1. One of The Most Common Assumptions About Autism May Be a Complete Misunderstanding

    autism assumption

    One of The Most Common Assumptions About Autism May Be a Complete Misunderstanding


    Putting yourself in another person's shoes is never easy, and for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the practice is thought to be especially challenging.

    But even though this neurological condition is often considered a barrier to understanding complex emo

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  2. Breaking Point

    I hate it.

    It rocks me to the core and makes my hair stand on end.

    Over and over, with no end in sight, she keeps on repeating the same phrase. No matter what I try, I can’t soothe her. She just keeps on saying it again and again and again. Make it stop. She has to stop.


    The scream came out of the blue, shocking me as much as it shocked everyone else. I couldn’t help myself though. Her perseveration was never-ending. “No school on Monday!” “No school on Monday!” “No. School. On. Monday!” And then the hiccupping crying came. Followed by hugs and “I’m sorry, Mommy,” and “I don’t like sighing.” And then came the guilt. The guilt of having screamed at Debbie for something she could not help because many times she has trouble getting ou

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  3. Gratitude is Grand: Tips for Helping Your Child Feel Thankful

    By Elizabeth A. Sautter, M.A., CCC-SLP
    Author of Make Social Learning Stick!

    Gratitude is on the front burner around Thanksgiving, but it’s a mindset worth fostering year round.  UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center reports that gratitude plays a major role in adult well-being and that grateful young adolescents (ages 11–13) are happier, more optimistic, and more satisfied with school, friends, and family than their less grateful peers.  Likewise, grateful teens (ages 14–19) are more satisfied with their lives, more engaged in schoolwork and hobbies, and less envious, depressed, and materialistic than teens who feel less thankful.

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  4. Cast Your Own Spell for an Autism-Friendly Halloween

    Cast Your Own Spell for an Autism-Friendly Halloween

    By Elizabeth Sautter

    Halloween frights can go way beyond the thrill of ghosts and goblins. Fun can quickly become a real fear for some children, even though they’ve been told repeatedly that the scary witches and bloody masks are pretend. 

    For some kids with autism, any costume creates confusion and anxiety about what’s real and what isn’t. Others become giddy from all the excitement and sugar, then struggle to calm themselves down. Halloween typically comes with plenty of hype and build-up can be stressful and distracting for weeks in advance.

    This Halloween, take some steps to reduce the overwhelming experiences. At the same time, you ca

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  5. Good Neighbors: Teach Your Child to be a Part of the Community

    Good Neighbors: Teach your child to be a part of the community

    By Elizabeth Sautter

    Wherever you live, neighbors are important. These are the people you’ll see day after day, and the
    people you’ll likely turn to when you need a cup of milk or your car won’t start. Developing friendly
    relationships with neighbors and teaching your children to do the same will build community on
    your block and help your child develop a sense of responsibility for others. Here are some ideas for
    teaching your child to be a thoughtful and helpful neighbor:

    1. Be a Role Model: When you stop to greet a neighbor and take the time to ask how they’ve
    been, your child will learn to do the same. Likewise, when you offer to feed

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  6. The Unspeakable Truths

    The Unspeakable Truths

    As a parent, I worry about my kids. My worries for Debbie outweigh my worries for Joey. I know that Joey will find his place in high school, college, and ultimately in life. But Debbie? She’s different.

    A year ago Vince and I made the difficult but correct decision to change Debbie’s educational track. Instead of graduating with a high school diploma, she will receive a certificate of participation. This decision has untied our hands from creating IEP goals that were unattainable and has allowed us instead to focus on giving Debbie a more appropriate education that will prepare her for life outside of the comforting walls of school. Yet, I still worry!

    Here is what keeps me up at night. I worry about what her future will look like. Where will she live? Will she have friends to support her j

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