Being part of a community and tied into a culture defines the human experience. And that's why today's free autism resource features Justin Bieber!
In all seriousness, individuals with autism often have a difficult time joining in, or sharing attention. Some of this is for sure part of the social deficits that come along with a spectrum diagnosis. But another large and often overlooked part is a lack of shared experiences on which to build interactions, conversations, and friendships.
Interacting with Family Members & Co-workers:
Think about your interactions with family members and coworkers. How many of those interactions start with something like, "Have you seen....?", "Have you heard....?", "Have you been....?". And when you find someone that has seen, heard, or been to the thing you were talking about there is an instant connection - and a springboard for meaningful interaction. A lot of individuals with autism can not access these conversations because they are not listening to the same music, watching the same movies, YouTube videos, or TV shows, or going to the same restaurants as millions of other people.
Visual Guide to Help with Social Interaction:
So to help individuals with autism become more woven into the fabric of society, use a visual guide like the Justin Bieber: Purpose album rating to help with exposure to more popular media. Listen to the whole song, or just enough to get a feel for it. Then have your student rate the song 1,2, or 3 stars.
Tomorrow we'll be featuring another popular album - so be sure to check it out!