Have you ever felt as if you were not equipped with the right tools to handle a tantrum in public places? Has toilet training your child with ASD been challenging? Are you struggling to facilitate play skills or eye contact? Is homework a weekly battle?
“Hope for Autism: 10 Practical Solutions to Everyday Challenges”, is an answer to the many questions posed daily by parents desperately seeking ways to simplify the lives and daily tasks of their children living with autism. This book addresses topics such as making eye contact, sleeping, trying new foods, homework, play skills, tantrums, communication, waiting, toileting, and transitions.
Incorporating a multi-disciplinary approach, Hope for Autism: 10 Practical Solutions to Everyday Challenges, allows the reader to:
• Discover the appropriate way to develop social stories for the challenging situations that you face daily.
• Gain access to the M-CHAT-R (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers), a scientifically validated screening tool used to assesses the risk of ASD in children 16 to 30 months of age.
• Obtain insight from a host of specialists in designated fields such as feeding, vision, dental, clinical psychology, applied behavior analysis, and speech therapy, just to name a few.
• Get connected to social networks, support groups, and local/online resources.
• Be empowered from practical solutions and the insightful interviews from a variety of specialists.
Hope for Autism, is the go to handbook of the 21st century, for practical solutions to everyday challenges.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
For the past 12 years as a clinician in the special education arena, I discovered that caregivers of children on the spectrum needed answers to the same questions. Even though, I practiced in various cities and states, and numerous settings, there was a common denominator. As a result, I set out on a journey to research and provide practical tips to provide hope to parents for the everyday challenges that they face.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
It affects all ethnic groups.
It invades all economic status:
the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy.
Adam Young AKA Owl City
Phillipa Margaret “Pip” Brown AKA Ladyhawke
Sylvester Stallone’s youngest son, Seargeoh
Dan Marino’s son, Michael
Toni Braxton’s son, Diezel
Jenny McCarthy’s son, Evan
John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s son, Jett Holly Robinson Peete’s son, Rodney Jr.
Doug Flutie’s son, Doug Flutie Jr.
Aidan Quinn’s daughter
John Schneider’s son, Chasen
Ed Asner’s child
Jacqueline Laurita’s son, Nicholas
Shawn Stockman’s son, Micah
Gary Cole’s daughter
Actor Joe Mantegna’s daughter, Mia
Steven Stills’ son, Henry Stills
Will Clark’s son, Trey
Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter, Kathleen; and his wife Dee’s son, Alex (Celebrities and autism)
The stats are alarming!
The numbers continue to increase
Yet there is no definite cause
Per the CDC, in 2002 the ratio was 1 in 150
2006, 1 in every 110
2008, 1 in 88
2010, 1 in 68
What is it you may ask?
The CDC defines autism as a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.
The “A” word was first introduced in 1911 by a Swiss psychiatrist, Eugen Bleuler. As research and studies by Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner continued over several decades, they discovered these basic behaviors of children with autism:
⦁ “Autistic Aloneness,” meaning a tendency to fixate on one stereotypical activity, shutting out anything, whether a person or a situation, from the outside world.
⦁ A preference of things over people.
⦁ Language difficulties, which can take a variety of forms.
⦁ Ritualistic and obsessive behavior, which can take a variety of forms.
⦁ An intolerance of loud noises, some movements, and other specific sensory stimuli.
⦁ Remarkable feats of memory and other unusual mental abilities.
⦁ Lack of smiling during and sometimes beyond infancy, as well as lack of facial expression when speaking (Teitelbaum, 2008).
If you are concerned that your child may have autism, please glance through the checklist in the Appendix, complete the MCHAT-R, and then follow-up with your pediatrician.
10 Practical Solutions to Everyday Challenges
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love,
and something to hope for. – Joseph Addison
Help! My Child Doesn’t Make Eye Contact
Vision is commonly described as a child’s unique window to the world. More than any other sense, the gift of sight exposes a child to a multitude of experiences that are critical in shaping his or her learning and behavior. – Lisa Kurtz
Most if not all people can agree that vision is a vital part of life. “Vision is our dominant sense. More than just sight measured in terms of visual acuity, vision is both a sensory and motor system. It is a complex, learned and developed set of functions that involve a multitude of skills” (Ripley, D., Politzer, T., et al., 2010).
As an adult, most of us can relate to the experience of feeling hopeless without our glasses. We can remember squinting to read the fine print or borrowing someone’s glasses just to barely make it through the day.
Now, imagine going outside to drive without your glasses while it’s dark. What would be the result of that? Possibly disaster! Or, suppose you rushed to work only to discover that you forgot to put your contacts in? This could be a serious issue if 80% of your job involves paperwork and sitting in front of the computer. How would you manage?
Vision affects our learning, play, and everyday living skills.
Have you ever wondered about children with special needs that have visual impairments and how they function throughout the school day? Many have no friends, avoid ball skills and movement activities, and struggle with reading, writing, and the assembling of puzzles. Some diagnoses that involve visual deficits include: down syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, fragile X, and autism, just to name a few.
Let’s hone in specifically on the diagnosis of autism though. Often times, during an evaluation, I hear parents report that their child won’t make eye contact with them and that they are unsure of how to accomplish it. What parent wouldn’t desire the visual attention of their own child?
Allow me to take you into my initial treatment session of a young toddler with autism. It involves following their lead to discover their interests so that I can enter into their world. During treatment, it’s wonderful when we reach that threshold, where this child who previously never made eye contact discovers the power of engagement and trust in (me) the (FUN) individual. In this place, there’s less anxiety, closer proximity, and an attempt to reach out for my hand when they’re in need of my assistance. This is one of the highlights of my day! I can now transition them into my world and introduce them slowly to so much more that they have missed out on in life.
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