The Autism Blog

Placement and Autism

Merriam-Webster tells us that one definition of placement is: the act of finding an appropriate place for someone to live, work, or learn. For parents of children with significant special needs, this only begins to capture the meaning of the word.

It typically starts soon after the diagnosis when placement in an educational program is made, such as in a birth-to-three center or developmental pre-school. In later years, it might be in an “autism classroom”, a contained learning center (CLC), or an adult transition program. Read full post »

Guardianship and Autism

For years I had heard about this step in the transition to adulthood and I thought I knew what it meant. But as with many novel things, what we know and what we think we know are not the same. It’s like the difference between driving to a new location and being driven there. When you drive, you are much more aware of the process.

Yesterday was our daughter’s guardianship hearing.  As her 18th birthday approaches, we are methodically going down the list of “things to do” and this was a big one. For those who may take this step one day, I offer this insight.

We had been told that we could apply for guardianship on our own or have an attorney help us. Since we had already enlisted legal guidance for setting up a special needs trust and taking care of other estate planning issues (such as wills and advance directives), Read full post »

Alphabet Soup and Behavior Analysis

Many families receiving a diagnosis of autism for their child find themselves faced with a plethora of new vocabulary related to finding treatment: behavior analyst, BCBA, ABA Therapy, BCaBA, applied behavior analysis. If you’re feeling like all of these terms and acronyms are enough to make your head spin, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to decode this new language.

What is behavior analysis?

Behavior analysis is the scientific study of behavior and environment interactions. It can be used to explain or predict the behavior of humans or animals.

What is applied behavior analysis?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application of principles of learning to everyday problems. It can be used in a variety of settings to improve behavior including job performance, adaptive skills, language development, Read full post »

Breakthrough in Autism Research- CHD8 and Autism

An interview with Raphe Bernier, PhD…

We haven’t heard much lately on The Autism Blog from our beloved clinical director, Dr. Raphael Bernier. I caught up with him today (if you know Dr. Bernier, you know that requires a good pair of running shoes and a good sprint) to find out what’s new in the world of autism research. Here’s what he had to tell us:

Lynn: Parents wake up every day hoping there is promising news about autism research. Is there anything new to report today?

Dr. Bernier: Yes, there is! As I was preparing my BBQ fixings for the big day tomorrow, I was reflecting on one of our studies that published today.

Our study reported that a new subtype of autism has been identified using a genetics first approach. Read full post »

FDA Issues Warning to Companies Making Claims That Their Products Cure or Treat Autism

To be clear: there is currently no cure for autism. Companies that make false or misleading claims that their products or services cure autism have now been issued a warning by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop—or else face possible legal action.

Current treatments approved by the FDA for autism aim to alleviate or manage certain symptoms of the disorder, but not the entire disorder.

According to the FDA, “The bottom line is this—if it’s an unproven or little known treatment, talk to your health care professional before buying or using these products.”

To find out more about the companies and products issued the warning, read the official statement issued by the FDA.

To find out more about medication and autism please see our blog “Common Questions about Medication and Autism”. And if you are considering a new therapy for your child please see our blog “Choosing a Biomedical Therapy and Autism”.