I have had an idea for a post swirling around in my head for a while now.  But I am in need of reader help before the fact. And it occurred to me that a giveaway would be a great way to elicit your help.  Here’s my idea.  I was thinking about how wonderful Temple Grandin is in her way to provide a window to the perspective and experience of an individual with autism.  But I kept thinking about all the questions that I wish I could ask her if I could have her over to dinner.  Though, due to her likely busy schedule and distance from my home, that isn’t likely to happen.  And, having noticed that things that one of us in the autism parenting community are thinking tend to reflect what others are thinking as well, I thought that perhaps you guys might find it interesting to have access to a panel of other adult individuals-whom you might not have heard of- with autism spectrum diagnoses.  My question is:  What would you ask a person with autism/Asperger’s if you had a chance to?  What are you curious about?  What question or issue would you like their perspective on rather than the view of a neurotypical writing a book about it?  I have assembled a group of fairly well-known (blogger, author, speaker, etc.) individuals with autism who are on board for this project.  They are interested in answering questions that parents of autistic children would like to put to them.  However, I don’t want to hog the discussion.  I need some help coming up with good questions.

So, to enter the giveaway for a free copy of Bobbi Sheahan’s book, all you need to do is leave a comment below containing one interesting question to put to the panel.  The first question I select for the panel interview will be the winner of the giveaway.  Think carefully about your question.  What would you most like to ask if given the opportunity?  All questions must be submitted by Friday, January 27th.  The winner will be announced and emailed on Monday, January 30th.

Thanks for your entries and your help.  I’m kind of excited about this panel interview.  🙂

45 responses »

  1. Laverne says:

    If you ever were medicated as a child how did it make you feel?

  2. What great questions!!
    I can’t wait to see who wins!! 😀

    • FlappinessIs says:

      I know! I’m really looking forward to this autism panel post. The contributers are an interesting group of people whom I was thrilled to pieces to receive the go-ahead from. Being that there are five of them, it is possible the interview may published in parts. Thanks for helping me get some great questions, Bobbi!

  3. Vanessa says:

    I’d love to ask what they most wish NT people knew about what it’s like to hav e an ASD.

  4. Question? Just one?? lol I don’t know that I could limit myself! But here goes…

    Do you feel the need to make friends, and just can’t communicate well enough with others? Or do you feel like friendships are not essential? (I wonder if my son (6yo) wants friends, but can’t figure out how to establish them, or if he is fine by himself. I wouldn’t want to be “helping” him to make friends, when he doesn’t really want to. But then again, should I push him to try, simply b/c making friends is a huge deal in getting places in life?).

  5. Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

    If you could trade brains with a non-autistic person for a day, would you do it and why?

  6. Yonatan Koch says:

    I am an Early Intervention Special Education teacher working with two and here year olds on the Autistic Spectrum. My question is this: how do you think you have benefited from Early Intervention services.

  7. Kelly says:

    I love these questions.

    I suppose I would like to ask a person with autism, “Are you happy being who you are.?

    I mean it seems therapy is always trying to change who the people are…perhaps the world should just accept them this way and that would make them happy. I know my older boy with ASD is very happy and he is happy to have parents who don’t try to change who he is. I figure it must be frustrating for children on the spectrum who feel people are always trying to change them.

  8. Sarah Williams says:

    Some very good questions have been asked already, be very interested to see answers.
    My question is :-
    Can you try to explain how you feel when you are sensory seeking or distressed by noise or other sensory things?

  9. Lisa says:

    My question to Tate would be, “how can I help you enjoy life?”

    I know he HAS to do therapy to navigate our world, but how can I help him really enjoy this special life….

  10. Joanna K-V says:

    What is one key thing that we “typicals” could do to make a successful journey for you easier?

  11. Kelli says:

    I have 2 little girls with autism and they are total opposite’s when it comes to being on the spectrum. Do you think girls are being over looked for autism or are they on the rise as well for autism?

  12. Marcella Lemos says:

    I’m a mom to a 3yr old boy who is non verbal. I’d love to know what therapys help the most, but that’s more of a typical question.
    Looking at my son, I realize I only know autism from the outside; so what was autism to you growing up?
    Because some of our kids don’t speak, that’s the question we can’t answer.

  13. Jennifer Lane says:

    What does Autism feel like to My Son?

