The Fine Line Between a Teenager with Autism and Politics In honor of the upcoming mid-term elections… My fifteen-year-old with mild autism likes to discuss politics. Was this always the case? No. When he was in middle school, his history teacher gave them a homework assignment—watch the debates between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump and report on them. That’s where it all began with my child. What happened? He became interested in politics. Additionally, I listen to NPR in the morning. My son began to tune into the political stories … [Read more...]

How to Deal with Meltdowns As I prepare to talk about how to work with children on the autism spectrum with my co-workers and staff at my job, it made me think about one of the many key elements… how to handle a child’s meltdown. What’s my job? I work at a gym's child care, the place where you can check in your three-month-old to 13 year old while you workout. We're not taking care of your kids like a school. We try to do activities with the kids, however, (IMHO) our main job is the safety of our kids. Parents have signed them over to us … [Read more...]

Autism and the New School Year   I waited a bit before reporting on my child’s new school year. What happened last year? Last year was my son’s freshman year. It was the first time he had gone to school without an aide. He was fourteen when he began school (he turned fifteen in February). Within two months, he changed his “look.” (He suddenly went from a shorts-wearing kid to a pants-wearing kid, he grew out his hair, and his attitude, well, teenagers can be surly, can’t they?) The summer before freshman year, he took a health … [Read more...]

Dissolving Friendships with Kids on the Autism Spectrum We all have friendships. And, somewhere along the way many of us have had to walk away from a friendship or two—for whatever reason. Friendships happen in many ways, with or without our kids. With kids, I’d like to address two situations… One is when parents are friends, and they get their children together. The children may or may not like each other, but the parents like each other. It works out well when the kids do get along, of course. A second situation is what if kids like … [Read more...]

The Impacts of Not Curbing Behaviors Related to Autism With autism, comes behaviors. In general, when our kids are little, there are more behaviors. We, as parents, (along with the various facilitators who work with our children), have to deal with these behaviors. In an ideal world, we are all trained to handle most behaviors with our children, whether at home or out in the world. And, we want to work with our kids so they can overcome their challenges and be relatively functional and comfortable in society.   As they grow older, we … [Read more...]