Connections With Karen:  Effective Advocacy Is Needed
Parents and caregivers need to be effective advocates for their child with a disability. Here are some ways to do this successfully.

Karen Kaplan, MS

Understanding: The Missing Link Between Awareness and Acceptance
How do we move from being aware of and accepting autism to understanding it? One expert provides some helpful ways.

Brandi Timmons, MEd, BCBA, LBA

Angels in Special Needs Parenting
Here is how one mom describes special needs parenting, encouraging relationships and connections with others who understand.
Melanie K. Milicevic, BA

Autism Advocacy: How Parents Can Find Care and Support for Their Child
One expert explains where and how parents can find resources, services, and support for their autistic child.
Carol Tatom, BA.HSE, CHW

Sports Provide A Sense of Community… So Don’t Forget About the Neurodivergent One
One sibling, whose brother has autism, provides reasons why sports teams, leagues, and arenas should be more inclusive of the autistic community.
Mohana Holloway, BA

Occupational Therapists: The Advocates You Didn’t Know You Needed
Some parents may not know all the ways that an occupational therapist can help their child overcome obstacles to success while advocating for their child in the classroom and IEP meetings.
Rebecca Connick, MOT, LOTR

School Psychologists: The Keystone School Professional for Autism Support Needs
Many parents know about the occupational and speech therapists who can help their child, but they may not know the school psychologist’s role in providing necessary support and advocacy.
Will Barron, PhD

ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts
One expert provides helpful financial advice for parents and caregivers of an individual with a disability.

Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

25 Prominent Autism Researchers in the World
Autism acceptance has come a long way. Here are prominent autism researchers who are helping to make a difference and shine a light on the autistic community.
Jeremy Brown

5 Ways to Prepare Your Child with Autism for Adulthood
Here are five ways to help your autistic child transition to adulthood and prepare for employment.
Ron Sandison, MDiv

Success Stories - Writing and Thriving Together
Here is another success story. This one, written by Laurelle Lewis, a single mom with three children on the spectrum and with ADHD, celebrates her children’s writing and publishing accomplishments.
Laurelle Lewis

Understanding Autism Aggression and Anger
Certain factors can increase aggression and anger in some autistic individuals. Here are some ways to manage these behaviors.


Autism and Bullying

Here are some tips from someone on the spectrum about overcoming bullying at any age.

Angela Chapes

Sometimes It’s Not ‘Just Autism’
One mother describes her journey and the search for answers after one autistic son’s regression.

Kimberlee McCafferty

Ask Dr. Malcolm
Dr. Malcolm answers parents’ questions and concerns about their autistic children.You can submit your questions HERE.
Ronald I. Malcolm, EdD

ASD Marketplace Feature

Autism Warrior - Demetria Crandell

Here is how one young girl with autism is helping others on the spectrum by advocating and sharing the message that they shouldn’t stop trying to achieve their goals.
Sharon Longo, BA

What’s New on the Bookshelf? Grant the Jigsaw Giraffe and Friends

This book series covers several topics, including autism and dyslexia, promoting inclusivity and representing diversity.

Julie Coy and Grant Maniér

Poetry Corner: The Stars
One mom of a son with autism writes about the special stars on the autism spectrum.

Becky Piercy

Dear Readers,

The month of April is often vibrant and rich as nature comes alive. Gentle rains nourish our gardens as each new blossom emerges. While each flower may be different, together, they create a lovely bouquet that can add beauty and delight to any home.

Our theme this month is “Autism Acceptance and Awareness,” and as always, we aim to help families embrace their diversity while providing some much-needed support and information. Carol Tatom writes about that topic in her article, “Autism Advocacy: How Parents Can Find Care and Support for Their Child.” We also have a couple of articles identifying how other professionals can advocate for your child in the school setting. Read Rebecca Connick’s “Occupational Therapists: The Advocates You Didn’t Know You Needed” and Will Barron’s “School Psychologists: The Lesser Known School Professional for Autism Support Needs” for more about this.

In advocating for our children, we need to provide them with the tools they will need as they grow older, whether looking for employment or being able to handle their financial needs. Ron Sandison has written “5 Ways to Prepare Your Child With Autism for Adulthood,” and Ryan Platt writes about the financial planning needs for your child’s future in his article “ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts.”

Acceptance and awareness are important in all communities where our children dwell. Yet many autistic people are unable to attend certain events due to sensory issues. One of these is the sporting arenas, even though many people with autism are huge fans of various sports. Mohana Holloway has written a call to sports teams and leagues to be more inclusive in her article, “Sports Provide a Sense of Community…So Don’t Forget About the Neurodivergent One.”

While acceptance of anyone with autism or any disability is so important, parents of children with special needs should also have others in their lives who understand, encourage, and support them. Read “Angels in Special Needs Parenting” by Melanie K. Milicevic as she encourages parents to find those special friendships and relationships.

As you go through this month, take notice of the rich gardens, yards, and parks where flowers emerge and bloom. Each has its unique characteristics and needs, yet each adds a quality that cannot be overlooked. Know that your child is one of those tender blossoms, and while they may stand out at times, it's because of their beauty and what they add to the bouquet.

Happy Reading! 

Sharon Longo
Autism Parenting Magazine