  14. Jen says:

    My question stems from some frustration I am experiencing in the process of trying to get my son diagnosed. He is almost 7, and though we have been seeing specialists and therapists for years, he remains undiagnosed, despite all the times I have specifically requested evaluation for Asperger’s/PDD… I really hate coming away from yet another appointment having heard, “he’s practically normal”, or “he’ll likely grow out of it” or something similar. Don’t get me wrong, I would love it if he was “normal”, but the truth is, he just isn’t. He’s special and I love him more than I could have imagined possible to love anyone, but he needs more that what I am currently able to give him as we are lacking further diagnosis.

    So, my question is, what do I need to look for in a “specialist” so that I know s/he is truly qualified to diagnose my son, so that I can feel confident in their answers?

  15. Angela F says:

    I am mother to a 15 year old with autism and a 5 year old with PDD NOS. My interests is in learning about the transitioning to adulthood. I feel that many parents worry – will my child grow up to find love, marriage, family and employment – if that is what he/she wants. I would like to know what advice can you give to an autistic person who is seeking a romantic relationship.

  16. Shannon says:

    This question is coming from a 9 yr old older brother. It is also a simple question but one that all parents really want to know, especially if they have a nonverbal child. It broke my heart when I ask my oldest son what he would like to know about his brother if he had a chance…

    Do you know what love feels like? Do you know how to love back? Do you love me?

  17. niza pereira says:

    Do you think autistic prefer to think than having verbal communication,therefore just chosing not 2 speak?

  18. Silvia says:

    My beloved almost 4 year old son is autistic and I’ve always wondered which one area should we be more concentrated on trying to help him deal with (sensory processing disorder, social interaction, general learning, speech therapy? etc). In the panelists opinion, which particular area of difficulty should be addressed the most for achieving an overall sense of well-being and self worth?

  19. Sonya Ewens says:

    I am a single parent with a delightful 10 year old son who has High Functioning Autism. My question is one that hounds me 24/7 and I am really keen to receive some feedback regardless of the competition.

    I have had to work really hard to “let go”, so to speak and let me child become more independent as my son has become older. With it being just the two of us, i have fallen into the pattern of forward thinking and risk control. It took my counselor to point out that I needed to back off and let him do things for himself. I have done this but we are stuck on two major issues. Wiping after toileting due to fine motor, and tactile issues and the use of public toilets (he was accidentally locked in one while with a care provider and really freaks out if the door is locked).

    How can I help him over come this or do i keep assisting?

    Help 🙂

    New Zealand

  20. KO says:

    Do you think autism is more a state of being than a pathology one is afflicted with?

    I have three little boys ages 5, 4, and 2. The older two are autistic. For us (and them as well), it is just who they are. They always have been and always will be autistic just the same as they will always have blue eyes, etc. I wonder if people can ever see it this way?

  21. Kelly Hutchinson says:

    I have a 10 year old Aspie and what we struggle with most is the behavioral issues . When our son gets angry/frustrated/irritated, he lashes out verbally and physically. It is my understanding that there is almost a disconnect with the thought process when dealing with these issues, so they will get angry and lash out without the delay most people have to consider the consequences of inappropriate behavior. My question is a two parter: Is it possible to describe how/what you think/feel if you have impulse control issues and how did your parents discipline or teach you for/about the negative behavior.

  22. angie-lee SToffers says:

    I have three children two on the spectrum my daughter is almost 7 and she has Aspergers but her little brother has High functioning autism, is non verbal and has sensory dysfunction coupled with a very severe anxiety disorder he is only 2.5 yrs old. I struggle daily with the basics with him but i would like to ask:

    How can i teach my young child being only 2.5 yrs to communicate with us and his family? We cannot contain his attention for signing have tried Auslan/makaton he has no interest or none that we can see is there a more effective communication method for young children? He appears to be regressing into himself further and further as the months go on being able to understand and communicate with him would help us all immenlsy to help him?


  23. Melanie Barwiler says:

    My question is directed at my son…When you repeat movie dialog are you mentally watching the movie to be able to do so.

  24. Delores Goneau says:

    What specific type of therapy would YOU recomend for high function children?

  25. Jessica says:

    Mine is a simple question I wish my son could answer.

    Are you Happy?

  26. lismk says:

    This is such an interesting idea; I look forward to follow-up posts.

    “How would you like people to perceive you?”

  27. Lana says:

    I am the mother of a GIRL with Autism and would like to know Temples theory on why so many more boys get the diagnosis of Autism then girls. I have a theory of my own but it is just something intriguing to me.

