Children with autism display a variety of unique behaviors. Some behaviors charm us. One upstanding character I met last week proudly reported that he’d memorized all of the U.S. presidents plus special facts about each one. Then he proceeded to tell me 3 facts about 3 presidents. Other behaviors are not so charming and can be disruptive and dangerous. Two particularly daunting behaviors families affected by autism contend with are pica and elopement. Pica refers to the ingestion of non-food items. Elopement occurs when a child runs or wanders away from safe, supervised environments. Why do these behaviors occur and why are they so difficult to treat?
This is the first of a 2-part series for families tackling these difficult behaviors. Starting with pica, we’ll cover the Read full post »
Medicaid and ABA
It has been a year now since Medicaid and a handful of private insurers began covering Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services for their clients in Washington State. As expected with an endeavor of this size, there have been challenges with implementation. We have been tracking some of the more common issues that have arisen and offer this blog to help provide guidance for those seeking ABA services for their child.
While parents haven’t reported much difficulty in getting the order needed for insurers, getting approval from some insurers and then accessing services have been problematic for many. Read full post »
“He did it deliberately – consciously – purposefully – willfully.”
Most parents have heard their child’s behavior described as being deliberate and may themselves wonder whether behavior is done “on purpose” or not. Often it is a disruptive behavior, such as hitting or throwing. We asked Seattle Children’s psychologist, Emily Rastall for her thoughts on the topic of intentional behavior and what tips she has to offer to parents and others seeking to better understand our kids. Here’s what she had to say:
Lynn: Why do you think there is a tendency to describe behavior as being deliberately disobedient or willfully disruptive? Read full post »
The Long Way Home
I’m driving my car-ride driven daughter around in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, the day that for most, is the laziest one of the week. “Lazy” is not a word we have the luxury of knowing.
A stream of consciousness runs through my sleep-deprived brain at mile 11 . . .
“What is the function of this behavior?” “Better remember to get gas or I won’t make it to work tomorrow.” “Did I turn off the coffee pot before we left?” “Will I be driving her around when I’m 64?” “Why does she do the things she does?”
And of course, “Why do we, her parents, do the things we do?” Read full post »
So you’ve gotten through the diagnostic evaluation and survived. You’ve been given your resource guide, your First 100 Days kit, and an abundance of online support and education resources. You may have been told that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the few evidence-based treatments for autism and that Medicaid and other insurance companies are now covering ABA for children with autism, so consider starting a home program to augment the services received in school.
So where does a parent begin?
My experience as a parent of a child who receives ABA services is that it isn’t as easy as making a phone call or two. There’s a learning curve in understanding what this therapy is, how it might benefit your child, how to access it, and how to live with it. Times have changed a great deal in the thirteen years since my son was diagnosed at age 3. At that time there was no insurance coverage for ABA or any other kind of therapy in the home, providers were scarce, and it was hard to know how qualified they were. Read full post »