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The winter holidays are traditionally a time of peace, love, compassion, and good will. They're also a time for celebrations, special meals, family gatherings, excitement, travel, bright lights, voices raised in song, and so many other happy events and treats. When living with autism and related challenges, however, the holidays can be more stressful than anything else. With some good planning, however, the holidays will likely never be stress-free, but they can be more manageable. To that end, we've gatethered some parent-tested tips for making the holidays a bit smoother for families with autism other special needs.
Lately, we've talked a bit here on the Lauren's Hope blog about creating an allergy-friendly or chocolate-free Halloween: wearing medical alert jewelry while trick-or-treating, talking with teachers and caregivers, planning special food and non-food treats, and so on. For kids with food allergies, epilepsy, type one diabetes, special needs, and chronic health conditions, there are a lot of considerations this time of year, however, there are lots of things we can also do to keep everyone -- those with medical conditions and not -- safe this Halloween.
Halloween is a fun time, filled with treats and crafts and excitement. For adults and children with chronic conditions such as food allergies, type one diabetes, autism, or epilepsy, however, Halloween is sometimes a little scary, and not in the fun way. Protecting our kids and ourselves from the very real dangers of this fun season can be a real challenge, which means planning ahead is essential.
Autism impacts one in every 88 children in the United States, and my son is that one. I’m Tara Cohen, and I’m the voice behind many of the Lauren’s Hope blog articles that (I hope!) you enjoy regularly. Last April, here on the Lauren’s Hope blog, I shared a little glimpse into life as a special-needs parent in honor of Autism Awareness Month. The year before, Lauren’s Hope did an awareness piece on my son, Will, before I joined the Lauren’s Hope team. This year, as the prevalence of autism grows ever more alarming than ever before, I’d like to share some early warning signs to help parents know what to look for in children under age two.
Every now and then here at Lauren’s Hope, someone in our own lives suddenly needs a medical ID bracelet. That’s what happened when Jake, a 16-year-old guitar player and high school student from Tallahassee, FL, was unexpectedly hospitalized and diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Jake’s mom, Julie, went to school with Lauren’s Hope blogger, Tara Cohen, and said one of the first things she said to her son was, “Hey, you’re going to need a medical ID, and I have the perfect place to go!” When Jake asked where, Julie handed him their laptop and said, “It’s this website called Lauren’s Hope. Type it in.”
When he was only four years old, Kerry Magro was diagnosed with a form of autism called Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified. At the time, autism was just being discovered as a disorder. Kerry’s diagnosis was life-altering, and it was just the beginning of the long journey he has been taking with autism ever since.
Autism awareness has come a long way in the last few years. More and more people are gaining an understanding of this widespread condition, but there are still a few things that it seems just won’t get through to some people. We asked our friends on Facebook the most important things they wish people knew about autism. Take a look at our list, then add your own questions and ideas in the comments!
April is Autism Awareness Month and today is Autism Alert Day. This evening, buildings across the United States, and the world, will be drenched in shades of blue in an effort to raise awareness for autism. Autism Speaks is the group responsible for bringing together over 55,000 supporters, with many sporting blue shirts and wearing puzzle piece charms this month.
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