Author: The Autism Blog

Communication in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder- Part 1

PreverbalGuest 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.

Part 1

In honor of Better Speech and Hearing Month, some of the speech-language pathologists (SLPs) at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center and the University of Washington Autism Center are presenting a 4-part series on communication skills in autism. We will begin the series with a focus on children who are in the pre-intentional/pre-verbal stage of development. 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 »

Oscar Always Wants to Play With Our Neighbors

Oscar and Rosie“Oscar always wants to play with our neighbors, but they aren’t very nice to him. It’s sad because when I was a kid I played with our neighbors all the time and he doesn’t have that,” says Rosie Delcid, a senior at Highline High School.

Eight year old Oscar is Rosie’s younger brother who she describes as hyper and funny. “I love him so, so much.”

Rosie is one of four children and lives with her mom, dad, one of her older sisters and her brother Oscar. Oscar has autism. Oscar is the reason Rosie has organized an event at the Burien Library called Autism Connections. Read full post »

Diagnosis and Identity

teenagerGuest Writer: Ben Wahl, MSW, is the program director of Aspiring Youth Program

Nowadays it is quite common to hear the CDC statistic that 1 in 88 children (and 1 in 54 boys) in the US have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. There is much debate about whether there is actually an increase in occurrence or whether we have just gotten better at detection. There is similarly loud debate about the new criteria for ASD in the DSM 5. For the young people I work with, though, the debate is beside the point. What they experience is what matters; and that experience is often isolation, confusion, frustration, anxiety, and depression. Read full post »