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Help! My teenager with autism is literally pulling out her own hair

Jessica Sachs @ Wed, 07/19/2017 - 12:34

Advice and perspective from a behavioral specialist with the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

My daughter is 16, on the spectrum and non-verbal. Sometimes she starts pulling her own hair out. Often it’s when she’s angry or upset. Sometime it’s out of nowhere. I’ve tried a bandana, hand fidgets. Currently she has a completely bald spot, despite getting a very short haircut. Her teachers says to ignore it, since it’s for attention. But if I ignore her, she will pull out more hair and bring it to me for a reaction. I need some suggestions.

Today’s “Got Questions?” response is by psychologist Cathryn Lehman, of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The medical center…

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Autism and resistance to the change from winter to summer clothes

Jessica Sachs @ Mon, 06/05/2017 - 09:00

Their grandson insists on wearing a coat even as the days get hot; advice on helping the change-resistant transition with the season

My grandson [who has autism] has to have his coat on when going outside even when it's hot, and he won't wear shorts. What can we do?

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 Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Editor’s note: The following information is not meant to… [read more]

Many children with autism on medication without behavioral therapy

Jessica Sachs @ Mon, 05/01/2017 - 09:02

Study by Autism Speaks ATN raises red flag because, in most cases, first-line treatment should involve non-drug behavioral approaches

Study by Autism Speaks ATN raises red flag because, in most cases, first-line treatment should involve non-drug behavioral approaches 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.

A new study out of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) found that around a third of children who were taking anti-psychotic…

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Help! Our 4-year-old has autism and won’t stop pinching

Jessica Sachs @ Tue, 04/18/2017 - 08:22

Strategies and perspective from a behavioral therapist in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

My son is 4 years old and has autism. Several months ago, he started pinching people. It could be anybody – adult, child or baby. He’ll just run over, pinch the person and run away. We’ll give him time outs for this, and he’ll say “sorry” the minute he does it. Can you recommend any solution? It's getting quite embarrassing when we go to playgrounds or people's houses.

This week’s “Got Questions?” response is by psychologist Kenneth Shamlian, director of the behavioral treatment program at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The University of Rochester is among the 13 sites in the 

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One in three teens with autism earns driver's license

Jessica Sachs @ Wed, 04/12/2017 - 14:13

Large study yields insights into family decision-making around the balance between safety and independence

Large study yields insights into family decision-making around the balance between safety and independence

A large new study found that a third of teens who have autism without intellectual disability earn a driver's license. Nearly 90 percent of them do so within two years of getting their learner’s permit. That’s strong evidence, the researchers say, that most families are making an informed decision about whether a teen with autism has the potential to be a safe and successful driver before he or she ever gets behind the wheel.

Appearing in the journal Autism,

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College student asks: Should I pursue an autism diagnosis?

Jessica Sachs @ Mon, 03/20/2017 - 09:00

Parents avoided having him evaluated as a child; is it worth the effort as an adult? Options and perspective from a specialist

Parents avoided having him evaluated as a child; is it worth the effort as an adult? Options and perspective from a specialist

I am 24, and all my life, teachers, counselors and therapists have been trying to get me diagnosed with autism. My parents fought having me diagnosed because they believed that I would be left in the Autistic Room at my school. Now that I am in college, I'm a struggling with sensory issues. I panic in crowds. I get overstimulated. I have no friends. I took a whole bunch of ASD tests online and scored really high. I want to know what benefits would come from getting a diagnosis as an adult. Is it worth the testing and effort?…

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Can cognitive behavioral therapy ease autism-related sleep problems?

Jessica Sachs @ Mon, 03/13/2017 - 06:32

Researchers at Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism are evaluating the approach; families can participate through videoconferencing

Researchers at Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism are evaluating the approach; families can participate through videoconferencing
 

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.

For little understood reasons, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep are particularly common among kids – and possibly adults – on the autism spectrum. Sleep problems, in turn, can worsen…

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