The information contained on this blog is not a substitute for training, continuing education, clinical supervision, or the importance of individual consultation for each child and family. All identifying information, including names and other details, has been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
April 3rd, 2017
It seemed like simple gesture. A college football player who was visiting a middle school spotted a red-haired sixth grader eating lunch alone, so he joined him.
Then the boy’s mother posted a photo on Facebook capturing the moment: her autistic son sitting across a cafeteria table from Travis Rudolph, the Florida State University [...]
March 22nd, 2017
Thomas was proud of his young son “Roger’s” remarkable knowledge of birds. Roger’s grandmother, an avid bird watcher, had shared birding books and toy bird replicas with the boy when he was young, and he had shown such great enthusiasm for the topic that at age 3, Roger could identify more than 50 types of birds.[...]
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 [...]
April 19th, 2016
My wish for families during this IEP season is that emotional regulation, supported by engaged relationships, finds its way into every discussion about a child. A child’s ability to feel safe and engaged provides a solid foundation for all areas of learning and socialization.
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.
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 [...]
December 4th, 2014
A Fresno, California mother made headlines when she sued her daughter’s teacher and school administrators. The mom had paid a surprise classroom visit and allegedly found her developmentally delayed seven-year-old locked in a makeshift cage and wearing a soiled diaper.
The principal of the school reportedly told police that the enclosure was a safety precaution that [...]
November 13th, 2014
Last week London McCabe, an autistic six-year old, died a senseless, tragic and preventable death at the hands of his mother. As professionals, there are steps we can take to prevent additional casualties of innocent lives. The first thing we can do is to examine our own beliefs and make sure we are not communicating [...]
September 12th, 2014
A new study released today by researchers at the Mind Institute and published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that early and intensive supportive interaction by parents (not therapists) diminished or took away signs of delay in almost all the children in the study. Even though the sample size was very small, [...]
The intuitive wisdom that parents are essential partners in their child’s growth and development has not always found a place in medical model therapeutic approaches. But in research circles today, when scientists talk about “critical ingredients” or crucial aspects of a treatment that make a difference toward a cure, the parent-child relationship is getting unprecedented [...]