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Paul created the clever illustrations, and Bill composed and performed the music. Both are friends diagnosed with autism.

25 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments


Most school-aged kids love the field trips, splash days, assemblies, and other fun activities that fill the last few weeks of a school year. But the changes in routine and the rowdy atmosphere can be very frustrating for students from pre-school through high school who are diagnosed with autism, sometimes pushing them toward withdrawal or […]

23 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

01 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

24 April 2012 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

30 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

No Single Strategy

Autism spectrum disorder is a “range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior” (Autism Fact Sheet, 2009).The key words here are “range” and “complex.” Because each person is such a mixed bag of strengths and deficits, no single strategy is effective across the board. […]

16 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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:


29 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

19 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

29 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

28 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

27 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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:


24 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

23 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

22 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Too Talkative

When one of my non-verbal friends with autism graduated from high school, she moved into a very supportive residential setting. Unfortunately, her attempts to communicate were rather irritating. She made loud, repetitive jabbering sounds to greet people or to express her opinion. Under the circumstances, should she be encouraged to talk, or not? Listen Now: […]

21 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Holding a Grudge

Everyone encounters injustices in life, but sometimes it seems as if autism is a magnet for difficulties and conflict with agencies, teachers, insurance companies, doctors, schools, committees, and, sometimes, even society in general. What is the best response when we encounter criticism? Listen Now:


20 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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:


15 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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: […]

14 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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:


13 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]

08 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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 […]