Features:

Parent Burnout is Real... 5 Tips That Help
Discover ways to slip in some “me” time so you can unwind and be your best self.

Annette Nuñez, PhD, LMFT


How Do I Talk to My Child With Autism About Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Learn 10 simple tips to consider when explaining coronavirus to your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) along with an excellent social story to foster understanding and help reduce anxiety.

Dr. Ron Malcolm


Managing Sensory Overload in High School
Understand the sensory stressors and challenges of attending high school through the eyes of an autistic student.
Clara Ham


Top 5 Things Every ASD Child Needs
Read five skills to help a child with autism better acclimate in unfamiliar environments.
Jim Poole, MD, FAAP


How Do I Manage the Coronavirus Scare as a Parent of a Child With Autism?
Learn ways to talk to ASD kids about the virus in a way that will be reassuring and not make them more worried than they already are.
Ruthangela Bernadette


The Best Ways to Develop Inclusive College Classrooms
Learn ways professors, faculty, and college officials can promote and implement a more inclusive campus for special needs students.

Alyssa Abel


Conversation—Making the Jump from Monologues to Dialogues With Autism
Discover some excellent ways to encourage and teach your child to engage in meaningful conversations without uncomfortable monologuing.
Mallory Griffith, MA, CCC-SLP


Pushing the Boundaries of Autism With Routine
Read on to learn how the use of routines coupled with small changes can help a child on the spectrum cope with life’s changes.

Professor May Ng, MBBS FRCPCH FHEA MSc LLM PhD


Amazing Ways Farming Can Be Beneficial to Kids With Special Needs
Learn about how the farming environment is enriching the life of a child with autism as he/she navigates school, responsibilities, and family relationships.

Hannah Reeves


How to Discover Your Meaning of Autism
Meet a mom who transforms a simple word into her life’s meaning and articulates it into her love for her son with autism.
Shalita Thomison


5 ASL Tips to Make Life a Little Easier With Your Child With Autism
Learn how American Sign Language can enrich the practices of children with autism as they learn to communicate better.
Cynthia Long


Early Intervention Through the Eyes of the Child
Read on for some advice from an educational consultant on the autism spectrum who credits therapies for her many achievements.
Claudia Rose Addeo BS, MS


Two Critical Steps to Support the Mental Health Needs of Individuals with ASD
Learn two important ways mental health can be supported and addressed.

Chris Abildgaard, LPC, NCSP, NCC


Moving Away from the Spectrum Comfort Zone

Discover ways to gradually get children with autism out of their comfort zones to help move past their fears.

Michelle Mann


Four Key Lessons from a State Supported Special Needs Living Center
Find out about a unique care center that implements physical education in a sensory gym to help those with autism engage and play.

Dave Thomas


The Importance of Parents’ Voices in the Autism Discussion

Read to gain the perspective of a mother raising a child with severe autism while being on the spectrum herself.
Eileen Lamb


Successfully Supporting the College Student With ASD
Discover testimonies from various college students and learn tips on how to prepare and navigate college life as a student with autism.

Karen Kaplan


Autism Warrior: How a Big-Hearted Young Man With Autism Changes Lives

Meet a kind-hearted boy with autism who gives back to his community and encourages others.
Amy KD Tobik


Poetry Corner: Autism Is Its Name

Mary Kangas


Autism as Seen from the Inside

Meet a boy who shares his own experiences on ways autism impacts his life through writing.

Ishaan Holloway


Q&A
Help: My Child With Autism is Afraid of Doctors

Learn six possible ways to reduce fear and anxiety for a child on the spectrum.

Kelly Beins, BA BHSc, OTR/L

ASD Marketplace
Protect Your ASD Child With Medical ID Bracelets

Safeguard your child with special needs with this modern collection of stainless-steel Medical ID Bracelets and Medical ID Dog Tags for adults and children.


ASD Marketplace
Top Weighted Blanket Can Help Your Child Get to Sleep

Learn how a weighted blanket can help relax the nervous system and release stress and anxiety, making kids feel secure and promoting restful sleep at the same time.


Simple Toys to Help Your ASD Child’s Continued Development

Consider new ways to engage children with ASD during playtime by creatively using simple toys.

Rebecca Connick, MOT, LOTR


What’s New on the Bookshelf?
Memoir Inspires Autistics to Fight for Their Dreams

Diagnosed as an adult, Rosie Weldon shares her raw battle through adolescence as an undiagnosed autistic teenager to her current place as a diagnosed and self-accepting adult.


A Different Mind is a Beautiful Thing

Meet a mother who loves and admires her son with autism for all he is.

Alyssa Gilliam


8 Tips for Dealing With Challenging Behaviors With an Autism Diagnosis

Learn ways to most effectively work with your behavior analyst and manage your child’s negative behaviors on your own.

Heather Cushing-Gordon, MAds, BCBA


What’s New on the Bookshelf?
New Book Supports Parents in Unleashing the Hidden Powers of ASD

Find out how Ruthangela Bernadette’s daughter defied gloomy predictions and overcame her challenges in this sometimes serious, sometimes humorous book.


