Issue 75 – Helping Your Child with Autism Thrive
How to Help a Child with Autism Feel Good About Food
Learn key ways to help a picky eater thrive at school and daycare from a registered counselor specializing in child feeding.
Jo Cormack, MA, MBACP
A Mom’s Loving Advice on Transitioning an ASD Child to Adulthood
A longtime advocate for persons with disabilities honors mothers of children with autism as she shares her tips on raising a child with autism.
Marlene Ringler, PhD
Top 5 Reasons to Prioritize Sleep in a Hectic Household
The research director at Sleep for Success explains the physical and emotional values of quality rest when caring for a child on the spectrum.
The Amazing Rewards of Music for Kids with Autism
A music therapist describes the magical moment when he made a remarkable connection with a young boy with autism through music.
Jim Turk, MS
How to Fight for the Best Education for Your ASD Child
Top advice is offered on how to advocate for your child and break through the red tape that often affects the development of a fair Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).
Easy Ways to Teach Emotional Vocabulary to a Child With Autism
Learn about a clever card game designed to teach emotional vocabulary to children.
One Song, Many Ways to Connect with Special Needs
A music instructor specializing in teaching students on the spectrum shares simple ways to help a family unlock the rewards of music.
Ways to Better Understand Echolalia and Vocal Stereotypy
Learn how different verbal behaviors are not only common in autism but also vital to a child’s development.
Abby Martin Fallis
Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable
Read a lighthearted and honest look back on growing up with autism with an inspirational and supportive mom.
Alexander Magnussen and Mat Cruickshank
Top Tips on How to Prepare for College with Autism
Discover ways to plan for the future from a young man with autism who graduated from college, as well as his mother, an instructional advisor at an academic support center for students with learning differences.
Sandy Petrovic, RN, BSN and David Petrovic, BA
Top 8 Things You Should Never Say To a Person With Autism
A young woman with Asperger’s syndrome shares comments people should avoid saying to people with autism.
Examining Female Aspie Strengths in the Workplace
Excellent insight into strengths and personality types as well as specific jobs Aspie females could excel in and enjoy.
Sharon Link, PhD
Top Advice on How to Deal With Your Child’s Obsessive Behavior
Learn simple tips from a mom with young boys with autism on dealing with obsessive behavior.
HELP: My Special Needs Child Struggles with Motor Skills at School
Get top advice on ways to help a child develop motor skills, including tips on educational supports, therapy, and hand-eye coordination.
Kelly Beins, OT
Young Girl with Autism is the Creative Force Behind Popular Show
Meet Illiana Alexis Figueroa, an inspirational kid who started her own YouTube show called ToyQuest101 with her father to build confidence.
Eliud Rivera, Jr.
Unique Interactive Style of Learning Can Reduce Social Anxiety
Learn how an interactive style of learning combining improvisation, psychodrama, and social pragmatics can help people gain confidence and overcome social anxiety.
Poetry Corner: For the Love of Pink and Blue
An Exclusive Look at AUTISM with Brian Tashima
An author and motivational speaker interviews Brian Tashima, author of the Joel Suzuki series, a set of science fiction/ fantasy books for kids and young adults with a protagonist on the autism spectrum.
Exciting New Program Can Help Increase Collaborative Behavior
A video program called MeMoves can help increase speech and language, eye contact, imitative behavior, processing ability, motor skills, and socialization for children with autism.
What’s New On The Bookshelf?
Practical Book Helps Families Affected by Autism
In his book Caring for Autism, Practical Advice from a Parent and Physician, Michael Ellis, DO, explains what it’s like to live with autism, the medications and therapies available, and the impact autism has on the child’s environment.
Fantastic Gluten Free, Paleo Snack the Whole Family Can Enjoy
Learn about Warrior Mix, a snack developed by a family affected by autism passionate about providing healthy and delicious food.
Energetic Clothing Line Offers Comfort and Style
Discover Just Breathe Casuals, a clothing line inspired by a grandchild with autism that reminds people to pause, take a breath, and restore peace.
Trailblazer Seeks Job Opportunities for People of All Abilities
An extraordinary autism advocate works tirelessly to employ people on the spectrum internationally while serving on numerous advocacy boards and campaigns.
What’s New On The Bookshelf?
Brilliant Book Series Gives Insight Into the Autism World
Take a look at Dr. Sharon A. Mitchell’s School Daze Series, which provides entertaining stories full of strategies that can help at home and school.
