Dedicated “Kiddo Time” With No Screens

We all know this really. When we spend time with our kids and interrupt it to check our phones or tablets, we are signaling to them that they don't matter. Or matter less than the information on the screen. Even though we are with them in our bodies, our minds are elsewhere. And they know it. A new early study done at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Illinois State University shows an association between child behavioral [...]

By |May 30th, 2017|Categories: Family, NDC Tips|0 Comments

Simple tips for getting the homework done

See if your child will talk with you to strategize about how to improve the homework process so that he or she has more free time. Emphasize that the goal is to make the whole homework thing less burdensome and time-consuming. That way you are joining your child to meet his or her goals instead of trying to get him to satisfy yours. Treat it as a mutual problem solving exercise, not the imposition of adult authority. It may not happen [...]

By |January 17th, 2017|Categories: Family, NDC Tips|0 Comments

Toddler builds cooperation and self control, but not a single word spoken.

Self control at 16 months My 16 month old granddaughter Ayla sits next to me. She looks at my coffee mug with interest, then looks up at me. She is checking for permission. I just shake my head. I don't say a word. She responds almost immediately by turning her gaze away from the mug onto something else nearby of interest to her.  Deal done. Problem solved. Moving on. We communicated clearly. She cooperated with me and practiced self control [...]

By |December 16th, 2016|Categories: Family, NDC Tips, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Want to resign as homework cop? Top three reasons to leave the force:

Call me old fashioned. In my opinion, many schools nowadays are wrongly pressuring parents to take responsibility for getting their kids to do homework.  Great. Just what you need - another thing to nag your children about. Problem is, it doesn’t work. It just generates tension, conflict, and resistance. It undermines the quality of your relationship with your child, which, in the long run is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to your child’s development and success in life than homework. And if [...]

By |November 22nd, 2016|Categories: Family, NDC Tips|0 Comments

Three tips for talking to a shut-down or reactive child

Here they are, way simple: 1. Don't talk, listen. Or at least, talk less, listen more. 2. Don't talk directly to your child. Let him overhear you expressing your concern or uncertainty (but not any criticism or judgment) to someone else. 3. Write him or her a letter. Yep. Actually on paper. (Less likely to elicit an immediate and defensive reaction). OK. Now for a little elaboration: 1. Don't talk, listen. Or at least,  listen more. Sometimes we grown ups [...]

By |November 7th, 2016|Categories: Family, NDC Tips|0 Comments

When inclusive classrooms (unwittingly) exclude

Does inclusion work? Are inclusive classrooms always best for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Are they best for your kiddo? Maybe you are  wondering.... We do. Sometimes inclusive classrooms work out beautifully for kids with ASD. They can use their intellectual strengths and are able to benefit from typically developing peers, learn from them, perhaps make some social gains. When it works, the child with ASD feels that he is an integral part of the classroom. He feels like he [...]

By |June 24th, 2014|Categories: Autism Spectrum, NDC Tips|0 Comments

Does Pot Harm the Teen Brain?

It's really no big surprise, is it? There is growing evidence that pot smoking is harmful to the developing brains of adolescents. The frontal lobe is developing rapidly during adolescents. The brain is also undergoing pruning during this period. Connections that aren't being used are being eliminated, making processing more rapid and efficient. So what happens if these processes are impaired due to substance use? As presented in a recent piece on NPR, Kristal Lisdahl, director of the University of [...]

By |March 3rd, 2014|Categories: Family, NDC Tips|0 Comments

Understanding your child (with Aspergers) makes all the difference

A small moment on the beach tells a big and important story about Aspergers parenting: Bella's meltdowns and the message Mom got Bella's mom came for her first visit quite desperate.  Bella was prone to severe emotional outbursts and aggressive behavior, especially when she was upset. These outbursts occurred at home, in the community, at school. In front of everyone. Mom knew something was wrong. Something she did not entirely understand. But everyone, including family members, friends, educators, and professionals told her [...]

By |August 21st, 2013|Categories: Autism Spectrum, Family, NDC Tips|0 Comments

Do you have your thoughts, or do your thoughts have you?

Help! I'm stuck. At one time or another, this has probably happened to you:  you get mentally stuck.  Unable to move on. Locked in a repetitive mental loop. Ruminations, repetitive thoughts, "stuck" ideas, automatic thoughts: this experience is common to several different kinds of suffering. Your thoughts have you, instead of you having them. It feels as though you can't stop thinking about something.  This is common to obsessive compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, depression (for many [...]

By |August 12th, 2013|Categories: Autism Spectrum, Depression, NDC Tips, Neuroscience, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Stimming Demystified

Most children on the spectrum engage in repetitive movements like rocking, bouncing or hand flapping. Stimming, as these movements are commonly known, is a key feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As an autistic adult, I've noticed that parents are often curious and sometimes concerned about their child's stimming. Why does it happen? What does it mean? Why does it get worse at times? Why Do We Stim? Stimming happens for many reasons. I stim when I'm anxious. I stim [...]

By |July 31st, 2013|Categories: Autism Spectrum, NDC Tips|0 Comments