Mission Statement: This blog was created to provide information on getting help for autism in general while focussing on locally available resources for families with newly diagnosed children in Belleville and Quinte area.

Please browse the blog at your leisure. You are welcome to comment on the posts. If you are a parent, an autism consultant, counselor, teacher with information on autism resources available in our area, please email your information to benziesangma@gmail.com. Your information will be added within 24 hours.

Local Autism Support Groups

Parents Engaging Autism Quinte (PEAQ), an autism parent support group, meets once a month on the first Tuesday of the month (no meetings in January, July and August) at Kerry's Place, 189 Victoria Avenue, Belleville at 6:30 to 8 p.m. If you have questions or suggestions for autism topics that are important to you so that we can invite appropriate autism professionals to speak at these meetings. Next PEAQ meeting is on June 5.

Autism parent support group meeting hosted by Mental Health Agency, Trenton and Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) meeting is on the Second Thursday of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. If you have require any further information please contact Marya Peters for more information at 613 392-2811 ext 3953 or email marya.p@trentonmfrc.ca

For info on Community Living Prince Edward County Parent Support group, contact Resource Consultants @ 613 476 6038

Central Hastings Autism Support Group meets in Madoc at the Recreation Centre. Contact Renee O’Hara, Family Resource & Support, 613-966-7413 or Tammy Kavanagh, Family Resource & Support, 613-332-3227

Transition planning for elementary school students with autism

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On the Art of Rolling Eyes

"I wouldn't have taught him that if I were you," a teacher at my son's elementary school said to me recently.
She was responding to my story about my son's attempts to roll his eyes in an act of boredom that morning.
It all came about from a social skill I was trying to teach him the night before. His two tasks were to recognize rolling eyes, a common body language to indicate boredom, which he might see on someone's face when he is talking to them at school and what he can do about it.
This lesson became important to us because of two reasons - one, with the exception of anger, sad, shock and surprise, my son is not able to recognize and understand the meaning of expressions on someone's face. Two, he tends to burst out on a topic, for example, trains, cars and his latest, Iron Man movie. It doesn't seem to occur to him that he has already talked to the same person about it maybe once or twice already and that his friend might not want to talk about the same things any more. They might roll their eyes at him when he starts to talk about trains, I told him. When he sees that expression, he needs to understand that it's a clue for him to stop talking about trains and maybe talk about something else.
As I began the lesson, I realized that before he could 1.recognize this facial expression and 2. remember to follow through with the next step - stop talking altogether or change the topic, I had to step back and show him what rolling eyes look like. It was quite entertaining to watch his version of it the next day. Let me tell you it looked like anything but.
Point of this note is, social interactions come naturally to typically developing children. Somehow they just seem to pick up on such invisible social demands all by themselves. Not so my son, who is on the mild end of the spectrum. Hence, we are currently working on this shocking art of rolling eyes as a body language.
In retrospect, I suppose the above-mentioned teacher thought I was out of my mind to teach my son something she thought to be disrespectful and one she's had enough of from other typically developing students. I guess I'll just have to replace it with another skill should my son decide to use the brand new skill his mom taught him on his teachers at school. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

In it for the long haul...

I created this blog with my sincere wish that those of you reading this will want to share your own stories, both good and bad, what worked for you and what didn't and together, we can make it easier for the next family beginning their own journey of discovery. By posting what you know, where you have recieved certain services, who you have talked to, whose expertise you trust, how you navigated the school education services and by responding to questions in the discussion thread, know that you have helped a family in need. So, parents, experts in the field, counsellors, teachers and everyone who has any information on resources available, please feel free to post on this blog.