The Autism Blog

Why the Sharp Rise in Autism Rates?

A while back The Autism Blog received a comment from someone who suggested that the sharp rise in autism rates is a direct result of people wanting to make money. The person who posted this comment seemed quite frustrated by the apparent increase in the number of people being diagnosed with autism. I can thoroughly identify with and appreciate his or her frustration.

So, let’s take a deeper look at the issue. There is no doubt that the diagnosis of autism has increased tremendously in the past 15 years. And, are there undoubtedly people who have made money from many parents confused, frustrated and angry about this condition. That makes me sad and a bit angry as well. Nevertheless, to tarnish the entire professional community is unfair and inaccurate.  Read full post »

Telling Your Child They Have Autism

Guest Writer: Karen Kaizuka, parent

Fear. That is the overwhelming feeling that rushes through me when I think about telling my son that he has autism. What do you say? How do you say it? Can we just not tell him?!!

Our little guy is 6. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 4. He is doing remarkably well. He is learning how to read. In fact, he is reading absolutely everything around him and is asking what words mean. We can’t drive down the road without him reading signs, “No Parking”, “Bridge Closed”. Read full post »

Dads and Autism

Do dads experience autism differently than moms?

That’s the question I set out to answer when I met with some of the dads who participate in our parent support group. I also invited those on our email group to send in their responses. The children represented varied in age from 3 to 14 and it had been anywhere from a year to more than a dozen years since our dads had gotten the diagnosis. Read full post »

Introducing a Pet to Your Home and Your Child with Autism

We had a chance to sit down with one of our providers here at Seattle Children’s Autism Center to find out what to consider when contemplating introducing a new pet to your home and to your child with autism. Felice Orlich, mother, PhD and proud owner of a border collie pup named Max, let us into her home to find out just what we need to know to help a pet be successful in it’s new family.

Theautismblog: So how did you choose Max?

Dr. Orlich: Well, first we found a breeder that socialized the puppy in the house, which helps the puppy become accustomed to noise, handling by kids and everyday household activities. We also visited the breeder several times before bringing the dog home, that way the kids could get used to Max and Max could get used to them. The breeder actually helped pick Max out for us after getting to know Jonah and Ellie. Read full post »

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 »