Autism/Down Syndrome

Yes, You Can

To begin this article with a confession: when it comes to your child, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Because I have written a book about my child, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, I am often asked to suggest advice to parents in similar situations. And I’m always really happy to do so because I know from experience how hard it can be to find the right kind of support. [Read More…]

Grace, Under Pressure: A Girl with Asperger’s and her Marathon Mom

Grace Under PressureThose early days of training were excruciating and monotonous and humbling. I often felt overwhelmed as I fought to organize time to do it among work and the children and the daily chores. But it was also the best thing that had ever happened to me. I had a sense of purpose and achievement and a project to be proud of that was mine.

Then somewhere in the weeks around Christmas that changed. I stopped running and I stopped writing about it — by now my blog about life with Grace had attracted a decent number of regular readers. It would be easy to say that it was simply due to the busy time of year, but the break was less to do with the busyness of family activities — the tending to clamoring, hyped-up children that makes the Christmas holiday so particularly unrestful — and more to do with a sudden queasiness that descended whenever I contemplated either activity. [Read More…]

Toilet Training Children with Special Needs

Toilet training any child is frustrating. The number of light up musical potties, DVDs devoted to the task, and sticker charts available for purchase indicate parents’ desperation for success. Toilet training a child with a disability can be a whole new ballgame, and depending on the disability, it requires patience, endurance, and creativity. In our case, it even involved a custom toilet specific to my son’s size made with love by Grandpa! [Read More…]

Back to School With Special Needs

For some children, a new school year is an exciting time to make new friends and learn new things. For others, including those with disabilities, a new school year can be a challenge. Some children worry how others will react to them. Those with not so obvious learning disabilities or attention disorders sometimes worry they won’t appear smart. Students with Autism or Anxiety disorders can struggle with new routines and the unknown, which can cause back to school panic as well. And of course, those of us that are parents of a child with a disability can’t help but worry about our children worrying! Fear not, though. There are things you can do to ease these back to school nerves. [Read More…]

Back-To-School Tips for Dealing with Dysregulated Children

Back to school does not bring out the best in dysregulated children.  If you are seeing an increase in tantrums, meltdowns, clinginess, or regression to younger behaviors, you are not alone.  Children all over America are bouncing off the walls, finishing off the summer with a bang. [Read More…]

Autism Speaks (In Honor of Autism Awareness Month)

April is Autism Awareness Month.  For years, the Autism Society has been setting aside this month to increase public education and awareness regarding issues surrounding autism, including the importance of early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, in order to better understand this puzzling, increasingly prevalent condition which presents as a spectrum of social, communication and behavioral differences. [Read More…]

A Personal Story Celebrating Autism Awareness Month, April

Denial is a powerful thing.  But denial does not ultimately serve us well. It may keep the pain of truth away for a period of time, but it only serves to make the truth harder to bear once we face it. The most dangerous aspect of denial is that it keeps us from moving forward on a journey that we must ultimately take. [Read More…]

Balance and Therapeutic Parenting

The word I use to keep myself on the most optimal therapeutic parenting tract is: BALANCE. After reading, listening, talking, listening, attending countless workshops for the last 12+ years, I have to say that at the crux of all therapeutic parenting theories (whether you call them old school or new age) is balance. Our kids need high nurture; high structure – both in MEGA doses. And I believe that if you look at any of those “experts” offering therapeutic parenting advise to us that high structure/high nurture is espoused in their approach, but called a variety of things. [Read More…]

By |February 26th, 2011|Categories: Autism/Down Syndrome, Daily Living, Health During Midlife|Tags: , , |0 Comments

It’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month – Can We Have Some Dignity to Go With That?

The month of October, Down syndrome month, is a particularly good time to bring awareness to the fact that the “r” word (retard) is exceedingly hurtful. For those who don’t realize how hurtful it is, many of us point it out as nicely as we can. And, if we are lucky, the offending party apologizes and tries not to do it again. We are not, for the most part, an unforgiving bunch. We recognize that most people use it with no malice or forethought. In daily conversation, it has become a synonym for “stupid” or “silly” or “ridiculous.” [Read More…]

By |October 28th, 2010|Categories: Autism/Down Syndrome|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Myths and Truths about Down syndrome from the National Down Syndrome Society

Myth: Down syndrome is a rare genetic disorder.
Truth: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition. One in every 733 live births is a child with Down syndrome, representing approximately 5,000 births per year in the United States alone. Today, more than 400,000 people in the United States have Down syndrome. [Read More…]

By |October 20th, 2010|Categories: Autism/Down Syndrome|Tags: , |0 Comments
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