General

All Articles in the Category ‘General’

From Freeways to Antidepressants- Cautionary Tales of the Causes of Autism

It seems a month doesn’t go by without an article in the news highlighting some research study that has discovered a new risk for developing autism.

Just within the last year, published research articles in reputable scientific journals have correlated everything from antidepressants and paternal age to closely-spaced pregnancies and living in close proximity to freeways as associated with an autism diagnosis.

After the lay press editorializes and sensationalizes the findings, the correlation study has been converted into wording that implies causation. Read full post »

Food Challenges and Children with Autism

Feeding a young child can be a very exciting and highly gratifying time in a caregiver’s life. As a mother of two, some of my favorite memories are the quiet moments of breastfeeding my babies and later watching them grow into little adult eaters! I’m sure we can all recall the first time we offered a bite of solid food to our little ones. What excitement and thrill we experienced watching them succeed at this important milestone. My time helping families and children with feeding difficulties tells a much different story.  When the process goes awry and children begin to refuse to eat or drink, it can create some of the most stressful experiences at home.  Eating is such a basic biologic need for all of us, and when this need presents differently in our little ones, it can be quite scary.

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Sleeping, Eating, Toileting, and Autism

The Big Three.

Discussions regarding sleeping, eating and toileting are among the most common in the autism spectrum treatment community. It is no surprise as to why this occurs, as these three functions are imperative to survival and impact our daily lives in countless ways; for example, hunger, fatigue, and physical discomfort are unpleasant, hinder our ability to positively interact with the world, decrease our tolerance for stress, and when chronically present, can negatively impact overall quality-of-life.

If you are a parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, you have likely faced challenges in at least one of these three areas. Over the next three weeks, we will provide information regarding methods for tackling these highly-important, and at times exceedingly difficult, tasks. Today we will start with sleep. Read full post »

Autism and General Education

We recently connected with elementary school teacher, Chris Cooper, to get his perspective on teaching students with autism in a general education classroom.  Here’s what he had to say:

theautismblog: Can you tell us how you became so familiar with autism? 

Mr. Cooper: I am a fourth grade teacher in a general education class in Washington and I’ve had students with autism in my classroom. But 99.9% of what I know about autism comes from being a stepparent of a child with autism.  Read full post »

What Can Basic Science Teach Us About Autism?

I recently read a fascinating book, The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee.  This year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for non-fiction is an extraordinary account starting with a discussion of the history of cancer from ancient times and rapidly moving to a discussion of the history of leukemia dating from the mid-19th century. The tale then moves rapidly to review the work of the “father of chemotherapy”, Sydney Farber, in the early and late 1940s.

This book is amazing because it is a serious science and medical history, yet it is engaging, even thrilling to read. Needless to say as a physician, I’m fascinated with medicine and science and as a former college history major, I love what history can teach us that we can apply today. If you take the time to read this, you’ll learn how a complex human disorder that potentially can affect us all has been understood piece by piece and to an extraordinary extent has been successfully treated, and in some cases, even “cured”. Read full post »