They say it takes a village to raise a child, but in the case of a student with special needs, it takes an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) team. At the age of 16, students with an IEP are considered part of the team. They are expected to attend their educational meetings and advocate for themselves.

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When your autistic child becomes an autistic grown up and starts adulting, let them! It seems like a pretty simple idea. Alas, many caregiver parents struggle with this transition more than their autistic child does. Transitions are hard as we know better than most people. Transitions are change and change is difficult to deal with

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Once a student graduates or ages out of the school system, the support and structure the system once offered is no longer available. The completion of high school is a time of excitement for a young and his/her family but also can be scary. Many individuals with autism struggle with change and the transition from

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As a pediatric endocrinologist, this is an area of my expertise in my daily work. The early changes of puberty usually occur between the ages of 9 to 13 years. They are noticeable in girls by the budding of breasts and then pubic hair, with menstrual periods starting between 11 to 14 years of age.

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Because more adults on the spectrum are giving voice to their experiences now than in the past, those of us with younger children on the spectrum are benefiting from their wisdom and advice. The biggest take away I have from what I read and see by these adults is that being an adult on the

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We entered through the glass doors and were swept along with the crowd up escalators, down long hallways lined with multicolored fluorescent light tubes hung as art. People walked in pairs, groups of three, parents with their teens, groups of teens. We walked down a tunnel lined with pink and yellow glass through which we

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Menstruation can be a scary and overwhelming experience, especially for young people on the autism spectrum. As a woman diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, I know how imperative it is to provide the right information to parents and autistic young people to help alleviate some of the uncertainty surrounding menstruation. I spent more than two years

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As parents, we all want to have the best possible relationship with our children. Teen years can be particularly difficult, especially when your teen is on the spectrum. And no matter how much advice we get from the professionals, it is still hard to accept some of the behavioral traits of our Aspie teens. It

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Most parents of teens tell me they are not ready for their baby to date!  No question, their teens are curious, developing sexually in a typical manner (thank you, puberty), wondering/anxious about dating, and are truly considering the possibility of dating.  Before we get to the horrors and anxieties of dating, let’s recall some of

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My son Ryan entered puberty way ahead of schedule, and I was caught by surprise scrambling to create strategies to help navigate his increased need for a basic daily hygiene regimen. What I needed was a buy-in from him: a plan to get Ry excited about cleanliness and a method to point him down the

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David Petrovic, my son, is a 24-year-old middle school teacher with autism and Tourette syndrome who graduated cum laude and loved his college experience. He and I joined forces and found what worked for him. Seeking to help others in their same quest, David and I have co-authored our life journey and have evolved to

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Dear Rob, I have an 18-year-old teen daughter who has stopped talking to us, her parents, and has become socially isolated. She graduated from high school and is taking a gap year. I feel desperate and we must rely on ourselves to help her because we can’t afford professional help. — Marlene Dear Marlene: This

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As the years have progressed in my career working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families, I have had the privilege to work with more and more teenagers. I have met some remarkable young men and women with autism who have taught me a lot, and I have had the honor of

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My name is James Link. I am 21 years old and was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) twice. My mom wanted these two different diagnoses so we would be better able to plan for my education and future. The diagnostic process was very different both times. My mom suspected that I had autism because

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As a parent of a teen or young adult on the autism spectrum, you have probably had to focus most of your attention on getting all the pieces in place to ensure your student has a successful transition. Whether your son or daughter is going to college, entering the workplace, or learning to live independently,

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I am a single dad raising my autistic daughter. Can you give me any advice on educating her and helping her navigate puberty and her menstrual cycle? I’m lost!  —Tony Hey Tony, I first want to applaud you for understanding the importance of helping guide your daughter through this transition into womanhood! All girls need

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Life is filled with challenges for all of us, and for kids on the spectrum, the challenges can be even more difficult.  As anyone who has experience with the spectrum knows, we often concern ourselves with education and social interaction as main goals for helping our kids.  After all, life is made up of one

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Taking care of a child with autism can be demanding physically, emotionally, and psychologically, but we as parents need to realize that our duty to our children is to nurture and protect them from external and internal hazardous stimuli.  The more time we take to care for and understand our children, the less demanding our

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An interview with Dr. Tony Attwood, Ph.D. AS/ASD expert In a previous article for Autism Parenting Magazine, I addressed erasing the prejudice of violence associated with individuals on the autism spectrum.  Although it is important to erase that growing prejudice, I mentioned that it would be negligent not to discuss the possibility of special interests

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Fifteen-year-old Chris Furches is an accomplished motocross racer indoors and out. At the age of 10, Chris got his first ATV. It was a gift from his grandparents and it was obvious he was a natural talent on it. A year later he saw his first MX race and asked if he could try racing.

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ASD Options for Living Independently by Megan Kelly Today there are more options than ever before for adults and young adults living independently with autism. Programs and centers have opened in many different places across the United States, giving many people access to their benefits, assistance, and services. The programs focus on helping adults of

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Leslie: So we are here today with Janet Grillo, and she is the writer, director and producer of the independent film, “Fly Away”. The movie explores the relationship between a mother and her teenage autistic daughter. The film has attained some rave reviews so far. Thank you for joining us today Janet! Janet Grillo: Well,

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