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Practice Mindfulness to Reduce Stress

“Put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others.” If you have flown on a plane, you likely have heard this safety phrase. It is a perfect metaphor for the importance of taking care of yourself in order to best help others. Mindfulness exercises have been empirically shown to directly and indirectly benefit parents of…

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Make the Most of Telehealth

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many doctors and other providers adapted to a telehealth model to provide care. Even as in-person treatment options are again becoming widely available, telehealth still offers unique benefits for autistic children and their families when receiving medical care and/or autism services. Those benefits include: Increased access to care (including more…

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Developing Communication Skills for the Workplace

I am often asked how we can prepare autistic youth to thrive in the workplace. My answer is that helping our youth develop strong communication and self-determination skills that instill confidence and purpose is one of the most important things we can do to support them as they prepare for their futures. The ability to…

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Preparing Transition-aged Autistic Youth for the Workplace

Communicating how you do your best work is essential to employment success. By understanding their individual needs and communication styles, autistic job applicants and employees can advocate for the tools they require to do their best work. Parents and teachers can begin early to develop that understanding by modeling and teaching self-advocacy skills through understanding…

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Preparing Your Child for the Workplace

Post-graduation employment success is largely based on the foundation that is built throughout your child’s school years and early adulthood. Integrating employment-related goals early on into your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the first step in helping to set them up for success, but learning essential workplace skills must extend beyond the classroom. Regardless…

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Adjusting to the Post-Pandemic Normal

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, many autistics experienced ambivalence regarding lockdowns, telecommuting, and online education. As an autistic and parent of two elementary students, I noticed my daughters and I were more relaxed and productive without constant social contact. Yet, anxiety and fear accompanied the pandemic, along with mourning. Trauma from COVID-19 has changed us.…

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Antidotes to Autistic Burnout

Most people recall some chapter in their lives that they would look back on and identify as burnout. This term usually refers to the amount of energy someone has for their job or that they have taken on too many activities in general. In the autistic community, however, the word has taken on a different…

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What to Do When Trauma Manifests at School

Is your student fleeing the classroom, hiding under desks or in the bathroom, or becoming verbally or physically aggressive? This might be a trauma response known as “fight, flight, or freeze,” which is triggered by a sense of danger due to a current or past traumatic experience. That trauma may not be known to you…

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Find Support for a Mental Health Concern

“I don’t know where to turn for help.” I have heard this exact sentence from countless autistic individuals and their family members across the country, and it breaks my heart every time. Many autistic children, adolescents, and adults have mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, finding appropriate supports or resources is often…

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Help Your Child Wear a Mask

As we prepare to close the books on what likely has been the most unusual school year in decades, it’s safe to say things will probably continue to look different next year. Some students will return to the classroom full time with social distancing measures in place, while others will begin the year with remote…

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