Archive for November 2014

Monthly Archive

Gratitude in the Midst of Hardship

wordsofthankfulnessOne exercise that I learned in mindfulness training is to jot down the things I’m grateful for.  The point is to be aware that while difficulties are present in our lives, there are people and things that make the load a little lighter. This is not always an easy thing to do when I’m not feeling particularly thankful for sleep deprivation or challenging behavior. I do find it helpful though to consciously do this from time to time. 

At this time of year, we at Seattle Children’s Autism Center would like to call to mind the reason we are here – YOU.  While we wish we knew each other under different circumstances, we are keenly aware of how much better we are because of you and all who live with autism. 

I asked our staff what they are thankful for when it comes to the families we serve and this is what they said . . .

I am thankful that I am allowed to witness all the incredible strength and perseverance I see in our families. It inspires me to do more.  Jennifer Mannheim, ARNP 

I am so, so thankful for the opportunity to share in moments of growth with families. It is a privilege and a constant source of inspiration!  Jo Ristow, SLP  Read full post »

Upcoming Events and Activities for Individuals with Special Needs

As you plan your calendar for the next couple of months, please take a look at some of these great, local and free activities and events for families and individuals with special needs.


The Arc of King County’s Latino Family Winter Party

Celebrate the New Year with games, music, food, friends and fun! All are welcome. This is a potluck event and you are encouraged to bring a dish to share. There is no cost to attend.

Saturday, December 6, 2014 from 10 am to 1 pm

Angle Lake Family Resource Center
4040 S 188th St.
SeaTac, WA 98188

Please contact Patricia Gonzalez at or call 206-829-7027 for more information.

Sensitive Santa

The Outlet Collection will make its Santa area sensory friendly with lower lighting and quieter surroundings. Each family who attends will receive a free Santa photo and enjoy festive giveaways to commemorate the magical holiday Read full post »

Ten ‘Mistakes’ This Parent of a Kid with Autism Has Made Over the Years

Beginning with her diagnosis almost sixteen years ago, we’ve put forth a Herculean effort to help her to do and be her best. We’re human though and autism is hard so we’ve made mistakes. I also know we’re in good company because I see many parents doing what we did, all with the most noble of causes – to help our child.

We’re older and wiser (although not proportionally by any means!) now and can reflect on things we know now that we wished we’d known then. With that in mind, here are ten things we’d do differently that are offered not as criticism but as food for thought.

1. We choose a therapy or intervention with the goal that it will make autism go away.

While this is perfectly understandable and we probably all start off with this aim, having this global goal can make it difficult to accurately appraise the gradual progress that our kids tend to make. It can also lead to big disappointment when the optimal results aren’t achieved. Instead, focus goals on specific aspects of your child’s autism, the things that are most challenging. For example, more specific goals might be improving receptive vocabulary in speech therapy or reducing tantrums in behavioral therapy, improving social skills in social skills group. Here’s a tip for thinking about Read full post »

What This Parent of a Child with Autism Wants You To Know

Kat and ArthurParents of kids with autism love to talk about their kids. Just ask us! Each of us has our own story to tell and this is mine. Ask another parent and you’re sure to get a different perspective.

When I tell people my child has autism, I often wonder what they envision. Do they conjure up an image of a child “locked up in his own mind” looking blankly out at the world?

Or perhaps they imagine a “little professor” who has can list in a very business-like tone and in alphabetical order, the 400,000 species of beetles known to man. 

You should know that my child is not like Rain Man or Einstein.

Some children with autism may have savant abilities or have remarkable splinter skills but most do not have a special superpower. On the same note, not all children with autism have an intellectual disability. And having intellectual disability does not mean a child is not smart.  Read full post »