Click Here to Download FREE Social Stories That Help Make Autism More Workable

I went to the drag races.

Second time became the charm.

Long ago, Dad took me to the drag races when I was twelve. Felt like the worst place to be. Reasons for that was:

  • Outdoor
  • Cold
  • Strange smells involving foods and gasoline
  • Incredibly loud noises
  • Vibrations of the race cars as they speed by

Was a beautiful nightmare. I say beautiful because that trip has taught me something very important that I will get to in a little bit.

I had everything in attempt to make it a better experience. Earplugs, headphones, and layered coats; Still didn't work! Even when things got quieter on the race track, I just never knew when the next time the cars roar on the racetrack; Always anticipating the next loud sound that even with the earplugs and the headphones, I still felt like I needed to cover my ears and my head.

Lots of backlash for Dad. People would think that he was trying to hurt me in the drag races because of the whole autism thing, but Dad did this because of a very fascinating reason.

The reason why was this....

Continue Reading...

The Hug

The girls had open arms,  but I thought they just wanted two high fives, but they came up to me and gave me a big hug. This happened a lot, and almost every time I was very surprised and  would just freeze. I knew they they were just being friendly and kind, but it was very uncomfortable for me.

I was used to receiving hugs from family members and that was pretty much it, but hugs from other people? “WHAT IS GOING ON?!” I said in my head. Being touched was a huge thing growing up. There were rules that I needed to follow. It was strictly forbidden because it’s not appropriate, and I needed to keep my hands to myself unless I’m introducing myself and shaking their hand. That was it. Those were the rules. So when someone I didn’t know gave me a hug, I wanted to be kind and not reject the offer, matter of fact I welcomed it.

But in my head it just felt very weird and odd and I didn’t  want to break the rule because it’s not...

Continue Reading...

Repetitions

Repeating footage and/or sound over and over again. Why?

Here were some of the reasons for my part in terms of footage like videos.

  • Facial and body expressions in certain moments that spark interest
  • Part of the footage where there's a neat musical part even if it's short
  • Wanting to catch something thinking it was abnormal
  • A line of dialogue that sounds noteworthy for real life situations
  • Certain patches of color or lack of that is worth seeing again
  • A funny or cool moment

Here were some of the reasons for my part in terms of sounds including music.

  • Sound effects that involves a fat beat that sounds neat like a heartbeat
  • Sounds become so addictive in a way during a game that it's hard to move on
  • Parts of music that become calm all of a sudden after some energy
  • Music in itself calms and relaxes the mind
  • Hard to expand on music when the same song is being played over and oever
  • A part of the lyrics that feel most appropriate depending on what's going on

I would repeat VHS tapes and...

Continue Reading...

Party!

Would you believe me when I say that partying is a skill to master? May not have been hard for many, in fact, so many people are looking forward for another social gathering involving food, drinks, and entertainment. I... wasn't so much way back in the day.

When parties would come up as a topic of choice, I would get so scared and nervous of the thought of parties. Why was that? For my case, it was:

  • Crowded areas
  • Loud music
  • Interacting with others
  • Confetti

Oh the confetti! That was the worst! I remembered one kid threw a bunch of confetti at me and just wanted to go home. Were we against parties when I was little? Nope; Mom and Dad knew some things can be challenging for parties, but that has been the idea of the challenges in the first place. To be challenged to better myself, because they know I can be better then what I was currently.

In a way, we learned how to celebrate properly; And there have been so many things to celebrate about. However we celebrated; Small ones like...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.