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Your ATN@Work: Addressing disparities in autism healthcare

August 25, 2015

The Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network is piloting programs to improve autism services for underserved communities; some highlights …

The Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network is piloting programs to improve autism services for underserved communities; some highlights …

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

I wasn’t surprised when I first heard the findings that Latino and African-American children tended to be diagnosed with autism years later than white children do. For the US population as a whole, the average age at autism diagnosis is just over 4 years old. For minority kids, it’s...

Your ATN@Work: Meeting the need for highly trained ABA therapists

August 18, 2015

This Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network site is providing advanced, hands-on training for students of applied behavior analysis

This Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network site is providing advanced, hands-on training for students of applied behavior analysis 

By behavior analyst SungWoo Kahng, BCBA. Dr. Kahng is an associate professor of health psychology at the University of Missouri and works in the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, in Columbia. The center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

I am ecstatic that parents of children with autism are seeking evidenced-based...

Grandma of child with autism worries about B12 side effects

August 14, 2015

Perspective from an Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network expert on alternative and complementary treatments


“My grandson who has autism has been on methyl B12 for approximately 9 months. The day after he receives a shot, I notice that he lacks focus, is hyperactive and is mouthing objects a lot. I've encouraged my son to tell the pediatrician and discuss possibly reducing the dosage. Is there anything else I can suggest or share?”

Today’s Got Questions answer is by neurodevelopmental-behavioral pediatrician Susan Hyman, of the University of Rochester Medical Center. The Rochester Medical Center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks...

Your ATN@Work: Easing clinic visits for kids with autism

August 11, 2015

Our Autism Treatment Network center in Los Angeles has proven tips for ensuring a more successful medical visit for you and your child

Our Autism Treatment Network center in Los Angeles has proven tips for ensuring a more successful medical visit for you and your child 

By developmental behavioral pediatrician Larry Yin. Dr. Yin is the medical director of the Boone Fetter Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, one of 14 centers in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network. Dr. Yin also directs the University of Southern California’s University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. 

Most children feel a little anxious about seeing a doctor.   Some fear even temporary separation from their parent. Others worry about a...

Help for child with autism who forgets to use toilet when distracted

August 7, 2015

Parent seeks advice for 9 year old who forgets toilet training when glued to the screen; tips from an expert in the Autism Speaks ATN

“My son is 9, and he sometimes still pees and poops in his pants when he’s distracted by television or video games. He knows how to use the bathroom, but I also have trouble showing him how to properly wipe. I need help on how to go about this bathroom situation. I got frustrated last time, and I lost it. Please help me.”

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...

Your ATN@Work: Dietary guidelines for kids with autism and GI distress

August 4, 2015

Insights from an ATN dietitian who co-authored guidelines for using a nutritional approach to manage GI problems in kids with autism

By registered dietitian nutritionist Patricia Novak, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The hospital is one of 14 centers in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

As a dietitian working with children with autism, I frequently meet with families to help with issues such as food aversions, food intolerances, food allergies and problems with weight gain – either too little or too much.

During these assessments, it frequently becomes clear that the child has one or more significant gastrointestinal (GI) problems such as constipation, loose stools or reflux. Often, these...

Recognizing and treating speech apraxia in children with autism

July 31, 2015

Our experts respond to parents seeking advice in the wake of research showing how commonly this speech disorder coincides with autism

“I’ve read that apraxia affects many children with autism. How can I recognize if my child has this issue? If she does, what kind of therapy should she get and what can we do at home to help her?”

This week’s “Got Questions?” answer is by speech-language pathologists Gina Blume (left) and Donna Murray. Ms. Blume works at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The hospital is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Dr. Murray is the ATN’s senior director.

Editor’s...

Your ATN@Work: “Autism Speaks Toolkits: Resources for Busy Physicians”

July 28, 2015

Bring this journal article to your child’s doctor! …with thanks to its authors in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

By pediatric psychologist Jayne Bellando, of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, in Little Rock. The hospital and medical school are part of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Your child’s primary-care physician is your first line of support. Ideally, he or she knows your child’s medical history better than anyone – except you. This is your “go-to” doctor for day-to-day advice and help.

We also understand that primary care physicians are among the busiest in healthcare. It can be difficult for...

Your ATN@Work: Helping refugee families navigate autism care

July 21, 2015

Our Rochester Autism Treatment Network site serves refugee families fleeing conflicts worldwide; many had never heard the word “autism”

Our Rochester Autism Treatment Network site serves refugee families fleeing conflicts worldwide; many had never heard the word “autism”

By developmental-behavioral pediatrician Abigail Kroening, of the University of Rochester Medical Center. The center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

We all know that navigating our healthcare system is seldom easy, especially for parents and other guardians of children with autism. Chances are your child needs more than the average number of doctor...

Why is it so hard for someone with autism to make eye contact?

July 17, 2015

Parent asks what can he do – and what shouldn’t he do – to encourage this important social skill

“Why is it so difficult for our son (12 years old and on the spectrum) to make eye contact. What can we do – and what shouldn’t we do – to encourage this important social skill?”

Today’s “Got Questions?” answer is by (above, left to right) developmental pediatrician Amanda Bennett, behavior analyst Megan Carolan Tomkinson and psychologist Judith Miller. Dr. Bennett is the director of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) site at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Mrs. Tomkinson...

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