New Children’s Book that “Finds Its Way Home”

As a member of the Autistic Creatives Collective,* Colin Eldred-Cohen channels his creative and active mind towards writing and storytelling. He’ll tell you that he constantly has story ideas buzzing around his head, fiction and nonfiction. “They can spring up from anywhere, from media I consume to any random thing I see. Some of the story ideas get channeled into writings, some become plots for role playing games I play with my friends. I want to say that it’s a gift of the Asperger’s, but one never knows.” Colin has written his first … [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 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...]

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...]

Autism and a Tale of Two Views on a Particularly No Good Day!

The parent’s view: It’s been one of those days! Your child won’t listen to a thing you say and refuses to get dressed screaming like a banshee when you try to put on their socks. You get up and offer breakfast realising too late you’ve run out of the cereal your child HAS to have, screaming starts your day and your mood goes down from there. You decide to take your little one out for some fresh air and then a half hour in the soft play area. The socks WILL not go on! You literally end up sobbing in frustration while your child sits next … [Read more...]

Anxiety and the Pressure Cooker of Life

Pressure. The pressure to succeed. The pressure to fit in. The pressure to be normal. Pressure leads to anxiety. Anxiety and autism and Aspergers Syndrome often go hand in hand. I know because I am autistic. Knowing that I am not ‘typical’ often fills me with dread and overwhelming anxious thoughts. Do not get me wrong, it was a huge relief when I was diagnosed with autism. I finally felt the freedom of being myself. There was a reason I am different. Knowing who I am has made me a whole person. Anxiety has always been a part of my life for … [Read more...]

The Panic of Party Time

While most families view social occasions as exciting and joyous, families with autism panic. There are a number of factors that can cause a boisterous celebration to go awry for those of us living with autism. The day the invitation comes in the mail, email or from a phone call, the panic begins. Let's talk about the event itself. Family gatherings may seem easy and non-threatening but it’s full of anxiety when not every family member is on board with your child’s diagnosis and treatment. There always seems to be one relative who thinks … [Read more...]

Taking Language for Granted

By Rochelle Johnson I don’t think that word means what you think it means… Language is one of those things we often take for granted. We use it without really thinking about it. We take on new language almost through osmosis. All of a sudden we find ourselves using words we can't really guarantee we actually understand and comprehend their actual meanings. It can cause an embarrassment, offense to others, or a situation where you are passing inaccurate information to others. Language is not only something we take for granted but it is … [Read more...]

Autism and Coffee

‘Really Autism? You going to start before I even have a cup of coffee?’ Yes really. That was posted in an Autism ‘support’ group. I couldn't resist replying ‘Really Neurotypical? You need a coffee first?’ The poster replied asking why I was offended. I explained I am Autistic and I found the fact she referred to her son as autism not as his name hurtful. I give her respect for the fact she stepped over to my point of view and apologised. The fact is there are two types of autism Facebook groups: The parents groups and the … [Read more...]

The Pulling, Tugging, Squirming Issues of Clothing

Many of us across the country enjoyed a warmer than usual fall and early winter in 2015. It was a wonderful respite for those of us that often endure unreasonable amounts of layers well before the official winter months of January and February. For those of us with autistic children, the warmer fall meant not having to change wardrobes for a few extra months. You might be thinking, who cares about what type of clothes one wears? I for one, breathed a huge sigh of relief that I did not have to worry about a winter coat until the end of … [Read more...]