Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Talk to an Aspi ֠Asperger's, Autism, Labels, Stereotypes andStrategies

My child is extremely engaging, interesting and (in a way) interested in people. The differences are more subtle and hard to pin-point. You’d know there’s a problem somewhere with the way he interacts with others, but you would find it hard to pinpoint what. But, if you meet a kid that: Is very welcoming and friendly. Almost assuming right off that you are a friend. Is very polite on the phone. Assumes that you are interested in what he is talking about. Assumes you want to participate in the things he wants to do, and maybe gets angry if you don’t. Interrupts your conversations with others. Gets upset over basic requests or instructions. Asks surprising questions and offers amazing insight on a wide range of topics. Will do a speech as if he were defending a thesis, but then fail at answering basic open-ended questions about the same topic. Is surprisingly slow at getting ready for going outside etc. Will repeat certain behaviors and actions over and over again. That might be my kid. If you happen upon a kid you might think is an aspi, here are some things you could consider:

 Click here to read more. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Navigating College - A Project of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network

Leaving high school and going to college is complicated for everyone. But if you’re a student on the autism spectrum who is about to enter higher education for the first time, it might be a little bit more complicated for you. Maybe you’re worried about getting accommodations, getting places on time, or dealing with sensory issues in a new environment. Maybe you could use some advice on how to stay healthy at school, handle dating and relationships, or talk to your friends and classmates about your disability. Maybe you want to talk to someone who’s already dealt with these issues. That’s where we come in. Navigating College is an introduction to the college experience from those of us who’ve been there. The writers and contributors are Autistic adults, and we’re giving you the advice that we wish someone could have given us when we headed off to college. We wish we could sit down and have a chat with each of you, to share our experiences and answer your questions. But since we can’t teleport, and some of us have trouble meeting new people, this book is the next best thing. ASAN was able to get you this book with the help of some other organizations. The Navigating College Handbook was developed in collaboration with Autism NOW, and with funding from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. The University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability is helping us with distribution. We’re really grateful for all of their help in getting this book out. Good luck, and happy reading!
We hope it helps.
More here:


Friday, June 15, 2012

When your special needs daughter gets her period (menses)

From the time my daughter was born with Down syndrome thirteen years ago, my biggest concern was what would happen when she got her period. I have learned over the years that I am not alone when it comes to parental worry on this subject. Let me stress up front that I am not a medical professional in any capacity so what I am going to share with you should not trump your doctor’s recommendations; I am simply sharing my journey and providing some helpful hints.

 Click here to read more. 


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Safety First For Children with Autism

All parents worry about their children’s health, happiness, and general well-being, but parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities must often make extraordinary efforts to ensure that their sons and daughtersare safe both inside and outside the home. Children with ASD and other special needs may be more likely to act impulsively—to run away or wander—than their typically developing peers. This puts them in greater danger of becoming lost or getting hurt. If their families are in active military service, frequent relocations may make it even more difficult for them to be familiar with their surroundings or to distinguish a stranger from a friend. For these children, basic safety skills may some day become critical life-saving skills.

 Click here to read the article from Exceptional Parent magazine. 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Autism: Life Transitions from Pre-School to Adulthood - Billings - Aug.2-3, 2012

Autism: Life Transitions from Pre-School to Adulthood - Billings - Aug. 2-3, 2012 What:Families and educators need continued assistance with resources that teach life skills to assist individuals with autism as they negotiate important transitions in their lives. This two day conference will provide information and hands-on experience that will help you assist children and young adults on the spectrum to discover their unique interests and abilities. Fostering self-identity that will prepare individuals with autism for lifelong inclusion in the community that will maximize their independence, productivity, and enjoyment. Successful early transitions will help pave the way for future transitions. Some individuals on the spectrum will pursue higher education and competitive employment opportunities while others are more limited. Beyond their varied abilities and interests, limited social skills for nearly all individuals with autism make it difficult for them to adjust to new school environments, different living arrangements, college and the workplace. With proper support and services from teachers, mentors, co-workers and job coaches who understand these special needs, we believe all individuals can be supported to lead happier, more productive and independent lives. In addition to information about transitions, educators and family members attending this year’s conference will be able to participate in activities often used in therapy and successful educational environments. This will give you a unique opportunity to experience life from the perspective of a person on the spectrum and give you skills to help calm, teach, and care. Where:MSU-B Main Campus1500 University DriveBillings, MT When:August 2 & 3, 2012 Register:Call 406-896-5890 to register for this event.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Your child with ASD strengthening social abilities - Missoula

Social difficulties are at the core of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Children with ASD often have difficulty making friends, understanding social context, and communicating with others. This can lead to difficulties at school, in the community, and feelings of isolation. This program will use scientifically tested methods of teaching children social skills and providing parents with behavior management strategies and social support. The program incorporates Children’s Friendship Training, video modeling, and opportunities to practice in natural, community settings. Who can participate? Boys ages 8 to 12 who have been diagnosed with ASD and have trouble with: Recognizing social expectations, Getting along with peers, Social communication, Playing with peers . When & Where? Twice a week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) for 6 weeks: June 12 – July 23 (Tues. children’s group and Wed. caregivers) Clinical Psychology Center 1444 Mansfield Avenue Missoula, MT 59812 How much? 6 week program will cost $220. Check or cash only. Option for a sliding scale. This program will help your child learn how to: Have conversations with peers Make friends Accept “No” for an answer Increase play skills with others Make positive social statements Listen to adults Manage competition Increase communication skills Identify and express feelings

 See the attached flyer for more information. 


You Say 'Semantic-Pragmatic Disorder,' I Say 'Autism'

It used to be that ten years ago, for every 156 eight-year-olds, one would have autism. In 2004, that figure had risen to 1 in 125. By 2006, 1 in 110 children had it, and according to data released this March by the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in every 88 kids in America had the disorder in 2008. And that's just the national average. In some select places, such as Utah and New Jersey, the rate approaches an alarming 1 in 47. The CDC report paints a picture of a rapidly expanding autistic population. But it doesn't tell us why so many more children are being diagnosed with the developmental disorder now than before. One obvious possibility is that the rate of autism really is increasing -- whether through factors in our surroundings that we can control or thanks to genetic factors we can't. But it could also be that the rise in autism diagnoses has nothing to do with the actual disease so much as the way we talk about it. As Dorothy Bishop, a professor in developmental psychology at Oxford, notes on her blog, what we're seeing may just be a matter of "diagnostic substitution." "The basic idea," she writes, "is that children who would previously have received another diagnosis or no diagnosis are now being identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)."
 Read more here.