For many with autism, engaging in a social interaction is like playing a game without knowing the rules. Some individuals report that the social demands of making small talk or walking into a party can create stress, anxiety, and panic; they may feel as if everyone else knows the secrets necessary for success and they do not. Liane Holliday Willey (1999), a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome, illustrates how stressful it can be when one does not understand certain social requirements:
While driving on my way to an appointment I was cut in front of three times. I steered clear of a car that was edging over my way to avoid an accident. I saw a near miss when a car ran a stop sign. I pulled over for a siren but cars passed me who didn’t bother to follow that law and I had cars honk at me for going the posted speed limit in a school zone. Were all of those drivers autistic?
Some of the most important skills your child needs at school come from lessons that begin at home. A mother tells me how excited she is about her toddler’s “educational” computer game. Just click the mouse and presto: One, two, three oranges bound into a bucket. Isn’t that a fabulous way to learn counting? What is my opinion, as a preschool teacher?
Cuts have occurred in education over the past several years in our Alberta public education system. While all children suffer from cutbacks, the ones most affected tend to be the children with special needs. With class sizes growing and classroom resources diminishing, another educational option for the special needs child is available – homeschooling.
Kaitrin Beechey is a young artist with Asperger Syndrome, living in Cambridge Ontario. Although non-verbal until she was seven years old, Kaitie was always very graphic, captivated by intricate detail, pattern and repetition. These traits dominate her drawings of hidden fantasy worlds that unknowingly surround us. Through her art, Kaitie interprets and records everyday things that most of us overlook.
As part of a qualitative methodology course at the University of Ottawa in the Faculty of Education, graduate students were invited to conduct a “pilot research study” employing one of the five traditions of inquiry identified by Creswell (1998). Struck by the phenomenological approach, I chose an “incident” of interest to me – the case of a boy with Asperger’s syndrome who had used a ventriloquist’s puppet to communicate in an unusual way with his family, friends and ultimately – himself.
HOUSTON–Doctors often diagnose children with attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities or bipolar disorder when their patients actually have Asperger’s—a developmental disorder that inhibits the ability to socialize well with others…
In this guide, the three terms used above will be referenced as “AS” or “the spectrum” Many students on the spectrum demonstrate exceptional abilities in a vast array of skills and talents. These can include but are not limited to: exceptional memory, mathematical skills, calendar projections, computers, music, exceptionally early and advanced reading skills (“hyperlexia”), poetry, writing stories and general writing skills, spelling, punctuation and grammar, imitations of people or animals, painting, sculpture and other forms of visual arts, chemistry and physics.
Some of this century’s best discoveries were creative and determined efforts to answer “What if…?” questions. What if people could fly? What if electrical energy could be harnessed to produce light? What if there was an easily accessible, international communication and information network? The answers have resulted in permanent changes: air travel, light bulbs, the Internet.
One of the foremost conditions being overlooked by doctors is Hypothyroidism: What I will charitably call subclinical hypothyroidism is being overlooked to the detriment of recovery of children and their Moms. The Thyroid affects everything happening in the body.
Dr. Elizabeth Whelan bravely puts the autism-thimerosal connection at the top of her list of “Great Unfounded Health Scares of 2004”. While we all might like this dark side of vaccines to be just a crackpot idea, recent studies have provided solid evidence indicating that toxic effects of the ethylmercury-containing preservative may indeed have led to recent increases in autism and ADHD.