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Showing posts from March, 2019

Over-Parenting kids on the Autism Spectrum

I've been watching a TV series on Netflix recently called Atypical. It's about Sam, a young man with autism and the way in which his family, school, work and relationships interact and grow.  It's a very good series and I'd highly recommend it.  I expect that I'll review it at some point. 

Like all media about autism, it gets a few things wrong and exaggerates others. That's okay. It's fiction and it's taking a little poetic licence. At the same time though, it raises a lot of interesting points.

One of the most interesting aspects of the show is the behaviour of Sam's mother, played brilliantly by Jennifer Jason Leigh. It shows an over-parenting (and in this case, over-mothering) instinct that is all too familiar with kids on the spectrum.

In this post, I want to look at a how over-parenting happens and why it's harmful.


What is Over-Parenting? Over-parenting tends to happen much more frequently on the mother's side of parenting but that…

Audio Book Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
Unabridged AudioBook Read by Jeff Woodman 

I used to be able to read quite a lot of books but these days, I find myself to be quite "time-poor" and I've switched to audio books instead. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time has been on my "list of books I want to read for years".  I finally got around to "reading" it last week.

Autism in the Book While autism is never actually mentioned in the book, the protagonist, fifteen year old Christopher Boone is very clearly on the spectrum. A lot of people have said that he has Asperger's syndrome but it's hard to tell. Little is revealed about Christopher's very early life and while he's clearly "Asperger's" by the time we meet him, there's more than a few lower functioning traits in his behaviour too.

The author, Mark Haddon, has said on a number of occasions that he did little to no research on auti…

Helping your kids on the Spectrum to find Employment - Part 3

In part 1 of this series, I covered how to make the most of your final school years in order to gear yourself up towards work.  In part 2, I looked at developing your CV, and marketing yourself towards jobs. In part 3, I want to look at the interview process, whether or not you should disclose your autism diagnosis and what other options exist to help kids on the spectrum find employment.

The Interview Process If you keep applying for jobs, eventually you'll get an interview. If you're applying and not getting any nibbles at all, you need to talk to some new people (people outside of your immediate family). If possible, talk to people in similar jobs to those for which you're applying. They'll help you tweak your resume to get noticed.

Preparation If you're applying for an office job, you'll need to do a lot more preparation than you would for a trade position. Here's a few things that you need to do well ahead of time in preparation for an office job inter…

Helping your kids on the Spectrum to find Employment - Part 2

In my last post, I talked about how important it is to get your kids on the spectrum into longer-term work experience, how to make the most of their last year of schooling and how foster independence. I also mentioned how important it is to ensure that you choose to work in an area that aligns with your special interest. 

In this post, I want to look at finding, landing and keeping a job. Most of the advice here applies to anyone, however I've tried to take into account some of the difficulties that people on the spectrum face. 

Finding Jobs These days, finding a job can be quite difficult especially considering the unemployment rate and the fact that so many people have multiple degrees. People on the spectrum are quite often "under-employed", meaning that they're in jobs where their skills are under-utilised. They're also less likely to have a degree than their non-autistic peers even though they certainly have the ability to get one. One of many issues here is …