One Size Fits One

By Dan Coulter Your child is unique. Yes, that’s true for every parent. But parents of children with Asperger Syndrome or autism may feel it’s an understatement. Unique means one of a kind. But our kids are often…turbo unique. One of a kind with extra difference sauce. And the world can be very unforgiving of differences. Or rather, with no malice intended, the world is often just not set up to deal with the different. I’ve run into challenges just being tall. At the first college I attended, it was mandatory for men to enroll in ROTC, the U.S. Army’s Reserve Officer Training Corps. We were issued uniforms to wear during early morning marching drills. As I stood in line to get my uni

Innovation Likes Collaboration

By Dan Coulter Have you ever had a great idea that turned out not so great? Or one that worked out, but only after you substantially tweaked it? Innovation is important, but often it needs to be tempered by collaboration to make sure it accomplishes its goal –- without unwanted side effects. Let me give you an example. A while back, someone got the idea to use a traffic light and alarm system in school cafeterias to help kids keep the noise level down. I learned about this product recently. I’m not sure when it was introduced, but I found a story about it in USA Today’s Life section on October 12, 2004, titled: “Noise travels fast, but cafeteria ladies put a stop to it.” A friend of our

Rewarding Support

By Dan Coulter Do you crave recognition? Do you secretly yearn for praise of your accomplishments? While it’s socially appropriate to be modest, just about all of us want our good works to be noticed. And we love rewards. What could feel better than someone praising us and offering a concrete expression of their appreciation? During the years I worked in various corporate jobs, these expressions were frequently tangible. Company rewards often come in the form of plaques or promotions or bonuses. One of the best I ever received was a trip to Disney World with my family when my kids were little. Talk about making dad a hero. Now that I’m working for myself, the rewards are different. It

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