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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.

Duct Tape Magic

One of our regular FAQautism.com followers – a mom extraordinaire – sent a message with lots of good ideas for keeping life on track for her daughter. And for the rest of the family. Among other things, she recommended keeping a roll of duct tape handy. Duct tape? Why duct tape? Listen Now:

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Transition to New School

Even if youngsters with autism get along pretty well in school, the transition to a new school can be challenging. For example, when moving from elementary to middle school, students are expected to listen to and remember about various procedures and rules given to an assembly of the whole student body on the first day […]

School Glitches

Many of my friends with autism are a bit lost during the first few weeks in a new school. Sometimes we assume that all students are soaking in the flood of information – school traditions, procedures, rules, and routines – presented to youngsters in an assembly on the first day of school. Listen Now:

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Back to School Blues

Some folks just don’t like change. Some folks with autism HATE change! As summer comes to an end, and the first day of school approaches, some students with autism respond with temper outbursts, poor sleeping habits, and stubborn refusal to follow directions. Even youngsters who seem to like school struggle with the transition. What can […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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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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Extreme Communication

What is a person trying to communicate when they suddenly start screaming, hitting, or biting? What are they saying when they suddenly drop to the floor or scratch their arm or hit their face? Teachers, family members, job coaches, therapists, and others spend a great deal of time and energy attempting to translate these characteristic […]

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. […]

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 […]

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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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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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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Come Join Us

For a variety of reasons, children with autism are often reluctant to participate in group activities, and may resist joining “circle time” in an early childhood classroom, a play group, Sunday School class, or other setting. Short of picking them up and physically moving them to the circle, how can we encourage a youngster to […]

Constant Nagging

Although we may have the best intentions, we can certainly fall into the trap of constantly nagging our family members or students with autism. It can be helpful to take an inventory of the words we speak every day and to move toward gentle nudging rather than constant nagging. Listen Now:

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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 […]