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...]

Is Autism Different in a Small Town? I’ve lived in the Los Angeles area for twenty-eight years now. Over half my life. I had my child when I was thirty-six. A year and change later, we were taking him to a regional center for evaluation for autism. We received services soon after, and off we went. Again, this is in the Los Angeles area, a huge city that’s quite spread out. I think this area has three or four regional centers to cover it. (In the State of California, Regional Centers provide services to our kids on the autism spectrum. They … [Read more...]

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...]