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Your ATN@Work: Families advancing autism research and healthcare

July 14, 2015

Researchers share the importance of family participation in autism research at “Parent Information Day” in Edmonton, Alberta

Researchers share the importance of family participation in autism research at “Parent Information Day” in Edmonton, Alberta

 

By Charlene Prochnau (shown here with son Brayden), a member of the Family Advisory Committee of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Ms. Prochnau is also a parent representative on the advisory board of the Autism Research Centre at Alberta Health Services’ Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, one of 14 ATN centers across North America.

I am pleased to tell you about an annual celebration at our Autism Research Centre in Edmonton, Alberta – one of two Canadian sites in the Autism Speaks ATN. Being part of the ATN provides opportunities for our families and clinicians to come together in a variety of...

Your ATN@Work: Helping Families Navigate Complexities of Autism Care

July 7, 2015

Each center in our Autism Treatment Network has developed a model Family Navigator program; now the ATN is evaluating what works best

Each center in our Autism Treatment Network has developed a model Family Navigator program; now the ATN is documenting their benefits and evaluating what works best for families 

By Donna Murray, senior director of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

What is a “Family Navigator,” and why does the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) require each of its centers to develop its own model Family Navigator program?

Family Navigators are a relatively recent – and revolutionary – addition to our broader medical system. If you look up the term, you’ll see a variety of definitions:  

“A parent of a child with special needs trained to help other families.” 

“Used to...

Parent of preschooler with autism seeks help for wild swings in eating

July 2, 2015

Preschooler binges for a day or two, then stops eating altogether; advice from an expert in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

“My 4 year old has Asperger syndrome and sensory processing dysfunction. We will get times when he hardly stops eating for a day or two. Then the rest of the week, he won’t eat at all unless I force him, which leads to tantrums. Please help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.”

This week’s “Food for Thought?” answer is from psychologist Michelle Spader, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide Children’s is one of 14 centers in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network.

The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not...

Your ATN@Work: Training more doctors to care for children with autism

June 30, 2015

Autism Speaks ATN sites in Missouri and Ohio are collaborating to increase autism expertise among primary-care physicians


By Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) Coordinator Amy Hess, at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio; and ATN Coordinator Alicia Curran, at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, in Columbia, Missouri.

As mothers of teenage boys with autism, we both know – first hand – how important it is to find physicians who understand how to care for children with autism. Unfortunately, the need for such expertise far outstrips the availability in most communities.

As a result, healthcare appointments can be anxious affairs for both physicians and patients. Unfortunately, discomfort on the part of a physician can lead to hesitancy in treatment and a tendency to refer children with autism to specialists for relatively routine healthcare...

Your ATN@Work: A model program for autism-related feeding disorders

June 23, 2015

Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network center in Rochester has developed an effective team approach for severe feeding challenges

By pediatric nurse practitioner Lynn Cole, associate director of clinical services at the University of Rochester’s Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. The University of Rochester is one of 14 Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) centers across North America.

I’m very pleased to tell you about a wonderfully successful program we’ve developed at our medical center to address feeding disorders such as extreme food aversions. As you may know, many children – and adults – affected by autism also struggle with food aversions and other feeding challenges.

See the ...

Your ATN@Work: Exploring the ‘Stress’ in GI Distress and Autism

June 16, 2015

Researchers in Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network are exploring the role that chronic stress plays in autism-related GI disorders

Researchers in Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network are exploring the role that chronic stress plays in autism-related GI disorders

By psychologist and neuroscientist Brad Ferguson, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, in Columbia. The center is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Saying that many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have gastrointestinal problems is not news to many of you. Studies show that anywhere from around 10 to 90 percent of children with ASD experience chronic GI problems.

As to why this is so, researchers have found clues in many places: altered bacteria populations in the gut, restricted diets and medications...

Help! Our son with autism just laughs when others abuse him

June 12, 2015

Insights and advice from a behavioral specialist in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

“Our son has autism. He does well academically. But we worry about how he allows others to mistreat him. At one gathering, another child kept throwing a ball in his face, while he just laughed like it was a game. Sometimes he comes home with marks on his face from another child pinching him. Still, he thinks everyone is his friend. I've talked to his doctors and teachers, but they say it’s "it's just part of his autism." What can we do to help him?

This week’s “Got Questions?” response is by Janine Stichter, professor of special education and an applied behavioral analyst at the University of Missouri and Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, in Columbia, Missouri. The school and center are among the 14 sites in the ...

Your ATN@Work: Improving healthcare for adults with autism

June 9, 2015

Our Autism Treatment Network center in Edmonton has developed model program for improving healthcare for young adults with autism through workshops for medical professionals, parents and teens

Our Autism Treatment Network center in Edmonton has developed a model program for improving healthcare for young adults with autism through workshops for medical professionals, parents and teens

 

Post by Val Guiltner, director of pediatric rehabilitation at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, in Edmonton, Alberta. The hospital is one of 14 centers in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

We at Glenrose are so pleased to be part of the Autism Speaks ATN. It gives us the opportunity to both learn about model programs at other ATN centers and share our own. One of our important missions at...

Your ATN@Work: Autism education for 1st responders in St. Louis

June 2, 2015

This ATN center is working with emergency personnel and families to better safeguard children with developmental disabilities

This ATN center is working with emergency personnel and families to better safeguard children with developmental disabilities

Post by social worker Ann Furey of the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, in St. Louis, Missouri. The center is among the 14 North American sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Furey is Cardinal Glennon’s ATN Family Navigator.

About five years ago, a mom of a child with autism called me, frazzled and upset. Earlier that day, an alarmed neighbor had phoned the local authorities to report that the family’s five-year-old son was in the...

Autism Challenge: Kid Needs Glasses; Won't Tolerate Anything on Face

May 29, 2015

Strategies for building tolerance from psychologist Stephanie Weber, of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network center in Cincinnati

“My daughter needs glasses but doesn't like anything on her face. She won't even wear a headband. But she does let me put scrunchies and clips in her hair. Can you recommend what kind of glasses I should get for her?”

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 Stephanie Weber, of the Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The center and hospital are part of the ...

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