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Halloween Tips for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders

October 22, 2013

Halloween is around the corner! Here are some tips every parent and caregiver can use during the Halloween season.

Halloween is an exciting holiday for kids, but it may offer certain challenges for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Members of the Autism Parent Advisory Board of the Boone Fetter Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Autism Treatment Network site partnered with Kathryn Smith, RN, DrPH, nurse care manager in the Boone Fetter Clinic, to provide tips every parent and caregiver can use during the Halloween season.

Preparation and planning can help you stay stress-free. Whether this is your child’s first Halloween or not, here are some ideas to help you and your child enjoy the holiday.

Before Halloween: Tips for Kids with ASD
  • Create a visual story of what Halloween may be like for...

Developing a New Tool for Measuring the Benefits of Autism Therapy

July 16, 2013

AS-ATN clinicians develop questionnaire for measuring short-term improvements in symptoms; a crucial tool for therapy and research

Guest post by psychologist Micah Mazurek, PhD, of the University of Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The center is a member of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (AS-ATN). The research Dr. Mazurek describes was made possible through the AS-ATN’s role as the federally funded Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P).

As a child psychologist at the Thompson Center, my research and clinical work focus on helping children and families affected by autism. A...

Helping Families Safely Manage Behavioral Medicines

June 13, 2013

The author of our newest AS-ATN/AIR-P tool kit describes how it grew from the needs and desires of families.

The author of our newest AS-ATN/AIR-P tool kit describes how it grew from the needs and desires of families 

Guest post by pediatric nurse practitioner Lynn Cole, associate director of clinical services at the University of Rochester’s Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, one of 17 Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (AS-ATN) centers. Lynn authored the newly released AS-ATN/AIR-P* tool kit Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use.

I work with lots of...

Behavioral Medication Side Effects

March 1, 2013

A leading clinician and researcher answers parent questions on side effects associated with antipsychotic medications

One of your recent blogs described a study aimed at managing the weight gain associated with the antipsychotic medicines used to treat autism-related irritability. We’re considering one of these medications for our child. Are there other side effects?

This week’s “Got Questions?” answer is from Christopher McDougle, MD, director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Lurie Center for Autism, a member of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network. Autism Speaks has supported Dr. McDougle’s ...

Videoblog: Managing Challenging Behaviors

August 3, 2012

From the Autism Speaks National Family Conference in Columbus, Ohio, Daniel Coury, MD, discusses three ways that families can better manage challenging behaviors of their child with autism. Dr. Coury is the medical director of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). For more information, please read his recent blog and download the ATN tool kit, “Should My Child Take Medication for Challenging Behaviors?”

 

 

Reducing Anxiety in the ER

August 3, 2012

What can I do to make the emergency room experience less traumatic for my child with autism?

Today’s “Got Questions?” answer comes from James Perrin, MD, director of the Autism Treatment Network’s Clinical Coordinating Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and the federally funded Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health, as well as a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

This is a great question and one we are addressing with a study funded through the...

New Tool Kit Explains Behavioral Health Treatments

June 26, 2012

Guest post by Laura Srivorakiat, M.A., a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, an Autism Treatment Network center.

Behavior issues, so common in children and adolescents with autism, can quickly frustrate parents. Problem behavior – acting out, yelling, seeking attention and being aggressive – is hard on both the child and parents. To help get through these moments with less stress, it helps to have a behavior-management plan already in place.

Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network developed the Behavioral Health Treatments Tool Kit...

Help! My Kid Won’t Use a Public Restroom

June 8, 2012

Today’s “Got Questions?” answer comes from psychologist Terry Katz, Ph.D., of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) clinic at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital.

My son used to use public restrooms but now screams bloody murder if we even try. Any suggestions? 

This is a great question because many of our families struggle with this issue. Since your son used to go to the restroom in public places without difficulty, think about what has changed. Is he having a problem with how something looks, sounds, feels or smells in a public restroom?  Maybe he’s disturbed by the sound of a flushing toilet or a hand dryer. Maybe the feel of the toilet paper or the coldness of the sink water bothers him. Is he afraid of automatic faucets...

The ATN at IMFAR

June 5, 2012

Posted by Angie Fedele, senior clinical research and operations manager for Autism Speaks Autism Genetic Research Exchange (AGRE)

The goal of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is to provide expert, comprehensive care to children with autism across North America. The Combating Autism Act provides funding for the ATN to serve as the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P). This work includes developing professional treatment guidelines as well as ATN tool kits for families. The ATN is also funded by Autism Speaks.

I’m pleased to report...

My son has sleep problems. What can help?

February 17, 2012

Today’s “Got Questions?” response comes from two clinicians in Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Neurologist and sleep specialist Sangeeta Chakravorty, M.D., is director of the pediatric sleep program at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; and psychologist and sleep educator Terry Katz, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and co-founder of the Sleep Center at Children's Hospital Colorado.

First, know that you are not alone! Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. So Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network (ATN) clinicians have been studying how to help them sleep better. One result of this research is the Sleep Strategies for Children with Autism: A Parent’s Guide, made possible by the ATN’s participation in the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P)....

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