I just started a new job working as a teacher assistant in a public school. I am working primarily in a separate classroom with a group of kids with varying disabilities, e.g. autism and down's syndrome. This is my first time working with kids who have disabilities, and I can tell that I have a lot to learn! How can I become a better, more effective, more confident and relaxed teacher assistant? [more inside]
What do I need to do and where do I need to go to have my adult brother receive a professional assessment stating he has autism and will need lifelong health insurance through my father? [more inside]
Metafilter has named cats and dogs, and roller derby babes. This should be easy. On the book of faces I talk a lot about my life with Agent K, my 11 yo with autism. I'd like to move it over to it's own blog and talk about our life, link to interesting articles and products, post pictures, etc. He's always been Agent K and he calls me Muh-ver, Mommy, or Heyshea. I keep a Pintrest board titled Agent K's Awesome board. Any thoughts?
My son has social delays that make making friends hard. He was finally on his way to making a real friend, and I (his mother) ruined it by inadvertently alienating the other child's mother. I can't fix it. How do I live with it? [more inside]
I'm looking, roughly speaking, for a game, but it needs to be as un-game-like as possible. I'd like something interactive I can play with when feeling overwhelmed which is visually appealing, responsive, fairly simple, and has few or no objectives. Levels and world-building are too addictive for this purpose. I'd like to be able to start and stop playing quite easily, and to be able to play when my mind is out for the count (so no puzzles). Can you help? [more inside]
My 12-year old son (previously and previouslier) is having trouble in middle school, to the extent that he is frequently absent because of what appears to be anxiety-related nausea. He was also recently diagnosed as what would have previously be Aspergers. I would love to hear some suggestions about alternatives to traditional schooling that might work, given some complications explained inside. [more inside]
My daughter just turned 10 and she has traits that may well indicate that she is somewhere at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Should I get a formal diagnosis? [more inside]
I need a new job but I'm not sure where to even start looking. I don't feel like I'm qualified to do much of anything but what I'm doing now but I am BURNT OUT! So what's a 20 something with a sorta-liberal arts degree who hasn't done much but hang out with kids all day supposed to do? [more inside]
I have an 8 year old boy and a new prescription for Concerta (for him, not for me). After more than a year of testing and discussion, I've accepted the 'script because - as our doctor was very clear - we can always decide not to fill it. I'm asking you to help us decide if we should try this. [more inside]
My two and half old son got diagnosed with autism yesterday. I am obviously freaking out. Where do I start? [more inside]
My nephew is a musical genius- perfect pitch, memorized discography of most prominent classical composers, and he plays clarinet and piano (also almost any instrument he picks up.) He has autism and has been preoccupied with the Baby Einstein (and language and Beethoven) series since he was very, very young (a baby). I think one of the reasons he still holds onto it and will watch it over and over is because it's visually and musically interesting with out having a plot that his attention cannot hold onto or is too difficult to grasp emotionally. Anyone have recommendations for music/band films that would be appropriate for a 12 year old that is visually interesting with out a plot? He has watched almost every Disney and classic musical out there, but I wonder if there is something like the BE series, but more mature. Thanks!
At the grand old age of 26, I am moving into my first place, away from home (living by myself). I need tips for keeping my place clean. [more inside]
How can I teach an adult on the Asperger's/Autism Spectrum social skills specifically tailored to the office environment? [more inside]
Our young (<6) child has sensory processing issues, and is lashing out physically when she is overwhelmed. We don't want to pull her from a generally beneficial school, and she's already in occupational therapy, what else can we do to stop the aggressive behavior? [more inside]
I had a poor experience in dorm life previously. Now that I'm going to graduate school I'm facing a difficult decision, about whether to live on or off campus. [more inside]
If you have failed at forming relationships (of any kind), is there a point where you should just accept you don't have the skills and are incapable of developing them? [more inside]
I'm looking for research or studies that examine the pros and cons of having a child with special needs (especially Autism Spectrum Disorder) repeat a grade versus social promotion. I'd also like to hear from teachers or educators who've held kids back and any students (especially those that were receiving special education services) that were held back in the 3rd, 4th or 5th grade and how it impacted you. [more inside]
Should I disclose my son's ASD and ADHD to other parents when he goes on playdates where we are not present? [more inside]
Let me make this very specific: I'm an autism specialist. I have blog about autism as part of my job. I post useful information to the Montana Autism Education Project blog. But I'm having trouble understanding the usefulness of this video as a teaching tool. The video begins by saying, "Autism has locked me in a body that I can't control." Great opening, but the video ends by saying, "Everyone has an inner voice. I found a way to let mine out." But the video does not show Carly letting her voice out. She gets frustrated and stands up in slow motion. It's a good perspective video, kind of, but it doesn't show how she changes her response to get coffee. There are better videos that I can use for trainings that show what interactions/coffee shopsa are like for someone with autism spectrum disorder. Am I missing something in this video that shows a person with autism using her voice/communication? Disclaimer stuff: I know who Carly is.
