Autism and Public Speaking For a child with autism, my son really doesn’t have a problem speaking in public. Why not? Good question. When he was younger and had to do an oral presentation at school, he did them. We didn’t go to the teacher and say, “Well, he has autism so…” Instead, we had him practice. We helped prepare him. I remember having him sit at a chair in the kitchen (as if he were sitting in his seat at school), stand up, face me and my husband, introduce himself, and launch into the topic. I tried to recreate what it was going … [Read more...]

Autism and Learning a Foreign Language

Autism and Learning a Foreign Language Big time advice coming… A few times, when my son with autism was younger, I said to myself, “I should really get him into some kind of foreign language instruction soon.” But, I never followed through. Now, my son has just started high school and is finally taking a foreign language, Spanish. I wish he had started when he was younger. Why? Even with a typical kid, the earlier you start a foreign language instruction, the better. Now, add autism into the mix. What happened? Well, my son began his … [Read more...]

We Rock the Spectrum Photo

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...]

Autism and a Canadian Trip

Autism and a Canadian Trip   I seem to think that my son should experience as much as reasonably (and financially) possible, even knowing that autism is going to tag along. What experience did he have this time? Well, some experiences are good (positive) and some are not so good. A year ago last winter my brother died suddenly. It was a difficult time for my family and the first family death that my son was really aware of. (His paternal grandfather died when he was six, but he didn’t really remember it.) He had enjoyed the time he … [Read more...]

Revisiting Autism and Gaming

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...]

An Autism Mom's Mother's Day

An Autism Mom’s Mother’s Day   My child is fourteen, so I have banked a few Mothers Days. Having a teenager on the brink of high school, however, is making me quite terrified and grateful this time around. He’s growing up into such a delightful, intelligent, and charming individual, autism aside. Right around the corner is adulthood. That terrifies me, and makes me look back at all of the years. I guess what I’m thinking about this time around is that Mother’s Day isn’t really about autism. I am the mother of a child with autism, but … [Read more...]

A Teen with Autism and Smash Bros.

A Teen with Autism and Smash Bros.   I knew this was going to happen someday. My son is a gamer. What is a gamer? Assuming this is a real term (I think it is), a gamer is a person who plays video games. Lot of video games. To the point where they go out and play in video game tourneys. I’m guessing that a gamer doesn’t have to go to the extreme of entering tournaments. You could just be a person who plays a lot of video games and you get really good at a game or two. Or lots of them. It is my understanding that tournaments can … [Read more...]