To Be; Or Not To Be (Informed)

There are pragmatic benefits to discussing the news in social group. Top news stories serve as a kind of socially appropriate filler conversation similar to the weather, but with greater gravitas. Another important pragmatic benefit is that by hearing the stories in a calm and supported context, they are less likely to cause distress when they are heard or seen on television or radio. 

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Habit RPG

Leveraging a child's natural strengths and interests is one of the core values of Kids Cooperate social skills groups, So I was excited to come across this resource that uses gaming to encourage positive development. 

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Center, Enter, Join

Joinin a group of people already engaged in an activity is one of the most difficult things to do. I'm sure that you've been in a social situation and recognize the feeling of looking around the room and seeing everyone already gathered into groups, discussing work, sports, and politics. 


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Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be helpful in treating the emotional antecedents to Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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5 Steps to Preparing for Your PPT Meeting

​'Tis the season for PPT meetings, which depending on your school based support team, you either look forward to or dread. ​ Try these five steps to set the tone for an effective meeting.

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The Far Side of Emotion

The best lessons to teach are the ones you've learned​ yourself. One of my favorite things to do growing up was to pour over my books of The Far Side comics by Gary Larson. A scientist by trade, Larson drew what he knew best. Science, animals, and anxiety related to the pranks his older brother would play on him growing up, and his awareness of the randomness of life and death. 

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Psyche and Soma: The Key to Intercepting a Meltdown

​What are your child's somatic stress symptoms? Have you seen their skin flush when they get upset? Their breathing become rapid and shallow? The physical signs of stress can be important signals to both you and your child to take action to remove themselves from a situation or use a relaxation strategy.​

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Raising a Confident Child, Locus of Control

​As parents, a common hope for our children is that they will make good, confident decisions and think ​for themselves. Your child's perception of whether the course of their lives are controlled primarily by their own thoughts and actions, or external circumstances is referred to by developmental psychologists as "locus of control".

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5 Tips for a Calm Start to the School Year

The first day of school brings as much stress and anxiety as it does excitement and anticipation. Stress effects the body and mind, making it impossible to react quickly and appropriately to all of the new stimulation and challenges of the new school year. As one of the participants in my social skills groups put it, "I'm in a knot! I'm a knot on an edge!". 

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5 Anger Management Tools for Teenagers on the Autism Spectrum

As my friend and co-host of the Therapy and Rockets podcast says, we all get angry. As adults we get frustrated with our kids, and they get frustrated and angry with us, their friends and themselves. Short of finding inner peace, the best thing to do is to help your teenager identify a few strategies that work, and practice them when emotional tension is low so that they become second nature.

Here are five tools that Nathan recommends from his own work as a teen crisis counselor: 

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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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5 Tips for Better Communication With Your Child's Teacher

​Your efforts to be your child's best and strongest advocate and the teachers need to balance the needs of all of the children in his or her care and meet state and federal guidelines could put the two of you on a collision course. 

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Preparing Your Non-Verbal Child with Autism for the First School Bus Ride

Di-Adina writes: "Another parent and i were wondering how to prepare our nonverbal kids for that first busride. Mine are already on their third yr w/buses and i was just lucky to get great bus drivers/matrons. My son being non verbal always needed a special toy to carry on the bus or DS game, IPOD or book. Anything you can think of would be appreciated.

I would like to offer 5 pieces of practical advice

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Rediscovering the Rhythm: Back to School

​We have entered the final month of summer vacation and it may feel as though you have just settled into a rhythm. For children on the Autism spectrum and their families, returning to school can be a disruptive and anxious experience. Here are 9 tips to help ease the transition: 

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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

NATURAL AND LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES

​Natural and logical consequences are an effective way of redirecting negative behaviors because they create the conditions for your child to internalize the lesson learned.

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HOMEBREWING A BEHAVIOR PLAN

What do you do when your child won't listen? If you don't want to bully, coerce, or capitulate, your next best option is to get organized. A behavior plan is an agreement between you and your child that lays out specific expectations to support changes in behavior. Here are a few tips to homebrew your own behavior plan.

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Learning to Lose

When you play a board game with your family, do you find yourself getting a sinking feeling if it looks like your child is not going to win? Learning to lose is a critical aspect of resiliency. For some people, gracious losing comes naturally, and for others, its a skill that must be learned, practiced, and internalized. ​

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TALKING TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT AUTISM

One of the most difficult discussions to have is the one where you broach the topic of the autism spectrum. Something that I regularly hear from the parents of the children who participate in my autism social skills groups is concern about how to have "the talk" with their child.

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