The Autism Blog

Autism Awareness Month 2015- Events and Activities

Autism Awareness RibbonApril is Autism Awareness Month and to celebrate we would like to invite our readers to share their stories with us. We will run the stories that are shared with us throughout the month. There is no word limit and your audience is fellow parents, providers, friends and families. We do ask that you remember our blog lives forever (in cyberspace) so please remember to be considerate of others and what personal information you share. If you’d like to submit your story please send it to theautismblog@seattlechildrens.org. We can’t wait to hear from all of you!

Also, there are several activities, events and lectures being held to help raise awareness in the area. Check them out if you can! And let us know if there are any we are missing. Read full post »

Parental Self-Care and Autism

Ah life. Just when I think I’ve learned enough to graduate summa cum laude from the school of hard knocks, it reminds me that I am not done yet. There is always something new for me to learn.

Case in point: I took the day off from work to wrap up some matters related to my child’s “transition to adulthood”. By the way, at age 18, she is now officially known as “my adult” rather than “my child”. Sorry, but (unofficially) she will always be my child. Just as I am still my 81 year old mother’s child.

But back to that fateful day . . . I was feeling pretty good about crossing several things off my continuous-loop To Do List when I decided to text my husband and ask him to pick up a few things on the way home. (Tick tock. First decision)

On second thought, why bother him? I had the day off and that child, I mean adult of mine, would love to Read full post »

This Month’s Autism 200 Series: Video Games, Dating, Homework, Oh My!

autism 200The transition into adolescence is complex, especially for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Please join us for this month’s Autism 200 Series “Autism 203: Video Games, Dating, Homework Oh My! Guiding Tweens and Teens as they Navigate their World”, on March 19th, from 7 to 8:80 p.m. at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Ben Wahl, MSW, and Raffael Boccamazzo, PhD, invite parents and caregivers to examine some of the issues that effect tweens and teens who are on spectrum.

Preview of  “Autism 203: Video Games, Dating, Homework Oh My!”

Written by: Ben Wahl, MSW, founder and director of Aspiring Youth

When we talk about adolescence it is helpful to narrow the focus, otherwise we end up using ubiquitous phrases like ‘the teen brain’ and other generalities. Thus, we have identified three main issues that often arise for young people on the spectrum (and their parents): video games, dating and homework. Read full post »

Life After Out-of-Home Placement: Interviews with Parents (Part 2)

Dillon is a happy thirteen year old young man with significant behavioral challenges who recently moved to a group home. His mom Sara shares their story with us today.

Lynn: What led to your decision to seek out of home placement?

Sara: I felt that out of home placement was something that would happen around age 18, but for us it came five years earlier than I had expected. My son Dillon is non-verbal, and a joy all the time, except for when he was screaming and biting himself, and later screaming and biting himself while attacking me. It was hard to determine the precise point at which my own lack of sleep and lack of ability to care for him got to be so profound as to be dangerous for him, for me, for our mother-son relationship, for my other kids. When ordinary life is hard, and it continually gets more difficult in small increments, it is impossible to remember that there might be a line, let alone know when you have crossed it. And when other people tell you that you can’t handle this, it is easy to defend all your choices, defend Read full post »

Life After Out-of-Home Placement: Interviews with Parents

As my own child transitions to young adulthood, I look to those who have gone before me for guidance and support. In this week’s blogs, we discuss out of home placement from a parent’s perspective. Two veteran parents, Joy and Sara share their stories with us this week.

Audrey is a beautiful teenager with ASD who is also deaf and has a history of significant behavioral challenges. She recently moved out of her family’s home. Her mom tells us how the family is doing.

Lynn: How is Audrey doing since she moved to her group home. How did the adjustment go? Was it easier or harder than for her than you’d thought?

Joy: The transition for her has been remarkably smooth. I had lots of scenarios in my head before she moved – from complete disaster (she’d be upset and distraught all the time and unable to calm) to very Read full post »