Friday, July 8, 2011

Hell No, We Don't Stay Home: Outings With Children With Autism : Laura Shumaker : City Brights

Hell No, We Don't Stay Home: Outings With Children With Autism : Laura Shumaker : City Brights

If my calculations are right, this is just about the time of the summer that parents of school aged children are feeling a teensy bit desperate. If you are looking for things to do to build fun and structure into your summer, read on.

Shannon des Roches Rosa, who is, among other things, the iPad for autism queen, has also mastered the art of taking her three children, including her son Leo, who has autism, on excursions.

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I am adamant about taking my ten-year-old son Leo on as many excursions as possible: to stores, movies, restaurants, parks, and other destinations.

Leo may have intense autism, but he is an able-bodied and energetic boy who craves adventure. And we want Leo to be a boy-about-town so he gets used to being part of our community, and our community gets used to him.

Outings aren't always easy. But I have no intention of leaving Leelo home if there's a chance of success. I do not care if other people think he behaves strangely or makes funny noises; as long as he is not harming or interrupting anyone, we carry on with heads raised, meeting stranger's stares with confident and unapologetic smiles that I will admit to having practiced in the bathroom mirror. Here are some of the tactics that make excursions with Leo, and hopefully some of his friends, a bit easier:




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