October 21, 2013
"A Difference for the Good"

I could spend the next month's worth of blogs breaking down the lyrics of The Figureheads' original song, "We ALL Fit", written and produced for Good Friend's upcoming elementary school peer sensitivity film of the same title.  And each week I could focus on a phrase that has come to mean so much more to […]

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August 19, 2013
UW-Whitewater Study of Good Friend Interventions

Last week, Denise and I attended and presented at the 6th annual WisABA Conference.  At first, the disparity between the numbers of capital letters after our last names representing our degrees and certifications was intimidating to me.  There we were, in the company of many highly-educated and -trained professionals in the fields of skilled service […]

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January 7, 2013
Autism and Relationships in Adolescence

In December, I chose to share some thoughts about friendship skills of students with ASD in preschool and elementary school.  As students move into secondary school (grades 6 through 12), the nature of their relationships change.  Puberty becomes a factor not only in physical development, but in social-emotional development as well.  And just as physical […]

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December 17, 2012
A Spectrum of Friends

First, to honor the lives of the students and staff¬†lost in the Sandy Hook community in Connecticut ... ¬†There is no amount of explanation that will heal hearts, but we hope our prayers for the survivors and tears for the slain will resound across miles and time. This week's topic was to be based on […]

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December 10, 2012
Autism and Peer Relationships in Early Childhood

In the state of Wisconsin, the average age for receiving an autism spectrum diagnosis is 4-1/2 years old (CDC, 2012).  By this time, while most parents report that their child later diagnosed with ASD exhibited symptoms before seeking a medical diagnosis, children should already have been receiving services through Birth to 3.  That being the […]

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April 16, 2012
Partying with autism

When Denise and I do student services in elementary schools, we are often encouraging the typically-developing students to invite their friends with autism to their social gatherings.  Birthday parties are often a big deal in a little life.  And while some adventurous parents are willing to go all out and invite the whole class, most […]

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January 16, 2012
The Silence of Our Friends

As we were doing the research for our middle school film, Choosing To Be a GFF, we noticed a heart-breaking trend.  Typically-developing students who were friends with a child with special needs in elementary school treated their differently-abled peer as if he or she were invisible in the great chaos of blending friends in middle […]

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December 23, 2011
The Gift of Friendship

I had the kind of conversation last week with a mom that throws me into fits of hate and hope. She told me a sad but familiar story of a misunderstood boy who spends his recess pacing the playground perimeter because he and his peers just haven't figured out how to have successful social interactions. […]

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