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Autism Around the Globe

Guest Writer: Renee Poole

KfP team member and Kreet

My name is Renee Poole and I’ve been working in Seattle for the last four years in autism family services and in research. I started at ASTAR (Autism Spectrum Treatment and Research) Center in 2008, then moved over to Children’s Autism Center in 2009, and continued working there until this last December 2011.  I have loved getting to know the most amazing families as well as providers that offer some of the best service I’ve seen in health care.

Four short years seems to have taught me so much.  Before my work with autism, my biggest passion was culture and anthropology. Naturally, as autism became my new focus, my mind began to wander and try to link them both together.  I wondered how other cultures are diagnosing autism and if they even had a word for autism.  How are their communities supporting families and individuals with autism? Are people with autism accepted in the community or stigmatized?  Do kids with autism have a chance to go to school?  Do they know about weighted blankets and how amazing they are? (Yes, I too love a good nap with one!). So many things I began to wonder.

There was only one thing to doGo!

I had the unbelievable opportunity to travel with a local Seattle non-profit group called Knowledge for People (KfP) to Kathmandu, Nepal in July of 2011.  A group of ten Americans specializing in occupational therapy, special education, speech language therapy, and other autism-specific treatments and therapies came with us to conduct a twelve-day training course at a local Nepalese autism center.

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A Day in the Life- with Seattle Children’s Autism Center Nurses

With patients and families whose needs are 24/7, it seems a nurse’s work in never done. We had the chance to sit down with our nurses here at Seattle Children’s Autism Center to find out what a “day in the life” is like for them.  First, let’s introduce you to them. Read full post »

Autism and the Media

With increasing awareness about autism, it is inevitable that it is being portrayed in the media more and more.

The classic example of autism that pops into many people’s minds is Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” Certainly this is ONE representation, but most people would say, “that’s not my kid.” How can we expect autism to be portrayed to our liking when we think of the mantra “if you’ve seen one kid with autism, you’ve seen one kid with autism”? Read full post »

Autism and Giving Feedback to Providers

We hope that you found our series on the emergency department, hospitalization and insurance helpful. One resounding note in each of the interviews we did was the critical role that families play in the care of their child, particularly in the emergency department or hospital. Today we turn our focus to ways in which families can share their experiences, both good and not so good, with various Seattle Children’s systems of care (including emergency department, inpatient hospitalization, and outpatient clinics) and get a response to questions and concerns. Providers need family feedback. We need to hear from you how to best care for your child within the constraints we face. Read full post »

Autism and Insurance

Part 4 in our series  on Autism and Things We Would All Rather Not Think About is, drum roll please…. insurance. Health care coverage can be a complicated area that can (at times) feel like a barrier to accessing the care your child needs. As many of our families know, our children are complex and sometimes see many different providers. Here at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center we have nurse practioners, neurodevelopmental pediatricians, neurologists, speech and language pathologist, psychiatrists and psychologists all under one roof. What will be covered by insurance if your child has to see one of these providers? What about if you need to see two of them? Or several of them? Will the appointment be covered by your insurance? How much is this going to cost? Read full post »