Parenting & Family

Want to know how to get your child with autism into their fall coat? Maybe you are taking a trip, and want to know how to make it a smooth experience. Or maybe you are a parent on the spectrum. This section contains all blogs and articles dealing with the subject of autism, ASD and parenting.

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…

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Why It Takes A Village To Support A Person With Autism

I recently renewed the service contract for both of my adult children with ASD. The process of meeting with my caseworker left me feeling like a failure and deflated. I think this was because  my caseworker starting sentences with, “You should…” One example of this was, “You should go around the city and approach potential employers for opportunities for your…

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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…

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Making Christmas Merry and Bright for Individuals with ASD

The Christmas holidays can be a time of wonder and delight, taking part in family traditions, seeing loved ones, and a break from routines. The holidays can also be a time of stress for those on the autism spectrum who thrive on familiarity and predictability. This can be a difficult time of year, but with some preparation and planning, the…

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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…

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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…

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How important are relationships in the lives of people with autism?

Studio 3 clinician Dr. John McDermott discusses relationships and autism, and the role played by the emotional and relational world when supporting clients. The importance of relationship in the lives of people who have an autism diagnosis is a crucial part of our practice at Studio 3. When working therapeutically with clients, parents or caregivers, we aim to capture individual…

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Measuring ‘Quality of Life’ For ASD: shifting from diagnosis to happiness

I recently returned from the Autism Europe Conference in Nice, France. The conference happens once every 3 years and highlights a variety of research presentations on many different topics about autism. There was one keynote speaker who really intrigued me from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet – Sven Bölte. His keynote presentation, From diagnosis to functioning and quality of life in autism,…

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Critical Mass – Building in Practice Time for Individuals with ASD

There is a new area of study emerging in autism called critical mass which means true mastery of a skill. Critical mass is the point where an individual has gained enough information to be successful in situations, activities, or skills for which instruction has not been provided. When there has been enough instruction and multiple experiences, a tipping point can…

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“It Happens” – Fecal Smearing in Individuals with ASD

I receive a lot of questions every month about toileting difficulties. One question I am asked is what to do about fecal smearing. It’s an upsetting behavior because of the smell, mess, and unhygienic situation. Parents worry that fecal smearing will happen when their child is outside of their home – at school, daycare, or in a public place. It…

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Ten Ways to Increase Your Child’s Ability to Be Flexible

Our guest blogger this week is Lauren Kerstein, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with children, adolescents, adults and families. Lauren will be speaking at our Calgary Conference on November 16, 2019. In this post, Lauren discusses the challenges with flexible thinking and suggests ten strategies to try to teach a child to be more flexible in…

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Parenting Two Children With Autism: How I Became an Optimist

I’ve just started reading Mark Durand’s new book Optimistic Parenting. Durand has studied the nature, assessment, and treatment of behavior problems in children with ASD. He has spent the past 3 decades working with individuals with ASD, their families and other professionals. He wrote this book to be a self-help guide for parents and suggests great strategies for children and parents.

 What I like about this book so far is the personal stories from parents. What they say and experience raising challenging children rings true – feeling guilty, no time for themselves, fear of what the future holds, frustration and exhaustion. How can you have a good life in the world of special needs?

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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…

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