Thank you for joining us for the Autism 205 presentation: “Parenting in the New Normal”. We discussed strategies to take on an ally role as a parent in these challenging times. If you did not get a chance to see the panel, it will be available soon on YouTube.

While our panel sought to review the general parenting themes that have been coming up during these difficult times, the panelists represented the perspectives of individuals with goals around increased independence and self-determination and many of the specific parenting strategies discussed were not applicable to youth and families who experience high magnitude behaviors and significant cognitive challenges. This is a part of the autism community that is often not given visibility in the broader community and that, sadly, within our community is often maligned for speaking about these significant behaviors and challenges.

Please see the blog post by Joy Gehner Surving Covid With a Child With Severe Autism that was written with the intent to share information and insights from that perspective of parenting a child with severe autism. We have also included the following article that speaks to this part of our community.

Parenting a child with autism during the pandemic

In addition, during the weeks since this panel on May 21, 2020, significant events have occurred. Issues of racial injustice have come to the surface and been made very visible after the killing of George Floyd. Every family will find their own way to process these recent events. We have included three additional resources.

Videos on facemasks and social distancing. As well as upcoming virtual talks on race and disability, school re-entry strategies and other pertinent topics.

Books and video on teaching anti-racist concepts for parents and educators.

Below you will find resources and articles from some of the panelists. We hope that these can be helpful to you.

From Pilar Lopez – College administrator at Bellevue College OLS and Parent

Here are some of the websites I consult on a regular basis, plus a link to our own OLS Website, just in case you are interested in learning more about us and what we do.

On how to be an ally to the community:

Learning about Interdependence as opposed to independence. What skills are more important to teach?

Great tools to rely on for self care, mindfulness practices and resources in general for all things autism and more.

From Marcelle Ciampi (aka Samantha Craft)- neurodiversity ambassador and autistic author
Everyday Aspie
Spectrum Suite LLC:
1. Video: Samantha Craft shares with Different Brains Founder Hackie about life on the spectrum
2. A list of neurodivergent folks around the world:
3. A senior recruiter for a technology company with an autism-hiring initiative offers insights into the unique strengths of autistic workers
4. The innovative thinking style of the autistic individual.

And finally, from Shayla Collins – mindfulness coach at Seattle Children’s and parent.

Prelude to The Dance
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
What if it truly doesn’t matter what you do but how you do whatever you do?
How would this change what you choose to do with your life?
What if you could be more present and openhearted with each person you met if you were working as a cashier in a corner store, or as a parking lot attendant, than you could if you were doing a job you think is more important?
How would this change how you spend your precious time on this earth?
What if your contribution to the world and the fulfillment of your own happiness is not dependent upon discovering a better method of prayer or technique of meditation, not dependent upon reading the right book or attending the right seminar, but upon really seeing and deeply appreciating yourself and the world as they are right now?
How would this affect your search for spiritual development?
What if there is no need to change, no need to try to transform yourself into someone who is more compassionate, more present, more loving or wise?
How would this affect all the places in your life where you are endlessly trying to be better?
What if the task is simply to unfold, to become who you already are in your essential nature — gentle, compassionate, and capable of living fully and passionately present?
How would this affect how you feel when you wake up in the morning?
What if who you essentially are right now is all that you are ever going to be?
How would this affect how you feel about your future?
What if the essence of who you are and always have been is enough?
How would this affect how you see and feel about your past?
What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?
How would this change what you think you have to learn?
What if becoming who and what we truly are happens not through striving and trying but by recognizing and receiving the people and places and practices that offer us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold?
How would this shape the choices you make about how to spend today?
What if you knew that the impulse to move in a way that creates beauty in the world will arise from deep within and guide you every time you simply pay attention and wait?
How would this shape your stillness, your movement, your willingness to follow this impulse, to just let go and dance?