Archive for 2014

Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs)

SCAC ARNPsARNPs at Seattle Children’s Autism Center

When my children were young, they were patients of a large pediatric practice. It was sometimes difficult to get a same-day appointment with a doctor, so when I was offered one with a nurse practitioner (NP), I took it. This was my first experience with an ARNP and it opened my eyes to all that this medical professional has to offer.

NPs are an integral part of our team at Seattle Children’s Autism Center (SCAC). For more information about them, I turned to Lindsey Miller, ARNP for background on the education and training that is required. Read full post »

Autism and ABA Services in Washington State- An Update

Medicaid and ABA

It has been a year now since Medicaid and a handful of private insurers began covering Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for their clients in Washington State.  As expected with an endeavor of this size, there have been challenges with implementation. We have been tracking some of the more common issues that have arisen and offer this blog to help provide guidance for those seeking ABA services for their child.

While parents haven’t reported much difficulty in getting the order needed for insurers, getting approval from some insurers and then accessing services have been problematic for many. Read full post »

Autism and Trajectory

Your Child’s Trajectory

I am hearing more and more about people wanting to know the trajectory for a child with autism. First, let’s define what that means.

According to Merriam-Webster Online:

Trajectory: A path, progression, or line of development that resembles a physical trajectory (the curved path along which something moves through the air or in space)

For our kids, it means the path of their overall development from the time of diagnosis to adulthood. When I recently asked one of our doctors to help the parents of a patient whose teacher asked for his trajectory, he told me he’d be glad to dust off his crystal ball.  With no sure-fire treatment for autism and with such a broad presentation of features, predicting the future is a tricky thing to do. Read full post »

Intentional Behavior and Autism

“He did it deliberately consciously purposefully willfully.”

Most parents have heard their child’s behavior described as being deliberate and may themselves wonder whether behavior is done “on purpose” or not. Often it is a disruptive behavior, such as hitting or throwing. We asked Seattle Children’s psychologist, Emily Rastall for her thoughts on the topic of intentional behavior and what tips she has to offer to parents and others seeking to better understand our kids. Here’s what she had to say:

Lynn: Why do you think there is a tendency to describe behavior as being deliberately disobedient or willfully disruptive? Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Autism Center Founding Member Begins New Journey

This month our colleague and wonderful trailblazer, Ruth Benfield, vice president of Psycho-Social Services, retired after 37 years of service at Seattle Children’s. Benfield came to Children’s in 1977, hired as the nursing director for outpatient clinics and as a nurse practitioner. Over the years Benfield has been an administrator over almost every single operational department at Children’s with the exception of the operating room.

Under the umbrella of Psycho-Social Services lives the inpatient psychiatric unit, outpatient psychiatry services including mental health services at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center, and the Autism Center. The Autism Center opened in 2009, during a time that many thought it was crazy to expand; a recession underway and no precedent for this kind of a center. Read full post »