Showing posts from 2013

How to Effectively Advocating for Your Child with ASD

Being a mother or father of a youngster with ASD or High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can be both exhausting and rewarding at the same time. As the parent, you are responsible for being your child’s advocate. Advocating on behalf of a “special needs” youngster can be both intimidating and daunting; however, armed with just a few simple “advocacy tools,” the parent’s course-of-action can run relatively smoothly. The following “keys to success as an advocate” will show how you can become an effective activist for your child:   1. Make sure you understand all the assessments and evaluations that are going to be – or have been – conducted concerning your youngster. Always request clarification before consenting to evaluations or when reviewing test results. Ask questions such as, "who, what, where, when, why and when" …and then listen carefully to the answers you receive. Research relevant questions, and then document responses instead of simply relying on your memory. Learn

Surviving Christmas Break: Tips for Parents with Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Christmas break gives the family a reprieve from the ordinary time spent with school and work; however, crammed schedules and unpredictable routines, mixed with the sights and sounds of the holidays, can add up to two weeks full of stress for a youngster with ASD or High Functioning-Autism (HFA) – and his or her parents and siblings. The change in routine is the biggest difficulty during the holidays. The unfamiliarity and excitement often lead to many difficult moments. If you are the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, then following the guidelines below will help make Christmas break run a lot smoother: 1.    A daily calendar can be very helpful during the Christmas break, especially to help your ASD youngster anticipate any parties or family gatherings that you may be going to. 2.    Avoid taking your “special needs” son or daughter shopping on the busiest shopping days of the year. The chaos, noise of large crowds, and long lines will definitely add stress to y

“Learned Helplessness” in Adult Children on the Autism Spectrum

In working with families affected by Autism over the years, I’ve noticed that a lot of young adults (ages 20 – 30 approximately) are still living at home with their mother and father, not out of true need, but out of what is known as “learned helplessness.” This phenomenon occurs when a young adult comes to believe that he has little (or no) control over his life, and that whatever he does to try to change a “bad” situation is futile. As a result, this “discouraged” individual will stay passive in the face of any unpleasant, harmful or damaging state of affairs, even when he actually does have the ability to improve his circumstances. As a parent of an adult child on the autism spectrum, you may want to copy and print the following information and share it with your “late-bloomer” (especially if he is a legal adult who feels powerless to “leave the nest” and start his own life): Learned helplessness can be thought of as believing you are incompetent, that you have no cont

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for December, 2013]

Mark, I watched the videos in the first lesson last night. Great job. It's like you are speaking from personal experience, like you remember what it was like to be in the mind of a child. It's just crazy because you have successfully transported into the mind of my three kids. More importantly, you have become the virtual voice of my sons with PDD. I have had trouble figuring out what is going on in their head, since they cannot speak in full sentences yet. But behavior is communication. I have to shift my focus from words to actions. Be an observer.  I am hopeful and feel liberated having week 1 strategies. They are pretty simple, if you think about it. The part on dependency and self-reliance blew MY mind. I have got work to do. And I scored an 81 on the indulgence test. Yikes. But this is all dead on and I have a part to play. It is now time for me to create these healthy boundaries the correct way.  I just wanted you to know I appreciate your de