One of the first and most important choices parents and caregivers make after a child’s diagnosis of autism is which therapy will be most suitable for their son or daughter.
By OTARC Master of Clinical Psychology candidate, Stephanie Mertins and Associate Professor Amanda Richdale
Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often report more child behavioural, gastrointestinal and sleep problems than do parents of typically developing (TD) children.
Hi, I am running a home based 1:1 program for my 29 year old autistic son. I am especially interested to know if anyone anywhere has attempted to develop or modify ABA for use past early childhood, and if so, has such a program has been evaluated?
By Kristelle Hudry, La Trobe University
Since the condition was first recognised in the 1940s, parents have been and felt blamed for their children’s autism. Today, most people no longer believe this, but a lingering doubt continues to niggle many parents.
By Dr David Trembath
N1 program: Understanding Outcomes, One Child at a Time
As a parent, speech pathologist, and researcher in the field of ASD, I am yet to meet a child who does not learn, laugh, and grow in his or her own unique and important way. Indeed, it is the idiosyncrasies in our children that as parents we love and celebrate, which make classrooms interesting and fun to be in, and which inspire us to tailor the way we teach to each child’s interests, strengths, and personality. But how can we best chart each child’s individual course of learning in early life, and make discoveries from the different ways they learn? How can we measure intervention outcomes in a consistent manner when working with children with a spectrum of individual strengths and needs, while implementing a variety of different interventions? In a new clinically-focused research project we are attempting to address these issues, one child at a time.
By Dr Josephine Barbaro, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at OTARC and ASD Specialist in Australia’s first Early Assessment Clinic for Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Since beginning research on the early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders back in 2005 as part of my PhD program, the Social Attention and Communication Study (SACS), I was often asked “What’s the point of identifying children at 2 years of age or younger if there are very few or no services for them?” You see, back in 2005, there wasn’t the Helping Children with Autism Package for families of children on the spectrum (aged 0 – 7), or intervention programs like the Early Start Denver Model – the first intervention model with strong empirical evidence for its effectiveness in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with ASDs. So, at this time, many families had to wait on long waiting lists for early intervention services, as long as 18 months in some cases, to receive a few hours a week of services! It was therefore difficult to convince some people, both in the public and private sectors, of the importance of early detection and subsequent intervention.
My daughter has just turned 8 and is severely affected by classic autism. She is non-verbal. Recently she had a fever and her behaviour changed dramatically. She wanted to be held, maintained eye contact for lengthy periods and most incredibly – spoke words very clearly! She said her brother’s name and repeatedly said “Mum”. I have to repeat how incredible this is as she is completely non-verbal. Please somebody research this phenomenon!
When a newborn joins a family we become beguiled by the perfection of this wondrous new being. Any hint of difference is easily overlooked during the early years.