Saturday, April 19, 2008

Author develops superhero for kids with autism

KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon reports that author and speech pathologist Michelle Winner, who specializes in autism, has created the Superflex superhero as a way to help children with autism deal with social barriers. "By identifying with the comic book hero, kids who have trouble understanding how others think can learn social strategies," KATU reports.

"Superflex defeats a cast of criminals, including Rock Brain - a villain that gets stuck on one idea, which is a common problem for kids with Asperger's syndrome," according to KATU.

The Superflex superhero is featured in a comic book used in a curriculum package for children with autism or Asperger's. KATU reports that "Autism specialists in Portland have used the comic book at several schools and they say it appears to be making a difference."

Winner ran workshops about autism in Portland April 17-18. She is a specialist for persons with social thinking challenges and is based in San Jose, Calif., where she has a private practice, Winner created the Center for Social Thinking, Inc., where she and her team specialize in creating educational strategies for helping persons with diagnoses like autism.