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Autism and ADHD

Behind the Behavior: I Really Want to Talk to You!

Autism is an invisible disability, and parents of affected children often hesitate to ask for the accommodations their children need because a child with autism looks just like every other kid . . . until their behavior attracts attention. Despite awareness efforts, most people would assume that a child that’s bouncing uncontrollably – or worse, smacking his brother’s head over and over – is simply misbehaving (and maybe feeling the effects of too much sugar). Over the next several weeks, I’ll be writing a series of posts that I hope will help you understand what autism looks like, and give you some techniques for handling the situation gracefully when you do encounter a child (or an adult!) with autism in your travels. I asked several parents of children with autism what they wish other parents knew about their children’t disorders. The answers I got were deeply heartfelt, and in some...
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Bringing Disney Home

Disney Parks: Walt Disney World and Disneyland (Product Review)

Disney Parks: Walt Disney World and Disneyland gives a behind-the-scenes look at Disney’s most recognizable properties: Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Things have changed since I first visited Disneyland in 1985! Disney Parks: Disneyland takes you on a guided tour of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, as well as the three resort hotels at the Disneyland Resort. Disney Parks: Walt Disney World shows how some of the magic is created and gives you a hint of things to come. Win a copy of Disney Parks: Walt Disney World and Disneyland! Pros: The Disney Parks DVDs are a great tool for preparing a child with autism for a visit to the Disney resorts. Knowing what to expect helps children with autism feel more comfortable in a new place. For parents, the Disney Parks DVD is a great planning tool for deciding which rides and shows are appropriate for their children...
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Autism and ADHD

Autism Service Dogs at Disney World

Many families find that service and therapy dogs are an invaluable tool for helping children with autism cope with sensory overload, transitions between activities, and basic tasks. More importantly, an autism service dog can be an important safety tool. Many children with autism will wander away or even bolt into a crowd or a busy street. We do not have an official service dog for our sons (although we hope to adopt one soon!), but we have found that our family dog Buddy has a unique relationship with Patrick. When Patrick melts down, Buddy can pull him out of it – often when no one else can. Patrick can lie down on the floor with Buddy and our normally high-energy dog instantly calms and cuddles. He seems to know what Patrick needs. I know that having his dog at his side would make some of the challenges of travelling,...
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Autism and ADHD

Sensory Activities for Waiting in Line

No one likes to wait in line. But for a kid with sensory processing disorder, it can be practically impossible. Imagine trying to wait quietly in line while hundreds of people all around you keep jabbing you with needles and screaming. You and I can block out the background noise of other people’s conversations, and don’t really notice when someone brushes against us. Those are the things kids with certain types of sensory processing disorders can’t block out. It’s far from hopeless though! Various activities can help kids modulate their reaction to sensory input, making lines a little more tolerable. The activities that work for one kid may not be as effective with another with a different sensory profile. Many of these strategies are good for neurotypical kids too! Earphones. We recently got an inexpensive set of shooter’s earphones for our boys. They block out loud sounds, but don’t...
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Autism and ADHD

Disney Blog Hop – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Have a Very Happy Thursday, as Pooh would say. Thursdays ARE a Very Happy Day around here, because of course, it’s Blog Hop Day! If you’ve never been here before, welcome! If you’re an old friend, welcome back! Today’s Blog Hop theme is “The Good, The Bad, and The #8221; I originally planned to do something cute with pictures – a good picture, a fuzzy (bad) one, and maybe one of Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters…then I read Lisa’s post about her day alone in WDW and I realized that just wasn’t gonna cut it. I’ll admit, I like to focus on the warm, fuzzy, positive memories. But reality is, taking four kids ANYWHERE, even to Disney World, is going to be a roller coaster. So here goes. Keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times… when Disney was good, it was very very good . . ....
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