My Son’s Autism Diagnosis

My wish for you and your child is that you get the information you need, the resources that can help, and the acceptance to be able to move forward with your lives following an autism diagnosis. BY KIMBERLEE RUTAN McCAFFERTY Over the years people have asked me about how and when Justin was diagnosed with autism. My boy got an official diagnosis at 17 months from a developmental pediatrician, received a spectrum diagnosis at a […]

Shake It ‘Til You Make It!

by Jim Turk Remember in the Empire Strikes Back when Luke decides to use his harpoon to tie up the legs of those evil walking robot things to slow them down? He didn’t “defeat” them but he DID save the rebel force. It was a real breakthrough. …And the other day I had one of my own. Now, I’m no Jedi Master (even though I sometimes think of myself as one – is that weird?), but […]

Who would we be without our sisters and brothers?

by Lynne Pearson When Leila was four years old she must have decided that one younger brother simply was not enough and so she confidently asked me to provide her with a set of twin siblings, a boy and a girl. I smiled at my young daughter in the knowledge that Nick and I were hoping to have a third child and said,  “I’ll see what I can do.”. A few short weeks later I […]

Building Supportive, Person-Centered Communities For Adults With Autism

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 500,000 teens with autism will age into adulthood over the next decade and housing will become one of the greatest concerns for them, their parents and other caregivers. Right now, an estimated 80,000 adults with autism in the United States are on waiting lists for publicly-funded residential placements and services. The waiting periods can run up to 15 years and the number of those waiting […]

Mom, Get Out of My Life…

by Colleen Berlingieri I was in a bookstore the other day when I saw the title of a book that almost made me snort latte out of my nose.  It was called Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl To The Mall?   by Dr. Anthony E. Wolf PhD. This title is a perfect description of my current reality with my son. Skills vs. Swagger Geordi has a developmental disability.  He […]

Starting ’em Young

Young Athletes engages families by highlighting the power of play. Young Athletes includes a series of structured physical activities, songs and games to teach basic motor development skills for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old. BY REBECCA RALSTON In a small community near Phitsanulok, Thailand, a young boy named Kongpob Yangkam lives with his grandparents and 17-year-old sister. Kong, as his family lovingly calls him, has intellectual disabilities and […]

Forgetting Milestones and Learning to Measure Progress…a New Way of Thinking! #Friendships

By Mary Ellen Bogucki I believe friendship can be a difficult concept to maneuver for anyone, but in the special needs and Autism community there are times it may seem impossible. From the moment my daughter, Bree, was born, she had an instant friend in that of her sister, Kailey. Kailey was 2 ½ years older than Bree and was already a “little mother” in the body of a toddler. Kailey loved dolls, she loved […]

Music Therapy and Autism: Does it Work? Yes! Here’s Why (and How)

by Patty Shukla  In my more than 20 years as a children’s educational music professional, I have found that one question gets asked over and over again. “Miss Patty, do autistic children love music as much as your other students do?” Yes. The fact is that nearly all children have an inherent love of learning about and making music. From singing to dancing to playing musical instruments, kids of every description and from every walk of […]

Forgetting Milestones and Learning to Measure Progress…a New Way of Thinking! #Don’tStopTrying

By Mary Ellen Bogucki When I think of my daughter’s journey with Autism, I can think of many different analogies. One is the game of Jenga. There’s a tower missing a few blocks, but it’s still standing strong. Then in swoops a person who may remove a strategy, a modification or just strike a verbal blow that makes the tower sway and lose its footing. Oh…but it still balances without fully falling and I think […]

How to Help an Angry Child

by Lynne Pearson Edward, our autistic son, used to go from 0 to 60 pretty much instantly when he became angry. He’d seem fine and then he’d suddenly blow. Big time. Tension and Frustration spilling out in crashing tidal waves no matter who we were with or where we were. It was nigh on impossible to talk him down once he’d blown up like this. The best tactic was to stay calm, move to a […]