August 26, 2022
How Will Students Know They Belong in Their Classroom? 

Since the average enrollment of an American public school exceeds 500 students (EducationWeek, 2019), by the numbers associated with autism prevalence (CDC, 2021), an administrator can be statistically assured that the school’s count of students on the spectrum will be in the double digits. It is likely that the least restrictive environment for those autistic […]

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August 29, 2014
'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 […]

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August 21, 2014
Milestones are fun, but people matter!

In this era of measurable outcomes, numbers are important.  How many were served?  What percentage of various ethnic groups were represented?  How much did it cost?  How long did it take?  And all of those things are important -- but not without people.  And not without each individual. At Good Friend, Inc., we never started […]

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August 4, 2014
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 […]

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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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June 12, 2014
Teachers Who Make a Difference

It's the last week of school in our district, and my own children have been through tremendous transitions this year.  In the hands of less capable educators, this week might have felt very different for us.  I have had school years as a mom -- and I'm sure you teachers and students have had them, […]

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June 4, 2014
Good News: Red Carpet Premiere Party was a HUGE success!

Seems like Good Friend, Inc.'s hometown of Waukesha, Wis., has been the epicenter for a lot of bad news over the last few days.  Let me tell you some good news that will warm your heart.  And let me replace those sad images with inspiring ones. On Wednesday, May 28, we welcomed joyfully more than […]

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May 19, 2014
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 […]

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February 10, 2014
Kids say the loveliest things!

Like many other states, Wisconsin has had a tough winter.  In fact, it interfered with preparation for a recent student service at an elementary school. Generally, we send a presentation kit to the host school ahead of our visit so staff and students can prepare to receive Good Friend's Awareness-Acceptance-Empathy® message.  Part of the kit […]

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