|Issue No. 24, November 2009
We’re excited about the second edition of our award-winning bestseller! Not only is it packed with hundreds of new ideas, but we’ve delved deeper into some of the critical issues we face as parents and teachers of children with autism. You’ll find longer discussions on developing social awareness and social thinking, how to encourage speech and facilitate conversation, teaching independence at every age, what we miss in “misbehavior” and how to stop enabling it, and much more.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 3, Behavior
This argument is over. Dealing with an argumentative child is surely one of your greatest challenges. While we would never suggest tuning out or ending a conversation in which your child is attempting to communicate a legitimate need, there will come times when you need to put an end to an argument, demands or resistance. Developing an arsenal of one-liners can be useful. One-liners should always be short as possible and delivered respectfully and without sarcasm, name-calling or anger (as you would want from him). Some suggestions we gathered from parents:
Humor can often interrupt anger and break tension. Sense of humor is a very individual thing (what’s hilarious to one child may feel humiliating to another) so finding the humorous one-liners that work with your child may take some experimentation. But it’s worth a try. Or, put a non-verbal end to the discussion with a small dinner gong, whistle, kazoo or desk bell.
Take a different approach: if your child is adept at arguing from a factual, logical perspective, use emotion-based responses that connect his actions to your feelings and reactions to stop his arguing. “I asked you to pick up your room and you argued with me instead of doing it. That argument took time and now it’s bedtime.” Or simply, “Arguing is exhausting for me. When you argue the answer will always be ‘no.’”
I hear ya – and this argument is over. Here’s a strategy from the baseball field that transfers beautifully to home. Ellen’s son Connor is an umpire, a venue in which coaches often elevate argumentativeness to a science. Connor circumvents lengthy disputes by establishing a 20-second rule at the pre-game meeting. Connor explains:
“If you have a legitimate concern, I will listen for as long as it takes to resolve it. But if you merely disagree with my decision and want to vent, you get 20 seconds. After 20 seconds, I will say ‘I hear you, Coach’ and I will expect you to return to the dugout.”
Ellen wishes she had known this technique all those years before Connor became an umpire!
Our great-great grandfather’s eulogy was printed in the newspaper... while he was very much alive.
Obituaries, like heirlooms, grow more valuable with time. But when is an obituary not an obituary? When they come before the subject has actually died. The how and why of premature obituaries can offer chuckles...and surprises.
Become a fan of Ellen’s Author page, read her latest articles and commentary, and exchange thoughts and ideas with readers around the world.
This month’s column: Yes, it IS your problem
An angry parent writes that a teacher’s working conditions – large class sizes, lack of training and materials, lack of classroom assistance or support staff - “are not a parent’s problem.” Schools, she argues, are obligated to bring students to grade level equivalency, period, and “a parent isn't required to consider the other children in the class when their child is in need.”
Parents and teachers have an obligation to work together, never more so than in these challenging times. We’re fond of saying that it takes a village to raise a child. When that village is burning, everyone joins the bucket brigade. No one steps back and says, “I’m not the fireman; it’s not my problem...”
What do you think? Read Yes, it IS your problem in the Notes section of my Facebook page, and join the discussion.
Winners Quit, Quitters Win: Stop Smoking Today. I just observed the 25th anniversary of my last puff. You can do it too. Here’s how.
Ready for K – and Beyond. Is your child ready for kindergarten? Are you? It’s a big, big transition for both of you, but with proper planning, it can be smooth sailing.
Run Ragged. A happy case of be-careful-what-you-wish-for!
Hokies, Horned Frogs and Hustlin’ Owls. Just in time for football season, my Top Ten favorite sports team names. Go, UC Banana Slugs!
Rule Number One: Ask for Help. One principal calls this the most important thing they teach.
Autism Asperger’s Digest
In Digest’s 10th anniversary issue, Bryce offers his perspective on being a “different” communicator, moving from middle school to high school, dealing with anger, finding the courage to meet new people and try new things, and how he strives to be “both careful and cool.”
Tak! to Lars Ofverlind, father of a five-year-old with autism, for his superb translation of Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew into Danish.
Ten Things (article-length condensation from book) is now available in eight languages: Spanish, French, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Vietnamese and Hungarian. Visit my foreign translation page for these, and information on other foreign translations of my articles and books.
Photos by Iman Chair Haidar
Text by Ellen Notbohm
" LES DIX CHOSES QUE LES ENFANTS ATTEINTS D' AUTISME AIMERAIENT QUE VOUS SACHIEZ "
This exposition is part of a global project aimed at creating of a new vision of autism, not as a handicap or disease, but as a difference. An autistic person can be beautiful, happy, live an ordinary life, succeed...
These are photographs of autistic children that Iman took with the permission of concerned parents, but also photographs linked to their universe. All of the pictures relate back to a facet of autism, loaded with hope and of life, far from dark clichés.
The photographs are underscored with the text of Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew.
For more information on Iman’s photographs and the Autisme en Couleurs exhibition, visit http://marocun.hautetfort.com/
As a historical researcher, I’d be lost with WorldCat, a global network of over 10,000 libraries providing access to millions of materials via the Internet and through Interlibrary Loans. If you aren’t yet familiar with this amazing service, check it out immediately. Search WorldCat for books, articles, CDS and archival information not available at your own library, and then ask your librarian if they can facilitate an interlibrary loan, ordering the material from a distant library. Many libraries don’t charge for this service; others charge a small fee.
WorldCat also tells you where the material you seek are located – near and far. When I recently plugged in one of my book titles, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, I found it available at over 450 libraries worldwide, including over 100 university libraries.
WorldCat is mildly addicting and severely mind-boggling. I’m a fan! Can you tell?
Bryce is a junior this year, in his third year of math with Mai-Lill Magi, one of the all-time great high school math teachers. Could we please see widespread adoption of her attitude about daily homework?
“I grade on homework completion and timeliness. If it’s complete and on time, it gets an A. It makes no sense to me to grade on accuracy. Why would I mark students down while they are trying to learn something? We review and redo every missed problem until the student understands what he or she got wrong, and we don’t move on until he/she does.”
If you are new to our newsletter community, please visit the newsletter archive on my website and browse some popular past features here.
July 2009: A Tombstone Tells Its Story /Sharks and Minnows / Run Ragged
June 2009: For my dad, for all dads / On My Soapbox: Tragedy or Opportunity? / The Difference Between Heaven and Earth
May 2009: Ellen’s Archive: I Sound Like My Mother – I Hope! // Mixed feelings about Autism Awareness Month // Vietnamese translation of Ten Things // Hyperlexia literary journal debut issue
April 2009: Right on the Money// Encouraging playground interaction
March 2009: On hiatus
February 2009: You Said It: Your favorite articles in 2008 // A Readers’ Favorite: Three Little Words
January 2009: On My Soapbox: The Less the Merrier for 2009 // Winners quit, quitters win
December 2008: On holiday – see you next year!
November 2008: Interview: Autism and the Holidays
October 2008: Childhood Obesity: is it abuse? // A-(scavenger) hunting we will go // Happily ever after, in real life
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
Ten Things Your Student with Autism Wishes You Knew
1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Autism Trail Guide: Postcards from the Road Less Traveled
If you’ve read my books and feel inclined to share your thoughts with others, please consider posting a review on my book pages at www.amazon.com. It’s easy to do and you don’t have to post your real name.
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©2009 Ellen Notbohm | Third Variation Strategies