Category Archives: autism

Echolalia and Autism

Echolalia and Autism

 

Echolalia is the involuntary repetition of words or phrases spoken by others or heard through some type of medium. Echolalia is a phenomenon that is common among children with autism. While the typically developing child develops speech through imitation, these imitations quickly evolve into creative use of words to form language. For the child with autism and echolalic traits, this process may take much longer if it even happens at all.

Echolalia can be either immediate or delayed. In the case of immediate echolalia, the child repeats what is heard from others immediately. For example, the parent may ask, ‘How was school today?’ and the child repeats ‘How was school today’? In the case of delayed echolalia the child is repeating phrases he has been exposed to after hours, days, months or even years. For example, a child may repeat a phrase from a commercial that he finds interesting.

echolalia autism
A different form of communication

 

These repetitions can serve a variety of purposes to the child. In the case of immediate echolalia it may give the child more time to process a question or comment. In the case of delayed echolalia, certain sounds or phrases may be associated with certain emotions or experiences. During stressful times, repeating certain phrases may provide comfort. Other phrases may be repeated simply because they provide a combination of amusement and stimulation.

Many children with echolalic traits are fortunate to have them in comparison to those on the severe end of the autism spectrum. Echolalia can sometimes be a foundation for the ability to develop functional communication later in life. While these expressions may not make sense to most people, parents learn that it is still communication and need to adapt to its nuances. Over time they end up interpreting each phrase and the motivation and emotions associated with it.

Autism themed books by Mark Ferdinand. Fiction and nonfiction:

Fortune on the Spectrum

Denny was diagnosed with autism at three years of age. Autism gave him the gift of obsession. This gift made him the youngest, self-made millionaire in Texas history. Autism also made him vulnerable to the forces of the outside world, of both society and nature. Fortune on the Spectrum is the journey of an unstoppable young man, destined to succeed and challenged to survive. Denny’s story takes you through struggle, humor, love, finance and danger from the voice of an atypical mind. Autism Fiction. Texas Novel.

Autism Novel
Autism Novel
Autism Novel

The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism

We know about all the challenges. These stories focus on the fun and the funny side of autism. While he may not have typical communication skills, surprisingly this can be an asset in the humor department. Funny autism-related moments are a daily occurrence with this young character, and this book is a collection of the most memorable.

funny autism stories
funny autism stories
Fun autism stories

Books by Mark Ferdinand

Beyond paperback Mark’s books can be purchased for Kindle, Android, and Apple devices.

Autism and Obsessions

Autism and Obsessions

Shortly after our son turned three years old, he took interest in “advertising” to a new level of dedication. It started with a unique interest in commercials on television. It seemed unusual for such a little toddler to find them so interesting. Any kind of commercial would come on the screen and it would capture his interest. When the logo and tagline were finally shown, he would get giggly and touch the television screen.

“OK, he really seems to like commercials”, we thought. It seemed neat that he had such a fascination with something adult-oriented as opposed to Teletubbies or Barney the dinosaur. Little did we know at the time that this was a sign of being on the autism spectrum.

Our son was a late talker to be sure. After our move to Texas we were happy to know that he was making more of an effort to sound out words. At three years old, however, we had not yet brought him to a doctor to be diagnosed. We were still holding out hope, but after much Googling and research on “late talking” our suspicions were there.

Intel commercials and the associated chimes of “Bom… bom-bom -bom BOM!” were what made him happy. This was among his first serious vocalizations combined with a word. If an Intel commercial came on TV he would run to the screen and enjoy the anticipation of what was to come. When the logo and jingle finally came he was in heaven and chimed along. He would repeat the word “Intel” and sing the lovely chimes throughout the day. This, however, was the extent of his conversation skills.

autism obsession
Obsession Evolved

Logos of all kinds soon captured his interest. The satellite television company would come out with a new list of channels with tiny versions of their logos printed on a sheet of paper. He carried that sheet of paper everywhere as a typically developing child would carry their favorite toy. He took care of it, and if eventually it became worn or torn, we would have a backup from the Sunday paper. We were pleased that he had something that interested him and often joked that he had a future in advertising. There was a sense, however, that this was unusual behavior in a child.

