Maureen Bennie's Autism Blog
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Autism News - Blog

Maureen Bennie’s blog on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Maureen is a mother of a son and a daughter ages 24 and 22 with autism. She has managed an at-home Intensive Behavioral Intervention Program for eight years for her children. She has written hundreds of articles and book reviews that have appeared in publications and on websites throughout North America and the UK. Maureen also gives presentations both live and online across Canada on various topics about autism, available books and resources and how to use them.

A New School: Easing the Transition

Moving to a new school is a big event in a young person’s life. Whether it be attending school for the first time or transferring to another school, the transition can cause fear or anxiety for a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Working together, parents and staff can help make this move a successful one by keeping in mind that a person with ASD needs predictability.

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Advocating for Your Child at School

Advocating for your child at school is not an easy task. To be effective, you have to keep your emotions in check, be concise about what problems your child is experiencing, bring possible solutions to the table, and be prepared to wait for change to take place.

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The Alberta Family and Disabilities Study Initiative

I am a participant in an Alberta Family Life Survey for families of children with disabilities. This is a three year project at the University of Alberta designed to help gain an understanding of the multiple roles parent-carers have and what resources they need to keep the family running. I just received the preliminary results of the first survey. I’d like to share some of the highlights of what 538 families said.

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Staying Together – Marriage and Autism

Marriage is work and a lot of it, even when the relationship is a strong and loving one. About 60% of all marriages end in divorce. That is a staggering figure.  I’ve read that the failure rate of marriages that have a child with autism is 80%, although I have never seen a confirmed study of this number.  Does the autism factor put marriages at a higher risk for breakdown?

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Summer Fun at Home

Most young families look forward to summertime – a holiday and a break from the old routines. For those who have young children with autism, going on a vacation may be simply out of the question because of the disruption to routines, travelling to a strange place, or visiting with relatives the child is unfamiliar with. Throw in a special diet into the mix and travelling becomes even more difficult. You have to avoid restaurants and take your own food everywhere.

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Autism and Vulnerability

We just returned from our annual conference in Birmingham, UK. This year’s topic of autism and vulnerability was one not tackled in our previous conferences. The speaker, Marc Serruys, gave an excellent and informative talk on the subject and what it is that makes this population so vulnerable.

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Manipulation – Does It Occur in Autism?

I was presented with a statement about my daughter, Julia, in parent-teacher interviews this past week. Her teacher felt that Julia manipulates people to get her own way. My response was, “Manipulation implies that Julia knows what your thoughts are and what you are likely to do next in a given situation and I don’t think she can do that.”

When I pressed for details of the manipulation, it came to light that the behavior was happening around recorder time in music class.

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The Inspirational 2010 Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics wrapped up on Sunday in Vancouver, BC. For 17 days, Canadians were the hosts to the world’s top athletes, coaches, and trainers. Spectators came from across the globe to watch the games and be part of the Olympic spirit. Volunteers in the thousands gave their time to help the games run smoothly and make the world feel welcomed.

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Dental Dilemmas

Is there anyone out there who can honestly say they like going to the dentist? Most of us dread the dentist. For the child with autism, it is a frightening experience because of sensory issues and the element of unpredictability.

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