Last night I attended the preview screening of the first episode in The A Word series. If you have someone with autism in your family or know someone who does, you will not want to miss this! It is realistic, witty and hits home in so many ways.
The story in the words of SundanceTV "Captures an authentic portrait of a contemporary family after their young son is diagnosed with autism." The show premiers in a few weeks on July 13th 10P Eastern time. Here is a LINK to PREVIEW the trailer.
Celebrating my Twins' Birthdays is Extra Challenging Because One has Autism // by Dana Greenberg @SheKnows
Every year as my twins' birthdays approach, I feel in many ways the same as most parents do: A mixture of both happiness and sadness. This year they're turning 13. They are getting older and things are changing in many ways, but it's different for them because my son has autism. CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE
Five Great Extracurricular Activities in New York for Kids with Autism // by Dana Greenberg @TimeOutKids
My son has autism, so finding after school and weekend activities for him to do in New York is not always easy. I try to focus on finding things that he can enjoy, which can sometimes be tricky. He is 13 now, and over the years we have tried a variety of activities. Some have worked well; others not at all. There's been a lot of trial and error, but here are five great extracurricular activities for kids with autism in New York that we've tried (and love)! CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE
How does your child handle haircuts? Has it changed over time? Maybe they don't love it, but have just gotten used to it, as a part of their life. My son, whose hair I keep very short, got his first haircut at 1 years old, he is now 13. Back when he was little, it was so very tough for him, and for me as his mom to watch and listen to. There were so many things that bothered him about the process. The sitting still, wearing a cape, the fallen hair itching his skin, the sound of the buzzer so close to his ears. All very understandable things. I wondered if it would ever get easier. A simple thing like a haircut......SO tough to get through!
Over the years the progress was slow. At times I wanted to pull my own hair out, but we kept at it. Every four weeks, almost to the day, he would have his appointment, and.....it DID get easier! As he got older, I noticed him getting a little more tolerant. I no longer have to bring a change of clothes, he wears a cape! While I can tell that the fallen hair and the buzzer still make him feel a little uncomfortable, he has learned to deal with it.
I think in our case, consistency was a major factor in him becoming more tolerant. This was not something that was going away, it was part of his life. I tell him the day he has an appointment so he can start thinking about it. I also promise him a small reward, something small, maybe a special snack that he doesn't get to have often. This is very motivating for him. Probably the most important thing you can do, is find the right person to give the haircut. You may have to try out a few people or places until you find someone who clicks with your child. It will be worth it in the end. We have been lucky to have the same wonderful person, Diane, all these years, yup, from 1 to 13! If she moves to a new shop, we go with her. Currently she work at Doodle Doo's on Christopher Street. Her patience and understanding have no doubt contributed to the the changes we have witnessed. Diane counts with him, sings with him, whatever it takes!
Haircuts for us have gone from 40 minutes of crying and moving around to 15 minutes of quietly sitting still. Again, not overnight, but over years. If your child struggles, I promise you, it can get better. I know how very stressful, as a parent, haircuts can be. We just want it to be over. My suggestions are to be consistent, find a motivational reward and find the right person, and as always, try to stay calm.
My son has autism, so when I need to leave him with a babysitter, I am extremely picky about who that person is going to be. There are so many things that go through my head as a parent of a child with special needs. Who can I trust with him, especially since he has limited verbal skills? Will his babysitter understand his wants and needs? Will he be happy and engaged while I am gone? Over the years, I have come up with a system for choosing a babysitter that has worked well for us. This is how I do it. CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE
My son and I and some friends were invited to check out the awesome exhibits at The Discovery Museum Time Square in New York City. The museum is located on West 42nd Street right in the heart of Time Square. Since my son has autism museums can be tricky for us. I have to be prepared for the unexpected. I went online to their website discoverytsx.com to prepare him for the visit the best I could.
They currently have three different exhibits going on, Star Wars and the Power of Costume, The Vikings Exhibition and Gunther Von Hagens' Body Worlds. We talked a little bit about each one and I showed him some pictures. This really helps him understand what he is going to be seeing. Each exhibit starts with a short film, which was very important for me to know in advance. When lights go out and things get loud he tends to have some anxiety, so knowing this in advance was very helpful for us.
When we arrived at the museum he seemed very excited and ready to start. As we started in The Star Wars exhibit, he seemed very intrigued by the life size costumes in all the interesting colors. He really enjoyed being able to touch the different sample fabrics that were on display. He recognized some of the characters and even made some verbal comments, which is always great! If your child is a Star Wars fan they will absolutely love this! You can even take their picture (without a flash) in front of their favorites!
Our next exhibit was The Vikings. If this is something your child is studying in school, or if your child is a fan of the movie How to Train Your Dragon, which took place in a mythical Viking world, they will surely find some familiar things here. The boats, the artifacts, the interactive activities, all were very appealing to my son. He especially loved the digital boat making activity. It really held his attention and would not move on until he completed the entire task. It was great to see him so focused!
The final exhibit was the very fascinating Body Worlds. There were definitely things in here that grabbed my son's attention right away. Since he is very familiar and somewhat intrigued with the human body it was easy to get him to comment on things in here. I pointed out specific things to him and we would have a little back and fourth, which is always great. When he saw the large intestine, he said "It looks like a snake."
It took us about an hour to go through all three exhibits, and overall I think it went really well. We went in the afternoon on a weekday which is much less crowded then other times might be. There were no lines at all, however, to avoid lines in general, you can go online and purchase tickets in advance. The museum is multi-level but there is an elevator should your child need one. All the exhibits have benches in case a taking a break is necessary. There is also a DC Cupcakes Cafe located in the museum if you want to get a yummy snack.
I know that for my special needs child museums trips can be unpredictable, even sometimes with the best prep I can do. The Discovery Museum is the perfect size and was very accommodating. The exhibits change about every 6-9 months so I will definitely be keeping my eyes open to see when we can plan our next trip back there!
For information on buying tickets click HERE
Or follow Discovery Times Square on FACEBOOK and TWITTER
My son has autism, which means I have to educate my daughter's friends // by Dana Greenberg @SheKnows
My son has autism, so my daughter, his twin sister, gets a little anxious when she is having a new friend over for the first time. She was in second grade the first time it happened, about five years ago. On the walk to school one morning, she asked me if we could explain autism to her new friend Stella, who was coming over after school.
CLICK TO READ FULL ARTICLE