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Understanding Someone Without Autism

I do not know what it is like to not have autism, so that is why I would take mental notes into understanding how it all works. Sort of has been a thing I have been doing for a very long time since I was a small child.

Something that has come to mind for a very long time. I would take my time to look at someone. Look at the way they move their body, the way they speak, even the way they think on whatever. This kind of observation started off when parents encouraged me to imitate others at school. Imitate such as sitting on the chair by the desk, how to play soccer during recess time, and raise their hands until they're called on so they can speak.

I knew I was different when I was in kindergarten. Have different emotions, be sad over things that shouldn't really be sad about, not being flexible with whatever goes on, and have had a curious fascination with the color red. And once I fully understood what the heck I was doing that seemed different, I just stopped and looked around...

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Computer Games

I grew up with computers. Those machines that make cool noises when starting it up and the monitor screens to see what goes on in these wonderful devices.

When I think of using a computer, now I think of work and music, but back then, it was computer games! Sure there was internet, but I wasn't really into that back then, it was computer games! I used to think that anything that involved a CD would be a game, even CDs made for music. Just the cover art made me think that they might have been computer games. Not just games in general, but software where I can learn a few things here and there on the screen.

Some of the software programs involve content from:

  • Microsoft
  • DK
  • Jumpstart
  • Tonka
  • Humongous Entertainment
  • Math/Reading Blasters
  • David Macaulay

Some of the content provided may involve letters and numbers, the basic stuff for younger children, some involve harder topics like science, history, and animals. What makes these programs and games so successful to me is the color. Always...

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Some Thoughts on the Adult Living Program (ALP)

All of my life, I have been accompanied by adults. Sometimes I would think that I became an adult at an early age, but saying that out loud and thinking about it sounds incredibly wrong and rude. I was a child, just was with a lot of adults. Felt more comfortable with them because of one key important necessity. They understood. Understood what was going on and had the patience to go through with the hardship, even when I didn’t have the patience and the flexibility to handle myself and what trouble I have caused. Adults to me were like superheroes, and the children and teens my age were the sidekicks doing their best to become superheroes themselves.

There was one program that I did after school. A while later after the Grand Night Out, I did a program known as the ALP (Adult Living Program). No legacy is as rich as honesty, and I’m an honest person when I say: I hated it! LET ME FINISH… then I loved it! Wouldn’t be doing more adult stuff if it...

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Why Should You Encourage your High School Student to be Social

When you child with autism enters high school, you may feel relief and a little anxiety. You may feel relief because how far he has come and anxiety because of the many social situations your child will face. This is completely normal of any parent as we all want our children to do well in different situations.

High school presents a variety of stimuli, such as crowded class changes, bell ringing, different teachers to adjust to, and many teachers and their teaching styles. If your child has an IEP, then he can receive assistance through many of these, but the social situations still remain. Your child will be interacting with many different students during the school day. But…what if you would like your child to branch out of his comfort zone and do a little more in terms of socialization to help him in the long run?

Find a Mentor

Finding a trusted mentor for your teen is easier than you think! For starters, reflect on the young adults or older teens you know that also know...

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Autism and Driving

autism driving Jun 01, 2018

Driving is one of the keys to independence to adults, and this certainly does not exclude those with the unique ability of autism. Research does show, however, that adults with autism take a little longer to acquire their driver’s license for reasons that are only known to those who have this unique ability. For example, an adult with autism may be on the high-functioning realm of the spectrum but may have difficulty with reactionary times, making fast decisions, and reflex challenges.

If you have a teen with autism who is of age to drive, you have a few choices. If you feel your teen is ready to embark on this journey, you can enroll him in driver training. Several factors will be dependent upon this, such as his willingness to learn, motivation, and social and emotional ability. This is okay, because in drivers education this can be taught, but it may just take a little longer. Adjusting to many of life’s challenges can be taught and practiced by a young adult with...

