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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Adam: A Must See Movie for Asperger's

I saw the movie "Adam." It is in limited release and mostly in small theaters. It is playing at all of the Landmark theaters I think. It was really good. If you have a child or work with children with Asperger's Disorder you should really like it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

There is a new movie titled "Adam." "Adam" is about a young man with Asperger's disorder. The movie is about his life, including falling in love and fitting in. It is supposed to be pretty much on the mark as far as a good portrayal of a young man living with Asperger's. This is the link to the New York Times review It seems like it would be a really good movie to inspire kids with Asperger's as to the possibilities in life. I hope everyone gets to see it. If you do get to see this please give us some feedback on this page about what you think of it. I plan on seeing it as soon as possible.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

As I write today's post, I am watching a story on CNN. It is about a boy in Florida who was being restrained at school. It appeared that he was restrained after flipping his desk. I am not posting this to lay blame. However, Florida does have laws that say restraint can only be used when the child is in danger or hurting themself or others. Flipping a desk (by itself) is not a danger that would require restraint. I work in Texas and Texas has a similar law. In just a few weeks, our teachers will be returning to school. One of the things I do at the beginning of each school year is meet (along with the Speech Pathologist) with every teacher and aide who has a student with an autism spectrum disorder in their classroom and we train them about autism spectrum disorders. I also (along with the other Licensed Specialist in School Psychology) do restraint training for staff. We use CPI (www.aincici) as our method. The whole point of telling you this is to say that we do actually do the training at the district I work for. I also check in with staff throughout the school year. This does not give any absolute guarantees but it does help protect the kids. When school starts, please check with your teacher and make sure that they have some background and training. If they do not fully understand your child, then request an ARD meeting to ask that training be written into the IEP. Please let me know what your experiences have been and how your district handles training.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I heard Temple Grandin and Tony Attwood speak today. They were at the autism summit hosted in Dallas by Future Horizons. If you do not know who Temple Grandin is, she is the most famous adult in the world with high functioning autism. She has a Ph.D. in animal science and is a very successful speaker and publisher. She invented the squeeze box. Tony is one of the foremost authorities on Asperger's Disorder. It was great to be able to hear both of them speak on the same day. The conference was videotaped and will be shown on the internet they said. I am not sure exactly when, but I will keep checking on it. I will post a link on this blog so that anyone interested in it can find it. Check back to look for the link.

The best part of hearing Temple Grandin speak is that she can really put you inside the mind of someone with autism. She lives it and makes it possible for people like me to feel like we can really understand how person with autism thinks. She talked about how she did not have language as a young child but received a lot of early, intensive intervention. She said her mother expected her to join activities and do everything that was expected. However, she also stressed the need for some private, down time each day for kids to be who they are, autistic. Everyone needs a break to relax and be themselves. She speaks around the country on a regular basis and if you ever get the chance to hear her it is well worth it. Her books are also great.

Some of the things that she stressed included how hard it is for people with autism to categorize things and see how they are related, how hard it is to shift attention (like it is required in conversation), sensory issues and medication issues. One of the things she said about medication is that, in her opinion, the doses in the physician's desk reference may be more than is needed for people with autism. She recommended trying 1/4 to 1/2 of the recommended dose first because the full dose can sometimes actually cause problems, like sleep difficulties and so forth. She stressed how her own medication has helped her to be able to even speak to people like this. She also eats a special diet and said that that has helped her.

One of the other things she talked about was something that I have seen first hand. I had one student who was very abusive to himself and to others around him. It seemed like the more we took his hand (when he would swing it at us) the more he wanted to hit. We tried everything and nothing worked. Eventually (after the school nurse had sent him home more than once because he was throwing up), they found out that he had an ulcer. He had been in pain. Once the ulcer was treated, his hitting stopped. This may not be the cause for every child, but Temple stressed the importance of making sure that there is no pain with teeth, stomach, etc. Pain can definitely cause aggressive reactions.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Articles on autism spectrum disorders:

Articles on getting services for your child with an autism spectrum disorder:
How to Conduct an Evaluation for Autism or Asperger's Disorder
How to get Free Services for Your Child with Autism or Asperger's
How to Know What Public Schools are Supposed to do for Children with Autism

Understanding the spectrum of disorders:
How to Know What PDD.NOS is

Articles on helping your child with autism at home:
How to Help Your Child Understand Their Autism
How to Prepare Your Child With Autism for Life After High School
How to Change Behavior in Kids with Autism
How to Teach a Child with Autism

Articles on helping the families of kids with autism spectrum disorders:
How to Support Siblings of Kids With Autism

Articles related to school:
How to Respond to Teacher Concerns About Your Child With Autism
How to Decide if Your Child with Autism Needs a Classroom Aide
How to Help Kids with Autism Do School Work
How to Help Kids With Autism go Back to School
How to Teach a Child with Autism
How to Be a Teacher's Aide for a Student With Autism
How to Change Behavior in Kids with Autism
How to Know What Public Schools are Supposed to do for Children with Autism
How to Know What I Need to About My Child's Annual IEP Meeting
How to Prevent Disagreement at Your Child's IEP Meeting

I post new articles all the time. I also post new information on autism. Feel free to give me any feedback, make comments, ask questions, or just introduce yourself. Also, leave a message and let me know if there is a topic you need information on and you do not see it posted here.
Welcome to Autism Solutions. We concentrate on solutions for children with autism and their families, including everyday concerns in the home, school, and community. Through good information, based on research, news, and experience, we can all be a source of support. I will share what I have learned through hands-on experience and conferences and I hope that you will comment and share with us. You can find a partial list of my published articles on autism at the bottom of this page. You can also find a full list of my articles at If you are looking for information and do not find it on this page or in my articles, please let me know.