A New Book Shameless promotion warning… Especially guilty since this book is not autism-related. Yet, I have a book coming out this week! “Remembering Monty -- Monty Hall: Emcee, Song and Dance Man, Humanitarian, and the Face of Let’s Make a Deal” There’s a story to the story. Which is? Turns out, Monty Hall was an inspiring person. He came from a poor, working-class family in Canada. He was naturally talented, yet worked extremely hard to become—what is really—a legend in Hollywood. Anyone who has ever heard of the show, “Let’s Make a … [Read more...]

A Difficult Autism Experience I recently spoke with an AutMom who had this experience… Her nine-year-old son with autism attends a local elementary school. For about a year or two, her son was having difficulty with an obsession—a peer. A girl peer. Her son was convinced that this girl was his girlfriend. He was in this girl’s class for a year, and the next year the school separated them. The school felt it had to make this change because it appeared (to them) that the woman’s son was stalking the girl. The boy’s behavior did not improve … [Read more...]

A Special Birthday for My Son with Autism   My son recently turned sixteen! A milestone birthday. I wanted this birthday to feel special to my son. It was a milestone after all. How did we celebrate this milestone birthday with our son? First, in lieu of having a big party, we had three close friends over to the house. My son played games with these friends and we all ate pizza and chips. This was done on a Friday, late afternoon to evening. Second, the next day (a Saturday), we had a family gathering at the home of my … [Read more...]

Returning to the Diamond for an Autistic Teenager The last time my son played baseball was in 2017. What team does he play on? It’s a special needs VIP Little League team. He’s played on this team for several years now. When he last played, he was really enjoying it. He has always liked to hit, but his last full season (in 2017), he tried pitching. He practiced pitching and had some success. Unfortunately, he couldn’t add onto his 2017 success in 2018. Why not? He broke his foot in January, 2018. When it happened, we had just signed up … [Read more...]

A High School Open House with My Child with Autism   Open house. Every school has them, at some point during the year. It’s a chance for the student and parents to visit their classrooms, see some work, and talk to the teacher. What about my son’s open house? This year open house, my son’s second in high school (sophomore year), was a success. We live close to the school so we walked. Once we arrived, my husband and I let our son take us to his classes, in whatever order he wanted. We visited with his Spanish teacher, his math … [Read more...]

Autism and a New Athletic Experience   My son likes to try new things, a quality I admire. Sometimes, he says “I want to try this or that,” and it turns out he doesn’t like it.   This happened a few years ago with a place called IFly, a sky diving simulator experience. He really wanted to try it, but when he got there and got outfitted and received the instructions, he got nervous. He did it, got into the simulator with the instructor, and (sort of) got into the sky diving position. He later said he wasn’t comfortable at all. The … [Read more...]

How an AutParent Handles Event Complaints My son attends gaming tournaments. He plays one game in particular, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. Honestly, I don’t really know much about the game, nor do I have much interest in any video games. I can (sort of) watch one and (sort of) know what’s going on. I can follow when someone wins/loses. That’s about the extent of it. For the most part, when I take my son to these tournaments, I write. I actually get a lot of work done! Sometimes, when it’s been a few hours (these tournaments can go on for … [Read more...]

Autism and College-Related Standardized Tests I was speaking with a relative recently who mentioned that her child, who is one year older than mine, has had trouble with standardized tests. This typical sixteen-year-old struggled with the “practice” PSAT and then again on the SAT. She was planning on retaking the SAT or taking the ACT later in the year. Her mom was confident she’d improve, especially since she was planning to take the prep course. She was planning on going to college and (knowing her) she would work hard to improve those … [Read more...]

The Autism Community Has Two Success Stories   Here are two names you may want to memorize… Kalin Bennett and Tarik El-Abour.   Who is Kalin Bennett? He’s an eighteen-year-old with autism from Little Rock, Arkansas who just signed a Division One Letter of Intent to play basketball at Kent State University. Kalin didn’t walk until he was four and didn’t talk until he was seven. He graduated from high school with decent grades. And, a lot of accolades for his on-the-court abilities. Kent State is a great school for athletics, but also … [Read more...]

Autism and Sexual Harassment   I was listening to a #MeToo movement story the other day on NPR. I began to think about my son and how it relates. My son is a teenager quickly (too quickly for me) becoming a young male adult. A young male adult with autism. How does his background apply here? I remember one of my son’s first Floor Time facilitators telling me that my baby (he was only around sixteen months old) has trouble “feeling his body in space.” I don’t think that’s the case anymore for my (now) fifteen-year-old, but it made me … [Read more...]