The R-word You Want for Your Child with Autism

Published on December 17, 2014 by in News

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“That’s it! It’s all over! I’ve just completed my Associate’s Degree in General Studies. I am officially a college graduate!” I couldn’t possibly overstate the elation in our household as Bryce posted those words to Facebook. But any autism parent knows that the simplicity of Bryce’s statement comes with a back story about the road [...]

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Tricycle Dreams

Published on December 11, 2014 by in News

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Lillian Winsberg was Chicago born, the youngest of six children. She arrived on 11 December 1891 and must have liked a lot of what she saw because she stuck around for 96 years. Her father “was a peddler until I was about 12 to 15 years old, traveling up into Wisconsin and Michigan,” Lil wrote [...]

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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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