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.

Asperger’s and Self-Esteem: Insight and Hope

Author: Norm Ledgin Publishing Info: May 2002 Reviewed by Maureen Bennie: Director, Autism Awareness Centre Inc. Norm Ledgin successfully puts to rest the negative connotations an Asperger’s diagnosis usually has. He’s devoted his literary energy into seeing the positive aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome. Society generally looks upon people with different or unusual traits as abnormal, but Ledgin sees the Asperger’s traits…

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Oral Motor Fun – Tips from Make & Take Workshops

Nothing causes more exasperation to an already stressed out parent of a child with special needs than the child who makes mealtimes a disaster! In my 25 tears as a pediatric occupational therapist, and a mother of three children, I know firsthand how developing socially acceptable eating and drinking skills promotes quality of life.

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Hopes and Dreams: An IEP Guide for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Author: Kirby Lentz Publishing Info: 2004 Reviewed by Maureen Bennie : Director, Autism Awareness Centre Inc. Author Kirby Lentz brings over 30 years of experience in education and administration for persons with developmental disabilities to this book which guides both parents and educators through the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) process. The guide, written primarily for parents, is a tool for building…

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My Book Full of Feelings: How to Control and React to the SIZE of Your Emotions

Author: Amy V. Jaffe and Luci Gardner Publishing Info: 2006 Reviewed by Yu-Chi Chou, University of Kansas & Maureen Bennie: Director, Autism Awareness Centre Inc. In My Book Full of Feelings, Luci Gardner, the mother of a child with Asperger Syndrome, and Amy V. Jaffe, a clinical social worker, present an effective and easy-to-use tool for teaching children with Asperger Syndrome (AS)…

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Personal Hygiene? What’s that Got to Do with Me?

Author: Pat Crissey Publishing Info: December 2004 Reviewed by Maureen Bennie: Director, Autism Awareness Centre Inc.  Teaching personal hygiene to young people with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities can be a difficult task because they do not always see the need to develop good hygiene habits. Special education teacher Pat Crissey has created a curriculum to teach personal hygiene…

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A Thorn in My Pocket: Temple Grandins Mother Tells the Family Story (Version Francais)

Par: Eustacia Cutler Publishing Info: October 2004 Revu par Maureen Bennie: Director, Autism Awareness Centre Inc. Le rôle d’une mère, dans lequel s’entremêlent émotions, luttes, bonheur et déceptions, est complexe. Le parcours d’une mère dont l’enfant a un trouble envahissant du développement (TED) est semé d’épreuves, de culpabilité, de quêtes et de crainte de l’inconnu. La plupart des femmes ayant un…

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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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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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