Autism Archives - Autism Awareness

Autism - Blog

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.

Sweet Dreams – Autism and Sleep

Autistic individuals often have difficulty falling or staying asleep.  It is estimated that 40 to 83% of autistic individuals have some form of sleep disturbance. Autistic children are twice as likely to have sleep issues as typical children or children with other developmental conditions. Disordered sleep is also one of the first concerns reported by parents. As diverse as autism…

Read More »

What might the future look like?

Last summer, my husband and I were shopping for a fire bowl for our backyard. Since we knew nothing about them, I wanted to ask for guidance from a salesperson. This young man came walking down the aisle so I inquired if he could direct us. I told him about our vision of having our two autistic adult children, Marc…

Read More »

Coping with Changes in Routines

The arrival of summer can mean a change in routine because of the school break, summer camps and activities, a family vacation, visitors, longer lighter days, and more free time. Change can be upsetting for autistic people because it makes things feel new and unpredictable. Changes in routine may require some additional support to make them less upsetting. Some transitions…

Read More »

Autism Awareness Centre Celebrates 20 Years

The month of June marks our 20th anniversary at Autism Awareness Centre Inc. (AACI). Twenty years is a milestone and one I wasn’t sure that we’d reach given the turn of events that happened because of the pandemic. Our world has changed a great deal, affecting everything we do and plan going forward. Over the past 20 years, I’ve had…

Read More »

Recognizing Autistic Interests as a Strength

If you ask a parent what the most important goal is for their child, they would probably say being happy and healthy. What things in life bring happiness and a sense of well-being? The answer to this question is often found through interests. Interests are a strength! Supporting an autistic person’s interests and passions are important because they are motivating,…

Read More »

How can perseverative thoughts be lessened?

Perseveration is when a person has repetitive thoughts and dwells on negative incidents, causing them to become “stuck”. Perseverative thoughts can happen because a person may be trying to manage stress, process information, shift attention, can’t stop thinking about certain things, or can’t control behaviors. This kind of thinking, or looping thoughts, is not done consciously or on purpose. It…

Read More »

Supporting Autistic Children through Structured Play

Engaging in play is an important part of child development. There are numerous benefits derived from playing such as developing imagination and creativity, cognitive growth, building social skills, improving literacy, encouraging independence and promoting physical fitness. While autistic children enjoy playing, they may find some types of play difficult. This can be due to the development of social and communication…

Read More »

How do autistic girls present differently than boys?

It is becoming more acknowledged and recognized that girls on the autism spectrum present differently than boys do. The diagnostic ratio has been 3 boys to every 1 girl diagnosed, but is this a true representation of the female population? Autistic females are not being diagnosed due to their differences in presentation, and on average are diagnosed 2 – 3…

Read More »

Autism Awareness Centre Celebrates 19 Years

The month of June marks our 19th anniversary at Autism Awareness Centre Inc. (AACI). The past 2 years have transformed us and influenced how we’ll go forward in the new “normal”; although I keep asking myself, “Are we there yet?” I don’t know a person who has not been deeply affected by the events of the pandemic. Most of us…

Read More »

Understanding Why Autistic People Need Alone-Time

When my autistic children were in school, they used to need about 90 minutes of alone-time when they got home with no demands or interruptions. I respected their need for a quiet period to regroup and recharge their batteries before connecting with me. As adults, they still have this need to have time to themselves, finding it throughout the day.…

Read More »

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Wait, Wait and Try Again

I had an eye opening experience with my daughter, Julia, last month. She had a doctor’s appointment for a physical assessment that was required in order to enroll in a fitness course. Her doctor told her she had low blood pressure, asked if she had any symptoms, and said that she may be anemic. I saw the surprise in her…

Read More »

What is autistic masking?

Autistic masking, camouflaging, or compensating is a conscious or unconscious suppression of natural autistic responses. It is hiding or controlling behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that may be viewed as inappropriate in situations. Autistic people may feel the need to present or perform social behaviors that are considered neurotypical or may hide neurodiverse behaviors in order to be…

Read More »

A Good Life for Autistic People Starts with Well-Being

I receive many emails from overwhelmed parents and caregivers about not knowing what to focus on to help the autistic children and adults in their care. Concerns can encompass troubling behaviors, sensory issues, education, the need for employment, healthy relationships, physical well-being, or how to improve daily living skills. At the heart of it all is the need for an…

Read More »

Masturbation and ASD – A Part of Healthy Sexuality

The subject of masturbation is one that people often feel uncomfortable talking about, yet it is a topic I receive many questions about. Some people believe that if a person is autistic, has intellectual or physical disabilities, they won’t have sexual urges. This simply isn’t true! Masturbation is a normal part of healthy sexuality.  One thing to keep in mind…

Read More »