By necessity, caring adults need to become detectives, analyzing what is taking place before the behavior (whether crying, screaming, biting, kicking, or running from the classroom) and how the environment either reinforces the behavior or helps to change it.
My family's adventures with autism are far from over. I know there are going to be many more situations that will be frustrating and confusing. I'm looking forward to these adventures with some anxiety and trepidation, but also with a lot of hope and excitement.
I know there's some really bad stuff that goes along with having a child with autism. But I'm also aware that there's an abundance of gratitude, support, grace, hope, happiness, acceptance and love in our life thanks, in part, to autism.
Living on the spectrum comes with daily challenges for the child, his parent, and his teachers. Here are some tips that can help a child on the spectrum experience less anxiety in their day and feel calmer inside.
Autism is a very difficult diagnosis, because it affects areas of the brain governing social interactions and relationships, the very foundation of family and community life. But those with the diagnosis need not feel hopeless or believe isolation is their only future.
Disability seeps into all the cracks, the corners, of your life. It becomes the emotional center of the family. Sometimes I felt as if other, typical families were feasting in a great restaurant, while the four of us were standing outside, noses pressed to the glass.
In trying to find the best in health care and education for Marty, I have met hundreds of African-American boys and girls like him -- kids who are misunderstood, marginalized and written off as unproductive and incapable of learning. These disparities are nothing new.
The amount of funding available to young adults with autism drops dramatically once they age out of the system, and parents are often left struggling to find a place where their child can continue to work towards finding a job.
Did you know that autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder but is also the most underfunded? This April marks Autism Awareness Month, an entire month devoted to raising awareness about this disease.
It means spending sleepless night worrying whether your child will ever be able to say a three-word sentence independently. It means wondering whether he or she will ever experience things like friendship, love and companionship in their lives.
When you talk to your kids about autism, please take that extra step and mention not just how people with autism are different from people without it -- talk about how they're the same, too. To get you started, here are 10 things I wish everyone's kids knew about autism:
I try to capture these moments in a picture or on video because sometimes I'm not sure how often these moments will occur in the coming years. I want them to hold on tight to each other and lean on each other throughout their lives, as siblings should do for each other.