Archive | Caregiver Support

11 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Swimming Pools, part 1

Just as with more typical kids, some youngsters with autism love the water. Let’s take a look at some creative ideas and some serious factors related to autism and water. First and foremost, we must consider water safety. Listen Now:

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10 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Summer Traditions

Sometimes we get so bogged down in dealing with special diets, meds, therapy, behavior management, and other issues related to the special needs of our friends with autism that we forget to make room for good old-fashioned fun. Some parents were brainstorming about summer traditions, and came up with these quick, easy, inexpensive ideas to […]

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09 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Summer Isn’t Over

During the first week of August, it seems that the first day of school is the focal point of conversations and activities for nearly everyone in my corner of the world. But many of my friends with autism live in the present moment, so they are not at all interested in the future. And those […]

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08 August 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. […]

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07 August 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:

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03 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Outside Adventures

Families, teachers, and others who care about the well-being of individuals with autism frequently ask for ideas to help prevent isolation. Challenges like loud outbursts, aggressive behaviors, repetitive mannerisms, and meltdowns can make folks hesitate to get out in public. Sometimes it is just easier to just stay at home to keep the peace. The […]

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29 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Pack a Bag

Before heading out for a spring break trip or a weekend at Grandma’s house, take a look at some of these ideas for personalized travel bags. These tried-and-true ideas have helped decrease travel anxiety for individuals with autism and their families, so you might want to give them a try. Listen Now:

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21 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Constant Monitoring

“It seems like we are never able to relax,” commented the parents of a fourteen-year-old with autism. “We need to constantly keep watch our son to prevent him from hurting himself or from breaking or tearing up items around the house. He pulls clothes from closets, items from drawers, food from cabinets, and books from […]

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13 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Say What you Mean

“Our son seems to always do the opposite of what we ask him to do,” said parents of an 11-year-old diagnosed with autism. “This is becoming quite a problem at home and at school. Last week, both of us told him very clearly not to go out the door, and out he went, right into […]

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12 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Insults

How do we respond when someone insults a family member or friend with autism? What can we say when an acquaintance or a stranger criticizes our parenting or teaching after observing a behavior outburst? What recourse do we have when we realize the public or the press has spoken about autism in negative or insulting […]

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08 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Behavior Categories

Parents of a pre-teen diagnosed with autism realized the scope of behavior issues they are facing. They stated they wanted to avoid constant nagging, and they didn’t want their lives to be ruled by multiple, complex behavior management plans. The parents were looking for ways to prioritize behaviors and to decide which behaviors to tackle […]

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07 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Positive Progress

“Sometimes it is difficult to see that we are making any progress with some very difficult behaviors,” commented a therapist working with several individuals with autism. “I wonder if I need to approach the situation differently.” Other teachers and family members have expressed similar frustration, especially when working to decrease very disruptive or inappropriate behaviors. […]

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06 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

One Size Does Not Fit All

It would certainly be easier if someone could develop a fool-proof strategy for helping maximize the potential of all individuals with autism. A pre-packaged, step-by-step, fool-proof plan that worked in every situation would certainly decrease stress levels of family members, teachers, job coaches, residential staff, and others interested in the well-being of people with autism. […]

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05 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Does It Really Matter?

A teen who said, “A psychiatrist told my parents that I have Asperger’s syndrome,” wrote that he wishes other people would be more tolerant and understanding of some of his “odd” behaviors. He wrote that some of his family members get upset when he rocks or moves his hands. “I wish they could understand that […]

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25 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Ten Step Program

In my work as a music therapist since 1974, I’ve had the privilege of working with dozens and dozens of individuals with autism and their families. I’ve known some of my friends for over thirty years, walking side by side as they have encountered difficult challenges and heartbreaks as well as joyful moments. These experiences […]

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22 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Patience Pays Off

Sometimes our patience can be pushed to the limit, tempting us to give up on a strategy that doesn’t seem to be bearing any fruit. For example, a youngster functioning on the spectrum of autism may not seem to be noticing his peers or the words of his teachers or any of the activity swirling […]

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18 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Maintaining Dignity

Although we do not intend to be disrespectful, our words or actions occasionally step on the toes of other people. It would probably be a good idea for all of us to take a close look at our interactions with our friends with autism. Sometimes we need to make some adjustments in our conversations or […]

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17 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Let Go or Hang Tough

Some parents, teachers, and therapists are very intense, spending a great deal of time and energy to help smooth the path for individuals with autism. Other parents and professionals appear to show very little concern for people with autism, letting many opportunities slip by with no apparent effort to help people maximize their potential. Most […]

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16 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Miraculous Breakthroughs

Sometimes we hear of incredible breakthroughs for people with autism Television often features individuals who have been “cured” of autism or who have excelled in music, art, sports, or academics. We might read of a non-verbal person who suddenly begins talking. Or an extremely withdrawn student in our child’s classroom may suddenly start interacting with […]

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15 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Urgency for Normalcy

A friend diagnosed with autism commented that her family is concerned about the fact that she likes to hang around the “special education” kids in her high school. Her thoughts give some perspective to the urgency for normalcy that we can feel for individuals with autism. Listen Now:

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