I Have A Problem.

My son is now 15 and commonly SEEMS to be very unhappy. I say SEEMS because I have a real difficult time knowing.

Typically, I can tell by the way my kids act, or talk or their body language, how they are feeling. But with my sons affected by autism, I know they possibly have different indicators.

Here’s the question. As he is not very verbal, he has difficulty expressing to me how he is feeling, or if he’s happy or mad. And, as hard as I try, sometimes I have difficulty understanding – again, even though I patiently try VERY hard.

So, is body language a reasonably accurate indicator of how a person affected by autism is feeling, or may I simply be misinterpreting the clues he’s expressing or maybe he has alternate clues than we typically see? Continue reading

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We’re AWARE Already. It’s “Autism Awareness Month” AGAIN?

WHY is Autism Awareness month important and HOW can we help others be AWARE?

Occasionally, we are invited to write an article or do an interview for Autism Awareness month since we’ve written a book on the subject. Each time, we are reminded that the “general audience” is important and we must be engaging for not only those with autism in their families, but also families and people who know little to nothing about autism. NOTE: We don’t, but some parents with kids on the autism spectrum refer to those who know little to nothing as…  “The Ignorant.” Teehee.

If you ever get asked to do something like this, we’d like to offer up what we do as a pattern for you to follow. Continue reading

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The “REAL” Reward

Quite a few years back (before I even HAD children affected by autism) my wife took a sledgehammer to my head. Not literally, but nonetheless, it left me reeling and dizzy about my personal philosophy on raising my kids.

You see, I had been out in public making statements that she was NOT happy with and she wanted them to STOP IMMEDIATELY. The statements I was making went something like this: Continue reading

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Developing the Habit of Happiness

Awhile back we were at some friends house and were having a discussion about Amber’s Dad – who had just celebrated a birthday – apparently a BIG birthday. The big FIVE – O, that’s right, Fifty. Amber’s husband, Dan, then proceeded to look at me and start laughing because HE knew – and he knew his wife had no idea – I was 48 – yep, just 2 years shy of being as old as his wife’s dad.

Amber was confused. “Why are you laughing at Kyle?” After he told her that I was almost the same age as her Dad, she was worried I would be offended. Obviously, Dan was not so worried, huh? Continue reading

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Shut Up and Work

WORK! That four letter word that seems to make some cringe. I’ve been thinking about it a bit lately, so to be able to move on, I’d like to “Hop Up On The Soapbox” and make a few simple statements today regarding some observations I’ve had over the years. Keep in mind, this is just me. Simply my opinion.

There is no secret. If anyone expects to achieve anything of any significance without thought, study, WORK, and perseverance, they will eventually wake up to find that they have been a bit foolish. Continue reading

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Tired? Worn Out? GREAT! Now We’re Getting Somewhere.

Periodically, and again recently, my wife pulled me aside at the conclusion of a melt-down by my 15 year-old son and – a bit angrily – asked, “Aren’t you just a bit tired? Don’t you EVER feel like you’ve had enough? Because I do and you don’t seem to be as harshly affected by the meltdowns and yelling and crying and CHAOS like I do. It never seems to be too much for you handle our two sons affected by autism. It’s not healthy to see you suppressing your agitation. You’re headed for a breakdown.” Continue reading

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Accidental Love Story

My wife and I have a unique love story. And it’s a REAL true-life love story. When Shelly and I met, we were both dating other people. However, due to the fact that I could NEVER pass up the opportunity to meet – and get to know better – a beautiful young lady, I asked Shelly if she’d like to go play tennis with me. After a surprisingly competitive match and some post-match ice-cream, I KNEW I wanted to spend more time with her. She was FUN! Continue reading

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Rapid-Fire

Ricky hit the family with a series of rapid-fire questions last night. It went like this: Dad, how do you wear spandex? Wait, how do you kill a chicken? Hey, do you have to wear spandex to kill a chicken? Thank goodness we didn’t have time to answer any of them – especially the last one.

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Beautiful

As Ricky was brushing his hair after his shower, he proclaimed, “I am beautiful.” Of course, it’s hard to agree since we rarely see him without his green hat on.

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Rickasaurus

Today, with some clay, Ricky fashioned a half dinosaur and a half mole. He named it a “molesaurus rex.”

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It’s Not Funny WHEN It Happens

When my son, Erik was 8, he was still in diapers. We had tried everything to potty-train him. Seriously, if there was a method, we had tried it; but still, no success. Then, right in the middle of Church one day… it happened. A smell that could only be described as an evil spirit wafted down our isle. That’s right, you guessed it. The smell coming from Erik was… well, let’s just say we had the worst smelling pew known to man… and God. It may have been best described as a pew-poo. From 4 kids away, my wife Shelly contorted her nose, turned towards me and with watering eyes, quietly mouthed to me, “Oh, my Gosh, is that Erik?” After I quietly mouthed back to her that it sure WASN’T ME, she – without saying a word, and with just a look – helped me to understand that the time was NOW to take him out and change him. Continue reading

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