Features:

The Most Supportive States for Raising a Child With Autism
​Discover which states in the US are the least and most supportive for raising a child with autism.
Krystal Rogers-Nelson


How to Improve Peer Interaction by Teaching Social Skills
Find out how to help a child with autism develop social and interpersonal skills through consistent and supportive instruction and practice.

Dorian Townsend, PhD


The Value of Living By Numbers and Not Opinions With a Special Needs Child
​Learn why it's important to discern fact from fiction during a special needs planning and placement meeting; includes a data vs. opinion checklist.
Meghan Cave, MEd, BCBA, LBA, Justyna Balzar, MEd, BCBA, LBA, and Keri Spielmann, MA, BCBA, LBA


An Exclusive Talk With Temple Grandin on the Benefits of ASD Conferences
​Find out why autism-centered conferences and events are so valuable to families affected by autism.
APM Exclusive


Are IQ Tests Really Useful When Evaluating A Child With Autism?
​Learn about the disadvantages of administering standardized cognitive testing for people with social, communication, sensory, and behavior challenges from a psychologist and mom to a teen with autism.
Ewa Omahen, PhD


How to Relax and Bond With a Special Needs Child Through Yoga
​Use this seven-step yoga sequence developed for children with autism to help combat anxiety and build important connections.
Charlotte (Charlie) Stewart-Brown


Where Does Cannabis Fit In With Autism Treatment?
​Find out from an autism expert about alternative medicines, specifically looking at the rising use of CBD oil.
Matthew Fisher, MD


How to use Sensory Play to Improve Learning and Expand the Imagination
Discover new strategies for teaching children with autism using a tailor-made sensory learning environment.

Fizza Shaikh

The Cruel Double-Standard Behind Autism and Access
​An autism advocate and former disability rights attorney responds to the objections she recently received when she spoke out about the need for special needs inclusion.
Whitney Ellenby


For Better or Worse: How to Overcome the Effects of Autism on Marriage
​Learn top ways to develop a solid foundation and become a united front with your partner when you have a child with autism.
Emily Daniels, MSW, RP, MEd


How to Use Music As a Tool to Gain Attention With Autism
​Find out from a music specialist the best ways to increase and maintain a child's attention through music to help build confidence and improve fine motor movement.
David Meyers


Neurodiversity, You’re Forgetting Someone Important
​Read a balanced opinion regarding the often-isolating neurodiversity movement from a behavior analyst who is also the sibling of an individual with autism.
Megan Cicolello


Help: How Do I Know If My ASD Child Has Memory Issues?
Learn effective methods for determining the roots of some common memory issues and ways to include these special needs in effective education plans.

Kelly Beins, BHSc, OTR/L


Understanding Gender Dysphoria With an Autism Diagnosis

Find out why it's important for people to understand the relationship between gender dysphoria and autism to help deal with the challenges that can be brought on by a dual diagnosis.

Anna Laakman


Understanding Autism: I See You Now
Read a charming short story written by a teacher trying to help people better understand individuals with autism.

Samantha MacBride


HELP: My Child With Autism Curses and Has Tantrums
​Get top advice on ways to identify certain behaviors and assist a child with autism in increasing communication skills.
Rob Bernstein


The Amazing Ways Nature Helped Me Reconnect With My Son
Read how reconnecting with nature helped a father navigate his Asperger's syndrome and forge a better relationship with his child.

Ben Crane


What's New on the Bookshelf?
Delightful Book Provides Excellent Look at How Kids With Autism See the World
This charming illustrated book written by Lori Leigh Yarborough provides a unique view of how kids with autism see the world and encourages children to value themselves.


My Brother Has Autism, And What About Me?

Learn 10 ways to help someone foster a connection with a sibling on the autism spectrum.

Ron Malcolm, EdD


Mom Shares What Life Is Like for an Autism Sibling

Experience a special perspective on how autism can affect siblings provided by the mother of two teens on the spectrum.

Diana Romeo


From Chaos to Peace - Using Mindfulness in Special Education

Find out how mindfulness can make a tremendous difference in and out of the classroom for children with special needs.

Ronette Parker, ABA


What's New on the Bookshelf?

New Book Shares the Valuable Information Teens With Autism Want
This exciting book by Francis Tabone, PhD, provides a broad and comprehensive overview of the past, present, and future of autism. It is ideal for young people eight grade and up.


