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 »
Thinking About Participating in Autism Research? Here’s What You Need to Know.
Over the past few decades, our knowledge about autism has expanded tremendously, thanks to the many research studies that have been conducted. Through research, we have begun to learn about autism’s causes, effective treatments, and how to best diagnose autism. If you are a parent of a child with autism, maybe you’ve considered having your child participate in a research study. But you might also have some reservations about participating, or maybe you’ve wondered: what’s in it for my child and our family? Read full post »
You may have heard the exciting news about a drug being studied that shows promise in treating social withdrawal behaviors in children with Fragile-X and potentially autism. We wanted to find out more information about this drug arbaclofen (or STX209) and its effects on Fragile-X, so we sat down with Bryan King, M.D. and Director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. King has been consulting with the pharmaceutical company that designed this drug and leading its trial at Seattle Children’s.
theautismblog: What is the relationship between Fragile-X Syndrome (FXS) and autism?
Dr. King: Fragile X Syndrome is a disorder associated with a specific gene defect. The product of the gene is a critical regulator of brain activity, and children with this disorder typically have significant cognitive and behavioral difficulties. In some studies, as many as 40% of individuals with FXS have an autism spectrum disorder. Since the underlying brain processes are being uncovered in FXS, and because of the overlap with autism, drugs that target FXS are of tremendous interest.
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 »
Having your child evaluated for autism can bring much emotion and many questions. In an effort to help families who are waiting to be seen in our center, we asked our schedulers to tell us the most frequently asked questions they receive from parents when scheduling a child’s diagnostic evaluation. Here’s what they told us: Read full post »