Archive for 2011

Sleeping, Eating, Toileting, and Autism

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 »

Autism and General Education

We recently connected with elementary school teacher, Chris Cooper, to get his perspective on teaching students with autism in a general education classroom.  Here’s what he had to say:

theautismblog: Can you tell us how you became so familiar with autism? 

Mr. Cooper: I am a fourth grade teacher in a general education class in Washington and I’ve had students with autism in my classroom. But 99.9% of what I know about autism comes from being a stepparent of a child with autism.  Read full post »

Medication Tips and Autism

I’ll start by saying that the tips in this post can be applied universally, whether or not your child is affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, low sensory thresholds in kids on the spectrum can certainly affect your child’s willingness to take medications. Plus, some of these things really do taste bad, so it’s good to have some tricks in mind.  Read full post »

Sibshops

With an entire blog dedicated to autism, we realize many of our families have children that aren’t on the spectrum. For this reason, we recently sat down with Cathy Harrison, Seattle Children’s Child Life Specialist and asked her about Sibshops. Sibshops, developed right here at Seattle Children’s over 25 years ago by Don Meyer, are for siblings of children with ongoing special health care or developmental concerns.

Sibshops are workshops where the typically developing sibling can go for support, some basic education around their sibling’s health concerns and recreational time with peers facing similar situations. The workshops are held one Saturday a month, every other month. They are led by a variety of people; child life specialists, play room coordinators, social workers, teachers, nurses, and even adult siblings. The siblings are separated by age in a group for 6-9 year olds and 10-13 year olds. Read full post »

What Can Basic Science Teach Us About Autism?

I recently read a fascinating book, The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee.  This year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for non-fiction is an extraordinary account starting with a discussion of the history of cancer from ancient times and rapidly moving to a discussion of the history of leukemia dating from the mid-19th century. The tale then moves rapidly to review the work of the “father of chemotherapy”, Sydney Farber, in the early and late 1940s.

This book is amazing because it is a serious science and medical history, yet it is engaging, even thrilling to read. Needless to say as a physician, I’m fascinated with medicine and science and as a former college history major, I love what history can teach us that we can apply today. If you take the time to read this, you’ll learn how a complex human disorder that potentially can affect us all has been understood piece by piece and to an extraordinary extent has been successfully treated, and in some cases, even “cured”. Read full post »