Going to the Doctor/Dentist

Making Life Easier By Pamelazita Buschbacher, Ed.D. Doctor and dentist visits can be very stressful for young children. Routine check-ups can cause anxiety, fear and distress in toddlers and preschoolers. Some common fears for young children include: • separation from you; • pain and discomfort; • stranger anxiety; and • unfamiliar procedures and people. The following tips will help ensure that these visits are easier for you and your child.  Schedule smartly. When you […]

How Do I Protect My Wandering Loved One?

Wandering and elopement behaviors can pose unique safety risks for children and adults on the autism spectrum. Luckily, there are many accessible tools to help keep these individuals safe. Below, Milestones Autism Resources Program Director Beth Thompson, MSSA, LSW highlights some great tips and resources to utilize if your loved one is one of the many individuals with ASD who are prone to wandering. Take advantage of free resources – The National Autism Association is currently […]

Autism in the Teen Years: What to Expect, How to Help

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute What parent doesn’t watch their “tween” become a teen without a twinge of anxiety? Factor autism into the equation, and parents may well wonder how the physical and hormonal changes of adolescence will affect their child on the spectrum. How will typical teenage rebellion look in someone who struggles with behavioral control? What will it be like traversing the social minefield of high school for someone […]

10 Back To School Tips For Kids With Autism & Special Needs

Article by Ilana Danneman – Pediatric Physical Therapist 1. Do your research First, find out as much as you can about your child’s next year. Will they need extra support? Is the school aware of their challenges? Can you meet with your child’s teacher(s) before school starts so you can set a game plan that is comfortable for everyone? 2. Dress for Success Does your school have a dress code? Makes sure you include the […]

Prenatal Tdap Vaccination Not Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Study

A study of women who received a Tdap vaccination during pregnancy found no increase in risk that their children would later be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The study, “Prenatal Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis Vaccination and Autism Spectrum Disorder,” will be published in the September 2018 issue of Pediatrics. Researchers reviewed the records of 81,993 pairs of diverse pregnant women and their children who were born between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2014, at […]

Navigating the Road to Adulthood: One Family’s Story

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network Ruth Dunigan is proud. Her son, David, is excelling at a full-time job and managing his money well enough to buy his first vehicle, a silver Jeep Liberty. Those may seem like average things for a 25-year-old, but David is not average. David is among a tidal wave of people with autism who have made the transition from school to adulthood recently.1,2 His generation has had to navigate school and […]

Should You Explain the Diagnosis to the Child?

BY: Tony Attwood, Ph.D. The immediate answer is yes. Clinical experience indicates that it is extremely important that the diagnosis is explained as soon as possible and preferably before inappropriate compensatory mechanisms are developed. The child is then more likely to achieve self-acceptance, without unfair comparisons with other children, and be less likely to develop signs of an anxiety disorder, depression or conduct disorder. When and How do you Explain the Diagnosis? At what age […]

The Challenge of Physical Fitness for People with Autism

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network ian@kennedykrieger.org You’ve probably seen the headlines: studies say that children and adults with autism are at risk for an inactive lifestyle and obesity. While the reasons are subject to debate, it’s clear that people with ASD often face unique challenges to physical fitness. The core features of autism – social, communication and behavior problems – can make joining a game of kickball at recess or playing tag with neighborhood kids […]

What does a student with Asperger Syndrome need in a school program?

BY: LYNDA GELLER, Ph.D. Anyone who knows many children and adults with Asperger Syndrome knows that every person’s manifestation of the condition is very different. While they share significant social disability, some are very successful academically, some struggle with accomplishing work; some have intense intellectual interests that lead them to career paths, and others have intense interests that seem to have no practical use; some have a few friendships, others are desperately alone and lonely. […]