Share |

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Autism and Learning

Autism can definitely impact learning. However, the right accommodations can go a long way toward erasing learning difficulties. Autism and learning differences require the best teaching methods and strategies.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vision and Autism: The Root of Autism Behaviors?

Can a vision difference really be at the root of many "autism" type behaviors? The information on vision differences with autism is pretty extensive. Of course, every person is unique and so blanket statements cannot be made. However, the fact is that many children, and even adults, with autism have vision differences, such as moving print or lacking depth perception, among others. The intriguing thing is that professionals are linking those vision differences to many stereotypical behaviors often seen with autism. Just imagine! If some of your child's autism behaviors are really rooted in vision differences, then that implies that vision intervention (not typical correction such as glasses for near or far vision) could possibly help to reduce or eliminate some of those behaviors. We read so much about diet and ABA for those with autism, but what would be more simple than vision intervention. The full article can be read at Autism and Vision. Find out how vision differences could be impacting your child.

Monday, August 9, 2010

ADHD and Aspergers

I see reports all the time that show both diagnosis. I can see that sometimes it could be justified; however, most of the time it is done because the evaluator has just looked at surface behaviors and has not dug beneath the surface to look at the underlying causes for the behaviors or at more subtle behaviors and functioning. "Difference Between Asperger's and ADHD" will hopefully help parents and evaluators better distinguish between the two disorders.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to Teach a Child with Autism

One of my specialties -having been a special education teacher and now consulting with teachers and setting up programs, is teaching children with autism. Children with autism do not have learning inabilities -they just have learning differences. Some are capable of far greater successes than others, but all can learn. part of the problems is that parents do not get a manual for their children and teachers generally only get a brief footnote about autism in their college studies (often less than one class period and possibly only a page in a text). Teaching children with autism to success takes education (tons of workshops and trainings) and experience. I have written a few new articles that lay out the basics of what I have learned that works. They include information on learning differences in kids with autism, methods of teaching children with autism, and teaching social skills to children with autism.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Autism and Employment

There do not seem to be any verifiable statistics on employment rates for those with autism; however, estimates range from about 80% to over 90%. That is scary. One thing I have learned working with children with autism is that they have so much to offer, but the social aspect of career planning and job hunting seems to be a glass ceiling that keeps them out of the job market. My new series of articles on Autism and Employment is based on experience working with children with autism and on the best research and recommendations from experts.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Activities for Kids With Autism

Well, at least summer break from school that is. For parents of children with autism, that means more time at home. If you are looking for activities for your child I would recommend scouts. Of course, for more severe lower functioning children with autism, scouts may not be the answer. However, I know many parents who have their children with autism or Asperger's involved in scouts and it has been great. The thing about scouts is that it is so structured. Kids go to meetings and there is a social aspect, but there is not as much unstructured social time. The meetings have agendas for building, making, doing, etc. And while it is so structured, and the kids are maybe starting out by working side by side, they begin to form those social relationships with each other because they get to know each other over a longer course of time. Slowly forming social interactions in a very structured and highly supervised setting is perfect for most kids with autism spectrum disorders. What has your experience been?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Anxiety in Children with Autism

If your are the parent of a child with autism, then you know all too well how frustrated they can get. Stress and frustration can occur at unexpected times. So can extreme discomfort or even pain due to common environmental stimuli that you or I might not even notice. That leads to anxiety over situations where kids with autism cannot control their environment to prevent those adverse sources of discomfort. Knowing how to prevent that anxiety or how to stop it when it happens can make a huge difference in a child's life. I do not normally direct one of my posts on here to an article, but...Get the solutions. Let me know what your experience with anxiety has been and what solutions you have found.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Getting Ready for School Next Year

Now is the time to think about school next year. If your child has autism and is just starting school for the first time, now is the time to let the school know about any special needs your child has. That way they can be prepared and your child can receive services they need from day one of school. It is also the time to prepare your child for the first day of school. Take them to the school to see the building. Start talking to them about going to school next year. Children with autism may need some mental preparation and now is the time to start.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Restraint of children in schools

Thanks to those who are reading this blog and thanks for your comments. There is a lot going on right now that should concern parents of all children. One of those things is restraint in public schools. This past week or so, the US House of Representatives passed a house bill that would govern how restraint is used in public schools. We already have a state law on restraint in Texas and some other states have similar laws. The Texas law allows restraint but only if there is an immediate danger of harm, the persons restraining have to be trained in proper techniques that will ensure everyone is safe, and any form of restraint requires same day parent notification and paperwork to the parent and state within 24 hours. However, many states have no law at all. If you are not aware of the dangers of restraint when it is not governed, just do a google search. Kids have been accidentally killed because they were restrained and their air flow was cut off. This is a matter of lives being saves. It would be nice it everyone knew what they were doing and exercised common sense, but that is just not the case. I absolutely do not want to get political, but part of the house voted for this bill and part voted against it. The part that voted against it cited wanting to limit government involvement in education as the excuse. Excuse me??? Since when is government not already involved in education (just think No Child Left Behind, government control of state testing, etc.). I think this is especially important for parents of children with autism, where the child's behaviors and motives might not always be completely understood. The bill did pass and it then went to the senate. The senate could vote on it or they could vote on their own version. However, many in the senate are against regulating restraint. They want to leave it up to the states to do it and they do not want government involvement. The problem is that the states are not doing it and kids continue to be at risk. If you are the parent of a school age child and you have any concern for this issue, please contact your state senator and let them know. They need to hear from parents. Whether it is a state issue or federal government issue probably really does not matter, as long as it is regulated in every state.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Employment can be challenging for kids with autism, especially right out of high school. Parents may even wonder what is in store for their child regarding employment. First, all public schools, by law, are supposed to help plan for employment starting before the 16th birthday. They are also supposed to help connect you to outside agencies that can help provide employment support. The main thing I want to share, though, is that I was given an article by an Occupational Therapist. The article was sent to her by her organization and it is about Walgreens. According to the article, Walgreens has set up some of its warehouses specifically employ people with autism. Supposedly, one of the upper managers has a child with autism and this is their brainchild. The interview process has even been modified to make getting hired much easier. Employees with autism also get a lot of on the job support. If you or someone you know has a child with autism, contact Walgreens. I have no idea which warehouses are set up like this though.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Autism Support Groups

I hosted a Autism support Group meeting in mid-December. It is held in the building I work in. Even though, I do not have a child with Autism, it is really my goal to be a of support for families as well as students in our school district. We are located in East Texas. There are no support groups nearby. My initial goal was to get it started and let the parents take it over but they don't seem interested in taking it over. As long as they want to show up, I will continue planning them and hosting them though. It does seem like parents really share information there (names of good doctors, each others phone numbers). At the last meeting, one parent talked about feeling a little bit socially isolated. She said that she had even had to stop going to church because of her son. Another parent told her about the church she goes to and how her son fits in. she invited the other parent to her church with her. The parent voiced excitement about going to church again. I think a lot of it has to do with the congregation and how much they know about autism and how the accept a child with autism. It is good for me to see how those parent connections can make a positive difference in someones life.

The kids come to the meetings too and we always have someone who knows about autism (a teacher or counselor) there to watch them. I also have plenty of toys and things on hand. I am just sharing because I really want to know what parents need. If you read this, please share. What would you like to get out of a parent support group meeting?