I’ve been spending time reading the blog posts of my friend and colleague Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, also known as Seattle Mama Doc. Wendy Sue is a formidable blogger. Frankly I’m jealous as I don’t know how she manages to write so much, so well and with such heart and humor. What I find so engaging about her posts is how personal and real they seem to me. She’s frequently describing situations in terms of her life as a pediatrician and a mother. The Autism Blog that we at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center have been producing is a group effort. Many of us have written blogs about issues we want to share with the general public, but sometimes our blog seems to lack the personal touch that we all feel as members of the Center. Thinking that, here is my contribution on a more personal note. Read full post »
Just within the last year, published research articles in reputable scientific journals have correlated everything from antidepressants and paternal age to closely-spaced pregnancies and living in close proximity to freeways as associated with an autism diagnosis.
After the lay press editorializes and sensationalizes the findings, the correlation study has been converted into wording that implies causation. Read full post »
Toilet training a child requires great amounts of effort and patience. Toilet training a child on the autism spectrum presents additional difficulties that can stretch your efforts and patience even further. Fortunately, there are several well-researched training regimens that can facilitate this task. This doesn’t mean that the training will be easy or will be completed over a single weekend; however, following the guidelines presented by these programs will let you know that you’re on the right track. Read full post »
Feeding a young child can be a very exciting and highly gratifying time in a caregiver’s life. As a mother of two, some of my favorite memories are the quiet moments of breastfeeding my babies and later watching them grow into little adult eaters! I’m sure we can all recall the first time we offered a bite of solid food to our little ones. What excitement and thrill we experienced watching them succeed at this important milestone. My time helping families and children with feeding difficulties tells a much different story. When the process goes awry and children begin to refuse to eat or drink, it can create some of the most stressful experiences at home. Eating is such a basic biologic need for all of us, and when this need presents differently in our little ones, it can be quite scary.
The Big Three.
Discussions regarding sleeping, eating and toileting are among the most common in the autism spectrum treatment community. It is no surprise as to why this occurs, as these three functions are imperative to survival and impact our daily lives in countless ways; for example, hunger, fatigue, and physical discomfort are unpleasant, hinder our ability to positively interact with the world, decrease our tolerance for stress, and when chronically present, can negatively impact overall quality-of-life.
If you are a parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, you have likely faced challenges in at least one of these three areas. Over the next three weeks, we will provide information regarding methods for tackling these highly-important, and at times exceedingly difficult, tasks. Today we will start with sleep. Read full post »