    • FlappinessIs says:

      Ms. Grandin isn’t actually one of the people on this panel. Although having her participate would be a thrill, I thought to hear from some new voices on the spectrum. I have no doubt Ms. Grandin is entirely too busy to respond to every interview request, but perhaps she might consider answering your question. I’ll give it a whirl. You don’t know unless you ask, right? 🙂

      • Lana says:

        I am so sorry, I guess I did not read the instructions very well. I just wanted to win the book. I do have a friend that is having dinner with Temple Grandin next week (she is over the moon) I don’t necessarily need her to answer just trying to spark a new and interesting topic.

  28. Stacia Loomis says:

    I love this idea..of being able to ask questions to adults with Autism/Aspergers. My question would be, “What is the most important thing that your parents did to help you in your journey with an Autism Spectrum Disorder”?

  29. Erin says:

    I am a mother of 4, the oldest is 18, then 15 and then twin 5 year olds. My twins have High Functioning Autism. My question is this “What would you suggest a parent convey to and IEP team what would work best to help you in a mainstream classroom with the rules, teaching by the teacher, transitioning from class to gym etc, and dealing with your peers?”

  30. Robin says:

    I am the mother to an almost 5 year old son on the spectrum, as he gets older I worry about him being picked on when he is mainstreamed into the regular school district from the preschool for children with autism he currently attends. My question would be:

    If you could give any advice to parents on how to teach our children to cope with being teased and bullied for being “different”, what would it be?

  31. Tina says:

    What do you wish your parents did or did not do at all or enough to help you with your Autism and issues that come with it? What do you think you could have done if anything to make others understand you?

    I often wonder if I am not patient enough with my son. He has been Dx with Aspergers and Tourettes together. He has a hard time when he is excited or frustrated to say what he needs to. This is when I need more patience with him. Other than those times he is able to communicate.

  32. Will my child ever know what it feels like to be healthy?

  33. cindy says:

    I never knew that we had two additional senses, vestibular & Proprioceptive senses. I think it is strange and maybe some one can explain why, that he is such s sensory seeker, crashing into stuff, looks very uncoordinated, but can walk perfectly on a balance beam. How can that be??

  34. Kay says:

    Aside from unconditional love, what was the most important thing your mother did (or you wish she had done) to help you achieve a full and happy adult life?

  35. Jessica Savage says:

    I have a 3 yr old with Autism and we are very new to this world.
    We see alot fo doctors/specialists and therapists etc for my son already and can not even imagine how many more we will see in his lifetime. So my question would be…….
    If you could go back and talk to all those therapists, doctors, specialists, what would you say to them? By that I mean, would you thank them? Would you tell them they dont know what they are talking about?

  36. Kate Morse says:

    I am the mother of a 4 year old wonderfully autistic son.

    I can see the brilliance that my son keeps inside. While others may see him as delayed and “slow”, I see how apt and smart he is but unable to fully show his potential. Sure, I have read tons of information how to bring out his best but there’s just so much information. If I could provide only 5 items or tools to help him communicate and urge his growth, what would they be? Please keep in mind – most of us aren’t rich and our insurance doesn’t cover ABA therapy, some live in areas where there are no support groups, etc…so the tools should be accessible to everyone.

    Even if I don’t win the giveaway, it would be nice to receive any feedback to this question.


  37. jennifer says:

    Here is my question, but please read my comment afterward also:
    What was\is the biggest thing about autism that you did not understand as a child\teenager\young adult that would have made your journey into aduthood easier?

    Actually, if you go to Temple Grandin’s website there is a ‘question form’ where you can submit a question and she will answer. I asked and about a week, maybe two, later I got a very thoughtful reply.

    • FlappinessIs says:

      I’m really glad you pointed that out. I didn’t mean to imply she is inaccessible as a person – merely that due to so many people wanting access to her that it might be difficult. She does have a “Ask Temple Grandin” feature on her page. In fact, here it is: http://www.templegrandin.com/
      She is a personal hero of mine – long before I had an autistic child – and she is tireless in her advocacy for autism.

  38. How did you find out about your diagnosis? Did a parent, loved one or professional tell you? How did it feel to hear those words? What were your thoughts?

  39. Suzanne Keyes says:

    What need does stimming fill, specifically? Does it help reorient one mentally, physically or both?

  40. I am the mother of 5, my youngest is three and was diagnosed in November. My question is this –

    What was the best way that you have been -or wished to have been- supported through your journey through life by the people that raised you?

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