We know that most Autistic people, and some non-autistic, have sensory issues. For those on the Autism spectrum, noises that go unnoticed by many can sound like a booming drum. Equally, lights that seem unobtrusive to most can be glaring and extremely bright. And yet, those on the spectrum may also be under-stimulated across the senses, needing more sensory input. During this time when we are all stuck in our homes, I would like to call attention to these sensory issues in the hope that with a little thought, we can help meet our own sensory needs, or the needs of those on the spectrum whom we live with.Read more “Calling all sensory detectives and creators…”
Complementary and alternative treatments such as the Gluten and Casein-Free Diet (GFCF), while not recommended in national and international guidelines on autism intervention, are extremely popular among families of Autistic children, with a reported use between 52% and 95%.Read more “Is a change in diet effective for Autistic children?”
A very good starting point for comparing different supports is the Raising Children Network’s ‘Parent Guide to Therapies‘ which provides a description of the most commonly used supports in Australia, as well as a rating for research evidence, time commitment required, and cost. Research Autism, based in the UK, provides a similar service and is also well worth a look.
Even when we consider only those interventions for which there is good research evidence, we find that there is currently no single best support program which works equally well for all Autistic children. This is no doubt due in large part to the fact that the individual skills and needs of each child, and his or her family, are unique.
Dr David Trembath
Published July 2019Read more “What is the best evidence-based support for Autistic children in relation to communication skills?”
ASDetect identifies the early signs of Autism, to help reduce the age at which Autistic children are identified. The younger a child is accurately identified the sooner intervention can begin allowing children’s full learning potential to be realised.Read more “Seven Essential Tips for Parents Evaluating Autism Interventions”
Is it possible to teach adults with autism to speak?
Unfortunately, the simple answer is that we don’t know because there is no research evidence that tells us one way or the other. There are reports of individuals which indicate that it may be possible (see for example, Helping to unlock the secrets of autism), but what works for one individual may not work for another. Because of that we cannot make any predictions about particular individuals. However, it is important not to assume anything. Experiences through work, reading of the research literature, and listening to the personal stories of Autistic people and their families lead us to think that we can’t predict what individual Autistic people can or cannot learn, and we shouldn’t give up trying to help them to learn skills. We shouldn’t be surprised by surprises.Read more “Teaching Autistic adults to speak”
A new research study at the Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) based at La Trobe University’s Children’s Centre, in collaboration with the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC), has been published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.Read more “New Autism research demonstrates positive impact of early suports”
Copying others is important for development. It provides a way to learn about the physical world, and a context for children to practice and develop their skills for interacting with others. There is evidence to suggest that children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism) imitate less often and less accurately than non-autistic children. While several explanatory theories have been put forward for these findings, the specific reasons for imitation difficulties remain unclear.Read more “Imitation Difficulties Among Children with a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Social Motivation or Motor-Execution Problem?”
What is the evidence basis for sensory processing interventions?
Therapies to address sensory issues in Autism have been around for a while. Unfortunately there is no strong evidence that they work or add anything over and above standard behavioural supports.Read more “Sensory processing supports”
Are Autism Assistance Dogs suitable for children of all ages?
When should an Autism Assistance Dog be introduced to a child with autism?
These questions, coupled with an increase in interest by families in acquiring a dog for their child and Autism researchers attempting to assess the effectiveness of dogs in support of a child and family. However, it is not yet possible to conclusively state that assistance dogs (also called service dogs) are effective companion for an Autistic child, let alone make recommendations as to the desired characteristics and training of dogs or suitable child and family characteristics (e.g., child age, level of functioning, behavioural issues; family type and dynamics). This is because the studies published to date have many limitations.Read more “Autism assistance dogs”