Issue 55 – Celebrating with the People We Love

Issue 55 - Celebrating with The People We Love

Autism Parenting Magazine – Issue 55

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Why Children with Autism Need Family Holiday Traditions
Great tips on how to prepare a rigid child for the many changes the season brings as well as the benefits of family traditions.
Brittany Fichter

Inspiring Boy “Breaks” Through Autism and Its Stereotypes
A mother shares her son’s early challenges with autism and his exciting journey to become a martial arts champion.
Mara Fineshriber

Top 10 Essential Oils for Autism and ADHD
Learn about the best essential oils and explore what they can do for our bodies.

The Joy of Gluten-Free Holiday Baking with Your Family
An award-winning ESE teacher provides simple recipes you can make with your kids to work on independent functioning skills while celebrating the season.
Tracy Oxley

Simple Ways to Help Kids with Autism Develop Hand Skills
An occupational therapist provides excellent advice on how to use sensory stimulation to help a child engage and use his/her hands while decreasing touch sensitivities.
Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L 

What I Learned About Parenting and Autism as a Neurotypical Kid
A college student lovingly reflects on the positive life lessons she learned growing up with a brother with severe autism.
Payton DePalma

The Best Board Games for Kids with Autism and Their Benefits
Take a look at these well-known board games that reinforce language development, basic math skills, and taking turns while providing an opportunity for family fun.
Aradhana Pandey

4 Simple Ways Spouses Can Ensure Parenting Success with ASD
A proud husband, father, and minister diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome as an adult shares ways a loved one can assist a spouse in successful parenting.
Lamar Hardwick

Innovative Autism-Friendly Jobs for the Holiday Season
A communication expert encourages people with autism to explore their abilities and apply them to their interests through a job either inside or outside the home.
Karen Kabaki-Sisto, M.S., CCC-SLP

False Confessions of People with Autism
The mother of a young man with autism who confessed to a crime he did not commit describes how people with autism are not supported or understood within the legal system.
Roberta Ruth Hill

3 Holiday Challenges…and How to Help Prevent Them
Great strategies to have in place to help limit holiday challenges and make the holidays joyous for the entire family.
Gabi Morgan, MS, L-ABA

A Loving Mother Asks: Will They See Him?
A devoted mother shares the frustration she feels when people don’t see her son for who he really is—an intelligent young boy with autism.
Casey Dixon

Finding Ways to Forge Meaningful Connections with Autism
An insightful piece on the challenges people with autism often face and the need to create a bridge between cultures.
By Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D., B.C.S.A, DAPA

Autism: The Enigma That Amazingly Saved 14 Million Lives
The mother of a young woman with severe autism shares her eye-opening experience during a viewing of The Imitation Game, the film that tells Alan Turing’s remarkable story.
Jane Carver

There’s No Room for Guilt…Only Acceptance
A pediatric occupational therapist and mom to three kids urges parents of children with autism to remove the never-ending guilt and rejoice in parenthood.
By Lauren Brukner, MS, OTR/L

Fantastic Benefits of Theatre Therapy for People with Autism
Learn about the remarkable benefits of theatre involvement for the autism community from a wheelchair user and legal advocate for those with disabilities.
Robin Bennett

New Book Empowers Kids with Best Ways to Calm and Stay in Control
Take a look at Lauren Brukner’s latest book, Stay Cool and In Control with the Keep-Calm Guru: Wise Ways for Children to Regulate their Emotions and Senses aimed at readers approximately 7 to 14 years old.

A Loving ASD Dad Shares: Home is Where the Heart Is
A father of five describes the daily challenges of parenting two young people with autism and a solution that proved successful for his family.
Stephen Bedard

Hot Off the Press!
Special Needs Kids Won’t Miss Out with the National Inclusion Project
Learn about the step-by-step guide that helps children of all abilities make connections and build friendships.

