Autism, ASD and parenting
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.

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 Pandemic Effects on Parent-Teacher Relationships

I read an interesting piece in the Globe and Mail by Bonnie Stelmach, a University of Alberta Education Professor, investigating the changes that happened with parent-teacher relations as a result of the pandemic. She drew her information from an Alberta web-based survey and interviews with parents and teachers. There were positives and negatives which are good to be aware of…

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A Cautious, Open Summer in the Age of COVID-19

Many restrictive measures around the world are being relaxed as we head into summer. With vaccination programs in high gear, life is starting to feel safer. Leaving lockdowns behind and entering back into a more free world can also cause anxious feelings. Will the virus come back or a new variant emerge? What things can we do this summer? How…

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Supporting Learning, Interaction, and Interests through Reading

The ability to read can foster greater independence, support mental health, and lead to positive outcomes in adulthood because reading is connected to employment opportunities, which in turn is connected to income and housing. Reading improves self-confidence, increases vocabulary for both internal thought and communication, allows for greater participation in society and the workplace, expands interests, and supports understanding in…

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How do I know if my baby or young child is autistic?

Every week, I get emails from concerned parents who are worried that their baby or young child may be showing signs of autism. Parents send me a list of things they see and wonder if these are early indicators of autism. Every child is an individual and will not develop in the same way, hitting each milestone at the same…

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Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood – Part 2

This blog post is the second part of Successful Adulthood Starts in Childhood– Part 1. It is a continuation on the theme of what we do now to support children can lead to positive outcomes in adulthood. Sensory Issues Sensory processing involves seven systems: Tactile (touch) Vestibular (balance) Proprioception (body awareness) Visual (sight) Auditory (hearing) Gustatory (taste) Olfactory (smell) Difficulties…

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Caregivers and Increased Demands During the Pandemic

The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. Caregivers have had increasing demands and responsibilities placed on them because of lockdowns, program cancellations, difficulty retaining staff, illness and quarantines, new protocols and school closures. Community organizations have closed their doors to in-person meetings and have switched to online and phone support for their clients and members. Increased isolation has…

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Unscheduled – The Benefits of Free Time in a COVID-19 World

Restrictions and lockdowns, now a regular occurrence in our pandemic world, have had both drawbacks and positive effects. There is something to be said for unscheduled days. Free time provides the chance for contemplation, exploration, creativity, and reflection. Moving at a slower pace allows for more practice time to build critical mass, a chance to learn a new skill without…

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A Different Kind of Christmas

This Christmas will be a holiday like no other we’ve had before. The pandemic has set new boundaries and protocols that must be followed to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Even with these changes, you can still create memories and enjoy this special time of year. Here are some ideas to make the holidays bright. Take a Drive Having a…

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How the Pandemic is Affecting Sleep

I am seeing a spike in questions in around sleep difficulties since the pandemic started. Some of these problems are new or some are a return to past sleeping difficulties. Rebecca Robillard, director of clinical sleep research at the Royal Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research, published a new study on sleep changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Robillard collected…

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How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship? What is different about family violence in the ASD community?

November is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Canada. COVID-19 has caused a spike in domestic violence and abuse worldwide. The pandemic has disproportionately affected women. It has also affected the autism community in different ways due to loss of supports, suspension of some services and in-person visits, loss of income, additional health issues, and changes to how we live…

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The Importance of Play for Autistic Children

Play is an important part of a child’s development. It builds fine and gross motor skills, social skills, communication skills, language, thinking and problem solving skills. In children with ASD, play can be very limited. For example, a child may want to play alone, engage in repetitive play like lining up toys or moving from them from point A to…

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Constipation, Witholding and Overflow – A Deeper Dive into Bowel Problems for Individuals with ASD

The article that I wrote June 2019 on fecal smearing has generated a lot of mail and comments over the past year. When it comes to toileting difficulties, many challenges center around bowel movements and these 3 occurrences – constipation, withholding of the stool, and overflow. All three of these problems can be a cause of fecal smearing. Let’s have…

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