Summertime Activities That Will Engage Your Child With Autism
Discover five simple ways to connect with your child this summer that involve much needed sensory, grossmotor, and fine motor activities
Annette Nunez, PhD
How to Introduce New Foods to Picky Eaters With Autism
Find easy ways to introduce a picky eater to different foods in order to increase variety
Dr. William Killion, PhD, BCBA
Excellent Ways to Transition to the Workplace With Autism
Learn how to help someone with autism use the skills learned in school to more smoothly transition to the job market
Dr. Rachel Bédard, PhD
A Special Father’s Day–My Journey With Marley
A touching piece written by a father who credits his daughter with autism for making him a better person and parent.
Great Ways to Improve Life and Social Skills In the Kitchen
Discover the many long-term benefits of introducing a child on the spectrum to food preparation and the kitchen.
Jennifer Friedman, MS RDN
Gaining Independence: From Cradle to Career With Autism
Find tips on how to prepare a child with special needs for adulthood through a sequence of learned skills and support.
Karra Barber- Wada
My Child With Special Needs Struggles With Bowel Movements
Learn a combined approach of medical, behavioral, and sensory interventions to use when a child struggles with toilet training.
Kelly Beins, BA, BHSc OTR/L
Terrific Tips for Surviving Theme Parks When a Child Has Special Needs
Get ready to navigate parks and special events with ease this summer with these excellent tips.
Mom Advocates for Inclusive and Accessible Restrooms
Meet a passionate activist and autism mom who created a petition in the US to support the need for adult changing tables in family restrooms.
Volunteering With Special Needs: Teaching the Served to Serve
Find great ways to get your child with special needs involved in helping the community, regardless of abilities.
Never Giving Up With ASD: Go With Your Gut
A mother shares her frustrating, year-long odyssey to diagnose and treat her son with autism who was experiencing new and unusual symptoms.
Achieving Great Success Beyond the Autism Diagnosis
Meet Gregory Chabolla, a successful woodworker who persevered when doctors said he would never speak or learn to read and write.
A Parent's Love Knows No Bounds
A proud father shares his unwavering love and admiration for his daughter who tenderly cares for his grandson with autism.
Robert J. Bernstein
The Autism Journey - Finding the Best Family Balance
A loving mom reflects on ways her life changed when she adjusted her job to spend more time with her child with autism.
Steven L. Josias
Poetry Corner Conversation
Simple Ways to Help a Child With Autism Master Math
Learn how you can help your child strengthen math skills over the summer while providing much-needed encouragement.
A Changing Child With Autism Needs a Changing Parent
Learn four necessary ways parenting changes as your child with special needs ages.
The Road to Success: Growing Up With Autism
Meet an author who credits family and friends for helping him on his sometimes challenging journey with autism.
Emotional Therapy: How to Bridge the Gap For People With Special Needs
Help someone with autism find new ways to connect socially and emotionally through therapy.
What's New on the Bookshelf?
Charming Picture Book Encourages Kids to Find Their Calm
Take a look at this inviting book from author Kelsey Brown and illustrator Joseph Wrightson that supports children in finding their calm in everyday adventures.
Delightful Sisters With Autism Are Models for Acceptance
Meet sisters diagnosed with autism whose shared goal is to spread autism awareness everywhere they go as models.
An Exclusive Look at AUTISM With Chip Wright
Meet the father of a son with autism who serves on the board of a private, nonprofit organization that coordinates lifelong services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
Amy KD Tobik
What's New on the Bookshelf?
New Book Provides ASD Learning Strategies and Support
Take a look at this helpful book written by Lynn Shebat MEd as she shares her personal experiences as an autism mom as well as the strategies she uses in her classroom of special needs students.
Why Some Kids With ASD Won’t Eat And How to Get Help
Find out about the underlying deficits that can often be the source of eating issues with children with autism.
Rebecca Connick, MOT, LOTR
How To Find Balance, Meaning, and Joy Through Autism
Find new ways to change your perception of the world and focus on the positive aspects of life.
What's New on the Bookshelf?
Real-Life Autism Stories Inspire and Empower
Take a look at this inspirational book filled with stories, advice, and resources based on autism spectrum diagnoses from high functioning to non-verbal presented by April Green.
An Exclusive Look at AUTISM With Jean M. Grant
An author and motivational speaker interviews a dynamic scientist, author, and mom to two active, nature-loving sons, one of whom has autism.
