Author: Lynn Vigo, MSW, LICSW

Communicating with Providers: Tips on Describing Behavior

I often hear my colleague, nurse Jason Russo, on the phone asking, “Can you describe what his meltdown looks like?” He spends much of his day fielding calls from parents about a child’s behavior, answering questions about new medications, and acting as a liaison between medical or mental health providers and parents. 

Think about all the words we use to describe our kids’ challenging behaviors: hyper, agitated, distracted, out-of-control. Yet, just as each child with autism is unique, so is the meaning of the terms we use. Read full post »

Is Autism a Mental Health Diagnosis?

Today is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, which raises the question: Is autism a mental health diagnosis?

When my daughter was diagnosed a dozen years ago, her developmental pediatrician referred to it as a neurodevelopmental disorder. Later I heard it described as “neurobiological”. Yet I was told there is no medical test for autism and that it was diagnosed based on observation of behavior. Still later, I read about autism as a psychiatric disorder and many of the therapies I researched were based in psychology. Read full post »