Having discovered that a nontrivial fraction of people find my preferred stim distracting and rude, I'm on the lookout for other tactile stims/stim toys that are more socially acceptable. Doodling doesn't do it for me, for whatever reason. In situations where stimming is most helpful to me, I usually don't have a table to hide my hand motions under, so subtlety would be nice, as would silence. I'm especially interested in hearing from people who are affronted by knitting in social and work situations. Suggestions? [more inside]
My eight-year old was talking about god the other day, and she said something that my first impulse was to correct, but instead I ignored it. She said, "like you, I believe in god." Problem is, I kinda don't. But I'm pretty much the only one in the family with doubts, and I'm not sure when it makes sense to reveal it, specifically to this child. The reason I have doubts about talking to her specifically about it is because she's on the spectrum, and I think that makes it harder for her, especially so young, to sustain her own beliefs. I envy people of faith, but I do not share their faith. Have you dealt with this issue? How do you handle it when you're kid's a believer, but you're not. Special snowflake details inside [more inside]
At the parent-teacher conference Dec 5th the teacher told me my autistic/ADHD/OCD/GAD child is so aggressive the staff fears their safety and want to use restrainsts, and they want to bring it up in the next iep. This is the first I've heard of any aggression. [more inside]
I'll be in Mazatlan for five days in January. If there is a local group interested in autism, I would like to offer to speak to them. I searched the web for autism "groups" but couldn't find anything for a local autism group/parent group like I could find in the United States. Do you know an autism group or a contact with the education department that you can suggest to me? Thanks. Disclaimer stuff: My fee for talking would be no money, just a suggestion for a good restaurant. I'm not trying to build my ego, just offering a chance to talk to people about autism. I do that regularly in my day job and it doesn't matter where I go, when I say that I'm an autism specialist everyone has questions. If I can offer some answers, that's good. I make my living as a specialist in autism and have for 25 years. I don't speak Spanish but am used to working with interpreters.
Recently I have had to come to terms with the fact that 1) I am somewhere on the autistic spectrum and 2) I am working in a field that is not ever going to be very accommodating for me. Advice and pointers needed; secret spices, more info and toy inside. [more inside]
My 5 year old nephew was recently officially diagnosed with autism, as a two on the three-level scale. I know next to nothing about autism and am seeking resources that will help me become more educated about the disorder. I would love recommendations on books, blogs, magazine articles, documentaries, etc. [more inside]
I have a teammate at work and I need to know how to make our working relationship more effective. He has trouble with social interaction and exhibits behaviors that I've often heard in discussions about Asperger/autism spectrum disorders, but more to the point, he has trouble with anger and I'm not sure how to respond to it. I understand that I can't be sure about my armchair diagnosis, but I don't need to know the cause of his behavior so long as I can find ways to work with him. [more inside]
I recently spent a while babysitting for a pre-teen girl with Asperger's. I found her behavior to be eerily reminiscent of myself at that age, with the key difference being that I have never had an Asperger's diagnosis. I *do* have a diagnosis of chronic anxiety and ADHD. [more inside]
My well-meaning boyfriend offered to take my 18-year-old autistic brother with very low social skills out for dinner to celebrate his graduation. We're not sure what to talk about with him. [more inside]
I had never heard this phrase before and came across it in an article about autism. Curious about it, I searched online, but was unable to find much. [more inside]
My 9-year-old autistic daughter has 5 cavities, three in adult teeth. The dentist wants to put her under general anesthesia. While this would certainly be way more convenient for the dentist, and less hellish for her, I'm concerned about the dangers of anesthesia. I've read about hospital patients suffocating in anesthesia screwups. Is that a possible outcome in dental anesthesia, or is that a different procedure? Do I have a reasonable concern? Should we try to do it normally? Snowflake details: on the spectrum, she's definitely a bit more sensitive and rigid than neurotypical kids, but not drastically so. On a side note: how important is it to fill cavities in baby teeth she will probably lose in a year or two?
