Everything Autism

Why do we teach young children with ASD to clap their hands?

By | Everything Autism, Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments

When was the last time you clapped your hands? Really when? You walk into your favourite shop pick out a pair of shoes and as you go to pay, the sales assistant tells you there’s an extra 50% off. Do you clap! and say, “wow that’s great!” and jump for joy? You may verbally acknowledge your joy and nonverbally show it with a smile. But clap? No, very unlikely. But teaching a young child with ASD to clap is one of the most common early skills seen on IFSPs.

When working with very young children with ASD a skill we …

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Alchemy: autism websites and Apps for Autism

By | Everything Autism, Tips for Parents and Teachers | 27 Comments

Once a semester the student teachers in the early childhood special education program review websites which provide information about autism. The amount of information available is overwhelming. A little like the role of an alchemist finding the right information, appropriate tools, knowing what really are evidence based practice is no easy task.  Below is a link to a number of apps that can be used with either an ipad or iphone/ipod touch.

The comments are all related to ASD websites which are available in Japanese, Spanish and English.…

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Reforming Special Education and Teacher Training in Egypt

By | Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Everything Autism, Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments

As we move ahead and pave the way to a New Egypt I sincerely hope that an important item on the agenda of change will be Education, education for all! This must include children in Egypt with special needs. It has been my mission since 1994 to develop services for these children. Those who share this mission with me and have set up NGOs in Egypt such as the Advance Society or Nidaa, know that it has been an ongoing struggle. I don’t think it will be a struggle any more we have seen what people power and passion can …

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Navigating the internet for Autism: a review of sites for teachers

By | Everything Autism, Tips for Parents and Teachers | 62 Comments

More than a decade ago when I moved to Cairo, Egypt to set up a unit for children with Autism the internet was still in its infancy and “googling” was not an active verb. My resources at the time consisted of a few books, a few classes I had taken on Autism and my experiences as a clinician in London. Times have since changed and there is now an overwhelming amount of information on Autism. However are the challenges any different to what they were twelve years ago? What has happened regarding service delivery, resources, teacher training and parental support? …

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Autism websites tried and tested

By | Everything Autism | 30 Comments

If you put in the search word ‘Autism’ or ‘Autism Spectrum Disorders’ depending upon the search engine you use, anything between 14 to three million hits will appear. If you are the parent of newly diagnosed child with Autism it is an overwhelming task to sieve through this information. What criteria can you use to help you decide whether or not the sources are accurate, authentic and valid? Some websites can be extremely useful and include both valid and relevant information while others can be misleading leading to even more confusion. When searching here are some considerations or questions which …

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Gluten free in Marbella

By | Everything Autism, Tips for Parents and Teachers | 2 Comments

Finding gluten free products has certainly improved but can be a great a challenge when traveling. I now always travel with some staples such as a box of gluten free cookies, bread and some cereal which gets me by on the plane (just in case the special meal request didn’t go through) and the first few days of my trip. I was staying in Elveria in Marbella and had no expectations of finding anything that is gluten free. I have been visiting this area for the last 12 years so know all the little shops and supermarkets. My first surprise …

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Bus Stop Conversations

By | Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Everything Autism | 2 Comments

Location 1: 5th Avenue and East 75th St. It’s a windy January morning and I am waiting for the bus as are three other ladies. We stand there for more than 10 minutes. No eye contact, no acknowledgment of each other’s presence and no attempt to start a conversation. No one says: Have you been waiting long? Oh what cold weather we are having. I have learnt unless there’s an emergency DO NOT INITIATE CONVERSATION while waiting for the bus. When I once asked a lady at the same bus stop if she had been waiting long she looked at …

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Culture and Autism: Let me give you a ring

By | Everything Autism | One Comment

The Jo Malone Counter in Bloomingdales Soho a transatlantic relationship in itself. After completing her purchase the customer tells sales manager that she will give her a ring when she returns. “A ring. That’s so British” says the sales manager. I laugh another occasion where I am humbly reminded how both inferential language and cultural awareness are needed to understand the simplest of things being said.…

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Karma and Gluten Free Desserts in NYC

By | Everything Autism | No Comments

Orsay in the Upper East Side have the most incredible desserts. My favourite, lychee butter cream, fresh raspberries and a rose petal meringue macaroon. It’s so delicious I had it twice in a row. But most importantly it’s GLUTEN FREE. I was diagnosed with Celiac two years

ago which means I can not eat anything that contains gluten or even use shampoos or creams that have wheat protein. My first knowledge of a ‘Gluten Free Diet’ was almost eight years ago when I was working with young children with Autism many of whom were on a gluten and casein free
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Global Autism: awareness and training

By | Everything Autism | No Comments

I have always felt strongly about the positive effect edu-media and film can have in terms of increasing awareness. My friend Mo Hefzy wrote and produced the first Arabic film about Autism and this was a positive start in increasing awareness of autism in Africa and the Arab world. When I first moved to NYC, I was somewhat deluded to believe that things would be different and better. After all this is AMERICA! The challenges for Autism in the US are not very different to what I have seen in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Having worked in these …

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