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 »
Since May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, we thought we’d address an issue that we get many questions about here at Seattle Children’s Autism Center: accessing mental health services for our kids on the spectrum. The questions we hear most often are:
What mental health services exist for children and adolescents with autism?
Where are mental health services offered?
How do I access these services?
In a previous blog, we reviewed treatments used with individuals with autism. Mental health interventions include cognitive-behavioral therapy and behavior therapy. These are typically provided in individual therapy where specific goals are identified for addressing problems such as anxiety, depression, disruptive behavior, aggression, and self-injury. Read full post »
Guest author: Jo Ristow, MS, CF-SLP is a speech language pathologist at the University of Washington Autism Center. Jo is also a visiting SLP at Seattle Children’s Autism Center. She will be co-presenting at a free upcoming talk on the iPad as part of UW Autism Center’s Autism Awareness Month activities in April.
For visual thinkers, the world of words can be a scary place. Verbal information is fast-paced and you only have one chance to understand the meaning. In contrast, visual information can be processed at the learner’s pace and is more permanent. Visuals can help soothe transition anxiety, promoting language understanding and learning while making expectations and transitions concrete. Read full post »
The adjustment to the start of a new year is a reminder that change is constantly occurring. Change, especially unexpected change, can be extremely stressful for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children with ASD often prefer to have a sense of structure and to know what to expect during the day and what activity they will be doing and when. Consistency and predictability help children feel reassured that they know what will happen next. When change occurs, children with ASD may respond in a variety of ways, including exhibiting withdrawal, repetitive behaviors, tantrums, or even aggression. It is important to remember that these behaviors are typically the result of extreme anxiety and/or inability to communicate their emotions/desires. Below are some tips for managing change and transitions in your child’s life. Read full post »