Take time to listen, and to learn their language

Open and clear communications is one of the most important things between parents and their kids, and a lot of parents spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to do this. Read just about any book on how to improve your communications skills and you will find that one of the most […]

Don’t ask me, ask him (about the autism C-word)

A few years ago, a friend asked me the question: “If someone told you there was a pill you could give your son that would cure his autism overnight, would you give it to him?” Sounds like an easy question, right? I hadn’t really thought much about it for some time, as it had been […]

Devote more time to your kid’s strengths than their shortcomings

Consider this opening paragraph from the book Strengths Finder 2.0: At its fundamentally flawed core, the aim of almost any learning program is to help us become who we are not. If you don’t have natural talent with numbers, you’re still forced to spend time in that area to attain a degree. If you’re not […]

Perseveration, or perseverance? Obsession, or passion?

The distinction between “perseverate” and “persevere” is one that I have often wondered about. What I’ve come up with, in a nutshell, is this: perseverate is bad, keeping at something for no real purpose persevere is good, keeping at something in pursuit of a meaningful goal. Another way to look at it is that someone […]

Lead – don’t manage – your (autistic) kids

Autonomy  –  Mastery  –   Purpose Aimed at adults who have already heard the starting gun, these are three things that Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers) and Dan Pink (Drive) have written about in terms of meaningful work and a meaningful life. These are also incredibly important parts of growing up. As infants and toddlers, the focus […]

Don’t let autism stop you from being a parent

Autism blogger Lisa Jo Rudy once challenged parents to “quit autism for just one day.” Your child with autism may always be autistic, but there are places and circumstances in which it either doesn’t matter – or in which your child’s special talents make autism irrelevant. Whether it’s at the beach, in the woods, at […]

Don’t mourn for them

The HBO film Temple Grandin, which I wrote about back when it first aired, recently won 7 Emmy awards, including Outstanding Made for TV Movie. Here’s what I had to say about the movie back then: I encourage you to watch this film with an open mind. It may just help you understand the sentiment […]

Life is for living – a review of “Get out, explore, and have fun!”

On her blog at About.com:Autism, Lisa Jo Rudy usually asks questions. In her soon to be released new book, Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun!: How Families of Children With Autism or Asperger Syndrome Can Get the Most Out of Community Activities, she answers two very important questions: Why should you “get out, explore, and […]

Cultivate your kid’s strengths

I found this bit of wisdom in the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. Though geared at self improvement, this quote struck a chord with me as a parent: The trick is not to work obsessively on the skills and talents you lack, but to focus and cultivate your strengths so that your weaknesses matter […]