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Your ATN@Work: Creating an Autism Learning Network

January 4, 2016

These families and healthcare providers are pioneering a powerful new way to improve health and quality of life for people with autism.

By Kirsten Klatka, clinical program manager for the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). In this role, Ms. Klatka helps lead the ATN’s federally funded work as the Autism Intervention Research Network for Physical Health (AIR-P).

This year, the Autism Speaks ATN/AIR-P is partnering with the Anderson Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to build a Learning Network in autism care. A Learning Network enables patients and families, clinicians, researchers and communities to collaborate in quality improvement, innovation, and research to improve care and outcomes for children.

We are currently in the planning stages of our...

Grandma wants to stop tiptoe walking in grandaughter who has autism

December 11, 2015

Perspective and guidance on this common autism-related behavior, from a pediatrician and a physical therapist in the Autism Speaks ATN

Perspective and guidance on this common autism-related behavior, from a pediatrician and a physical therapist in the Autism Speaks ATN

“How can I stop my granddaughter [who has autism] from constantly walking on tip toes?”

Today’s “Got Questions?” answer is by neurodevelopmental pediatrician Kristin Sohl and physical therapist Jan McElroy, of the University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The Thompson Center is one of 14 sites in the ...

Your ATN@Work: Autism training for school bus drivers

December 8, 2015

With the prompting of parents, the staff of this Autism Treatment Network center created a model autism-sensitivity and skills-building program for school bus drivers

With the prompting of parents, the staff of this Autism Treatment Network center created a model autism-sensitivity and skills-building program for school bus drivers

By Lisa Kanigsberg, a research assistant in the Autism Research Centre at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, in Toronto. The center is one of 14 North American sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network.

“I hate sending her on the bus. Every day the driver has a complaint about her behavior. One day he started yelling at her because she was humming loudly and rocking – before the doors even closed...

Parents seek advice: 7-year-old with autism no longer uses utensils

December 4, 2015

Insights and strategies from a pediatric psychologist who specializes in autism-related feeding challenges

“My son, who has autism, didn't eat for his first four years. After lots of therapy, he began eating and even using silverware. Then at age 5, he started to refuse utensils. Now, at age 7, he eats even ice cream with his fingers! Any advice?”

Today’s Food for Thought response is by pediatric psychologist Elizabeth Pulliam. Dr. Pulliam practices at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences & Arkansas Children's Hospital. Both are part of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Dr....

Your ATN@Work: The Making of the Puberty and Adolescence Tool Kit

December 1, 2015

The co-author of our newest ATN/AIR-P tool kit describes the tremendous need that inspired its creation by a dedicated group of parents and autism specialists

The co-author of our newest ATN/AIR-P tool kit describes the tremendous need that inspired its creation by a dedicated group of ATN parents and autism specialists  


By Kameena Ballard-Dawkins, an Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) family representative at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. The hospital is one of 14 ATN sites across the United States and Canada. Ballard-Dawkins is among the co-authors of the just published ATN/AIR-P Puberty and Adolescence Resource, a tool kit for parents of adolescents with autism.

Download the Puberty and Adolescence Resource, free...

Your ATN@Work: Making research participation more autism friendly

November 24, 2015

Q&A with autism researcher Brad Ferguson on the ways his team makes study participation a positive experience for kids on the spectrum

Q&A with autism researcher Brad Ferguson on the ways his team makes study participation a positive experience for kids on the spectrum

Psychologist Brad Ferguson is a doctoral student pursuing research into the relationships between autism, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and anxiety at the University of Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, in Columbia, Mo. The center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN), which is supporting this research through...

Your ATN@Work: The Arts + Autism = Improv Opera

November 17, 2015

Our Autism Treatment Network center in Columbus, Ohio, teamed with local groups to present an autism-friendly – and very fun – opera

Our Autism Treatment Network center in Columbus, Ohio, teamed with local groups to present an autism-friendly – and very fun – opera

By Amy Hess, shown here with (left to right) daughter Sophia, son Henry and husband Tom. Amy represents Nationwide Children Hospital’s on the national Family Advisory Committee of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Located in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide is one of 14 ATN centers across the U.S. and Canada.

What happens when you...

Holiday travel, autism & toileting: Five tips for success on the road

November 13, 2015

The holidays mean travel for many families - and that can challenge toilet training for kids with autism. These 5 tips can help

Do you have some strategies to help us maintain toilet training when we travel with our 10-year-old who has autism? There’s no problem remembering to use the bathroom at home and school. But we still need a diaper when we go on vacation or otherwise disrupt our usual routine.

Editor’s note: The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as appropriate, with a qualified healthcare professional and/or behavioral therapist.

Today’s “Got Questions?” answer is by psychologist and behavior analyst Daniel W. Mruzek, of the...

Your ATN@Work: Tackling challenges & celebrating Latino families

November 10, 2015

Autism Treatment Network's Gaby Hurtado reports from Latino Families Day at our ATN center in Santa Ana, California

Autism Treatment Network's Gaby Hurtado reports from Latino Families Day  at our ATN center in Santa Ana, California

By Gaby Hurtado, project manager for the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

My greatest joy as the ATN’s project manager is when I’m in the company of the children and families who are being served by our network. These opportunities don’t come often enough, as our 14 centers are spread across the US and Canada – and I’m based here in Los Angeles.

So the...

Your ATN@Work: Providing autism training to child care providers

November 3, 2015

Our ATN site in Arkansas has a model program for promoting early identification and intervention for autism in day cares and preschools

Our ATN site in Arkansas has a model program for promoting early identification and intervention for autism in day cares and preschools



 By child developmental pediatrician Maya Lopez (left) and child psychologist Jayne Bellando. Drs. Lopez and Bellando practice in the developmental pediatrics department of Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little Rock. The department is part of the...

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