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How To Keep Your Older Child or Teen Safe Online
Many of us enjoy the benefits of being online. We connect with people from all over the world, we pursue our interests, we are entertained, and we can learn about any topic that we are interested in. Our autistic children and teens benefit as we do from the online world; however, our youngsters can be more vulnerable to cyber threats such as predators, pornography, and bullying if they do not understand the dangers, and if they do not establish and use internet safety skills.
Adults and Teens: How to Deal with the Anxiety that Comes with Change
Many of us experience difficulties when dealing with change in life. But if you are an autistic adult or teen, you may find yourself particularly subject to anxiety with the big life shifts that you face, such as starting high school, college, switching jobs, moving out on your own, and the inevitable changes that happen with relationships. Is there any way to help with this?
RDI® – More Than Just Autism
The following article was re-posted with permission from SAIconnection's blog and was written by RDI® Certified Consultant Kamini Lakhani. Many parents ask if RDI is only for autistic individuals....
Autism and Puberty: Do Sensory Challenges Make It Harder?
Puberty can be daunting for any young person. Puberty wafts into a teen’s or pre-teen’s life with physical changes, as well as changes that are unseen, such as increased cortisol levels that often lead to shifts in emotions and struggles with behavior regulation. An adolescent can switch from having a happy and low-stress day to crying within minutes. These changes can be even more difficult for autistic young people who typically deal with sensory challenges.
Autism, Eating and Food – Why Are There So Many Issues?
An autistic individual can experience eating or food challenges at any age, but studies indicate that even though eating difficulties can and do carry over into adulthood, they typically improve. A compilation of studies published by Science Direct, authored by Susan D. Mayes, Ph.D., and Hana Zickgraf, Ph.D., report that atypical eating behaviors are significantly more common in autism (70.4%) compared to children with other disorders (13.1%), and neurotypical children (4.8%).
The Harm in Infantilizing Autism
Providing support for our autistic teen or adult is a necessary part of being a parent, and this is often one of our top concerns. But as we do so, we can unknowingly fall into a default mechanism that infantilizes the individual and treats them as if they are not capable of being their own person. We typically do this with the underlying belief that we are giving the best support, and that we have our teen or adult’s best interests in mind, however, infantilizing them is unnecessary, and innately dangerous.
Autism and Higher Education
How can RDI® provide real-world support for your child, teen, or young adult to prepare them for higher education, or a real-world job? In Dr. Steven Gutstein’s words, “Dynamic Intelligence is the mental ability that enables humans to successfully navigate the world and our relationships….and we have developed many resources to meet the mental challenges encountered in dynamic environments.”
Preparing Autistic Teens for Adulthood: Money Management
Even though this can look different for every autistic person, autistic individuals – especially children, commonly struggle with executive functioning. Individuals with executive dysfunction can lack acquired motivation to achieve goals and prepare for normal events in day-to-day life (i.e., money management), and they often experience difficulties picking up on skills such as organization, planning, and reasoning without guided learning experiences. Despite these challenges, autistic individuals can learn to manage money.
Are You Guilty of Not Letting Your Kids Fly?
As loving parents, we want our children to succeed in life. But sometimes, this pushes us blindly into overcompensation. We find ourselves frequently sneaking in and organizing our autistic teen’s school work to ensure they have a positive next day in class. Or we continue to do our kid’s laundry because we do not trust that they will do it themselves and that they will end up with no clean clothes in their closet. By not letting our kid fly on their own, we teach them that they are not accountable and lack responsibility. In turn, we presume incompetence, even if it only pertains to some areas of their lives. This can lead our children to feel that independence is either impossible or that they are flawed.
Adulthood Transitions, Housing, and Long-Term Care Support
When an individual ages out of traditional therapy for autism it can present daunting challenges for a young adult or teen, as well as their parents. Where do I go from here as I transition to adulthood? What resources are available for housing, employment, mental health counseling, and other supports long-term?
Overcoming Sensory Overwhelm in School or the Workplace
Dynamic Intelligence refers to a collection of resources including self-knowledge, mental habits, mindsets, and mental tools that help us function effectively in complex dynamic environments. In simple terms, DI helps individuals cope with diverse situations, become problem-solvers, and learn to effectively pivot with life changes.
RDI® foundations with Blair Armstrong
In this webinar from RDIconnect®, RDI® consultant Blair Armstrong talks about critical foundations for the pre-apprentice.
