Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Safety’

Water Safety This Summer

SwimmingIt’s that time of year- summer in Seattle! Living in the Northwest, we are surrounded by natural beauty, and everywhere you look, there’s water! The Puget Sound, lakes, rivers, and pools are accessible year round, and are particularly fun during the summer months when the weather is nice.

Being near, on, and in the water is a popular summer activity. One of my family’s favorite things to do over summer weekends is to head to the beach. The minute hit the sand, my 7 year-old is stripping off his shoes and socks and my 18 month old is struggling to do the same. I scramble to slather sunblock on their wriggling bodies, often wondering why I didn’t attempt this feat before we left the house. The boys and I run to the edge where the beach meets the surf and throw rocks in the water. Feeling the sand between our toes and the water on our skin can be a wonderful sensory experience, and one that many children enjoy and often seek out, including children with autism. However, having children near the Read full post »

What to Tell Your Summer Program Staff

As we turn toward the long summer months, many parents of children with autism are busy filling out summer program forms. If you are like me, you pause when you get to this section:

Does your child have any behavioral concerns?
____________________________________________________

____________________________________________________

Why do I pause at this question…?

First of all, I usually marvel at how little space is provided to answer such a complex question. My son’s Behavior Intervention Plan is nine pages long!

Second, the answer for my son is YES, he does have behavioral concerns. I’ll admit to being afraid to list his specific challenging behaviors for fear of being excluded from the camp. I’m tempted to simply write “some” with a little smiley face and leave it at that—-but this would be unfair to everyone— Read full post »

Home Burglary and Autism

“Where is my white computer? Did it go to the Goodwill?”

On Easter Sunday this year I came home at 8:30 p.m. to find my home had been burglarized.

My son who is 14 entered the house first, followed by my 16-year-old daughter. She immediately turned around and ran out of the house while Arthur stood frozen in the middle of the living room.

If you’ve ever been a victim of this disturbing crime, you know the initial feelings of shock, anger, fear, helplessness, and disgust.

Arthur has autism and coming home to this kind of chaos was nothing short of devastating for him. Read full post »

FDA Issues Warning to Companies Making Claims That Their Products Cure or Treat Autism

To be clear: there is currently no cure for autism. Companies that make false or misleading claims that their products or services cure autism have now been issued a warning by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop—or else face possible legal action.

Current treatments approved by the FDA for autism aim to alleviate or manage certain symptoms of the disorder, but not the entire disorder.

According to the FDA, “The bottom line is this—if it’s an unproven or little known treatment, talk to your health care professional before buying or using these products.”

To find out more about the companies and products issued the warning, read the official statement issued by the FDA.

To find out more about medication and autism please see our blog “Common Questions about Medication and Autism”. And if you are considering a new therapy for your child please see our blog “Choosing a Biomedical Therapy and Autism”.

Tackling Difficult Behaviors Part 2- Elopement and Autism

This is the second of a 2-part series for families dealing with pica or elopement. In this post, we’ll cover the following information on elopement:

  • Presentation and prevalence
  • What makes elopement so challenging to treat
  • Common, evidence-based treatments to consider
  • Tips for parents to begin a treatment plan

Elopement

Presentation and prevalence

Elopement occurs when a child runs or wanders from a safe, supervised environment. A 2012 study found (via parent survey) that 49% of the study children with autism eloped after the age of 4 and of these, 53% were away from supervision long enough to be considered missing. In contrast, parents reported that 13% of the study’s unaffected siblings had eloped after the age of 4. Statistical analyses showed that the children with autism who were more severely impacted by autism (lower intellectual and communication abilities) were more likely to elope than those who were more mildly affected by autism.

What makes elopement so challenging to treat? 

Like pica, there is less research on elopement than other problem behaviors exhibited by those with autism. Often, elopement is lumped into a category of “challenging behavior” and not studied independently. Read full post »