Just Do It! Build Community Integration Skills in Kids with Autism

Community Life Skills

Most of us in the field of autism agree that community integration is important. Whether you’re a parent, a clinician, or an individual on the autism spectrum, being a part of your community means being a valued and contributing member of society. Being recognized and appreciated for your gifts, whatever they might be, is important […]

Moving from “Awareness” to “Acceptance”

autism acceptance

I am back from the depths of papers, exams, quizzes, projects, and figuring out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life type stuff. Hope you didn’t miss me too much! I would like to share my thoughts on “Autism Awareness”.  I have had a lot of time this month to ponder […]

6 Discussion Points with your In-Home Paraprofessional

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Over the past 6 years as an autism paraprofessional, I’ve studied interactions between paraprofessionals and families and I’ve found a simple communication formula that almost guarantees a better relationship between the paraprofessional and your family. Here are 6 important topics to discuss with your child’s paraprofessional, allowing you to avoid common mistakes that stem from […]

One Mom’s Experience with Advocacy

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Since I started my blog at Special-Ism, I have covered many topics. I have worn my heart on my sleeve and opened up to the world about some very personal experiences. Our latest challenge – advocacy.  I am my daughters’ biggest fan, her most outspoken advocate and I will not let walls block her way […]

Inspire Kids – The Story of a Tiny Frog who Didn’t Listen

Inspiration for Kids

Once upon a time, there was an ambitious group of tiny frogs who arranged a climbing competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tree. A huge crowd of frogs had gathered around the tree to watch the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began. Not one tiny frog […]

Self-Advocacy: Like Speaking a Foreign Language

Self Advocacy is Hard

“Use your words” and “Ask, and you will receive” are phrases I heard a lot during my childhood. Back when I was younger, I thought this meant to stop being so shy and well, speak up. I also wasn’t the kid who enjoyed imposing on people or asking for things I wanted. Little did I […]

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How do I Build Self-Confidence in My Child?

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Self-Confidence is crucial for the emotional development of children. Self- Confidence is what helps them follow thru on tasks despite ups and downs and accomplish goals at home, in school and other activities. It is especially important in children with learning disorders, intellectual disabilities, ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders, as they are more vulnerable to […]

What Does it Mean to be “Different”?

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Many of you probably know that I am an openly high-functioning autistic college student, and I am very proud of identifying with this. I am open because I want to make a difference and inspire others to feel the same way. I own my quirks, my strengths, and my weaknesses. I am a very proud […]

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Raising Awareness of PANDAS/PANS Syndromes in Children

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Today marks the very first PANDAS/PANS Awareness Day. “PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) and PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndromes) are devastating syndromes that are likely as prevalent as Pediatric Cancer and Pediatric Diabetes.” (PANDAS Network.org Newsletter) Strep, walking pneumonia, viruses, Lyme, and other infections can trigger an autoimmune reaction resulting in […]

Lessons from A Tragedy: The Death of Alex Spourdalakis

Alex Spourdalakis

My heart broke when I read the tragic story of Alex Spourdalakis, the fourteen-year-old child with autism and severe behavioural challenges killed by his mother and godmother as part of a murder/double-suicide pact (Zennie, M.). The two women survived the suicide attempt after being discovered by authorities who were contacted after Alex’s dad tried repeatedly […]

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