by Nikki Schwartz
I saw this amazing autism video, What It's Like to Have a Brother with Autism, posted by Suzi Noyes, a local Realtor in Virginia Beach who's youngest son has autism. It really touched my heart the care the relationship and care these two siblings have for one another.
How Can I Foster This Kind of Relationship?
by Nikki Schwartz
Over the next few weeks, I'll be featuring several of my community Pinterest boards. Pinterest is a great way to organize ideas, especially the ones you want to save, but read later. This first board, Awesome Autism! features pins from several different members of the Autism community. You don't have to have an account to browse Pinterest, but you will need an account to save or "repin" anything that you like.
Are you on Pinterest? Has it been useful in helping you compile ideas for your autistic child? You'll find lots of great resources, suggestions, and ideas on our pinboards, stop by when you get the chance.
I was visiting one of my favorite stores in the area, the Teacher and Parents Store, a.k.a. TAPS, a store that serves carries a variety of quality educational materials for teachers and parents. They are sometimes the only place in our area to purchase specific items for special needs children. I was disappointed to learn they are closing all of their locations in two weeks, unless a buyer is found. Their website states, "Due to economic conditions beyond our control, we must close our store locations. We want to thank you for supporting us and for allowing TAPS to serve your educational needs for the last 26 wonderful years." According to staff, TAPS owner is retiring from the business.
I wanted to say thank you to TAPS for serving our kids during the last 26 years and providing quality items for teachers, families, homeschoolers, and those with special needs. You will be missed!
"I wish I had known my children's behavior was a language...." I think this applies to any child, but is particularly relevant to raising an autistic child, who may not be able to verbally communicate their wants and needs. As soon as I saw this, I wanted to share it with you. Let me know in the comments what you think of this piece. CONTINUE READING
by Nikki Schwartz
Neurofeedback can be very helpful for a variety of of people. If you get a chance, check out What is Neurofeedback? Neurofeedback or neurotherapy works by helping the client to self-regulate. So that they are able to wake-up easier, go to sleep easier, focus better, and manage their emotional state more easily. CONTINUE READING
Over the past few years, I've noticed a theme with families who have a child with autism. Parents, usually moms, often tell me about their early experiences with friends, grand parents, members of their churches and communities. Over and over again I hear how these parents have been criticized for their parenting skills and choices regarding discipline. In fact, I have yet to meet a parent of a child on the spectrum who has not received this kind of criticism.
The most common comment has been something along the lines of: That kid just needs a spanking. Excuse me?! I cannot emphasize enough how discouraging this has been to parents I've worked with, parents I have met in the community and at conferences.
I realize that these comments often come from individuals who are ignorant of the fact that the child is on the spectrum, or, probably just as often, is ignorant of spectrum disorders all together. But isn't that the problem? It is so easy to be critical of any parent, especially one whose kid is melting down in the middle of Target.
At a conference this weekend, a speaker stated that helping people is not about what YOU believe or what YOU think about their situation. It is about who THEY are and how THEY see and feel about their circumstances. Until we know these things about them and have developed a relationship with them, we have no right to judge or criticize their parenting skills.
I have yet to meet a parent with a child who has not truly done everything they could, with the circumstances and resources available. I write to encourage all parents, but especially parents of children on the spectrum, to continue to do everything in your power to educate yourself, advocate for your child, and as much as is reasonable, seek every available resource and service that you can.
The key here is "reasonable". Remember that being a caregiver is draining and taxing. Practicing good self-care and utilizing respite care will help. I realize this is easier said than done and we often work with parents to find practical solutions. Check out this post on self-care for parents of kids on the spectrum for more suggestions.