Autism Archives - Autism Awareness
We’re here for you during COVID-19, providing information and resources like we always have for the past 17 years. Let us know how we can help.

Autism

It’s true that almost every blog post could fit into this category, but we try to keep it mostly to those blog posts and articles that specifically reference autism itself. News, research, any articles that talk specifically about autism, rather than a related disorder, or behaviour.

Autism Awareness Centre Celebrates 17 Years

June 2020 marks Autism Awareness Centre’s 17th anniversary. When I co-founded this company in 2003, my children were 4 and 6 years old. I was only four years in to the autism journey. Today my children are 21 and 23, young adults. This year’s celebration feels very different in the wake of COVID-19. Much of the world has changed; we’re…

Read More »

The New “Normal”- ASD in the Post COVID-19 World

We are seeing out first glimmer of hope after weeks of bad and frightening news -the COVID-19 curve is flattening.  Our communities are going to reopen, albeit in stages and at different times and rates depending on regional data. It is exciting to be able to move about again, to have some shops open, and resume enjoyable activities. There are…

Read More »

Autism x 2 in Isolation

I am the parent of two children, now adults, on the autism spectrum. Marc is 23 and Julia is 21. They’ve been out of school for almost 3 years now. We’re constantly at work building skills, expanding interests, exploring new recreational activities, volunteering in the community, exercising, cooking, and furthering their education. Things were moving along quite well, then COVID-19…

Read More »

The New ASD “At Home” World – 10 Ways to Cope with Changes During COVID-19

The recent events around COVID-19 have dramatically altered our world in a short period of time. Each new day is bringing different challenges, restrictions and uncertainties. For our autism community, these changes create a unique set of problems. Activities have stopped running, day programs are shut down, schools are closed, and at home support/respite staff are not working during this…

Read More »

Embracing the Interests and Passions of Individuals with Autism, No Matter What They Are

I recently featured an article on Facebook about age appropriate interests written by Christine Motokane, a young adult with autism. Some of her interests were deemed “inappropriate for her age” by well meaning people around her. Christine’s mother became concerned about her childhood interests as they continued into her high school years. She hired a behaviorist to teach Christine what…

Read More »

What Do I Do Now? Dealing with an Autism Diagnosis at Any Stage, Any Age

Receiving an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis is a life-changing event at any age or any stage of life. For parents of young children, it changes their hopes, dreams and expectations for their child. It impacts the parents’ relationship with each, the family dynamic and relationships with extended family and friends. A diagnosis in the elementary school years can explain why…

Read More »

Temple Grandin’s Advice For Living the Best Life with ASD

I recently organized my tenth bookstore for Temple Grandin at a conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Temple’s talks are always inspiring and motivating because of all that she has accomplished in her long career. Her boundless energy and enthusiasm make one forget that she is 72 years old. I enjoyed listening to Temple speak with eager delegates at the book…

Read More »

Autism Awareness Centre Inc. Celebrates 16 Years

June 2019 marks Autism Awareness Centre’s 16th anniversary. When I co-founded this company in 2003, my children were 4 and 6 years old. I was only four years in to the autism journey. Today my children are 20 and 22, young adults. So much has changed in the autism field these past 16 years. Some of our biggest advancements have…

Read More »

Understanding Stimming and Autism: The Good and Bad Side of Anxious Behaviours

What is stimming? Stimming – or stims – are a wide variety of self-stimulating behaviours that people with autism may exhibit when experiencing sensory overload or high levels of anxiety. Stimming can be a repetitive motion such as hand flapping, rocking, repetition of words or phrases (echolalia), vocalizations, or even the repetitive movement of objects. Stimming still puzzles many neurotypicals,…

Read More »

The Positives of Autism

Autism is often defined and described in terms of deficits. This happens in order to determine what supports are needed, for program design and implementation, and level of funding; but always talking about what a person can’t do or do as well as their peers can be demoralizing. Improvement can be difficult to see and small but significant gains are…

Read More »

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.

Read More »

What Can I Do For My Child While Waiting for an Autism Diagnosis?

Here is something I hear quite frequently – “My child has been placed on a waiting list for assessment. We have to wait several months before someone will see my child. Is there something I can do in the meantime to help my child before a diagnosis is given?”

Anxious parents don’t want to wait to start intervening if they suspect something is amiss. If a diagnosis of autism is suspected, there is much that can be done even before an official diagnosis is given. If suspicions turn out to be incorrect, the help given will not have been harmful in any way. I was in this waiting position with my own son, seeking a diagnosis for him at 10 months of age. The diagnosis did not happen until 2 years later even though I was persistent. In the meantime, I felt helpless as I watched Marc lose what few words he had, become increasingly frustrated, and his challenging behavior escalated. I wanted to do something but didn’t know where or how to start.

Read More »

Temple Grandin: Still Going Strong at 70

Autism Calgary celebrated its 25th Anniversary on February 22nd with an exciting event – an evening with Temple Grandin. Temple spoke at the Calgary Hyatt Regency Hotel to a huge, enthusiastic audience of nearly 1200 people. She was in top form, delivering a two hour talk full of insight and practical information. Temple’s energy and enthusiasm for the subject of…

Read More »

Should we insist on eye contact from children with autism?

Making eye contact has been a long debate in the autism community. Eye contact is a necessary skill for navigating social landscapes at work and school. Lack of eye contact is one of the hallmarks of autism, but should we insist on it? Why do children find it difficult to make eye contact? A new study, published in November in…

Read More »