My girlfriend got her B.A. in Psychology, then worked for 2 years doing ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy with autistic children. After that, she worked for 6 years in the family business: her parents are doctors, and she served as the admin, doing scheduling, billing, hiring/firing, account management/finances, building management, etc. Now, she is looking for a new job (one of the parents is retiring next month), but we are having trouble coming up with her next career step. Any ideas, MetaFilter? More details inside. [more inside]
I'm a year and a half into my first serious relationship and it has a lot going for it. But, almost every time we now go see a movie together, or check out a concert, or go somewhere new for dinner, I spend more time worrying about rather she's having a good time than actually enjoying it myself. It's worse if it's something I picked out or suggested, and I find myself avoiding suggesting something I think I'll enjoy because I get nervous about her reaction. She has really relaxed standards for entertainment and usually enjoys what I suggest, so I know it's me and not her. Anyone have experience with dealing with this in their relationships? [more inside]
My son's school has a "100th day of school" t-shirt project coming up, requiring 100 of something to be on the shirt. He's a kindergartener with fine-motor issues who suggests a Pac-Man theme. I'd like him to decorate the shirt himself or at least part of it. So, how should he get 100 colored dots in various pastel colors on a black or navy t-shirt? Ideally the dot-making wouldn't require a lot of grip strength or precision. (We adults will help with the Pac-Man, ghosts, and maze lines as needed.) Bonus points for washability, but that's not essential.
Old friends, babysitting, child with special needs? [more inside]
Can you suggest some kick-ass female career/life role models for this social-sciences loving, radical left-leaning, and possibly autistic, woman? I need to read about other people who have been successful in the areas I've struggled in. Not Temple Grandin, please. Many snowflakes inside. [more inside]
Thoughts on how to get my three year old to eat. [more inside]
Is it useful for me, as someone in my late forties, to seek a diagnosis as a high-ish functioning autistic (which, after some research, I'm fairly sure I am) in order to have a clear identity rather than being "that creepy old man". Which isn't terribly good for my self-esteem among other things. [more inside]
What Lego-related gift should I get in the USA for a bright 5 year old Australian with Asperger spectrum issues? He likes Lego and has a particular interest in Legoland in San Diego. I want something that costs no more than $20 and I'd rather leave presents of actual Lego to his parents.
How do I navigate trying to reconnect with an ex who possibly has Autism/Aspergers? [more inside]
How do I interact with an adult brother of my girlfriend I am meeting for the first time... who may have Asperger's/autism spectrum...... in a way that makes them feel comfortable? [more inside]
I am working in a Autism lab this summer. I've been wondering whether it is a problem that so many psychological disorders are defined by symptoms and focused on treating symptoms. I think, and this isn't a particularly controversial opinion, that it is also important to investigate their causes. Are there any instances of really effective investigations of the cause/causes of psychological disorders (discussion open to any disorder)?
Is it illegal to willfully recreate a patented software process in open-source software, and what would be the possible consequences? [more inside]
I've recently discovered that my daughter is, at least in some form, autistic. I'm having a little trouble coping with this revelation and I'm feeling a bit lost about how to go forward. [more inside]
What (and how much) should we include in a booklet for a "mainstream" kindergarten teacher about a kid with autism? [more inside]
PDX Filter: Had a small meltdown last Friday and came home from work. Today I'm feeling completely detached from my job and I just want to get some help once and for all. What kind of mental health facilities can I call up today about getting in this afternoon? More snowflake-y stuff inside. [more inside]
Sometimes when I'm concentrating, I unconsciously and involuntarily clap / clench my muscles / make nonverbal noises. I've done this ever since I was a child. What am I doing? [more inside]
A question about adult autism anger management issues in a housemate context. [more inside]
Looking for recommendations for autism therapy service providers for a 3 year old, in West Philadelphia. Thank you! [more inside]
So my autistic son is now 9 years old. How do I (a 5'0" woman) stop him (a 4'6" tornado) from physically harming me? [more inside]
A question on social etiquette; "Hey, (insert name here), can I have a photo of your face? [more inside]