Holiday Tips for Parents of Kids with Autism: Including Gift Ideas & Activities

The holiday season is always a fun yet stressful time of year. Planning activities for kids, buying presents for friends and family, deciding which holiday parties to attend – the list goes on. However, decisions become especially challenging for parents and relatives of those with a child on the autism spectrum.
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New features for MyAutismTeam!

Today we added several new features to MyAutismTeam, most notably the ability to add other parents to your team and follow their updates! We created this feature so that parents could follow the updates of specific parents they wanted to stay most connected to. By creating both parents and provider teams, you can follow updates more easily. Don’t worry, you can still stay tuned into what the whole community is posting, only now, when you create teams, you can filter by your team’s updates.  Below is a breakdown of these new features, plus a few past features, and how they work.

Add parents to your team

Wherever you see the add to team button, you can add someone to your team.

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MyAutismTeam Launches First Social Network Dedicated to Parents of Children with Autism

Facebook-Meets-Yelp Network from MyHealthTeams Surges Past 12,500 Members,

Unveils Partnership with Autism Speaks


SAN FRANCISCO – Dec. 6, 2011 – MyHealthTeams today announced the launch of MyAutismTeam, its flagship social network for parents of children on the autism spectrum. MyAutismTeam is the first social network specifically for parents of children with autism, making it easy to connect with others who have had similar experiences. The network is a Facebook-meets-Yelp style place for parents to share recommendations of local providers, openly discuss issues, share tips, and gain access to local services that they may not have otherwise discovered on their own. Since the summer, the site has rapidly grown from 30 to over 12,500 members, underlying the growing need of parents seeking support and an easy way to find the team of providers that best meets the needs of their children.  MyAutismTeam today also officially unveiled an ongoing partnership with the world’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, Autism Speaks.
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What About the Siblings? – 6 Tips from Siblings of Individuals with Autism

What About the Siblings? – 6 Tips from Siblings of People with Autism

This past Sunday morning I was in Seattle at the US Autism &  Asperger Association Conference and fortunate enough to catch a panel on “Siblings of People with Autism.”  The Panel had five young, neuro-typical men and women ranging in age from 14 to 27, each of whom have siblings on the autism spectrum.  I was impressed by the poise, sense of humor, courage and wisdom of this panel and just wanted to pass on a few pointers for parent that I took away from the panel.Open up a channel of communication with your neuro-typical child – All 5 panelists understand that their parents need to spend more time with their sibling on the spectrum, and don’t really seem to resent that fact.  They just want to occasionally be asked how they feel about all of it.  And it’s not really a time for you to talk.  “Don’t feel you have to lecture or provider more answers…just listen.”   Just asking about it let’s the child know it’s ok for them to talk and even voice complaints about their situation or feelings.
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10 Providers for Teens with Asperger’s – Recommendations from Parents Who Have Been There

teenOver 700 parents of teenagers with Asperger’s Disorder have registered on – a site where parents of children on the autism spectrum connect, share recommendations of local providers, and share tips with each other.  That’s about 20% of all parents on the site.   These parents have spent years building up their “autism teams” – all of the providers needed to help their children develop and thrive.  They have endured a lot of “trial and error” to find what therapies (and which providers) work best for their teens.  We looked at all the parents of children with Asperger’s Disorder on MyAutismTeam (over parents of aspie kids of all ages), narrowed it down to those with teens on the spectrum (almost 800 parents), and read through their stories and teams.   Summarized below are five of the more common, and five more unique, types of providers on these parents’ teams.
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Teens IQ’s and Brains Can Change – Of Course!

“IQ is malleable.”   A recent study published online in Nature and summarized in the Wall Street Journal found evidence that IQ is not fixed (as was once thought), but instead can change over time correlated with changes in the brain.  Specifically the study looked at 33 British teens (the sample was too small to draw broad conclusions for all teens), giving them an IQ test and MRI in 2004 and again in 2008.  What they found is that IQs jumped up or down for about 1 in 5 teens and those changes corresponded to changes in the brain.
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