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Autism Resources and Community (ARC)

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Autism & Emotions

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

How to Help Young Children with Autism Avoid Behavior Problems

If you have a student with autism, you probably have a list of situations where you deal with problem behaviors and meltdowns. Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are frequently identified because of their difficulties with communication and behavior.  Visual strategies provide a solution.

Updated on 3/17/17 11:17 PM

Updated by Linda Hodgdon, CCC-SLP on 3/17/17 11:17 PM

Autism & Emotions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

5 Ways to Help Reduce Anxiety in Children with Autism

It’s likely that we all know someone who experiences anxiety, and there’s no doubt that anxiety can be exhausting and can interfere with daily life. For children with autism, anxiety can occur more frequently and can be very intense. Seemingly simple daily activities such as leaving the house, interacting with peers, riding in the car, or taking public transportation can become increasingly difficult and anxiety provoking.  In order to help children who may be experiencing anxiety, it is important for parents and teachers to understand anxiety and how it may be affecting children with autism.

Updated on 3/7/17 1:10 AM

Updated by Kasey Salvatore on 3/7/17 1:10 AM

Health & Nutrition

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Six Simple Mindfulness Practices for Kids with Autism

The practice of quieting the mind, otherwise known as mindfulness, is increasingly being practiced across the board – from Google executives to classrooms as a replacement to detention (Bloom, 2016). Mindfulness specifically refers to the practice of paying attention to the present moment non-judgmentally. Observation of our thoughts and feelings allows us to better understand our emotions and react rationally to negative situations. 

Updated on 2/25/17 12:10 AM

Updated by Krupa Patel on 2/25/17 12:10 AM

Health & Nutrition

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

7 Tips for Teaching Your Child with Autism to Cook

I can still remember when I was a child watching my mother cook. Her face always beamed with a smile so big that everyone could tell how much joy she had in preparing a great meal for my family. It seemed cooking was not only a hobby that she enjoyed, but also one of her passions. She told me she had watched my grandmother cook as a child and started learning at a young age. I know the experience is still one of her fondest childhood memories. No wonder why she is a great cook!

Updated on 2/23/17 12:46 AM

Updated by Zholl Tablante on 2/23/17 12:46 AM

Health & Nutrition

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism and Physical Spaces

Best Sports for Children with Autism

5 Tips for Helping Your Child Succeed in Sports

It is no secret that sports are a big part of most people’s lives. More than 100 million people in the United States alone tune in to watch the Super Bowl every year. However, being a sports fan and playing a sport are two completely different things–especially in the eyes of a parent. You probably know enrolling your child in a sport has tremendous benefits such as endurance, strength, and general fitness. But as you might have guessed, for many children with autism, finding the appropriate sport can be challenging.  

Updated on 2/8/17 11:22 PM

Updated by Zholl Tablante on 2/8/17 11:22 PM

About Autism

First Person Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Leveraging Special Interests to Help Children with Autism:  An Autistic Person* Shares Her Experiences

Having a special interest in something is a major part of the repetitive behavior that comes with autism. In fact, researcher Tony Attwood (2003) found that special interests seem “to be a dominant characteristic, occurring in over 90% of children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome.” Your child, client, or student with autism may have an intense interest in one particular subject. While hearing someone you love go on and on about his or her favorite subject may get tiring, special interests are important. A 2007 study done by Winter-Messiers (2007) reflected that special interests should be treated seriously because they may be beneficial in building up skills that would be hard to obtain otherwise.

Updated on 1/23/17 11:16 PM

Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 1/23/17 11:16 PM

About Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Global Autism Awareness

辨别自闭症的迹象和症状 (Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Autism)

This article was originally written in English and has been translated into Chinese. 

 

你曾经担心过你的孩子有自闭症的征兆,但是你却不知道去寻求谁的帮助,也不知道怎么找到确诊的途径吗?

Updated on 12/7/16 11:26 PM

Updated by Michelle Kuras on 12/7/16 11:26 PM

About Autism

Autism & Emotions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Global Autism Awareness

教自闭症儿童进行情感表达 (Teaching Kids with Autism about Emotions)

This article was originally written in English and has been translated into Chinese.

