Ageing Out of Autism Services   My son has been in a social skills group since he was three years old. When he turns thirteen this year, he will "officially" age out of this group. What is social skills group? Social skills group is a structured play group with four to six children who are relatively near each other on the autism spectrum. They have two facilitators who strive to encourage the group to communicate, play, and interact with each other. My son was young when he started at age three. However, the facility (at that time) … [Read more...]

Sensory Difficulties in People with Autism I found this list very helpful in understanding how a person can measure another personʼs sensory difficulties. It looks like good explanation of sensory processing issues for a layperson. What are sensory difficulties? Difficulties with loud noises, smells, being hugged, walking on certain surfaces, and having certain foods in your mouth are some examples. People on the autism spectrum often have sensory difficulties. Their brains have trouble processing taste, touch, sound, smell, and sight. … [Read more...]

Tantrums verses Meltdowns in Autistic Kids Below is an excellent description of the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown. I wanted to reprint it again to help readers remember that there's a difference and it's an important one. It's especially important when you have a child with autism. (Written by Amanda Morin) "Tantrums and sensory meltdowns are not the same thing. It can be hard to tell the difference between them by just looking at an upset child. Knowing the causes of tantrums and meltdowns can help you learn how to manage … [Read more...]

Transitioning to a New Autism Aide - Part One   My son finished fifth grade with a new aide. The new aide began in March and was with my son until the end of the school year. During fifth grade, the teacher, RSP person, and the principal all agreed that he had made tremendous progress and that he was “ready" to go without an aide. How long was the original aide with my son? My sonʼs original school aide had been with him for almost six years. She got assigned to him at the end of kindergarten and the district just kept assigning her. … [Read more...]

Meltdowns with Older Autistic Kids At age eleven, my son doesnʼt have many meltdowns anymore. Heʼs at an age where heʼs learned how avoid them, for the most part. Heʼll get worked up, but typically a meltdown doesnʼt occur and/or he doesnʼt get so upset that he reaches meltdown status. We also help to keep his meltdowns in check. Therefore, Iʼm happy to report that, at this age, a meltdown is rare for my son. Recently, however, he did have a (good old-fashioned) meltdown. What happened? The main reason for his meltdown was due to a … [Read more...]

Does Your Child Need Early Intervention Below is a short list of questions you could ask yourself if you are considering an autism evaluation for your child. This list is called the “Early Intervention Procedures” and was outlined and published by Autism Speaks. Does your toddler show any of the following signs? *No babbling by 12 months*No back and forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months*No response to name by 12 months*No words by 24 months*Any lost off speech, babbling or social skills at any … [Read more...]

More school Accommodations for autistic students In my previous blog, I discussed school accommodations. An accommodation is an extra “advantage” or program or strategy assigned to a specific child. When a child needs something in a school setting that is different than what the typical kids receive, that’s called an “Accommodation.” Typically, these accommodations are discussed during a child’s IEP. They are initiated on a daily basis by either an aide or a teacher. And, they should be consistent. They apply to any student that has … [Read more...]