Last night, my pre-teen daughter was having trouble sleeping, so she asked me to join her in the guest room with our pets. It was really late, I was very tired, but she was so keen to talk in the dark that I encouraged her to share what was on her mind. As we snuggled together at 12:00am, she asked me, “How did you feel when I was first diagnosed?”
In 2016, while playing with paint, Cadence discovered that she could use colour and different materials to give expression to her thoughts and feelings. Since then she has been exploring and experimenting with different styles, materials and textures. She is a young girl who works extremely hard, and consistently, in a very focussed way, to… Continue reading Autism and Creativity – Art Needs no Words.
Cadence shares with the The I CAN Network what Autism means to her - it’s challenges, benefits and what her perfect world would look like. When did you get diagnosed with Autism? Have your feelings towards Autism changed since then? I was diagnosed Autistic when I was little. It’s something I’ve always known, so I… Continue reading Autistic Girl Describes What Autism Means to Her
It is often the case that many have a stereotypical view that Autism equates, to at least some degree, to intellectual disability. This is a particularly strongly held belief towards Autistic children / adults who communicate non-verbally. Often correlating with this false belief, is the equally damaging belief that the child / adult has limited… Continue reading Understanding the Difference Between Autism and Intellectual Disability
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges currently confronting the Autism community is the diversity of Autism itself and the associated challenges this presents Autistic individuals, parents, professionals, schools and service providers in having a shared understanding of Autism - what it is, and what it is not. The diversity of Autism is often further complicated,… Continue reading What’s the Difference between Autism and Personality?
Nine year old Cadence singing “Shine Together - It’s okay to be a little different”, in sign language. As a society, we so highly value speech ability that in its absence we often fail to recognise other equally valid forms of communication, including Makaton and sign language - this despite the reality that among the… Continue reading Sign Out Loud – Autism & Sign Language
What might be enjoyable and fun for many children, can be a very frightening and distressing experience for other children. 'Book Week' celebrations and other dress-up days can cause considerable confusion and distress to Autistic children - whose neurological processing relies, to a large degree, on 'familiarity' and 'known' knowledge (past experiences) to navigate the… Continue reading When ‘Fun’ is Scary
"Parliament is teaching kids that don't have a disability that they shouldn't be with kids that do have a disability. I think that's mean. ... my school rules are to be respectful, to be safe and to be a learner. I think parliament should have the same rules. Saying to get rid of kids with… Continue reading Why I Belong in Mainstream School
Ensuring accurate detail - about 'little things' - might be the difference between a child coping, or a child not coping. Question from Pam: "I have a 5 year old son with Autism. He gets very angry, very easily over 'little things', things that aren't really important. Do you have any ideas on how I… Continue reading Little Things ARE Important
"I get excited when I understand what someone says. Most of the time I only understand bits of what they say, not all of what they say. When I understand all of what they say its like rainbow ice-cream, with sprinkles and chocolate sauce; its like eating a yummy treat". Cadence (aged 8) 'Language' is… Continue reading When Understanding is like an Ice-cream Treat