The Autism Blog

Mindful Monday and Self Limiting Thoughts

Self Limiting Thoughts…

These are those pesky thoughts that tell us what we can’t do, how we don’t measure up, what’s wrong with us. If we could purge our brains of these thoughts, we’d all feel so much better. Short of that, we can practice self-compassion and accept that we’re all perfectly imperfect . . . or imperfectly perfect. Take your pick!

Compassion Practice:

  • Make a list of your top three self-limiting beliefs/recurring thoughts. For example:” I’ll never
    be . . .” or “I can’t ever . . .”, “I’m such a . . .”
  • Pay attention to them as they arise during the week.
  • Try and identify the emotion associated with each. For example, anger, sadness, guilt, shame
  • Get in touch with where you feel it in your body. Head? Stomach? Heart?
  • Ask yourself what you need right then, right there
  • Place your hand on this part of your body and wish yourself whatever you need. For example forgiveness, peace, acceptance, love, kindness.

Quote of the week
“I never beat myself up gently.”
Author unknown

Autism and Bilingual Children

young child learningLet me start with a spoiler, in a good way.

I want to stand up on my little SLP soapbox and say first and foremost:

Using two or more languages with a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will not:

  1. Make it harder for them to learn one language or
  2. Cause them to have “worse” language than monolingual (one-language) children with ASD

In fact, it may provide some benefits to their language and social development!

Ok, so now that we have that up front, I will say this: Learning a language is an astounding feat. Learning two seems twice as hard, especially for kids who may be struggling with one language already. I have had many families report that their well-meaning medical providers told them that they should only talk to their child with autism in one language, usually English. Read full post »

Ask Dr. Emily- Transitions and Insisting on Sameness

Welcome to the September 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

Q: I am a nanny and have taken care of many children who are diagnosed with autism. My grandson also has a diagnosis of autism. At times, when I set a limit (like with portions of food), my grandson and some of the children I care for have a hard time accepting “no.” I try to stay calm and maintain the limit, but sometimes the situation escalates to yelling, hitting, or pushing. What is going on and is there something I can do to handle this better? Read full post »

This Month’s Autism 200 Class- Toilet Training

This month’s Autism 200 Series lecture “Autism 210: Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism and Developmental Disabilities will be held next Thursday, September 17, at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and led by Dr. Mendy Minjarez, clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center.

Many children with autism and developmental disabilities are delayed in reaching their toilet training milestones. The usual toilet training strategies are not always effective, leaving parents frustrated and unsure of how to proceed. Dr. Minjarez, will review best practices in addressing toilet training goals in this population of children. This presentation will include information about toileting readiness, behavioral interventions for addressing toilet training in children with developmental delays, and troubleshooting specific toileting problems, such as fears and refusal. Read full post »

Mindful Monday- Holding a Grudge

Illustration by Leigh Rubes

Let’s admit it. Most of us have held a grudge in our life time… perhaps we are even still holding one. Why? It may be that we feel wronged by someone and think that by harboring feelings of resentment, we make him/her feel pain equal to ours. Holding a grudge may also serve a protective function, as a reminder of someone with whom we’d best maintain boundaries. It’s also possible that if we truly thought it over, we might not come up with a good reason for holding a grudge; it’s simply a remnant from a previously unresolved emotional issue.

In one episode of Northern Exposure, Chris accidentally runs over a dog and seeks out its owner. He apologies to her, falls in love with her, and then proceeds to kill her parakeet. The ending is fuzzy to me Read full post »