Monthly Archives: November 2014

Official International Program Day Off

Thursday, November 27, 2014—NACD Worldwide Blessing and Day Off

Happy Thanksgiving!

NACD Logo White on BlueThanksgiving is the one day a year when we in the United States pause to come together as family and friends to give thanks for the blessings of the preceding year and to reunite.

All of us at NACD see all of you from around the world as part of our family, and we would like not only to thank you for letting us into your family, but also invite you to take Thursday off of program and join us in a universal day of Thanksgiving. You folks have worked hard to help your children and family members to have a better life, and like you, I feel blessed and privileged to have been able to help and participate.

Please take tomorrow, Thursday, off program to give thanks, but also to focus on yourselves and your immediate family and your extended NACD family. Most of us have seen changes over the past year, some life-altering fantastic changes, while others are still clawing their way forward; but we all have a chance and opportunity, and for that we can all be thankful.

We at NACD are privileged to know you and to serve you. Please, each and every one of you, congratulate yourselves on your successes and your efforts and try to appreciate the huge collective advances we, the global NACD family, have made over the past year. Next year we will all strive to be more and do better; but tomorrow please take the day off to give thanks, hopefully smile, and share in the collective NACD glow.


Eye Contact

autism_articleI just passed a billboard on the freeway that had a picture of a child and said something like (I was perhaps traveling a little fast and only caught the sign out of the corner of my eye): “Avoiding making eye contact is a sign of autism.” Really!

A child not making eye contact might be a sign that they have a visual problem, are lying, or anxious, or insecure, or even doing something terrible like visualizing and thinking. Is it true that many autistic children make poor eye contact? Yes. But do they “avoid” eye contact? No. “Avoid” implies that the child is consciously not doing something, like connecting to you. This perception harkens back to the old psychiatric perception of autism and links to the old refrigerator mother nonsense.

Autistic children who have not yet developed good central vision, and who more often than not function largely with their peripheral vision, do not make good eye contact simply because they can’t; and if you try and force many of them to look at your face, you are in fact making it very difficult for them to see you.

I hope parents of autistic children can avoid those professionals who feel that their children choose to avoid making eye contact with them.

Another Peek at Potential

Today I had an initial evaluation with a very cute, sweet 6 year old girl from Romania. This terrific child is being homeschooled by her mother and grandmother and is doing rather well, actually, exceptionally well.

This amazing child is a native speaker of both Romanian and English (I don’t know that she has ever been out of Romania and speaks with zero accent) and reads both languages at about a 4th or 5th grade level, is advanced in French, which she reads as well, is conversational in Spanish and German, and is presently learning Russian and Italian. Languages are her passion.

It never ceases to amaze me what we can do, where we can function, if we are passionate about what we are doing and learning. Intensity, Intensity, Intensity. You’ve got to love it! This little girl is doing what she is doing because she can, because her family has been able to help her pursue her passion.

Part of my discussion with her mother today was about mandatory school attendance, which will become an issue next year. How do we continue to provide her with the same kind of opportunities that she can receive at home? How can we help her pursue her passions?

These peeks at potential keep driving me to find new and better ways to help all of our children.

How do we stop school from not only interfering with her education, but stop it from killing her passions, her individuality, and her opportunity to become a truly wonderful, unique person?

Do you think that most schools really provide a vehicle for most of us to pursue our passions, to become exceptional and provide a foundation for us to spend our lives excelling and enjoying life engaged, contributing and doing things that we are passionate about?

What do you think?




Good Morning, World!

IMG_7084I started my day with a double shot. When I get it I’m off and running, and when I don’t something is missing. My drive thru coffee shop of choice here in Ogden, The Daily Rise, starts my day off with a double shot of energy. The Daily Rise is not on my way to the office, but it’s well worth the extra few minutes of driving time and the wait (often there are half a dozen cars waiting at each of their windows). The slogan on the front of the building says, “Promoting Positive Energy, ” and they do know how to do it right. The building has drive thru windows on both sides, and as you drive up to the window you are greeted by each of the two, three, or sometimes four young energetic people making the coffee. With my travel schedule and days working from home, I’m a rather infrequent patron; but each and every time I drive up to the window I’m greeted by every employee by name, then one generally shouts out, “Bob, large house blend, two shots and cream.” And another shouts out, “Bob you’re looking good!” “How you doing today?” “Wow, I sure like that car.” They know my name, they know my drink, and they start my day on a high note and certainly promote positive energy. Today when I opened up my email I had a super email thank you card from one of our families and got another shot of positive energy.

Tough to beat positive energy—let’s all try and start our days with as much of it as we can.