Educating Your Child’s Educator: Simple Steps to Create a Safe Learning Environment
Learn how a mom and teacher uses her skills to introduce methods to help students with autism in the classroom.
Kimberly C. Reeves, MEd

Top Ways to Improve Fine Motor Skills Through Coloring
Discover ways to build fine motor coordination through coloring from the beginner skill level to the more developed.

Rebecca Connick, MOT, LOTR

Three Tips to Finding the Right Therapies and Therapists for Your Child
Learn three things to keep in mind when making decisions about the therapy your child with autism receives.
Annette Nuñez, PhD, LMFT

The Many Ways Early Intervention Changed My Son’s Life
Read a personal account from a mother who advocates for her son and explains how his diagnosis changed life for the better.
Emily Ransom

Top Ways to Strengthen the Family Bond When a Sibling Has Autism
Discover ways to integrate your child with autism with his/her neurotypical siblings to create a wholesome, balanced family environment.
Adina Frankel, MS Ed, BCBA, NY-LBA

When Family and Friends Reject the Diagnosis
A mother shares her experience with the familial rejection of her child’s diagnosis and later reconciliation.
Rita Roem

When Should My Child With ASD Get a Job?
Find out why and when your child should start gaining job experience.
Rachel Bédard, PhD

6 Things to Do When the World Can't See Your Child's ASD
Find new ways to educate people when autism is invisible to the world.

Heidi Zuniga, MA, MSLS

What's New on the Bookshelf?
Insightful Book Gives Young Readers Unique Look at the Everyday Struggles of Autism

Told from the unique perspective of a fly on the wall, Deanna K. Klingel’s story chronicles the adventures of a young girl with autism and her irrepressible dog in wartime England.

My Child With Autism Is Afraid To Have Vision Checked
Learn some general guidelines to follow to reduce anxiety when taking your child with autism to an ophthalmologist for the first time. The article includes a social story example.
Dr. Ron Malcolm

Soluble Fiber May Improve Irritability in Kids With Autism
Discover the latest research on how soluble fiber can reduce constipation and irritability.
Shawn Talbott, PhD

My Son Has Autism and I’m Proud
Discover a mom’s joyous revelation as she raises her son with autism.
Grace Braun

Q&A Help: My Child Is Hypersensitive to Clothing
Read on for suggestions of how to manage or overcome a child’s avoidance of certain clothing.

Kelly Beins, BA BHScOTR/L

Poetry Corner
Our Journey…

Rachel Alexander

Wisdom from Grandma
Read about how a grandmother navigates life with her grandson with autism and the tips and tricks she’s learned along the way.

Kathleen Galati

Treating Lice on Children With Sensory Sensitivity
Learn about lice and safe, effective options for removing them from a child with sensory sensitivities.
Maggie Marshall

My Daughter Rachel’s Journey to an Autism Diagnosis
Read about one mom’s long journey to uncover her daughter’s diagnosis despite being constantly dismissed as a parent

Sandra Capelin

Poetry Corner: 7 Stages 

Shelley Wilson

An Exclusive Look at AUTISM with Lisa Satira Brozek

Meet an autism parent who is working to support her son and other musicians on the spectrum.

Derrick Hayes

Do I Need a Special Needs Trust With an ABLE Account?

Learn why a Special Needs Trust is still needed with an ABLE Account to best take care of your child financially.

Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Dear Readers,

Managing autism can be complicated. As many families have discovered, obtaining the best tools, therapies, and strategies for your child with autism isn’t always so straightforward. And to make it even more challenging, the theories and terminology surrounding autism often shift. We want to remove these kinds of stressors from your life and deliver the material you need to make the best decisions for your family. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, teacher, therapist, or physician, this issue will provide the up-to-date behavioral, physical, and educational therapies you need.

Psychotherapist Annette Nuñez, PhD, LMFT, recognizes an autism diagnosis can be confusing for families as they are often bombarded by an overwhelming amount of material on the internet and social media. She believes children with autism respond differently to a variety of therapies, which is why she recommends families create a therapeutic model and a team to address all your child’s needs. If you would like guidance on which therapies and therapists may be best suited for your child, please look at her piece, Three Tips to Finding the Right Therapies and Therapists for Your Child.

Does your child have a hard time wearing certain fabrics or respond negatively to touch? Kelly Beins, BA BHScOTR/L, tells us approximately 90 percent of people with autism have sensory processing challenges. Kids with hypersensitivity often have a tough time with textures and fabrics because they are unable to filter out or process sensations. Please read Kelly’s piece Q&A Help: My Child Is Hypersensitive to Clothing as she responds to a reader whose child refuses to wear a school uniform. Kelly not only explains the current theory behind hypersensitivity, but she provides insightful strategies that might encourage a child to wear a non-preferred clothing item.

No one really wants to think about lice, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates there are up to 12 million infestations each year in the US among children under 12. While multiple medical treatments are available, they all include checking the hair and repeatedly combing with a nit comb to remove nits and lice. For kids with sensitivities, this procedure can be a nightmare. Please check out Maggie Marshall’s piece called Treating Lice on Children With Sensory Sensitivity to learn fast, non-toxic ways to remove this irritating insect from a sensory sensitive child. Even if your child is lucky enough to avoid this pest, Maggie’s advice on reducing stress during bath time is valuable for all kids with sensitivities.

Some children with autism experience high anxiety when it comes time to go to the doctor—and this includes the important yearly visit to the ophthalmologist. Please review Dr. Ron Malcolm’s piece My Child With Autism Is Afraid To Have Vision Checked for steps you and your child can follow to reduce fear during this appointment. Be sure to look at the sample social story that may provide your child with new coping skills.

Many young children with autism have trouble developing the fine-motor skills they need to build crucial eye-hand coordination which can affect reading and writing. To learn ways to build vital fine motor coordination using crayons, take a look at Top Ways to Improve Fine Motor Skills Through Coloring by Rebecca Connick, MOT, LOTR. Her professional tips range from the beginner skill level to the more advanced.

Does your child have chronic digestive issues? Kids with autism typically experience gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, constipation, and diarrhea more often than their peers. According to Shawn Talbott, PhD, this can be the result of out of balance gut bacteria (microbiome). These kinds of digestive issues are not only unpleasant for the child but can affect his/her mood and behavior. To learn the latest research on how soluble fiber can improve health, please take a look at Soluble Fiber May Improve Irritability in Kids With Autism. Not only does Shawn provide the latest research, but she includes innovative ways to slip more soluble fiber into your child’s diet.

Finding the best tools and strategies for your child with autism includes planning for the future. Rachel Bédard, PhD, strongly believes all young people with autism who are able should gain job experience. Whether it’s volunteering or paid work helping a neighbor, developing work skills can begin as early as the preteen years. Take a look at When Should My Child With ASD Get a Job? for expert advice on how your child can begin gaining skills for a lifetime.

Financial planning is equally important for your child’s future. If you don’t have a solid plan in place, please refer to Do I Need a Special Needs Trust With an ABLE Account? provided by financial expert Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC.

Also, look at our selection of personal narratives and poetry this issue as they reflect our remarkable autism community. In Kathleen Galati’s piece called Wisdom from Grandma, for example, a grandmother shares how she lovingly navigates life with her grandson with autism. And in My Son Has Autism and I’m Proud, Grace Braun tenderly describes her child’s autism journey and the multiple rewards of being his mom.

Check out our Autism Parenting Magazine Facebook page, as well as our special page called Autism Support Groups for Families which provides a unique opportunity to unite with other families.

See you there!

Kind regards,

Amy KD Tobik