Play is very complex, especially when teaching children with autism, but it is essential to social skills development. Children naturally engage in play on the playground at recess; however, for children with autism, play does not come as easily. The playground is unpredictable, loud, chaotic, and can be an extremely overwhelming place for a child

in Social Skills by Annette Nuñez, PhD

Parenting is the world’s hardest job!  It comes with immense responsibility in which you are on call 24/7, incessantly worrying, and using all your time and energy working at a “real job” without getting a real paycheck. Parenting a child with autism is 100 times more stressful and exhausting because you are not only dealing

in Autism Parenting Advice by Annette Nuñez, PhD

The beautiful thing about autism is that oftentimes children and adults become hyper focused on one subject. Their interests can range from reciting lines from movies, to remembering stats of sports teams, to playing video games, to being gifted in art, to playing an instrument. The list of interests goes on and on. The number

in Autism Solutions by Annette Nuñez, PhD

The playground represents a time for having fun where children laugh, play, run around, and form friendships. However, for a child with autism the playground is like being lost in a foreign country without knowing the language. The playground is chaotic, unpredictable, loud, and over-stimulating. We often see children with autism walking the perimeter of

in Social Skills by Annette Nuñez, PhD

The word “playdate” is a dreaded word for many autism families.  I know numerous families that will avoid playdates for several reasons. Many parents think their child cannot participate in them because they lack the play, social, and verbal skills to be successful. Some parents will not schedule playdates because they are not themselves social.

in Social Skills by Annette Nuñez, PhD

Training a child to use the potty can be hard—and teaching a child with autism to use the potty can be even harder. As we all know, it can take a little longer for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to master many everyday skills. As a result, potty training with autism can take

in Potty Training by Annette Nuñez, PhD