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.

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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Considerations in Teaching More Advanced Students with Autism

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.

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Exploring Feelings: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

World renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Attwood has written two excellent programs for managing two common emotions that are frequently out of control in people with autism spectrum disorders – anger and anxiety. Uncontrolled anger and anxiety can cause people with ASD’s to experience isolation, frustration, interruption of learning and bullying. Attwood’s programs teach cognitive control of emotions.

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Pathways to Play

Authors Rebecca Berry, a physical therapist, and Glenda Fuge, an occupational therapist, have created Pathways to Play – 40 activities for children ages 4 to 12 that explore sensory integration strategies within the context of the Integrated Play Group, created by Pamela Wolfberg. Integrated play groups of three to five children include typical peers who are the expert players and a child with autism spectrum disorder.

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Mu-Sync

Music can be a powerful tool for helping children who are experiencing sensory integration dysfunction. It can help with self-regulation, body awareness, and alertness as well as relaxation. Its rhythms, melodies and harmonies can focus attention and calm the mind. Australian occupational therapist Genevieve Jereb has created two CD’s entitled Say G’Day and Cool Bananas that are favorites for young children…

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The Mind Tree

The world was first introduced to Tito last year on a 60 Minutes segment. He wowed viewers with his remarkable talents and abilities. Tito is no ordinary boy – he has autism and is able to articulate quite well what it is like to live in the autistic world. His book The Mind Tree was just released in Canada this fall.

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Tasks Galore for the Real World

Tasks Galore for the Real World teaches domestic, vocational, and other independent living skills to the adolescent and young adult. Applicable to home, school, community and training sites, this book uses a functional approach to tasks. Tasks are created using multi-modal presentations, which use visual, tactile and motor movement…

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The Discovery of “Aspie” Criteria

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.

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