Girls and Autism

I think it’s great that more studies are being published on girls with autism. A previous client had not been diagnosed with autism due to her social skills. I urged mom to keep getting other opinions because I knew there was something there. Finally, mom found a hospital that had knowledge about autism being displayed differently in girls and she finally received her diagnosis!

I also do a lot of assessments for kiddos entering the ESE preschool program. I have seen many cases where based off the parent’s stories, are red flags for autism. But these girls are not referred to a specialist because they did so well during the interview. It’s very frustrating. If you believe there is something not right with your child, get 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th opinions. You know your child best, keeping looking for answers.

Click on image to read article.

 

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‘Social Camouflage’ May Lead To Underdiagnosis Of Autism In Girls by NPR

Vocal Stereotypy 

One common characteristic of autism is stereotypy, repetitive movement for no obvious purpose. My little guy has vocal stereotypy which gets in the way during circle time in class. I have been assigned to implement my first intervention, and I have chosen to tackle this behavior.

I made some visuals to help him understand when it’s appropriate to talk and when it’s NOT appropriate to talk. 

I used it throughout his daily tasks last week and his stereotypy has decreased by 50%! There is more to the intervention which involves blocking and redirection, but the visuals are really helping him to control his body. 

I’m really excited for this because it’s the first time I have to write out the program, take the data, graph it, and discuss the progress!! I’ve been using everything I have learned in class: different methods of collecting data and how to use them. I’m on my way to becoming a BCaBA!! 

manners aren’t that important

Parents love to teach their kids manners, but for a child that has a language delay, saying Please and Thank You is the last thing you should worry about. When a child is learning to put 2 words together, “(noun) please” does not count!

Instead, try using a (verb+noun) or (adjective+noun) when requesting and/or labeling.
“eat banana.”
“play ball.”
“read book.”
“drink juice.”
“blue blanket.”
“big puzzle.”

You want to introduce more  words into your child’s vocabulary. Saying “Please” at the end of each word isn’t teaching them new words. Once your child has mastered requesting and labeling independently using 3-4 word phrases, then it’s ok to introduce manners.

what is stimming and why you should leave it alone

Stimming is a term used with Autism to describe repetitive,  self stimulatory behavior. The behavior can vary in many ways: hand flapping, spinning wheels, pacing back and forth – it’s different for everyone. I had 2 parents approach me with their concerns that a professional, either a Doctor or a BCBA, told them to be concerned about their child’s stimming.

Do these professionals not know what Autism is? It’s a neurological disorder, which means they process information differently than you & I. Leave them alone! Stimming can occur for numerous reasons: anxiety, happiness, over stimulation in the environment. Just because it’s not how YOU show emotions, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Stimming is a form of energy, it has to come out. If you try to stop someone from stimming, do you know what’s going to happen? The behavior is going to change to a new form of stimming!! It’s going to happen, whether in front of your face or behind your back.

There are professionals out there that can’t think for themselves and say/do what they have been taught by the University. You, as a parent, are allowed to get a second opinion. You don’t have to do what they tell you. Do what feels comfortable to you, after all, they are YOUR child.

My recommendations: Accept your child the way they are & love them unconditionally. They are already perfect, for they too were made in God’s image. Just because they stim, doesn’t mean they can’t learn. Everything is going to be fine. We all have our quirks anyways.