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 »
Based on Kanner’s observations of the children he worked with, autism was once thought to be a disorder that disproportionately affected families of higher socioeconomic status (Kanner, 1943). He noted that the parents of the children he described in his seminal work were highly educated, upper middle class, and of European-American descent. Subsequent studies failed to corroborate Kanner’s belief. The likely reason for Kanner’s finding was a result of bias caused by a greater access to diagnostic and treatment options for families with financial means.
In the 70 years since Kanner’s report we now know that autism clearly affects children from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds yet disparity continues to exist in services. Nowhere is this more Read full post »
A Day in the Life at the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center
Today marks the first day of fall quarter classes at the Burnett Center and that ‘back-to-school’ buzz has been circulating throughout the center all morning.
As I walk down the hall, I greet new and returning participants – adults with autism and other developmental disabilities – here to learn something new and be amongst peers. Beloved instructors are returning and new ones are here too, eager to bring their expertise and fresh ideas to each classroom.
At the beginning of each music class, the instructor often asks each participant how they’re feeling that day.
Today, a common theme is happy. Read full post »
An interview with Kelly Herzberg, MEd, CSP (Kelly has a Masters Degree in Education and a Certified Specialization in Psychometry.)
We get many questions from parents about the various clinical tools used in the evaluation of autism spectrum disorder. In today’s blog, Seattle Children’s Autism Center psychometrist, Kelly Herzberg, gives us some answers.
1. What is IQ? How is it defined?
IQ is the abbreviation for Intelligence Quotient. Intelligence Quotient is a score that is obtained from one of several standardized tests that have been created to evaluate human intelligence. These standardized tests are administered and scored in a consistent (standard) way by a specially trained provider. The tests help us learn what information a Read full post »
Communication deficit is a key feature of autism, and we see children who have communication strengths and challenges of all types. Some children benefit from the use of alternative/augmentative communication, known as AAC. AAC includes any type of communication that is not speech in order to replace or supplement talking. Parents frequently and understandably have questions and concerns when a clinician starts talking about AAC for their child – it certainly is a new, different and unfamiliar way to communicate. Or is it? If you think about it, we all use AAC every day – we point, gesture, click on icons, text or email. This is all nonverbal communication! Not so unfamiliar after all. Read full post »