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Here is a great resource for parents new to the awesome world of Autism!  If you want to learn how to practice emerging language skills at home Hanen‘s More Than Words – Guidebook and DVD is a great place to start.  Parents using this resource learn REAL LIFE ways to practice and illicit emerging language skills.

In my opinion, when you are dealing with ASD; the more you can practice skills in real life or pretend practice real life scenarios the better off you’re going to be.  One of the first questions I always ask myself as a clinician is “Can this work or practice be done in a real life situation?” and if that’s not possible “Is there a way to pretend this is a real life situation so the concept is not a new or abrupt change when the child is confronted with this situation in real life?” No, Hanen doesn’t pay me.  They are just awesome!  Seriously awesome!  Don’t take my word for it.  There’s a lot of research to back up my claims of awesomeness.

In addition to the More Than Words – Guidebook and DVD,  Hanen has a wide variety of products and resources for all ages and skill levels.  So if you aren’t new to ASD; it’s still worth your while to visit their online parent resources page.

When I think about helping kids with Autism I’m always reminded of a quote by the late great Townes Van Zant

I don’t think you can ever do your best. Doing your best is a process of trying to do your best.” 

All kids are work.  Neurotypical or disabled, you will have to do some work if you are a parent.  As a parent of a child with ASD your work or process may be different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach the same destination of your child achieving the best life possible. Remember, “Your child will only stay the same if you stay the same!”