June 10, 2013
So we're going on vacation ...

Especially when families have school-aged children, summers are a time for travel.  It takes extra bravery, flexibility, and planning if that family includes a child with autism, and there have been some key considerations I've taken as a mom that have reduced behavioral turbulence, so to speak. You know that picture you have in your […]

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May 27, 2013
Patience vs. Understanding

There is a special fellowship between parents of children with autism, regardless of the children's ages.  Invariably, someone (generally one who is not raising kids with ASD) asks, "What have you learned most in raising your child with autism?"  So often, you hear "patience" as a response. To me, patience is what's required for long […]

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May 20, 2013
Five Things about Autism Meltdowns

One of the most unnerving aspects of autism spectrum disorder, both for the individual with autism and the caregiver or bystander, is the meltdown.  Taken at face value and out of context, a meltdown resembles a tantrum.  You might observe loud vocalizations, an out-of-control body, and perhaps even some physical aggression, directed toward self or […]

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May 14, 2013
A Season for Appreciation

While April is a great month for awareness (and acceptance), May is the perfect month for appreciation ... of teachers and mothers. Last week, we celebrated teachers.  If you're the parent of a student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you probably particularly appreciate your child's teacherS.  Since I'm raising two students with special education needs, […]

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April 23, 2013
Autism Awareness Activities in Elementary Schools

Last year, I was so impressed by the efforts of the Swanson Elementary community in Brookfield, Wis.  I was certain they were an anomaly in the education universe.  But I am glad to report I am WRONG!  There are other metro Milwaukee schools (and you likely know of one in your area) capitalizing on the […]

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April 8, 2013
What comes after Awareness?

It's a busy month in the Good Friend calendar: Autism Awareness Month.  We caregivers are all bustling about with blue in our 'dos and shining our lights and wearing our puzzle piece pins.  And as my own children with ASD get older (they're now 14 and 11), they're taking more notice of all the buzz. […]

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March 25, 2013
From Barriers to Bridges

Earlier this month, I fawned over the friendship between Andrew Jenks and Chad, a young adult with autism on MTV's "World of Jenks".  The symbol that so impacted me was the bridge they crossed together at an amusement park.  Jenks was both the catalyzer and supporter for Chad's successful crossing. Did you see the bridge […]

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March 18, 2013
HighLight It Up Blue, year 2!

Welcome to the 2nd annual Good Friend HighLight It Up Blue for Autism campaign!  Last year, well over 100 of you in the metro Milwaukee area visited Salon Brillar√© in Pewaukee, or went to one of our on-location events in Waukesha, New Berlin, or Milwaukee, to get blue natural hair extensions, feathers, and/or sparkly tinsel strands to help create autism awareness.  This […]

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March 11, 2013
Crossing Bridges

In the HBO Films movie Temple Grandin (2010), opening doors is a thematic image.  Since Temple is a visual thinker, she latches onto the metaphorical concept of doors opening to new experiences.  As she walks through door after door on her journey to her life's work, we see how many people were there to guide […]

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