Issue 47 – Motherhood – An Unconditional Love
Using Mindfulness to Conquer Parental Stress Now
Expert advice on stress reduction strategies for parents of children with autism.
Dr. Neill Broderick and Colin Rhodes, M.Sc.
How an Amazing Cat Changed My Child with Autism’s World
Mother to Iris Grace, the young artist known for her striking paintings, shares how the bond between her daughter and their special Maine Coon cat has transformed their family. Includes excerpts from her new book, Iris Grace.
Special Needs Mothers Have Special Powers
The mom of a boy with autism highlights the value of special needs mothers who rely on extraordinary perception, intuition, and super-human strength to meet everyday challenges.
Is There Really Such a Thing as the Perfect Parent?
An occupational therapist and author shares stories from her journey as a mom and explains how parenting is not a perfect process — nor should it be.
Lauren Brukner, MS, OTR/L
4 Ways To Cheer Your Special Needs Child’s Graduation
The proud mother of a young man with autism encourages all parents to pat themselves on the back and celebrate high school graduation.
Expert Strategies You Need to Know for Taking Care of Your Mental Health
A licensed clinical psychologist and board certified behavior analyst provides 10 strategies that may help if you find yourself in need of support as a parent of a child with autism.
Darren Sush, Psy.D., BCBA-D
The meltdown: When the World Becomes a Blur of Colors and Deafening Screams
A 15-year-old teen articulately shares a dramatic first-hand account of what it is like to experience a meltdown.
Lisa and Rebekah Price
A Powerful Look at Motherhood
Being Mom Without the Adjective that Precedes It
A loving mother of a child with special needs describes her most-treasured role — Mom.
Ways Your Child with ASD Can Benefit from Special Education
A former special education teacher with two boys on the spectrum expresses the importance of an IEP and the benefits of special education.
The Pink Side of the Spectrum – Our Unexpected Turn in Life
A mother describes the extreme behavioral changes her teen daughter with autism experienced when hormones kicked into gear and shares personal advice.
Ways to Develop a Positive Sense of Self and Relationships on the Spectrum
A Certified Autism Specialist and mom to a teen with Asperger’s syndrome shares an informative article examining how AS/ASD teens tend to have a more challenging time developing a sense of self and relationships.
Stephanie C. Holmes, M.A., with Dr. Tony Attwood, Ph.D. AS/ASD expert
Excellent Ways to Help You Communicate With Your Nonverbal Child
Learn 10 simple tips to help get you started communicating with your nonverbal child with autism.
Hallie Bulkin, MA, CCC-SLP
How to Use PECS to Give Your Child with Autism the Voice He/She Needs
A mother describes the communication transformation her young non-verbal child experienced when she was introduced to the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).
Expert Advice on Caring for Your ASD Child’s Teeth for Life
Excellent guidance on how to approach dental health care with your ASD child including ways you can prepare for a trip to the dentist and ways dentists can accommodate your child’s needs.
Dr Raj Wadhwani, BDS, LDSRCS(ENG), DGDPRCS(ENG), MFDSRCS(ENG), MClinDent (Prosth), MSc (Imp)
Embrace The Fear – How to Seek More Than Autism-Friendly Events
The mother of a young girl with autism stresses the importance of broadening a child’s horizons by seeking out more than autism-friendly events.
Priscilla Vega Vargas
What’s New on the Bookshelf?
New Book Helps Kids with Sensory Integration Challenges
Sally Fryer Dietz, Founder and Director of Integrative Pediatric Therapy, helps parents identify and address challenges as well as find effective treatment options in the recently-released book When Kids Fly.
HELP: My Child with Autism Won’t Give Up a Baby Bottle
Professional advice on how to gradually help your child with autism transition from one way of doing things to another.
Angelina M, MS, BCBA, MFTI
The Broomstick Game: A Simple Way to Stimulate Your Child’s Proprioceptive System
Learn an easy and enjoyable way to improve your child’s skills provided by pediatric occupational therapist with 45 years of experience.
Barbara Sher MA,OTR
Hot Off the Press!
New Research Reveals Positive Parenting Linked to Interesting Results
Learn how a ‘Positive Parenting Style’ is effective and leads to favorable outcomes for children on the spectrum across all cultures.
Neha Khetrapal, B.A. (Hons), M.A., PhD
The social skills Corner: 5 Things You Need to Know About Social Skills
The authors of PREP for Social Success: A Guide for Parents of Children with Autism explain how sensory issues can affect a child’s social skills. This is the first installment of a series focusing on improving social skills.
Jamie E. Carter, Ph.D. and Ahna I. O’Shaughnessy, M.A.
High Quality ABA Treatment: What Every Parent Needs to Know
Professional advice on the best way to select an appropriate ABA provider for a child on the spectrum including sample questions to ask a prospective provider.
Sarah Kupferschmidt, MA, BCBA
Dr. G Aspie Show – Fantastic Job Interview Tips for People on the Spectrum
In this two-part series of the Dr. G Aspie Show, Michelle Fish, CEO of Integra Staffing, joins Dr. G with great tips for Aspies on job interviews. Each part covers different aspects of the process.
How Can I Plan Now for My Sister to Care for My Special Needs Child?
Expert financial advice on how to adequately make preparations in the event a family member needs to take over care.
Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC
Quick and Easy Cashew Chicken Quinoa Bake
Simple recipe combines healthy ingredients sure to please your family.
Autism Food Club
One of the greatest challenges and blessings in life is the role of mom. The position requires an enormous amount of patience, dedication, compassion, endurance and trust. We work hard, we worry, we love unconditionally. It’s a role I have treasured for more than 20 years.
In commemoration of Mother’s Day, a holiday recognized in more than 40 countries around the world, we asked moms to share their special experiences with us. Mothering a child with special needs can be a physically and mentally exhausting job — and at the same time — it can be so rewarding.
Deborah Marcello, the mother of a child with autism, feels much the same way. In her piece, Special Needs Mothers Have Special Powers, Deborah highlights the value of mothers who rely on extraordinary perception, intuition, and super-human strength to meet everyday challenges. Special needs moms, she says, are the driving force behind a child’s achievement and they never take for granted the hard work required. It’s what moms do.
We also have an article from occupational therapist and author Lauren Brukner who shares stories from her journey as a mom. Be sure to read Is There Really Such a Thing as the Perfect Parent? as she reveals how parenting is not a perfect process — nor should it be. Instead, Lauren says families should focus on what makes them unique – from their strengths to their quirks. This, she says, is the spark that makes families the best they can be.
Special needs mother Kathleen Tarzwell has provided a poignant piece for us on her emotional journey with her son with autism who weighed less than two pounds at birth and has battled his way through 24 surgeries and four life-changing diagnoses. Be sure to read A Powerful Look at Motherhood: Being Mom Without the Adjective that Precedes It as Kathleen reveals her most cherished role — Mom.
As mothers of children diagnosed with autism well know, parenting requires an enormous amount of time, finances and coping strategies. Too often, time for adult friends, exercise or relaxation on a weekend just doesn’t happen. That’s why it’s so important parents attempt to carve out those moments to unwind a little, regroup. A vital ingredient in “good mothering” includes caring for yourself — a healthy mom is a strong mom.
We were thrilled when licensed clinical psychologist and board certified behavior analyst Darren Sush offered to share his guidance on ways parents can better care for themselves. Stress, anxiety and depression, he said, may not only negatively impact the life of parents, but also affect the progress of children. Be sure to take a look at his piece, Expert Strategies You Need to Know for Taking Care of Your Mental Health as he provides simple ways to improve daily life by reducing tension and forming a more positive outlook.
We are also happy to provide the advice of Dr. Neill Broderick and Colin Rhodes, M.Sc. in their piece,
Using Mindfulness to Conquer Parental Stress Now. Together they give expert guidance on how parents can reduce stress through Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to include practicing gratitude and meditation.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being editor of Autism Parenting Magazine is hearing from our readers — people who want to share their experiences loving someone on the spectrum or being on the spectrum themselves. This month we have a very dramatic piece written by Rebekah Price called The Meltdown: When the World Becomes a Blur of Colors and Deafening Screams. At 15 years old, Rebekah articulately shares her first-hand account of what it feels like to have a meltdown. It’s a piece that should be shared with all people to create a better understanding of autism.
Parents of children with autism often reach out to us asking for guidance on improving social skills. While we do have articles that center on improving social interaction with autism, we have decided to dedicate a monthly column to the subject called The Social Skills Corner. In the first installment, Jamie E. Carter, Ph.D. and Ahna I. O’Shaughnessy, M.A., authors of PREP for Social Success: A Guide for Parents of Children with Autism, explain how sensory issues can affect social skills. We hope this monthly installment will provide our readers with the much-needed guidance they seek.
Speaking of expert guidance, this month’s issue also features articles on the benefits of special education, ways to communicate with a non-verbal child, as well as fantastic job interview tips for people on the autism spectrum. We also have excellent advice on ensuring good dental health care for your child, how hormones can cause behavioral changes on the pink side of the spectrum as well as ways to develop better relationships and a positive sense of self. We hope the articles will provide our families with the information they need.
We have one more article we would like to highlight. Have you seen the heartwarming video of six-year-old Iris Grace and her delightful cat, Thula? Not only has this kitty become a constant companion to the young girl with autism, but she has stimulated an amazing breakthrough in communication and social skills. Please take a look at How an Amazing Cat Changed My Child with Autism’s World as Arabella Carter-Johnson, mother to Iris Grace, describes the special bond between her daughter and their Maine Coon cat and how it has transformed their family. Arabella has also provided excerpts from her new book, Iris Grace.
Wishing all mothers the love and appreciation they so richly deserve this month — and always.
Amy KD Tobik