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You have come to the right place for practical ideas and creative solutions to enhance life quality and maximize potential of individuals with autism. Listen to 5-minute podcasts and/or read short posts with quick tips about social issues, communication, behavior challenges, sensory issues, personal interaction, daily living, rituals & routines, health & nutrition, leisure time, contentment, and general quality of life for our friends with autism and those around them.

Thanks to Paul who created the clever illustrations, and Bill composed and performed the music. Both are long-time friends diagnosed with autism.

Evening Round-up

No matter how tired everyone is in the evenings, you may discover taking some time to slow down, get organized, and make connections with your youngster with autism is an invaluable investment of time and energy. Remember that the goal is not perfection, but rather to increase contentment and decrease stress for everyone. Listen Now: […]

Making Change Common

Many individuals with autism have problems with change, whether unexpected changes in their daily routine or a significant shift in their life such as a family split or moving to a new school. Autism can also cause a person to be intolerant of wearing new shoes, sleeping on a new pillow, using a different type […]

Calm Meals

The modern traditions of family dinners can drive a person with autism right through the roof. Take a look at three simple tips to calm things down and make meals more enjoyable for your friend(s) with autism and everyone else in the house. Listen Now:

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Interacting with Others

A high school teacher of typical students asked about a new student who is diagnosed with autism. “I was under the impression that people with autism preferred not to interact with other people,” he said. “But my new student is almost too friendly.” The teacher went on to say the student tended to stand too […]

Love My Blankie

Parents of a teen with autism are concerned about their son’s love for his childhood blankie. They said he won’t go to sleep without it, but that it is wearing down to shreds. They are wondering if it is appropriate to allow him to keep the blankie. And, if so, how can they help him […]

Daily Chores

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is certainly easier to just take care of every detail of the lives of our friends with autism. In reality, all children and teens, whether they have autism or not, benefit from having the responsibility of daily chores. Listen Now:

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State the Facts

Some people with autism need the detailed descriptions and social stories well in advance to give them time to prepare emotionally for transition or for an upcoming event. Others tend to focus on the reality of the moment, making extraneous explanations and detailed advance preparation rather irritating. In some cases, it is better if we […]

Volunteer Job

Some individuals with autism have full-time or part-time jobs, independently or with support. Some people pursue successful and thriving careers. But, for a variety of reasons, others are unable to hold a “regular” job. One option in this case is to pursue a career as a volunteer. Listen Now:

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Unexpected Personal Connections

Some of my friends diagnosed with autism seem to be engrossed in their own internal world and rather oblivious to people and events around them, only initiating contact when they want something. But occasionally even the most detached person looks up and reaches out for no apparent reason. A music therapy colleague, Roia Rafieyan, describes […]

Refusing to Eat

What are our options if our friend with autism becomes so attached to a certain cup, plate, spoon, or chair that they literally refuse to eat or drink without it? What can we do if they do not respond to our attempts to coerce, bribe, threaten to take away a privilege, or otherwise encourage them […]

Safety ID

Individuals with autism who need some assistance in an emergency situation will usually have someone close by to help in the event of an unexpected disaster such as a fire, storm, car wreck, or earthquake. But the possibility of separation always exists, so we should consider the options for a safety ID in the event […]

Creative Writing

Teachers, therapists, and families are always looking for creative ways to help individuals with autism learn and practice new skills such as composing and writing sentences and paragraphs. Some students with autism find it difficult to focus on repetitive drills under the best of circumstances, so traditional teaching methods simply do not capture and hold […]

Snack Monster

Several of my friends with autism are obsessed with snacks. Families and teachers report their efforts to limit snacks lead to explosive behavior. One youngster began sneaking out into the kitchen to steal bags of chips or cartons of ice cream, hiding them in his room. Let us look at some ideas to help successfully […]

Let’s Go Potty

For a variety of reasons, some individuals with autism are not toilet trained. Not being able to go to the bathroom independently raises a variety of challenges, one of which is needing reminders to go to the bathroom. Let’s look at that issue, particularly from the standpoint of privacy and respect. Listen Now:

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Real Life Skills

A new teacher in a junior high life skills classroom asked for some input into the types of skills her students with autism will need when they graduate from high school at age 18 or 22. The specific list must, of course, be individualized to each teen, but there are some general skills that everyone […]

Making Everything Perfect

School started this week, so I’ve seen several challenging issues arise as young friends with autism attempt to adjust to new campuses, new classrooms, new teachers and classroom aids, new school routines, and new students in the hallways and classrooms. Moving to a new school can challenge even the most secure person, but the change […]

Recess Stinks

An articulate friend with autism is not very happy. She doesn’t like recess. Most fifth graders love recess and lunch, but this youngster does not. Interestingly, the reasons for her aversion to free time are different from what I expected. Listen Now:

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Favorite Clothes

At what point do favorite clothes become an obsession rather than a preference. A high-school friend who functions on the spectrum of autism reports that she only wears t-shirts featuring her favorite television star. She said, “I don’t know if it is an obsession, but I just feel like I can’t wear any other shirts […]

Be Quiet

What exactly do we mean when we tell someone to be quiet? Do we mean that they must be totally silent, making not a tiny sound? When we say, “be quiet,” do we mean to talk softly so they don’t interrupt a conversation? Or do we say “be quiet” just when we get irritated or […]

Science of Autism

Autism is complex. Each person diagnosed with autism is different, so what is true for one person may not be so for another. People living with autism and the professionals providing services often have more questions than answers. Slowly but surely, science is validating some facts about autism. Listen Now:

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