Developing Social Skills and Friendship through Filmmaking

Shared interests. If your child with autism has something they’re really interested in, find a hangout, class, or group activity that focuses on that interest. If you can’t find something, start it yourself. Why? Because it’s one of the best ways for your child to learn and practice social skills and friendship. When my son, Jonathan, was younger, we found theater. Performing and getting involved in the theater community was life-changing for him. He found friendship, pride, confidence, and, for the first time, saw a path to his future as a … [Read more...]

Bully Protection 101 for Kids with Autism

By Connie Hammer Being a friend and being a bully are two very different things. Can your child tell them apart? Learning the difference between a friend and a bully can be difficult for the autistic brain to comprehend but not impossible. It is vitally important because children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are especially vulnerable to mistreatment from a bully. Research shows that children with special needs such as autism are two to three times more likely to be bullied than kids that are not autistic. Why is … [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...]

How to Be a Friend

Friendships have been one of the most challenging things for me to understand. It was a long and sometimes awful journey, and there were times I had no friends at all. Thankfully, it turns out that I bumped into some pretty fantastic people as I was wandering around trying to find mine, and they decided to show me out of the woods or walk with me until we could find our way out together. We tossed the compass when we realized that our friendships were our own. Instead of trying to follow the rules, we do things our way: Say what you … [Read more...]

A Friend in Need Indeed

There are brilliant autism stories that have been written, blog posts that have been posted, and articles that have been published, that are sadly buried in the news feeds and blogosphere...We're on the hunt for these missing manuscripts to bring these 'treasures' back for you to discover! This is a beautifully written piece on autism parenting and friendship... A Friend in Need Indeed By Liz O'Keefe, Cat on a Trampoline Hubs and me had a long chat recently. We covered a lot of ground: hopes, fears, challenges, changes, our … [Read more...]