Thoughts on Prognosis From a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)

Jordan S. Sadler, MS, CCC-SLP http://www.communicationtherapy.net/ Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sometimes ask, “What is my child’s prognosis?” and that is understandable. As a parent, it is likely that I’d be asking it myself. However, it may be as difficult for therapists to answer as it is for parents to ask. For one thing, what do parents mean by “prognosis”?  Does it simply mean, “What will the outcome be for my child after all this therapy? What will his future look like?” Or is it a way of asking, “How close to typical do you think my child will become? Will he eventually blend in with his peers more?”  I always ask families to bear in mind just how broad the range of “typical” really is; it’s a moving target. Is your typical the same as my typical? Is “quirky” as okay with you as it is…

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Autism, Parenting, and the Importance of Attitude

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com www.canisitwithyou.org www.blogher.com/blog/shannon-des-roches-rosa Consider the same day, the same circumstances, the same children, the same parent – but filtered through two different attitudes: Leo and I had the worst day ever. Leo and I had the best day ever! Why does Leo always wake up so early? His sisters sleep until we shriek at them to get up, like self-respecting children should. I’m so irritated that he’s sometimes wet in the mornings. He’s never going to be fully self-sufficient. Leo got up at 6:30, but that’s certainly better than yesterday’s 6:00, and then it was his dad’s turn to attend to our early riser. And how amazing that Leo now spontaneously asks to go to the bathroom when he gets up, and is frequently dry. If you’d told me three years ago how well he’d be doing with his self-care at age eight, I wouldn’t have…

Identifying and Avoiding Autism Cults

Shannon Des Roches Rosa www.squidalicious.com www.canisitwithyou.org www.blogher.com/blog/shannon-des-roches-rosa A child’s autism diagnosis can mess with parents’ heads. Media portrayals of children with autism and their adult spectrum-mates dwell almost exclusively on negatives and challenges, so when a parent is told that their child is autistic, they are usually incredibly upset. It doesn’t help when doctors lack the bedside manner to soften the emotional impact of their diagnoses, or have no information about contemporary autism therapies and resources. When that happens, parents are both freaked out and flapping in the wind. Their child’s doctor was supposed to give them answers and guidance, but instead upended their lives, then shoved them out the door. No one can explain why they have a child with autism, and they know nothing about autism. They are emotionally reeling, angry with the medical establishment, and hungry for any information that will help their child. Most parents start…

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

A Community Book and Blog Project  The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (TPGA) is the book and website we wish had been available when our children with autism were first diagnosed. We want to help people with autism and their families make sense of the bewildering array of available autism treatments and options, and determine which are worth their time, money, and energy. Think of us as a little bit of Snopes for the autism community — trusted, accurate, and friendly. Our essays will cover informed approaches to autism and autism treatments, as well as the personal experiences of people with autism and their families. Our attitude is cautionary yet loving — we’re  honest, but we’re not interested in negativity. We envision TPGA as a community-based effort, with the very best writing on evidence-based approaches to autism from autistics, family members, and professionals. If you have something to say about…