 

家长和教育工作者往往需要费很大的力气教自闭症儿童表达他们的情感。当自闭症儿童不能够辨别和表达他们的情感时,他们可能会有一些不恰当的行为。例如,发脾气、产生敌对情绪,甚至是避世。如果自闭症孩子们能够表达他们的情感,他们的挫败感会得到减少,我们也能够帮助他们减少他们的不满。

Updated on 12/7/16 11:24 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 12/7/16 11:24 PM

First Person Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism and the Holidays: Advice from the Front Lines

I hope everyone’s been having a great holiday season! Whether enthusiastic about it or not, the time has come for families and friends to get together and celebrate. This particular time of the year means many things for me: turkey, inviting aunts and uncles over, wrapping presents, my siblings asking me to wrap their presents for them, pie, singing, joy, worshipping, and getting really excited about making cookies! However, holidays also mean a messed up routine, sensory chaos, and unwritten social rules.

Updated on 11/29/16 11:53 AM

Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 11/29/16 11:53 AM

About Autism

Inclusive Education

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Parents Guide to Bullying for Children with Autism

What is bullying?

Stopbullying.gov defines bullying as:

“Unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children. It involves a real or perceived power imbalance and the behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”

There are three types of bullying: verbal, social, and physical. All three types of bullying can have serious, long-lasting effects on children. Therefore, it is important to teach children the appropriate strategies to deal with a bullying situation should they ever encounter one.

Updated on 10/30/16 4:26 PM

Updated by Courtney Chase on 10/30/16 4:26 PM

First Person Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

How To Make Life Easier for a Person Who Uses Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

As an autistic person, I am very familiar with AAC. I use it, and I am around others who use it too. Because it is AAC awareness month, I thought this was a good opportunity to write about it.

Updated on 10/24/16 8:28 PM

Updated by Catlaina Vrana on 10/24/16 8:28 PM

Autism & Emotions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Strategies for Responding to Rude Comments About Your Child’s Behavior

 *Print out out Free Card to give to a stranger when your child is having a difficult time in public.

The “Five W’s” approach to choosing when to be an ambassador for autism and when to walk away.

Children with autism and their families often find themselves in uncomfortable situations during encounters with strangers. Despite much more widespread awareness about autism, strangers can be outright rude, insensitive, or simply ill informed. Any parent wants to step in and defend their own child, but for parents of children with autism, there often is an even stronger desire to defend and protect their child. These psychologically demanding public encounters with strangers are confusing, hurtful, and stressful for parents and children (Ryan, 2010).

Updated on 9/26/16 1:48 PM

Updated by Marina Ebert, M.A., Ed.M., Ph.D. candidate on 9/26/16 1:48 PM

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Strong Start: Back to School Tips

Summer is an important time to take a break from school routines, spend time with the family, and explore extracurricular interests. However, the transition from the more laid-back schedule of the summer to that of the school year can be stressful for students and parents alike. This article offers tips to help you and your child with your back-to-school transition.

Updated on 8/20/16 5:11 PM

Updated by Grace Chen on 8/20/16 5:11 PM

Health & Nutrition

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

6 Strategies to Prepare Your Child for Back to School, Haircuts, Hospital Visits, And More!

Activities that are comforting, thrilling, or intolerable to people with autism can vary considerably from what a neuro-typical child or adult may experience in the same situation. For example, haircuts or birthday parties can be extremely unpleasant. Carly Fleischmann, a woman with autism, wrote a book about her experiences and a team of talented disability rights allies helped her produce this video, demonstrating her experience within a coffee shop.

Updated on 8/14/16 5:27 PM

Updated by Briana Brukilacchio on 8/14/16 5:27 PM

About Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Autism

Have you ever worried that your child is exhibiting symptoms of autism, but had no one to go to and no understanding of how to acquire a diagnosis and ensure that your child will receive the help they need?

Updated on 8/1/16 5:20 PM

Updated by Michelle Kuras on 8/1/16 5:20 PM

Autism and Language

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

“What Happens Next?”: Strategies for Teaching Your Child Sequencing Skills

Sequencing is the ability to logically order events, images, thoughts, and actions. Why is sequencing important for children?

