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Teaching your Teenage Aspie to Drive

It's finally happened, my eldest son, now 19.5 has decided that he's ready to learn how to drive. He's made the effort, with admittedly quite a bit of prompting, to pass the written part of the exam. He's got his "L" plates and it's time for the practical side of the lesson. 
While there's not a huge amount of difference between teaching someone on the autism spectrum and teaching someone who isn't, there are a few little things that are important. 
The Road RulesFor the most part, kids on the spectrum love rules. They're great. Instead of being all different shades of grey, road rules are pretty black and white. There's a side of the road that you drive on. There's give way and stop signs, and there are speed limits. 
Unfortunately, it's not all rules. A lot of driving is actually etiquette. It's about being aware that other people make mistakes or that some people are in a rush. If a car is driving erratically, it's best to …
Recent posts

Autism and Lockdown - Part 2 Making the Most of Lockdown

In my previous post, I talked about the sorts of things that you need to do with kids on the spectrum in order to keep them safe during lockdown. In this post, I want to look at ideas to pass the time while always keeping things positive. 

While these activities are suitable to all kids and all adults, you'll find that autistic children will respond a little differently to them.  You might find that they take in science concepts better than other kids or that they don't tolerate paint textures. Push the boundaries a little and encourage the kids to try but be aware that sometimes activities simply aren't suitable for the child. If that's the case, don't make a big deal about it, just choose something else. 

Television and Netflix It's a given that television and movie viewing will be on the rise during lockdown. That's okay provided that you don't turn them into binge TV sessions, where kids watch one show after another while sitting on the lounge eating…

Autism and Lockdown - Part 1 Things you need to do

These last few weeks have been unprecedented. Who would have thought that we'd reach a point where a pandemic caused a lockdown in most countries, where economies were are being beaten down and life as we know it is different, at least for the immediate future. 

For autistic adults and children, these sweeping changes are their worst nightmare. People with autism work best with routine and don't handle change well at the best of times. The changes that are happening everywhere right now are creating a lot of stress. I want to use this post to talk about how we can reduce that stress and make the lockdown period easier.

Keep the Conversation Going One of the best ways to lower the stress in people with autism is to keep conversations going. Don't avoid the topic but instead discuss it openly, honestly and positively. If you're a parent, guardian or teacher, talking to children or people with lower abilities to understand, you'll need to adjust your language according…

Fatherhood and Teens on the Spectrum who Rebel

It’s not uncommon for fathers to feel like they don’t get any respect from their teens. This is the case in many families regardless of whether the kids are on the spectrum or not. Boys will rebel against both parents but when they rebel against their fathers it's usually because he’s the authority figure with the same gender. Sometimes it’s a test of strength, sometimes it’s just because dad is easier to push around. Girls on the other hand, tend to rebel no matter what. It’s an age thing for them. 

Rebellion is normal and the reasons for it are wide-ranging. In this post, I want to look at the ways in which teens on the spectrum rebel and in particular, I want to look at the father-son relationships. 


What’s different about Spectrum Rebellion? Teen spectrum rebellion differs from normal teen rebellion in that quite often the teens don’t realise that they are rebelling. They’re not fighting to go out or fighting to do adult things. Teen spectrum rebellion incidents are often unint…

Time Blindness and Autism

People with Autism and Asperger's syndrome may experience a variety of different executive functioning issues. These include issues with; organisation skills, self regulation, the ability to process tasks sequentially and remembering instructions, multi-tasking, filtering distractions, setting priorities, planning and attention focusing. 

In this post, I want to focus on "time-blindness" and look at some of the causes and the ways in which this obstacle can be reduced.

What is Time-Blindness? Time blindness is when an individual becomes somewhat unaware of the passage of time. Like most executive functions, the ability to measure and manage time is part innate and part learned. It needs to be practiced and honed in order to keep it sharp and functional but it comes more naturally to some people than to others. People on the autism spectrum and people with related issues, such as OCD and ADHD can have particular difficulty in this area.

Time-blindness can impact people in …

Rounding up 2019

We've reached the end of yet another year and before I jump into 2020, I wanted to take a look back at my posts and activities for 2019. 

Life Changes I started blogging back in October 2007, over 12 years ago now. My two boys were aged 4 and 7 and I was still young, still struggling to be a father and husband and I had only just started to come to terms with my own position on the spectrum. In 2019 I turned 50, so there's no denying that I'm old. My boys are now 16 and 19, with my eldest finished school, working and studying. Those old restrictions that his teachers tried to impose "your son will never......", seem so far away now.  We've given him a lot of good support but he's done most of the heavy lifting by himself and I couldn't be more proud of him.

The problems facing us now are so different from those we faced when the kids were younger. My kids now have to enter the world of dating while I have to deal with the issues of ageing parents and …

Being a Good Dad to Kids on the Spectrum

One of the frustrating things about the fathers, particularly fathers of kids on the spectrum is that for various reasons, they're not always "engaged" in the family. Fathers are often used as the "bad cop" in parenting but many fathers go completely in the other direction, permitting anything and ultimately disengaging from their child's development. 

In this post, I want to look at the reasons why fathers don't engage, how you, the dad, can parent on your own terms and how to become an important part of your child's life. 

Why aren't fathers engaged? Fatherhood today is very different to what it was like in the previous generation. As GenX, our parents were likely baby boomers or traditionalists. Fathers in our day didn't spend a lot of time on things like child-rearing. They were always too busy with work and chores. More importantly, fathers in previous generations were encouraged to bury their feelings and to toughen up. This has led to …