An Exclusive Look at AUTISM With Michael Leddin
An author and motivational speaker interviews the father of a 29-year-old nonverbal man diagnosed with autism who lives a life full of laughter and happiness.

Derrick Hayes


Prepare Now: Teenagers With Autism Are Becoming Adults
Find out from a special needs financial planner why it's critical for families to consider future job opportunities for children with autism and set up long-term plans for lifetime support.

Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Dear Readers,


Where is the best place to raise a child with autism? Which state provides the most financial support for special needs? Is it worth upending an entire family to move to an area without coverage limits? It’s hard to definitively respond to questions like these as every family has different needs, and the cost of living and employment opportunities also have to be carefully considered.

Realizing how significant this topic is to autism families, we asked Krystal Rogers-Nelson, a youth development specialist, to rank the support level of each US state based on insurance coverage of ABA therapy as well as grants available. Please take a look at her piece, The Most Supportive States for Raising a Child With Autism, as Krystal breaks down the results so families can make informed decisions. While nearly every US state has a law requiring insurance coverage for autism treatments, there are large differences when it comes to age limits and dollar amounts to cover therapies. There is so much to take into account.


Finding the best ways to support your family, whether it’s educationally, emotionally, or financially, is essential to long-term well-being. This month’s issue is jam-packed with guidance provided by our expert team.


Has your family been able to find time to unwind a little this year? Stress can affect all parts of life, making exercising the mind and body essential to good health. Charlotte (Charlie) Stewart-Brown, a yoga instructor who has trained with some of the most renowned yoga teachers around the world, has provided us with her seven-step yoga sequence developed for children with autism. Take a look at her illustrated article called How to Relax and Bond With a Special Needs Child Through Yoga to help your family combat anxiety and build important connections.


Has an autism diagnosis affected your relationships and marriage? Increased stress and anxiety can have negative impacts on relationships—that’s why identifying issues early and asking for help can make a big difference. Emily Daniels, MSW, RP, MEd, psychotherapist and social worker in private practice, has experienced this situation first-hand as the mother of a 10-year-old boy on the spectrum. Please read her article, For Better or Worse: How to Overcome the Effects Of Autism on Marriage, as she shares top ways to develop a solid foundation and become a united front with your partner.


Helping a child with autism develop relationships through social and interpersonal skills is so important for both the short and the long terms. This month, Dorian Townsend, PhD, who has nearly 20 years of experience with autism social skill services, has provided us with the piece How to Improve Peer Interaction by Teaching Social Skills. Take a look at her techniques and components that should be part of a social skills instruction program.


Sensory play is another valuable method for helping children with autism learn. Fizza Shaikh, a licensed behavior analyst for special needs kids and adults, has shared strategies for tailoring a sensory learning environment in her piece, How to Use Sensory Play to Improve Learning and Expand the Imagination. David Meyers, a music specialist who has written over 100 songs designed specifically for music learning, has written an article on how to increase and maintain a child’s attention through music. Read his piece How to Use Music As a Tool to Gain Attention With Autism which includes enjoyable ways to build confidence and improve fine motor movement.


​We are thrilled to be receiving a steady flow of interesting questions from our readers. Rob Bernstein, an educational therapist specializing in autism spectrum disorders, responded this month to a question we received from a single mom of a seven-year-old with autism who wondered whether her child could grow out of specific behaviors. Take a look at his piece called HELP: My Child With Autism Curses and Has Tantrums as he provides top advice on ways to identify certain behaviors and assist children in increasing communication skills. Be sure to click on the video link included for additional valuable information. Kelly Beins, BHSc, OTR/L, responded to a question we received from a mother whose son has specific learning difficulties, including memory issues that have never been fully diagnosed. Take a look at Help: How Do I Know If My ASD Child Has Memory Issues? for effective methods for determining the root of some common memory concerns and ways to include these special needs in effective education plans.


Be sure to check out this month’s issue as we cover some topics currently in the news, such as where cannabis fits in with autism treatment and whether IQ tests are useful when evaluating a child with autism. We also have a piece from the mother of a young girl with autism on why it’s important for people to understand the relationship between gender dysphoria and autism to help deal with the challenges that can be brought on by a dual diagnosis. And if you are considering attending an autism-centered conference or event, be sure to read our exclusive interview with Temple Grandin focused on the endless benefits of connecting as a community.


Please reach out to us with topics you would like to learn more about. Together we form a supportive autism community that will meet tomorrow’s challenges.


Kind regards,

Amy KD Tobik
Editor-in-Chief

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