Issue 63 – Keeping Our Kids Safe
Easy Ways to Make This Your Best Summer
Simple tips to help you and your child with autism breeze through the summer months.
Annie Tanasugarn, PhDc, BCBA
Biomedical Treatment for Autism: The Ultimate Guide
Learn about the multitude of treatments available that address the root cause of various medical issues.
Sheri Marino, MA, CCC-SLP
Fatherhood: The Powerful Bond with My Special Needs Son
The father of a young, nonverbal child with autism describes their special friendship.
Learn Why It’s Important to Understand Gut Bacteria with Autism
Find out how improving your child’s diet can have a significant effect on stereotypical autistic symptoms.
Proudly Productive Fulfills Life Dreams for Teens with Special Needs
Learn about a successful program that helps prepare teens with special needs for the future.
Two Special Dads Give the Exciting Gift of Voice
Learn about a new, cloud-based communicator developed by two loving dads to provide their nonverbal children a pathway to speech.
How to Choose the Best GPS Tracker for Your Special Needs Child
The mother of a young, nonverbal son provides the pros and cons of three top GPS trackers available on the market.
Successful Indian Head Massage for People with Special Needs
Learn how massage can positively benefit the physical, mental, and emotional levels of a child with autism, thereby creating happiness and confidence.
Safety Measures You Need to Take After an Autism Diagnosis
Learn three simple home safety measures considered critical after a diagnosis.
Marshmallows…It’s What’s for Breakfast
A touching account from a mom reminding other special needs moms to give themselves permission to be imperfect and to be proud of it.
Top Advice for Surviving Plane Travel With Your Autistic Child
Top 10 tips for planning and accomplishing a successful flight with your child with autism.
A Loving Dad’s Advice: Nurture Your Autistic Child
A father describes the incredible journey he shares with his daughter with autism and provides tips on how to enter an autistic child’s world and build within it.
Richard W. Coan
Helping Special Needs Children Communicate in an Emergency
Q/A with Sharon Jalette, the woman who created an identifying seatbelt tag for nonverbal children in the event of an emergency.
Amy KD Tobik
One Summer Day in a Class for Elementary Students with Autism
A short story written by a special education teacher for adults who work with individuals with autism to illustrate concepts, provoke reflection, and promote discussion.
Top 10 Ways a Therapy Dog Can Help Your Child with Autism
Learn the many ways a therapy dog can make a difference in the life of an autistic child.
Immerse Yourself in a Tale of Courage
Take a look at an exciting new book by Matthew McDonald which focuses on a young boy with autism and his journey through a paranormal experience.
An Exclusive Look at AUTISM with Natasha Monique Coleman
An exclusive interview with Natasha Monique Coleman, an inspirational speaker and mother of a son officially diagnosed with autism at 16 years of age.
Hot Off the Press!
Top Ways a Gluten Free Diet Can Help Kids with Autism
Learn about recent clinical trials that revealed a gluten-free diet is worth considering for children diagnosed with autism.
Shawna Kunselman, MSACN
HELP: How Do I Help My Autistic Teen Find the Best Job?
Expert advice on ways a parent can assist a young person with autism with learning vocational and interpersonal skills to help obtain and maintain a job.
Angelina M., MS, BCBA, MFTI
Expert Water Safety Advice When Your Child Has Autism
Professional tips on ways you can prepare to help reduce the risk of drowning for your child with autism.
Sarah Kupferschmidt, MA, BCBA
Securing the Future for Your Child with Special Needs
Professional advice on ways to prepare for the long-term needs of your child with autism in light of the potential changes to be made to government benefits in the US over the next few years.
Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC
Quick and Easy Sheet Pan Fajitas Made to Order
Simple and delicious low-fat dinner easily baked using just one pan.
Elouise Robinson, Autism Food Club
Keeping our kids safe is a top priority for all of us. We work hard to protect them from an often-overwhelming world and to defend them from those who don’t always understand. It’s our job to keep them healthy and secure.
That’s why it’s so heartbreaking to see news alerts highlighting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have wandered from the safety of their homes or schools. Or to read accounts on social media about children who were not able to protect themselves or speak up in an emergency. Whether their diagnosis was last month or years ago, keeping kids safe is always a concern, making this issue a must.
