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What is age appropriate?

submitted by lawilcox

‘Tis the season for parent/teacher conferences…at least in our school district. We spent the morning meeting with the teachers most involved in Ethan’s education this year. More than once today we discussed issues (regarding things we’re working on socially or organizationally) that I didn’t have a good feel for how Ethan’s neurotypical peers respond in the school setting. Two times I was surprised to hear he’s not the only boy in the class struggling with certain issues. While it was a nice and welcome surprise, it made me realize that I’m a little disconnected.

Making Friends and Taking Names

submitted by lawilcox

I don’t even know where the phrase: “Kicking butt and taking names” came from, but occasionally it pops into my mind…even though the word “butt” is not commonly used in our household. However, I’ve watched Ethan do some pretty great things [socially] lately, and I have decided to alter the saying above to fit Ethan’s progress…he’s “Making friends and taking names…”

Out-of-Town Company and ASD

submitted by lawilcox

I grew up with frequent visits from out-of-town family members with lots of cousins right around my age and I loved it! My cousins and I built hearty relationships, many of which have followed us into adulthood.
This week, one of my close cousins is bringing his two beautiful, neurotypical children for a visit during their Spring Break and I’m terribly excited. It will be so much fun to spend time with my cousin, his wife and those precious kids! I must admit, though, that I’m also significantly anxious about how things will go while they’re here.
While Ethan, who is 8-years-old and lives with Asperger’s Syndrome, loves to have company on his turf, it disturbs his routine. Especially since he’ll be headed off to school each morning while his cousins get to hang out, eat breakfast late, watch TV and play with his toys, I’m a little concerned about how he’s going to manage.

Bullying is a BIG Deal – Part 3

submitted by lawilcox

Part 1 and Part 2 of this series have received a great deal of feedback and we are grateful to our readers for taking the time to share comments, thoughts and concerns. Bullying most certainly affects most, if not all, of our families and it truly “takes a village” to keep our kids safe. While my initial three-part interview with Dr. Elliott finishes below, one of our readers made an excellent point after reading Part 1 (see comment “Adults Bullying Kids”) that we plan to address this week. AutismSpot Featured Blogger Craig Gibson has graciously agreed to prepare a post addressing this topic (watch for it on Tuesday); I value the unique perspective Craig brings to the topic as an educator, the parent of a child with special needs and as an individual who was bullied as a child. Dr. Elliott is also preparing some comments about adults as bullies (watch for those on Thursday). Until then, let us know what you think about the information below!
LAW: Please share some suggestions of what parents should do when they determine that their child is being bullied. Conversely, what should parents NOT do when they realize their child is being bullied?
Dr. Elliott: Parents should encourage their child to share their feelings. And it is ok to directly ask your child if they feel they are being bullied. It is important to listen and then validate your child’s feelings. Do not rationalize or minimize the bully’s behavior.


submitted by lawilcox

While enduring a big change in my life over the past week, I have been reminded how difficult change can be.
Even for those of us who are Neurotypical (NT), change can be uncomfortable and take us by surprise. Recently, even though I knew that some form of change was impeding with another outlet for which I wrote regularly in the past, I was blown away by a wide-sweeping change. While completely out of my control, this change affected me greatly. It really made me stop and think about why change can be so difficult for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Hello Earthlings!

Lisa Daxer sometimes feels like she's like an alien. A young woman with Autism navigates and observes the neurotypical world and helps scientists better understand socialization.

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 10:54

Teaching Social Inclusion On The Playground

Like most of our children, Katy & Leah Donmoyer spent their respective recess times alone. Now the twins are taking part in playground activities such as jumprope and playing with there neurotypical classmates. This is by design as the Copper Ridge Elementary School wants to incorporate NT students into teaching children on the spectrum how to enjoy the fun activites that occur at recess.

Mon, 10/06/2008 - 09:28
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