How to answer “How is he doing?”

Published on November 14, 2014 by in News

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When telling people “my child is on the Autism spectrum,” we’ve debated how to explain it without the stereotype of people thinking our son is “classic Autism.” I dislike the word Autistic (right now), maybe because it’s so new to us. But there are so many different shades of autism. How do we explain he [...]

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“Ellen, thank you for sharing all the information you do, as it clarifies my many confusions, and sometimes give me light when I can’t see a way out of situation. I wish also to acquire the brain and calm like yours to understand my child and never let him down.”   In first and second [...]

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How These Autism Parents Stay Married

Published on October 28, 2014 by in News

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Sometimes I went to bed mad. Sometimes I dished out the silent treatment. Because I couldn’t speak. Sometimes I expected the worst. But every night I looked at the calligraphed adage on my living room wall— Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll [...]

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A Fine (Motor) State of Affairs

Published on October 23, 2014 by in News

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Why is camera-shy me leading this column with a photo? It doesn’t look like any kind of momentous event, and the setting is just a neighborhood pho restaurant in Seattle. How could such an ordinary photo be newsworthy? My dear sister-in-law lunged for her camera because it was a momentous occasion. See the chopsticks? The [...]

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“My son is being suspended due to his autism”

Published on October 15, 2014 by in News

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 I am the mother of an eleven-year-old autistic son.  He just entered middle school this year and  has been suspended for a total of six days.  I feel that these suspensions stem from his disability, but I can’t get anyone to listen.  He was never suspended while in his last school, but is experiencing problems [...]

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“Look me in the eye” demands role reversal

Published on September 8, 2014 by in News

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The autism conference featured a panel of adults with Asperger’s. Each related their ups and downs with college, jobs, relationships, and independent living, then the moderator opened the session to questions from the audience. “Why is eye contact so hard for you?” a woman asked a twenty-something man on the panel. His gaze zeroed in [...]

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Each year, autism “awareness” rises to ever-louder levels of analysis and controversy. The Centers for Disease Control’s newest findings place  the incidence of autism in children at 1 in 68, up from 1 in 88 just only two years ago, and 1 in 750 when my son was identified in 1995. Each year, we who [...]

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Excerpted from Ten Things Your Student with Autism Wishes You Knew, Chapter 5 by Ellen Notbohm (2006, Future Horizons) FUNCTIONAL COMMUNICATION: MISSION ESSENTIAL The importance of providing a child with a functional communication system, in whatever form it may take, cannot be over-emphasized. Here’s an evocative scenario: imagine that your mouth is taped shut for [...]

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Autism parents redefine obligation, freedom

Published on August 11, 2014 by in News

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(from my Facebook archive, 2012)   Many years ago a co-worker, observing all that I had to do for my so-called special needs children, commented that I lived “a life of obligation.” Her insinuation was that I didn’t have as much freedom as parents of so-called typically developing children, and that this was to be [...]

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One-minute perspective from Bryce: “If you want something extraordinary to  happen, you have to ask yourself, how am I going to make something extraordinary with what’s surrounding me? Fantasy is fun, but reality is what’s surrounding us, so if that’s what you have, that’s what you use to make something happen. Another word for reality [...]

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