Stop Banning Autistic Stimming Because of Fidget Spinners

Are the new fidget spinners driving you crazy? Autistic stimming and fidget toys differ in purpose. An informed perspective offers an attitude shift for educators who want to become aware of the differences. Fidgets are marketing as a toy to keep the fingers busy, specifically for a kid who has focusing issues. Focusing issues are […]

Concern: Skype Piano Lessons Will Never Work for My Autistic Child Because…

I only teach piano to nonspeaking and autistic students. All the lessons are online through Skype or FaceTime, even for families who live locally nearby. This helps me reach students all over the world and in underserviced areas. The format is a 1:1 personalized lesson, not a class taught to more than one student. Oftentime, […]

Teaching piano student to stim as overwhelm prevention

Two nonverbal preteens played the piano yesterday. They are my tough fighters, but also spell using RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) letterboards. They frequently type their complaints about their brain-body disconnect and how embarrassing it is that they can’t show through their fingers that they know the music. Me: “Who else sees your body like this? […]

Autistic ABA Survivors Grow into Soul-Crushed Teenagers: Tracing the Roots of the Damage

All humans are born with the capacity and drive to seek out a distinct individual sense of self. This agency is robbed of autistic people who are conditioned under behavioral therapy with ABA (applied behavior therapy) to have a misconstrued sense of influence and control. ABA is discrimination because the behaviors to be modified are […]

Undoing operant conditioning trauma with autistic piano students

ABA for autistics is based on Skinner’s operant conditioning for dogs. In this video, you can see the lone dog waiting for permission to have fun. Watching this clip, I can almost hear the ABA kid saying, “Miss Ashley–what am I working for? After I swim for 5 minutes, can I have 15 minutes of […]

Reframing Autistic Behavior Problems as Self Preservation: A Freudian View

Autistic disruptive and injurious behaviors are often seen as problematic. Sensory overload significantly distresses the autistic brain and triggers a halt in all cognitive abilities. Oftentimes, such ‘shutdowns’ might even be undetected sub-clinical seizures. Physiologically, the abrupt onset of sensory overload shutdowns are characterized by eye twitching, headaches, rage, and episodes of staring blankly into […]

Autism and Perfect Pitch

The Autism and Perfect Pitch Connection By: Henny Kupferstein. March 23, 2014 I teach autistic and non-verbal individuals to sight-read music for piano in the classical tradition. Using Skype as a conduit for maintaining a global practice, I incorporate musical paraphrasing to validate client expression. The reciprocation of sound teaches the client that they have […]

Resources

Shortcut links for this page: Videos to see, Books to read, and Sensory products to try. NEW BOOK! Perfect Pitch in the Key of Autism A Guide for Educators, Parents and the Musically Gifted. Henny Kupferstein and Susan Rancer ASD Professional Network – teachers, clinicians, practitioners Closed FaceBook Group (Administrator: Henny K.) To watch: Temple Grandin, the movie. […]