Tools to help your child with autism transition into adolescence and adulthood

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child playing a gameNew data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children are being identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This estimate is 60% higher than the estimate for 2006 (1 in 110) and roughly 120% higher than the estimate for 2002 (1 in 150). As the fastest-growing serious developmental disability with no medical detection or cure, there remains an urgent need for continued research. This need becomes even more dire when you consider that about half a million of these children will become adults with autism within the next eight years.…

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Your gay or lesbian teen may be at risk for depression or even suicide, part 2.

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Your gay or lesbian teen may be at risk for depression or even suicide, part 2.In Part 1, we’ve explained how you can recognize the risks of depression in your gay or lesbian teen and how you can help them. An LGBT teen (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) may also be at risk for suicide. In this situation, they are likely to demonstrate some or all of the signs of clinical depression previously outlined and these are likely to be present at an even stronger level.

If you recognize the following signs in your teen, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Signs of potential suicide may include:

  • Overwhelming sadness or severe
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Your gay or lesbian teen may be at risk for depression or even suicide, part 1

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Your gay or lesbian teen may be at risk for depression or even suicide, part 1While the publicity around the “It gets better” campaign has died down, the seriousness of the issue remains. We’ve all heard stories of serious and ongoing bullying that has gone so far as to cause a young person to commit suicide. LGBT teens (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) are often targets of bullying. This harassment causes stress which adds to the acute anxiety and emotional confusion they may feel about their different sexual orientation. They may feel that they never will be accepted for who they are and that they will never fit in despite infrequent messages from the broader …

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Sexual identity and teens: supporting your teen on their journey part 2

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Sexual identity and teens: supporting your teen on their journey part 2We talked about how you can support your teen as they explore their sexual orientation. Part of your teen’s journey may involve coming out, or disclosing information about their sexual identity and/or gender orientation to their family, friends and eventually society as a whole. This is an ongoing decision making process. Weighing the risks can be stressful for everyone involved. If your teen is thinking of coming out, here are some points to consider:

  • They first need to feel comfortable with who they are before they can “come out” and expect others to feel comfortable with them. This can
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Sexual identity and teens: supporting your teen on their journey part 1

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Sexual identity and teens: supporting your teen on their journey part 1Being a teenager is a difficult experience. Teens experience a host of changes as they mature. They also begin to explore their sexuality and to develop their sexual identity and may question their sexual orientation. They may feel confused, isolated, and very vulnerable. These are all completely natural emotions and behaviours.

Helping your teen through this can be stressful for a parent. Many people struggle with their sexual orientation at some point in their lives. It is important that your teen knows that all forms of sexuality are normal and healthy.

The term “sexual orientation” is used to identify …

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Facing your fears: Overcoming a phobia

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Facing your fears: overcoming a phobiaFor some people it’s flying. For others it’s dogs. There are people who are afraid of going to parties, or of public speaking. All of these are called phobias. The word describes any fear of a specific situation or object. And for some people, they can be extremely limiting, getting in the way of living a full and happy life.

If you have a phobia, you probably already know it. If you always take the stairs and never ride in elevators, you may be claustrophobic. If you wouldn’t dream of going on a trip to a rainforest for fear …

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