Archive | Personal Interaction

17 August 2016 ~ 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: […]

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08 August 2016 ~ 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 […]

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08 August 2016 ~ 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 […]

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08 August 2016 ~ 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:

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07 August 2016 ~ 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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07 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

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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24 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Pre-School Chaos

More and more pre-school teachers are encountering youngsters diagnosed with autism in their classrooms. From the perspective of a child with autism, the group pre-school experience can seem chaotic, even under the leadership of the most extraordinary teacher. The youngster is having to process all the sounds, songs, colorful decorations, activities, people, and events swirling […]

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23 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Ready for Pre-School

At the tender young age of three, youngsters with autism often embark on an exciting and challenging adventure: pre-school. By its very nature, pre-school requires youngsters to function in three different spheres – group time, free time, and transition from one to another. Each sphere requires different skills, many of which are foreign to little […]

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20 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Meteor Showers

Mid-August is a great time for a Shooting Star Party. Just gather with some family and friends after sunset, spread sheets on the ground, and gaze upward. Although some individuals with autism might not seem to notice the bright streaks through the night sky, it is still a relaxing, enjoyable experience. A bit of planning […]

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17 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Amusement Parks and Autism

Several friends with autism and their families have gone to amusement parks over the summer. The experiences have been different for all involved, so we are taking a few minutes to look at some challenges that may arise when visiting a large amusement park. Listen Now:

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16 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Cooking Over a Campfire

Over the years, many of my friends of all ages with autism have been intrigued with the process of cooking over a fire. Even people who have never shown much interest in eating have taken bites of food they have helped prepare over the colorful glowing embers and dancing flames. Listen Now:

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13 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Summer Campfire

Gathering around a campfire is a traditional summertime experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and interests. There are few experiences more enjoyable than watching the flames of a campfire leap up from the logs, cooking s’mores with family and friends, singing some silly songs, then watching the embers glow and fade. […]

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12 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Swimming Pools, Part 2

In part 1 of our discussions about swimming pools, we looked at one example of water safety rules a family implements every time their youngster with autism goes swimming. Safety is, of course, the first consideration when it comes to our friends with autism and water. In part 2 of this discussion, we will take […]

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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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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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