What Happens When You Can Show the World Your Talent?

James Sullivan is an extremely talented man on the autism spectrum. He has a degree in filmmaking and has his own YouTube channel. He writes, films, edits, performs, sings and talks about anything and everything in today's pop culture scene. He's interesting to talk to and fun to be around. I met James when he and his parents came to see a presentation I was giving in San Francisco. Like me, Susan Sullivan (James' mom) was starting a nonprofit business to employ people with autism. James produced a video for her new "PreLOVED Toys" … [Read more...]

The Secrets of a Successful Buddy Program

How did one mom create a successful buddy program and lasting friendships for her autistic son? When it comes to parenting a child on the autism spectrum, don’t you wish that there was a book with all the answers? A roadmap to helping them grow and thrive? Each autistic child is unique and there are no “one size fits all” solutions to making sure we’re meeting our children’s needs. We may not know what to do at any given time, but we must trust that we have the strength within us to figure it out…to find and, sometimes, fight for their … [Read more...]

How to Win at the Friendship Game!

“Well, hello folks! Welcome to The Friendship Game, the only game show where everyone’s a winner because everyone gets a friend!” Navigating the social world is challenging for everyone and making friends is one of the most socially complicated. Some people have the natural ability to network, make connections, and know how to grow them into friendships. You can see it even when they are children…the ones who just know how to hang out make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. When my autistic son was growing up, friendships didn’t come … [Read more...]

“Communication for All” Innovative Assistive Technology in Action

“When you walk into the classrooms at Jesse Baker School, what you see are engaged students,” said Sharon Stanley, a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) for the Elk Grove Unified School District (Sacramento County).  Sharon works with the team of educators at The Jesse Baker School, an extraordinary elementary school for students with special needs. Their mission? To provide “a full-spectrum education for their exceptional students.” As an SLP, Sharon’s motto for all children is “Communication for All,” and she is dedicated to making … [Read more...]

Why Autism Needs to Be Taught in the Classroom

I am sure that most of you by now have heard the term “autism awareness” and you probably know that there is a national autism awareness month every April. It was so declared by the Autism Society in April of 1970 and its intent was to educate the public about Autism Spectrum Disorder. So for 45 years we’ve been raising awareness. It’s not surprising that there’s a growing trend within the autism community to evolve that term into “autism acceptance.” So many of us—parents and autistic individuals—feel that we need to move the public past … [Read more...]