Raising a Daughter on the Spectrum: the Unique Challenges
An autism mom shares advice for raising a daughter on the spectrum.

Caitlyn Viviano-Knoll, MEd

An Autistic Teen Girl's Tips on How To Make and Maintain Friends
A young autistic advocate shares her tips for forming lasting friendships.

Siena Castellon, BCyA

Girls With Autism and Their Menstrual Cycle
How to help your autistic daughter prepare for her first period.

Ron Malcolm, EdD

How to Adult, in 500 words

Adulting has its fair share of challenges, but it comes with a lot of benefits!

Rachel Bédard, PhD

Blending into the Crowd: What is Autism Masking?

As part of this issue’s focus on girls, we explore the topic of masking.

Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSc

I Got You!

Every child on the spectrum deserves a reassuring hand when the world feels scary. 

Corey Ashman

Five Social Skills Activities For Children With Autism

A psychology expert shares top tips for how to help your autistic child develop good social skills.

Liz Talton, MSc

Being Extraordinary For The Extra Ordinary!

Advice for maintaining a school placement for a child with pathological demand avoidance.

Sandy Turner, BEd (Hons) NPQH and Judy Turner, BEd (Hons)

The Autistic Patient: Obstacles to Medical Treatment

An autistic woman’s experience seeking treatment, highlighting the obstacles of modern medicine.

Christine M. Condo, BA, BS

Advocating for My Beautifully Curious Boys

In search of answers for her youngest son, a mother-of-three received an unexpected diagnosis. 

Sarah Elizabeth Chapman

Everything You Wanted To Know About Intelligence Testing That No One Would Tell You

A guide to help parents interpret intelligence tests results.

Marcia Eckerd, PhD

Eight Handwriting Strategies for Children with Autism 

Here are some ideas for building your autistic child’s handwriting skills.

Linda Craig Dennis MEd, OTR/L

Friendships From the Perspective of an Autism Mom

Why the process of making friends can be especially challenging for children with autism.

Kendra Pittman Smith, BSc

A First Connection

A look at the blessing of finding other parents raising children on the spectrum.

Charlotte Patrick

Planning Parties for Kids with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder

Seven party planning ideas to prepare your little one with special needs.

Nanaz Khosrowshahi

Poetry Corner: Love Is Free

Ishaan Holloway

When Nature is Nurture: Structured Outdoor Learning 

A look at the benefits of learning in nature for children on the spectrum.

Mia Pritts

Breath Patterns to Help Keep Your Cool as an Autism Parent

A meditation coach shares breathing techniques to help parents remain level-headed.

Kate Lynch, BFA

Stimming Solutions for Parents

How you, as a parent, can help your child manage his/her stimming behavior.

Carol Tatom, RBT

Poetry Corner: Wild Flowers

Cheryl Wheeler

Autism Warrior: John Vento 

Meet musician John Vento, co-founder of Band Together Pittsburgh.

Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSc

Q&A Advice from an Expert… 

An autism expert offers advice to a caregiver of two children, one of whom bites.

Carol Tatom, RBT

Choosing a Therapy Dog for Your ASD Child 

Three tips to help you make the right decision when choosing a therapy dog.

Mike Powell

Family Friendly Activities for Sensory Exposure

A few activities that could help your child have a balanced sensory experience. 

Lela Jackson, AA

What’s New on the Bookshelf?: Believe in Bruno

Learn about this educator’s desire to teach young children about differences, acceptance, kindness, and inclusion.

An AUTISM Interview with Diana Romeo

An interview with autism mom, author, and advocate, Diana Romeo.

Derrick Hayes

Collaboration: Sibling and Peer Interaction 

Here are five ways you can support your child’s social development.

Karla Pretorius, M. Psych

What’s New on the Bookshelf?: Like No Other Boy

A fictional story about the joy and pain of Chris Crutcher and his one-of-a-kind son.

ASD Marketplace: BrittanysblankiesCo Sensory Blankets

Read about these handmade sensory blankets for kids with autism and sensory processing disorders.

Poetry Corner: The Builder

Mary Parker

Government Benefits – FAQ

Answering parents’ ongoing questions about government benefits for children on the spectrum.

Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the May issue of Autism Parenting Magazine, which has a special focus on autism in girls.

For a long time, autism was thought of as “a boy thing” due to a huge lack of understanding about neurodiversity in girls. The diagnostic framework for autism was actually created through studying males, so it’s no surprise that misconceptions have always been rife!

Over recent years, more understanding has come about, but we’re still far from reaching a point where girls on the spectrum are fully supported. Many are still missed for diagnosis or find out they’re on the spectrum much later in life.

In this issue of APM, we’re building awareness of how autism presents in females, supporting parents of girls on the spectrum, and also offering advice for young girls themselves. 

We feel honored to include an article by Siena Castellon, BCyA, an 18-year-old autistic woman making a huge name for herself as an autism advocate. Her piece, An Autistic Teen Girl's Tips on How To Make and Maintain Friends, draws from her own perspectives navigating the neurotypical social scene. 

The first-hand advice continues in the form of an article from autism mom Caitlyn Viviano-Knoll, MEd, who has provided an honest account of her family’s experience raising a daughter on the spectrum. 

Meanwhile, respected autism expert Dr. Ron Malcolm has penned Girls With Autism and Their Menstrual Cycle, an article that includes a social story to help parents support their daughters through puberty. 

Our female-focused content concludes with Blending into the Crowd: What is Autism Masking?—an article from psychology graduate and APM Editorial Assistant, Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSc, which explains why girls are likely to hide their autistic traits. 

Don’t worry, we haven’t left the boys out! There’s plenty more content in this issue covering everything from intelligence testing, handwriting tips, and social skills, to party planning and stimming solutions. Autism mom Sarah Elizabeth Chapman has also shared a personal narrative, Advocating for My Beautifully Curious Boys, which offers a heartwarming account of her sons’ journey to diagnosis. 

Enjoy the read!

Emily Ansell Elfer


Autism Parenting Magazine