Ways to Keep Your Child with Autism Safe at Holiday Time
Excellent tips on ways to keep your child with ASD safe during the holiday season when extra vigilance is important.
Sarah Kupferschmidt, MA, BCBA

Learn How New Military Benefit Can Help Support Your Child for Life
Expert advice regarding a military benefit that can aid a child with autism long-term.
Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Festive Snowdog Cupcakes Sure to Bring a Smile
Bring a little winter indoors this season by making these delicious Snowdog Paw Chocolate and Coconut Cupcakes.
Elouise Robinson, Autism Food Club

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Dear Readers,

It’s easy to get mesmerized by the captivating sights and sounds of the holidays—to get swept up by the latest electronics, trendy toys, and expensive celebrations. In fact, it’s estimated trillions of dollars are spent worldwide on seasonal gifts and goodies.  The amount of spending combined with over-the-top expectations can be overwhelming for families, especially when budgets are tight and stress levels are on the rise.

While gift-giving traditions differ around the world, one cherished gift remains universal—the gift of family time.  We know it’s hard when you feel pulled in all different directions to carve out some extra minutes, especially as daily schedules are interrupted and life becomes frenzied.  That’s why it’s important to set the tone for the holidays—you know what works best for your child with autism, so you must choose what is right for YOUR family.

In an effort to help guide families, we reached out to several experts and parents for guidance on the best ways to manage stress and rejoice with the people you love.  It doesn’t matter which holiday you celebrate: this is an issue you don’t want to miss.

Traditions are an important aspect of culture—they connect people and provide much-needed consistency.  Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), however, tend to struggle with change.  Knowing these challenges, we are excited to share Brittany Fichter’s piece called Why Children with Autism Need Family Holiday Traditions. Take a look as Brittany provides several ways to help your child with autism better adapt to change and ultimately benefit from traditions.

We are also happy to highlight Gabi Morgan’s article called 3 Holiday Challenges…and How to Help Prevent Them, as the Director of A Child’s Potential, Inc. provides simple strategies you can use to limit the difficulties of the season and make the holidays cheerful for the entire family. 

Do you have special memories of times spent in the kitchen with your family as a child?  Knowing the rewards of baking as a family, we reached out to award-winning ESE teacher Tracy Oxley for some simple—yet delicious—treats you can make with your child during this special season. Take a look at Tracy’s piece called The Joy of Gluten-Free Holiday Baking with Your Family, which includes three recipes she successfully makes with her class.  Not only will you be working on your child’s independent functioning skills as you prepare 3 Ingredient Gluten-Free Fudge, Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn, and Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies, you will be creating lasting memories.

Are you looking for ways to relax and bring balance to your life? As a special addition this month, we are including a comprehensive guide prepared by Autism Parenting Magazine called Top 10 Essential Oils for Autism and ADHD.  Essential oils have been used medicinally by people all over the world, as they can help support healthy body functions, soothe the digestion system, boost the immune system, as well as improve your ability to focus and concentrate.  This piece will educate you on the best essential oils while exploring what they can do for your body.

Connecting with knowledgeable parents as well as physicians and autism experts is what makes Autism Parenting Magazine a distinctive publication. We highly value different perspectives. If you’re in search of an inspirational read this season, take a look at Lamar Hardwick’s piece called 4 Simple Ways Spouses Can Ensure Parenting Success with ASD, as this proud husband, father, and minister diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome as an adult, shares ways a loved one can assist a spouse in successful parenting.  Another interesting perspective we are happy to share is Payton DePalma’s in What I Learned About Parenting and Autism as a Neurotypical Kid, as the college student lovingly reflects on the positive life lessons she learned growing up with a brother with severe autism.

Wishing you joy and serenity this season as you celebrate with the people you love.

Kind regards,
Amy KD Tobik

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Amy KD Tobik

Amy KD Tobik

Amy KD Tobik, A former Editor of Autism Parenting Magazine, an award-winning monthly international publication. She coordinates and manages an extensive group of doctors, autism specialists, and writers to create the most up-to-date news and professional guidance for families affected by autism. Magazine readers are from 30 countries, with the majority coming from the US and other English-speaking countries. A graduate of Sweet Briar College in Virginia, Amy's experience includes more than 30 years writing/editing newspapers, monthly magazines, technical documents/manuals, books, and websites. She and her husband have two adult daughters and live in the Carolinas.