The west coast rains 💦💦🌊💨 have returned, and so have I, swapping a kayak paddle for a pen, and settling in to reconnect. So nice to see you! 🙏
Welcome back to one-minute messages, a topic explored over a morning cup of coffee…☕️ and a message you can read in a minute or two.
Say “What if?” and “Why Not?!” Instead
Today’s topic is autism and realizing, mining, drawing out—there are many words!—potential.
How as parents, caregivers and professionals do we cultivate the best version of each child, teen or adult with autism? How do we unlock and nurture potential?
My second question—a riddle—is this: What do you get when you combine a doctor of psychology specializing in neurodiversity, an educator steeped in training and development strategies, a passionate parent and an introspective young man with autism?
You get a riveting Q & A-style conversation, rich in insight, honesty and practicality.
And you are delivered an autism creed: Never say never. Say “What if?” and “Why Not?!” instead.
As we navigate this autism journey, we always have a choice. We choose possibilities over absolutes.
In Conversation: Connection, Direction, Illumination, Hope
Erik and I invite you to join us as we explore our autism journey with Carleton University professor, Dr. Vivian Lee.
Dr. Lee’s psychology students have read What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism and are curious to know backstories and now whats? They are keen to understand autism from the inside out.
You are invited to watch, listen and learn. We talk about everything from the use of puppets and costumes to deep pressure and self-regulation…to ideal learning environments…to job skills training…to adult housing options…to love on the spectrum. ❤️ We offer connection, direction, illumination and hope. ✨🙏
Questions & Timestamps
5:20 – E 1. Are there any assumptions about yourself and autistic adults in general that you would like to debunk?
13:30 – T 2. How has your education background help you understand and support Erik? (*many creative and practical strategies in this section – the meat!)
34:14 – Does your lived experience as a mother of an autistic man help give you a better perspective on how to support other educators and teachers?
36:42 – E 3. In class, we’ve been talking about how parents come to terms with their child’s autism diagnosis. How did your family talk to you about autism and how did that shape the view of yourself?
43:10 – Do you, or your mom, have advice on how families should talk about autism in the family?
48:42 – T 4. In class we just finished reading about the “service cliff” that many autistic adults experience when they transition into adulthood. For example, many individuals go from having access to daily programming (e.g., school, recreational activities, etc.) to nothing at all. Have you and Erik experienced this drop?
52:35 – If yes, how did you manage it?
57:25 – E 5. What advice would you give to an adult who suspects that they may be on the autism spectrum but has not received any sort of diagnosis?
1:04:28 – T 6. What kind of support services and accommodations do you think should be made available to autistic adults and their caregivers that are not currently readily available now?
1:09:00 – E 7. Tell us about your current position working with children! We would like to hear about how you got involved with children education, your training for this position, and your daily responsibilities.
1:13:00 – T 8. Do you have any advice you would like to give to parents and siblings of an autistic individual (child or adult)?
1:16:42 – E 9. What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
1:23:02 – E & T 10. 1. In your book, What’s Not Allowed, you talked about all the community-based activities that Erik was involved in. Can you tell us about your favourite experience in a recreational activity and what it meant to you to be involved?
Thank you for joining us! ~ Erik & Teresa