Parenting neurodiverse children often requires us to have contact with many different kinds of professionals. This creates, what can be, an overwhelming amount of appointments, and many appointments, that in and of themselves are overwhelming. We often find it necessary to put children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) into situations that make them especially uncomfortable

in Autism Therapies and Treatments by Rachel Andersen

The look on the doctor’s face showed concern, mixed with something else Sally couldn’t discern. “Sally, your son does not have autism spectrum disorder, I believe he has virtual autism.” Sally couldn’t wrap her mind around it. She had never heard of it before. “Virtual autism? What even is that? How did he get it?

in Autism Technology by Rachel Andersen

For any parents who have had people ask them “are autistic children violent?”, this article offers a mom and life coach’s perspective on what so-called violence truly is and how to manage it in the context of autism. I knew this day was going to be rough, but nothing could have prepared me for what

in Autism Behavioral Solutions by Rachel Andersen

Three-year-old Jack was playing, happily lining up all his cars in a row, when his baby sister Josephine woke up from her nap, and started crying loudly. Suddenly, Jack felt extremely overwhelmed, panic took over, and anger towards his sister made him feel out of control. He needed to get away, but there was nowhere

in Sensory Solutions by Rachel Andersen

Last June, my oldest son graduated from high school. All parents who can say that about their children are proud, but for parents of children with autism, and learning challenges, it has an elevated meaning. My son graduating meant that he accomplished something we didn’t think was going to be possible for a long time.

in Education and Classroom by Rachel Andersen

“Can I ask you a question? Don’t get mad at me or anything ok?”, my friend Heather tentatively said to me one sunny afternoon on my back porch. “Have you ever thought that Owen may be on the autism spectrum?” The question hit me with such force, it almost took my breath away. I had

in Autism Diagnosis by Rachel Andersen

The joys of parenthood include the sheer delight that comes with finding something that helps our children through a particular struggle. For many children with autism, the challenges can be fierce, and often include sensory difficulties. Choosing autism noise canceling headphones can result in relief for our children, and also excitement of finding something that

in Sensory Solutions by Rachel Andersen

It was March 2020 and the world had just shut down. My five-year-old had just been admitted into the gifted program at school but had not started in his new classes yet. Suddenly, I was supposed to homeschool a not-yet-diagnosed child on the autism spectrum who was smarter than me already. My ever-moving, always talking,

in Sensory Solutions by Rachel Andersen

An overview of rejection sensitive dysphoria, a condition that causes an intense emotional response to real or perceived rejection, and its possible connection to autism spectrum disorder. I watched in slow motion as my son Owen fell head first into the side of the open french door. The blood curdling screams that followed were nothing

in Social Skills by Rachel Andersen

As a parent, it is important to make connections with other parents who relate to your stage of life. Realizing someone else truly understands your child’s hardships and triumphs can bring so much encouragement.   For many parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), these connections are often few and far between. Sharing your child’s

in Potty Training by Rachel Andersen

Parents of autistic children, from my personal experience, are some of the most adventurous and creative people in the world. One reason for that is they parent some of the most gifted and unpredictable people in the world.   Between the exploration of their children’s special interests, braving new professionals in their life, alternative therapies, and

in Visual Supports by Rachel Andersen

Parents of children with autism are inundated with questions while trying to provide the best care for their children. Many options exist for therapies, advocation, medical assistance, physicians, and the list goes on. Knowing which options will be best for their autistic children, and if they will have the financial resources to pay for them,

in Financial Planning by Rachel Andersen

In the center of the huge frenzy the miracle gadget fidget spinner stirred, experts recently revealed that the spinner is nothing more than a regular toy. Fidget spinners have been marketed as easy to carry anxiety-busting gadgets that can aid children and adults with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and any type of anxiety disorder.

in Autism News by Rachel Andersen

Over the years, lack of eye contact from a person diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been mistaken as an indication of lack of empathy or connection with others. This theory began in the 1980s when psychologists Simon Baron-Cohen and Uta Frith indicated that people diagnosed with autism were not capable of using the

in Autism News by Rachel Andersen