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.

Improving Communication & Behavior

Students with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD and other diagnoses that fall within the autism spectrum experience significant challenges in communication and social skills. In addition, they may demonstrate behavior challenges that can prevent successful participation in school and family activities.

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Establishing the Social Connection

How do I reach you, sweet child? I have worked with you many times. Yet, I feel that we still have not met. I get a glimpse of you now and then but you continue to hide behind the many faces of autism.

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Telling Social Secrets

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:

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Teaching the Person With Autism HOW to DRIVE

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?

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Wisdom From a Preschool Teacher

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?

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Home Is Where School Is

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.

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Saving Your Sanity: Tips for Mothers

Parenting in North America is an isolating experience. Most families do not have extended family living with them or near by to help with childcare. We live in communities where we barely know our next door neighbors let alone the people three doors down.

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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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It’s All in How You Look At It: Facing Parenting Challenges

Most parents say they would do anything for their children. Their children’s health and well being is the most important thing – the #1 family concern. Some families are put to the test when it becomes evident there is something wrong with their child. They have to struggle, make sacrifices, and demand an inner strength from themselves that they never thought possible.

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Windows – A Glimpse of Kaitrin’s World

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.

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Ventriloquism by a Boy With Asperger Syndrome

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.

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Different Genes May Cause Autism in Boys and Girls

Like detectives trying to solve a murder case, researchers searching for the biological cause of autism have come up with some surprising suspects. They’ve found that different genes may be responsible for causing autism in boys than in girls. In addition, the researchers also have discovered that other genes may play a role in the early onset form of the developmental disorder and in the recently verified regression, or late onset, type of autism, according to a new study published today in the online edition of the journal Molecular Genetics.

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