The Autism Blog

Ask Dr. Emily

Welcome to the August 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: I have a 6 year old son with autism. It is becoming really difficult to take him out in public due to noises and crowds. He has started covering his ears. We will be out somewhere and he’ll become very upset, completely stop wherever we’re at and yell at me to cover his ears along with his hands. He pushes my hands really tight along with his. We started using sound cancelling headphones and it helps, but he still doesn’t want to go anywhere. Is this a stage that will pass?
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This Month’s Autism 200 Class- Lifelong Learning

This month’s Autism 200 Series class, “Transition to Adulthood – Lifelong Learning: Enhancing Quality of Life Through Community Engagement”, will be held Thursday, August 20, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Wright Auditorium. August’s Autism 200 Series class is the third in a summer-long series of classes tailored specifically around transition to adulthood topics.

Transition out of the education system and into adulthood involves many layers of planning to ensure a high quality of life and ongoing development for adults with autism spectrum disorder or similar developmental disabilities. Tammy Mitchel, program manager at Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center, and Therese Vafaeezadeh, ARNP at Seattle Children’s Autism Center and executive director of Tavon Center, will share essential planning tips for the transition into adulthood. Topics will include wrap-around planning for daytime and recreation activities, community integration, housing options and vocational training. Read full post »

Mindful Monday- Becoming Less Critical

Today we offer some thoughts on the tendency to be critical of self and others, something that can become a habit that’s hard to break. Becoming aware of this tendency is the first step to changing it.

Becoming less critical of self and others

How often does an automatic critical thought about ourselves and others pop up in our minds?
(“I’m so . . .” “She always . . .”) Read full post »

Isolation and Autism

Today we share a blog written by veteran parent Janice Lawrence. She writes about her experience with feeling isolated due to the many challenges autism can present.

Guest writer: Janice Lawrence

Right now there are three extra people in my home and still, I’ve never felt more alone. Having a special needs child brings with it a host of complications that are difficult to traverse or even explain. Isolation is one of those difficulties.

When my son was younger, cuter and generally more adorable, I would try to function as I had with my older child. The older and less cute that we both became, the more difficult that became until I am a ghost of the woman I used to be. Today my son is nearly my height and much easier to identify as special. That is a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, people are much more likely to give us a wide berth when we are maneuvering in public. Conversely, that distance is a barrier to any kind of human connection. People are much less likely to approach us today than they were when he was smaller and more adorable. Read full post »

Ask Dr. Emily

Dr. Emily Rastall

Dr. Emily Rastall

Welcome to Ask Dr. Emily, a new monthly feature on The Autism Blog! 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 common for children with autism to get pleasure out of watching things fall? I have a few red flags with my 2 year old, and one thing I am not sure about (mainly because it hasn’t be mentioned in any articles) is my child will spend forever picking up stones, bark, sand… dropping it just above eye level and watching it fall. Any suggestions??
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