Archive for August 2015

Monthly Archive

Ask Dr. Emily

Welcome to the August edition of Ask Dr. Emily! We often receive questions that we want to share with all our readers. To help with this, Dr. Emily Rastall, a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center, will share insights here, on the last Friday of each month, in a question and answer format. We welcome you to send us your questions and Dr. Rastall will do her best to answer them each month. Send your questions to

Q: I have a 6 year old son with autism. It is becoming really difficult to take him out in public due to noises and crowds. He has started covering his ears. We will be out somewhere and he’ll become very upset, completely stop wherever we’re at and yell at me to cover his ears along with his hands. He pushes my hands really tight along with his. We started using sound cancelling headphones and it helps, but he still doesn’t want to go anywhere. Is this a stage that will pass?
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Mindful Monday- Becoming Less Critical

Today we offer some thoughts on the tendency to be critical of self and others, something that can become a habit that’s hard to break. Becoming aware of this tendency is the first step to changing it.

Becoming less critical of self and others

How often does an automatic critical thought about ourselves and others pop up in our minds?
(“I’m so . . .” “She always . . .”) Read full post »

Isolation and Autism

Today we share a blog written by veteran parent Janice Lawrence. She writes about her experience with feeling isolated due to the many challenges autism can present.

Guest writer: Janice Lawrence

Right now there are three extra people in my home and still, I’ve never felt more alone. Having a special needs child brings with it a host of complications that are difficult to traverse or even explain. Isolation is one of those difficulties.

When my son was younger, cuter and generally more adorable, I would try to function as I had with my older child. The older and less cute that we both became, the more difficult that became until I am a ghost of the woman I used to be. Today my son is nearly my height and much easier to identify as special. That is a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, people are much more likely to give us a wide berth when we are maneuvering in public. Conversely, that distance is a barrier to any kind of human connection. People are much less likely to approach us today than they were when he was smaller and more adorable. Read full post »