Autism and the Community How do our kids interact within the community? What about their neighborhood? I have read stories about neighborhoods that complain about a child with autism. A few of these stories report that neighbors even go so far as to pressure the family to leave. I have also read (way too many) stories about bullying people with autism. What is it about being in the community and people on the autism spectrum? Community interactions are never easy for our kids. They have a natural tendency to struggle with all … [Read more...]

What They Don’t Tell You in the Autism Handbook Teenagers. I really wish the “Autism Handbook” had a really long, detailed chapter on teenagers with autism. What do I mean? As my husband says, “We have a teenager and we have a teenager with autism. That’s two challenges.” My son still has the occasion meltdown, yet they’re different from when he was younger. My addition to the handbook would be this… When they’re teenagers, the meltdowns change because they’re teenagers… They have those traits… *Sullen *Moody *Easy to … [Read more...]

Dental Issues for Teenagers with Autism A follow up for taking your child with autism to the dentist and getting braces for your child. What did my child need? For years, we took our child to our regular dentist. To be honest, I didn’t love the dental office. However, they have one dental hygienist that began working with my son when he was little. She only works one day a week. And, I book her every time, every six months. Why? Because it’s worth taking my son to this office (the one I’m not crazy about) so he can be seen by the one … [Read more...]

Autism and Talking to Strangers “Mommy, can I go talk to other people?” These sweet words were spoken to me recently by my son. Where were we? Once or twice a winter, my son and I drive up through the Angeles National Forrest. We live in the foothills below the San Gabriel Mountains, so this drive is easy for us. During past winters, our goal was to “drive to the snow.” My son always wanted to “visit” the snow once or twice every winter. He likes to sled and “throw snowballs at Mommy.” We’d also visit the mountains at other times of the … [Read more...]

For Parents of Kids on the Autism Spectrum Or Alternate Title… Only Parents of Kids on the Autism Spectrum Will Appreciate This   A funny story… But, it is really a story that only a part of a child on the autism spectrum can really relate to and understand. What’s the story? My son likes to put lotion on his hands. (He inherited my issue of dry hands.). He likes a certain brand. He keeps a few small bottles of lotion in his school backpack, and one large bottle in my car. About a month ago, I looked at the bottle in my car and … [Read more...]

Autism and Staying Positive Even though my son is fifteen—the age for LOTS of challenges (autism-related and age-related)—I do believe parents need to try to stay positive as often as possible. Yet, it is challenging for us parents. How do you stay positive? I’ll be honest, it’s not easy when you’re dealing with the attitude of a fifteen-year-old. They can be surly and moody, and they’re different, too. My son has changed more in the last year than I think in all the rest of the years combined. Some of it is great. He does his own laundry … [Read more...]

Autism and Managing Money (Part 2) I touched on this briefly not too long ago, but my son is learning about money. What is he learning? He’s learning that our money is not his money. He’s learning that—in reality—he doesn’t have any money. We have money to buy his food and clothes and school things and lots of other things, but there are times when we have to say “no” due to the money not being an endless pit. He’s learning that he’s not going to get everything he wants because we’re simply not going to pay for everything he wants. And, … [Read more...]