From the moment a child is diagnosed with autism, their family enters the unknown. Conference halls are lined with salespeople, letterboxes are stuffed with pamphlets, and life is transformed into a whirlwind tour of a fantastical array of therapies and potions that are positioned as the “cure all” for their child’s difficulties.
By OTARC Honours student, Ms Lacey Chetcuti
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 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) imitate less often and less accurately than typically developing children. While several explanatory theories have been put forward for these findings, the specific reasons for imitation difficulties remain unclear.
Sometimes the harder you try to sleep, the more difficult it becomes…
Insomnia is one of the most common health complaints in Australia, affecting up to a third of the population. When sleep is poor we can feel tired and irritable, and as though everything requires more effort. When poor sleep persists it can increase negative feelings, affecting our mood and general health.
By Dr Giacomo Vivanti, Drexel University, former OTARC staffer
A key question for science to explore in the twenty-first century concerns the mechanisms that underlie social behaviour. How do we understand other people’s thoughts, beliefs and intentions? To what extent can our mental states and feelings be shared with other people? And how do we incorporate other people’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs into our mental world?
Among the many available therapies and early interventions for children with autism, only a few are backed up with solid scientific evidence. But here’s some good news: recently, the quality of autism early intervention research has improved significantly.
Children with autism are often described as “visual learners” and said to “think in pictures”. Accordingly, teachers and therapists routinely prescribe picture-based communication systems in an effort to support their learning.