As summer days bring a change in schedules and activities, the opportunities for eloping, also known as wandering, seem to increase. In an effort to help autism families, we asked Tulika Prasad, the mother of a young, nonverbal son, to share her personal review of three top GPS trackers on the market. For great advice, take a look at her piece, How to Choose the Best GPS Tracker for Your Special Needs Child, as she provides the pros and cons of different products. Even if you end up selecting one not on her list, Tulika’s article outlines important safety features to consider when purchasing any GPS device.
Did you know that drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children with autism? It only takes a few seconds for a child to slip away, unnoticed. Please take a look at the piece called Expert Water Safety Advice When Your Child Has Autism provided by Sarah Kupferschmidt, MA, BCBA as she provides insightful tips on how you can reduce the risk of drowning for your ASD child.
Home safety is also a major concern, especially for families new to an autism diagnosis. Natasha Barber, mom to a young autistic son, said she was inspired to become an autism safety writer after her young child escaped his aftercare program and ran onto a main road. Read Safety Measures You Need to Take After an Autism Diagnosis to learn three simple home safety measures you can take.
No one likes to think about emergency medical situations, especially when children with special needs are involved. But we want to introduce you to a woman named Sharon Jalette who developed an innovative way for kids with autism to communicate critical contact and medical information to emergency personnel and first responders. The embroidered fabric sleeve, which closes with a hook and loop strip around the vehicle’s seat belt, makes essential medical and emergency contact information readily available. It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a difference.
Anyone who travels with kids knows planning ahead is key. And when you are traveling with a child with autism, preparing for all situations is crucial. If your summer plans include air travel, take a look at Anna Harford’s piece, Top Advice for Surviving Plane Travel With Your Autistic Child as this travel blogger and autism mom shares her top 10 tips for planning and achieving a successful journey. Her advice is insightful, as she has taken her 11-year-old son with autism on more than 50 flights.
Does summer get stressful for your family? The change in daily routines can trigger changes in behavior for some kids with autism, so if you are looking for some tips to help you breeze through the next few weeks, take a look at Easy Ways to Make This Your Best Summer provided by Board Certified Behavior Analyst Annie Tanasugarn. From advice on creating a daily schedule to developing a reward system, Annie’s advice is sure to help your entire family.
Another important topic we focused on in this issue is autism health. Over the years, studies have shown the vast benefits of managing a child’s diet. While every child with autism has different nutritional and medical needs, it’s important as parents to be aware of how diet can make a difference. To learn about the multitude of biomedical treatments available that address medical issues, take a look at Biomedical Treatment for Autism: The Ultimate Guide by Sheri Marino, MA, CCC-SLP. Many health experts also tout the benefits of a gluten-free diet for people with an autism diagnosis. If this is something you would like to evaluate, please read Ways a Gluten Free Diet Can Help Kids with Autism, as Shawna Kunselman, MSACN shares the outcome of recent clinical trials. Another popular topic in the news is gut bacteria. Please take a look at Casey Ames’ piece called Learn Why It’s Important to Understand Gut Bacteria with Autism for more information on ways to alter your child’s diet. Stress is also a common issue for children on the spectrum. If you want to learn how massage can positively benefit the physical, mental, and emotional levels of a child with autism, take a look at Giuliana Fenwick’s article called Successful Indian Head Massage for People with Special Needs.
Strength and never-ending love are essential ingredients in family life, especially when there are family members with special needs. In honor of Father’s Day this month, we asked men who parent to share their personal journeys with us. First, please take a look at James Guttman’s piece, Fatherhood: The Powerful Bond with My Special Needs Son, as the dad of a young, nonverbal child with autism lovingly describes their special friendship and reaffirms that actions speak louder than words. We are also happy to share Richard W. Coan’s piece called A Loving Dad’s Advice: Nurture Your Autistic Child. You will be inspired as you read about his incredible personal journey with his daughter with autism and review his tips on entering an autistic child’s world and building within it.
They say any man can become a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. Wishing all dads the appreciation they deserve this month as they care for the people they love.
Amy KD Tobik