Sarita Freedman on Developing College Skills in Students with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

“…it’s challenging for students with ASD to participate in “non-preferred” tasks. As such, parents of students who go away for college worry that their student will spend most of his time playing video games, rather than focusing on college studies. Sadly, the risk of this happening is quite high. However, students can learn strategies to manage and balance their time, provided the student receives adequate programming throughout his life.”

Rudy Simone on understanding and empowering ‘Aspergirls’

“…an Aspergirl’s most prized possession is her unique intelligence and she wants to be appreciated for that more than anything. Her education and utilisation of her unique skills is the key to a satisfying, fulfilled life. Some will want socialising, some won’t, but it is important that she learns to value others, so that she does not end up isolated, and so she can share those gifts with the world.”

Lisa Jo Rudy on How Families of Children with Autism or Asperger Syndrome Can Get the Most out of Community Activities

“Autism can be an incredibly isolating disorder. Not only do parents wind up spending a huge amount of their time, energy, money and love on therapies and care – they also feel like outsiders in their own communities and families. It can be even worse for siblings who, through no fault of their own, are often excluded from ordinary activities. By getting out and getting involved in the community as it’s possible, families are able to reconnect with clubs, churches and synagogues, sports leagues… and often with their own families. Another huge plus for getting out into the world with a child on the autism spectrum is that families discover their child’s real strengths and abilities in ways that would never be possible in the school or therapeutic settings.”

Jude Welton on Asperger Syndrome, metaphors and literal thinking

“Since children with Asperger Syndrome are literal thinkers, some parents and professionals try to avoid metaphorical language, so as not to confuse or distress – but this can’t prepare the child for the real world. And non-literal language can be fun! If metaphors are explained and explored in a relaxed, playful way, they can enrich children’s understanding of language and the world, and help them to use language in a less formal and more ‘natural’ sounding way.”

Liz Hoggarth: Outcome evaluation – help is on the way

“Many of us react instinctively against further demands to produce evidence, especially quantitative information – we know all too well that progress with clients is made up of tiny, often faltering, steps forward that are extremely difficult to demonstrate or quantify. There are downsides to the outcomes approach as there are to other systems of planning and evaluation. But the question of outcomes is a perfectly legitimate one. The number of visits made to a family is beside the point if the risks are not picked up and appropriate interventions are not identified to begin to help people deal with the problems. The number of counselling sessions provided is hardly important if in the end they made no difference for the person seeking help. We must address outcomes in order to improve services.”

Deborah Plummer on Imagework and Helping Children to Cope with Change, Stress and Anxiety

“When a child comes up with an image that represents how he feels about a situation, he is tapping into something that goes way beyond logical thought processes. And when he realises that he can ‘play’ with these images and be creative in forming new images, then he can begin to take more control. Imagework often triggers insights and shifts in perspective which may not come through logical thinking alone.”