Archive for the ‘Topic of the Week’ Category

Teaching Safety in Conjunction with Re-Launch of the Autism Safety Project

December 13, 2011 5 comments

Safety is a critical part of all of our lives, whether we are at home or out in the community, alone or with loved ones. Being aware of our surroundings and taking precautions to stay safe is even more important for individuals with autism and their families. The Autism Safety Project is designed to provide families affected by autism with tips, information, expert advice and resources so that everyone in our community can stay out of harm’s way.

Since we have launched the updated Autism Safety Project this week we wanted to know your best tips and ideas about teaching safety to your family and friends.

Going To A Big Family Party!

November 21, 2011 2 comments

Holidays gatherings, meeting new people, eating new foods can be challenging for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. One way to prepare and  help family members with ASD is to plan ahead by creating a Social Story to help a person with ASD prepare for a new or unique situation. Social Stories can be tailored to an individual’s preferences and situation. They promote a social understanding, as well as self- understanding. We’ve included a Social Story, “ We’re Going to a Family Dinner from The New Social Story Book, by Carol Gray.

Have you developed a Social Story to help your family member prepare for a big family gathering? We invite you to share your Social Story or other recommendations you have for other families to help them prepare for Thanksgiving day or other large family gatherings.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Autism Speaks!

The Holiday Season is Around the Corner!

November 15, 2011 20 comments

The winter holidays can be a difficult time for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. Challenges can arise from changes in routine, expectations of family and friends, and busy social interactions make unusual demands on everyone.

To make the best of this holiday season, we need to do some planning and preparation. In December, Community Connections  will feature: A Family and Friend’s Guide to the Holiday Season! We will include tips and recommendations for: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, and Friends.

This week, we invite you to share your experience with others. We would like to hear your questions or concerns and, for those who have learned from past holidays, we want to share recommendations you have for other families to help them prepare for this holiday season. For more information about Family Support go to:

Categories: Topic of the Week

Safety Planning

November 8, 2011 13 comments

I am a grandmother of a child with autism and I worry when my grandson comes to visit he will wander from my home; how can I make sure this doesn’t happen.”

This is a frequently asked question by family members of individuals with autism. It’s critical for families to put a safety plan in place and increase awareness of the safety risks for the individual with autism.

We would like to hear from you about what steps you took that worked to insure the safety of your family member with autism. Please share your experiences so that others may benefit. For more information visit: Autism Safety Project at:

Additional Safety and Autism resources in November’s Community Connections include; Safety and Autism, with updates to the Autism Safety Project and feature Safety in the Home Workbook and Video, a resource developed for families by Ohio State University faculty and funded by a Family Serves Community Grants.  Please join us for two Facebook Live Chats scheduled, on Nov 15th at 4-5 pm EST Dennis Debbaudt, will present “How to Prepare for an Autism Emergency,”  and on Nov 20th at 2 pm EST George Braddock, from Creative Housing Solutions, will present his work Housing designs.

Traffic, Pedestrian Safety, and Autism

November 1, 2011 17 comments

This week we want to hear your family’s experiences teaching “traffic and pedestrian safety,” to your children with autism.

Many families have serious concerns about their children with autism and traffic dangers while walking to school, playing in the neighborhood, and doing everyday activities in your area. Let’s learn from each other by sharing what worked, or in some cases, didn’t work for your family.

How did you teach your child to be careful in and around traffic? Did you find any books, specific curriculum, or other resources helpful? Were there useful websites? What can you recommend to other families to help keep their child safe?

Technology, Apps, and Autism

October 24, 2011 6 comments

Welcome to this installment of ‘Topic of the Week.’ These topics stem from submissions from our community. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see featured, please contact us!

Leslie Stahl reported how people with autism are speaking and making breakthroughs on this 60 Minutes feature, Apps for Autism.

Do you, or someone you know on the spectrum, used assistive technology to help communicate? Are there any applications you favor? What are some pros and cons of using assistive technology for those on the spectrum?

Can you recommend any apps or devices?

Residential Services and Supports for Adults on the Autism Spectrum

October 17, 2011 11 comments

As Autism Speaks gathers information on residential services and supports for adults on the autism spectrum, we would like to hear from our families on your experiences with housing.  Please share your stories on our blog.

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