More research on the web led to an understanding that with autism there is often unusual obsessions with seemingly mundane objects or occurrences. It was not long after this period of time that we took the step of bringing him in to the doctor’s office to see what they could make of it all.

Since this time our son has expanded his interests. He has passed his Intel phase. He still (and likely will always) have his obsessions, but we have seen them change over time. Even though it brought him a lot of pleasure, we are pleased that he has finally discarded the logo sheet. It is our hope that we can aid in channeling his interests and obsessions into something that gives him not just joy, but productivity and purpose in the future.

Autism themed books by Mark Ferdinand. Fiction and nonfiction:

Fortune on the Spectrum

Denny was diagnosed with autism at three years of age. Autism gave him the gift of obsession. This gift made him the youngest, self-made millionaire in Texas history. Autism also made him vulnerable to the forces of the outside world, of both society and nature. Fortune on the Spectrum is the journey of an unstoppable young man, destined to succeed and challenged to survive. Denny’s story takes you through struggle, humor, love, finance and danger from the voice of an atypical mind. Autism Fiction. Texas Novel.

The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism

We know about all the challenges. These stories focus on the fun and the funny side of autism. While he may not have typical communication skills, surprisingly this can be an asset in the humor department. Funny autism-related moments are a daily occurrence with this young character, and this book is a collection of the most memorable.

Autism and Fatherly Expectations

Autism and Fatherly Expectations

Fathers begin dreaming about the future when they find out they will be having a child. If a male child is born or is on the way, the hopes and expectations have a special focus. Since the phenomenon of autism affects boys on a much greater statistical level, it is important to recognize the way fathers deal with the news of having an autistic son.

A dad will entertain many fantasies, realistic or not, about the future of their sons. For many it involves sports. They may think of days playing catch in the yard, the boy scoring the winning touchdown, or playing for the Yankees. Other fathers may dream of chatting by the campfire, countless fishing trips and helping a son skin his first deer.

autism adventure
An Autism Adventure

Once a diagnosis of autism arises, a father must adjust to new realities. A boy with autism may have many challenges that prevent traditional father-son activities from becoming a reality, at least for the time being. This is certainly dependent on the degree of autism involved. Many of these activities are possible over time with certain children on the spectrum. And of course the autistic child has individual likes and dislikes like any child.

The important thing for fathers to remember is that they still have a son – a son that they can learn so much from. Once the ego is put aside and the personal dreams are adjusted, it becomes time to go to work, and to play! The child with autism will have his own interests and fathers can, and must, find ways to participate and encourage them. The child will recognize these efforts over time and also recognize fathers as someone close to them.

Life with autism is a new and unexpected journey. Your child will introduce you to new ways of thought and new ways at looking at life. Allow him to take you down these paths and help him along the way. All the traditional and most important father roles, however; leader, teacher, disciplinarian and comforter, still apply and will be needed.

Autism themed books by Mark Ferdinand. Fiction and nonfiction:

Fortune on the Spectrum

Denny was diagnosed with autism at three years of age. Autism gave him the gift of obsession. This gift made him the youngest, self-made millionaire in Texas history. Autism also made him vulnerable to the forces of the outside world, of both society and nature. Fortune on the Spectrum is the journey of an unstoppable young man, destined to succeed and challenged to survive. Denny’s story takes you through struggle, humor, love, finance and danger from the voice of an atypical mind. Autism Fiction. Texas Novel.

The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism

We know about all the challenges. These stories focus on the fun and the funny side of autism. While he may not have typical communication skills, surprisingly this can be an asset in the humor department. Funny autism-related moments are a daily occurrence with this young character, and this book is a collection of the most memorable.

Autism characters in books

There is a growing number of autistic characters found in popular movies, television and fiction. These characters are of varying realism and accuracy in their representation of autistic children. The goal of the piece and its target audience affects the autism character in books.