What’s New on the Bookshelf?
Award Winning Novel Recounts Loving Autism Journey

Discover this beautiful visual exploration written and illustrated by Yvon Roy, a father learning to adapt to and accept his son’s autism.


An Exclusive Look at AUTISM With Matt and Navah Asner

Meet a couple raising multiple children on the spectrum in a mixed family while also running The Ed Asner Family Center.

Derrick Hayes


Is Guardianship the Best Choice When Your Special Needs Child Turns 18?

Learn about the importance of financial planning for your child with autism as he/she ages.

Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Dear Readers,


What are you doing for yourself as an autism parent? When is the last time you took a quiet walk or looked at a book? What about lunch with a friend? Chances are, it’s been a while. Your responsibilities as a parent may feel tremendous at times, and without self-care, it can lead to parental burnout. So, what can you do to lessen the strain? How can you get the support you need every day? Don’t stress; we have the reliable autism resources and guidance you need.


Annette Nuñez, PhD, LMFT says there is no magic pill or formula preventing burnout—but there are strategies you can incorporate into your daily life to make a difference. Take a look at Annette’s article called Parent Burnout is Real... 5 Tips That Help, to learn ways to slip in some “me” time so you can unwind and be your best self. Her advice can benefit your entire family.


Heather Cushing-Gordon, MAds, BCBA understands the overall impact an autism diagnosis can have on a family and considers all autism parents superheroes. Heather focuses her time with families in her clinic determining how to reduce negative behaviors such as fecal smearing, food refusals, head banging, biting, running off, and hitting. For top advice on how to effectively work with a behavior analyst to manage behaviors, read 8 Tips for Dealing With Challenging Behaviors With an Autism Diagnosis. Heather also includes guidance for carers who don’t readily have access to a behavior analyst.


Are you in search of new ways to meet an autistic child’s unique needs? Jim Poole, MD, FAAP, founder of Growing Child Pediatrics, an affiliate of Duke Health and one of the largest pediatric practices in North Carolina, believes all children with autism deserve to be understood, accepted, celebrated, and supported. Please read his piece, Top 5 Things Every ASD Child Needs to learn ways to set the course in the right direction.


Have you considered using sign language as a communication tool? Nationally certified ASL Interpreter and founder of Sign Baby Sign, LLC, Cynthia Long says learning even just a few signs can significantly enrich the lives of children with autism. To find out how you can reduce common frustrations and meltdowns by giving your child a new way to communicate needs more effectively, read 5 ASL Tips to Make Life a Little Easier With Your Child With Autism.


Does your child experience high levels of anxiety when it’s time to visit the doctor? We received an email from a mom who said her young son is terrified to the point of being inconsolable at the pediatrician. In her article, APM columnist Kelly Beins, BA BHSc, OTR/L, reminds us medical procedures can be stressful for kids, especially those who are hyper-responsive. Read Help: My Child With Autism is Afraid of Doctors, for simple ways to reduce fear and anxiety for children with autism. She includes the best ways to prepare your child using social stories, imaginary play, and calming therapies.


Bright lights, loud noises, along with new surroundings and situations can create sensory overload for people of all ages on the autism spectrum. Student Clara Ham, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome four years ago, well understands the sensory stressors and challenges of attending high school. For a first-hand look at what a high school day is like for many people on the autism spectrum, read Managing Sensory Overload in High School as Clara describes her experiences. Her unique insight is valuable.


Finding ways to support young people in preparing and navigating college life is important to Karen Kaplan, the founder and director of a residential school for children with autism. Take a look at her piece Successfully Supporting the College Student With ASD to learn tips on ways parents, counselors, and professors can make college a rewarding experience. She also includes several valuable testimonies from college students for reference.


One of my favorite aspects of my position as Editor-in-Chief is getting to know dynamic people who inspire change. This month, we met 11-year old Brian Lyons who raised money to purchase a Jaws of Life Rescue tool for his local fire department. Diagnosed with autism as a little boy, Brian relied on sign language to communicate until he was four years old. Through his extensive volunteerism, Brian has since received recognition from Congress, earned more than 20 awards, and last year, his county declared July 12th Brian Lyons’ Day. Today, Brian can’t stop talking and helping others. Learn more about Brian and his hefty goals in our Autism Warrior column.


APM columnist Derrick Hayes has shared an exclusive interview with an inspirational couple raising multiple children on the spectrum while running The Ed Asner Family Center. Read An Exclusive Look at AUTISM With Matt and Navah Asner to learn more about their struggles and what motivates their commitment to enriching the lives of people with special needs and their families.


Our writers have tackled numerous important topics for us this month such as ways you can support the mental health needs of someone on the spectrum, suggestions on how simple toys can help your child’s continued development, and how to make the jump from monologues to dialogues with a child. We also have an interesting piece on how the farming environment can enrich the life of a child with autism as he/she navigates school, responsibilities, and family relationships.


This month we honor moms for working tirelessly to care for their families as well as the fathers, grandparents, and exceptional caregivers who deliver daily strength. Parenting is never simple—but the rewards are treasured. Take care of yourself.



Kind regards,

Amy KD Tobik
Editor-in-Chief


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