Monthly Archives: December 2012

College Support & Employment Resource: WE CONNECT NOW

I just discovered a wonderful resource:

We Connect focuses on higher education and employment issues. It was founded in 2008 by Gabriela McCall Delgado.

It’s truly a great support for college students with challenges. Please do yourself and/or your college-age child a favor and check it out!


WE CONNECT NOW supports college students — and deals with higher education and employment issues.


TIP OF THE WEEK: Group Projects

GROUP PROJECTS: A Strategy for Success

Group Projects are tough in middle and high school. There are so many steps to this seemingly simple thing. Maybe simple for NTs—but it can be a dreadful nightmare for students with autism spectrum disorders. Some classmates don’t want to be “stuck” with our kids in their group. So our kids have to work that much harder. I’ve put together a 5-step template for my son to use to help guide him through the process.

GROUP ACCEPTANCE. First of all, a group has to be willing to accept your child. Sometimes teachers assign groups. This is easier for our kids. Then the biggest hurdles are the last four steps. But if the class is told to form groups of 3 or 4—and our kids are left to their own devices—usually they just don’t do anything. I make sure my son’s teachers are aware of this fact and they’ve been kind enough to step in if they see him struggling.

ROLE – WHAT IS MY CHILD’S ROLE? Your child must determine his contribution. It’s important to understand the scope of the job so your child’s group members learn they can rely on him to come through.

OPT for HOW TO STAY IN CONTACT. By text, phone or email, he needs to stay in contact with all members of group. And share his contact info, as well.

UNITE. If the group meets off-site, your child must meet with them, too.

PARTICIPATION. Your child’s grade depends on it.

Good luck!

Here's a 5-step process to successfully navigating a group project.
Here’s a 5-step process to successfully navigating a group project.

It’s 1 Day to Christmas It’s Christmas Eve and the children are nestled all snug in their beds; take this time to exhale and relax your tired head.   Dec. 24            Day 12   Christmas Eve.   … Continue reading

Holiday Tip #11 for Parents of Children with Autism

It’s 2 days to Christmas, the excitement is building,
gifts are under the tree and the stockings are bursting.
Dec. 23            Day 11   Establish Family Traditions.
Traditions are a big part of holiday celebrations. Make your traditions as unique as your family. Same time every year, we gather to watch the 1951 version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. That’s just one of the ways we provide a routine in our household during this busy, bustling season. Be sure to allow plenty of quiet, together time, too.


Holiday Tip #10 for Parents of Children with Autism

It’s 3 days to Christmas and the kids are getting antsy. “Outside to play now!” and no one dresses fancy.
Dec. 22            Day 10   Sensory Overload.
The sights, sounds, smells and activities of Christmas are comforting to some, and menacing to others. Be mindful of that as you enter different environments. To help regulate all this, make exercise part of your daily schedule. Nothing is more cleansing. A family hike, bike ride or jog each day in warmer climes—sledding, skiing or making a snowman, in colder climes—will do wonders to help keep things in balance.
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As the mother of a son with autism, I’ve committed myself over the years to learning, understanding and sharing the most effective ways to nurture, protect and prepare a child with autism. Strategies with the potential to reap great rewards for our kids. Strategies for the holiday season and beyond, which I’ll gladly share with you.
And right now I’m offering speaking engagements to parent groups, educators, autism support groups, government agencies and community organizations. 

Reserve your booking by calling 714-501-8735.
The talk is free. The information is priceless.

Holiday Tip #9 for Parents of Children with Autism

It’s 4 days to Christmas and I’ve been good all year, my wish list is
detailed and long, I’ve made it very clear!
Dec. 21            Day 9   Unexpected Gifts.
Practice polite acceptance of giftsthose asked for and not, those already owned, despised or thought to be silly. Every giftregardless—deserves a heartfelt thank you. The giver took his time and money to pick out, purchase, wrap and deliver a present. Those gestures deserve appreciation. Period. 
One message to the giver: Thank you—and any praises, compliments, gee golly goshes. One message to mom or dad in private: Any criticisms
or complaints. 
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Holiday Tip #8 for Parent of Children with Autism

It’s 5 days to Christmas and we all play a part. When our kids can

contribute, they have happy hearts!


Kids don’t care to sit and chat forever–but during the meal, try to draw them into the conversation by bringing up a favorite topic of theirs. Or ask about a special holiday memory. It can be fun for everyone!

Dec. 20            Day 8   Full Inclusion—after all, it’s Christmas.

Be sure to include your child in the discussion at the holiday dinner table. An easy way to do this is to bring up one of his or her favorite topicsallowing your child to chime in. Another way is to go around the table and ask for each person’s favorite Christmas memory or whatever. Of course, let your child know you’re going to do this in advance—so he can mentally prepare.


GF Cornbread! YUM!

I just pulled two batches of these yummy GF muffins out of the oven. Sure smells good here! Of course  I used 1/4 cup of agave sweetener instead of sugar. I make muffins [portion control!] and they’re so quick and easy. These are always a hit with my family. I’ll freeze one batch for Christmas and the others will be scarfed down in no time.


Holiday Tip #7 for Parents of Children with Autism

It’s 6 days to Christmas and there are special holiday foods. My son’s
GFCF favorites are always on the menu, keeping him in a joyful mood!
Dec. 19            Day 7   Choice—after all, it’s Christmas.
Let your child decide what he wants to eat for the Christmas meal.
Traditionally, we have a Christmas Brunch but my son can’t eat
the main course because it’s not GFCF. So I let him write his
own menu [which is a great skill!]. Take it a step further and
have him help you shop for his special meal. It’s worth taking
the extra time because all this can help reduce mealtime stress
and anxiety during the holidays.



Don’t make autism or Asperger’s syndrome the scapegoat in this tragedy. I wish the shooter had as easy access to mental health services as he had to firearms. I wish.