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Tue, Apr. 21st, 2009, 06:17 pm
mightydoll: ASAT

Today, thanks to a comment in the Slate article: The Hawthorne Effect, Why Parents Swear by Ineffective Treatments for Autism, I've become aware of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.

Where, where, WHERE has this association been all my son's life? (apparently they were formed the same year he was born)

From the website: ASAT is a not-for-profit organization of parents and professionals committed to improving the education, treatment, and care of people with autism. Since autism was first identified, there has been a long history of failed treatments and fads, levied on vulnerable individuals as well as on their families. From the scandal of the “refrigerator mother” theory, to the ongoing parade of “miracle cures” and “magical breakthroughs”, history has been dominated by improbable theories about causation and treatments. Many of these treatments have been too quickly adopted by professionals, too readily sensationalized by the media, and too hastily embraced by hopeful consumers – well before supporting evidence or reasonable probability existed for their effectiveness or safety. Since ASAT was established in 1998, it has been our goal to work toward adopting higher standards of accountability for the care, education and treatment of all individuals with autism.

One section lists each treatment out there, and then summarizes the research and provides links to the studies. Brilliant!

Wed, Apr. 8th, 2009, 05:19 pm
mightydoll: Hi all

I'm mom to a 10 year old, fifth grade boy with Asperger's Syndrome. To read more about him and his abilities, you can click here.

We home schooled him until grade two, as we felt he was not socially ready to be plunged into the (woefully underfunded) public school system. At kindergarten age, he threw tantrums daily, spoke constantly, but with articulation and cadence issues that made his speech almost indiscernible and didn't react well to strangers (and strangers = anyone not family and sometimes his little sister).

After years of intensive social skills training, we put him in public school. At the time that he entered public school, the educational psychiatrist who assessed him assessed his academic abilities as consistently grade level or above (with the exception of his handwriting and spelling which was slightly below grade level). In the three years he's been at school, it seems like he's mostly moved backwards academically and has gained no real benefits socially. He's discouraged, depressed and stressed out. We're discouraged, depressed and stressed out too. He is generally overlooked and fighting for services has been one dead end after another. Our local school board just doesn't have any consistent plan for autistic support and his needs are often overlooked, as he doesn't "seem" autistic to those whose model of autism is based on self-injuring, non-verbal kids with low IQ's (my son's IQ tests in the 99th percentile, but his processing speed is in the 7th %ile)

SO we're considering homeschooling again, helping him get back up to grade level before placing him back in a (carefully selected, possibly private) school program for grade 7. We might hold him back a year, so that he's a bit more mature when he goes into grade 7, too (he's a November baby, and with AS, already a bit less mature than his peers).

So, I'm here looking for tips, links, lesson plans, etc.

Mon, Apr. 6th, 2009, 11:16 pm
breezy_boo: (no subject)

hello,
I've done special needs work before and am looking at getting back into it. I am wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to find a family to work with. I'm in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada :)

Mon, Apr. 6th, 2009, 10:00 am
autismblog: parental tips for eval current ABA/Behavior programs

Hi, I'm working on a collection of tips for the parent wanting to know how to evaluate their ABA/Behavioral Therapy program to post on my autismblog. Kinda a Top 10 of things you can do to evaluate and improve the quality of therapy that your child is getting. If anyone would like to submit their thoughts here for consideration, please do so here.

Examples of previous Meta:

Nurture vs. Nature and Get out of the House
Take the Challenge
Autism Photography Therapy
Video Modeling

Mon, Mar. 2nd, 2009, 08:51 am
mrsdewey2008: Hi Everyone, I am New

Hi Everyone i am new to the community, i am a senior in college hoping to become a behavior therapist when i graduate in hopes to one day become an autism specialist. Autism is huge in my family i have a nephew who has Aspergers and a cousin who has severe autism, i know a good chunk of things from them, but am still nervous and want to find out everything i can, so i can help these children as best as i can!! Any Ideas or suggestions welcome.