Updated on 7/24/16 2:12 PM

Updated by Grace Chen on 7/24/16 2:12 PM

Inclusive Education

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Transition: A Guide to College Readiness and Applications for Students with Autism

Of the roughly 50,000 young Americans with autism who graduate from high school each year, less than 7,000 end up with a college degree (Wei et al 2015). This discouraging statistic has given rise to countless transition programs that we hope will allow more students to enroll in appropriate postsecondary programs, benefit from their time on campus, and enter rewarding careers. A series of steps from transition meetings to college admissions, outlined below, function as a roadmap for teens and parents who have set their sights on higher education.

Updated on 7/1/16 2:54 PM

Updated by Briana Brukilacchio on 7/1/16 2:54 PM

About Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

The Talk: Speaking with Your Child About Autism

Many parents are unsure about how to speak to their child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) about the diagnosis. Parents may fear a number of reactions: that their child will not understand, become angry or depressed, or use ASD as an excuse for why he or she cannot do some things. While some children can find the news upsetting, the information can also come as a relief, as found by a group of researchers that interviewed 9 individuals with high-functioning ASD, aged 16 to 21. Most children reported feeling a sense of shock and disbelief when first informed of the diagnosis, but seemed able to incorporate the idea of “having ASD” into their identity by the time of the interview. Some expressed that learning that they were on the autism spectrum helped them understand why they had experienced various difficulties and had been treated differently. It also provided a reason for their behavior that they thought others might understand (Huws & Jones, 2008).

Updated on 6/21/16 4:11 PM

Updated by Grace Chen on 6/21/16 4:11 PM

About Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Grandparent's Guide to Shopping for a Grandchild who has Autism

 As a grandparent it can be a struggle to find presents for a granddaughter or grandson who has autism. Sometimes traditional gifts can backfire for the child with autism.

Updated on 12/18/15 11:48 AM

Updated by Leslie Stebbins, M.Ed. M.L.I.S. on 12/18/15 11:48 AM

About Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

How to Enjoy the Holidays with a Loved One Who Has Autism

Holidays can be a time of great joy and excitement, but they can also be stressful and disruptive. For families who have children with autism, extra planning is essential to keep everyone on an even keel. Managing expectations about what a holiday “should” be like, and minimizing the changes that will occur in your family routine will help reduce stress and avoid meltdowns.

Updated on 12/18/15 11:41 AM

Updated by Leslie Stebbins, M.Ed. M.L.I.S. on 12/18/15 11:41 AM

About Autism

Teaching with Pictures

Health & Nutrition

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

New Tools to Help Your Child Sleep

Research[i] confirms what many parents of children with autism already know: children with autism have a higher incidence of sleep challenges, and the more severe the autism symptoms the more severe the sleep challenges. Research,[ii] as well as common sense, also tells us that impaired sleep has a negative impact on physical, emotional, academic, and social functioning.

Updated on 11/18/15 12:09 AM

Updated by Leslie Stebbins, M.Ed. M.L.I.S. on 11/18/15 12:09 AM

About Autism

Health & Nutrition

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Autism Parents: How Do You Rate on Self-Care?

As a parent our needs are often the first to be postponed or set aside. Sometimes there is no choice: we have to attend to the immediate needs of our children. But in the long run we could be doing significant damage to our physical and emotional health by not attending to our own needs. And if our health and emotional well-being is compromised this is likely to have an impact on how well we are able to care for our children.

Updated on 10/2/15 12:20 AM

Updated by Leslie Stebbins, M.Ed. M.L.I.S. on 10/2/15 12:20 AM

About Autism

Health & Nutrition

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Talking about Puberty with Children with Autism

All bodies go through puberty, regardless of the developmental "age" of a child or the level of their cognitive or academic skills. It can be startling for parents to see their child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) begin to develop an adult body and characteristics when they do not have the adult skills, reasoning, or competences to go along with it. Regardless of a child’s cognitive abilities, they will go through puberty and they will need support to understand the changes that are happening to their body, as well as assistance to know that these changes are normal and not something to be scared of. Children with ASD will also benefit from understanding about the social rules that accompany puberty, including those that relate to privacy, hygiene, and relationships with others. While schools teach about puberty and sex education in their health or wellness programs, children with autism often need much more explicit instruction about these topics than what they receive in school. Therefore it often becomes the parents’ responsibility to teach about these topics in a way that will be accurate, meaningful, and appropriate to their child with ASD.

