Arthur, my 15-year-old son, has autism and getting out the house for community outings can be a complex, demanding, stressful and unpredictable journey for both of us.
Last year, on a gray December Saturday, Arthur and I were flopping around the house in our pajamas. The day wore on and we were feeling restless and confined. Arthur started to pace and gallop.
A clumsy giraffe in my small kitchen. His way of saying, “not one more minute under this roof.”
I remember this day because months before this, we had some very rough moments in public. The kind of day when we both return home traumatized. Tantrums in parking lots, meltdowns in bowling alley, aggression in Safeway, bolting in the museum, the sound of breaking glass in the gift shop, nibbling others’ French fries in the food court and sniffing strangers in the elevator. Keeping him safe, apologizing to others when necessary, and helping Arthur to understand the rules of social navigation was overwhelming. I started to wonder if we’d never leave the house—even if it meant terminal cabin fever. Read full post »
A little life lesson…
So often, some of the greatest lessons we learn in life come in times and places when we are least expecting them. Last week offered one of those moments…
As our monthly movie night at the Burnett Center came to an end, as we turned off ‘The Incredibles’ and vacuumed up popcorn debris, a new friend, who will be participating at the center, asked if he could talk to me about some things he had on his mind.
Curious, I welcomed the conversation as this bright, charming and contemplative young man talked about planning for the future and how the unknown can be overwhelming for people with autism. For him, this was in regards to his life and wondering about girlfriends, marriage, even heaven… and for me, in Read full post »
Whether you are travelling near or far this holiday season, here are some helpful tips to make travelling with your child with autism successful from Seattle Children’s Autism Center behavioral specialist, Ron Thomson.
Gather information and organize documentation:
• Emergency fact sheet: This is a document that is carried in a secure spot, often with other travel documents. A typical format is an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper (perfect for slipping into a clear sheet protector) that contains essential information. Common information to be included is name, contact information, diagnosis, pertinent health Read full post »
Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck!
One of the most recommended therapies for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is social skills therapy. After all, deficits in social interaction define the autism spectrum – meaning, all children with autism/Asperger’s/PDD have impairments in this area. But, is it possible to effectively teach social skills and, more importantly, can that teaching translate into meaningful social relationships for children with ASD? We think so, but there are some things parents can do to ensure that their children are getting the most benefit from social skills treatment. Read full post »
Traveling with a child with autism presents a unique set of challenges while also providing opportunities for new experiences and shared family activities. Numerous questions present themselves: how do we make sure we have all the equipment and materials we need; where do we go if there is an emergency; how will my child react to new settings such as an airport or a hotel room; how can we help pass time during long travel periods; and many more. Read full post »