Topic: Presume Competence

Ten Things to ask for when Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism or Developmental Differences

As a pediatric psychologist I know that families’ journeys can be fraught with unexpected challenges. Discovering that your child has differences can be daunting. And sometimes, making sure that your child’s needs are properly met by the outside world can be even more stressful. One aspect I am especially passionate about as a psychologist is […]

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What Makes an Education “Appropriate”? Building It on Relationships

Every IEP team should assure that a child has the chance to develop emotional regulation through trusting relationships. Without that opportunity, meaningful learning is impossible.

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Early Autism Intervention: Yes, You Do Have Options

Since professionals and educators may not apprise you of the many early autism intervention choices available, it’s essential to do your own research and pursue the approach that feels most suitable for your child and family.

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A Missing Ingredient in Autism Therapies

The emotional life of the child is often not considered in the behavioral treatment of autism. This article offers suggestions to enhance the child's emotional development in autism treatment.

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Being “Nonverbal” Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Think

When professionals automatically equate “nonspeaking” with “low functioning,” they underestimate student’s intellectual capacities, often removing children from inclusive programs to place them in separate special education classes that may not be appropriate or academically sufficient.

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Disorderism: How to Make Sure People See Your Child and Not a Diagnosis

How to make sure people see your child, and not a disorder.

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The Hidden Costs of Planned Ignoring

There are downsides to planned ignoring in behavioral therapies and ABA. This article describes what they are.

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Presuming Competence in Your Child: Four Tips for Parents to Share with Providers

When I met three-year-old “Tim”, he had such difficulty with spoken language and controlling his body that it was difficult to tell how much he could comprehend of the world around him. He couldn’t show his understanding with words—or even with movements. A decade later, he has learned to type on an iPad and uses […]

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Different, Not Deficient: Five Ways to Ensure your Special Child is Receiving the Right Messages

I’m grateful for the wonderful response to my last post, Ten Things to Ask of Professionals working with your Special Needs Child, which focused on helping the adults in your child’s life to see the positive, not just the deficits. In the coming weeks, I’ll focus on each point individually, elaborating more specifically on how […]

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