Free Q & A Webinar with Autism College Visiting Professor Brian King

Autism College will present a free live Q & A on Monday, June 13, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00pm  PST with visiting professor Brian King, LCSW. Sign up below.

Have you ever wished you had access to someone who could give you some advice on how to parent more effectively your child on the spectrum?  Have you ever wished you could ask an expert how to communicate more effectively with your child?

Sign up for this free Q & A (sign up for our newsletter to receive instructions or check back here) and you’ll be able to ask questions from an experienced  therapist who has Asperger’s Syndrome. As an adult with Asperger’s and ADD, the husband of a woman on the Spectrum, as well as the father of three boys on the Autism Spectrum, Brian has the most comprehensive experience around regarding living on the Autism Spectrum.

Brian R. King LCSW  consults and speaks professionally nationwide, providing groundbreaking insights and strategies for bridging the communication gap between those on the Autism Spectrum and the rest of society. As a Presenter, Coach, and Mentor Brian trains his clients, ranging from parents, teachers, job coaches and individuals on the Autism Spectrum to develop and implement customized communication strategies for increasing collaboration.  Brian is known for his interactive speaking style which emphasizes dialogue with participants. He is very direct, authoritative, creative, positive, supportive, solution focused and nonjudgmental. He focuses his content on providing concrete strategies participants can apply immediately.

Brian’s thoughts have been cited in various books and publications including Autism Life Skills: From Communication and Safety to Self-Esteem and More – 10 Essential Abilities Every Child Needs and Deserves to Learn.

Brian’s latest book, Let’s Relate: 
Strategies for Building Meaningful Relationships with People 
on the Autism Spectrum, will be published by  Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2011.

For more about Brian, go to

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Back to School 101 : How parents of ASD teens can get prepared for the school year

Here’s a column I wrote for the and still useful for this new school year!

Aug 27   Holy Moly – can you believe the summer break is just about over??  In last week’s column, Back to School : How to prepare your teen, tips for preparing your teen on the spectrum for the new school year were discussed. In this column, some ideas on  how parents can best be prepared for the new school year  are covered.  These tips are from both the “Back to School Guide” put together by A2Z Educational Advocates based in Pacific Palisades, and from my book “Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum.”

  • Perhaps it seems obvious, but contact your school if you have not been informed of your teen’s  schedule or the name of the teacher(s), classroom(s), bell schedule, district and master schedule for the new school year. Sometimes, these are not known till the last minute and the school administrators are dealing with many issues – budget cuts, union and staffing concerns, etc. But, by asking politely and reminding them that you need to ‘prime’ your teen about where he needs to be, who he will see, what the schedule is for the first day of school, you can reasonably hope to get an answer.
  • Review your teen’s  IEP document to refresh your memory about what the goals are. If you have any questions as to how the IEP will be implemented, get a list going to communicate your questions to the person responsible.
  • If your teen is to receive aide support as stipulated by the IEP, it would be a good idea to contact the administrator to insure that an aide has been assigned. If specific training has been specified in the IEP,   ask  if the aide has been trained or when the training will take place.
  • If your teen receives related services at school such as occupational therapy and/ or speech therapy, make sure you are aware of when and where he is receiving the services and that it is in line with the IEP. If the services are provided outside of the school day, contact the non-public agency providing the service to ensure an appropriate time is scheduled for your teen.
  • This is a good time to ensure any records regarding your son and his educational needs are in order. Filing everything (IEPs, assessments, correspondence) in one 3-ring binder in chronological order is most helpful as it provides easy access when you need to find a particular document.
  • If your child is fully included, or has a new special education or resource teacher, it is helpful to provide the teacher with a one-page positive overview about your teen, and ensure that the teacher is aware of the IEP goals and objectives. Your teen may wish to write his own note to the teacher.
  • Self –advocacy is a skill that should be developed in every teenager. When situations come up in regards to information that needs to be shared with the teacher and classmates, or situations arise that need to be resolved, think of ways   your teen take part in that process, and bit by bit, to take more ownership of it, depending upon his/her ability level.

In my next column, some strategies to help general education teachers who have students on the spectrum included in their class will be shared.

One small step towards self-regulation

How to teach your teen with autism to request a break

Self –regulation is a needed life skill not practiced by most teenagers. Often teens on the spectrum need sensory breaks to help them self-regulate, yet some are unable to communicate the need for one. If you are a parent or an educator, you may want to consider teaching the teen to request a break using a “ I need a break” card. This may be helpful in preventing meltdowns or compliance issues. Teenagers need to be given more control over their time and need to be able to request necessary breaks  in an appropriate manner.

Let’s say you have a student that you work one-on-one with for a one hour slot of time. Every time you sit down to work with him, after about 20 minutes he gets up and leaves the worktable and there is no holding him back. What you need to do is teach him to communicate to you when he needs a break, and allow him to have those needed breaks within reason. Here is one way to do that: Continue reading »