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

Engaging Autistic Attention

The boy is sprawled on the floor next to me, intently focused on his toys. At 5 years old, he is great at repeating words and can say a handful of things independently, but rarely does so without prompting. His mother is concerned that he doesn’t quite have a solid grasp of numbers yet. He… Continue reading Engaging Autistic Attention

Furthur nuances of ABA-based therapies

I've been seeing a lot of discussion online lately about ABA-based therapies.* Can these therapies ever be done right? How can you tell when a therapy is damaging even though it is play-based, uses no aversives, and doesn't seem unpleasant for the child undergoing it? Are stressful therapies ok in small doses? Most people, including… Continue reading Furthur nuances of ABA-based therapies

Interconnectedness, science, ABA, and autism

[Quick amendment: the term "ABA therapy" actually refers to a fairly broad category of therapies based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis, a branch of Behavioral Psychology. Because so many different approaches and programs are referred to as ABA, there is a good deal of confusion about the term within both the autistic community… Continue reading Interconnectedness, science, ABA, and autism

Processing, communication, and cooperation

Working with Rhythm today, I came to the realization that there's a significant time lag in a lot of his responses that I suspect is common for autistic people (children and adults) and often gets read as uncooperativeness, inconsistency, or other negative traits. Simplest example. I asked Rhythm if he needed a potty break and… Continue reading Processing, communication, and cooperation

Education, Control, and Abuse

My apologies for the length of this post. *** How do we teach children what they need to know in life? What do they need to know? They need, at some point, some measure of self-control: the ability to delay gratification, to think before acting, to modify aggressive instincts, to consider the well-being and desires… Continue reading Education, Control, and Abuse

Fishy Goes to School

Those who know me in person know that, in general, few things short of an impending apocalypse can tempt me out of bed before 9 AM. Today I was voluntarily up by 7 and out of the house at 8... so that I could go with Fishy to his school for the day (he does… Continue reading Fishy Goes to School