When searching for information about your autistic child’s sensory challenges you may find many articles about hypersensitivity. But what about hyposensitivity, and the accompanying sensory seeking behavior of a child who finds the world an underwhelming place? As research discovers more about the autistic brain, we can’t help but marvel at some of the skills

in Sensory Solutions by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Savantism—that mystical, psychological phenomena that’s captured the world’s imagination ever since the movie Rain Man showcased the prodigious memory of an autistic savant. More than a fascination with the extraordinary, research about savantism could unlock useful information about nurturing genius talent associated with the neurodivergent mind. Are savants neurodivergent superheroes? Savantism does conjure up an

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterized by communication impairments which may manifest in challenging behavior. Functional Communication Training may help your autistic child communicate wants and needs more effectively, decreasing the need for expression through such challenging behaviors.  Communication goes way beyond verbal and nonverbal interaction; even though this is what often comes to mind

in Communication Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

When speaking about your child’s autism diagnosis, do you say “my autistic child” (identity-first) or do you speak about your “child with autism” (person-first)? This is more than a mere language debate, it speaks to the heart of self-identification and, unfortunately, stigma too… As a journalist specializing in autism, choosing the right language is important

in Autism Advocacy by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Reading through online autism forums will erase any doubt about stigmatization of those on the spectrum. Some autistic individuals say you just need to look at vaccination debates to get an idea of how many neurotypical people feel about autism. The fact that some people are more willing to risk the chance of their child

in Autism Advocacy by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Parents seeking advice about herbs for children with autism may be entering a battlefield; with conventional, western medicine on one side and complementary and alternative medicine on the other… Many proponents of herbal, Chinese, complementary and alternative treatments view these remedies with an almost religious fervour. Sceptics, including many in the medical profession, roll their

in Autism Therapies and Treatments by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

If your child is diagnosed with autism and has language processing difficulties, these may be one of the first symptoms you want to address with treatment or interventions. You quickly realize just how frustrated your child is, with meltdowns as a testament to unexpressed emotions. We can only try to understand how frustrating it must

in Communication Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

In an episode of Modern Family (S9, Episode 2) Mitch rebukes his daughter Lily after a snarky comment by telling her: “Ok, if you’re going to be mean, be funny.” The controversy concerning the “autistic screeching” meme brings up some uncomfortable questions about this idea of humor and hurt and where the two meet. Looking

in Autism Advocacy by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Cognitive disorders are impairments to cognitive function (mental processes) to a degree where normal functioning is not possible without treatment. The question of whether autism spectrum disorders fit in this category will be considered in this article. Many in the autism community feel offended by the use of the word “disorder”. For others it remains

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Imagine you walk into a dodgy diner…the sulphurous smell of onions hits you as you open the door, you start sweating because there is no air conditioning, and the more you sweat the worse the chaffing of your too-tight collar gets. You jump, startled as deafening music starts up suddenly, it feels like the drum

in Sensory Solutions by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

in Autism Diagnosis by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Talk about transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS therapy, is raising hopes of parents who wonder if the treatment could work for their child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents with children on the spectrum are wary of the term “cure”. For some, it’s because they’ve been disappointed by snakeoil and false hope more than they

in Autism Therapies and Treatments by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

A child’s first word is a magical milestone. If there is a delay in the commencement of spoken language this milestone may become a minefield of stress for parents. According to research (Giacomo & Fombonne, 1998) a delay in the onset of spoken language is frequently the most worrying aspect expressed by parents of children

in Communication Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Life is hard at the moment, most of us will do just about anything to make it a little bit easier. Kids doing what they’re supposed to be doing, when they’re supposed to be doing it? I think most parents are willing to chuck a jackpot type amount at a reward system for that to

in Autism Behavioral Solutions by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Special interest…even the name is contentious. Some autistic people feel it’s an almost patronizing term, to them special interest misses the mark completely when describing something they’re so deeply invested in. Hobby falls short by miles. So maybe obsession, fascination, or even specialized interest is more apt? Not quite, some alternatives are actually offensive; so

in Autism Solutions by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

“Much of the time, I feel like an anthropologist on Mars.” Dr. Temple Grandin made history when she spoke those profound words during an interview with the late Dr. Oliver Sacks. Parents observing their children with autism trying to communicate in a neurotypical world, may grasp the significance of her words. Communication is vital to

in Communication Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Eye contact avoidance is an issue that troubles many parents with children on the spectrum. Should your child with autism be encouraged to make eye contact; and how should the child’s avoidance be managed without inducing anxiety or stress? These and other controversial questions are sometimes answered with a narrow, neurotypical view. Neurotypical society puts

in Social Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

At birth new parents often wrap their crying babies up tightly; instinctively they’re using deep pressure to soothe their distressed infants. Deep touch pressure may benefit your child on the autism spectrum too—in this article we’ll take a closer look at deep pressure therapy; what it is, and how it could help your child. What

in Autism Therapies and Treatments by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB