Topic: Parents

When Something doesn’t Feel Right

As a parent, you might experience confusion about your role in your child’s services.  You may feel that “pit in the stomach”, or “queasy feeling” when one of your child’s therapists makes a suggestion/comment that just doesn’t seem right. Because you have such a close relationship with your child, your weigh-in during these moments is […]

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Time to Re-think Treatment Techniques?

  Last week, at Bessel van der Kolk’s Annual Trauma Conference, the number of references to autism intrigued me.  While one would not necessarily expect to find those two words together in a conference, some of the underlying neurobiology found in trauma may be similar to children with autism, including weak or disconnected neural links […]

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Look at me!

Enforcing eye contact is a tricky endeavor in children with autism.  While gently taking a child’s head into your hands and asking him to look at you might seem innocuous, it actually can be very stressful. Parents and professionals alike need to consider the complexity of the brain networks in autism and make sure we […]

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Are you at Risk?

A recent study by researchers at the University of Illinois validates many other studies linking an increased risk of stress and depression experienced by mothers of young children with autism spectrum disorders (Jeans, 2013).  Fathers are at risk as well, however their symptoms may look different than those of mothers. This is somber news, and […]

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Why are IEP’s so Stressful?

There are many reasons IEP’s can be stressful.  Here is a list of a few related to the emotional ramifications of the process on parents.  Please feel free to respond and add your own.  The implication here is not that school administrators and teaching staff ever intend to make IEP’s an adversarial process.  The reason […]

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Redefining Oppositional and Challenging Behaviors

One of the goals of the Profectum conference  last month was to help parents and professionals expand their understanding of challenging behaviors in children. Connie Lillas described an optimal state of mental health as the “green” zone, a zone of calm awareness which supports learning and communicating.  Connie and I emphasized how important it is […]

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Let’s do away with the term “Non-verbal”

The second annual Profectum conference was again a huge hit with parents and professionals alike.  A touching moment happened when a parent came up after my talk and asked me to repeat something I had said about the inaccuracy of the phrase “non-verbal”.  As Liz Torres, neuropsychological researcher, told us, what we can see (or […]

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The Experts are Teaching the Professionals!

It is such a pleasure to be taught by the real experts.  The real experts are individuals with autism who are giving us first hand accounts about what types of treatment work and what kinds can actually cause suffering. One example of treatment missing the mark is when non-verbal children are assumed to know less […]

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Making the Right Treatment Decisions for your Child

When it comes to early developmental delays, the roadmap to treatment is often rocky and confusing.  Knowing your child’s unique individual profile* will help you tailor the right program based on his unique needs.  Here is the key question: What are the right treatments for my child at this particular time and with his/her unique profile? […]

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