Autism and Depression – How it Can Present Differently in Neurodiverse Individuals
Millions of people in our population are diagnosed with depression every year. Most individuals are diagnosed based on common ‘by the book’ symptoms, but this can leave an entire segment of our population out. Depression often presents itself differently in neurodiverse individuals, which makes it much more difficult to pinpoint as an autistic, and to diagnose as a clinician.
10 Ways to Let Your Kids Fail Now for Success in the Future
When we insist on complete control of our children, we do not presume competence. Instead, we presume incompetence, with the underlying belief that our kids cannot learn and achieve growth unless we always step in for them. When we presume competence in our children, we believe that they possess the ability to learn and develop.
5 Ways to Help an Autistic Teen Study
We all have different studying and learning styles – audio, visual, and in print. Our success with learning depends largely upon how we reflect on our past experiences with studying, and how we repeat what has worked for us. So, what are the best ways to help your autistic teen to study?
Should I Force Socialization on My Child Who Is Happy Being Alone?
Some children, and adults as well, gather strength in private alone time. Solitude can feel good to these individuals, so they seek it. But this can lead parents, especially those that feel a personal need to be socially active, into the throngs of concern, “My kids do not want to socialize. They are happy being alone. Should I force socialization?” We understand that a child’s desire for aloneness can present real concerns for parents, but rather than forcing socialization (which does not work), here are some key points to consider:
Shutdowns – Are They Different from Meltdowns?
When the world around us pushes us to stress overload, as it often does, we turn to our long-learned coping mechanisms to navigate the challenges. But what if we are autistic, and have crossed the threshold of overwhelm? When our emotional resources are tapped out, in exhaustion our brain may react by going into a protective mode called shutdown.
Understanding Nonspeaking Autism: Why This Does NOT Mean Unable to Communicate
When an autistic person does not speak, it is known as nonspeaking autism. Nonspeaking is not a diagnosis. It is the terminology used to describe individuals that communicate through modalities other than spoken words.
Co-Occurring Conditions Common with Autism
It’s important to remember that while autism makes your child more vulnerable to other differences, these differences are NOT autism. They must be treated separately.
Battling the “Am I Doing Enough” Parenting Guilt Trap – and how to move forward
All parents feel guilty sometimes, but it seems to occur more often when you’re parenting a child who has special needs. You might feel stressed, sad, or even angry or resentful sometimes – and then you feel guilty for having these completely normal emotions! And of course, there are the feelings and worries that go with the types of treatment you choose for your child!
Intrinsic Motivation is Possible for Autistic Individuals
It is a common myth that intrinsic motivation is not possible with autism. The great news is that Intrinsic motivation IS obtainable with autism.
Activities in RDI®
RDI® activities can be as small as moving items from one place to another together, or can be bigger – like playing with toys or a game, sports, or outdoor activities. The most important thing to remember is to keep your goal in mind! If you don’t remember or aren’t clear on your goal, don’t be afraid to ask your consultant. They are here to help!
RDI® for Dads
Learning how to guide your child with RDI® – like any skill – takes practice. When you take the time and effort to learn, practice, and implement the skills needed to guide your child, you, your child, and your entire family will reap the benefits.
Am I Overparenting or Overcompensating?
Parents that set boundaries are less apt to overcompensate for their children, but many parents find it difficult to set limits and end up overcompensating for their child when they are stressed or tired, feel guilty, or simply because they feel that it won’t work. But setting limits can improve your child’s behavior, reduce their anxiety, and help them to develop a greater ability for self-regulation. It also teaches them respect for and consideration of others.
Is Autism an Intellectual Disability?
It is a myth that all autistic people have an intellectual disability. The truth is that 2/3 of people on the spectrum have average or above-average IQs. IQ is not an indicator of future progress. IQ tests measure static intelligence, whereas (RDI®) treatment progress is measured by how well the child can navigate the dynamic world.
Commonly Asked Questions About RDI®
In this webinar, RDI® Certified Consultant Kat Lee and Echo Li, RDI® China correspondent, discuss commonly asked questions about the program.
What is the Connection Between Apraxia, Echolalia and Autism?
Apraxia, echolalia, and autism are highly comorbid – if your child is diagnosed with one, they should be evaluated for the others, because they frequently occur together.
