After Other Options Fail, A Family Tries Medical Marijuana For Son With Autism

Heard on Morning Edition Lynn Arditi One November afternoon inside a raised ranch in Rhode Island, Kristal and Chris’ 13-year-old son was just getting home from school. “How’s school?” Chris says. “Bad!” Dylan says. He’s a skinny kid with glasses – still small enough for his mom to wrap him in a bear hug if he gets out of control. He’s had a lot of bad days. Dylan’s parents review the daily reports his school […]

Children With Autism Dental Exams

By Jennifer Hieminga, MEd, BCBA Associate Director, (http://www.newhavencentre.com/) New Haven Learning Centre. Toronto, Canada For many individuals with autism, routine appointments such as medical, dental and haircuts can be extremely difficult to tolerate. There are many factors that may contribute to this intolerance such as novel environments, novel adults, novel or aversive sounds, bright lights, foreign tastes, painful sensations, sitting for long periods of time and physical touch. As a result, many children with autism […]

Organizing an Inclusive Birthday Party

Birthday parties can create fear in many parents. All the excitement, noise and sugar at the start, followed by tears and tantrums at the end. Not to mention all the expensive, catering and planning that’s involved. But one aspect of the planning that parents shouldn’t worry over is the invite list. Should you invite the child in the class with special needs? The simple answer is, yes. Having children with special needs at the party may require a […]

Toilet Training Children With Autism

By Frank Cicero, PhD Director of Psychological Services at Eden II Programs Here is the good news…children with autism can be toilet trained through the exact same methods that are used with typically-developing children. And what are these methods? Applied behavior analysis! If you have ever toilet trained a typically-developing child, you probably used a combination of praise and rewards for going on the toilet, explaining your expectations, removing the child‘s diaper, prompting to the […]

Kids With Autism Want To Connect. Here’s How Other Kids Can Help.

By Kendra Stanton Lee My brother Michael leaves the best voicemails, is a great traveling companion and does a spot-on impression of our late grandmother. Michael is also on the autism spectrum, and has been my life’s best reference for loving someone who is neuroatypical. Because he lives 1,000 miles away, though, my kids barely know him. We don’t visit Ohio, where Michael lives with my parents, frequently. My kids, who are 10 and 8, […]

Research Shows Why Autism Caregivers Are Stressed

By Michael A. Ellis, DO As reported last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)  has increased, yet again, to 1 in 59 children (1 in 37 boys).  This is based on 2014 data and as such the actual prevalence in 2018 may be higher.  The CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network has been evaluating autism prevalence data since 2000, at which time […]

Is It Common For Children With Autism To Have Sleep Disturbances?

By Lauren Schnell, BCBA Sleep disturbances in children with autism are a common concern for many parents. It has been estimated that approximately 25% of typical children between the ages of one and four struggle with nighttime wakings (Lozoff, Wolf, & Davis, 1985). For children with special needs, the number increases dramatically with upwards of 80% experiencing some type of sleep problems (Lamberg, 1994). Of those who frequently wake at night, the majority end up […]

Therapies and Treatments for Autism

“What do I do next?” This is a question that has undoubtedly been asked by every parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In many cases, it comes after the “What is autism?” and “How did it happen?“ Unfortunately, just as with the first two questions, the answer isn’t very satisfying. Although many treatments and therapies are proposed to help, few have been studied enough to know whether they really do (or […]

Child Bearing and The Challenges of Intellectual Disability

By Lydia Furman, MD, Associate Editor, Pediatrics In a recently released issue of Pediatrics, Dr. Hilary Brown and colleagues from Toronto, Canada ask an important question: are mothers with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) more or less likely to have their infants placed in protective custody immediately after birth compared to mothers without such a disability (10.1542/peds.2018-1416)? The authors used several large and complete national health information databases to answer their question. A total of […]

A Connecticut Cafe Provides Jobs For Adults With Disabilities

  Adults with intellectual disabilities often struggle to find work. Over 80-percent are under-employed or not working at all, according to an estimate by the Arc, a nonprofit that assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. So a group of Connecticut families started a cafe named BeanZ & Co. to tackle the problem head-on. On a recent day, Lauren Traceski took an order from a customer, then relayed it to her boss, who started up […]