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Showing posts from September, 2013

Article: Navigating the Nightmare of Special Needs School Lunches

My latest post on Special-ism is now available.  It's all about how we changed our kids school lunches to be more "squish and forget" friendly. If your child's school bag is always coming home with dozens of squashed and stinky mouldy sandwiches in it, then these changes could work for you too. Click over to Special-ism to read the post .

Child Support Essentials - Advocates

Child support essentials is a new series which looks at the essential roles in a special needs child's life, how they help the child and the ways they can hinder when applied improperly. Advocates play a very important role in a special needs child's life. They help the child get access to support and services, they stand up for the child's rights and they promote the child's needs without damaging their self esteem. In my opinion, the best advocates have a similar condition to the child they are supporting and they have a unique understanding of the child. I also think that the best advocates are free. I like to think of myself as an advocate. I spend a lot of time trying to raise awareness of Asperger's syndrome and "bust the myths about it". I'm always fighting negativity and highlighting the positive aspects of Asperger's syndrome. My efforts are directed towards helping others to understand and to better accept the differences in those on

Interviewed on One Quarter Mama

There's an interview with me up on the One Quarter Mama blog , Click here to read it. While you're there, have a good look around the site because the One Quarter Mama blog is really very good. It's written by a mother with autism who has a child on the spectrum and is written in an honest and engaging way with a dash of humour for good measure.

When Playtime Turns Bad (Saving the Toys)

A couple of weeks ago I packed up my kids toys. It's not the end of toy playing for them but the toys are going on an extended hiatus. It's not even the fact that in all the years they have had them, they've never cleaned them up, despite promises of rewards or threats of punishment. After all, we solved the "Lego underfoot" problems by giving the kids their own toy room which we can easily close the door on instead of cleaning. Nope, it's because both boys have entered a destructive phase which I remember from my own childhood. For me, it all came to a head when I visited a friend's place and we watched TV together. There was This advertisement for "battle damaged derby cars" which sounded incredibly cool. Of course, my parents had financial issues; dad was out of work and my mother hadn't worked since I was born. There was no chance of getting the cars and even if there were, I'd be waiting about 10 months until Christmas. The

Book Review: We Said, They Said: 50 Things Parents and Teachers of Students with Autism Want Each Other to Know by Cassie Zupke.

We've been through the IEP process many times for our kids. The IEP meetings we have now are fairly productive but both of my kids suffered for the first couple of years because we didn't have an effective working relationship with their teachers.  As parents we had certain expectations and as teachers, they had their own agenda. My wife and I would often talk about how much easier things would be if teachers just told us their plans.  Of course, at the same time, we didn't realize just how much we were leaving unsaid. "We Said, They Said" is a book in two parts. The first part contains 25 things that parents really wish they could say to teachers while the second is 25 things that teachers wish they could say to parents.  Reading through these, I saw myself and my wife in many of these - and I reached a much better understanding of the motivations and pressures of the teachers. The book starts with an introduction which is essentially a seven page discla