10 Fantastic iPad Apps for Kids With Autism

If you need a last-minute gift for a kid with autism, and that kid has an iDevice (iPad or iPod touch), consider hitting the iTunes store and gifting that child an app or two. Then, consider choosing apps that focus on fun as much as or even instead of communication and learning. Apps that encourage kids to use the iPad the way they want to, to play like the children they are. (Apps that just happen to all cost less than $3.)   ...more

I'm trying to think of ways to use ChorePad to list things that Charlie is to do over the ... more

OFFICIAL BLOGHER '10 LIVEBLOG: Blogging Autism - Shattering Myths, Finding Your Tribe

Welcome to the liveblog of the BlogHer '10 panel: Personal: Blogging Autism: Shattering Myths, Opening Eyes and Finding Your Tribe. Click here for more info. Shannon Des Roches Rosa, a parent of a child with autism, moderates the discussion with Shark-Fu, who is co-guardian of her autistic brother, Stimey from Stimeyland.com, who parents a child with autism, and Sharon daVanport, who is an adult with autism. Carol (@AspieAdvocate) has stepped in for Sharon daVanport ...more

The panel left me reflecting on the changes and evolution of blogging about autism over the past ... more

Autism and Potty Training: Never Give Up Hope!

My clearest memory of an autism professional's FAIL happened when I was told that if Leo, then aged five, wasn't potty trained by the time he was six, he would likely never achieve self-sufficiency. Yet in the four years since that proclamation, our boy has completely mastered every aspect of toileting. Sure, he wets the bed occasionally, but so do plenty of neurotypical nine-year-old boys. That autism expert can, on matters toileting-related, kiss my ass....more

big big smile and several hoorays!

also on training an adolescent by ... more

When the Best Place for Children Is Not With Their Mother

I can't stop thinking about the story of Anita Tedaldi, who, after eighteen months of mothering an adopted special needs son, decided that the best place for her son was with another family. Anita's story hits me in two of my tenderest spots -- as the mother of a son with special needs, and as a birth mother who placed her first son in his adoptive parents' hands almost twenty years ago. ...more

I started reading this post with trepidation and ended up tearing up......thank you so much ... more

A Letter to My Child's Teacher

Leo isn't my only child -- he has one sister entering kindergarten and another entering middle school -- but I will get to talk to my girls' teachers every day when I drop them off and pick them up. Meanwhile, Leo will be riding a bus twenty miles each way to a county school for kids with autism and behavioral issues. His teacher has the upper elementary class -- the big kids -- which in my opinion is one of the most challenging teaching positions in our county. I want her to know that I'm grateful she'll be teaching my son, and exactly how much I believe in her abilities. ...more

thanks for this letter, Shannon---it's kickstarted my thinking about what to write to ... more

Using Behavioral Approaches in Autism (And on Anyone)

Behavioral methods are usually associated with autism and early intervention, or orca training. But guess what? You can use them to change the behavior of almost anyone: your children, your partner, your co-workers, even icky blog or Twitter trolls. I am a huge fan of behavioral methods because they have helped my son gain so many skills, but I also confess that I use the methods to mold behaviors whenever I can. Let me tell you how you can play puppeteer, too. ...more

 thanks for a great and level-headed explanation of ABA, and of how to put it in ... more

My Child Has Autism and I Vaccinate

Have you or would you ever let your children travel by airplane? If your answer is "yes," then you should re-examine any concerns about vaccinating your children. Both flying and vaccination carry real risks, but those risks are statistically unlikely to affect your family. I know it's more complicated than that, so keep reading. I also understand the fear behind not vaccinating, as I've been there myself. I clearly remember the stone age of 2003: my two-year-old son was newly diagnosed with autism, and I was desperate to help him. ...more


The Worst Parenting Day Ever?

Leo and I had the worst day ever. Leo and I had the best day ever! Why does Leo always wake up so early? His sisters sleep until we shriek at them to get up, like self-respecting children should. I'm so irritated that he's sometimes wet in the mornings. He's never going to be fully self-sufficient. ...more

I liked to describe life raising my son as, yes, "bittersweet," as our days are ... more

When Summer Is Extra-Special

Summer. Now there's a word that terrifies parents of school-aged special needs kids. We do not associate the word with "break." For us, summer means carefully orchestrated school, services, and respite schedules are going to implode, and we will need to scramble and scrape to arrange new ones. ...more

This is so well-put. Charlie has school until the third week of June and then will be in ESY ... more

You May Approach the Short Bus

Shannon Des Roches Rosa here. You may already know me as the flippant but steely autism mom Squid Rosenberg from The Adventures of Leelo and His Potty-Mouthed Mom, or as the co-founder of the schoolyard social stories and special needs fundraising book and blog project Can I Sit With You? But if you don’t know me at all, then let me tell you why I'm honored and excited to be a BlogHer Contributing Editor on parenting children with special needs: ...more

Shannon---this is warm and warming, inspiring, powerful, and I hear your voice so clearly. I ... more