You'd think that autism support groups would be a haven to parents. And sometimes they are. But the reality is that kids with autism are very, very different from one another - and so are their parents. Is your autism group supportive?
What really stresses parents of autistic kids? Hint: chances are, your number one answer to that question is NOT "my autistic kid." Here are 8 real-world stressors that can drive parents of autistic kids crazy. Do any of them ring a bell for you?
There's nothing like guilt to undermine a person's sense of worth, relationships, or emotional well-being. And guilt is often a major problem for the parents of children with autism. Could something you did (or didn't do) cause your child's autism? Are you to blame for your child's lifelong disability? This article explores the question and provides some answers.
There are plenty of well-meaning people in schools and communities who are eager to provide autism-friendly programs, autism-appropriate events, and autism support classrooms. But the reality is that their task is impossible. Because every person with autism is different -- and some are very, very different from one another. Some are friendly and kind, some are actually aggressive and dangerous. Some are high energy, while others prefer to be sedentary. Some are brilliant, while others score very low on IQ tests. Some are comfortable in most public spaces while others could no more tolerate an action movie than fly to the moon.
This article explores the question How Wide Is the Autism Spectrum, and offers some insight for those who are just entering the autism world.
If you have a child with autism, there's a good chance that you'll be offered an educational setting in an "autism support classroom." While such classrooms have many positive points, they are generally intended for children with a certain profile -- children with "typical" autistic characteristics. If your child fits the mold, he might be very happy in such a setting. But as every autism parent knows, autism is a very wide spectrum -- and kids with the same diagnosis may be very different from one another. How can you determine if the autism classroom is a good fit for your child?
Many American dads assume that fatherhood will be all about teaching and sharing the joy of sports. Coaching Little League. Tossing balls in the backyard. Cheering on a local team. Autism dads may have a very different experience, though, as guest author Mark Osteen shares in his essay about baseball, autism, and fatherhood entitled "Strike Three."
What's it like to discover that all your many challenges and differences can be explained by a single diagnosis -- Asperger syndrome? Here's a personal essay written by one adult who has been through that process and is willing to share its ups and downs.
If I've learned anything as the parent of a child with autism, it's this: if you depend upon schools and government programs to provide a high quality, loving, supportive life for your autistic child, you're in for disappointment. While that's true when your child is small, it's increasingly true as he or she grows to adulthood.
Yes, schools and government agencies can provide a wide range of resources. But when push comes to shove, the best option for you, your family, and your adult child with autism is the option you build yourself -- with help.
This article explores one possible answer to the question: "What Happens to Our Autistic Child When We Die?" Of course, there are no guarantees in life (or death). But you can increase your family's chances for long term success.
If you're an adult with an autism diagnosis, you may feel isolated. Fortunately, though, you're really not alone. In the next few days I'll be publishing several guest articles by adults on the spectrum; this one comes from Judy. A mom with two autistic children, Judy discovered her autism relatively late in life -- but found that a diagnosis gave her a new and more positive way to view her accomplishments and life history. She now calls herself "a work in progress."
If you're the parent of a child with autism, you've almost certainly noticed all the things your child with autism DOESN'T do. But have you noticed all the things he or she DOES do -- more and better than typical same age peers? From making eye contact to sitting politely to responding to and asking questions, your child with autism is probably already exceeding many social expectations. Meanwhile, your child's "typical" peers are staring at ipads, doing the minimum, and sliding by! Here are just a few things Your Child with Autism Is Doing More -- and Better -- Than You Think!