Raising Children on the Autism Spectrum

Autism heart

Parenting children is difficult. If you are the parent of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, that level of difficulty is multipled many times.

If your child has been diagnosed on the autism specturm, there is a lot to learn in order to figure out how to best help your child. Things that work for one child and family may not work for another.

A good place to start for information is the Autism Speaks site:

Autism Treatment Center of America

The Autism Treatment Center of America was founded in 1983 by Barry Neil Kaufman and Samahria Lyte Kaufman based on the approach they took in curing their son, Raun, from autism. They captured what they did that worked so well in the The Son-Rise Program. Many other families have helped their autistic children using this approach.

They originally wrote about their experience helping their autistic son in the book Son-Rise. In 1995 they documented Raun's recovery from autism along with the experiences of five other families who also used the Son-Rise approach to help their autistic children in the book, Son Rise: The Miracle Continues.

After being diagnosed as severely autistic with an IQ of 30, Raun Kaufman overcame his challenges and went on to getting a degree in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University. In 2014 Raun published Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over the World.

Therapies That Have Helped Kids with Autism

Functional medicine works to address the root causes of autism. For example, most autistic children have imbalances in their gut bacteria and food intolerances. Fixing these imbalances through diet and supplements improves brain function. You can learn more in this article "A Functional Medicine Approach to Autism". A video by Dr. Noah Erickson explains his 3-Step Approach to Autism Recovery.

A research study led by occupational therapists at Philadelphia’s Jefferson School of Health Professions found that that sensory integration therapy improved daily function in children with autism.

The Feldenkrais Method® is a way of moving the body that promotes brain healing. It has been used to help children with autism. Feldenkrais practitioners can be found around the world.

The Horse Boy Foundation was founded by Rupert Isaacson and Kristin Neff based on the approach they took in helping their son, Rowan, with autism. They originally wrote about their experience helping Rowan, in the book The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son.

Books for Parenting Kids on the Autism Spectrum

In Their Own Words - Autistic Kids Describe Their Experience

Naoki Higashida, a 13-year-old Japanese boy with autism, learned to express himself through writing with the help of a computer. His book, The Reason I Jump, provides an amazing window into his world.

The book consists of his answers to a variety of questions which reveals his great depth of understanding and self-awareness. For example, when he was asked “Why do you do things you should even when you’ve been told a million times not to?” he responded

“It may look as if we’re being bad out of naughtiness, but honestly, we’re not. When we’re being told off, we feel terrible that yet again we’ve done what we’ve been told not to. But when the chance comes once more, we’ve pretty much forgotten about the last time and we just get carried away yet again. It’s as if something that isn’t us is urging us on.

You must be thinking: “Is he never going to learn?” We know we’re making you sad and upset, but it’s as if we don’t have any say in it, I’m afraid, and that’s the way it is. But please, whatever you do, don’t give up on us. We need your help.”

Carly Fleischmann explains what autism is like for her with the help of a computer in this video.

Video of Carly Fleischmann