Updates to Language
Over the past 30 years, the DSM and public understanding of autism have evolved. Our original work from the 1990s may use language and terminology that make it sound outdated by current standards,...
Self-Regulation: Independence and Autism
As adults, most of us self-regulate habitually – we barely think about it. But can you guide your autistic child to self-regulate as you do? Self-regulation is the process that we go through that gives us the ability to control our behaviors and emotions – which is crucial to independence in life.
The Emotional Roller Coaster of COVID-19
In this webinar, Certified RDI® Consultants Kat Lee and Dr. Sarah Wayland discuss how the pandemic has affected both us as parents, and our children. During the last two years or so, a lot of parents have struggled just to get their kids through each day. Besides the emotional impact of COVID itself on both adults and children, there are many other struggles to contend with.
What Does It Mean That Autism Is a Spectrum?
Before we fully understood autism, we used terms like ‘Asperger’s,’ ‘high-functioning,’ and ‘low-functioning’ that separated autistics into categories. Today we tend to use ‘autistic’ for all people on the spectrum. Why? Because all autistic people experience autism, and life, differently, but they all share similar behaviors and challenges.
Autistic and Outgoing: I Thought All Autistics Were Introverts
It is a limiting and unfair belief that all autistics are introverts. Just like neurotypical people, autistics are introverted, extroverted, and everything in-between.
‘High-Functioning’ vs. ‘Low-Functioning’ Autism
The “high-functioning” and “low-functioning” labels for autistic people were coined in the 1980s. Sadly, once the research and medical community came to terms and realized that the high-functioning and low-functioning labels were inaccurate and unneeded, the general population had already noticed the terminology and the labeling continues to be used today.
How to Self-Regulate despite the Break in Routine during the Holidays
When your autistic child has support from you, they can learn to manage new situations, process appropriate emotional responses, and practice self-regulation – even with the changes that come with the holiday season.
Parent Guide: Helping Our Autistic Children Avoid Holiday Anxiety and Depression
Autistic children particularly struggle with making sense of new surroundings, changes in routine, and changes in the emotions of those around them – holiday season or not so go into the season prepared and ready to equip your child to understand and even embrace change.
Screen Addiction and Autism
In the last year, we have seen a rise in screen addiction, especially among vulnerable populations, such as teens and children with autism. How can we help?
Can You Have Autism and Empathy?
Our society often describes autistic individuals as lacking empathy and incapable of having feelings as others do. This is a myth, a false stereotype, and a misunderstanding of behaviors. While some autistics lack empathy, many possess it, and this is common to all populations—neurodivergent or not.
Re-Post: The New ABA Textbook
Re-post of “The New ABA Textbook by Ann Memmott.
Is Your Child Exhibiting Signs of Autism? When Should You Seek Out a Diagnosis?
There are a lot of different thoughts and feelings happening when you think your child might have autism. Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether your child is on the autism spectrum, if there’s a developmental delay, or if your child is just developing just a little later than usual. When it comes to what may be autism symptoms, what causes you to seek out a diagnosis?
Why Is It Harder for Girls to Be Diagnosed with Autism?
Autism screening criteria are based on data collected mainly from the studies of autistic boys. Why? Historically, the diagnosis of autism has been more common in boys than girls, so scientists have focused their research on boys–and now girls with autism are being overlooked.
Helping Autistic Adults Find and Keep Employment
Why do so many autistic adults struggle with finding and keeping a job? The world simply isn’t built for neurodivergent people–but there are things employers can do to remedy that.
Transitioning to Independence: 5 Online Resources to Help Neurodivergent Young Adults Find Jobs & Job Skills
85% of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed, yet 60% of them have cognitive abilities at or above those of neurotypical individuals. So what is the problem?
RDI® is Essential to Everyone
Webinar with Kamini Lahkani: RDI® autism programs are thought of as only for “high functioning” individuals or children. But anyone, no matter their age can benefit from RDI®!
Communication with Autism
In this webinar from the RDIconnect online learning community, Kat Lee interviews RDI® Program Certified Consultant Blair Armstrong on communication in the home. They discuss the differences between imperative and declarative communication, why parent training is so important in the RDI® program, and what myths about autism and communication are being perpetuated in the autism community.
Advanced Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders
We are excited to announce a collaboration between Dr. Stephen Shore, Professor of Special Education at Adelphi University and Dr. Rachelle Sheely at RDI Connect in offering an Advanced...