In case you haven’t guessed I’m pretty passionate about my work with kids who have autism. This means that I occasionally get pulled into some of the Autism wars. I firmly believe that there are very few black and white situations in life, and even fewer in the world of autism. There’s a saying that if you’ve met one person with autism, then you’ve met one person with autism. Which is all well and good except it really doesn’t only apply to people with autism. Every person is different, and one-size-fits-all thinking should really be called one-size-really-fits-none. [Read more…]
An Open Letter to Parents of Special Needs Children
I’ve got something to tell you, and I’m pretty sure you all need to hear it right about now. Whether it’s back to school time coming up shortly, or your kid has already been in school for the past few weeks, it’s going to be okay. It may not seem like it now – with the routine changes and the frustrations of explaining once again why sitting Johnny by the door is an invitation to disaster, but it will be okay. [Read more…]
So, Your Child is Having a Meltdown
As someone who works with kids on the spectrum, I’ve witnessed my fair share of meltdowns. As I said in my sensory 101 post, a meltdown is not a tantrum. A tantrum happens when a child wants something (a toy, candy, attention) and is not getting it. In contrast, a meltdown occurs when a child is overstimulated and cannot handle all of the stimuli in their environment. A child throwing a tantrum is attempting to change your behaviour, a child in the midst of a meltdown cannot change his. It’s all well and good to have this distinction in mind when things are going (relatively) smoothly, but when your child is the one having a meltdown it can be hard to remember they’re not trying to manipulate you. Here are some tips to help you survive your kid having a meltdown.
Summer is coming – is camp in your plans?
I know it seems like march break was only yesterday, but it’s time to start thinking of warmer things – sunshine, warmth, and summer camp! As a kid, I loved summer camp (most of the time) and one way my job changes during the summer is that instead of providing school support to kids on the spectrum, I help them adjust and thrive at day camp.
Board games I like for kids on the Spectrum.
Last week I blogged about how I use board games to help teach turn taking skills to kids with ASD. I’ve been asked what games I recommend and while I have some general guidelines and games that I always try out, not every game will be a hit with every kid. I mentioned last time that Chutes and Ladders can be tricky as there is an element of chance in it, but it doesn’t have any text to read (a great thing in a kid’s game) and some kids really love the game. Some games come in character variant like Dora the Explorer or Transformers so that they engage kids’ interest. If you can find a game the child is interested in, that’s half the battle right there – they’ve bought in. So, what games do I have in my stash for kids with ASD? It’s probably not what you’d expect.