Simply Not Enough

Last week, a report summarizing the thoughts of over 600 students, parents and professionals on the state of inclusive education in Manitoba was released. Many of us were not surprised that an enormous percentage of respondents described significant barriers to education, right  from preschool childcare right through post secondary.  You can read the report here.  It’s a collaborative effort between […]

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Sketchnoting: Supporting Communication for Visual Thinkers

In September 2017, CTV Montreal reported on Ellis, a minimally-verbal boy with autism.  The story was that one day, his parents discovered that Ellis “could think, could talk, through pictures.”  His father had begun drawing household items and simple situations in an effort to connect, and Ellis drew back in response.  Over time, Ellis also began to make changes to […]

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iPads for Learning

iPads are everywhere.  They are generally popular, and for many children, iPads aren’t just used as toys but as learning tools in schools as well.  Families of children with autism seem particularly drawn to owning iPads. Why are they so popular?  And how are they helpful for people with autism? People with autism often have difficulties learning and communicating, because […]

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Ask a Clinician: Connect with Me!

I work with a child who’s hard to connect with. Why is it so hard? What can I do to make it easier? Great question! Relationships are one of the things that make life worth living. For children with autism, differences in communication skills, sensory processing, interests and behaviour may all contribute to problems developing and nurturing relationships. Whether you’re […]

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Funding Support for Kids with Disabilities: Understanding The New Plan

Manitoba schools are in the process of changing from one special needs funding model to another, and many parents are asking questions. Every change is an answer to a problem. The following is an explanation of what is happening, why it was thought necessary, and what parents should expect from their child’s school. Many thanks to Karen Fraser, who wrote […]

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Introducing Me: Teaching New Friends About Autism

Should your child’s peers know what autism is, and that your child has it? The answer depends on the child and the situation.  Our family decided early on that it would be more helpful than harmful, and so every year, when our children enter school, we have made sure that there is an opportunity for our children’s new classmates to […]

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Telling Tales: Supporting Personal Storytelling in Children with Autism

We tell ourselves stories and live by the stories we tell ourselves. -Joan Didion Recently I had coffee with a friend. We talked about the trip he and his wife took to Vietnam. He told me about the beautiful places they saw, and also about the homeless woman he met outside his hotel. He talked about their friendly greetings every […]

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Augmented and Alternative Communication

“Communication is life. It is the only vehicle we have for connecting meaningfully with others.” Joseph Grenny, author   Our daughter began speaking with words when she was 3.  When she was six, she spoke mostly with sentences that she’d memorized or with short words and phrases.  She shared requests or comments about what she wanted or was doing in […]

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