Mother's Day Writing Assignment

By Dan Coulter Every mom has a story to tell. Will yours get told? Every mom's story has value. Even if that value is looking back and retelling it to yourself to see what you learn from it. One way to capture the value of a story is to write it down. I saw the power of this in a documentary film by Diane Garey and Lawrence Hott called, “Tell Me Something I Can’t Forget.” The film is about eight economically disadvantaged women participating in a writer’s workshop in Massachusetts. The workshop was led by Pat Schneider, who overcame childhood poverty to become a successful author and writing teacher. While the workshop absolutely helped these women become better at expressing themselves

Motivating Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Dan Coulter How do you motivate a child with Asperger Syndrome or autism? One of the most successful ways parents and teachers have found is using children’s interests as incentives. Psychologist Jed Baker suggests, for example, giving a child who loves astronomy math questions about the distances between planets to motivate him in class. Using some ingenuity, you can come up with ways to incorporate a child’s interests into less straightforward situations. In researching a video about employment, I found one of the keys to workplace success for people with Asperger Syndrome was finding a job where they could use a special interest or skill. But what about children with s

Autism Awareness and Employers

By Dan Coulter I saw a nice feature in the paper this morning about Autism Awareness Month. Of course, in our family, every month is Autism Awareness Month. Every day is Autism Awareness Day. Every minute is...you get the idea. We’ve seen a lot of progress since our son was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 1997. Especially in the way the media is increasingly portraying people with autism spectrum disorders as people and not aliens. We’re also making progress in raising awareness of adults on the autism spectrum. For too many years, media stories focused on telegenic children. Often in "look at this poor kid" stories which subtly encouraged audiences to think, "Thank God that’s not

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