Autism and Vacations My son loves to travel. He got that love to travel from his parents. A few years ago, my son and I took a road trip together—just the two of us. We hit some great Western states and tourist stops. We drove a lot in those twelve days. My son was eleven. We had taken many family trips before that age, but I feel that trip really made my son into a vacation-lover. A traveler. A planner of future vacations. What exactly is a planner of future vacations? A bucket list, I suppose you can call it. I had no problem with my … [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 Impulses My son has always had impulsive behaviors. Many times they came from a place of impatience, he had trouble waiting for a conversation to end or for his turn to come while standing on a line. The impulse would be to interrupt or complain that he’d have to wait on a line. The line waiting time would entirely be spent complaining about waiting. Or, my son’s impulses would be quick responses when things were going badly. For example, if get got in trouble for something, he’d say something he’d almost immediately regret … [Read more...]

Talking about Autism Sometimes a really wonderful opportunity comes up, and I can’t pass on it. What was the opportunity? There is a terrific, energetic autism mom that I know, Shannon Penrod. We had heard about each other for a few years before actually meeting. A mutual person knew both of us and he kept saying to Shannon, and then to me, that our families should meet—we had something in common. What did we have in common? We were both moms of sons on the autism spectrum. Our sons are close in age and diagnosis. We knew about our son’s … [Read more...]

Autism and Spreading Awareness Alternative title…You Never Know When Something Will Come Up. What does that mean? It means you never when something you did in the past will come back and add some good to the world, have an impact, be noticed, and be appreciated for trying to spread awareness. What happened? I was contacted in March by a person affiliated with a film festival in Miami, Florida. The film festival is officially called the 2018 NAMI Reel Minds Miami Mental Health Awareness Film Festival. NAMI stands for National Alliance on … [Read more...]

Autism and Flight Changes My son used to have issues with unexpected changes. The unexpected would sometimes led to meltdowns. He just couldn't wrap his head around sudden change. Now that my child is a teenager, he has improved in that area. However, there was a time when an unexpected change would throw him. What happened? My son and I were traveling back from the East Coast at the end of June. When we arrived at the airport, we were informed that not only had the airline changed the type of plane we were about to fly in, but they changed … [Read more...]

Another guest blog from Dina Kimmel! Kids Gym Entrepreneur Launches Special Needs Resource Network Dina Kimmel, the CEO and Founder of We Rock the Spectrum ( https://www.werockthespectrumkidsgym.com/ ), an international franchise with over 65 sensory gyms, announces the launch of Rocking the Spectrum ( http://www.rockingthespectrum.com/ ), a special needs resource network for everyone. The site features a library of inspirational and educational videos in its “Warrior Network,” ranging from topics like “Snacking on the Spectrum” which … [Read more...]