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Single Parenting and Kids on the Spectrum - Part 1

I get a lot of correspondence from single parents with autistic children. In the vast majority of the cases, it's single mothers with boys, though sometimes it's fathers and sometimes it's girls.  I can't claim to be an authority on the subject because I am not, and have never been a single parent but I've had feedback to say that my advice has worked and I've seen some incredible single parents complete the journey and bring their kids up to be responsible and empathetic adults. In this series, I'd like to look at some of the techniques that work, starting with younger kids. I'll cover older kids later on in the series.  Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay Being Under-Resourced More often than not, single parents face resourcing issues. They are short of cash, time and space. This makes it difficult, particularly when the other parent is over-resourced. You can't compete on a low income with a parent who can afford to buy your kid anything they as
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Welcome to 2022

It's 2022 and after something of a hiatus, I'm back. I figure it's time for an update on who I am and where my family is at.  I'm on the autism spectrum and am in my early 50s. I lived the first 35 years of my life with no knowledge of my place on the spectrum and little understanding of autism. My two sons, both with Asperger's syndrome are now aged 18 and 21. I'm still with my wife of 24 years and I'm still employed full time in the IT section of  the financial sector.  I've been blogging on the subject of autism and Asperger's since 2007 and prior to that I was a regular on the WrongPlanet Aspergers forum.  My Eldest When my eldest son was in school, he was fairly social but not terribly academic. We naturally expected this trend to continue after school. What seems to have happened is exactly the opposite.  Since leaving school my eldest has been employed full time and is doing his second diploma at TAFE. This is great but socially he's strug

Do we become more autistic as we get older?

  It seems an odd question but it's one that crops up with alarming regularity on autism forums with older members.  It's also a loaded question because the literal answer is clearly, "No, there is no charge in the level of autism in us as we age. The subjective answer however is quite different. Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay What does it mean? When we ask whether we become more autistic,  what we're really trying to ask is whether our autistic traits become more pronounced over time. It's an interesting question. The visibility of our autistic traits waxes and wanes throughout our lives based on personal and environmental circumstances. To answer this, we need to take a look at how autistic traits manifest in different age groups.  Babies When we start out in life,  the expectations on us are fairly simple.  We are expected to sleep, cry and drink milk. Any differences that we may have will usually have little effect on our ability to deliver in these area

Kate Goldfield - In Memoriam

I've been taking a break from blogging for a while because it seemed to me that the world had bigger problems than autism and Asperger's syndrome. I figured that eventually things would go back to normal but now it seems they never will. Too much has changed.  One of the key moments was the loss of one of my good friends, a fellow blogger with autism who I met a couple of decades ago when we all used to call it Asperger's. We never met in person, though we once got within 100 miles of each other before illness intervened.  Her passing hit me hard, but it's odd. It didn't hit so much immediately, but it's certainly been hitting me over the past few weeks.  I'll try to explain that.  Kate. from her facebook pictures, June 2014 (with a few colour tweaks) Losing People I think that initially it's much easier to lose someone online than it is to lose someone you see every day in "real life". It's because with people who are online, we're use

When kids on the Spectrum Trash the House

A couple of days ago, I was reading a thread about a mother who came home to find that her son had completely trashed the house - again. It reminded me of things that our family used to go through. While my eldest, now 20 is a terribly messy boy, this behaviour is now well and truly a thing of the past for us. For a while though, these problems seemed insurmountable, so I thought I'd share how we got past them. Image by yasioo from Pixabay There was once a time where if he didn't get his way, my youngest would completely trash his room (and sometimes other rooms in the house). We still have marks on the walls (and some holes) that remind us of those terrible days. He would pull everything out of his wardrobe and throw it on the floor, he would throw all of his books out of his bookcase and all over the floor. He would often tip his entire mattress off the bed as well.  These generally weren't meltdowns. They were too controlled and too planned. They were done for a reason.

Book Review: What your Child on the Spectrum Really Needs by Jenna Gensic

What your Child on the Spectrum Really Needs: Advice from 12 Autistic Adults. For Autistic People Everywhere. May Your Voices Be Heard by Jenna Gensic This is a book review that I really should have done about eight months ago. I wanted to be able to do this book justice but it's just so diverse and informative that I don't think that any review I write will really describe the breadth of it. The book is only 115 pages long but it's A4 sized and absolutely packed with information.  Jenna Gensic is a freelance writer who blogs over at Learning from Autistics  and she frequently publishes interviews with autistic people. As I write this, she's just published Interview 147. It's an incredible achievement.  At the beginning of the book, Jenna talks about her experience learning from the narrow experience and perception doctors and her discovery of the world of advocacy. I've often said that while doctors have medical training, they see an average of around 35 patien

Lockdown and School -Some kids struggle to Self-Manage

With Lockdown still in effect in lots of places, I wanted to share some of the experiences I had with my son and his inability to self-manage when it came to working on school projects by himself.  My youngest has a lot of potential but also tends to be lazy or easily distracted by video games. Lockdown seems to have "changed the game" and he feels like he can get away without putting the effort in.  There's no easy answer but this is our journey. Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay The Problems Before we get into solutions, I wanted to look at some of the problems we were experiencing.  First of all, my son had been a reasonable student before lockdown. Not brilliant but middling. He was putting in a reasonable amount of effort and was getting work done more or less on time. The only thing that was a bit of a problem for him was assignments that he had to do out of class.  That should have been a warning sign for us. When lockdown started, the kids were off school before