parent helping boy cook

Are you the parent of a child with ASD? 
Special learning needs?

Ever feel confused?  Unclear?  Helpless?

Are you tired of trying to figure out what is going to work?

Do you feel that your child is capable of more but you’re not sure how to get there?

I’m glad you’re here!

Having a child on the autism spectrum can be pretty frustrating when things don’t go well. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I can show you how to use some simple visual tools that will help you and your child have more successful days.

I’m not claiming miracles or magic, but I’ll share what one mom wrote to me.

Dear Linda:

I really can’t tell you how much it has meant to me to be able to meet you and attend your conference.  You have impacted my life in so many ways and the conference and your book have taught me so much and have helped me tremendously in understanding and communicating with my son.

For him, communication is at the core of his deficits and is at the center of everything we do. . .

The day I was handed a copy of your book is the moment when my life with my son began to turn around and change.

Prior to this, my child had many emotional outbursts especially since he has high deficits in the areas of expressive language and deficits in receptive language. Because he had difficulty in communicating and getting the words out, his behavior became his communication to express his needs, wants, objections or frustrations.

Other emotions would arise like fear and anxiety because he did not understand what was expected of him nor was he able to sequence and organize effectively.  He also had difficulty in understanding the steps in an activity, working through an activity, finishing an activity and knowing how to transition to the next activity.

I know and understand these things now, but as a new parent many times I felt quite overwhelmed.

I remember when I used to pick him up from preschool. On some occasions we would need to go to the store and he would have a complete meltdown because we did not go directly home.  In his mind, when I picked him up from school we were supposed to go home.  On the days when we didn’t go straight home and I deviated from the normal routine, it was very upsetting to him.

I felt like I was walking on eggshells.

Then one day, my son’s speech pathologist handed me a copy of your book, “Visual Strategies for Improving Communication.”

As I began reading your book, I thought, “He needs more information.”  I soon realized that there was a communication breakdown and he needed more information so that he could understand.

I began making schedules and transition aides and I would sit down and review them with him.  To my surprise, it worked!

Something else happened. The emotional outbursts decreased as well.

Today, we use visual strategies every day.  Our day starts with a daily schedule detailing all the activities for the day.  If I forget to put one together, my son will ask for the schedule and will read it back to me. . .

I have found for my son, it is not enough to say it, you have to show him words and/or pictures to increase his understanding.

Right now, at home we are using visual strategies in working with our family dog.  Animals can provide great therapy and unconditional love for special needs children as well as help them learn to engage and socially connect.

Some children, like my son, do not have the skills to make that social connection or know how to go about making that connection.  With our dog, we use a written schedule that says for example,

  • Go see Holly,
  • Say “Hi” to Holly
  • Pet Holly
  • Throw the Ball to Holly
  • Give Holly a treat
  • Say “Bye” to Holly

It is something so simple and so natural for most all children, but yet I need to break this down for him to understand. It has been really great so far.  He is beginning to make that connection with our dog and loves to go see her and gets excited to give her treats.

We still work hard on many things, but by giving him more information, it has increased his understanding tremendously. 

These days, it is extremely rare for him to have any kind of emotional outburst.  And because we are able to communicate and understand each other better, we both feel more peace inside.

Thank you for everything,

YOU can do this.  It’s not hard.

You just need to know what to do.

You’ll be relieved when your child manages situations without the meltdowns or problems that have occurred in the past.  And you’ll feel confident to use visual strategies as a foundation for your family activities.

Whether you’re the parent of a young child with a new autism diagnosis or you have a child on the spectrum who is older but still needs help with situations, I can help you find solutions.

I would love to work with you!