Benefits of Animal Stewardship for Boys with Autism

animal stewardship

There’s a reason we call dogs a “man’s best friend.” Mutual relationships between animals and their owners or caregivers build a sense of confidence and responsibility that are beneficial for mental health issues. Animal therapy is a growing field that uses a variety of animals, particularly dogs, cats, and horses, in therapeutic settings to improve…

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Should We Use The Term “High Functioning” to Describe Levels of the Autism Spectrum?

high functioning autism

In recent years, the diagnosis referring to High Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, was removed from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual in favor of Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a spectrum disorder, it reinforces that the disorder is diagnosed based on problems in the same foundational areas, with a diverse range of abilities. Rather than being compared on…

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Finding Help for A High Functioning Autistic Teen

help for high functioning autistic teen

Autism affects three main areas of one’s life: social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive or ritualistic behaviors. These areas become extremely critical during the teenage years as young adults are trying to find their place in the social world. Autism can make this more challenging. Some common signs of one living with autism…

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Explaining the Neurodiversity Paradigm: Neurotypical vs Autistic Teens

neurotypical vs autistic

Neurodiversity refers to a recent paradigm shift in embracing infinite variations in cognitive functioning, rather than labeling some people’s brain chemistries as superior to others. Following a neurodiversity paradigm, people with autism are understood as having different underlying neural connectivity than neurotypical people, who do not show signs of mental health or executive functioning issues.…

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Riding the Emotional Meltdown Alongside Teens with Autism

emotional meltdowns in teens with autism

Most teenagers experience mood swings due to hormonal changes and are more likely to pick fights over gaining independence; however, teens with autism are more likely to have emotional meltdowns when they are overwhelmed or overstimulated, rather than when trying to assert their independence. Teens with autism may be more sensitive to intense emotions, but…

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Rebuilding Self Esteem in Teens on the Autism Spectrum

self esteem in teens on the autism spectrum

Self-esteem is a powerful predictor for personal success. Although self-esteem refers to the relationship you have with yourself, it is easily influenced by the way you are treated by others and how secure you feel in social relationships. For teens on the autism spectrum who may struggle with social cues and feeling a sense of…

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A Guide to Finding Help for Autistic Teens

autism help for parents

As a parent, we spend much of our time thinking about our children. We worry about their struggles. We think about how we can celebrate their strengths. We hope that the world will accept them for exactly who they are. Parents of teens with autism have a unique set of questions and concerns for their…

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Rooted in Fear: Anxiety in Autistic Teens

anxiety in autistic teens

Up to 80% of autistic teens also experience intense anxiety symptoms. According to the Interactive Autism Network, “because of the social differences experienced by teens on the spectrum, such as trouble initiating or maintaining a conversation or adherence to strict rituals or schedules, additional stress to any of these activities may result in feelings of…

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The Effectiveness of ABA Therapy for Autism

ABA therapy for autism

ABA Therapy, what does it mean? ABA stands for “Applied Behavioral Analysis”. This is a leading type of therapeutic approach for adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. ABA therapy for Autism is based upon a set of behaviorist theories. These theories are based off of the idea that appropriate behaviors can be taught through a system…

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