"Signage 55 speed limit"/David Lofink/CC BY 2.0

Can We Teach the Rules for Breaking the Rules?

If I take a box of pens from a store without paying, I commit shoplifting. But suppose I take a box of pens from the office where I work. Will my coworkers judge me a thief?
"Stoop Storytelling"/Leah Miller/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why We Share Our Private Stories

How do we find our place in the world? By standing up and telling the stories in which we play the starring role.
"Sewing Machine"/Steffen Zahn/CC BY 2.0

How Does Parenting Work When the Instruction Manual Fails?

Maybe x is the problem, maybe x is part of the problem, or maybe x is irrelevant to the problem. With regard to sewing machines, much like my children, I will never know.
R. Downie fall/TwoWings/CC BY 3.0

When Parenting Becomes a Spectator Sport

The strongest parents absorb the professionals' good advice, ignore the useless commentary, and treat themselves with compassion. But most of us are not among the strongest.

The Price of Being a Loner

Without a social brain, imperfection is never “normalized;” the soothing mantra “Everybody feels this way sometimes” cannot be internalized.
"Tender Moment"/Jeffrey Kontur/CC BY-ND 2.0

Are You a Good Enough Mother?

All parents commit missteps, but the fact is that ours seem more consequential. Is being good, good enough?
"Picking Grass at the Bus Stop"/Charlene Croft/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Who Speaks for Autism?

I would not want someone else to speak for me; to decide what I want and what I need; to judge whether my life is worth living. But autism is a family affair. We all need a voice.
Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop

Sesame Street and Autism: The PG-Rated "Extras"

Young children accept any playmate who is not hostile. It is the parents who usually communicate discomfort, caution or pity, and it is the parents who have the most to learn.
"Lime Butterfly"/giovzaid85/CC BY 2.0

When Is Reimagining the Past a Sign of Emotional Health?

For counterfactual thinking to be functionally beneficial, we need a coherent story of cause and effect that makes us an essential actor in the story.
Charles Darwin/Public Domain

Why Does Autism Still Exist?

Some gene variants associated with autism are also significantly associated with high intelligence. “Smart” genes are advantageous from an evolutionary standpoint, so they persist.
"drinking water"/darwin Bell/CC BY 2.0

Finding the "Why" of a Special-Needs Child's Behavior

Behavior is a form of communication, and more often than not, especially in young children, it is not communicating a desire to be non-compliant or troublesome.
Erik Hans Krause in employ of WPA/PD-US-not renewed

"Refrigerator Mothering" Is Dead but the Blame Game Lives On

The mother—and now the father too—are still suspect. Suspected of what? Nobody knows for sure, but whatever it is, we are expected to defend ourselves against it.
"Brain Clock"/bzztbomb/CC BY-NC 2.0

Autism, ADHD, and Executive Functioning: Parenting Insights

We have tried visual strategies; we have tried planning discussions; we have tried scripts' we have tried first/then; we have tried IEP goals; and we have tried threats.
"La Mama de los Politos"/Jorge Elias/CC BY 2.0

Incubating a Political Conscience

Figuring out when asserting yourself reflects courage and when it reflects imprudence takes, for many of us, a lifetime.
Abraham Lincoln/CC BY SA 3.0

Abraham Lincoln Tops List of Famous Jewish Swimmers!

"Famous people with autism" lists are not created primarily to motivate our children. They exist to motivate us adults to adjust our own beliefs about autism.
"Johnathan Meath as Santa Clause"/Jonathan Meath/CC BY-SA 2.5

Learning to Tell a Lie

Lying through your teeth requires more social awareness than most of us appreciate.

Autism and Creativity

Autism is associated with rigid thinking, restricted interests, and a literal interpretation of speech and behavior. How could a person with these traits possibly be creative?
"Wish List"/Sam and Barb Cohen

A Wish to Be an Aspie

If your child needs the space to get up and walk around the classroom, what difference does it make if that need arises from AD/HD or ASD?

Special-Needs Parenting and the Lowerarchy: Part Two

The lowerarchy is more than a boundary; it is an edifice of alternating comfort and despair, always at the expense of other people and their children.
Looking downward/Barb Cohen

The Lowerarchy of Special-Needs Parenting

Instead of using the rhetoric of “better than,” we shift to “not as bad-off as,” as in “my kid is not as bad-off as yours. "We’ve created a lowerarchy.
"Copenhagen broken bike"/Jens Cramer/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

"Mom, Am I Disabled?"

Identifying a person as disabled entails locking that person into a world of very limited expectations. Having a disability describes all of us.
Reading bedtime stories with Sean-bear/ktbuffy/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When May We Change the Topic From the Election?

We will want the predictability of our routines. Even the meltdowns will reassure us that our own small corner of the world is recognizable—and still needs tending.
Maggie Bartlett/NHGRI

"No Thanks" to This Line of Autism Research

My family’s DNA is a coveted commodity. Our older daughter is autistic, and researchers want our blood and saliva. Once upon a time I would have happily donated. Not now.