It’s true. Kids with autism can use some very unusual and irritating tactics to get our attention.
While that may be true – Are you sure that attention is motivating the behaviour you are seeing? How do you know this is the case?
Sometimes in spite of our best intentions we make assumptions about a child’s behaviour based on our own perceptions, our mood and our circumstances– and those assumptions can be wrong.
What if you are wrong? What if the child is seeking attention because they are very scared, anxious or feeling overwhelmed? Is ignoring the behaviour the right thing to do?
When life is going on around us and we are being pulled in a million directions it is hard to take extra time to reflect on what else may be going on with a child. What could be underlying an obnoxious behaviour? Other factors may be at play that we cannot easily detect. Parents and educators sometimes instinctually jump to a conclusion or even interpret...
“I feel like I am drowning.
I don’t even know what I am expecting out of this conversation, I’m just a little desperate for someone to understand because I feel like I am failing.”
A young mother’s words hurl me back in time to the very same emotions – self doubt and overwhelm verging on the cliff of despair.
Parenting is difficult. But for parents of kids living with neurodivergent minds, the challenges come with an added intensity, duration and complexity. The solutions are rarely straightforward and all too often outside observers are quick to offer opinions, advice and wisdom that may be well meaning (and sometimes not) but for many reasons, it is either unhelpful or destructive.
Problem behaviours rear their heads like a game of Hungry Hippo. But these hippos aren’t cute like they are in the game. They cannot be pushed back down with a simple tap on the head. Unexpected aggression towards self and others, intense...
Does the thought of bringing your child with autism to visit friends, go to the grocery store, library or a restaurant make you cringe? Do you find it easier for everyone invloved if the child just stays home?
If so, you aren’t alone.
Parents too often forego visiting friends and family because the stress of breaking the routine of a child with autism and bringing that child into unfamiliar territory is just too much to bear. The thought of enduring the stares or snarky comments of others when your child is in the throes of a very public meltdown would make anyone choose to protect the child at home.
Life at home with a child or teen with autism is never easy. The demands of everyday daily life can are complicated by the needs and unpredictability of autism. Changes in routine, unexpected ‘surprises’, difficulties with food, toileting and dressing and meltdowns disrupt the whole family. . It's not surprising that given a choice, parents would...
I know. It’s not exactly a subject line that makes you keep reading. Very few people want to discuss it. It is one of those topics that is unsettling and hard to entertain.
We can avoid talking about it. But let’s face it; it is inevitable for every single living creature. Even humans.
But, as my own niece with autism taught me, the price of dodging the discussion is very high - especially for those who live with autism.
My last blog (https://www.autismaspirations.com/2021/02/11/autism-and-grief-talking-about-what-we-dont-really-want-to-talk-about/) was to be the first of several blogs dedicated to the subject and my intention was to share more of what the research taught me.
And then, very unexpectedly – my mother died.
Five hundred miles away, I didn’t even know she had been admitted to the hospital until it was too late. She had told my sister she would call me to fill me in on her short stay.
She never did.
I was knee deep in the research on grief...
We are living in a prime time to teach and learn in real time HOW to COPE and GROW through adversity. Learn what skills you can be intentionally modelling and practicing so that all children, including those with autism, develop healthy coping and resilience skills that will serve them for their lifetime.
The message I was about to deliver boomeranged around and smacked me in the head.
Ivars and I were excited about our return to Ohio. Anticipation occupied my mind as I rehearsed my presentation and imagined the people who would attend my workshop early the next morning at a large autism conference.
“Your books aren’t allowed in our country.”
The words stung. My chest tightened. My muscles stiffened. My face constricted. My husband’s voice broke through my shock, telling me to stay calm. His words sounded a million miles away. I was far beyond the possibility of calm. Beyond the point of no return.
For almost a decade, we had traveled in the U.S. with my self -published books with no issues. The explanation at the border was always the same: “My wife is speaking at an Autism conference and she has a table to sell her books.”
This time the response was very different. Two hours of waiting for strangers to decide that I was allowed in the country,...
It's that time of year! The words "Back to School" ring loud in the ears of parents, students and educators. Schools, families, businesses and communities are hearing the rally cry and readying themselves for the inauguration of a new school year!! Some are celebrating the new start and others are bracing for a new year and the anxiety about the unknown.
As we busy ourselves with back to school shopping and a return to more routine in our daily lives, I think it is equally important to prepare emotionally and mentally as adults who love and/or work with students with autism. It is well documented that our mental attitude and our thoughts play a huge role in shaping our reality.
Time for a Check on your Thinking…
Is your mind harboring resentment about what resources you don’t have?
Are you going into the year in 'fight mode?'
Are you ‘stewing in your own juice’ about the lack of support your child with autism will...