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It’s Never Just a Sandwich

Photo © Angelina Creations | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: An Asian child eating a sandwich.] Emma Dalmayne twitter.com/EDalmayne As an autistic adult and a mother of autistic children  I am often asked about meltdowns and how they feel. I can tell you how it feels to have a meltdown from my perspective, and how to help your child. When you have a meltdown it’s as if the world is ending. Everything is too much, and you feel like an overwhelming darkness has engulfed your very being. Irrepressible anger that may seem completely irrational to an outsider can be inwardly devastating us internally. When your child suddenly explodes because their sandwich has been cut at the wrong angle, or another child has won a game—or even because they have been jostled in a queue, that’s the catalyst. It’s the last straw on the camel’s back. It’s not the sandwich necessarily; it’s a…

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When Autistic Kids and Teens Are Aggressive or Self-Injurious: Overview

–> Shannon Des Roches Rosa Senior Editor, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism Why do some autistic children and teens become self-injurious or aggressive? How can parents and caregivers help the kids in their care get through meltdowns safely, protect the kids themselves as well as family members, and anticipate and avoid future incidents? This was the topic of a recent workshop I moderated at Support for Families of Children With Disabilities, in San Francisco, with speakers Dr. Clarissa Kripke, Brent White, and Lindsey Anderson. The presenters covered a lot of material, which we’ll publish here in three parts: Overview (Shannon Des Roches Rosa) Medical and trauma-informed practices (Dr. Clarissa Kripke) Autistic professional and personal insights (Brent White and Lindsey Anderson) The workshop was well-attended (standing room only), engaged and productive. One of my favorite parts was that, after a short explanation of why “flappause,” or flapping one’s hands for applause,…

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Free Workshop in San Francisco: When Autistic Children Are Aggressive or Self-Injurious

San Francisco Bay Area Locals: Please come to a free workshop at Support for Families of Children With Disabilities, in San Francisco, on Saturday, January 9th. When Autistic Children Are Aggressive or Self-Injurious: Best Support Practices Photo © Akuiliu, on Flickr [Image: Upset-looking East Asian child] Why do some autistic children and teens become self-injurious or aggressive? How can parents and caregivers help the kids in their care get through meltdowns safely, protect the kids themselves as well as family members, and anticipate and avoid future incidents? Come hear from parents, professionals, and autistic people themselves about best practices for understanding and supporting autistic people during these kinds of crises. There will be a Q&A after the presentations. Speakers include: Dr. Clarissa Kripke from UCSF, talking about overlooked medical and health triggers, as well as meltdown support strategies. Brent White and Lindsey Anderson from Berkeley’s Ala Costa Adult Transition Program,…