Category Archives: Autism

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother: 10 Strategies for Supporting Special Needs Sibling Relationships

Like a boulder in a rushing stream, our daughter sat calmly reading on a chaise in the living room, her brother sprawled on the floor next to her, crying and tantrumming. Three adults (me, a babysitter and an ABA therapist) … Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Siblings, Special needs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Side Effects: Three strategies for evaluating whether and when to use medication

Have you considered medication? No matter how gently and kindly put, it’s a question that parents of a special needs child wish they didn’t have to hear. Deciding whether and when to use medication for a child is difficult for … Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Seizures, Special needs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Stupid head, furball, “iniot” and other favorite phrases

One of the joys of raising a child with a developmental disability is a tendency to latch onto and repeat random words or phrases that they hear from TV shows, movies, older siblings or from your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine. And this isn’t your … Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Special needs | Leave a comment

Rinse and Repeat: a Mom’s Beauty Regimen

I should have known better. Usually I put a hard stop to the up-sell, but the cosmetics salesperson caught me at a vulnerable moment. I’d come in to get my makeup done for a party. The bright fluorescent light at … Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Parenting | Leave a comment

Social Sheepdogs: Nipping and Nudging into the Mainstream

For several years, our son with special needs has participated on recreational sports teams to develop his social skills and to get some exercise. He has played (and I use this term generously) soccer, basketball and baseball. Coordinated and tall, he … Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Special needs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

4 Surprising Benefits of Interacting with My Special Needs Kid: Hint, it makes you smarter

As a mom with a PhD, I love it when research supports my mom instincts. Those instincts tell me that typically developing children and their families benefit from spending time with my special needs child, and science thinks so too. … Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Special needs | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Seizures and Autism: A Numbers Game

5:30 in the morning. My husband was walking by our son’s bedroom and heard strange noises. He peeked in, and saw our son having a seizure. It lasted for about a minute, and only involved his upper body. After the … Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Seizures, Special needs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Princess Boy: Two strategies for turning Barbie into C3PO

Sandwiched between two sisters, it’s easy to see where our special needs son gets his love for all things sparkly, pink and royal. At first, we decided not to make an issue of it, and our princess boy happily pranced … Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Parenting, Special needs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment