Why Ben Affleck Has Made My Year!

By Yadira V. Calderon Ben Affleck talked to his kids about autism because of role in The Accountant. He plays Christian Wolff, an autistic math savant with lethal fighting skills. He said talking to them about the role opened the doors to having a conversation with them about autism. He told People Magazine that he told them that “all of us are very different and some of us see the world in really different ways, and this condition that makes you different can also make you very special…and that’s cool as well.” In my world Ben Affleck … [Read more...]

My Dream for a Safe-Haven Home for the Autistic

By Rowan Nelsen Autism in South Africa Autism is a prevalent topic of conversation in South Africa. With the burden of HIV, Malaria and other diseases, mental health is very much neglected. There are many families, like mine, with loved ones on the autism spectrum who worry about their futures. As a society, autism is highly misunderstood. We have a huge shortage of places where those with autism can go once they reach adulthood. Few Solutions for Autistic Adults There are some private residential homes for adult autistic males but none … [Read more...]

My Inner Strength and Willpower Will Get Me Through!

By Sean Sullivan I have autism, and I am very proud of this fact. I think of my autism as a gift and super power! My autism has helped me understand others feelings. For example, since I am autistic I know what the pain of being bullied is. For the most part people who have disabilities are treated like freaks by others...and for immature, belligerent, and oppressive reasons such as feeling superior or for entertainment. The kind of disability you have will likely determine what people say to you and what actions people take towards … [Read more...]

I Claim Her Right to Live Without Abuse

By Yadira V. Calderon I am often extremely concerned with the statistics of children with special needs that experience abuse at a higher rate compared to their non-disabled peers. But stats lack purpose and reality for me, and I rarely find them meaningful or interesting. As a parent of a child with special needs, I am compelled to highlight my concern and to create awareness and sensitization to the ones that face molestation, to be a voice for the voiceless and innocent who are robbed of the joy of growing up in an emotionally and … [Read more...]

Rights of a Child – Rights of Us All

By Yadira V. Calderon Contributor: Guy Stancliff My daughter Thomais has autism. I’ve learned to savor the happy moments and embrace the challenging ones. A mother’s love can only bring a child so far, but I have a few fundamental beliefs: She has a right to interact. She has a right to be unique. She has a right to be astounding. She has a right, above all, to be respected. Of course, in this world, none of that is guaranteed. But I can, as a mother and advocate, do my best to provide her with the foundational love and support … [Read more...]

Computer Clinic and Learning Academy – One Mom’s Quest for Autistic Employment

Editor’s Note: Paula Powers is a single mom raising a young autistic son. Our family’s story about starting Geek Club Books inspired her to want to start her own company to employ autistic adults. She wants to part of the movement to empower through meaningful autism employment! Starting a company is no small undertaking. There are highs and lows, milestones reached and setbacks too—it takes patience, persistence and determination to make it happen. Since Paula is starting at ground zero, we asked her to chronicle her journey as we can all … [Read more...]

From Fear to Victories in One Middle School Year

By Mama Chewi What a difference a year makes. Haven’t we all heard that cliché too many times to count? In the course of normal living, subtle changes generally come and go…unrecognized and uncelebrated in favor of waiting for something bigger to happen. Something that is sure to have meaning and leave a forever impression. It is when we get caught up in this waiting that we lose sight of the broader, more important picture and forget to take note of the little things that lead to great victories. Our house has had some great victories … [Read more...]

How to Help with Meltdowns and Stimming Needs

By Emma Dalmayne, Aspierations and Information After my son was diagnosed with autism then subsequently myself I decided to do this piece for those who's child may be diagnosed with autism or you may only have the suspicion that they are on the spectrum. Apart from concerns about your child's communication and social skills, they may also display self stimulating behaviours and melt downs. These behaviours may display as pacing, rocking, jumping and spinning. They may have oral stims they use to regulate themselves from humming, singing, … [Read more...]

The Impact of Sensory Processing Disorder

Our guest contributor, children's author Lori DeMonia, shares the impact of sensory processing disorder in a children's book inspired by her own family's experiences. Sensory Processing Disorder makes life challenging. It also changes the way a family functions in their day-to-day life.  Much planning and thought goes into everything.  Whether it’s a trip to the grocery store, using the vacuum cleaner, or choosing the right time to empty the dishwasher, what many would consider simple decisions, aren’t so simple.  Taking our daughter with … [Read more...]

Lola the Therapy Dog: Big Love in a Pint-sized Puppy Package!

Some things are just better with a dog by your side - like long walks, reading a book, or curling up in front of the TV. When I retired a few years ago, I was eager to slow down, and I figured I would know what I was supposed to do next when the time came. It happened during a quiet lunch with a friend over a discussion about meaningfully filling one’s time. She shared with me her favorite activity, which was visiting schools and summer camps with her black lab, Jake.  Jake is a therapy dog, and it sounded like Jake did all of the work while my … [Read more...]