Monday, September 26, 2016

The Side of Autism You Don't Want to See

We all love to see the stories of people with autism who are exceptionally bright or who have a savant ability. We are encouraged when we see people with autism who become very successful.

We need to see those stories but we need to balance them with the other side of autism.

In this video, you see a mother trying to comfort her daughter who is having a meltdown. We have had many experiences like this. It is never easy.

If you are church that wants to welcome families with autism, realize that this is one of the reasons why some parents are hesitant to attend church.

Friday, September 23, 2016

What Does an Autism Meltdown Look Like?

One of the misunderstandings about autism is that meltdowns are simply temper tantrums. An autism meltdown is so much more.

This is a good video of a meltdown that also includes the mom talking to her son about it afterwards. It is very helpful.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Living With Autism

Presented and narrated by actor Hugo Weaving, this animation looks at the key characteristics of autism as experienced by his 16-year-old nephew Ky Greenwood. The project was part of Sentis' “Great Works” program and was inspired by Ky’s father William who is part of the Sentis team. Autism Queensland is proud to support this film.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Where Do Autistic Children Belong in Sunday School?

Sunday School
What I'm going to talk about here is relevant to many disabilities, but since autism is my experience, I will focus there.

If you have a child with autism in your Sunday school, should you place them with other children of their age level or with other children of their intellectual level? I'm speaking here of children who are on the severe end of the spectrum, not those on the mild end.

It might be tempting to just put the child with autism with the younger children and let them watch some Veggie Tales. That might be easier, but is that the best way?

One thing to keep in mind is that it is very difficult to determine the intellectual level of a person with severe autism. Often the communication challenges make testing intellectual capabilities quite challenging. For example, many people consider our son to be "low functioning" because he is nonverbal, but in fact he is very intelligent.

I would suggest that the best option is to put the child in an age appropriate class, but with sufficient help. Never underestimate the benefits of being able to model behaviour based on peer relationships. This can be a difficult option, especially with a lack of resources, but it should be the goal.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why You Should Attend Life to the Full

I had the opportunity be filmed for a promotion for the Life to the Full conference. I'm on the planning team for this conference and I can't recommend it enough. Watch the video below for why I think you should attend Life to the Full. Registration closes Oct. 3, so register today!

Life to the Full Conference with Stephen Bedard from Julie's Photograph on Vimeo.

Monday, September 12, 2016

What is Autism?

Learn about the nature of autism from a person with autism.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Good News: Happy Birthday Abby!

Good News
Although my website is back up, I'm not posting there until I have transferred to my new host and I do a bit of redesign. So once again, I will do my Good News post on this blog rather than my other one. That is fine as my good news is autism-related.

Tomorrow is our daughter Abby's fourteenth birthday. It is hard to believe that she is this old already. It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital.

Abby is a major daddy's girl (just like Logan is a momma's boy). We have always been very close. It was one of the hardest things when she went off to a group home. But we have made good choices that have strengthened our relationship with her. We get regular visits with Abby and they are always lots of fun.

On our most recent visit, Abby was super-hyper. There was lots of giggles and jumping around. It is so good to see her happy.

Happy birthday Abby! We love you!

Stephen Bedard