My Autism Story

Amy shares her attempt at trying to explain what autism is like from her son’s perspective.

My name is Barclay.  I am almost four years old.  I have autism.  My mom wanted you to know what autism was like for me and even though I can’t tell you myself, she understands me well enough that I trust her to get it mostly right! Continue reading “My Autism Story”

Eating with Autism: The Happy Dance

Amy shares a humorous, yet informative way she and her husband use ABA therapy strategies during mealtime.

My husband and I often call Barclay’s food preferences The Nursing Home Diet. Barclay prefers his food soft, bland and room temperature.  But the truth is, up to 80 percent of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), like Barclay, have issues related to eating. This is the result of numerous reasons such as sensory-related issues (aversions to flavors, textures, temperatures), side-effects of medications, and often a hypo-sensitivity to even being able to recognize the symptoms of hunger. Continue reading “Eating with Autism: The Happy Dance”

Sixty to Zero: Our Unique Bedtime Routine

Amy shares her and her husband’s unique way of preparing their son for bed and challenges parents to look at their child’s evening routine and see if it’s working.


My father-in-law, Ole, was here visiting this past week.  We live in Orlando, Florida and he lives in Vancouver, Canada so we don’t see each other often. Barclay was thrilled to have a new playmate!  He and Grandad had a blast together.  The first night as it neared bedtime Ole was watching Barclay play.  We were all upstairs in the playroom and Barclay was running toy to toy and jumping on his trampoline.  Ole asked me if it was time to start winding Barclay down.  Continue reading “Sixty to Zero: Our Unique Bedtime Routine”

Bigger than Barclay

Amy Nielsen shares what inspired her to start the blog “Big Abilities” and explains her hope to help shift the mindset in families who have children with developmental disabilities to focusing on their child’s strengths in addition to their struggles.

What if all day, every day you were forced to focus on what you struggle with?  What if you had to spend hours and hours trying to get better at something you have no interest in?  What if the people around you were continuously talking about your weaknesses?  Unfortunately, this is the space where so many children with developmental disabilities live. Continue reading “Bigger than Barclay”