Autistic Characters
Autistic Characters in Fiction

Fortune on the Spectrum is a work of fiction in which the main character lives and succeeds on the autism spectrum.  Being autistic is both a help and a hindrance to his life covering birth to young adulthood.

When it comes to characters in books and other fictional media, the experience of the writers will vary a great deal. Therefore, in my case autism is something that I am deeply familiar with and integrate into my novels.  Of course there are artistic liberties taken along with autistic liberties.

Autistic kids in books

Mark Ferdinand lives on the South Texas coast with his wife, daughter and son. Fishing the surf, hunting, gardening, carving, auto and home repair occupy his spare time. Most importantly he has written on the topic of autism spectrum disorder from a father’s perspective in parenting articles and in other non-fiction venues. Having limited typical communication skills, his son introduced Mark to new ways of interpreting his special needs and aspirations. As his son grew older Mark became fascinated by the story potential within these amazing children. This prompted the creation of a dynamic adventure story focusing on a character with autism. Corpus Christi author and Texas author Mark Ferdinand. Mark writes novels with autistic characters, and Texas fiction.

New non-fiction title “You’re Gonna’ Get Bit!  coming soon. For those like the creepy crawly reptiles and amphibians. Fun tales from amateur fun to professional pitfalls.

Books by Mark Ferdinand
Books by Mark Ferdinand

Mark’s titles are available in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon. Visit his Amazon author bio page here: Mark Ferdinand

Best Books 2019

Best Books 2019

The best books 2019! You may be looking for an enthralling  novel this year. You may be craving exciting true tales or inspiring parenting stories. Perhaps you are interested in the origins of mankind? These four books could get you through the year, or at least through the month. Each are short enough to digest easily in a reasonable time frame, and each pack a punch.

Get ready for some terrific reading.

best books 2019
Best Books 2019

 

 

Fortune on the Spectrum
Fortune on the Spectrum

Denny was diagnosed with autism at three years of age. Autism gave him the gift of obsession. This gift made him the youngest, self-made millionaire in Texas history. Autism also made him vulnerable to the forces of the outside world, of both society and nature. Fortune on the Spectrum is the journey of an unstoppable young man, destined to succeed and challenged to survive. Denny’s story takes you through struggle, humor, love, finance and danger from the voice of an atypical mind.

snake books
You’re Gonna’ Get Bit!

From chasing frogs as a child, to milking venomous snakes for a living, Mark Ferdinand explores a lifetime of tales from the world of reptiles and amphibians. Whether it’s a quest for his first turtle, keeping crocodiles in his closet, or chasing snakes around the workplace, You’re Gonna’ Get Bit! has a story that all “herpers” and nature lovers can relate to and enjoy.

fun autism books
The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism

Autism Books. We know about all the challenges. These stories focus on the fun and the funny side of autism. While he may not have typical communication skills, surprisingly this can be an asset in the humor department. Funny autism-related moments are a daily occurrence with this young character, and this book is a collection of the most memorable.

Tiki Books
Tiki Books

Tiki Books! An immature account of the works of a tiki carver, and a serious account of the origins of the earth and mankind. The author indulges in his quest for creating bad-ass oceanic art that one can sip a cocktail by. This he alternates with a concise mythological blueprint of how this all came to be, and what we were given to navigate our way through it. A book for tikiphiles, mythology buffs, and wood carvers. Paperback in both Color and black & white versions.

Best authors of 2018
2018 Books Author Mark Ferdinand

Purchase paperback Books by
Mark Ferdinand

Beyond paperback Mark’s books can be purchased for Kindle, Android, and Apple devices.

Funny Autism Stories

Funny Autism Stories

We know about all the challenges. These funny autism stories focus on the fun and the funny side of autism. While he may not have typical communication skills, surprisingly this can be an asset in the humor department. Funny autism-related moments are a daily occurrence with this young character, and this book is a collection of the most memorable.

funny autism stories
Funny autism stories

The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism Paperback – September 3, 2017

Excerpt-

 

“With the sleight of hand of a Vegas magician he had slipped open the deadbolt to its open position as he made his way through the door. This causes a sound that is quite jarring at the dawn of a frantic Monday morning where good moods are in short supply. For him, however, all is right in the world as he giggles with satisfaction.