Why Would My Child With Autism Need a Special Needs Trust?
Learn how a Special Needs Trust can allow an individual with a disability to have assets available for lifetime support needs while continuing eligibility for government benefits.
Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC
What inspires you? For me, it's good people who, when faced with challenges or tough times, work to find answers and get results. I am honored to witness this nearly every day when I interact with our Autism Parenting Magazine community. It's extraordinary to connect with families, doctors, autism specialists, advocates, and people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who work tirelessly to provide practical solutions. And, it's rewarding to see REAL changes happen right before my eyes in the autism community.
Nearly one year ago, autism advocate and mom Pam Mines reached out to me about a project she was spearheading to help make law enforcement aware of the unique abilities of people with autism. Her idea was to allow people with autism to voluntarily add a special code to an ID or driver’s license to potentially prevent disastrous misunderstandings with police. Named after Pam's young son with autism, JP's Law passed in the state of Virginia where she lived, but Pam had much larger prospects— she was aiming at the national level. Fast forward to an email I received from Pam the other day stating she was "through the roof excited" as she had received interest from advocates wanting her to introduce JP's Law to their states after reading her article in Issue 81 of Autism Parenting Magazine. JP's Law has since launched in Washington, DC after Pam provided training and now additional states are motivated to jump on board. Pam's enthusiasm for advocacy and progress is contagious.
I was also impressed this month by the actions of a Tara Bertic, an exceptional needs children’s ministry coordinator in Florida. While her church community was able to support missionary projects all over the world, her son with autism was often left out as he could not serve in the same capacity. Determined to instill change, Tara brainstormed ideas for service projects with fellow churchgoers so all kids could take part. If you want to discover simple yet heartwarming ways to involve a child with special needs in community service, take a look at her piece, Volunteering With Special Needs: Teaching the Served to Serve. All children should have the chance to become involved in making a difference, no matter their abilities.
Finding ways to improve a child's health is also paramount—which puts nutrition at the top of the list of concerns for many families affected by autism. For a variety of reasons, such as food texture, color, taste, and smell, food aversion is a common concern for children with ASD. If you struggle to find healthy foods your child will eat, take a look Why Some Kids With ASD Won’t Eat And How to Get Help as Rebecca Connick, MOT, LOTR, shares the underlying deficits that can often be the source of eating issues. Everyone knows it can be a struggle to change a child's diet, so we are pleased to share How to Introduce New Foods to Picky Eaters With Autism written by Dr. William Killion, PhD, BCBA. Take a look as he includes easy ways to help children get the nutrition they need as well as expand their menu options. Research shows that children are more likely to eat a meal when they are involved in its preparation, so one solution dietitian Jennifer Friedman, MS RDN, suggests is making foods together. Read her piece Great Ways to Improve Life and Social Skills In the Kitchen to help your child learn a valuable life skill that fosters confidence and independence.
Providing the skills a child with autism needs to transition to adulthood and the workplace is a significant concern. For guidance on ways to prepare a child with special needs through a sequence of learned skills and support, read Karra Barber-Wada's piece, Gaining Independence: From Cradle to Career With Autism. Her insight helped prepare her son with social challenges and processing delays for his future. Dr. Rachel Bédard, PhD has provided her advice this month on ways to help someone with autism use the skills learned in school to more smoothly enter the job market. Be sure to read her piece, Excellent Ways to Transition to the Workplace With Autism, as Rachel encourages people to highlight their strengths while keeping an eye toward roles and responsibilities that will likely benefit the future. And speaking of planning for a lifetime of needs, be sure to read Why Would My Child With Autism Need a Special Needs Trust? as Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC, explains how a trust can allow someone to have assets available for support needs while continuing eligibility for government benefits.
Many people on the autism spectrum have a hard time transitioning to new routines and unstructured time during the summer months. With proper planning, it doesn't have to be that way. For advice on how you can better connect with your child using much-needed sensory, gross motor, and fine motor activities, read Summertime Activities That Will Engage Your Child With Autism by Annette Nunez, PhD. For families looking to work on important, real-life math skills this summer, Raj Valli, CEO and founder of Thinkster Math, has provided ways to help your child with autism while providing much-needed encouragement in Simple Ways to Help a Child With Autism Master Math. And if a trip to a theme park or another special event is on your calendar, be sure to check out Terrific Tips for Surviving Theme Parks When a Child Has Special Needs as Jenna Kopec shares her tips on navigating with ease.
Amy KD Tobik