The Autism Blog

On the Road Again

Adventures with Autism…

RVIn my “Too Many to Count” list of “Things Tried” to help our daughter break out of her restricted-interest-rut, the one I share with you today beats all. Yes, mama pulled out all the creative stops with this one. It was going to be one for the record books I was certain. That did indeed turn out to be true! 

When your child enjoys (count them) three things – done over and over all day, it can be maddening. In our case, it is (1) car rides (2) showers (3) cheese. A perfect day for Miss Carrie would be rising early, having a cheese plate for breakfast and then a long shower, followed by a very long car ride leading up to a cheese plate for lunch, followed by a shower and another long car ride. This sequence would continue until all the cheese, hot water and gasoline were gone, only to be replenished the next day because she is sure that an endless and free supply of these vital elements exists. 

Fellow parents, you know what I’m talking about! Some call them obsessions or compulsions or perseverative behaviors or restricted interests. Whatever you call it, our kids are stuck doing it – riding Read full post »

Water Safety This Summer

SwimmingIt’s that time of year- summer in Seattle! Living in the Northwest, we are surrounded by natural beauty, and everywhere you look, there’s water! The Puget Sound, lakes, rivers, and pools are accessible year round, and are particularly fun during the summer months when the weather is nice.

Being near, on, and in the water is a popular summer activity. One of my family’s favorite things to do over summer weekends is to head to the beach. The minute hit the sand, my 7 year-old is stripping off his shoes and socks and my 18 month old is struggling to do the same. I scramble to slather sunblock on their wriggling bodies, often wondering why I didn’t attempt this feat before we left the house. The boys and I run to the edge where the beach meets the surf and throw rocks in the water. Feeling the sand between our toes and the water on our skin can be a wonderful sensory experience, and one that many children enjoy and often seek out, including children with autism. However, having children near the Read full post »

Transition to Adulthood and Cognitive Behavior Therapy- This Month’s Autism 200 Class

autism 200This month’s Autism 200 Series class, “Transition to Adulthood – Cognitive Behavior Therapy”, will be held Thursday, June 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium. June’s Autism 200 Series class is the first in a summer-long series of classes tailored specifically around transition to adulthood topics.

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a treatment approach that is commonly used to target deficits seen in teenagers and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Felice Orlich from Seattle Children’s Autism Center will define and describe CBT, discuss characteristics of good candidates for the approach and provide information to parents and educators who are interested in pursuing CBT as a treatment option.

Autism 200 is a series of free 90-minute classes for parents and caregivers of children with autism who Read full post »

Mindful Monday- About Self-Compassion

Image courtesy

Today will begin by defining what mindfulness is and what mindful self-compassion is, then we will be moving forward with exercises you can practice in future blogs. As we previously announced, we are going to be posting about Mindfulness on the 2nd Monday of each month. 

Beginning with mindfulness…

In A Year of Living Mindfully, Richard Fields, PhD, highlights two aspects of mindfulness being: Awareness of awareness and attention to intention.

Fields also explains that, “Mindfulness is about embracing the now, good and bad. It is about not beating yourself up about lost opportunities and mistakes in the past. It is about loving and embracing the goodness in the life you have. It isn’t about pretending that all is rosy or replacing negative thoughts with positive. It’s accepting that life is full of good and bad, ups and downs, and that this is our common humanity. We all have adversity, we all have challenges. It is part of the human condition.”  Read full post »

A Conversation with My Younger Self- Part 3

Reflections from Jim Sturms, parent

It is advice, a regret, and a thankful for what I now have.

Find your Inner Ring

Before Carter was born, we had a great circle of close friends that were the backbone of our social life – parties, weekend trips, recreational sports, dinners, etc.

We saw these people every month or even more frequently. They were our “inner ring” of social support.

Then we started having kids and the circle started to break apart into the “With Kids” and “No Kids” rings. We still saw everyone, but the folks with kids stayed closer to each other because we were all doing “people with babies” things. Our inner ring naturally shifted to the “with kids” subset and grew naturally from the parents we met at preschools and the like. The “no kids” people moved to an outer ring – our lives didn’t connect as often. A natural part of the transition to family life. Read full post »