Karen Burner, PhD
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 »
David Eaton, ARNP
That statement made everyone perk up two Fridays ago as well, when Michelle Garcia Winner spoke at a day-long conference presented by Seattle Children’s Autism Guild, “Thinking About YOU, Thinking About ME.” Michelle went on to point out that obviously Little Red wasn’t a very good observer, unable to make the distinction between her grandma and a vicious wolf. All the while, noticing the details (e.g. “my, what big teeth you have.”), but not the bigger picture (i.e. she might want to run away to avoid the same fate as her grandma). But the conference was much more than a social commentary on fairy tales. Read full post »
Charles A. Cowan, MD
The Washington State Department of Early Learning recently released new guidelines that are designed to provide direction for birth to three centers to better support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Washington State. Importantly, the guidelines also include children who are suspected of having ASD not just those with a formal diagnosis. This is critical because many children have not been eligible for autism-specific services until they have a formal diagnosis and the wait list at specialty diagnostic clinics is often months long. These guidelines are a result of a collaborative effort by the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers at the Department of Early Learning and the Haring Center for Applied Research and Training in Education at the University of Washington. Read full post »
Karen E. Toth, PhD
Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck!
One of the most recommended therapies for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is social skills therapy. After all, deficits in social interaction define the autism spectrum – meaning, all children with autism/Asperger’s/PDD have impairments in this area. But, is it possible to effectively teach social skills and, more importantly, can that teaching translate into meaningful social relationships for children with ASD? We think so, but there are some things parents can do to ensure that their children are getting the most benefit from social skills treatment. Read full post »
Lynn Vigo, MSW, LICSW
Alphabet Soup: ABA. DTT. PRT. RDI. DIR.
These are just a few of the acronyms for a growing number of treatments used with individuals with autism. If you recently received a diagnosis for your child you may have searched the internet and found a bewildering array of possibilities. Even if it has been years since your child’s diagnosis, you probably hear about new treatments and wonder if you should give them a try. Read full post »