Pinterest to pin your child’s favorite websites so they can access them independently by going to a single webpage. You can even organize a board full of resources that can help with communication and stress management.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve listed ten excellent autism-themed Pinterest boards below.
1. Visual Resources for the Autism Classroom
Visual Resources for the Autism Classroom is a great board to start with if you’re looking to understand the tools that your child’s teacher uses on a day-to-day basis. A quick scroll through this board will yield a selection of visual schedules, behavior change tools, and ideas for independent learning. Sometimes, being able to see what these tools look like can help you to advocate for implementation in a new setting.
Many of these tools would also be excellent when adapted for use at home. Does your child struggle with routine or rely on visual cues throughout the day? There is no reason you can’t implement a visual schedule for use during the weekends or school holidays!
2. Autism Tips and Support
Erika Bragdon, a mother of autistic children, curates the Autism Tips and Support Pinterest board. It is a collection of resources specifically intended to teach you about the best ways to parent an autistic child. It’s filled with encouraging pins that will help you feel connected to the broader ASD community while teaching you something new.
This board is helpful if you’re looking for specific, actionable strategies to use at home. It also links to many resources written by the parents of autistic children to offer comfort in times of stress or hardship. If you need some motivation on a hard day, this board is full of wonderful resources.
3. Autism & IEP Tips
If you’re embarking on a new autism journey, one of the first hurdles you will tackle will be advocating for your child at an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting. The IEP is a document where all specialists working with your child in school develop specific goals and accommodations with your help. It serves as the blueprint for a successful year of growth and independence in the world of special education.
Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie, it’s always helpful to collect some tips before you attend a meeting on behalf of your child. The Autism & IEP Tips board is full of ideas to inspire appropriate IEP goals and therapeutic interventions. It can help you organize and prepare to help advocate for your child to have a fantastic year at school!
4. Social Stories
Some autistic children may respond well to social stories. These are stories that explain what to expect in a variety of social or novel situations. They use pictures and text to help prepare a child so they will be less anxious.
The Social Stories board is full of links to social stories for just about any scenario that you can think of. It will help you to support your child, whatever adventure may be on the horizon!
5. Communication Strategies for Special Education & Autism
It can be challenging to learn the best way to navigate communication when parenting a child with autism. Whether your child is vocal or non-vocal, communication strategies are handy during moments when something gets lost in translation. The Communication Strategies for Special Education & Autism board is full of ideas that can help you build language skills and facilitate communication with your child.
6. Autism – Sensory Projects
If your child is sensory seeking or working on sensory integration in therapy, sensory projects will come in handy. The Autism-Sensory Projects board features a collection of predominantly tactile and visual projects and activities that your child will love. It provides great options if you want to encourage sensory-rich imaginative or creative play at home.
7. Assistive Tech and Mods
Sometimes you don’t know what kind of assistive technology is out there. Many apps and devices exist that might be a game-changer for your child. The Assistive Tech and Mods board is a curated collection of assistive technology and modification tools that others have used in the classroom environment.
8. ABA Therapy (Info & Resources)
Nobody expects you to be an autism expert, especially as a parent dealing with a new diagnosis. You will most likely be working with an ABA therapy team. These professionals will use many tools and resources to help your child learn and grow throughout the year.
You can use many of these tools at home, too. Learning more about ABA therapy is a great way to understand exactly why an ABA therapist is such an important member of your child’s team. The ABA Therapy (Info & Resources) board will get you started when it comes to building a body of knowledge on the tools your child’s therapist might use!
9. Autism: Raising Special Needs Tweens and Teens
Your Teen Magazine is an excellent resource for parents seeking advice and inspiration for parenting autistic teens. They have a Pinterest board that links directly to some of their most popular and helpful articles. This board is a great resource if you’re looking for general advice as a parent of an autistic teenager, as you never know what might be relevant to you.
With advice on travel, books, life with autistic siblings and more, the Autism: Raising Special Needs Tweens and Teens board touches on all aspects of teen life.
10. Autism: Speech Therapy
In addition to ABA therapy, many children with autism receive speech therapy services. Your child’s Speech Language Pathologist may encourage you to practice skills at home. If you don’t have the resources or experience, this can be hard to accomplish!
The Autism: Speech Therapy board provides articles and resources that can help you to support your child’s speech goals. It has everything from general advice to links to printable resources. Everything you need to support language skills is in one place.
Learning About Autism with a Single Click
Whether you are seeking information about engaging autistic teens or just more information about autism therapy, Pinterest is an excellent place to start. While not every pin will work for every individual, there are plenty of gems that can inspire new ideas. When it comes to learning about autism, you really aren’t alone!
If you need more help, ABA Centers of America offers expert autism treatment services for children, teens and adults. We offer individualized play-based autism therapy services that foster independence. If you’re ready to learn more, reach out today to make an appointment with an ABA professional.