This routine was milked for all it was worth and on all three exterior doors of the house that have deadbolts. Even the side door to the garage gave him many opportunities, as this leads to the laundry. With distractions of laundry tasks and full hands, there was ample opportunity for him to make his move before the machine was turned on and it’s time to return inside and close the door.

Throughout the sorting, loading and unloading, one simply gets lost in their mundane work. Once the task is done, one is simply planning to catch some recliner time along perhaps with some clothes folding by the TV mixed in. This is the only thought as you use your two free fingers to forcefully pull the door shut behind you and- THUNK!

He could be far away on the other side of the house, but the victim can easily hear him giggling. His plan worked and he revels in the payoff. This was all he needed to accomplish that day, not reading, not comprehension, not the mastering of any life skill that his parents fretted about.”

About the Author

Mark Ferdinand lives on the South Texas coast with his wife, daughter and son. Fishing the surf, hunting, gardening, carving, auto and home repair occupy his spare time. He has written on the topic of autism spectrum disorder from a father’s perspective in parenting articles and in other non-fiction venues.

Having limited typical communication skills, his son introduced Mark to new ways of interpreting his needs and aspirations. As his son grew older Mark became fascinated by the story potential within these amazing children. This prompted the creation of a dynamic adventure story focusing on a character with autism “Fortune on the Spectrum”.

In 2017 Mark published his autism parenting book- “The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism.” Available in paperback and Kindle.

 

Books by
Mark Ferdinand

  • Autism and Fatherhood
  • Fortune on the Spectrum –
    An Adventure Novel
  • You’re Gonna’ Get Bit! –
    Harrowing Tales of Herpetology
     
  • The Autistic Prankster –
    Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism
  • Every Tiki has a Spirit
  • Bachelor on the Spectrum
    (Coming Soon!)

Beyond paperback Mark’s books can be purchased for Kindle, Android, and Apple devices.

 

Texas Author Mark Ferdinand – Smashwords Interview

Smashwords Interview with Texas Author Mark Ferdinand

Texas Author Mark Ferdinand  discusses his background and writing. His recent book The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism was released at the beginning of this month.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

Fishing the surf, hunting, gardening, tiki carving, and DIY projects occupy my spare time.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

Not at all. Too long ago.

How do you discover the ebooks you read? 

I search online for very old books that are converted to ebooks.

What is your writing process? 

I try to write at least a paragraph per day. This in addition to business writing and online banter.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? 

I believe that people invent a clever answer to these types of questions. Something contrived and crafted to be profound. I cannot remember the first story I ever read. Too long ago.

How do you approach cover design? 

I make a first attempt. Then I seek simplicity and complexity at the same time. I make multiple versions until I find the right direction.

What are your five favorite books, and why? 

My favorite books are from long dead explorers that create a daily log of their travels. I trust their experiences and their writings more than I trust modern writers seeking to revise history to their liking.

What do you read for pleasure? 

Non-fiction writing of travel, exploration, and battle from long-dead writers that carried weapons.

What is your e-reading device of choice? 

Kindle app via cell phone or tablet. With the cell phone, I can read on the terlet at work without anyone knowing my intentions when entering.

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you? 

Youtube videos on my Mark Ferdinand Youtube Channel.

Describe your desk 

I have a desk with a screen, printer, and PC box on it, plus a variety of papers strewn about. On top of the PC box is a toy Jeep Wrangler, a paper Jeep Grand Cherokee, a toy palm tree and a Homies figurine that I found. I have pens, highlighters and a ruler laying on the right side. Behind me is a rack with two large cages with ball pythons in them, and a large fishbowl containing two Chinese firebelly newts.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing? 

I grew up in Colorado and had access to miles of mountain wilderness on a regular basis. This gave me a love for things in the natural world and a valuable comparison to urban places and urban people. It helped me to focus on clarity and perspective in my writing.

When did you first start writing? 

In creative writing classes. High school and college level. But I always built books even as a child.

