July 2, 2014
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 […]

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March 5, 2014
Autism Awareness Preparedness

World Autism Awareness Day is just over four weeks away.  How are you preparing?  In my house, I'll start bringing out my exterior blue light bulbs and hanging the Autism Awareness ribbon garden flag in a couple of weeks.  I'll get my Highlight It Up Blue hair extensions and wear my button on my jacket. […]

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November 4, 2013
Extending Dignity

So much as happened near and far in the past few days that remind me how much work we have to do  as an organization and as parents, and how much has already been done by so many autism advocates.  In the category of earth-shaking accomplishments, take Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher of Wretches & […]

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October 28, 2013
Pretending to be "normal"

Whether your neighborhood hosted trick-or-treaters already, or is gearing up for the swarm of costumed kiddos later this week, this is a time when many of us celebrate our children pretending to be other than who (or what) they are.  Sometimes the costumes are so elaborate or concealing, we cannot recognize our pals.  And some […]

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September 30, 2013
What is the learner objective?

When we started developing our student curriculum nearly seven years ago, Denise and I knew what we, as parents, wanted typically-developing peers to know about their classmates with autism, including our own sons.  Not long after we had done some field tests, we assembled a committee to review our newly-hatched programs and services.  One of […]

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August 30, 2013
Great opportunity for siblings of students with neurological differences!

For more than six years, Good Friend has been spreading its message about autism awareness, acceptance, and empathy to those who surround students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Along the way, and within co-founder Denise Schamens' own family, the unique challenges that the siblings of children with ASD face have become more visible to us […]

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June 24, 2013
Autism: an explanation -- not an excuse

Even though Denise Schamens and I have been providing Peer Sensitivity Workshops through Good Friend for nearly six years now, we are still often met with resistance about explaining a classmate with autism spectrum disorder's (ASD) differences.  And we respect that.  But admittedly, it makes us a little sad, because we've seen the benefit talking […]

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June 17, 2013
LAUNCHED: Campaign for New Film Project

We've been planning for this for a looooooooong time (just ask Good Friend co-founder Denise Schamens -- she'll tell you): the official start of our new elementary school film project!  It's hard to believe it's been three years since we started work on Choosing To Be a GFF for middle school, and that How Can […]

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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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