Squelching echolalia—or not

Published on April 8, 2015 by in News

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A parent asks: We’re just learning about echolalia and find it fascinating. Our child has always done it, and we call it parroting.  How do you think children with autism match an appropriate phrase to the situation so quickly and smoothly?  What kinds of things did you employ to try to stop your child from using [...]

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Autism awareness is not enough

Published on April 2, 2015 by in News

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What does autism “awareness” mean to you? Better question—what does it mean to those who think autism doesn’t touch them? “Awareness” may be another one of those words I have to consign to quotation marks, along with “normal” and “typical.” Awareness was an ambitious goal ten years ago, and still is in many countries, but [...]

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“Is our child suffering from autism?”

Published on February 6, 2015 by in News

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Dear Ellen: We have a preschooler who is otherwise perfect, normal and talks a lot at home, but is very shy with outside folks. Unlike other kids who are carefree and casual, she takes a long time to come out of her shell and play. She prefers playing with one friend, doesn’t like to be [...]

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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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A parent asks: 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 [...]

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“Ellen, the information you share 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 grade, my son Connor had one of [...]

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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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“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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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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