More Challenged Than Challenging, part 1

We can't make aggression disappear completely, but we can make it less likely, less frequent, and less intense. Over the years, we've done a lot to make my client's life more orderly and predictable. As a result, he's generally a happier and calmer person, and slower to anger than he used to be. He is still someone with limitations that frustrate him unbearably at times, and he doesn't have as much emotional maturity as most people his age. But he is also much less prone to violence than he used to be. I think that's definitely worth the effort!

Stop Pathologizing Autistic Play

A topic came up in an autism support group I frequent. A mother said that her son's Early Intervention therapist was trying to get him to stop "repetitive play," and play more the way typical children do. The mom didn't see any harm in repetitive play, but the therapist claimed her son was doing the… Continue reading Stop Pathologizing Autistic Play

Sneaky Kiddo!

I got some new mints and let 11-year-old Nightingale try one on our way to the beach. He pestered me for another... and another... and another.... the whole way there. Finally, at the beach, I told him, "no more until after lunch." I put them in my purse and set my purse down on a… Continue reading Sneaky Kiddo!

Just Amazing

Sometimes my job is difficult, frustrating, or annoying. Sometimes it makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world. This day was the second kind. And not just because I got to wear a bathing suit to work! *** Less than a year ago, I would arrive at his house, pile into the car… Continue reading Just Amazing

Language Stories

No lesson here, just reminiscing. I have a client, age 13, with moderate-to-severe developmental disabilities. Very social, loves music, loves simple word games such as being asked what sound various animals make, or asking me my favorite color, etc.. I generally see her for 3-5 hours a week, and have done so for the past… Continue reading Language Stories

We Need to Talk About Appropriate Language

Most of us can remember being unreasonably afraid of something-- or hoping for something impossible -- because an adult said something we misinterpreted, took too literally, or didn't realize was a joke. Sometimes we hold these misconceptions for years. For an autistic child, who tends to take language very literally, this probably happens far more often.