Autism parents redefine obligation, freedom

Published on August 11, 2014 by in News

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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 pitied. (I pitied her more.) I [...]

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Ever get that prickle that comes when you know you’re supposed to perceive something as well-intentioned, but instead you’re filled with a foreboding sense that it’s not? Me, yesterday, upon receiving a poster that reads, “I love someone with autism!” Maybe it was frantic bold type and the exclamation point that rang of trying too [...]

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Last week on Facebook I skewered the platitude “Time heals all wounds.”* Here’s another bromide in need of reality check: “No one is in control of your happiness but you.” Let’s not try this out on people living in or fleeing Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, or any other place where the bodies and lives [...]

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A parent asks: I need some help. I’ve been fighting schools for ten years now and as my son is just beginning high school, they’ve informed me he’s cured and no longer needs his IEP. Is it possible to be “cured?” I’ve spent years working with him; he’s improved immensely. I’d love your thoughts on [...]

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Fisherman: Hey, kid! There ain’t no room in this town for a dragon, and there ain’t no room in this town for jinxes like you, neither! Nora: Well, if there’s enough room for a chowderhead like you, there’s more than enough room for a dragon. This memorable scene from the movie Pete’s Dragon leads into [...]

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Who are they calling a lost cause?

Published on April 30, 2014 by in News

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“The greatest tragedy that can befall a child with autism is to be surrounded by adults who think it’s a tragedy.” That’s my most widely quoted affirmation, and while it draws overwhelming agreement, it also brings out the 1% naysayers. “Well, it’s no blessing,” comes the retort, to which I reply that not everything in [...]

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“I judge people based on how they treat me. Is there any other way?” I don’t know the person who tweeted this; it came to me as a retweet. It’s the kind of sentiment with which many people would instinctively agree, particularly the first sentence. But it was the second sentence that gave me pause. [...]

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A parent asks: I have a four-year-old son with high-functioning autism. He has speech delay but is very bright and tests academically above his age. We live in a large city and are seeking all the help we can, including ABA. I have read your books about autism and your amazing journey. I’m glad to [...]

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Take the cut out of haircut for kids with autism

Published on January 23, 2014 by in News

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“Our toddler son fights like a badger during haircuts,” writes a dad. “Any suggestions?” Only a few dozen! Shakespeare wasn’t talking about a hair salon when he spoke of “the unkindest cut of all.” He likely never have had the hair-raising–literally–experience of taking a reluctant youngster with autism for a haircut. Many aspects of a [...]

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A reporter asks, other than encouraging a child to to read, ask questions, be curious and creative, what else must parents do to raise a smarter child, to foster knowledge gathering? “Need simple steps. . .” The simplest step is to accept that there’s no simple step. In our global community of mind-bending cultural and [...]

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