Traveling for the Holidays


Traveling with kids, no matter the age, can often raise a parent’s blood pressure. If you have a child with special needs, this is even more true, particularly if you are not prepared. Here are a few tips to help your trip run a little smoother and less like this: 
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Parental Burnout and How to Safeguard Against It, Part III: Expect the Unexpected


So, we’ve talked about finding contentment and taking care of yourself, but what about those times when everything seems to go wrong? You’ve worked hard all day, you’ve put everything into your family, you allowed your child to wear mismatched clothes because that is what she chose to wear today, and you even remembered to take a quick time-out for yourself; but then something unexpected happens and it turns everything upside down. Your child melts down over something that is usually okay. Tonight’s “safe” meal is faced with resistance. The melatonin is not helping your child peacefully drift off to sleep as it typically does. You may even be having a difficult time recognizing all the good you did that day for your family and for yourself. You’re thinking, “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t give anymore. I have nothing left.” 
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Parental Burnout and How to Safeguard Against It, Part II: Taking Care of Yourself


Last week, I wrote about the signs of parental burnout and challenged you to find contentment in the moment as a way to safeguard against burnout. This week, I am taking this one step further. I am challenging you to rearrange your priorities. I am asking you to put your own needs above others without feeling guilty, and here’s why.

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Hope & Healing Presentation

Hope and Healing

Check out the presentation Dr. Williams and Ms. Cooper gave earlier this month at the Hope and Healing Center, reviewing autism symptoms, treatment options, the family experience, and local resources.

Part 1: Signs and Symptoms

Part 2: Suspect ASD. What Now?

Part 3: The Family Experience

Parental Burnout and How to Safeguard Against It, Part I: Finding Contentment


Did you know that parents of special needs children are at a much higher risk than the average parent to experience parental burnout? Did you know that parents of children with autism are at an alarmingly high risk for clinical depression? The prevalence rate for parents of children with autism to experience clinical depression at some point during their adult life is over 40%. That’s compared to roughly 19% of parents who have a child with a chronic illness or other type of special need and roughly 14-28% of the national population (Cohen & Tsiouris, 2006). Recurrent depression in mothers is also more likely. This is not a happy statistic. So, what do we do about it? Know the warning signs.
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Autism Across the Lifespan: Caring for the Individual and the Family

Come out today and see Dr. Williams and Ms. Cooper give a talk on the early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder, the signs of parental burnout, how to safeguard against burnout, and available local resources for your aging autistic individual.

The Definition of Family

Family Tree

I want to write today about the Special Needs Family – who you consider to be a part of your family and how you handle those within your family who may or may not understand you, your child, or your spouse. So, let’s take a look at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for a second. Continue reading

Early Language Development


Infants cry and coo, and they learn very early how to make happy sounds and not so happy sounds. This is the beginning of language and expression. Babies learn to make different sounds by using varying pitches and volumes. They are experimenting with their voices and learning that some sounds garner positive responses from Mommy and Daddy. Parents can increase this vocal play by Continue reading

I think my child may have Autism Spectrum Disorder. What do I do?


With the wealth of information out there, often times, parents do not know where to start. This is particularly true if you feel as though no one is listening to your concerns. “Oh, he’ll catch up,” they say. “Oh, you worry too much,” they say. Meanwhile, in the pit of your stomach, you know something is not quite right. Let me help shed some light on the subject and remove the guess work. You probably have enough to worry with as it is. This is where you start.

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