Archive for January 2013

Monthly Archive

Autism and Bullying

BulliedThe Problem

Like so many other aspects of growing up, bullying is a “typical” challenge this has unique dimensions for children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and their caregivers. Due to a number of high-profile cases in the news and the expansion of bullying into the realm of social media, bullying is getting a lot of media attention and as a result, is now appropriately recognized as a public health issue.

An explosion of research on bullying has identified far-reaching impacts not only on victims and perpetrators, but bystanders as well.  Bullying is no longer considered socially normative or tolerable, as it once was. The consequences are too dire and far reaching. Victims experience the direct effects of fear, embarrassment, and vulnerability that can impact social and emotional development and impede learning. Furthermore, children with limited communication skills are at risk of expressing the associated distress in potentially harmful ways including self-injury, escape behaviors (running away from individual or situations) and aggression directed at caregivers. Children who observe bullying and parents who feel helpless to protect their children can experience an erosion of their sense of safety. Read full post »

A Farewell Tribute to Dr. Chuck Cowan

Delivering bad news can be done well and it can be done poorly. Each parent of a child with autism has his or her own story of receiving the diagnosis. In our case, 13+ years later, I vividly recall the date of our appointment, that I was wearing a favorite blouse, superstitiously hoping it would influence the outcome, and that it was one of the hardest days of my life.

I had asked that we be referred to “the autism doctor at Children’s”. Back then, there were few who were interested in working with our kids. I want to share with you today our story of the doctor who diagnosed our child and what he means to our family.

Dr. Chuck Cowan broke my heart that day – and then spent the last thirteen years helping it to heal. Read full post »

Autism and Participating in Research

BoyThinking About Participating in Autism Research?  Here’s What You Need to Know.

Over the past few decades, our knowledge about autism has expanded tremendously, thanks to the many research studies that have been conducted. Through research, we have begun to learn about autism’s causes, effective treatments, and how to best diagnose autism. If you are a parent of a child with autism, maybe you’ve considered having your child participate in a research study. But you might also have some reservations about participating, or maybe you’ve wondered: what’s in it for my child and our family? Read full post »