Autism, ASD and parenting

Parenting & Family - Blog

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.

Ten Tips for an Autism Friendly Christmas

Christmas can be a magical time filled with decorations, treats, presents, twinkling lights, and excitement. It can also be a stressful time for autistic people because of schedule changes, visitors, sensory overload and unpredictability. Here are a ten tips to help make this holiday season an autism friendly one. Maintain routines for predictability. Try to stick with routines like bedtime,…

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Financial Stability for Autistic Individuals and Their Families – What Should Be Taken into Consideration?

In November, I spoke on a panel for the Public Health Agency of Canada National Conference to discuss aspects of the National Autism Strategy. My topic was financial stability. Each panelist only had a few minutes to speak about the issues and possible solutions. While I really enjoyed hearing my fellow panelists viewpoints and ideas, the experience left me upset…

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The Versatility of Using Visual Supports with Autistic People

Visual supports are the cornerstone of communication. They provide structure, routine, consistency and predictability. When a person understands the expectations and knows what to do, they are more independent and confident. Visuals can give a non-speaking person a voice or provide another way to communicate when anxiety and stress take over and words fail. There was a study that found…

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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…

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Community Inclusion for Autistic People – Ideas and Options

Community inclusion is best described as when there is an opportunity within a community for all its members to live, work, contribute and participate without barriers or obstacles to do so. In an inclusive community each person has their individual needs and differences not only accommodated, but celebrated and valued. Community inclusion means that every person should be treated as…

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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.…

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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…

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Building Resilience – An Important Life Skill

Throughout life, every person faces challenges, obstacles and difficulties that they must overcome. The ability to bounce back through adversity is called resilience. Resilience involves working through challenges in a proactive way which helps build confidence and mastery in overcoming difficulties. Being able to do so supports personal growth, mental health, and contributes to positive feelings of self-worth and self-esteem.…

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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…

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Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas This Year!

The Christmas season is upon us and with that comes expectations and busyness that many autistic people find anxiety provoking. The holidays mean changes in the schedule, visitors, crowds, line-ups, noise, and socializing. Meeting family demands can be especially nerve-wracking, particularly if you want to break with time-honoured traditions that just don’t work for an autistic person. Here are a…

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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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