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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October 15, 2012
"Oh yeah, you blend."

A family's journey in dealing with autism is a highly personal one.  There are stages of grief, not unlike those brought on by the death of a loved one, that follow a diagnosis of autism in a young child.  The timeline and order of those stages are different for everyone.  There are people we meet along the […]

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July 24, 2012
Segregation and Self-Perception, Part 2

As parents, teachers and administrators, we all need to be mindful of the message we're sending to students.  In instances where students with special education needs are set apart, or segregated, from their typically-developing peers, we have to understand the perception of the students involved: Those with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) who are sent to […]

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July 2, 2012
"Be prepared!"

(adapted from our Aug. 2010 newsletter) We are indeed borrowing that famous motto of the Boy Scouts of America. Whereas they’re reminding their boys to be prepared for whatever wilderness adventure or lifesaving opportunity they might encounter, we are encouraging schools and families to be prepared for whatever classroom situation they might encounter. When considering the research of Dr. Connie Kasari (UCLA, 2009), we […]

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June 11, 2012
Self-Advocacy: The Right Stuff

One of the more remarkable things about my (almost) 11-year-old daughter is how well she knows herself.  In fact, there are things she tells me about the way her brain works that astonish me, and give me keen insight into why other children with autism spectrum disorder might respond in certain ways to environmental stimuli. […]

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