Monthly Archives: December 2010

Miracles Large and Small

by Shannon Penrod

Is there really such a thing as a small miracle?  All I know is when you have a child on the Autism Spectrum you have the opportunity to celebrate things that many people take for granted.  A child looking into your eyes and saying “Hello.” is a miracle that I will never, ever take for granted again.  The beauty and the power of it has the power to bring me to my knees in gratitude.  I am not alone.  There are a million or more parents around the world who understand the sheer beauty of such a miracle. We are the parents of children with Autism.  

Today on Everyday Autism Miracles we are celebrating all of the miracles in our lives and sharing our message of hope with the world.  Tune in to listen to the grateful messages from parents whose children are making great strides.  Better yet call in and tell us your message of hope at 877.864.4869! 

Everyday Autism Miracles, Fridays at 2pm EST, 11am Pacific time Listen to the free podcast on iTunes


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Asperger’s and Holidays

By Shannon Penrod

The other day I watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with my son.  This is a holiday tradition that I have loved since it came out in the mid sixties and I was thrilled that this year my son actually wanted to watch it.  This year he noticed something he never had before.  “Why does everyone want Rudolph to be like everyone else?” he asked me.  It’s a great question. 

“Because people get used to something being a certain way, and when it isn’t that way it makes them nervous.”  To which he replied, “They have Autism too?”  It reminded me that rigidity is a two way street.  I ask my child on a regular basis to work on his rigidity issues, but do I work on my own?  Even my tradition of watching Rudolph is a little bit of a rigidity issue.  It isn’t Christmas for me if I don’t get to watch it after the tree is up.

I started thinking about all the expectations I have around the holidays.  I have ideas about how I want it to go, how it ought to go, how it ideally should go.  This is never how it really goes.  Having a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder has taught me a lot about letting of loaded expectations.  Oh, I still have expectations, but they have changed, in order to be less rigid, so I can meet him at least halfway.

This week on Everyday Autism Miracles we’re going to talk frankly about the reality of holidays with Asperger’s Syndrome.  Joining us will be several of our interns, all college students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  We’ll talk about what the holidays are like for them, what they think are great gifts and how to stow your rigidity issues so you can enjoy your child and the holidays.  Join us and join the conversation on Friday at 2pm EST, 11am PST on Toginet Radio.

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Toys for Kids on the Spectrum

By Shannon Penrod

‘Tis the season to talk about toys.  I don’t know what it’s like for parents who only have neurotypical kids, but in our house we make two lists; things my son wants and things we think will help him to learn and grow.  Then we try to meld the two lists together in a feat of budget desperation.  It’s not always perfect but we usually do okay.  I generally try to talk to other parents and see what has helped their kids, this is a great resource for toy ideas. 

I also watch what other kids have on play dates and what my son responds to.  A couple of years ago he went on a play date to a friend’s house and they had the Cranium game Hullabaloo.  I had been considering buying the one that came with a little console, my friend’s son had the DVD version and my son loved it.  For the first time ever he played with a friend instead of next to him.  I bought the game and years later it is still a favorite when friends come over. It builds listening skills, coordination, higher level thinking, sharing, space awareness and socialization skills.  And it’s fun, not bad for one little toy!

This week on Everyday Autism Miracles we are going to be talking about toys, toys, toys!  What’s good?  What’s educational?  What’s great for kids who put things in their mouths?  What’s a waste of money?   Can anyone tell me how to talk my son out of those battling hamsters? 

We have several different toy experts dropping by to offer their best suggestions and several of our interns will be offering up advice about what to get older kids on the spectrum.

If you have a toy that you want to recommend or tell parents to skip give us a call during the live show and share your story.  If you aren’t available for the live show but have a question or comment you can send it directly to me  The live show airs on every Friday at 2pm EST, 1pm Central, Noon Mountain Time and 11am Pacific Standard time.

For more information on Everyday Autism Miracles visit  free podcasts of all of our shows are available there and on iTunes.  To call into the live show, dial 877.864.4869

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