The Autism Blog

Study Shows PRT Taught to Parents in Group Setting Benefits Kids with Autism

Dr. Mendy Minjarez

Researcher and clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center, Dr. Mendy Minjarez, along with researchers at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, show in a recent study that parents, in a group setting, can learn Pivotal Response Training (PRT) to effectively increase motivation and language skills for their child with autism. Typically, PRT has been taught to parents in individual therapy sessions, but this research demonstrates that it can be just as effective when taught in a group setting.

In a previous blog, Minjarez describes PRT as a naturalistic behavioral intervention. She explains, “PRT utilizes the principles of ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis), such as reinforcement, but also incorporates developmental principles, such as following the child’s lead in intervention. Rather than applying ABA principles in a highly structured way, as in discrete trial training, in PRT parents are taught to embed ABA teaching principles into interactions with their child to enhance learning.”

To read more about the study and PRT, please see Seattle Children’s blog On the Pulse.

Autism and Broccoli

broccoliYes, you read the title of this blog correctly. My colleague Katrina forwarded me an article with this headline: Broccoli Extract May Reduce Autism Symptoms. Being the discerning parent/provider that I am, I thought it was just another wacky autism-treatment idea so I didn’t run out to buy a boatload of broccoli, but I did go to one of my most trusted sources for all things autism to get his read on things. Here’s what the good doctor Raphe Bernier had to say.

Lynn: Tell us Dr. Bernier, what is your first impression of this study?

Dr. Bernier: Well, many of the intervention studies in autism have methodological flaws that make drawing conclusions difficult. This makes sense, conducting studies is costly and difficult. I’m not excusing, just explaining. However, this study addresses many of those methodological flaws: there is random assignment to a treatment or control group, there is a placebo condition, there are outcome ratings that are judged by raters who are naïve to Read full post »

Autism 101 Class This Thursday

Autism 101This Thursday will be the last Autism 101 class of the year. Autism 101 is a free 90-minute lecture, offered quarterly and designed to provide information and support to parents and families of children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Lecturers provide up-to-date and evidence-based information regarding the core deficits of ASD, the variability and presentation of behaviors associated with autism, prevalence and etiology, treatments available and resources for families. A portion of each lecture is dedicated to answering questions from parents and families.

Lectures are open to the general public. There is no need to register in advance to attend. Autism 101 will be held 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Seattle Children’s Hospital’s main campus in room RC.3.905 near the River entrance. Parking at Seattle Children’s main campus is free in Lot 1 for those who attend the lecture in person.

Lectures are now available through Seattle Children’s video and teleconferencing outreach program and can be viewed at various locations throughout Washington and Alaska. View Seattle Children’s video teleconferencing site information (PDF).

If you have any questions please call Seattle Children’s Autism Center at 206-987-8080.

Trick or Treating at Seattle Children’s Autism Center

pumpkin2Seattle Children’s Autism Center will host a special “Trick or Treating” event on Saturday, October 25, 2013, from 10-11:30 a.m. Inside the festive and familiar halls of Seattle Children’s Autism Center, children will have the chance to practice trick or treating. This is a free event, open to all ages and siblings. There will be treats, games and prizes.

8 tips for a safe and enjoyable Halloween for your child with autism:

  1. Let your child practice wearing their costume at home. This gives you time to make any last minute modifications and time for your child to get used to it. Read full post »

Reminder- Autism 200 Tonight- Preventing Family Isolation

autism 200This month’s Autism 200 Series lecture “Autism 210: You’re Not Alone – Preventing Family Isolation” will be held tonight, at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and led by Lynn Vigo, family therapist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center and parent of a teen with autism.

Parents of children with autism often report feeling alone and isolated for many reasons, including behavioral challenges and a not-always-accepting world that they must deal with. Isolation can negatively affect their emotional well-being and self-esteem. Parents need all the support they can get, yet it is difficult to ask for help and connect with others who understand. Join us tonight for a highly interactive discussion about this important topic. Read full post »