Articles & Blog

Maureen Bennie curates a news blog for Autism Calgary called "What in The World is Going On About Autism". Her blog often mines and expands on the articles and events that she has detailed in that news feed, as well as looking at current best autism resources, news stories, and events on a variety of topics about autism and ASD.

The Out-Of-Sync Child Has Fun – Revised Edition

Carol Kranowitz, a former preschool teacher, made us aware of sensory integration dysfunction in children in her first book “The Out Of Sync Child”. After the success of that book, she then came up with hands-on ideas to help with sensory integration dysfunction. The result is “The Out of Sync Child Has Fun”, packed with interactive games and activities to help integrate the sensory system for children ages 3 to 12.

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Learn to Move, Move to Learn: Sensorimotor Early Childhood Activity Themes

Author Jenny Clark Brack has written an excellent resource for providing best practice occupational therapy services in preschool and early childhood settings. Ms. Brack is a pediatric occupational therapist with over 14 years of experience in school settings. The knowledge she shares in this book will provide anyone working with young children in early childhood settings how to implement a sensory integration program.

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Just Take a Bite: Easy, Effective Answers to Food Aversions and Eating Challenges

Author: Lori Ernsperger, Tania Stegen-Hanson Publishing Info: March 2004 Reviewed by Maureen Bennie: Director, Autism Awareness Centre Inc.  One of the common complaints from parents of children with autism spectrum disorders is their children have picky eating habits. Some children eat only a few foods or foods from only two food groups such as meat and grains/carbohydrates, others refuse to try…

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Let’s Talk Emotions: Helping Children with Social Cognitive Deficits, Including AS, HFA, and NVLD, Learn to Understand and Express Empathy and Emotions

Children with social cognitive deficits (SCD) have difficulty identifying emotions in other people and themselves. Author Teresa Cardon, director of the Speech and Language Department at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Centre in Phoenix, Arizona, has put together activities to teach emotions and empathy. The activities, aimed at ages 3 – 18, are designed to help those with Asperger Syndrome, high functioning autism, and non-verbal learning disability.

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A Thorn in My Pocket: Temple Grandins Mother Tells the Family Story

The role of mother is a complex one laced with emotion, struggles, happiness and disappointment. The journey of mothering a child with an autism spectrum disorder is a road full of trials, guilt, quests and fear of the unknown. Most mothers of ASD children share similar experiences and feelings no matter what their age or background. Eustacia Cutler, mother of Temple Grandin (arguably the most famous woman in the world with autism) takes us through her personal journey of raising a daughter with autism during a time where little was known about the disorder. Ms. Cutler shares with us her self doubt and search for answers amidst an environment that offered little support.

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Definition of Autism

Autism is a lifelong, nonprogressive neurological disorder typically appearing before the age of three years. The word “autism” means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction.

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Shutdowns and Stress in Autism

Part 1: Can shutdowns hurt your child?

What is a shutdown?

A shutdown is a particular sequence of behavior which we observed in a child diagnosed as high-functioning within the autistic spectrum.

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ASDs and Involvement in the Criminal Justice System

A number of people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are involved in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) as either victims, witnesses or offenders. There is no evidence of an association between ASD and criminal offending. In fact, due to the rigid way many people with ASD keep to rules and regulations, they are usually more law abiding than the general population. People with ASD are more at risk as victims of crime rather than as offenders

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What About the Kids?

Politicians are failing children, especially those with special needs. IMAGINE THE STRESSES of raising an autistic child. In the most severe cases of autism, children shut out the world around them, behave in ritualistic ways and communicate through shrieks and screams.

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Fleas and Autism

If the largest percentage of cases of autism occur in those with compounding co-morbid (co-occurring) conditions, then the idea of ‘pure’ autism is actually referring to a rarity… Most people are aware of the co-occurrence of treatable gut and immune issues co-occurring in a fairly large part of the autistic population (see Shattock, Waring, Gupta). It ain’t rocket science to understand the effect of chronic digestive system and immune system disorders on impairing the efficient supply of nutrients to the brain.

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Autism Affects All of the Brain

Autism does not simply affect how people relate to others but has a wide range of effects, a study suggests. US researchers compared 56 children with autism with 56 who did not have the condition. Those with autism were found to have more problems with complex tasks, such as tying their shoelaces, suggesting many areas of the brain were affected.

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