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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.

Inside Snapshots

When individuals with autism describe the challenges they encounter and when they take time to express their frustration about reactions of other people, we get inside snapshots that help us gain perspective on this complex maze called autism. Listen Now:

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Taking Small Steps Forward

Caregivers sometimes wonder if they are fighting a losing battle. One dad said, “Sometimes it seems that my son takes two steps backward for every one step he takes forward.” A teacher said, “Two of my students diagnosed with autism need help in so many different areas – social skills, communication, behavior, academics – it […]

“Go pee-pee?”

“My son is 10 years old and still says ‘Go pee-pee?’ when he needs to go to the bathroom. This has caused some issues with other students at school and with kids on his baseball team. We’ve talked to him about it, but he still blurts out without thinking. He doesn’t seem to be doing […]

That’s MY pillow!

“How can I avoid tantrums every time we change the sheets on my son’s bed?” asked a parent. “He never likes the clean sheets and he hides his pillow hoping I won’t change the pillowslip.” Listen Now:

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Casual Conversation

Casual conversation can be awkward with a person who is non-verbal. The grandfather of a youngster with autism said, “I sure like taking my grandson out for drives, but I don’t really know how to talk to him.” A teenager said of his sister, “All she does is repeat what I say, so it is […]

Fragile Items

A parent and a group home staff supervisor both asked for strategies to protect fragile items around the home from individuals with autism. “My daughter always wants to line everything up on shelves,” said one mom. “She has broken several items and we never can find the remote because she obsessively arranges items.” Listen Now: […]

End of Your Rope

Today’s podcast offers some first aid for caregivers who sometimes feel as if they are at the end of their rope. When everything comes crashing down and no light is visible at the end of the tunnel, what can we do? Listen Now:

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MORE Undercover Veggies

Several parents and other caregivers asked for more ideas for adding more fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods to the diet their loved one diagnosed with autism. Let’s look at some ideas for sneaking veggies into the daily routine. Listen Now:

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Transition Objects

Holding a familiar object often helps people with autism stay grounded during the day. But, as our youngsters with autism get older, the old teddy bear they have held for years gets very ragged and looks a bit out of place in a junior high school classroom. Several parents and teachers have asked for some […]

Green Thumb

A parent asked about some ideas for helping her 3rd grade daughter experience the joy of taking care of something. “She didn’t respond well to the unpredictable activity of puppies and kittens, and she cried uncontrollably when a fish died. What are some other options?” SPECIFIC STRATEGY A rewarding and rather fool-proof option is to […]

Check Those Assumptions

Because of cognitive challenges, some individuals diagnosed with autism are not able to read, write, or even talk.. Other people with autism seem self-absorbed and do not seem to be interested in learning. In these cases, it is easy to assume that a person cannot or will not understand science or history or music. When […]

“Why Are You Being Difficult?”

Several teachers were discussing the challenge of trying to communicate with individuals with autism, especially those who are non-verbal. 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 cry uncontrollably? One teacher said, […]

Detective Work

When a person diagnosed with autism is having a problem at home, school, or work or in the grocery store, park, or car, it can often be very challenging to discover the source of the problem. Many times, teachers, job coaches, therapists, family members, and friends must be “super-sleuths” in order to patiently explore all […]

Waking Up in the Real World

Today we will talk about one of the skills necessary for a person with autism to live independently or semi-independently of family members. Parents tend to take the full responsibility of waking their kids up in the morning, then nag and plead with them every step of the way until they are ready to leave […]

Appropriate Hands

In the past week, several parents have brought up concerns about inappropriate public behavior. It is the phase that parents of pre-teen boys with autism dread. “I can’t believe he just sticks his hands in his pants even when we are in the store or sitting in church,” said one parent. “We tell him to […]

Perfection

“I’m just overwhelmed with the details,” said one parent of a ten-year-old girl diagnosed with autism. “It just seems impossible to keep up with all the details of school and medicine and diet and behavior and friends….there is not time for her to just be my little girl!” Other parents and grandparents have also expressed […]

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Today we are discussing the issue of respect. It would probably be a good idea for all of us to take a close look at our interactions with our friends with autism and other disabilities so we can be certain we are treating them with respect and allowing them to maintain their dignity. Most of […]

Daily Grooming

Our topic today addresses daily grooming, an area of concern for many parents and caregivers of individuals with autism. One dad commented, “I really have to battle with my son to get him to take a shower – he doesn’t like all the sensory input of showering, shaving, and toothbrushing.” Another parent said, “My daughter […]

Chuckles for Care Givers

Today’s podcast features a poem by Shel Silverstein from his book, Where the Sidewalk Ends. Parents and other caregivers often express frustration about the never-ending nature of 24/7 care giving. Although there is no remedy for “forever parenting,” a bit of humor can help. Silverstein’s poem is called, “Ma and God.” This is a slightly […]

Nagging vs Nudging

I was talking to a parent and an after-school teacher earlier this year about a young lady with autism who functions academically on grade-level with her peers, but struggles with social and behavior issues. Her mom said, “I feel like we are in a constant battle of the wills.” Her after-school teacher commented that she […]