24 4 / 2013
22 1 / 2013
23 12 / 2012
1. It’s easy to recite an entire book but difficult to make up a story.
2. It’s easy to line up toys but difficult to stay in line.
3. It makes perfect sense to climb on the sofa but little sense to sit on it.
4. Memorizing the Presidents in order - 10 minutes. Packing a school bag - 10 hours.
5. Family pictures on the wall are boring but that speck of dust next to it, now that’s fascinating!
6. Talking about weather patterns - a piece of cake. Talking about
my day - impossible.
7. Ability to focus on spinning objects - timeless. Ability to focus
on homework - 3 seconds.
8. Being called by name - can’t hear it. Some owl hooting in the distance - clear as a bell.
9. How to operate the remote control - zero instruction. How to button up pants - intensive instruction.
10. Navigating social rules - poorly skilled. Navigating from the back seat of the car - highly skilled.
23 12 / 2012
As you all know we have a son who has Autism, but he also suffers from ADHD. It is hard to put ourselves in his shoes sometimes and understand where he is coming from. We have learned over the years what works and what doesn’t, but as you all know it is a daily struggle that we all must go through as a family. We believe that this and our love for each other holds us together tighter as a family. Here are 8 tips that Not-So-Rude-Dad and I use at home that may help you:
1. Make sure your child gets enough sleep.
All kids need more sleep than adults, about 9-10 hours a night. But a child with ADD or ADHD often doesn’t get enough and this can lead to behavior problems at school and at home.
2. Create a daily routine.
Because a child with ADHD or ADD has trouble following directions and putting tasks in order, you have to do it for him. You can make a daily routine chart out of simple supplies, such as poster board and stickers.
3. Reward their little accomplishments.
Give praise or rewards when your child follows the rules. But make sure to only reward behavior they can control. Don’t try to push too much on them at once.
4. Plan some family time.
For at least 15 minutes, turn off the phone, t.v., and other distractions. Also, don’t allow any interruptions while you do a one-on-one activity with your child.
5. Teach healthy eating habits to your child.
Your child will feel better and so will you too about what you are feeding them. There’s a lot of evidence that a diet of less-processed food can help symptoms.
6. Give therapy a try.
A behavioral therapists can help your child with behavior problems and learn social skills such as how to share and be patient with others. The earlier your child starts therapy the better it may be in the long run.
7. Keep your instructions simple.
When telling them a set of directions, you may need to tell them one step at a time. Too many steps can make the child frustrated and this can lead to tantrums simply because they feel overwhelmed with what they see as a large request.
8. Number One Tip.
Show them love and make them understand that even you, as an adult, have hard times. Our children are special in every way and it is up to us to guide them through this crazy world.
23 12 / 2012
A diagnosis of autism is not the end of love and hope. But media stories thrive on the most overwhelming and horrifying circumstances. Here are just a few of the myths perpetuated by TV, magazines and movies — myths that, at least in my opinion, deserve to be blown away!
1. Autistic People Are All Alike
Myth: If I’ve met an autistic person (or seen the movie Rain Man), I have a good idea of what all autistic people are like.
Fact: Autistic people are as different from one another as they could be. The only elements that ALL autistic people seem to have in common are unusual difficulty with social communication.
2. Autistic People Don’t Have Feelings
Myth: Autistic people cannot feel or express love or empathy.
Fact: Many — in fact, most — autistic people are extremely capable of feeling and expressing love, though sometimes in idiosyncratic ways! What’s more, many autistic people are far more empathetic than the average person, though they may express their empathy in unusual ways.
3. Autistic People Don’t Build Relationships
Myth: Autistic people cannot build solid relationships with others.
Fact: While it’s unlikely that an autistic child will be a cheerleader, it is very likely that they will have solid relationships with, at the very least, their closest family members. And many autistic people do build strong friendships through shared passionate interests. There are also plenty of autistic people who marry and have satisfying romantic relationships.
4. Autistic People Are a Danger to Society
Myth: Autistic people are dangerous.
Fact: Recent news reports of an individual with Asperger Syndrome committing violent acts have led to fears about violence and autism. While there are many autistic individuals who exhibit violent behaviors, those behaviors are almost always caused by frustration, physical and/or sensory overload, and similar issues. It’s very rare for an autistic person to act violently out of malice.
5. All Autistic People Are Savants
Myth: Autistic people have amazing “savant” abilities, such as extraordinary math skills or musical skills.
Fact: It is true that a relatively few autistic people are “savants.” These individuals have what are called “splinter skills” which relate only to one or two areas of extraordinary ability. By far the majority of autistic people, though, have ordinary or even less-than-ordinary skill sets.
6. Autistic People Have No Language Skills
Myth: Most autistic people are non-verbal or close to non-verbal.
Fact: Individuals with a classic autism diagnosis are sometimes non-verbal or nearly non-verbal. But the autism spectrum also includes extremely verbal individuals with very high reading skills. Diagnoses at the higher end of the spectrum are increasing much faster than diagnoses at the lower end of the spectrum.
7. Autistic People Can’t Do Much of Anything
Myth: I shouldn’t expect much of an autistic person.
Fact: This is one myth that, in my opinion, truly injures our children. Autistic individuals can achieve great things — but only if they’re supported by people who believe in their potential. Autistic people are often the creative innovators in our midst. They see the world through a different lens — and when their perspective is respected, they can change the world.
~Written by Lisa Jo Rudy~
Also, the proper way to address autism is to say a person with autism or a child with autism, not “autistic.” The person comes before the disability. The label doesn’t define who they are.
23 12 / 2012
1. It’s never a three hour tour
The weather could start to get rough at any moment, so keep an emergency bag in your car at all times with a spare pair of clothes, some distractions, snacks and a juicebox.
2. Coconuts have a zillion uses
You don’t have to go broke buying special therapy materials. Rubber bands, old containers, cardboard boxes, velcro, buttons, twist-ties, bottle caps, pegs… you can definitely make do with stuff you already own.
3. There’s another side to the island
Having autistic kids can make you feel isolated - nobody understands what you’re going through and it’s hard to get out of the house. There’s a world out there that’s bigger than autism (and people who can help might be closer than you think)… but you’ll never find it if you don’t look.
4. Wearing the same clothes everyday won’t kill you
There will be a million battles to fight, so choose wisely. Does it really matter if your kid wants to wear the same clothes, drive the same route or eat the same food every day?
5. Every week there’s some new crazy scheme to get off the island
Ignore the hype. Find the information and therapies that make sense for you and give them a chance to work.
6. When life gives you lemons, turn Hamlet into a musical
Just because things don’t go the way they’re supposed to doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun. Find the joy.
7. Don’t sabotage your own attempts to get help
Jumping up and down waving your arms is a waste of energy and won’t get you the support you need. Work with the people that can help - ask nicely, be reasonable (even if they’re not). Keep communication lines open and clear (don’t spell SOL when you mean SOS) - tell people exactly what they can do for you. Learn from mistakes, and don’t let blindspots like ego, anger and resentment get in the way of finding solutions.
8. The Professor can make a bamboo lie detector but he can’t rescue you
Beware the experts who have all the answers but never actually solve any problems.
9. Fix the boat
Don’t overlook the simple solution. Cut hair short so it doesn’t have to be brushed. Don’t make him choose if he finds it hard. Stay off the internet if it makes you angry. Put his mattress on the floor if he jumps off the bed. Embrace the workaround - not every problem needs (or has) an elaborate answer.
10. You’ll never get off the island
Instead of wasting your energy trying to get somewhere else, focus on making life good where you are.
11. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world
You’ll get to try again next week.