How Do ABLE Accounts and Third Party Special Needs Trust Compare?
Learn the similarities and differences between an ABLE Account and a Third Party Special Needs Trust from a professional financial planner.
Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC
Have you ever seen the meme that reads, “Parenting—if you feel crazy then you’re doing it right”? I think we have all had those days, weeks, maybe even those years.
As caregivers, we want our kids to thrive—to be the best they can be. We want our children to eat healthy diets, learn, communicate, find friends, and successfully transition to adulthood. The road never seems simple, though—especially for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Did you know children diagnosed with ASD are five times more likely than other kids to experience mealtime challenges such as picky eating, ritualistic eating behaviors, and meltdowns? According to Jo Cormack, MA, MBACP, a registered counselor specializing in child feeding, research suggests up to nine out of ten children with ASD will experience an eating issue. If mealtime is a challenge for your child, take a look at How to Help a Child with Autism Feel Good About Food for simple ways to help a picky eater thrive while he/she is at school and/or daycare. Not only does Jo review the characteristics of ASD which can contribute to the challenge, but she also provides several ways you can ensure your child’s needs are met.
Whether your child spends the day in a regular classroom or attends specialized classes, finding the right educational supports can be complicated. For guidance on how to advocate for your child and break through the red tape that often affects the development of a fair Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), take a look at Ginger Strivelli’s article called How to Fight for the Best Education for Your ASD Child. As the mother of six kids, three of whom have autism, Ginger does a great job reviewing IEP terms and labels while explaining what to expect at this crucial meeting.
This month we are thrilled to introduce you to Kelly Beins, OT, a seasoned therapist with more than 23 years of experience. She has joined our team to respond to the top questions we receive from our readers. In this issue, Kelly responds to a father whose son has difficulty with communication and mastering skills. Please take a look at her piece, HELP: My Special Needs Child Struggles with Motor Skills at School, for top tips on educational supports, therapy, and hand-eye coordination. We look forward to her support and professional counsel for our autism families.
Sometimes advice is best given by someone who has experienced certain challenges firsthand. We are excited to feature David Petrovic, BA, a 24-year-old author, speaker, and middle school teacher with autism and Tourette syndrome this month. David and his mother, Sandy Petrovic, RN, BSN, an instructional advisor at an academic support center for students with learning differences, have shared their unique perspectives with us on planning for the future in Top Tips on How to Prepare for College with Autism.
Finding innovative ways to help children with autism better connect and communicate are always hot topics. According to Abby Martin Fallis, caregivers can become accustomed to repetitive speech, or even what sounds like babbling. Take a look at her article, Ways to Better Understand Echolalia and Vocal Stereotypy, as Abby explains how these behaviors not only are common but also may serve an important purpose during the developmental stages.
Music is an excellent way to communicate and connect with children on the spectrum. To help families unlock the rewards of music, David Meyers, a music instructor specializing in teaching students on the spectrum, has once again provided us with an excellent article on the benefits of music. Take a look at his piece called One Song, Many Ways to Connect with Special Needs for top music therapy ideas you can do at home with your child.
Music can build creativity and confidence for people of all ages and abilities. Introducing music to a child with autism can also help initiate movement, language, and social awareness. Music therapist Jim Turk, MS, witnessed this very response while visiting a classroom recently. Take a look at his piece, The Amazing Rewards of Music for Kids with Autism, to be inspired by his experience—it really changed his life—as well as a little boy with special needs.
Preparing a child with autism for adulthood is a genuine concern for many families. There are so many considerations that need to be anticipated, from employment and housing to legal and financial needs. If you have questions about which financial plan is right for your child, take a look at the piece, How Do ABLE Accounts and Third Party Special Needs Trust Compare?, as financial planner Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC, explains the similarities and differences between the two plans.
For guidance on how to develop the necessary tools to safeguard the future, be sure to read A Mom’s Loving Advice on Transitioning an ASD Child to Adulthood provided by a longtime advocate for persons with disabilities, Marlene Ringler, Ph.D. In celebration of Mother’s Day this month, arlene’s piece touches on the constant challenge of balancing family and career demands with the emotional and physical needs of a son or a daughter with autism. Her advice is kind and indispensable.
This month we honor moms for working tirelessly to care for their families as well as the fathers, grandparents, and special caregivers who help provide daily strength. Parenting is never easy—but the rewards are priceless.
Amy KD Tobik