Connections with Karen:
It Is the New Year: Develop Executive Functioning Skills Through New Activities

Here are some ways to help your autistic child develop executive functioning skills through new activities.

Karen Kaplan, MS

Foundational Fitness: Demystifying the Key to Quality of Life
Fitness is an essential aspect of physical health and quality of life and something we have to plan and prioritize.

Eric Chessen, MS

Is There a Link Between Autism and Cancer?
Let’s look at the possible links between ASD and cancer and the role of genetics, as well as some cancer treatment options.
Donnesa McPherson AAS

10 Things to Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder and Autism
Here are ten simple tips for dealing with seasonal affective disorder if you have a child with autism.
Ronald Malcolm, EdD

Is Autism Hereditary?
One father with two children on the spectrum looks at how genetics contributes to autism.
Jeremy Brown

A Look at Biomedical Treatment for Autism
Let’s look at physiological processes in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and biological treatments that claim to improve underlying dysfunctions.
Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSc

Understanding the Difference Between Autism and Narcissism
Some children with autism may have traits that seem selfish or self-centered, but is it considered narcissism?
Donnesa McPherson, AAS

Pediatric Encopresis and Enuresis: What You Need to Know
Here’s what you need to know to identify and seek treatment for encopresis and enuresis.

Gabrielle Perelmuter, MOT, OTR/L

6 Tips When You Get Sick or Hurt
Here are some tips from an individual with autism on what to do when you don’t feel well or are hurt.
Angela Chapes

How to Make ABA Fun and Unique for Your Child
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) may not be for everyone, but there are ways to make it fun and tailored to your child’s needs.
Cory Morrison

A Father’s Autism Journey: What We Did to Help Our Son 
For one family, advocating and seeking appropriate therapy as soon as possible were key to helping their child.
James Day

Jukebox Hero 
One mom recollects her autistic son’s developing interest in music.

Debra O’Fee

Worried About Autism? Unveiling the World of Autism

Parents worry about their children for many reasons, but here are some things to consider if you are concerned that your child may have autism.

Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Finding the One True Friend
Making a friend may be difficult for many people, especially those on the spectrum, but finding a true friend is a treasure.

Julie Day

Preparing Your Child for Adulthood
No one understands the long-term anxiety of launching a child with autism into adulthood better than a parent, but hope exists.
Julie Nichols

Autism Warrior: Running the NYC Marathon
Here’s how one man has advocated for autism, facing challenges, including running in numerous marathons.

Sharon Longo, BA

What's New on the Bookshelf? Social Learning Profile

Here is a team discussion tool for developing respectful & successful behavioral strategies for individuals with special needs and those who support them.
Jeff Jacobs, Greg Cardelli, and Doug Boeckmann

What's New on the Bookshelf? Deciphering Autism 

Robert DePaolo

Poetry Corner: Imagine a World Without Cute Things

One mother of two boys wrote this poem based on a quote by her oldest son.

Pippa Macey

2023 Contributor Awards

Introducing this year's Contributor Award winners.

Sharon Longo

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a peaceful Christmas and holiday season and are ready for a positive and uplifting 2024. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to continue to present the array of quality articles and information that have always graced the pages of Autism Parenting Magazine while supporting all of our wonderful families and the autism community.

The theme for this issue is “Vibrant Autism Health in 2024.” So many of us start each year with big ideas about how we will eat healthier, exercise more, and take better care of our health in general. Then time gets the better of us, and often, that good intention slips away like a sled embarking down an icy hill. Eric Chessen’s article, “Foundational Fitness: Demystifying the Key to Quality of Life,” reminds us that fitness is something we have to plan for and make a priority in our lives.

Regarding planning, this month’s “Connections with Karen” column is called “It Is the New Year: Develop Executive Functioning Skills Through New Activities.” This is an essential skill for all children, especially those with autism. It is also important for parents to plan for their child’s future. Look at Julie Nichols’s article, “Preparing Your Child for Adulthood,” for advice on getting through these crucial times.

You may be new to our magazine, wondering if your child is on the spectrum. Read through “Worried About Autism? Unveiling the World of Autism” by Yolande Loftus for some information to consider when you make that call to your child’s doctor.

Speaking of “unveiling,” as we do each year, we are revealing the winners of the 2023 Contributor Awards in this issue. Read about each of the wonderful writers and the categories in which they have been honored.

While taking care of our health is serious, we also know that a good friendship can benefit our well-being. Julie Day, a writer on the spectrum, writes about “Finding the One True Friend,” providing some hope for parents who worry about how their child fares socially.

Finally, everyone loves a good song to get the juices flowing and moods uplifted. In the article “Jukebox Hero,” Debra O’Fee writes about how her son developed an interest in music, surprising her with his knowledge of lyrics and his “rockin’ moves” as they attended a concert together.

Whatever you choose to do for your vibrant autism health in 2024: dancing with your kids, adding healthier food options, meeting more often with friends, or sledding down that icy hill, remember to check with a doctor if needed. Then rock out to your favorite song and just have fun!

Happy reading!

Sharon Longo
Autism Parenting Magazine