What’s the story behind your latest book? 

The story is about my son with autism. The fun and funny side of autism and the way he makes life enjoyable.

What motivated you to become an indie author? 

I do not like being told what to do and I do not want my work to be at the mercy of the whims of others.

How has Smashwords contributed to your success? 

It is a venue for my work that I appreciate. Gives my work exposure in the Apple device world.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you? 

Completion of a project, which means amassing a body of work.

What do your fans mean to you? 

They mean that someone out there is curious about what I am curious about.

What are you working on next? 

A book about tiki carvings. I build amazing Texas tiki carvings and they should be immortalized in a book.

Who are your favorite authors? 

Peter Capstick, Robert Ruark, HM Stanley.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day? 

It is a man’s duty to get out of bed. Inspiration has nothing to do with it.

Books by This Author

2018 autism books
2018 autism books

The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism

 Nonfiction » Parenting

We know about all the challenges. These stories focus on the fun and the funny side of autism. While he may not have typical communication skills, surprisingly this can be an asset in the humor department. Funny autism-related moments are a daily occurrence with this young character, and this book is a collection of the most memorable.

Texas Author Mark Ferdinand

You’re Gonna’ Get Bit!: Harrowing Tales of Herpetology

 Nonfiction » Science and Nature » Life Sciences / Zoology / Ichthyology & Herpetology, Nonfiction » Home and Garden » Pets & livestock

From chasing frogs as a child, to milking venomous snakes for a living, Mark Ferdinand explores a lifetime of tales from the world of reptiles and amphibians. Whether it’s a quest for his first turtle, keeping crocodiles in his closet, or chasing snakes around the workplace, You’re Gonna’ Get Bit! has a story that all “herpers” and nature lovers can relate to and enjoy.

South Texas Author Mark Ferdinand

Fortune on the Spectrum: An Adventure Novel

 Fiction » Adventure » General, Fiction » Inspirational

Denny was diagnosed with autism at three years of age. Autism gave him the gift of obsession. This gift made him the youngest, self-made millionaire in Texas history. Autism also made him vulnerable to the forces of the outside world, of both society and nature. Fortune on the Spectrum is the journey of an unstoppable young man, destined to succeed and challenged to survive.

Smashwords Author link:

iTunes Author link:

Google Play Author link:

 

Autism and Christmas

Autism and Christmas

The closer we get to Christmas, and the older he gets, the more involved he becomes. He starts asking about when our tree will be up, what colored lights will be on the tree, and how much time off will he get. If we try to skip anything (like outdoor lights for example) he now knows to call us on our slacking.  Autism and Christmas promises to be interesting this year!

Autism and Christmas
Autism and Christmas

More than any other holiday or occasion, my son loves Christmas. He is just like me this way. It is more than just the presents that he loves, there are so many surrounding factors as many of us know.

These days it begins after Halloween when we visit the big box stores. The Christmas decorations are on full display in the blink of an eye and he knows that the time has begun.

This is the beginning of all the sights and sounds that he loves. The beginning of lights, fake snowmen, bells and commercials on TV. After Thanksgiving, things really start to kick in!

This holiday season has run rife with inconsistency and deviations from tradition. We have already changed the routine with Thanksgiving this year. We told the grandparents we would visit them for Christmas so they skipped Thanksgiving at our house for the first time in twelve years.

Now we will be traveling and not spending Christmas in the home. We shall see what happens!

 

Mark Ferdinand is the writer of the adventure novel “Fortune on the Spectrum”.  He lives on the South Texas coast with his wife, daughter and son. Fishing the surf, hunting, gardening, tiki-carving, and repairs occupy his spare time. He has written on the topic of autism spectrum disorder from a father’s perspective in parenting articles and in other non-fiction venues. Having limited typical communication skills, his son introduced Mark to new ways of interpreting his needs and aspirations. As his son grew older Mark became fascinated by the story potential within these amazing children. This prompted the creation of a dynamic adventure story focusing on a character with autism.

