Topic: Parents

Take Charge, Take Action on your Infant’s Development

A new study released today by researchers at the Mind Institute and published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that early and intensive supportive interaction by parents (not therapists) diminished or took away signs of delay in almost all the children in the study.  Even though the sample size was very small, […]

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The Role of Parents in Developmental Treatment

The intuitive wisdom that parents are essential partners in their child’s growth and development has not always found a place in medical model therapeutic approaches. But in research circles today, when scientists talk about “critical ingredients” or crucial aspects of a treatment that make a difference toward a cure, the parent-child relationship is getting unprecedented […]

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Where Parents are the Experts and Professionals are the Learners

An inspiring blog post by a mom and advocate of the Awenesty of Autism site described a dramatic office visit and the choice she made to not put a limit on her child’s future: In the author’s post, she writes: “After the evaluation, the lovely doctor, in a very nice, professional manner basically told me […]

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Are Therapies Respectful of Autism?

One of the most powerful position statements in the Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), a national group run by persons on the spectrum regarding health care and the respectful use of therapies is as follows: “Many therapies and products for Autistic children and adults are helpful and should be made more widely available, such as […]

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The Problem with Taking Behaviors at Face Value

One of the misunderstood aspects of autism is that for some individuals, outward behaviors do not match inward intentions or thoughts. Decades ago, I learned from leaders in the field of ASD treatment how profoundly motor planning and praxis (everything from having an idea, planning motor movements, sequencing those movements, executing and then adjusting as […]

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Are Parents Considered the Experts of their Own Special Needs Children?

This has been a rough IEP season at my office.  Not because money is still tight and funding sources are scarce for special education services, or because these meetings can go on for hours on end, but because it seems parents are often not considered experts of their own children with special needs.  And when […]

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Presuming Competence: Part Two

Valuable information can be gleaned from autistic persons writing about their educational experiences.  A common theme arising from such writings is that all too often,  behaviors are taken at face value and competence is not presumed.  Because the neural circuits connecting the motor system to ideas or intention can be seriously impacted in autism,  taking […]

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Presuming Competence: Raising the Bar for Autistic Individuals (Part One)

Information about the processing differences in autistic children is streaming in from researchers and scientists. Two examples are Elyssa Marco, looking at the sensory processing differences found in children with atypical neurodevelopment, and Stephen Porges, studying stress responses in autism and other conditions.  Researchers are now weighing in on what autistic individuals have been asking […]

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Preventing More Violence

How many more deaths must occur before we take action to prevent future acts of violence in this country?  While discussion around limiting gun access is important, as a mental health specialist I can speak to the need for early identification of potential perpetrators. Our current methods of identifying and treating persons with mental health […]

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