The Autism Blog

Preparing for Summer

While summer often evokes thoughts of sunshine, trips to the beach, downtime, leisure reading, and buying ice cream, the reality is that for many families the transition from school to the unstructured days of summer can be stressful. To help families prepare, Robin Talley, MEd, BCBA with the University of Washington Autism Center (UWAC), shared some tips and best practices during a lecture at Seattle Children’s Hospital on April 21, 2011, for the Autism 200 Series.

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Preschool to Kindergarten- The Transition IEP Meeting

 

If you are planning a kindergarten transition IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting, your child has an IEP in place and has been receiving special education services through your public school district since sometime after the age of three. It’s now time to have your final IEP meeting before your child starts kindergarten. Services and placement for entering elementary school will be determined in this meeting.

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Recreation for Adults

When you think of recreation for adults living with autism, what images or programs come to mind? Maybe you think of happy adults bowling, hiking or gathered at a community center craft table. Or maybe you didn’t have an image and you believe the recreation community has not caught up with the needs of the adult population impacted by autism.

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Communicating with Providers: Tips on Describing Behavior

I often hear my colleague, nurse Jason Russo, on the phone asking, “Can you describe what his meltdown looks like?” He spends much of his day fielding calls from parents about a child’s behavior, answering questions about new medications, and acting as a liaison between medical or mental health providers and parents. 

Think about all the words we use to describe our kids’ challenging behaviors: hyper, agitated, distracted, out-of-control. Yet, just as each child with autism is unique, so is the meaning of the terms we use. Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Hospital Welcomes Speaker, Alison Singer, on the Topic of Vaccines

April 28, 2011, Seattle Children’s Hospital had the pleasure of welcoming Alison Singer, Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, to speak to our providers and staff here at the hospital. The talk was also open to the public. This blog post will briefly summarize the content of the talk, titled “Talking to Parents About Autism and Vaccines”. Read full post »

Is Autism a Mental Health Diagnosis?

Today is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, which raises the question: Is autism a mental health diagnosis?

When my daughter was diagnosed a dozen years ago, her developmental pediatrician referred to it as a neurodevelopmental disorder. Later I heard it described as “neurobiological”. Yet I was told there is no medical test for autism and that it was diagnosed based on observation of behavior. Still later, I read about autism as a psychiatric disorder and many of the therapies I researched were based in psychology. Read full post »

Safety Skills for Participating in Community Activities

Summer is the time for being outside and trying new activities. As with anything new, there are risks involved. A child on the autism spectrum can be particularly vulnerable to a number of safety concerns; however, summertime fun and maintaining safety can coexist.  Read full post »

The State of Autism Today

With Autism Awareness Month in full swing, the launch of the Seattle Children’s Autism Center Blog seems quite timely. As a large group of more than 30 autism specialists, we are excited to begin bringing you the latest information, perspectives, opinions, and sometimes controversies in autism and related matters.

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Choosing a Summer Camp for a Child with Autism

Summer. Vacation.

Two exciting words for many kids and parents. For children and families living with autism, the end of the school year and the long days of summer can be very challenging- and anything but relaxing. Finding appropriate and accomodating summer camps and activities for children on the spectrum requires some preparation and planning. We hope this information will help you prepare for a relaxing, pleasant and relatively stress-free summer. Read full post »

Welcome to The Autism Blog

April is Autism Awareness Month and with 1 in 110 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, we are perhaps too acutely aware. In spite of advancements in research and clinical care, there is still much we don’t know about autism. Parents and caregivers must sift through confusing, often conflicting information about everything from diagnosis to therapies. In an effort to make life a little easier, we at Seattle Children’s Autism Center want to offer a provider’s perspective on various topics relevant to parenting a child with autism. Read full post »