He Doesn’t Look Autistic to Me

The following post was originally published on the blog Life with Aspergers on March 4, 2017. It was written by Gavin Bollard and has been reprinted here with his permission.

 

He doesn’t look autistic to me… 

It’s a phrase that every parent of a child on the autism spectrum dreads. Apparently it’s meant as a compliment but in reality it’s a fairly impressive bit of “multiple insulting“.

Parent Interview: “It’s Not About Turning Him Into Someone Else.” Jim Hines on Supporting His Autistic Son

Jim Hines

Jim C. Hines is the author of twelve fantasy novels, including the Magic ex Libris series, the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. He’s an active blogger, and won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. This week he shared his experience as a parent of an 11-year-old on the autism spectrum.Jim reveals some of the ways he has learned to help his son develop his own unique identity.

Love on the Spectrum: 5 Considerations Regarding Spectrum Romance

autism and love

Valentine’s Day can mean cute cards and fun (or stressful) holiday parties for young kids as well as bring a mixed bag of emotions for teens and adults on the spectrum. There has been a lot of media buzz about autism and relationships recently, even more so since the release of the documentary Autism in Love. Here are some suggestions from people on the spectrum about things to consider around Valentine’s Day or with romantic relationships.

 

 

Winter Clothing Sensitivities and Autism

boy-1528151_640With the colder weather, comes the need for additional layers, and, in our house, additional stress from sensory sensitivities. All of my children have varying degrees of tactile sensory issues that are exacerbated with additional clothing. They all seem to warm up quickly and grow uncomfortable in long sleeves. In this article, I’ll share some of the approaches that have succeeded and failed as I’ve tried to protect my children from the elements over the last several years.

The Benefits of Siblings for a Child on the Autism Spectrum

girls-946288_1280

Should you have more kids? What are the benefits and drawbacks of having larger families if at least one of the children is on the autism spectrum? There are plenty of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to expand your family. This is true for families with typically developing children and for those with one on the spectrum. Although every family’s individual needs will vary and thus this can’t be discussed holistically, from our family’s perspective, each new sibling has offered our autistic son many irreplaceable benefits we are grateful for.

Autism Interview #21: Rickkie Johnson on a “Person-Centered” Approach to Autism

Rickkie Johnson is an autistic parent of 3 daughters, two of whom are autistic, and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Rickkie is an advocate for neurodiversity and writes about the full acceptance and protection of autistics. Rickkie manages the website proudautisticliving.com and contributes to the Penfriend Project autistic writing team on geekclubbooks.com. This week Rickkie shared with me an evolving perspective on autism, and how to raise autistic children using a “person-centered approach.”

Autism Interview #19: Lana Grant on Advocating for Autistic Mothers

Lana Grant

Lana Grant is a specialist advisor and advocate for people with autism and their families. Lana has worked within the field of autism for nearly twenty years. Lana specializes in autism and females, particularly pregnancy and motherhood. Her book “From Here To Maternity, pregnancy and motherhood on the Autism Spectrum” was published in March 2015 by Jessica Kingsley publishers and is the only book that focuses on this issue. Lana is a trained birth partner (doula) specializing in supporting pregnant women on the autism spectrum and their partners. Lana has recently contributed to the Scottish Autism Right Click Women and Girls Programme. She is a passionate advocate for female empowerment and speaks for the NAS and other organizations about female issues. She also has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome.

This week Lana shared with me some of her background and advocacy work for mothers on the spectrum.

Considerations for Autistic Mothers

autistic mothers

Motherhood has dominated my conscious thought lately (especially mothering infants) since the birth of my fourth child last week. Mothering a newborn brings both exceptional joys and significant challenges for neurotypical and autistic mothers alike. I hadn’t thought about the challenges unique to women on the spectrum until I interviewed Lana Grant who has written a book on this topic and consults with autistic women. She will be sharing some of her advice with us next week. Since then I’ve read more about this special stage of life and learned how it uniquely impacts women on the spectrum.

Planning an Autism-Friendly Halloween

autism-friendly halloween

Halloween is a fun holiday to celebrate for both children and adults, and there are plenty of ways to help children on the spectrum enjoy this time of year. Some children may find it exciting to dress up and participate in spooky-themed activities while others are frightened by the new sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of this holiday. This article offers some ideas for planning an autism-friendly Halloween to help your autistic child or family member fully appreciate this fun holiday.