Bully Protection 101 for Kids with Autism

By Connie Hammer Being a friend and being a bully are two very different things. Can your child tell them apart? Learning the difference between a friend and a bully can be difficult for the autistic brain to comprehend but not impossible. It is vitally important because children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are especially vulnerable to mistreatment from a bully. Research shows that children with special needs such as autism are two to three times more likely to be bullied than kids that are not autistic. Why is … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Differentiate in a Special Ed Classroom

By Trisha Katkin As teachers, we are always told, “every child is unique,” and “each one is different.” And I believe that this is true. HOWEVER… When you are trying to handle a busy class with students that are all on different wavelengths, it can be mind-boggling to figure out how to accommodate everyone. It gets tricky when you have students of various abilities, strengths and weaknesses. So, what can you do? Differentiate! Differentiation is the process by which one accommodates students and their various needs. It’s what … [Read more...]

Aspergers Syndrome and the ‘Can’t Love’ Myth

I don’t need flowers, candy, cards or a special day to know that I am loved, especially by my son with Aspergers Syndrome. There’s a myth that people with autism can’t show love. But they can. You just have to notice because it won’t be expressed in ways you might expect. It may be subtle but it’s there and it shines brightly when you pay close attention. During his high school years, my son was on a class trip. We were encouraged to send notes, letters, and cards of encouragement while the he was away. He must have been 14 or 15 at the … [Read more...]

Artists with Autism and Supportive Self-Employment

Business: Artists With Autism, Inc. Mission: “Promoting Micro-enterprising, Providing Opportunities, Creating Independence” What is Artists With Autism? Artists With Autism is the only not for profit social enterprise of its kind providing a retail gallery as a platform for more than 50 artists, authors and crafters with autism spectrum to show and sell their handmade art and crafts. They receive 100% of the proceeds from their sales. Why did you feel that starting your own business was the answer? We believe supported … [Read more...]

Why Autism Gives Me the Strength to Fly!

By Megan Amodeo In just a few short days I will turn the chapter and enter year number 44 of my life. It has been 8 years since two of my three children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. It has been 8 years since I was also deemed as an autistic mom, wife and woman. I started to think about all the things in my life that have changed or been altered by our autism diagnoses. I honestly felt a huge sense of relief the moment my daughters were diagnosed. That may sound strange to typical parents, but I have never been typical. I … [Read more...]

A Poppin Good Business for a Special Entrepreneur!

Business: Poppin Joe's Kettle Korn Motto:  “Have a ‘Poppin’ great day!” What is Poppin Joe’s Kettle Korn? Poppin Joe's Kettle Korn was established to show that I, Joe Steffy, a young man with autism and down syndrome, am able to work. The kettle korn business gives me an opportunity to do a variety of tasks I can chose between while at work each day. We sell fresh popped kettle korn at festivals, and in local retail outlets. Poppin Joe's also does private events and fundraisers for our local community. Why was starting your own … [Read more...]

Celebrating Diversity Awareness in Children’s Books

Geek Club Books is participating in Multicultural Children's Book Day to celebrate diversity awareness in children's books. More specifically, we are advocating for there to be more stories with main characters who are on the autism spectrum. Here is a link to the reviews and interviews we've published as a part of this special day: No Limits: No Boundaries! My Journey Through the ABC’s Soccer Bugs, a Children's Book that Honors and Celebrates Diversity Lucy's Amazing Friend: A Story of Autism and Friendship Multicultural … [Read more...]

#ReadYourWorld – ABC’s of Adventurous Living and Learning!

Natasha Moulton-Levy and her son Julian English sent me their book, No Limits: No Boundaries! My Journey Through the ABC’s to review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. I wanted to read a book that was both culturally diverse and featured characters on the autism spectrum. Their book was so much more than I expected…it was a beautiful story scrapbook of a family dedicated to giving their son with special needs every opportunity to live a life of learning, growth and experiences beyond imagination. Unconditional love spills out of every … [Read more...]

Crafting Autism Employment with Creativity and Purpose

Business: Crafters for Life Mission: Create a constructive reason for autistic and special needs adults after aging out of high school to leave the house, learn social skills, and earn a paycheck. What is Crafters for Life? Crafters For Life is a company that employs autistic individuals and others with special needs to make and sell hand-crafted products. Our products include greeting cards, drink coasters, key chains, lavender eye pillows, drink tumblers and sugar scrubs. The company is based on a skills program in a high … [Read more...]

Staying Calm with a Calming Cushion

Product Review by Megan Amodeo Meltdowns can be challenging. It is often difficult to know what to do to calm children when they are overwhelmed and inconsolable. I recently had the opportunity to test and review the Bionix Calming Cushion. This device was designed to give children on the autism spectrum a way to calm their emotions during or shortly after a meltdown. The unit consists of a large rectangular cushion filled with beads (similar to a bean bag chair) and an air compressor. The cushion is about five feet in length and is a … [Read more...]