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Practical Advice For Developing An IEP That Works

education iep school May 29, 2018

By Melanie Sandidge

The very necessity of having a meeting to develop an individualized education plan (or IEP) can be stressful. Walking into a room full of educated professionals can be intimidating. If you believe your child’s needs are at odds with whatever cost efficient solution being offered, preparation is mandatory. These meetings are not designed to make it easy for you to be an effective advocate.

Over the years, I have learned what works for my child, how to create effective partnerships with educators, administrators, and support staff, how to empower my child and increase his investment in his education, the crucial elements to a successful IEP and how the laws pertaining to special education function. Here is what you need to know.

Information is power

There is no copy and paste answer for helping your child have a beneficial educational experience. Inclusivity is amazing, when the climate and culture of the typically developing children in your child’s...

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Fidget

What is a fidget? How was I using one when I was writing and typing this?

Fidgets come in a wide variety for all of the senses. Smell, hearing, taste, sight, and touch. Common fidgets focus on the touching aspect of the fidget such as beanbags and stones as examples. Those are the fidgets that are neat, but the one fidget I have been using quite a bit and still do at times is the toothpick.

Touch to me isn’t always about the hands, it can also be in the mouth area; I was the kind of kid that would rather chew on something or at least feel something in my mouth than to fiddle with my hands, then again, later on I saw a yo-yo as a nice little fidget. It spins, makes sounds at times, and sometimes lights up in the dark. See? Eye fidgets! Not just touch fidgets!

This is my definition of a fidget. A fidget is an object that can be interacted within the five senses to keep a person from over stimulating. That’s how I see it anyway. Guess you can call these rescue objects from...

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Receiving an Autism Receiving an Autism Diagnosis: What I Learned and How I Survived: What I Learned and How I Survived

autism diagnosis May 21, 2018

By Shannon Kennedy Hewett

I have been a mother for almost seven years now, and I have been a mother to a child with autism for almost four. Although I have had four years of experience being an “autism mommy” to my son, TJ, I am still no expert. It is a learning process every single day, and I am always reflecting, learning from my mistakes, and seeking advice from other parents who are also on this journey. For me, one of the most memorable and challenging times was the long process that led to the day that my fears were finally confirmed – diagnosis day. If you are a parent who suspects that your child may have autism, or if you have just received an autism diagnosis for your child, then I would love to share my story with you. Not because I am an expert, but because I have been there. I have felt many of the same feelings that you are probably feeling right now, I have survived, and I have learned so much about my son, his diagnosis, and myself.

I always wanted...

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The Patience for Their Passion

Planes, trains, keys, and lights. There are one thousand different little things that someone with autism can be interested in. However, is there a difference between an interest and a passion? According to Webster’s dictionary, an interest is defined as “a feeling that accompanies or causes special attention to an object or class of objects” and a passion is defined as “intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction”. Webster shows the difference between the two words, passion is almost uncontrollable it is a conviction. Where as an interest is just merely special attention. This is what autistic children feel when they are passionate about something. However, it is not just a small conviction it is a large conviction. One that they have absolute no control over. Understanding this can help one understand how an autistic person functions.

If we want to get into the physiological side of things. There is actually a neurological reason that...

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Challenging Behaviors in Children with Autism

Many children go through the “terrible-twos” or “horrible threes”, and this includes children with autism. The differing characteristic is that many children with autism are unable to communicate their wants unlike many other “typical” toddler or young child. Some children on the autism spectrum do not talk effectively until much later than others, so challenging behaviors can be stressful to the parents or guardians.

Challenging behaviors do not occur because of autism. The innermost processes of the mind of a child with autism may have results of impulsive behavior that the child may not be able to control. Just as the shaking due to Parkinson’s disease or the memory loss due to Alzheimer’s, the behaviors of a child with autism really cannot be helped by the child.

What you can Do

There are ways, however, you can help your child diminish some of the challenging behaviors. This does take some work on your part, and while the tactics...

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