Sat, Feb. 28th, 2009, 01:19 am
elizabeth_1977: New Teacher Discussion Community

Teacher's Nook: http://www.teachersnook.net

Come and help us make the community grow. It's also a way to get additional support and feedback from your colleagues. (You can NEVER have enough of that! Can you?)

Tue, Feb. 10th, 2009, 10:39 am
autismblog: looking for ideas to help develop "emotional regulation"

I was blogging about this today and wanted to reach out to the comm in the hope of getting some ideas for proactive strategies to help develop emotional regulation for my 8 yo son (pretty high functioning w/Dx of autism)

Excerpt:
If someone were to ask me what's Ethan's biggest issue right now, without hesitation I would say Emotional Regulation (and by proxy coping skills). It truly distinguishes from his peers more than anything else (yes, even the scripting/tv talk -which seems to be used mostly during play/free time and isn't a big hindrance). The fact that he can get so worked up into tears and loud wailing over very small mistakes and frustrations has really held him back in terms of reducing the time he needs an aide in the classroom.

Link to full blog entry on my LJ

x-posted to autism

Fri, Feb. 6th, 2009, 09:23 pm
dragynflies: (no subject)

Hey folks! I know this is an autism board, but I work using behavioral techniques with a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, and I am looking for some advice. I also know that we have some parents on this board, and I would like an opinion from them that can be applied to anyone, regardless of disability, so I hope it is okay that I post this here. :)



I have a question for parents and/or professionals who work with individuals with disabilities, and I'd really appreciate some opinions on a couple situations.



First -- the little girl I work with has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Occasionally, when she's upset, she'll tantrum pretty hardcore. It starts out (I think) to be pretty attention maintained -- she's looking to get her way by screaming, crying, shrieking (I swear, banshees are jealous of this girl's shriek. My ears are still ringing.) Anyway, sometimes that behavior crosses from "attention maintained" to "I can't calm down anymore." She gets so worked up that I really think that she begins to lose the ability to self-regulate her tantrum and honestly can't calm down.

Does anyone have any behavioral advice that might help me work with her to better control her tantrums? I refuse to cuddle her or give into her demands when she is tantruming. What I usually do is sit down someplace near to her, but not right next to her, and say "When you're calm, I'd be happy to talk to you about why you're upset." Eventually it works and I know I have some history of getting her way to work with, but if anyone has any further advice, I'd very much appreciate it.


Second, my question for parents


Parents, how would you like staff (or a babysitter, or anyone who's not you, I guess) to deal with tantrums when talking to you? I'll give my example. Tomorrow, I agreed to work 10 am to 10 pm because dad wanted to go to a few basketball games and mom is away -- and I need the money, so it actually worked out nice for everyone. After my client's tantrum tonight, her father said, "you sure you want to work tomorrow?" I said, "Yes, I do. Stuff happens, we'll deal with it." What I mean is look -- for me, a tantrum where a kid screams awhile, cries, and a chair gets broken (she knocked over a chair and the leg broke) isn't a big deal. The kid isn't bleeding, I'm not bleeding, and tomorrow, she'll be just fine. But I don't want to be the asshole, insensitive worker either. I don't want to make the parents feel like I am brushing aside their concerns, or that to me, their child's behavior is no big deal. Does all this make sense? I'm trying to make sure that I don't inadvertently make the parents feel bad, or anything. Can I get some insight from what parents would like staff to do, and say????


Thanks guys, I really do appreciate it!!!

Thu, Jan. 29th, 2009, 08:42 pm
buttersbooboo: Floortime

Hello everyone,
I have a 6 year old, high-functioning, verbal boy that I work with. His mom is wondering about doing floortime with him. I am not trained in it, but from what I know about it, I've always thought that it's for lower-functioning kids who are more withdrawn. (Sorry if I am completely wrong). Are there any good online resources you could recommend? What kinds of kids is floortime usually used/successful with?

Thanks!

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