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Episode #53: Grateful for Fathers

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 Episode #53: Grateful for Fathers Synergy Autism Podcast · Episode #53: Grateful for fathers Today happens to be Father's Day as I record this episode so I thought I would spend a little time celebrating the dad's out there listening or the dad's you know and love.  I feel so lucky to work with fathers more than I ever could as a teacher. Dads bring so much to families and they don't always get the credit that they deserve.  Fathers are most often the ones who are looking long term into the future for their child and family. They are often considering finances combined with self-sufficiency. These longer term goals or visions can be incredibly helpful for determining what needs to be targeted today to get to those long term dreams. allowing fathers into the conversation about individual education planning (or IEPs) can help the full team consider life beyond the classroom into adulthood.  Fathers are also conversely often amazing at being in the moment with their kids

Episode #52: MP - Personal Agency from Seeing Autism due out Summer 22

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Episode #52: MP - Personal Agency from Seeing Autism due out Summer 2021 Synergy Autism Podcast · Episode #52: MP - Personal Agency from Seeing Autism Due Out Summer 2021 "The drive for control is especially apparent in the teen years, but many of us also know the adage of the “terrible twos.” Fostering that drive for control is essential for natural learning. You can foster control while still guiding for balance by providing choices when and where appropriate. Providing choices allows personal agency, while avoiding choices is a recipe for disaster for all humans, autistics included. And while many children who are neurotypical may demand their own control, individuals with autism may need you to offer it to them. Here are some ways you can provide choices to someone with autism: Give choices within nonchoices: allow control within situations where aspects may not be within their control. You could say, “We are going to the car. Do you want to bring the baseball or your book wi

Episode #51: MP - Sensory Flooding from Seeing Autism due out Summer 2021

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Episode #51: MP - Sensory Flooding from Seeing Autism due out Summer 2021 Synergy Autism Podcast · Episode #52: MP - Sensory Flooding from Seeing Autism Book due out 2021 Hello Synergy Autism Podcast listeners! I am so happy you are here. I have gotten some really good feedback on my podcasts, people are seeming to like the short and sweet nature of these mini-podcasts I am doing for 2021. A couple of weeks ago, I did a podcast on The ABA Controversy or the controversy around Applied Behavior Analysis which has received some good accolades. So, if you missed it, please check it out. And today, I am going to give you another sneak peek into my upcoming book: Seeing Autism: Connection Through Understanding. This except i am about to read is on the experience of sensory flooding that so many autists find to be a part of everyday life for themselves. I have other podcasts on this subject, too, if you find it interesting. One is called “Riding High” that if you like today’s reading,

Episode #50: Excerpt from Seeing Autism: Connection Through Understanding - Due out Summer 2021

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Early Social Reciprocity and Autism Excerpt from Seeing Autism: Connection Through Understanding - Due out Summer 2021 By Barbara Avila, MS Synergy Autism Podcast · Episode #50: MP - Early Social Reciprocity There is one video that went viral on social media in 2020 that demonstrates social reciprocity and joint attention beautifully. In the video, a father figure and an infant are sitting side by side on a couch. They are watching a show together, and they each take turns “commenting” on the show. The baby is making sounds and gazing with exaggerated gestures. They do not seem to have any words yet. The father-figure is responding exuberantly with “I know, right?” and waiting for the baby’s next “comment.” The baby gestures and vocalizes at the TV, then to the father. The father then answers, “Really! Is that so?” and looks to the baby again. The back-and-forth feedback loop between them is adorable, but it also demonstrates the early social reciprocity and joint attention that happ

Episode #49: MP - The ABA Controversy

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The ABA Controversy Synergy Autism Podcast · Episode #49: MP - The ABA Controversy Hello. I thought I would weigh in on the controversy over ABA, also known as Applied Behavior Analysis. For those of you new to autism, ABA is now commonly prescribed by pediatricians as the 1st line of support when a child is diagnosed with autism. Families receive between 10-20 hours per week of support by an ABA trained center that is typically covered by insurance. A trained behavior technician visits the family’s home or the child attends the center for skill development. However, there are many autistic adults speaking out against the treatment, stating that it is harmful and even abusive. I am a strong advocate for listening to autistic voices, so I am definitely listening here. Especially since I personally left being an ABA provider in 2005. A little history, ABA or Applied Behavior Analysis, has been around for a very long time and has its roots in behaviorism and psychology. Basically, it is

Episode #48: The Today/Tomorrow Routine

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The Today/Tomorrow Routine  Helping someone understand the passage of time and planning for the future Synergy Autism Podcast · Episode #48: MP - Today Tomorrow Routine Podcast Today, I am sharing one of my go-to tips for helping a person understand the passage of time across days as well as engaging with you in a bit of review and even planning. Let's call this the Today/Tomorrow Activity or routine. It's something I recommend doing towards the end of your day together and typically for parents to do with their children of any age. The idea is that you find a relaxed time together with few distractions. Present a blank piece of paper. Write "today" at the top. Then review together the events of the day. Write each event as simply and concretely as possible - use pictures or drawings if your child is not yet recognizing some single words. Do not write the list alone beside your child but allow their attention to shift gently to the page before writing each event. Yo

Episode #47: MP - Mother's Day Today and Everyday

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Mother’s Day Podcast Synergy Autism Podcast · Episode #47: MP - Mothers Day Podcast Happy Mother’s Day today and everyday to all the moms listening. This podcast was recorded with you in mind. It has been a tough year for everyone but my hat is off to all moms who have taken on the additional demands of stay-at-home orders including online schooling, cooking and cleaning more, and enduring the emotional roller coasters of all those in your home. I have learned so much from each of the amazing mothers who I have been blessed to get to know through my work. You are warriors for your children. You tirelessly research so much that most you should have honorary degrees in autism, neuroscience, and/or pharmacology. I know you have exhausted days when you don’t think you can do any more...but you do anyway. I know you lose your shit sometimes and find the strength to apologize. I know that you cry when no one is looking and your child is not around. I know you have times when you feel no one