Always Presume Competence (Part 2)

Teaching Language and Communication to Autistic Children Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University and internationally renowned autism spokesperson, was one of the first autistic people who wrote about her lack of speech during early childhood. She gave us a rare glimpse into the autistic mind when she wrote,  “Not being …

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Always Presume Competence (Part 1)

Teaching Language and Communication to Autistic Children Teaching language and communication to autistic children who are non-verbal can be extremely challenging. When it appears that all our efforts to teach them to speak are in vain and no progress is noted, we can be tempted to think that there’s no hope of improvement and that …

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Valentine’s Day and Autism: Six Ways to Help Your Child Prepare for and Enjoy the Holiday

Valentine’s Day, the day we celebrate the people in our lives that are most important to us, is just around the corner. Many people spend time with loved ones, and kids will exchange cards and treats with their teachers and classmates, but children with autism may experience the day a bit differently. While they may …

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10 Things a Grandmother of a Child with Autism Would Like Other Children to Know

AUTISM AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE TO PREVENT BULLYING There has been a lot of talk about Autism Awareness and Acceptance through the years, and while we still have a ways to go, much has improved since my grandson was first diagnosed with autism in 2009. At that time, I knew next to nothing about autism, and …

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Taking the Sting out of Discipline for Kids with Autism

The benefits of setting clear boundaries for children on the autism spectrum All children need rules and boundaries to help them know how to act appropriately in different settings and situations, and children with autism are no exception. Rules and boundaries will teach them skills they will need to be successful in life. But how …

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How to Help ASD Students Who Have SENSORY Processing Disorder

It is estimated that 80% of children with autism also have sensory issues, if not Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), as a comorbid condition. However, many parents, caregivers, and educators are not aware of the struggles this can pose for children on the spectrum.  My attention was drawn to this again recently after a special education …

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11 Ways to Prepare for Happy Holidays with a Child on the Autism Spectrum

The end-of-the-year holidays are supposed to be happy occasions, filled with joyful traditions such as family gatherings, elaborately home-cooked meals, the exchanging of gifts, parties, fireworks, and other festive activities. They’re supposed to be a time to look forward to and enjoy, but enter a child with autism into the mix, and the dynamics can …

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How Grandparents Can Support Their Autistic Grandchild

Grandparents can have a unique role in the lives of their grandchild with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). They can be a source of support, guidance, connection, encouragement, and love.  According to Autism Speaks, “about 30% of grandparents were the first to notice that there was a problem with their grandchild’s development. Nearly 90% felt that the experience …

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Setting Meaningful and Achievable New Year’s Goals for Autism Parents and Caregivers

As a grandparent and full-time caregiver of a teenager on the autism spectrum, setting personal goals for the New Year isn’t something at the top of my to-do list anymore. In years past, I used to make resolutions that focused on self-improvement, such as losing weight or getting back in shape, finishing projects, etc. While …

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The Power of Positive Reinforcement for Teaching Autistic Children

Reinforcement or bribery: Is there a difference? Positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator. For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the purpose of using positive reinforcement in the classroom or at home is to shape better behavior and to help them learn new skills and maintain these skills over time.  When covering this topic of …

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