Author: Lynn Vigo, MSW, LICSW

Autism and Acceptance

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.

The first challenge with accepting an autism diagnosis is that it’s hard to know just what you are accepting. I asked Dr. Cowan if she’d ever talk, if she’d be in a regular classroom, if she’d be able to live independently one day? She was just two at the time and he, in all his wisdom, couldn’t give me the answers I so desperately wanted. Read full post »

Describing Behavior and Autism

Words Used to Describe Behavior: Autism’s Own Language

If you live with autism, you know that it almost has its own culture, its own language. Think of the many terms we – and others – use to describe our kids and their behavior.  For example, if your child has a school-to-home communication notebook, you may find that sometimes it comes home with a report using descriptors that you feel don’t match those you use for your child. Even for children who are verbal, it’s important for parents to communicate effectively with the numerous people who interact with our kids on a daily basis. Read full post »

Back to School and Autism

The Sun Returns.

Wednesday.

It’s late August and there’s a buzz in the air that’s almost palpable. Parents all over town are humming with anticipation of what, for many of us is the most wonderful time of the year. That first day back to school!

In my own family, we just made it through another long summer of not-enough-to-keep-settled, a kid who craves structure and routine. We do our best but school is the sun in her universe and without it, she’s a planet wobbling off course.  Read full post »

Treatments Used With Individuals With Autism

Alphabet Soup: ABA. DTT. PRT. RDI. DIR.

These are just a few of the acronyms for a growing number of treatments used with individuals with autism.  If you recently received a diagnosis for your child you may have searched the internet and found a bewildering array of possibilities. Even if it has been years since your child’s diagnosis, you probably hear about new treatments and wonder if you should give them a try. Read full post »

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff- How to Decide on Treatments and Therapies for Your Child

As a parent, you have likely read books or heard stories of children who “recovered” from autism or made significant gains using a particular treatment. These anecdotal (based on personal observation, rather than scientific investigation) reports can be both a blessing and a curse as they inspire hope, but may also lead to disappointment when they fail to provide the hoped for results. We don’t yet know the cause(s) of autism; therefore, there is no definitive treatment protocol. What seems to work for one child may not work for another.

With 1 in 110 children diagnosed today, autism is in the news more and more. You may have seen recent news coverage on several articles in the Journal of Pediatrics that looked at studies of the efficacy (effectiveness) of treatments for autism and concluded that that there was little to no evidence that the treatments evaluated were effective for children with autism. But the brief news blast didn’t report the entire summary of the studies. Bryan King, MD, psychiatrist and director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center, points out that “The absence of evidence does not mean that treatments don’t work. I believe the lack of evidence points out the need for more information.”

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