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.

A Cautionary Tale: If I got hit by a bus tomorrow…

One Sunday morning in March, I received a phone call. My best friend, Gertrude, had died in the night. Megan, Gertrude’s daughter, had found the body that morning. Megan has Asperger’s syndrome and at the age of 27, her adaptive functioning levels place her in the eight to eleven year old range. When the police arrived, she was in an hysterical state, threatening to kill herself. She was restrained, put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital. That evening, she was finally seen by a psychiatrist who, after a five minute interview, deemed her fit to go home.

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The Alberta Family and Disabilities Study Initiative

I am a participant in an Alberta Family Life Survey for families of children with disabilities. This is a three year project at the University of Alberta designed to help gain an understanding of the multiple roles parent-carers have and what resources they need to keep the family running. I just received the preliminary results of the first survey. I’d like to share some of the highlights of what 538 families said.

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Staying Together – Marriage and Autism

Marriage is work and a lot of it, even when the relationship is a strong and loving one. About 60% of all marriages end in divorce. That is a staggering figure.  I’ve read that the failure rate of marriages that have a child with autism is 80%, although I have never seen a confirmed study of this number.  Does the autism factor put marriages at a higher risk for breakdown?

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Summer Fun at Home

Most young families look forward to summertime – a holiday and a break from the old routines. For those who have young children with autism, going on a vacation may be simply out of the question because of the disruption to routines, travelling to a strange place, or visiting with relatives the child is unfamiliar with. Throw in a special diet into the mix and travelling becomes even more difficult. You have to avoid restaurants and take your own food everywhere.

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The Inspirational 2010 Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics wrapped up on Sunday in Vancouver, BC. For 17 days, Canadians were the hosts to the world’s top athletes, coaches, and trainers. Spectators came from across the globe to watch the games and be part of the Olympic spirit. Volunteers in the thousands gave their time to help the games run smoothly and make the world feel welcomed.

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Dental Dilemmas

Is there anyone out there who can honestly say they like going to the dentist? Most of us dread the dentist. For the child with autism, it is a frightening experience because of sensory issues and the element of unpredictability.

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The Death of James Delorey, Child with Autism

Our autism community was in the headlines again last week over the tragic death of James Delorey in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. James, a non-verbal 7 year old with autism, ran from his house into the woods to chase the family dog. He was miraculously found alive 2 days later but had severe hypothermia from being out in the winter weather with no proper winter clothing on. He died the following day.

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Taking Time For Yourself

Setting aside time just for yourself is not something any mother does readily. We know we’re supposed to look after ourselves but that usually comes after childcare, a job outside of the home, housecleaning, grocery shopping, meal preparation and running errands.

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Toileting – When To Start

I am often asked the question when is the best time to start toilet training and how does a parent know when their child is ready to be trained. Personally, I think the summer can be a great time to start because school is finished and there are fewer day to day demands on the child. The less people involved in the toileting process, the easier it is. If you are a family that stays at home for the summer or just takes a short holiday, the summer break can be an ideal time to start. Both of my children were toilet trained over the summer – Julia at age 6 and Marc at age 9.

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