Parenting Strategies and Support Programs for Children with Autism by Connie Hammer

Posted in Autism/Aspergers, Guest Post, Special Needs Children by - November 27, 2012
Parenting Strategies and Support Programs for Children with Autism by Connie Hammer

Special Needs Book Review is always pleased when experts in their field introduce our readers to their new publications. Moms and dads parenting children with autism are always happy to learn of new autism resources that can help them. A while back we were impressed when we reviewed Connie Hammer’s parenting program, From Bathroom Battles to Bathroom Bliss:  Potty Training 101. Our Author Interview Series went up a notch when we posted Connie Hammer’s amazing interview. I always read Connie Hammer’s  interesting and informative posts on LinkedIn and Facebook. We are happy Connie wrote a post to share information about her other programs to help parents of children with autism. Who is Connie Hammer?

About Connie Hammer, MSW & PCI, Certified Parent Coach,

On her web site I found, “For over twenty years Connie Hammer has been energetically guiding frustrated, lost and confused parents to achieve their parenting hopes and dreams with her amazing skills. Her coaching clients consistently describe her as “the instruction manual the stork forgot to leave” – an interactive one at that.”

Who does Connie Hammer help? The majority of parents who hire Connie have children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) ranging in age from infancy through young-adulthood.  On her site I read, Connie founded her coaching business, The Progressive Parent, LLC in 2005 and acquired her Parent Coach Certification™ from The Parent Coaching Institute of Bellevue, Washington, the nation’s only Parent Coach Certification™…. Now a retired school social worker, Connie is running her coaching business from home…” Her tag line tells it all, “Helping you maximize your child’s greatest potential.”

Connie Hammer author of Strategies and Support Programs for Children with AutismCongratulations Connie! Always dedicated to nurturing and protecting children, Connie has been recognized by the Governor of Maine and the Maine Children’s Trust with the 2012 Community Volunteer award for her work with children and families. Her passion for supporting parents led her to create a county-wide non-profit agency in 1985 to prevent child abuse and neglect that continues to thrive.

Parenting Strategies and Support Programs for Children with Autism by Connie Hammer

I am thrilled to be invited to write a post about the programs I have developed to help parents of children with Autism. There are many challenges parents of children on the Autism spectrum face and my goal is to help ease that struggle for them as much as I can with the situations they often have to deal with.

One of the most common concerns I hear about from parents is how to manage their child’s challenging behaviors. Those behaviors that irritate, annoy, embarrass, and exasperate, and ones that present a safety issue at times. And then there are those unique, repetitive behaviors that children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often engage in.

As a result I developed a behavior program that parents can use as a resource to guide them on this journey called:

Happy Parents, Happy Kids: Overcoming Autistic Behavioral Issues

  • strategies and support to go from chaos and frustration to happy and calm in six weeks. I offer many, many strategies in this program most of which can be implemented immediately and if done consistently over time will shift behaviors for the better.

One of the things I stress in my program is that in order to successfully change a behavior a parent needs to substitute it with something else. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all you have to do is get your child to STOP a behavior because one bad habit will only be replaced by another if it is not directed in some manner. It is important to teach and guide your child towards another more appropriate behavior to satisfy the need that the annoying behavior was meeting.

How does a parent accomplish that task?

Simply by identifying, then redirecting and teaching your child to use an alternative. First find out what need the annoying behavior has been satisfying and then find something more appropriate to take its place.

Child chewing KidCompanions ChewelryIf your information gathering indicates the behavior is a result of a biomedical issue then knowing that your child may be trying to take care of a physical need will help you realize that she is not necessarily doing this behavior on purpose or being ‘bad’. Let’s say the behavior you want to change is biting and after playing detective you discover that your child is engaging in this behavior to relieve head or jaw pain.

In addition to seeking medical attention, one alternative is to provide your child with a more suitable item to chew or bite on to lessen the pain and discomfort  – such as a chew stick or a wearable, functional, non-toxic, chewable piece of jewelry that is available from KidCompanions Chewelry. It is called Chewelry, a chew substitute that is worn around the neck or attached to clothing so it is always readily available for a child to easily access. I highly recommend it to the parents I coach who deal with biting and fidgeting behavior. Providing such an alternative to biting self and others will distract a child from the inappropriate behavior and replace it with a more appropriate action yet one that continues to meet the child’s unique need.

In addition to this behavior management strategy, you will find many more within this four-week video course that comes with workbooks and a private Q & A Facebook group. Optional private coaching sessions and email access to your own personal coach is available as well. The program also includes a tracking system guide for behaviors and a bonus self-care inventory and audio.

In addition to this behavior program and the potty training program, From Bathroom Battles to Bathroom Bliss: Potty Training 101 that has already been reviewed by Special Needs Book Review here, I have created other resources to help guide parents in handling the difficult situations they encounter.


Program for parenting children with autism by Connie Hammer

Staying Sane During the Holiday Season with Your ASD Child

  •  A downloadable program that contains a one hour audio, a small workbook, practical handouts and an article to help you enjoy the holiday you dream of.


3 Simple Secrets for a Smooth Sail Back to School

  • A program specifically designed to help any parent and child conquer the back to school transition with a smile! Includes audio recording and workbook with checklists and a social story.


Top Ten Practice Secrets to a Stress Free Morning with a Child on the Autism Spectrum

Taming the AM Rush

  • The Top Ten Practice Secrets to a Stress Free Morning with a Child on the Autism Spectrum.   A 10-minute/day video series eCourse with checklist and bonus article.



Autism Parenting: Practical Strategies for a Positive School Experience by Connie HammerFollow Connie Hammer:

Buy Connie Hammer’s programs or coaching services: Go to her site Parent Coaching for Autism

Buy Autism Parenting: Practical Strategies for a Positive School Experience, August 2016,   CreateSpace

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.