About Me

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Orem, Utah, United States
My name is Annie Campbell and 9 years ago my son was diagnosed with Autism. Over the years of treatments, therapies and schools (with my son) I have learned countless techniques for dealing with children with special needs. Through my experience in primary, I have come up with some specific tips to create a happy atmosphere in church.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

What's with the puzzle pieces?

Recently, I have needed to give a brief explanation of what Autism is to my daughter and my son's best friend (Alex).  It happened when Alex noticed that I wear a puzzle piece necklace and Jackson has a cape (that he wears A LOT) with a puzzle piece on it.  Alex asked me why and I told him that the puzzle piece is the symbol for Autism.  He thought for a second and then asked what Autism is.  After the first question, I was expecting it.  Here is what I said:

"Autism means that someone's brain works differently than yours.  Not bad, but different.  It means that some things are much harder for Jackson than you and some things are much easier for him than you.  Jackson has a hard time understanding jokes.  But he can remember movie lines forever."

My Jackson showing off his cape!
This was a quick explanation but it was enough for 9 year old Alex.  I wanted to give this example because as teachers and parents, we sometimes need to explain why things are different for one child than another.  I hope this helps if your ever in this situation!


  1. This definitely helps. My son was just diagnosed, so I am new to autism. I will think of this when I'm trying to explain my son's autism to his peers and to adults. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Annie! My son was recently diagnosed, and explaining why he doesn't talk yet to my daughter has been hard. Thanks for all the good advice!

  3. Just found your website via Sugardoodle and I am SO excited to read your ideas. My husband and I were called a couple of months ago to teach Primary and we have a sweetheart boy that is autistic. I love him to pieces but am struggling to find ways to help him in Primary. Thanks for having this blog to help us out! :)