Archive for 2012

Discipline and Autism

Discipline is a hot-button issue that meets with many strongly held and divergent opinions. I’ll take a direct approach and speak as a clinician as that will be the best way for me to start a discussion.

In behavioral terminology discipline is more typically called “punishment.” Clinically, punishment is defined as, “a consequence that decreases the probability of subsequence occurrence of the behavior it follows,” (Cooper et al, 1987). This is desirable in the case of disruptive behavior. However, note that punishment is defined by its effect on behavior and not by its intention. That is, I might remove a privilege due to disruptive behavior but that alone does not make it punishment; only if the likelihood of that disruptive behavior occurring again decreases is it actually punishment. An example will be helpful: Read full post »

A Day in the Life- with Seattle Children’s Autism Center Nurses

With patients and families whose needs are 24/7, it seems a nurse’s work in never done. We had the chance to sit down with our nurses here at Seattle Children’s Autism Center to find out what a “day in the life” is like for them.  First, let’s introduce you to them. Read full post »

Good Outcomes in Autism Spectrum Disorders- a Case of Over-Diagnosis?

There has been much discussion recently about the anticipated release of DSM-V and how it will impact the diagnosing of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I was especially interested in the discussion that came about from two Op-Ed pieces recently published by the NY times. My wife often criticizes me for playing “devil’s advocate” in debates (which I usually lose when the “debate” is actually with my wife), so it is not surprising that I feel compelled to chime in on the discussion surrounding our current diagnostic criteria for ASD. Read full post »

Autism and the Media

With increasing awareness about autism, it is inevitable that it is being portrayed in the media more and more.

The classic example of autism that pops into many people’s minds is Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” Certainly this is ONE representation, but most people would say, “that’s not my kid.” How can we expect autism to be portrayed to our liking when we think of the mantra “if you’ve seen one kid with autism, you’ve seen one kid with autism”? Read full post »

Autism and Giving Feedback to Providers

We hope that you found our series on the emergency department, hospitalization and insurance helpful. One resounding note in each of the interviews we did was the critical role that families play in the care of their child, particularly in the emergency department or hospital. Today we turn our focus to ways in which families can share their experiences, both good and not so good, with various Seattle Children’s systems of care (including emergency department, inpatient hospitalization, and outpatient clinics) and get a response to questions and concerns. Providers need family feedback. We need to hear from you how to best care for your child within the constraints we face. Read full post »