Posts with Category Autism

Are autistic kids better givers?

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Researchers in Germany just published some interesting findings about the prosocial behaviors of kids with autism.

From the abstract of Helping and sharing with preschool children with autism:

We assessed helping and sharing behaviors in 3- to 6-year-old neurotypically (NT) developing children and children diagnosed with ASD. Children with ASD were more inclined to show spontaneous helping in the absence of the helpee than NT children. In the sharing task, NT children shared the resources equally between themselves and the recipients. In contrast, ASD children kept less for themselves and gave more resources away. In addition, the stronger the ASD symptoms were and the less cognitively weaker they were, the more children preferred to give resources to a rich than to a…

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Healthcare costs & system could leave kids like my son behind

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Our son Griffin receives over $100K of therapies each year for autism.

“Are you here to get insurance to cover ABA?” (ABA is autism therapy.)

“Uh, no.” I said. “We’re here because we feel like Griffin should have a developmental pediatrician.”

This is how much insurance is in the discussion these days in the autism community, heck, in America. It was the topic of our first discussion at our first meeting with a new pediatrician.

I’m not criticizing him at all. The last note he had in our file from another doctor at his office was such a request from three years ago. Then Griffin was too young to get a diagnosis that would be acceptable for the insurance company.

This was pre-Affordable Care…

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This photo shatters a common myth about autism

There’s this myth that people with autism aren’t affectionate.

Allow me to shatter that into 1,000 pieces with this pic:

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This morning my wife took this photo of our 5-year-old son Griffin, who is on the spectrum, snuggling with his sister, Harper. Griffin gives great hugs and high-fives. He giggles so hard he toots and then giggles even harder because toots are funny. And he has a smile that will make your day.

Not all people with autism can express their affection through actions or words. We’re fortunate that Griffin can. But I’m pretty positive that every single person on planet Earth, including those who are on the spectrum, feel love and affection just like you…

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If you read one book on autism, read this one

Griff Dunking

(Autism hasn’t impacted Griffin’s hang time!)

When our son Griffin was diagnosed with autism three years ago, our world got pretty small. We felt alone, as if we were the only family to have a child on the spectrum. We read stuff. Stuff on the Internet! Scary stuff and inspiring stuff, but mostly scary stuff.

Slowly we started to plan a path forward to get Griffin the best help we could. We started to connect with other people who had been where we were. I helped run, and Annie participated in, the Facing Autism Project in Muncie (read Annie’s story, read all the stories and download the bookRead More >

 
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Why you need to swear an oath before watching my son with autism

Chasing Griffin.001

Every night, I turn off the TV, get off the couch, wake up my wife, and shut off the lights. I find that it’s easier to see if the deadbolts are in place by shining my phone’s light at them in a dark room. I check the door to the garage, front door, and porch. All locked.

This might seem like a normal routine of a man ensuring the security of his family from unwanted visitors in the night. But I don’t make sure the doors are locked to keep people out; I make sure they are locked to keep one person in . . . my son Griffin.

Griffin, 4, has autism and a deep curiosity to explore places where he shouldn’t…

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I met Temple Grandin!

My hair wasn’t brushed, neither were my teeth.

I wondered down zombie-like to the hotel’s continental breakfast. My eyes weren’t really working yet, but it wasn’t hard to discern that Temple Grandin was sitting in the lobby on the phone.

If you aren’t familiar with Temple Grandin, she’s sort of a patron saint of the autism community. Born with autism, Temple has been able to make an impact seeing the world from a different perspective. She was played by Claire Danes in a movie and is a rockstar speaker at events across the country.

SHE IS A BIG DEAL, especially to parents like me with a child on the autism spectrum.

I didn’t want to…

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My Boy Griffin: Autism, Affection, & Thanksgiving

Griffin wants to give you a hug.

It was Thanksgiving.

The more than 30 members and friends of my wife’s family bowed their heads to pray. They prayed for the food and for the gift of each other, and some others stuff. I have to admit I wasn’t paying that much attention.

I was looking up at my son Griffin who was sitting at a table playing by himself. Griffin is two so I worried that at any moment he would burp or fart or look at me and say, “you’re stinky!” Griffin is on the autism spectrum, and few things distract him from playing by himself. Griffin Land is his favorite place to…

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“We’re talking about Autism.”

(Our boy Griffin)

For the past six months, every waking hour and some of our dreamtime ones, too, have been dominated by what you’re about to read. It’s important to write about stuff like this. That’s why I’m so glad my wife Annie chose to put her thoughts, feelings, and our journey down in words.

 

“It’s a boy!”

Kelsey and I had been in the ultrasound room for maybe five minutes when the tech announced with certainty the gender of our second child. We looked at each other and smiled. Coming into this, we were both fairly indifferent as to what we were having — we already had a daughter who we were over the moon about,…

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