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Adventures in Autism 004 05-25-15 Comforting Things

Open Eyes Podcast



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Comfort items and foods are important for those with Autism, and in this episode, Jolene and Ira discuss some of what works, what doesn’t, and what has been horrible in our experiences.


We also talk a little about Aggressive behavior.



Adventures in Autism is a show about our experiences with our son, Seth, diagnosed with Severe Autism at the age of 3. It has been a difficult journey, but an adventure nonetheless.

Each week, we will bring you a different topic and how it relates to a child with autism. Topics will include things like siblings, favorite foods, toys that work (and ones that don’t!), schooling, emotions and more.

The show will air on Mondays and Fridays at 12:00 PM and 12:00 AM EST.

IF you have a story of your own relating to autism, please contact us and come be a part of the show.


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The following are the show notes used to record this episode. They are here for your reference and convenience.



A headteacher endured a six-month ‘disability hate crime’ investigation by police and council bureaucrats because she said an autistic pupil had ‘special needs’.

Janet Felkin, 60, was stunned to discover she had been reported to police after using the innocuous phrase during a governors’ meeting.

The school leader, who was described as ‘outstanding’ by colleagues, was discussing a child with autism when she referred to the pupil’s ‘special needs’, a standard term used regularly within education.

But after minutes of the meeting were posted online, the pupil’s father complained to the authorities, claiming his child would be offended by the phrase.

The father, a parent-governor at Blatchington Mill, a secondary school in Hove, East Sussex, said the child was ‘highly intelligent’ and the use of ‘special needs’ constituted a hate crime.

After fighting the accusations for six months, Miss Felkin has finally been cleared of any wrongdoing. She said yesterday: ‘It is a matter of great regret to me that I have had to spend a great deal of time and energy in dealing with ongoing vexatious accusations from a particular individual.




comfort items.. comfort foods… aggression topic

Comfort Items

  • Blankets… either the weighted or otherwise
  • Weighted items
  • Textilely comforting items (soft bear, velvet cloth, rough jeans, or even a textile patch that has multiple textiles)
  • Special items… could be as intimate as a teddy bear of their favorite color from santa (like seth) or a plastic shovel toy (like that article you told me and an autism boy attending a flight had his plastic, I believe you said shovel, taken away.. but the mom did have another).. cup.. clothing.. for Seth of late rocks and crystals
  • showers and bathing… when seth was younger a bath would cheer him up like a charm.. nowadays it is the same with showers.. not necessarily an item but bathing and being in water can be very comforting
comfort foods
  • anything really… seths is chips or crackers… him and crackers have always been best buds lol
  • sweets obviously.. however if they are misbehaving like tantruming this wont be good.. but if they are just sad this could help
  • drinks… special drink or smoothie that they love.. better yet make it together
  • remove them from all sensory input if you can.. obviously this can be difficult, especially if you are out in the public
  • let them cover up in a blanket if they wish and cry it out.. though do watch in case they accidently harm themselves
  • if physically harmful.. take away any items they may be using.. and if need be.. constrain the person till they are calm again
  • try to convince them to bathe.. water can be very soothing.. however not all may not be.. so decide which is best for your child.. have them bathe a long time in water to ‘reset’ them
  • if they are upset over a situation out of everyones control, such as a power outage that therefore prevents the child from watching a show, make a joke about it and stay lighthearted about it “Oh man, the electricity is so silly! I cannot believe it turned off!”.. do it often enough and the next time any event happens out of anyones control and it wont be so kuch of a meltdown
  • if the upset is over food… accomedate them for it. Remember, they are more sensitive to the different senses. Something about the food may bother them in ways we cannot understand. Push and praise for trying new things, but dont make it an argument.. have substitute foods ready. If you go out to eat.. try and make sure they will have something they would like.. and explain it to them before you even leave
  • if the child does have a comfort item.. try giving it to them may help.. however you touching it may make things worse too
  • If the aggression is based on something that can be removed, do so… example, certain shows, smells, sounds. Sometimes this may mean making sacrifices, but it is worth it for the happiness and health of your autistic loved one.

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