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They have a unique view of the world.
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Symptoms of ASD can vary wildly.
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You'll understand like never before.
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What is it about hair that ruffles so many feathers? Last week, despite having been told not to do so, an Ottawa teacher chopped the hair off a child, ostensibly because the child was chewing on it. The teacher appears to have believed that somehow, he was acting in the child's best interests. Had he decided the child's identity for him? Had he decided that a child with a disability cannot make his own choices as to his appearance?
It's hard to believe it's been five years since autism entered my life. My son is eight now. Raising him remains a mystifying experience, yet I have learned some valuable lessons along the way:
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Marc Carter was originally searching for a blue Tommee Tippee cup for his son with autism.
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No big crowds, long lineups or loud noises at this Edmonton mall.
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Imagine watching a movie made by someone with autism, rather than about someone with autism. Wouldn't that be a refreshing change from the norm? Individuals with autism found themselves the subject of countless documentaries and feature films rather than the creators and the mavericks calling the shots.
He doesn't have a "special" talent. In fact, less than 10% of the autistic population have some kind of savant talent. When you ask about his "talent" and he knows that he doesn't have one, he feels less. He feels as though he is being judged for being "wrong" yet again. I hug him and tell him that you mean well, and that the drawing he did of Spider-Man really did rock! What I wish you would ask instead, is this.
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"The cup keeps him alive. If we lost the cup and couldn't find another Ben would die."
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The child with ASD must learn to identify a broad range of emotions and corresponding facial and body expressions, then encouraged to tune into their bodies and rate the intensity of their emotion using a "feelings thermometer." We feel what we feel. Although our emotions are always valid, our thoughts about a given situation are often skewed and in need of revision.
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When my husband answered the phone you gently took over the job of restraining my son...something that no public servant has ever dared to do. We've had teachers and support workers tell us that they're not allowed to touch a child, even when it's a matter of keeping our son safe. But you held him firmly and respectfully, as gently as you could, without a trace of anger or fear on your face. "I have a lot of experience with autistic kids," you told me, and it showed.
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What kind of mom drugs her kid? The mom who is tired of walking on eggshells, wondering who her child will hurt today. The mom who is tired of watching her baby suffer inside his own skin. The mom who, fighting back tears, dutifully takes the scrap of paper from the doctor with the round glasses.... What mom does that, anyway? The kind who will do whatever it takes to help her child feel better, even if it means doing precisely the thing she vowed never to do.
I want my seven-year-old to have friends -- at least one, maybe two. But at heart, I'm a realist. He has high-functioning autism. Socially speaking, the odds are stacked against him. Making friends is a concept as foreign and uncomfortable as the wooly sweater knitted by a well-meaning great aunt.
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Many people have trouble getting a decent's night sleep, myself included. When I first heard about melatonin, it sounded too good to be true. A pill that would help me ease into the land of nod, and keep me there. And it was natural, to boot. What's the catch, I wondered? Well, seemingly none, it turns out.
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The other thing about bullying is this: no matter which side you're on, it feels awful. When I saw that boy with the icepack, I felt sick. Sad and scared and frustrated. How could my child do this, when I work so tirelessly to teach him to be compassionate and caring? I felt responsible, and desperate.
Experts say you shouldn't praise children. I'm no psychologist, but I think they're wrong. Kids absolutely need to be praised. They deserve to be celebrated -- for the right reasons. I don't beat on to my son about how smart or handsome he is (though of course I'm biased on both counts). But when I know he has done something especially challenging, I don't skimp on the praise.
“Sam never thought he would be able to work behind the bar but his manager Chris believed in him."
Christmas is just around the corner - the hustle and bustle of going from store to store; the magic in the air; the joy of spending time with those you love; family gatherings; school Christmas concer...
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All Will wants is primose markers and Canada has delivered.
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Take my little man, for instance. If the mere sound of nail clippers is 'painful' to him, you can imagine how torturous Christmas is. Before he was diagnosed with autism, we spent the better part of a gathering holed up in a bedroom away from the very family we were there to visit.
Back to school. Three words that evoke dread in most kids and many more parents. While there were some definite ups, my son's introduction to school life a couple years ago was a fairly rocky one. So in an attempt to make this year's transition smoother, I'm determined to get a head start.
Autism has a bad rap with families and marriages. Pulling them apart. The stress, the constant worrying, the lack of time with your spouse and other children. The focus becomes your affected child and there is no time for you and forget about your partner. I thought my marriage was strong. It wasn't strong enough.
Think yoga is just for stressed-out adults? Think again. The benefits of yoga can be reaped by young children, and the practice is gaining popularity with the preschool set. Not just with typically developing kids, either.
Regular outings are hard for my family. My eight-year-old daughter Maggie has autism, and she is a homebody. She likes routine and the familiar. When we do go out, she might react from fear and refuse...
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An inquest will look into the murder-suicide of a B.C. mother and her autistic son.
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CHICAGO - Diabetes that develops early in pregnancy may increase women's chances of having a child with autism, according to a new study. The risk was seen in young children whose mothers were diagnos...
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Inclusion is held up as the ideal learning environment, and rightly so. Successful integration is possible, yet it doesn't magically happen when you throw a child with high-functioning autism into a class of 20+ children, cross your fingers and hope for the best. In many cases, though, in schools across the country, this is exactly what is being passed off as inclusion.
The problem is that an ASD is a permanent neurological disorder; it doesn't go away, but rather confirms itself over time. As parents of children with special needs, we each have to find our path. Over time, we all find our way. For me this was, and continues to be, a lesson in acceptance and redefining my values.
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While watching the Sochi Olympics this past February I was blown away by the prowess of these young athletes defying the laws of gravity, and surprising me at every turn. Then one night I thought to myself that actually, our lives as parents with autistic children are kind of the same. Except we don't win a medal at the end.
April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, and April is World Autism Awareness month. Unfortunately, it's no longer uncommon for most of us to know families struggling just to keep up with the day-to-day tasks required of them because they have a child with autism. Here's how you -- as a family member, friend, neighbour or even just as a friendly acquaintance or concerned citizen -- can help families affected by autism.