Advantages and Disadvantages of a ‘Tape Recorder’ Mind

By Megan Amodeo I have always been on the autism spectrum. Two of my three daughters have always been on the autism spectrum. By no means do I claim to be an expert in all things autism, but I do have a good sample size in my own home which provides me with a unique window into the minds of autistics. The 'Tape Recorder' Effect One characteristic of autism is what I like to refer to as the tape recorder effect. Hopefully everyone still remembers what a tape recorder is used for and its functions (Hey, I was born in the 70's!). A tape … [Read more...]

Why Do I Love the Things I Do?

By Lydia Wayman Advocacy and Questions Autism advocacy is all about questions – either the ones people ask about their own kids or the issues nobody seems to realize they are getting all wrong. I have a lot of the answers memorized, so often, I can just spout it off verbally. If it’s something I haven’t worked through yet, I usually have to spend some time and then work it out on the keyboard. I might ask that person if I can get their email address and get back to them on it. Why do you freeze in place and stare at the shelves in the … [Read more...]

Do People Really Believe You Can Outgrow Autism?

It occurred to me suddenly the other day, my daughters aren't babies anymore. I know this may sound ridiculous. Of course I know the ages of my own children. I have two teenagers and a tween. As we near the middle of summer and I start to ponder the back to school schedule, I realize now that all my daughters will be in junior high or high school. Wow, I blinked and the grade school years are just memories and collected art projects. In only four short years my oldest will be ready for college, or whatever post school path she chooses to … [Read more...]

Autistic Reflections: What Your Mirror Can’t Teach You

By Lydia Wayman I think a lot of the lack of understanding we have about each other comes down to the fact that most people judge the whole world on the basis of their own individual experiences. Many people interpret and criticize others' behaviors, needs, quirks, and struggles from the perspective of their own minds, their own bodies, and their own lives. There are so many misconceptions about autism and autistic people, and many of them are based on these perspectives that differ radically from our own. To be on the autism spectrum is to … [Read more...]

Are You Worried about the Safety of Your Autistic Child?

Parents, remember the excitement, joy and sheer terror we faced when we brought home our new little bundles from the hospital? No matter boy or girl, twins or more, the second you walk through the door you start to worry. WORRY, about everything! Is she breathing? Is he eating enough? One blanket, no blanket? Does anyone really know how to do this whole parenting thing?!? Usually after a few weeks (OK, maybe months) things start to settle into a daily routine. But wait, who said anything about walking? The worry and panic start all over … [Read more...]

Why is Executive Functioning so Hard?

By Lydia Wayman Like most kids on the spectrum, I had major challenges with executive functioning. I left things everywhere. I could do my homework on my own without a problem, but I couldn't keep the assignment book up to date, so I'd get full credit on the paper and then miss points for writing the wrong due date. And if asked to "clean up," I… didn't. As I got older, I had trouble remembering appointments, keeping track of paperwork, and working with money. I didn’t know why I had so much trouble--I was really working hard and my … [Read more...]

Why the High-Low Labels are So Wrong!

By Rochelle Johnson It’s nearly impossible to avoid hearing or reading the words high functioning autism/autistic. Regardless of their validity or inadequacy at actually describing anything, you will hear them in the autism world. You can hear them applied to people in both negative and positive ways. You can hear them used as a weapon to silence or as a shield of avoidance. “But you’re so high functioning.” “They must be high functioning.” “But you’re much more high functioning than my child.” “You don’t look autistic.” And … [Read more...]

Do You Really Need to Like Yourself?

What does self-acceptance really mean? Do you really need to like yourself? I have thought about these particular questions more than I would like to recently. I have two teenage and one tween-age daughter. Junior high and high school can be particularly brutal and cruel especially when you are a teenage girl. Even though I graduated from high school in 1991, things haven't changed for the better. Not only do our youth have to face mean girls, cliques, and awkward growth spurts, there is the huge world of social media. Social media is … [Read more...]

Are You and Your Autistic Child at Odds? There is a Better Way!

Picture this: You turn up to playgroup and your child won't enter the building. He flatly refuses to enter, cries and begs not to go in but is told firmly and repeatedly that he has to go in, if he doesn’t he is going home and will be ‘in trouble with nanny later.’ Feeling harassed because you need to go shopping and have only two hours to do it in after you drop off your child…the crying is annoying and you’ve already been through hell trying to get him dressed and now you can't even leave?! "Autism at its best!" you secretly think … [Read more...]

Why Does It Matter?

Why are you so loud? Why can't you whisper? Why are you holding your spoon like that? Why do you run weird? Why do you do that stretching thing like every four seconds? Why can't you sit nicely like the other girls? Why do your tights fall apart after one wear? Why can't you keep track of your stuff! Why do I have to stand here and list every step to get you to clean up? Why do you leave your stuff everywhere? Why are these black shorts fine but the other pair isn't okay? Why won't you play kickball in gym glass? Why don't you play … [Read more...]