Author Archives: Bec Oakley

Understanding Repetitive Behaviors

What’s The Difference Between Routines, Perseveration and Stimming? One of the defining aspects of autism is a tendency towards repetitive behaviors such as stimming, perseveration and routines. But despite being grouped together these all have quite different causes and functions, so I thought it might be helpful to take a...

The Taste of Success

  I heard grunting from the kitchen and knew what it meant. My son Alex was trying hard to make his own breakfast but was locked in a battle with his arch nemesis, the butter knife. To him, spreading jam on his toast is just another in a...

Helping Autistic Kids To Try New Things

Last year the kids and I discovered geocaching, a kind of treasure hunt to find hidden containers using only GPS coordinates. I was excited because it combines a bunch of things that my oldest son Max really enjoys – maps, numbers, puzzles – so I was pretty sure that it...

An Autism-Friendly Guide to Gift Giving

Amidst all the fun and celebration, the holiday season can also be a big source of stress for many autistic kids. Routines are disrupted and there’s a lot of sensory overload to cope with, not to mention all the extra social situations. These can all quickly add up to make...

Finding Safe and Supportive Spaces Online

Fifteen years ago when my kids were diagnosed with autism, online resources and support were really hard to find. Parents often felt isolated and disconnected from others going through the same challenges. Today there’s the opposite problem – information and support groups are everywhere! So the problem has now become how to find reliable...

Advocacy Without Anger

Some days I’m sick and tired of having to be a demanding parent. Just for once I want to get what we need without having to ask or argue. The nature of special needs means that accommodations for our kids are never provided automatically. They have to be specifically requested,...

Tips To Ease The Transition Into Summer

Ah, summer. The weather’s warmer, there’s no homework to argue about or lunches to pack. But while you might be dreaming of long lazy days spent by the pool, for kids with autism or sensory processing disorders this time of year can be the most difficult. The end of the...