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Issue 45 – Protecting Your Child with Autism

January 24, 2024

Autism Parenting Magazine - Issue 45
Autism Parenting Magazine – Issue 45

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Your Child with Special Needs Is Entitled to a Free and Appropriate EducationBut Where Do You Start?A leading autism and children’s rights advocate explains the need to create strong parent/school district partnerships to ensure children receive appropriate placement and the best education to fit their needs.Areva D. Martin, Esq.

5 Simple Ways to Help Prevent Wandering in children with autismGreat tips to help parents ensure a child’s safety when he/she tends to wander.Hallie Bulkin, MA CCC-SLP 

To the Kind Man Who Helped My Son After He Was BulliedA mother describes the distressing moment her young son with autism was bullied in a public bathroom and the renewal of hope when it was followed by the compassion of a stranger.Nina Jain 

Hang In There Autism Parents – Tomorrow Is A Bright, New DayThe mother of two boys encourages parents on the autism journey to continue to focus on a child’s strengths and, in turn, create a beautiful and unique life together.Rachelle Wade

The Simple Game of Minecraft: Top Ways to Connect with Your ASD ChildGain a better connection with your child using this parental guide to the ever-popular Minecraft game including ways to make the game multiplayer safe.Colin Rhodes

Never-Ending Love for Our Son with Autism: A Dad’s PerspectiveA devoted father shares how he felt when his only child was diagnosed with autism along with his infinite love for him.Mark D. Peterson

5 Top Reasons Qigong May be Right for Your Special Needs ChildThe mother of two boys with autism reveals why she was so impressed with Qigong Sensory Treatment – so much that she became a certified therapist.Sazini Nzula, PhD, Certified QST Therapist

Grounded Gentry: In the Right and Honorable Name of LoveA parent creatively paints a picture of her loving life with her daughter with autism in this personal essay.Laura Boggs

10 Simple Rules Parents of ASD Kids and Teens Need to KnowInsightful tips from an adult with autism on what people should and should not do with a child/teen on the spectrum.Christina MacNeal

New GPS Prototype Developed in the Name of ChildMeet an up-and-coming entrepreneur who overcame obstacles to create a waterproof and discreet tracker in an effort to keep loved ones safe.

Somewhere on the Spectrum: A Mother’s Heartfelt JourneyThe mother of a four-year-old with autism describes her parenting journey filled with love.Lindsay Wieand

Quick Tips for Helping Young People with ASD Find the Right JobGreat tips on how to advise your child on the spectrum on finding the right kind of job and career options.Bill Wong, OTD, OTR/L

Should You Really Tell Your Child He/She is on the Autism Spectrum?Certified Autism Specialist and mom to a teen with Asperger’s explains the benefits of professional diagnosis and why children need to understand who they are so they can celebrate their abilities and strengths.Rev. Stephanie C. Holmes, MA, BCCC

5 Tips To Balance ASD Kids And WorkAdvice for families on ways to strike that much-needed balance so everyone has the emotional support they need.Aradhana Pandey

What’s New on the Bookshelf?Take a look at two recently-published books for young people: one a magical story featuring a determined 11-year-old of boy with Asperger’s and the other about a superhero known as  Self-Control who wants to teach young children his super powers to fight anxiety, frustration and anger.

Hot Off the Press!Autism Science Foundation to Hold Talks on Research Advances in AprilLeading Autism researchers, clinicians and service providers to give Ted-Style Talks at Third Annual “Day Of Learning” Conference April 14th.

