Archive for 2013

Autism Awareness and Acceptance

As autism awareness month winds to an end, we thought this might be a fitting time to re-post this blog, as acceptance knows no month. Also, see the link at the bottom to view a roundtable discussion that looks at the challenges of living with autism as well as how some parents describe acceptance in their lives.

Will I Ever Find It? One Mom’s Story of Autism and Acceptance

I’m often asked by other parents, when and how I found acceptance of my daughter’s autism diagnosis. It has been twelve years so I have had to think back. I can’t pinpoint a day nor can I offer up a clear plan for how I got there. I do vividly recall in those early days feeling as if acceptance would never arrive. Read full post »

Autism and Coping with Tragedy

As our hearts go out to everyone affected by the recent tragedy in Boston, many of us may be struggling with if and how to explain this horrible event to our children. It is often difficult to discuss tragic situations with children, especially when there are so many unknowns or when we are experiencing so many emotions ourselves. Here we have compiled some resources and things to keep in mind to help support you discussing the recent tragedy with your child.

Tips from Dr. Mendy Minjarez of Seattle Children’s Autism Center:

  • Parents should consider whether the content of the news is appropriate for their child. News stories often contain potentially disturbing information, and of course, are known for sensationalizing events in a way that can even make adults anxious. Also be aware of whether your child is exposed to the news just by being in the room, even if s/he is not directly watching. Read full post »

Apps for Visual Learners

Boy with tabletGuest author: Jo Ristow, MS, CF-SLP is a speech language pathologist at the University of Washington Autism Center. Jo is also a visiting SLP at Seattle Children’s Autism Center. She will be co-presenting at a free upcoming talk on the iPad as part of UW Autism Center’s Autism Awareness Month activities in April.

For visual thinkers, the world of words can be a scary place. Verbal information is fast-paced and you only have one chance to understand the meaning. In contrast, visual information can be processed at the learner’s pace and is more permanent. Visuals can help soothe transition anxiety, promoting language understanding and learning while making expectations and transitions concrete. Read full post »

The State of Autism in 2013

boy taking pictureIt is April, Autism Awareness month. I’m certainly pleased that this month is designated as such and it serves as a convenient time for me to reflect on the past year and try to look forward to the coming one.

I’ve entitled this blog post the “State of Autism” as this is my humble attempt to review what I feel are important issues related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in our state, Washington and the country. This is my 3rd time trying to do this and each time I’ve come away with the feeling that I barely scratched the surface of important things to discuss. What I have chosen to discuss are my choices, acknowledging that by doing such I’m leaving huge important areas entirely left untouched. That said, I have decided to discuss issues related to diagnosis, epidemiology, new science, local issues in our state, and treatment. Read full post »

1 in 50 Is and Is Not Really News…

school busJust this week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published in one of its publications, the National Health Statistics Report, the latest information on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Once again as we’ve been used to seeing over the past ten years the prevalence has apparently risen again. Just one year ago, the CDC published data widely reported in the press that the prevalence of ASDs in the US was 1:88, equal to approximately 1.13%. This report substantially increases that number to about 1:50 or 2% of the population. What are we to make of these ever apparently increasing prevalence numbers? Read full post »