What Worries You When Your Child Reaches a New Milestone?

Parents often ask with concern why when their child has made a gain of some kind in development do they seem to reverse in others? As an Autistic I can tell you that many times when reaching a new milestone, we may revert to a previous special interest or sensory seeking behaviour for comfort and reassurance. There's nothing wrong with that. What we tend to notice more is the regression Autistic's display if there has been a traumatic experience. But any progress is still a change even if it is good, so a step back in another area … [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...]

Experience the Comfort and Joy of Sensory Habits

I've many times given advice on sensory seeking behaviours in autistic children, how to aid them and why they may occur. While explaining that a child spinning for example, is seeking to feed their vestibular sense or that a child stamping their feet is gaining proprioceptive feedback from the pressure of their soles bouncing on the floor, I've never described how it feels. Tactile I'm going to attempt to describe how, from my perspective it feels to run my fingers through soft fleecy material and the emotions I feel when I do: It's … [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...]

It’s an Autism Thing…I’ll Help You Understand

Emma Dalmayne is a mother to six  childen. "Some are diagnosed while others are not but all are gloriously neurodiverse," says Emma who home educates the youngest two, one of who has complex special needs. Emma began writing a year ago and found the reaction from her readers to be very positive. She writes a monthly column her on Geek Club Books and has also been published on The Mighty, Autism Daily Newscast, Special Needs Jungle and Autistic Spectrum Digest. She's found her passion for helping and educating parents and professionals about … [Read more...]

To the Unrecognised…We Are One

As an autistic diagnosed with Aspergers a year and a half ago I remember how it felt to not have a diagnosis. I seemed to need that written affirmation as to who I was, and while I'm happy I have my diagnosis I often wonder if it would have made such a difference to me if the neurotypical psych in the office had  not recognised me as an autistic. If I had answered the tick list differently and given my history in a way not satisfactory to their requirements I would have ‘failed’ and been misdiagnosed. The worry I have is how people in … [Read more...]

The 5 Common Autism Myths and Misperceptions

Where to start? These are the 5 common autism myths and misperceptions I hear regularly: Autism Myth 1: You can't be autistic you are too social. Yes I can be, I am able to enjoy others company as many autistics can. We can enjoy social occasions like parties and cinema trips. I love concerts and the theatre. That does not mean however that I do not risk sensory overload in those places which happens frequently. It does not mean that I do not need to rest for up to eight hours after intense social reaction, I do. Autistics can be … [Read more...]

Autism and Visual Perception

Have you ever wondered why your child squints to look at things? Or tilts her head to an angle to look at something? If a visit to the optician has ruled out any visual problems then it is more likely to do with the way they are processing the information being taken through the eyes and transmitted to the brain. My daughter always has had a problem with things moving past her rapidly. In her pram she would squint and cry out, so much so that I got her little sunglasses. They gave her great relief and she wore them for car journeys too. … [Read more...]

Growing Up as a Rainbow Girl

I can remember running, the large black tire hit me from behind and took me down in one fell swoop. My nose stung and I cried, no one saw and I went and sat down on a brick wall. I knew my mother wasn't there. If I was quiet and didn't tell I would be left alone until the next time. I had learned that at age four, and the boy who then bullied me knew it too. I had one friend in nursery, a boy who never spoke. He would play only with me and had a Buck Rogers comic he carried everywhere. We would climb behind the confined space of the … [Read more...]

Reaching for the Sky

Today I was lucky enough to speak to Charlie Timbrell an inspirational young man who was diagnosed with autism at age seven, has just achieved his lifelong dream of owning his own hot air balloon! Charlie was keen to explain that in his words: “I felt since I have been become a hot air balloon pilot the only reason is because of my autism, and I would like to be able to tell my story to people who think their dreams won't come true as I know for a fact that mine have come true.” As a child Charlie had a fascination with balloons, their … [Read more...]