Guest Blogger Dina Kimmel writes this week... How Sensory Gyms Help Kids on the Autism Spectrum A trampoline, a zip line, and a climbing structure — these may sound like typical pieces of equipment at any regular kids gym. In actuality, they help foster an inclusive learning and play environment. They are some of the necessary pieces of equipment found in a sensory gym. A sensory gym is designed to serve and accommodate the sensory needs of children with sensory processing disorders, such as autism. Unique, specially-designed equipment helps … [Read more...]

Revisiting Autism and Gaming   My son played in his first gaming tournament on Saturday. What was the experience like? On the one hand, I was rooting for him and wanted him to do well. He’s new at this type of competition. He loves playing the game and wants to compete. But, he’s going up against very experienced, world class players. This tournament boasted the top five players in the Smash Bros. universe. And, honestly, I’m conflicted about how good I want him to become at gaming. To become this “world class” type of competitor … [Read more...]

Obsessions Can Be Fun Iʼve talked about obsessions before, but since they are a big part in the life of a person with autism, so I figure it’s worth talking about again…and again and again and again! Are all obsessions bad? Sometimes I feel like quoting Temple Grandin. “If your child has some kind of obsession, maybe try to cultivate it. You never know if that child has just invented something that will change the world." That is Templeʼs sentiment and I agree with it. So, no, I donʼt think all obsessions are bad. For the most part, my … [Read more...]

Autism and Gauging Time I found this topic to be very interesting. In my case, my son is often so absorbed by his activities, that specific time (as in deadlines—ones like we have to go to school now) often alludes him. He has trouble gauging, and remembering time. He gets too distracted, most of the time. In the past, I have used reminder countdowns and actual timer countdowns—with some success. But, the issue is more complicated that I realize. With that in mind, I found this article and want to share it with you. The author does an … [Read more...]

Those Precious Moments with My Son with Autism My son’s history teacher recently gave him an assignment where he had to write about an important moment in his life that changed him in some way, or an important moment in the life of someone close to him that changed that person in some way. What did he write about? He wasn’t sure at first. He said, if he were to write about himself, he would write about his transition to middle school. Then, because according to the assignment it was okay to ask someone close to you, he asked me about … [Read more...]

Autism and Food Issues Many children on the autism spectrum have some kind of food issues. What are food issues? I believe that anyone on the autism spectrum can have reactions to oral stimuli. Many make noises with their mouths in order to help regulate themselves. Food issues often stem from oral issues or allergies. They also are connected with digestive issues. People on the autism spectrum generally feel more nervous in the outside world, especially if they're in a situation where they cannot regulate their bodies. This nervousness … [Read more...]

The Arts and Children with Autism My son interest in music has been hit or miss. He liked listening to songs a few years ago, but then it went away. It's came back last summer as we were on a driving trip. He has never really been drawn to musical instruments. Why are musical instruments sometimes hard for our kids? In the book, “Ido in Autismland,“ written by a non-verbal teenager with autism, the author believes many autistic children have a difficult time communicating from their brains to their hands or limbs. He says there is "a … [Read more...]