Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 011
2016 January

Autistic children are afraid of darkness and haircut
Anxiety removed by meticulous effort

Things which are commonplace to every one of us may seem unacceptable for children with special needs. In order to raise the quality of life for autistic children, our Morrison Hill Children Development Centre designed two activities for children to learn to adapt to cinema and haircut, to help them to mingle into these ordinary daily life activities.

Mini cinema

Autistic children are very persistent to daily routine, they would insist on a single activity. They might have very different responses to sensory stimulation, and it could easily arouse their negative feelings in a cinema which is dark.

Aims of mini cinema

  • Let children experience the atmosphere of movie appreciation
  • Through games (cinema) help children to adapt

In order to enable children to adapt, we would adjust step by step

  1. prepare a video for teacher to show in the classroom (light environment)
  2. turn off lights in the classroom (games of light and dark), simulate the real situation (cinema in darkness)
  3. Show trailer, play games of selling tickets and finding the seats
  4. Buy snacks before entering the cinema/finding the seats/to sit still
  5. Enter the cinema to watch movies

Design of the setting

The simulate cinema attracts participation from children, such as the seats coordinates, light and dark setting, design of movie tickets, all these enable children to look for the seats according to seats number. Other designs such as snacks shop and ticketing office enable students to experience the buying tickets process through communication and with languages skills. All these strengthen children’s confidence to prepare them to integrate into the community.

I want to have my hair cut

Apart from cinema, hair cutting is also another frustrating issue to autistic children, therefore, whenever they need a haircut, both the children and parents are very nervous.

To solve this problem, we invited volunteers from Hong Chi Association to demonstrate the haircut process to reduce the negative feeling of these children.

  1. Watching the video of hair cutting together
  2. Simulation of haircut
  3. Children experiencing haircut (from simulation to real situation)
  4. Arranging the cards of haircut process
  5. Teacher and children together read stories about haircut in social life and practice at home

Since there was a lot of psychological preparation for these children (such as: watching haircut video, imaginary corner, arranging picture cards and stories of social life etc), most of the children were calm and no big emotional outbursts during hair cutting.

About Morrison Hill Children Development Center
Our Morrison Hill Children Development Centre is the first integrated children development center to provide early education and training cum special child care service. We provide services to children aged 0 to 6 with special needs and their parents referred by the Central Referral System of Social Welfare Department.



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