Autism and Behavior Intervention Plans: What You Need to Know NowExcellent advice regarding mitigating challenging and sometimes violent behavior.Sarah Kupferschmidt, MA, BCBA

Help: I Don’t Know How to Choose an Applied Behavior Analysis ProviderGreat advice on how to select the right ABA provider for your child with autism as well as tips on the parents’ role in assessment and treatment.Angelina M, MS, BCBA, MFTI

How Do I Know if Our Special Needs Trust is Adequate?Great professional advice on whether a Special Needs Trust is sufficient or needs updating.Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Roast Chicken with Jacket Potatoes and SaladA delicious yet simple dish your whole family will enjoy.Autism Food Club

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Dear Readers,

I still remember the scene as if it was yesterday.  Six years ago I received a call saying my daughter’s school friend was missing.  I could feel my heart drop.  One minute the fifth-grader was riding her bike around a cul-de-sac and the next minute she was gone — leaving only a parked bike and a helmet for clues.  For five days police and volunteers searched the surrounding swamplands and alligator-infested lake using dive teams, sniffer dogs, a helicopter and sonar to survey the dense woods.  Distraught family and friends conducted vigils and prayer services — feeling helpless as national news services besieged the small Florida town with coverage on the “missing 11-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome.”  Miraculously, close to 96 hours later the girl was found and despite dehydration and countless mosquito bites, she was healthy.  The panic I felt for the entire family during those emotional days will always stay with me.

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, nearly 50 percent of children on the spectrum will wander or elope from their safe environments.  Sadly, more than a third are considered nonverbal, making it even more challenging to locate.  We know this is a top concern among parents so we connected with Hallie Bulkin, MA CCC-SLP, who has provided excellent tips on how to help combat the risks.  We encourage everyone to review 5 Simple Ways to Help Prevent Wandering in Children with Autism as there are numerous precautions parents and caregivers can take to help prevent children from wandering from a home or school setting.

There are so many ways people can work together to protect children with autism.  Another challenge families face today is access to adequate education and services. Take a look at the piece called, Your Child with Special Needs Is Entitled to a Free and Appropriate Education – But Where Do You Start? as autism advocate and attorney Areva Martin explains the rights of children with special needs.  Families, she explains, need to create strong parent/school district partnerships to ensure a child diagnosed on the spectrum receives appropriate placement and the best education to fit personal needs.  Every child with autism deserves that chance.

We all know how much kids are drawn to video games.  Finding safe, non-violent video game titles for young people on the spectrum can be a challenge, however, especially when kids want to play games in the multiplayer mode.  Colin Rhodes, parent of an eight-year-old boy with autism, is excited to share with readers the positive aspects of Minecraft, an extremely popular video game.  This creative game, supporters say, can be used to teach a wide range of concepts from science and reading to logic and problem solving.  And for children on the spectrum, the game is praised for encouraging friendships and communication.  Take a look at The Simple Game of Minecraft: Top Ways to Connect with Your ASD Child as Colin explains how you can better bond with your child by understanding  how the game is played as well as ensure the game is multiplayer safe.

Providing guidance to our audience is a top priority.  For example, we recently received a letter from a reader worried about her eight-year-old grandchild who is under the care of a Behavioral Therapist yet still continues to have regular meltdowns to include kicking, hitting and using bad words. The grandparent was concerned the boy would  be kicked out of school and grow up to be violent.  We turned to Sarah Kupferschmidt, MA, BCBA, and asked her to share her advice on how to better communicate with a behavioral therapist and ensure an adequate behavior plan has been developed.  Be sure to take a look at Autism And Behavior Intervention Plans: What You Need to Know Now as she also includes a checklist to help you determine if a behavior plan includes critical elements.

This issue is filled with so much advice for our readers.  From occupational therapist Bill Wong’s piece on how to guide your child with autism on finding the right kind of job to tips from Board Certified Behavior Analyst Angelina M. on how to select the right Applied Behavior Analysis provider, we have valuable information for so many people.  In addition, we have an insightful article written by an adult with autism called 10 Simple Rules Parents of ASD Kids and Teens Need to Know. Take a look at Christina MacNeal’s piece as her guidance is helpful for all people.

Wishing our readers a happy Spring filled with acceptance and new beginnings.

Kind regards,

Amy KD Tobik


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