All Articles in the Category ‘General’

5 Tips For Accessing Mental Health Services for Children with Autism

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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 »

Communication in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder- Part 1

PreverbalGuest 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.

Part 1

In honor of Better Speech and Hearing Month, some of the speech-language pathologists (SLPs) at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center and the University of Washington Autism Center are presenting a 4-part series on communication skills in autism. We will begin the series with a focus on children who are in the pre-intentional/pre-verbal stage of development. Read full post »

Autism and Sleep Problems

sleepAutism and Sleep Problems: An Interview with Yemi Kifle, MD

Yemiserach Kifle, MD, is associate medical director of Seattle Children’s Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center and clinical associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington, School of Medicine. She is also associate director of the Pediatric Pulmonary Leadership Training Center. Her work focuses on diagnosis, management and follow-up of patients with sleep apnea. Her research interest is in looking at cognitive function of children with sleep apnea before and after treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Her other area of interest is the prevalence of sleep disturbance in children with autism. Read full post »

Autism Awareness and Acceptance

As autism awareness month winds to an end, we thought this might be a fitting time to re-post this blog, as acceptance knows no month. Also, see the link at the bottom to view a roundtable discussion that looks at the challenges of living with autism as well as how some parents describe acceptance in their lives.

Will I Ever Find It? One Mom’s Story of Autism and Acceptance

I’m often asked by other parents, when and how I found acceptance of my daughter’s autism diagnosis. It has been twelve years so I have had to think back. I can’t pinpoint a day nor can I offer up a clear plan for how I got there. I do vividly recall in those early days feeling as if acceptance would never arrive. Read full post »

Autism and Coping with Tragedy

As our hearts go out to everyone affected by the recent tragedy in Boston, many of us may be struggling with if and how to explain this horrible event to our children. It is often difficult to discuss tragic situations with children, especially when there are so many unknowns or when we are experiencing so many emotions ourselves. Here we have compiled some resources and things to keep in mind to help support you discussing the recent tragedy with your child.

Tips from Dr. Mendy Minjarez of Seattle Children’s Autism Center:

  • Parents should consider whether the content of the news is appropriate for their child. News stories often contain potentially disturbing information, and of course, are known for sensationalizing events in a way that can even make adults anxious. Also be aware of whether your child is exposed to the news just by being in the room, even if s/he is not directly watching. Read full post »