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When Autism Support Groups Aren't Supportive

Sun, 25 May 2014 11:00:38 +00002014-05-25T11:00:38Z

(image) You'd think that autism support groups would be a haven to parents.  And sometimes they are.  But the reality is that kids with autism are very, very different from one another - and so are their parents.  Is your autism group supportive?




What Really Stresses Parents of Autistic Kids?

Sun, 25 May 2014 10:55:51 +00002014-05-25T10:55:51Z

(image) What really stresses parents of autistic kids?  Hint: chances are, your number one answer to that question is NOT "my autistic kid."  Here are 8 real-world stressors that can drive parents of autistic kids crazy.  Do any of them ring a bell for you?




Are You to Blame for Your Child's Autism?

Sun, 25 May 2014 10:50:34 +00002014-05-25T10:50:34Z

(image) There's nothing like guilt to undermine a person's sense of worth, relationships, or emotional well-being. And guilt is often a major problem for the parents of children with autism. Could something you did (or didn't do) cause your child's autism? Are you to blame for your child's lifelong disability? This article explores the question and provides some answers.




Just How Wide Is the Autism Spectrum?

Wed, 14 May 2014 17:09:56 +00002014-05-14T17:09:56Z

(image) There are plenty of well-meaning people in schools and communities who are eager to provide autism-friendly programs, autism-appropriate events, and autism support classrooms.  But the reality is that their task is impossible.  Because every person with autism is different -- and some are very, very different from one another.  Some are friendly and kind, some are actually aggressive and dangerous.  Some are high energy, while others prefer to be sedentary.  Some are brilliant, while others score very low on IQ tests.  Some are comfortable in most public spaces while others could no more tolerate an action movie than fly to the moon.

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When the Autism Classroom Doesn't Fit

Tue, 13 May 2014 09:00:27 +00002014-05-13T09:00:27Z

(image) If you have a child with autism, there's a good chance that you'll be offered an educational setting in an "autism support classroom."  While such classrooms have many positive points, they are generally intended for children with a certain profile -- children with "typical" autistic characteristics.  If your child fits the mold, he might be very happy in such a setting.  But as every autism parent knows, autism is a very wide spectrum -- and kids with the same diagnosis may be very different from one another.  How can you determine if the autism classroom is a good fit for your child?

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A Dad's Reflection on Baseball, Autism, and Fatherhood

Mon, 05 May 2014 10:38:21 +00002014-05-05T10:38:21Z

(image) Many American dads assume that fatherhood will be all about teaching and sharing the joy of sports.  Coaching Little League.  Tossing balls in the backyard.  Cheering on a local team.  Autism dads may have a very different experience, though, as guest author Mark Osteen shares in his essay about baseball, autism, and fatherhood entitled "Strike Three."




"I Have Asperger Syndrome!"

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 13:53:57 +00002014-04-30T13:53:57Z

What's it like to discover that all your many challenges and differences can be explained by a single diagnosis -- Asperger syndrome?  Here's a personal essay written by one adult who has been through that process and is willing to share its ups and downs.




One Answer to the Question "What Happens to Our Autistic Child When We Die?"

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 09:47:40 +00002014-04-29T09:47:40Z

(image) If I've learned anything as the parent of a child with autism, it's this: if you depend upon schools and government programs to provide a high quality, loving, supportive life for your autistic child, you're in for disappointment. While that's true when your child is small, it's increasingly true as he or she grows to adulthood.

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Meet Judy, an Adult with Autism

Sun, 27 Apr 2014 20:34:31 +00002014-04-27T20:34:31Z

If you're an adult with an autism diagnosis, you may feel isolated.  Fortunately, though, you're really not alone.  In the next few days I'll be publishing several guest articles by adults on the spectrum; this one comes from Judy.  A mom with two autistic children, Judy discovered her autism relatively late in life -- but found that a diagnosis gave her a new and more positive way to view her accomplishments and life history.  She now calls herself "a work in progress."




Your Child with Autism Is Doing More -- and Better -- Than You Think!

Sun, 27 Apr 2014 17:27:52 +00002014-04-27T17:27:52Z

(image) If you're the parent of a child with autism, you've almost certainly noticed all the things your child with autism DOESN'T do.  But have you noticed all the things he or she DOES do -- more and better than typical same age peers?  From making eye contact to sitting politely to responding to and asking questions, your child with autism is probably already exceeding many social expectations.  Meanwhile, your child's "typical" peers are staring at ipads, doing the minimum, and sliding by!  Here are just a few things Your Child with Autism Is Doing More -- and Better -- Than You Think!