A Practical Guide to Creating Visual Schedules
Here are practical tips, backed by science, to creating effective visuall schedules.

Karla Pretorius, M.Psych

My Child is a Visual Learner: What Does that Mean?
Every child learns different, and visual learners have unique abilities.

Dr. Ronald Malcolm, EdD

Help, there is a fire! Using a Fire Drill Social Story
Once the loud blaring alarm begins sounding, the bright light flashing incessantly, it is too late to try to give directions or try to calm a student’s fear of what is happening.
Sharon Longo

The Best Picture Books for Autistic Children
The best picture books for and about autistic children that your autistic child will love.
Erin Bergman

Sensory Table Ideas
Sensory tables can be very beneficial for autistic children. This article takes a closer look at ten sensory table ideas.
Jeremy Brown

Benefits of ABA Therapy Training for Parents
This article takes an in-depth looks at the many opportunities available for parents to become ABA certified.
Carol Tatom

Tips for Boundaries
There are unwritten rules about boundaries; like being too friendly, hugging or not wanting to be hugged and it’s difficult to know them.
Angela Chapes

Evidence-Based Practices and the Benefits for Autism
Evidence based practices for autism are a procedure or group of procedures that use a combination of instruction and intervention approaches.

Donnesa McPherson

Tips for Special Needs Children's Safety in Public
Every parent of a special needs or autistic child understands how critical it is to keep their child safe in public.
Natalie Webster

A Look at Residential Treatment Centers for Autism
When safety or the needs of your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) dictate your choices, you have to do what is best.
Rachel Andersen

Solving Behavior Challenges
What type of processes are you going through to find out why a concern is occurring and how to develop a wide range of possible solutions to address a challenge.
Karen Kaplan

Choosing a Dog for Autism: The Best Dog Breeds
Research suggests there are three types of dogs in particular you should consider if you are looking for a dog to help and support your child with autism.

Erin Bergman

A Guide to Using Robots for Autism

There has been increasing research based on robots for autism and the benefits that technology can have in the world of neurodivergence.

Donnesa McPherson, AAS

A Mother’s Journey With Her Autistic Son
I wanted to do my job as a special needs parent well, as I understood that this would be the most important role of my life.

Melanie Milicevic

Is Your Child With Autism Ready For An Active Shooter Situation At School?
Ten suggestions/activities every parent can consider doing to assist their child with autism with staying safe during an active shooter situation at their child’s school.
Dr. Ronald I. Malcolm, Ed.D

Unveiling Some of the Top Autism Documentaries and Films
This article unveils some of the best documentaries made about ASD, a list of movies that feature autism, and some animations that your autistic child could absolutely love.

Erin Bergman

Is Face Blindness Linked to Autism?

Face blindness, or prosopagnosia, means a person cannot recognize that they’ve seen a face before; this condition, found in many on the spectrum, may have serious psychosocial consequences.
Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Autism Warrior: Kaelynn Partlow

“Autism Awareness is when you know who I am. Autism acceptance is when you’re glad to see me.”

Ron Sandison

How Can I Prevent This Behavior? It’s all in the Set-Up!

Kelly Bridgeforth, BS

What's New On the Bookshelf? Deciphering Autism: A Discussion of Neurobiology, Adaptation and Experience

This book was written to provide a comprehensive understanding of autism because oftentimes there is a wide gap between research, educational methods and the actual experience.

Robert DePaolo

What's New On the Bookshelf? When I Go to Church, I Belong

For families of faith, church can be a complicated place. Often, the spaces where we long to feel the most welcome are places we struggle the hardest to belong.

Elrena Evans

Poetry Corner: More Than
A mother’s poem about her son, KJ, who is autistic. He is 4 years old.

Megan Boyd

Dear Readers,

As the month of October begins, so do the autumn changes in many places. The vibrant scarlets, oranges, and yellows adorn the world around us, and we take notice of the transformation.
A big transformation in my own life is that of being editor of Autism Parenting Magazine. I know change can be unsettling, but I want to reassure all our loyal readers that we are committed to improving the lives of autism parents, as well as serving the bigger autism community. We don’t take your support for granted, and I want each and every one of you to feel part of the Autism Parenting Magazine family.
This is your magazine, and I would love to hear from you. Please send me an email to [email protected] with all your comments, questions, or concerns. Think there is something you are not seeing in the magazine? Send me an email. Have suggestions of how we can improve things? Press that “send” button. Just want to say hello? You are most welcome!

Now, on to this issue. Our theme this month is “Visual Supports,” and these tools are so important to help children know what comes next. These might be in the form of cute pictures, helpful photos, or a reminder list of directions. They might be used at home or in school, by a parent or other caregiver/professional, providing the child with a feeling of autonomy. If a child is nonverbal, they may use a visual to convey what they want or need, but they may also look at a chart or list to know how to move through their day, one moment at a time.

Because each child has a different way of learning and grasping information, you might not be aware that your child needs visual cues. Dr. Ronald Malcom answers the question, “My Child is a Visual Learner: What Does that Mean?” Not sure how to devise a schedule that is helpful if your child needs those visuals? Karla Pretorius has devised “A Practical Guide to Creating Visual Schedules.”

Visual supports can also begin with a simple book that tells a story through an artist’s rendering or vibrant photographs. Many young children respond to colorful and well-illustrated books, and Erin Bergman has written “Picture Books for Autistic Children” to provide an idea of some of the best books for or about children on the spectrum.

Another visual support is the social story, and since October is often fire safety month in many schools, take a look at “Helo, there is a fire! Using a fire drill social story” by Sharon Longo. On the subject of school safety, Dr. Malcolm asks the important question, “Is Your Child with Autism Ready for An Active Shooter Situation at School?” In this article he provides ten suggestions for parents to discuss and/or practice should this unthinkable event ever occur. Some visual supports are simple and straightforward, but others can be high tech. Donnesa McPherson writes about “A Guide to Using Robots for Autism” and how technology can help those who are neurodivergent.
Just as we need to sometimes see the changing colors, ripe apple trees, or decorations adorning our surroundings to remind ourselves how quickly time is passing, our children also need to have those visuals to remind them of their routines and expectations. The more tools we can provide our children to help them convey their thoughts and feelings, the more we can also ease their anxiety of what lies ahead. This helps give them a sense of freedom, like the beautiful autumn colors gently floating to the ground. Enjoy this issue before that last leaf falls.

Happy reading!

Joshua Carstens
Autism Parenting Magazine