Study shows autistic kids appear to benefit from receiving a new pet

The results of a study on autistic children and pets have been published in the journal "PLOS ONE."The study, which took place in France, showed that autistic children who received a pet scored better in "offering comfort" and "offering to share." These results were evident even a few years after getting the pet.What was suprising to me is that autistic children who already had a pet (since birth) showed "generally weaker relationships with their pets."Here's the article:

The "Sally-Anne" False Belief Test to try on your child (re: Asperger's/Autism)

I have a B.A. in Psychology but I've never heard of the Sally-Anne False Belief Test. What an interesting but simple way to determine a child's "theory of mind."About "theory of mind": Childen begin to develop "theory of mind" around age 4 of 5. It's essentially the ability to think and reason about what other people are thinking (or feeling). Theory of the mind takes place in the right TPJ of the brain, (that's the temporo-parietal junction). As kids turn into teens, the right TPJ begins to develop patterns of activity similar to those of adults....more

Please Stop: It's Not Okay to Interfere When I Discipline My Child

Now, like many like-minded parents, we have invested ridiculous amounts of time, money, energy and tears in hopes that our sweet, mischievous little girl could learn to retrofit herself into our strange and dangerous world. This world has many social expectations that make little sense to her -- like not hugging strangers; not stealing food from others' plates; not wandering hotel hallways alone; not shoplifting; and so on. While she likes to do all of these things, and as much as I respect her individuality and her independence, I simply won't allow them. Even when you tell me, "It's okay."...more
I think it is so important to let parents be parents and not intervene unless it is seriously ...more

How do we let go?

As summer is coming to an end, I have finally realized that our youngest little treasure is growing up.  It seemed so much easier when the other kids moved onto Jr/Sr High, but, it is so hard to let BJ go and I wonder how other parents of special needs children do it.  I know that without letting him out into the world on his own, he will never learn to be able to be on his own and I also know that we won't be around forever....more

No one is "just bad at math"

I ran across this article about dyscalculia. Some of it is accurate, but there are a couple things that aren't. of all, they compare it to dyslexia but say "Unlike dyslexics, however, they don't reverse the order of numbers when reading them." Dyslexia is about difficulty reading. It has nothing to do with reading letters backwards. That's inaccurate....more

Pickles, Pitches and Water Balloons

Today is just a post about something that I’ve been throwing around in my head this last week.  There’s no big spiritual lesson, no earth shattering deep thoughts, but just a few thoughts that I am trying to figure out. ...more


Summer has had its highs and lows for Princess and Birdie, as expected.  When spectrum-y kids go from a highly structured daily schedule like school, to a loosely scheduled, mostly by-the-seat-of-your-pants daily routine, things are bound to be unpleasant at times....more

Autism detection using scalp electrodes? Yup.

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have successfully been able to detect autism using noninvasive EEG brain traces.The traces record brain activity via scalp electrodes, and in this case were clearly able to distinguish which of nearly 1,000 kids had autism.The study found 33 EEG patterns linked to autism in kids from two to 12 years old.The brain researchers repeated their analysis 10 times and around 90 percent of the time were able to correctly detect which kids had autism.Next up: the researchers will repeat the study but with kids with Asperger's....more

Summer Survival Tactics for Introvert Moms

My children -- the most delightful and cherished children in our Western Hemisphere -- are out of school for the summer! Yay! Or, to be honest, eep....more
Pssst: read the whole story. :) The last part is about getting the hell away from the computer ...more

Raising a Dyslexic Teen

Imagine knowing only English and being asked to read a textbook in Italian or write a paragraph in Danish. That's what each day is like for my teenage daughter who has processing disorder and dyslexia, a neurologically based disorder that causes difficulties in language-related tasks.   ...more It's so great to have these learning tools/adjustments available now!  more