After completing his first novel, Fortune on the Spectrum, he decided to compile a group of lifetime stories that brought him to the unusual occupation of snake venom extraction called You’re Gonna’ Get Bit!: Harrowing Tales of Herpetology.

Books by Mark Ferdinand are available here:

Amazon Page

iTunes

Google Play

Autism and Thanksgiving

Autism and Thanksgiving

As I write this we are preparing for this year’s thanksgiving festivities. This year, however, promises to be a bit of a blow to his routine. For the last ten years or so, we have enjoyed visits from his grandparents for the entire week. I would take most of the week off, and we would enjoy visiting, eating, drinking, and going to restaurants. This year is a new experience with autism and Thanksgiving.

What leads me to believe that he will be at least slightly thrown off, are the questions coming up this year now that he can identify the fact that this year is different.

By this time his grandparents (called Oma and Opa) would have been here. By this time I would have already taken off work. He is happy to be off school and at home, but he knows that something is amiss.

Autism and Thanksgiving
Autism and Thanksgiving

Update: Maturity does have a positive effect on his dealings with changes. Thanksgiving came and went, and we informed him repeatedly that we would be seeing Oma and Opa on Christmas and that “This year is different”.

He now understands that when we say “Today is different” or “This year is different” he is in for a change to what he is used to, and better be ready to deal with it. I promised to take him to the restaurant on the following weekend, and we ended up making a father/son day out of it.

Autism Author Mark Ferdinand

Mark Ferdinand is a Texas author living on Padre Island with his wife, daughter and son. Fishing the surf, hunting, gardening, carving, auto and home repair occupy his spare time. He has written on the topic of autism spectrum disorder from a father’s perspective in parenting articles and in other non-fiction venues.

Having limited typical communication skills, his son introduced Mark to new ways of interpreting his needs and aspirations. As his son grew older Mark became fascinated by the story potential within these amazing children. This prompted the creation of a dynamic adventure story focusing on a character with autism.

funny autism stories
funny autism stories

Autism Novel
Autism Novel

Books by Mark Ferdinand are available here:

Amazon Page

iTunes

Google Play

Autism Haircut

Autism Haircut

Giving my autistic son a haircut once again.  An autism haircut update video!

Two years after my original haircut video I have done another. My son with autism is about to start high school (9th grade).  We chat about his future after high school. You can see how he has changed in the video just two years later.

I plug my books by Mark Ferdinand. Fortune on the Spectrum – An Adventure Novel. Also I have published an unrelated book of reptile stories called “You’re Gonna’ Get Bit!: Harrowing Tales of Herpetology”.

Autism Haircut
Autism Haircut

 

Texas Author

Mark Ferdinand lives on the South Texas coast with his wife, daughter and son. Fishing the surf, hunting, gardening, carving, auto and home repair occupy his spare time. He has written on the topic of autism spectrum disorder from a father’s perspective in parenting articles and in other non-fiction venues.

Having limited typical communication skills, his son introduced Mark to new ways of interpreting his needs and aspirations. As his son grew older Mark became fascinated by the story potential within these amazing children. This prompted the creation of a dynamic adventure story focusing on a character with autism.

After completing his first novel “Fortune on the Spectrum”, he decided to compile a group of lifetime stories that brought him to the unusual occupation of snake venom extraction called “You’re Gonna’ Get Bit!: Harrowing Tales of Herpetology.”

Corpus Christi author and Texas author Mark Ferdinand. Mark writes novels with autistic characters, Texas fiction, and true tales of reptiles and amphibians. In 2017 Mark published his autism parenting book- “The Autistic Prankster: Enjoying the Fun Side of Autism.” Available in paperback and Kindle.

Check out Mark Ferdinand’s latest book- “Every Tiki Has a Spirit.”

An enduring part of Mark’s life is that of tiki carving, and his works are spreading across the Corpus Christi area. Mark has carved individual tikis ranging in sizes from 12 inches to ten feet. In addition, Mark has converted large support posts to tiki carvings for commercial establishments, private residences, and home builders for their Polynesian/South Pacific decor projects. He has become quite well known in the state of Texas for being the state’s premier Polynesian carver.