Updated on 6/30/15 12:27 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 6/30/15 12:27 PM

About Autism

Teaching with Pictures

Health & Nutrition

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Teaching Stranger Safety to Kids with Autism

Teaching young children about safety around strangers is nothing new. In fact, most adults can remember their own parents and teachers talking to them about the dangers of “taking candy from a stranger” or “getting in a car with someone you don’t know” at an early age. For today’s youth, these same ideas still exist, but parents can find it even more challenging to protect their children from strangers, not only in the physical sense, but also virtually, in a world of cell phones, texting and social media. For parents of children with autism, these challenges can be magnified because of the social and communication weaknesses experienced by their children. Autistic people do not always pick up on the subtleties of social interactions as easily as their typically developing peers. They may not understand why it is okay to hug their friend on a play date but it’s not acceptable to hug a stranger on the sidewalk. These types of safety skills often need to be explicitly taught in order for kids with autism to understand, practice and generalize them in everyday life.

Updated on 5/30/15 7:50 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 5/30/15 7:50 PM

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

3 Ways to Build Skills for Transition Now!

Planning for a young adult with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or other special needs to transition from special education to adult services can be overwhelming for children and their parents alike! Many parents are so intimidated by the transition process that they refuse to think about it until their child turns 14 and a statement about that student’s transition services is required by law to be in their individual education program (IEP), or age 16 when those services must start to be implemented. Other parents may think that they don't need to consider transition until their child is older since the actual transition from special education doesn't happen until students turn 21 (or the age at which special education services end in their state). However, as with any change, the sooner parents and their children start preparing for transition, the smoother the actual shift from special education will likely be.  Despite what some may think, there are skills that can be taught to children at a young age that will make any transition easier as they get older. Three of these skills and the importance of implementing them at home are discussed below:

Updated on 4/27/15 2:42 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 4/27/15 2:42 PM

Autism & Emotions

Autism & Transitions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Helping Kids with Autism Understand Death

Coping with the death of a loved one is difficult for everyone. The idea of death can be particularly scary for kids, and the thought of not being able to see or talk to a loved one again may be confusing and overwhelming.

Updated on 3/25/15 2:00 PM

Updated by Jenna Wharff, Ed.M. on 3/25/15 2:00 PM

Early Childhood Education

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Choosing Meaningful Gifts for People on the Autism Spectrum

These days nearly everyone knows a friend or family member who is touched by autism. Perhaps it’s your own child or your sister’s child. Perhaps it’s the child of your neighbor, your dentist, your mail carrier, or hair dresser.

With the holidays fast approaching, you may be asking yourself: are there any gifts for people on the autism spectrum that are both meaningful and appropriate? 

Updated on 4/29/14 12:56 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/29/14 12:56 PM

About Autism

Teaching with Pictures

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

How to Modify Chores for your Child with Autism

When you have a child with autism or other special needs, chores are often overlooked or parents don’t consider it a possibility for their child. Just as modifications are needed in the classroom, small modification or supports can be developed to not only make chores a possibility, but part of the daily routine.  Find out more about increasing your child's independence with chores at home!

Updated on 4/18/14 10:20 AM

Updated by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M. on 4/18/14 10:20 AM

About Autism

Autism & Emotions

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Teaching Kids with Autism about Emotions

Parents and educators often struggle to help children with autism communicate their feelings. When children with autism have trouble recognizing and communicating how they feel, it may contribute to inappropriate behaviors such as tantruming and aggression, or even increased social withdrawal. If our kids could tell us how they feel, they would be less frustrated, and we would be better able to help solve their dissatisfaction.

Updated on 4/17/14 11:56 AM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/17/14 11:56 AM

Health & Nutrition

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Eating Healthy at an Early Age

Our first experiences with food have a large effect on our eating habits for the rest of our lives, so the best time to teach good dietary habits is during the early years. Think about some of your best and worst food habits... don't you wish you had started better habits at age 3, rather than trying to change those habits at age (fill in the blank!)?

Updated on 4/16/14 11:58 AM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/16/14 11:58 AM

About Autism

Advice for Parents and Caregivers

Back to School Success

red-apple-imageNew routine, new teachers, new classrooms…. New, new, new! This can be stressful for all children, but even more so for children with autism and other special needs. What can you do to minimize stress and maximize success in the new school year? Here are some ABC’s to ensure back to school success.

Updated on 4/15/14 3:17 PM

Updated by Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. on 4/15/14 3:17 PM

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