Strengths Based Approach

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What Causes Autism [Infographic}

Research is beginning to point to the factors that cause Autism. These include a complicated tapestry of environmental and genetic factors that interact in ways we don't yet understand.

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Aspergers Traits, A Strength Based Perspective

At Kids Cooperate, one of the the pillars of our practice is a strengths based approach to everything we do. So when I saw that some of the top autism spectrum disorder related google searches are: "Asperger's traits" and "Asperger's symptoms", I saw ti as an opportunity to reframe some of the common characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome as strengths.

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Understanding Attachment

There has been a lot of back and forth about the merit of attachment parenting, a style of parenting that emphasizes the importance of a secure and close relationship between the parent and child. 

It seems like there is value in understanding the fundamentals of attachment theory, first articulated by John Bowlby in the 1940s and expanded on by Mary Ainsworth in the 1960s and 1970s​. ​

I typically blog about issues specific to parenting a child on the Autism Spectrum, but I believe that there is value in having a base of knowledge of important concepts in developmental psychology, and that good parenting is good parenting, regardless of diagnosis.

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Sleepless on the Spectrum

While there is no one size fits all solution for helping your child with to sleep more soundly there are things that you can do to create the conditions for a sound nights sleep. Here are a few suggestions that came from friends who I reached out to for advice and tips.

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Helping Your Child on the Autism Spectrum to Understand Humor

Exchanging jokes is an important part of building and maintaining peer relationships but understanding the ritualism and timing involved in the telling of a joke can be challenging for a child on the autism spectrum.

The process of telling a joke can be broken down into a series of steps that can be practiced:

1. making eye contact

2. physical contact if appropriate (hand shake, fist bump, hand on a shoulder)

3. verbal greeting

4. invitation to hear a joke

5. telling the joke

6. closing the interaction

Autism Social Skills: Understanding Humor

Intention Detective

Our reactions in the context of social interactions are based on a series of lighting quick decisions based on our perception of the intent of the other person. Was that name mix up an accident, or a deliberate attempt to upset me? 

For children on the autism spectrum, the ingredients of intuiting intent, reading facial expression, interpreting tone of voice, synthesizing contextual factors, may not come naturally. In the Kids Cooperate social skills group this week, we used this flow chart based on Relationship Development Intervention to play "Intention Detective".

I created this visual representation of the decision tree of intuiting intent.

Autism social skills groups: understanding intention


My autism social skills groups program is based on a set of simple principles. First, that each person is capable of growth and development. Second, that each person has preferences and dreams. And third, that these wishes should be honored by the person's support network. Person centered. Strengths based. Emergent.

Quality Autism social skills groups

Quality Autism social skills groups


This activity can be used in autism social skills to teach about personal space and non verbal cues. It helps children to develop a "theory of mind" by encouraging them to put themselves in another person's place. Some autism spectrum researchers identify a lack of theory of mind as the main difference between neuro typical children and children on the autism spectrum making it a key intervention point.

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