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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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Yo, hawkers of autism stuff. Here’s an example of a sales pitch that came my way today,  illustrating how to ensure that I never buy your books or products: “If you have a child with autism, you know that life is NOT like a roller coaster ride. It’s more like hanging upside down on a [...]

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My goal for my son has always been that he be as functional, happy, productive and independent as possible. That goal is ongoing, ever-expanding and never fully realized, which is why it must be immune to any label of finality anyone might attempt to attach to an undefinable outcome. It’s the same goal every parent [...]

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Autism: one word, many truths. What’s yours?

Published on October 7, 2013 by in News

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An unhappy emailer wants me to rewrite Ten Things after “getting the story from real autistic people” rather than “assuming half of it.” Of course, the inference that my son’s autism and the 7,700 days we’ve spent together isn’t real raises my mother-bear hackles. The writer further scolded me with “here’s a little unknown timbit [...]

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Not a week goes by anymore wherein at least one hyperbolic headline screams a disturbing tale of school abuse of a child with autism. Every one of them provokes an avalanche of (understandable) outrage from parents. I needn’t paint details of such stories here because they’re free for the Googling. They’re appalling, no question. But [...]

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“He gives up so easily”

Published on September 30, 2013 by in News

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A concerned friend writes: My friend’s second-grader Jack has autism. He’s very smart, but he gives up so easily. When he tries to do something new, his response is always, “It’s too hard.” He doesn’t say what’s on his mind. For example, instead of saying he doesn’t like a particular food, he’ll say he’s full, [...]

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Later autism diagnosis doesn’t preclude success

Published on August 27, 2013 by in News

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I cannot help but have mixed feelings about the media stories rolling across my desk recently, headlines blaring that early intervention for children with autism “appears beneficial” or “can make a difference.” For us autism parents, it’s not news. It’s the rest of the world catching up to what we’ve known for years. Hey world, [...]

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A parent asks:  My preschooler’s teacher recently told us she thinks our child may be “on the spectrum.” I’m crushed, grieving and not able to accept this. It’s so heartbreaking to see my perfectly happy child diagnosed with this condition.  Is grief after an autism diagnosis normal? Why am I struggling so with this? Ellen [...]

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