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 »
Finding and participating in treatment for a child with autism spectrum disorder can be challenging under the best circumstances. At the outset of treatment or even in the course of it, barriers to progress may become evident. One of the most difficult barriers to overcome is a situation in which a child’s parents disagree with the choice or course of treatment. As a result, much of the interaction with the provider may be dominated by resolving conflict and managing the adults in the session, rather than focusing on the child’s needs and well-being. Thus, the child’s treatment needs may be overshadowed, and progress is slowed or halted altogether. Read full post »
If you are a parent of a young child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you may be juggling multiple services and interventions during the week (such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, social activities, applied behavioral analysis (ABA). You may be wondering how to gauge your child’s progress in these interventions. You may also be wondering how you will pare down these interventions once your child enters school. For instance, how much intervention is TOO much intervention? And how do I know which interventions are really making a difference and warrant continuing once my child enters school? Read full post »
My child just received a diagnosis of autism. How do I get support for him/ her at school?
The first step is to request a special education evaluation through public school. This request must be made in writing. The letter can be short and to the point, and should be delivered to the school principal or school psychologist. You can request this evaluation through the public schools even if your child is home-schooled or attends private school. Read full post »
Our 4-part series on communication development in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) continues with a focus on verbal communicators
Expected Verbal Skills in Typical Development
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), typically developing children begin to say and imitate their first words around 1 year of age. At 1½ years, they begin to say more words and start to say “no” to protest and begin to point to request. At 2 years of age, children start to combine words into phrases and increasingly attempt to imitate adults’ conversation. By 3 years, children can label most familiar objects, and can use pronouns like “I,” and “you.” They can answer basic social questions about themselves, such as their name, age and gender, and can participate in basic conversations. At 4 years of age, children start to tell stories, relate events to themselves and start to talk about their likes and interests. At 5 years of age and beyond, children can tell stories using complete sentences and can use a variety of verb tenses, like past, present and future. Read full post »