Girls Scouts on Zoom

Going Virtual

In early March, before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, I arrived in an art room overflowing with giggles and bustling with activity, juggling our Good Friend toolbox, technology, and program materials. There were 25 Girl Scout Daisies waiting to learn more about autism and good friendship. Leaders helped the girls shift their focus from coloring … Read more

‘Of course you should understand me!’

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you know that much of what we (Good Friend, Inc. co-founders Chelsea Budde and Denise Schamens) write about comes from personal experience.  Whether it’s something we’ve encountered while “in the field” or in our own homes, raising children with differently-wired brains, it’s often illustrative of a greater … Read more

Reasonable Accommodations

My family and I are on vacation.  We are visiting theme parks and family, splitting up when we need to for the well-being of our kiddos on the spectrum.  My 15-year-old son in particular has a number of “rules” he’s self-imposed to protect against sensory assaults and general violations.  One is that he cannot get … Read more

Talking to Children about Talking

A couple weeks ago, I was with my 12-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son at a public park pool in our community.  It’s generally a great place to connect with friends from school.  But not all children are friendly — or at least they say some pretty unfriendly things.  One group of 14ish-year-olds made my son … Read more

Talking about an ASD Diagnosis

Following a recent Good Friend Peer Sensitivity Workshop, an observer remarked how she had seen similar presentations about autism, but the presenter never actually used the word “autism”.  I thought that was much like talking about reproduction without mentioning the sex organs: not very helpful, and one leaves with more questions than useful information.  I … Read more