The Autism Blog

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff- How to Decide on Treatments and Therapies for Your Child

As a parent, you have likely read books or heard stories of children who “recovered” from autism or made significant gains using a particular treatment. These anecdotal (based on personal observation, rather than scientific investigation) reports can be both a blessing and a curse as they inspire hope, but may also lead to disappointment when they fail to provide the hoped for results. We don’t yet know the cause(s) of autism; therefore, there is no definitive treatment protocol. What seems to work for one child may not work for another.

With 1 in 110 children diagnosed today, autism is in the news more and more. You may have seen recent news coverage on several articles in the Journal of Pediatrics that looked at studies of the efficacy (effectiveness) of treatments for autism and concluded that that there was little to no evidence that the treatments evaluated were effective for children with autism. But the brief news blast didn’t report the entire summary of the studies. Bryan King, MD, psychiatrist and director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center, points out that “The absence of evidence does not mean that treatments don’t work. I believe the lack of evidence points out the need for more information.”

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A Visit With The Dentist

Oral hygiene is an essential part of a person’s overall health, but it can often be a struggle for children with autism, particularly among those with sensory issues. For example, the taste and texture of toothpaste and the toothbrush may be difficult for some children to handle, making it hard to incorporate best practices in dental hygiene as part of their daily routine. For parents struggling to help their child maintain their oral health, we sat down and spoke with Travis Nelson, DDS, MPH and have created a video that offers tips and tricks on how to overcome the challenges you may be experiencing with your child on this matter.

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Home Sweet Home- Where Will My Child Live?

As parents, we often dream of the day when our son or daughter will be able to move out of our home and begin to create a home of their own. But what happens when your child has autism?  Will they be able to live on their own or will they need support? If so, how much support? And who pays for all this? Read full post »

What If The World Ends? When the Media Causes Anxiety in Your Child With Autism

Seattle Children’s recently received a tweet from the parent of a child with autism asking about strategies for support when the news makes their child anxious. This question comes up frequently in our clinic. The following general tips may be helpful. As usual, they should not be viewed as clinical advice and should not replace advice from your mental health or medical provider. Read full post »

They Grow Up So Fast…

By the time your child reaches the age of 14 years, it’s a good idea to begin thinking about planning for adulthood. While this may seem early, there are many things that need to be decided, discussed and initiated before your child turns 18. Transition goals should be included in the IEP. Planning for adulthood is not a linear process and can be quite complex. Read full post »