New video is now up! This time around, I discuss why small talk can be so confusing for those on the autism spectrum. Many people find small talk to be such a simple concept that it’s difficult for them to imagine why it would be an issue for anyone. So, to help break down the topic, I make 3 points that cover social processing issues, unwritten conversation rules and more. The video is below; click here to check out Invisible Strings on You Tube. Regular posts resuming next week!
The Sensory Connection
The goal of this ongoing series is to examine the interplay between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and depression. As mentioned in Part 2, it can be difficult to untangle one from the other since depression can hide behind autistic traits. But there’s another factor involved with ASD that can also allow depression to persist unchecked: sensory issues.
To cover the role of sensory issues in this dynamic, I’ll make 3 points.
On the ‘Blending with Autism’ Facebook page and blog, Janet Amorello writes about daily life with Sam, her 18-year old autistic son. Sam has challenges with communication, yet finds unique and surprising ways to create meaningful language. He also has a love of drawing that speaks to his vibrant perspective on the world.
I spoke with Janet about words, art and the different ways Sam has shaped her views on the autism spectrum. (All images below are from the ‘Blending with Autism’ Facebook page.)
A mom recently wrote in and asked two questions about her teenager who is on the autism spectrum. I respond in the video below, which is the second part of an ongoing series. Click here to see the first video, about Aspergers and friendship during adolescence. The new topic: the challenge of balancing social needs and comfort on the spectrum.
Autism Parenting Magazine issue #15 is now available! This month the focus is on the important talks to have with children and teens regarding autism and adolescence, including: puberty, friendship and more. Click here for an overview, which includes a video of Leslie Burby discussing how she reacted the day her daughter asked, “Mom, am I autistic?”
Allison Behymer’s two youngest children are on the autism spectrum. Her daughter Charlee is age seven, her son Liam is age six; both were diagnosed with autism at the age of two. The pediatrician who provided the diagnosis told Allison that her children would remain non-verbal throughout their life and would never have the ability to walk or care for themselves.
Allison rejected this grim outlook and made finding acceptance-based supports and therapies priority number one.
Some social interactions leave me feeling confused, mentally exhausted. Others remind me that…sometimes? People can be pretty awesome.
Then vs. Now
This is the concluding segment in a series where family members of children and teens on the autism spectrum reflect on the day they first learned about the diagnosis.
New feature: I’m beginning a series of videos on You Tube where I discuss different aspects of the autism spectrum (you can see the first episode below). These will largely focus on personal experiences, but I’m also answering questions from readers, so it should be a fun way to interact with others and share ideas. (Click here to check out the new Invisible Strings channel, and here to see the 2nd episode.)
On the day that a child receives a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, many parents launch into an exhaustive search for information, answers and therapies. It seems to be an almost universal experience that Diagnosis Day results in a marathon session of searching keywords online and reading any and every link available.