Social Behavior and Autism: Can Social Skills Be Taught?
A discussion on whether social behavior can be adapted, and appropriate approaches to consider.
Donnesa McPherson, AAS

Managing Your Child’s Incontinence
Tips for supporting children with autism who experience incontinence, due to delays in potty training.
Dr. Jay Levy, MD, FAAP, FACS

Eye Contact: it’s not Easy for ASD Kids
Let's look at how a child’s difficulty with eye contact can be managed without inducing anxiety or stress.
Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Eight Years Old Going on Two
A mom reflects on her son’s journey through sensory, communication, and social challenges.
Ashley Bursian

Social Skills: The Reason Behind the Lesson
A psychologist and therapist explain the benefits of teaching your child the reason for social skills and concepts.
Karla Pretorius M. Psych and Nanette Botha, BEd

How to Ask Clearer Questions and Give Better Instructions to Autistic Children
It’s vital for parents to ensure they communicate clearly with their kids; here are some tips.
Joe Butler, BA, PGCE

Helping Children on the Spectrum with Bed Wetting
Here are some ideas for helping your child to stop wetting the bed at night.
Dr. Ronald I. Malcolm, EdD

There’s No Comparison Between Combat Stress and Autism Parenting Stress
A retired U.S. Army combat veteran compares his military experiences with raising his autistic son.

Elton Dean

Autism Teaching Strategies for Home and in the Classroom

Teaching strategies for parents who find a traditional approach isn’t the best fit for their kids.
Emily Ransom, MSE

Autistic Children and Their Special Interests
Let’s take a look at how special interests can be utilized to a child's advantage.
Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Social Hacks from a “Neurodiverse” Mom
An undiagnosed neurodivergent mom shares her top tips for navigating a neurotypical world.
Ginger Strivelli

Five Things Parents Can Do to Help Their Child’s IEP
An occupational therapist offers advice for navigating the world of Individualized Education Programs to elevate your advocacy.
Beth Liesenfeld, MOT, OTR/L

Poetry Corner: Here’s to the Children Who Don’t Quite Fit
Gary Shulman, MS Ed

How Important is the Right Environment for People on the Spectrum?

An autism expert looks at the process of assessing and creating the right environment for children on the spectrum.
Karen Kaplan, MS

Preschool for Children with Autism: Questions to Consider
Two educators share advice for parents of kids on the spectrum for choosing the best preschool program to fit their child’s needs.
Dr. John C. Burke, PhD, BCBA-D, and Janie K. Burke, MA, MS

What is Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)? 
A look at how RDI can teach autistic children flexibility as well as social and emotional skills.
Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Finding a Teacher to Thank 
A father shares a message of thanks to a teacher who had a special impact on his son.
Arthur R. Henick

How Internal Fear May Affect Behavior

How internal fear within the brain can have a visible impact on a child’s behavior.
Dr. Theoharis C. Theoharides, MS, MPhil, PhD, MD, FAAAAI

Is it Time to Reevaluate Standards of Care for Children With Autism? 
Has the pandemic revealed potential limitations to ABA therapy for autistic kids?
Yagnesh Vadgama

ASD Marketplace: SwamCam
SwamCam is designed to protect people using pools, playgrounds, or any area that needs a watchful eye.
Beatrice (Bea) Moise, MS, BCCS

Autism Warrior: Michael Tanzer
Meet Michael Tanzer, a young man on the spectrum inspiring others to love themselves fully.
Rachel Andersen

Scientific Underpinnings of Kinesthetic Learning
A look at how bodily intelligence can support deep learning specifically for those on the spectrum.
Safia Fatima Mohiuddin, MSc

Poetry Corner: See Me
Karen Kaplan, MS

Consider a Trust to Ensure Financial Security for Your Child with Autism
Advice for parents looking to open a trust for their child on the autism spectrum. 
Paulette Elbers

I try to avoid making sweeping statements, but I can say with some confidence that social skills are a challenge for almost everyone on the spectrum, regardless of their support needs. Whether it’s issues around making eye contact, difficulty initiating conversation, struggling to know when to speak, or unawareness of how certain comments could be perceived...many autistic individuals experience difficulties to some degree.

Most parents want their children to have friends and integrate well in society, and, in a neurotypical world, social limitations can be a key barrier to achieving this. So, this issue rounds up ideas around social skills to help nurture autistic children into independent adults.

Social Behavior and Autism: Can Social Skills Be Taught? discusses whether social behavior can be adapted, and the best approaches to consider for use in therapy as well as at home.

Meanwhile, Eye Contact: it’s not Easy for ASD Kids asks how a child’s difficulty with eye contact can be managed without inducing anxiety. This article favors encouraging, rather than forcing eye contact, and explains why some autistic kids struggle in this area.

We’re also considering special interests in Children with Autism and Their Special Interests. While special interests can be a source of pleasure for many on the spectrum, they can also make socializing difficult if they dominate conversation. This article discusses how special interests can be appropriately supported and utilized to a child's advantage.

One of my favorite articles in this issue is Social Hacks from a “Neurodiverse” Mom where an undiagnosed neurodivergent mom shares her tips for navigating a neurotypical world. These are excellent first-hand hacks from someone who has experienced many of the social challenges associated with autism.

On a different note, we have two potty training articles: Managing Your Child’s Incontinence by Dr. Jay Levy and Helping Children on the Spectrum with Bedwetting by Dr. Ronald Malcolm. We know these are key issues for many families, so we hope this content offers some support.

Wishing all our readers a great month ahead.

Enjoy the read.

Emily Ansell Elfer
Autism Parenting Magazine