Tag Archives: high-functioning autism



Friday Night Fun for Teens!

Come and hang out with us! Every first Friday of the month we meet in Costa Mesa for a different activity. If you’re between the ages of 14 and 19, this is the place for you!


Autism Resource Mom’s ‪#‎Hangout‬ FRIDAY NIGHT FUN FOR TEENS offers teens an opportunity and the encouragement to break the pattern of reclusiveness and dare to overcome their social anxieties in a safe, nurturing and fun environment.


CLE-logoThanks to College Living Experience (CLE)-Costa Mesa for helping to make this possible.

Join us on Friday, Feb. 5! To RSVP, click here: http://www.meetup.com/www-autismresourcemom-org/

A HEART-TO-HEART WITH MOM | A few seats left!

Don’t miss our roundtable discussion on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Click here for details.

Be Mine

Myth: People on the autism spectrum cannot feel or express love or empathy.
Fact: Many — in fact, most — people with autism are quite capable of feeling and expressing love, though sometimes in quirky ways. Further, many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are far more empathetic than the average person, though they may express their empathy in unusual ways.

Love You, Two!

Preparing Your Child for Independent Life After High School | SKILL #3: Teach Your Child Basic Food Prep

With graduation season just a few months away, we are reminded of the importance of transition to independent adult life. I realize those can be scary words—at least to us parents and caregivers. Nonetheless, we need to give our kids the skills necessary so they can succeed.
Here we continue our focus on transitions with this third installment of ways to prepare your child for life after high school. Sure, I know as well as you do, that many times it’s quicker and less messy if we just ‘do it for them.’ But a young, independent adult should know how to prepare or cook two or three breakfast, lunch and dinner items for him/herself.
SKILL #3:   Teach your child basic food preparation.
For example:
  • Wash hands first!
  • Use knives and kitchen appliances safely
  • Use a stove, microwave and oven safely
    • Don’t put metal items in microwave.
    • Know how to preheat oven, use potholders and timer and turn off the oven when done. 
    • Be careful with gas/electric stove tops. 
  • Follow proper food handling procedures
    • Refrigerate foods needing refrigeration.
    • Wash fruits and veggies prior to eating.
    • Be aware of expiration dates and toss expired items.
  • Clean up
    • Store food in covered containers, throw out any trash and always wipe down the work surface. 
    • Scrape and rinse the dishes/utensils and either wash them or put them in the dishwasher.
Start with meals that don’t require cooking. A breakfast with fruit, cereal with milk, yogurt and juice, for example. When those skills are mastered, move on to cooking one breakfast meal. Then cooking one meal for lunch. Then dinner. Repeat the process to become proficient with several different items for each meal. Bon appétit! 
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 transitions and more, which I’ll
gladly share with you. 
Contact me at 714-501-8735 or debora@autismresourcemom.com

Preparing Your Child for Life After High School | SKILL #1

With graduation season soon to be upon us, it brings to mind the importance of transitions. Thank goodness my son still has a couple of years to go—that’s lucky for us. All the more time to prepare.
To make the move from high school to college or the workplace as seamless as possible, of course proper planning has to occur. I’ve learned a lot from the various workshops and trainings I’ve attended, and would like to share some strategies with you here.
Over the next 15 weeks, I’ll send out 10 ways you can help prepare your child for this next phase in his/her life. Remember, it’s never too early or too late to prepare our kids for life after high school. But, the earlier we start, the better.
When do you think transition prep should begin? Gold stars to all you who answered “From day one.” Yes, from the moment you put your child in someone else’s care, you start preparing that child for transitions throughout his/her life.
So all you parents with kids in elementary school, pay close attention. And all you parents with kids in middle school, incorporate these into your child’s lifeAnd all you parents with kids in high school, practice these daily with your teen!
Good luck!
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” —Alan Lakein
SKILL #1:   Teach your child to wake to an alarm.     Image
It’s one of the fundamentals of independent living. When an individual can get himself up in the morning
without relying on someone to wake him, he’s on the right track. It doesn’t happen overnight, so be patient.
Some tips:
  • Put the alarm clock away from the child’s bed so that he has to physically get up to turn it off. This will help keep him from going back to sleep after he turns it off.
  • Paint the alarm button with day-glo paint or put a neon sticker on it, so the child can easily identify it.
  • Reward your child when he doesn’t use the snooze button or go back to bed. 
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 transitions and more, 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.
Remember to set the alarm!


