1. What is Autism?

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    What is Autism?

    Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior.

    Today, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States.

    Autism can present as a broad range of challenges including social skills, repetitive pattern of behavior, and special interests or activities. These challenges are sometimes due to a hypersensitivity to sen

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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 out

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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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