Archive for 2013

What I Want My Child’s Providers to Know

Last week we talked about some of the things parents reported as being not helpful. This week we thought it would be useful, given how many people our in our children’s lives, to have a way to share some of the most important information about them. Below is a template that might be helpful.

A Letter to My Child’s Provider….

(Today’s Date)

Dear (Doctor, Teacher, Therapist),

I’m writing to you because I know you are busy, work with many children, and don’t have time to read volumes of specific information about my child. And whether you are new to my child or have worked with (him/her) for years, I bet you will find in this note something you didn’t know! Read full post »

Tips from Parents to Providers on Working with Kids with Autism

Everything You Always Wanted to Ask Your Patient’s Parents but were Afraid to…

I’m always impressed with the great questions people ask when I’m doing a talk about the impact autism has on families. Whether it is new med students or pediatric residents in dentistry, the genuine interest and desire to learn gives me hope that these future providers of services to our kids will do their best to make things a bit easier for families.

I usually tell those in attendance that they should feel free to ask me anything and everything, as my skin is pretty thick after all these years. I was recently asked this insightful question by a resident in emergency medicine: Read full post »

Autism and GI Issues

Recently we received a question from one of our readers about a large study regarding children with autism and Gastrointestinal (GI) Issues. Please see what our Dr. Charles Cowan had to say:

Thanks for your post pointing out this most interesting and important recent study. This UC Davis/MIND Institute study is the largest study to date on gastrointestinal (GI) issues in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). For those of you who haven’t heard of this study or read it, in brief summary the authors used data from CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genetic and the Environment) database. This is a very large study which enrolled 1,513 participants from 2003-2011. Most participants completed a questionnaire about GI symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and food intolerance to compare the prevalence of these symptoms between children diagnosed with ASD, non-autism Developmental Delay (non-ASD DD) and Typical Development (TD). Read full post »

Autism and Time for a Change of Holiday Thinking

snowman in october

It ought to be a crime

A neighbor down the street from us puts her Christmas decorations up days after Halloween. It’s strange to see her lit-up Santa with a pumpkin at his feet. Seeing holiday trees for sale last week made me feel a bit annoyed that we are rushing so far ahead of ourselves. We’ve barely closed the door on the last trick-or-treaters and have yet to give thanks in November. What’s the big hurry? Can’t we enjoy one holiday without immediately diving into the next?

Guilty as charged

While no one could ever accuse me of getting ahead of myself in the game of holiday decorating or shopping, I confess to sometimes wanting to fast-forward through them. After all these years of accepting and reframing what they mean in the context of living with autism, it’s still difficult not to feel a small pang of disappointment for all the Read full post »

Autism and Parent Identity

mirrorMy colleague and fellow mom Katrina recently sent me an article in the NY Times written by a woman facing an empty nest as her last child was about to graduate from college. She wrestled with figuring out whom she would be moving forward when so much of her perception of who she is had been based on her role as mother. We certainly could relate to feeling a singular identity however we did wonder aloud if we would ever feel like empty-nesters given that we have children with autism who will require oversight for life.

It also reminded me of an exercise I had hoped to do one day with parents of children with autism regarding their self-identity. I called it the I Am exercise and here is how it started . . . Read full post »