FREE Training Session | Feb. 26 SAVE THE DATE!

This interactive training details how to successfully consider post-secondary outcomes for adolescents in SPED, including those with autism spectrum disorders [ASDs].

Presented by Kathleen Whelan Gioia, M.Ed., Diagnostic Education Specialist, Diagnostic Center, Southern California.

60 Seats Available — First Come, First Served.  Registration Deadline:  Feb. 18

RSVP now:  QB Keju — qkeju@ocde.us | 714.966.4144



Personally, I’m relieved that non-pharmaceutical treatment methods such as CBT exist. I’ve always been a proponent of talk therapy, and I’m pleased with the positive results I’ve seen in my son. Probably the toughest part is finding the right therapist for your loved one.


Holiday Tips #3 & 4 for Parents of Children with Autism

ARM went dark for one day to honor the memories of all those who died in Newtown, CT.
It’s 9 days to Christmas and what do I fear? Crowds, chaos and commotion, that much is clear.
Dec. 15            Day 10   Watch What You Eat
We know that nutrition affects behavior. And we all have a tendency
to snack too much on sweets and bad foods during holidays. So be
sure to have healthy snacks on hand—carrots/celery sticks, nuts,
raisins, fresh fruit, yogurt, string cheese. In our GFCFSF household,
I do lots of baking ahead of time, so we have muffins, cookies
and quickbreads in the freezer. My “trick” with breads and
muffins is that I load them with sweet potato puree or
bananas or carrots or squash — instead of sugar — to make
them healthier.
Dec. 16            Day 9   Buy My Book
A few years ago my son and I wrote a book of tips for teachers.
“Teaching My Teacher About Autism” is a great gift idea for teachers and other professionals
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 a one-hour consultation–free of charge. 
Call 714-501-8735. The consult is free. The information is priceless.
Deck the Halls!



CARPOOLING: A socialization strategy

Carpooling is an easy way to help your child to foster relationships. It’s not like we live close to any classmates, but that’s not even the point. I’d gladly drive out of my way to take someone home in order to see my son walking out of school with a buddy, instead of alone. Engaging with that kid. Goofing with him/her. I could very easily pick them up right at the school gate, but I don’t. I make them walk a distance, with all the other kids. I see it as an “equalizer” of sorts. He’s walking home with a friend, just like everyone else. Plus, that is valuable social time. Same goes for the drive home. When I’m driving my son and his band buddies, there is constant chatter, constant horsing around, constant boys being silly. I love it.

The other day I was panicking, running late for an appointment, but when I saw my son walking down the street with his pal, I stopped stressing and gladly made the extra stop to take his friend home. My son is worth it.

I offer to drive my son’s friends home, but they have to walk to a certain street corner first. I force “social time” upon my son in this way. We both love the results!

Who wants two (2) free movie passes?

Think It By Hand [www.thinkitbyhand.com] has joined forces with University of California, Irvine in a project that will evaluate how easily and effectively students with high-functioning autism [specifically students in 4th, 5th and 6th grade] interact between hands-on teaching aids and touch-screen technology in the subject area of math. 
They need four [4] students [4th, 5th or 6th grade only] for a 30- to 40-minute usability study on a Saturday in May. Exact date and time not yet determined.
Here’s the best part. At the end of their visit, each student will receive two unrestricted movie passes.

This is a first-come, first-served opportunity. For more information or to schedule your student, contact Guy Foresman directly.  guy@thinkitbyhand.com.