The Autism Blog

Mindful Monday – Kindness

mindfulKindness

Whether it’s allowing another driver to “cut in” in traffic or the person with just five items to do the same in a grocery store line, it seems little acts of kindness are getting harder to find as our hurry-up-and-wait lives get even more rushed. You know how it feels when someone cuts you off or barges in – we feel annoyed at best and outraged at worst.

Here are some tips for dealing with the daily indignities we all encounter:

  1. Remember it’s not personal. No one is singling us out with the intention of taking advantage of us. We’re all busy and self-centered about making it through our day.
  2. If someone does slight you, and it triggers a strong emotion, try and imagine what’s in their head at that moment. I recently held a door open for a customer in a restaurant nearby and she didn’t say thank you or even acknowledge me. My immediate reaction was “how ungrateful!”. I took a breath and considered that she may have just left our center and been told her child had autism or left her doctor’s office where she was told she had cancer. 
  3. If your immediate reaction is to respond in a less-than-kind way, try a mental “halt!” and do the opposite. Say or do something kind. Pay attention to the reaction you then get. 

Quote of the Week:

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

– His Holiness the Dalai Lama

 

 

Ask Dr. Emily – Irregular Behavior and Best Place to Live

Welcome to the January edition of Ask Dr. Emily! We often receive questions that we want to share with all our readers. To help with this, Dr. Emily Rastall, a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center, will share insights here, on the last Friday of each month, in a question and answer format. We welcome you to send us your questions and Dr. Rastall will do her best to answer them each month. Send your questions to theautismblog@seattlechildrens.org.

Q: Is it possible for an 18 month old boy to sometimes act having all the signs described about autism then some other times he acts completely normal? I can not express how irregular his behavior is. Does that mean he has a variation of autism or some other disorder or is it just his personality at this age? Read full post »

The State of Autism in 2016 – This Month’s Autism 200 Class

This month kicks off a brand new line up of Autism 200 Series lectures for 2016. This month’s lecture will be held Thursday, January 21, 2016, at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m. These classes are designed for parents, teachers and caregivers. The topics associated with the majority of classes are applicable to all age ranges and for a wide variety of children diagnosed with autism.

This Month’s Autism 200 Series lecture “Autism 201: The State of Autism in 2016” will be held this Thursday,January 21st , at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and led by Raphael Bernier, PhD, and Jim Mancini, MS, CCC-SLP, at Seattle Children’s Autism Center.

Considerable advances have occurred both in science and on the community, state and national levels in 2015. Seattle Children’s Autism Center’s Dr. Raphael Bernier, clinical director, and Jim Mancini, coordinator of parent education, will review the most newsworthy and influential scientific and community advances in the world of autism spectrum disorder from the past year and provide a preview to what we can expect in 2016. Read full post »

Mindful Monday – Expectations & Possibilities

Expectations & Possibilities

Phillip Moffitt, in a year of Living Mindfully tells us that “the (mostly unconscious) expectations that fill our mind direct what we pay attention to and how we interpret things, preventing us from living from our intentions”. Expectations can lead to disappointment, defeat, and a heavy burden to carry around. Where do these come from? All over! We’re bombarded by messages that tell us to be this or do that and much is focused on achievement in some way. Read full post »

Autism & Intellectual Disability

Today we share an interview with Dr. Jennifer Gerdts, PhD, clinical psychologist.

Lynn: When did the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ( DSM) classification change from Mental Retardation (MR) to Intellectual Disability (ID) and why?

Dr. Gerdts: The official DSM classification changed from MR to ID in 2013 when the DSM-5 came out, along with the change to use “Autism Spectrum Disorder” instead of Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and PDD-NOS. Prior to this official DSM change, a federal statute in the United States called “Rosa’s Law” (named after a young girl with Down syndrome) mandated the replacement of the term MR with ID in 2010. The DSM was updated to be consistent with the new name. Official diagnostic terms describing people with Intellectual Disability have changed over the years and undoubtedly ID will be replaced with another term in the future at some point. Read full post »