Hypnosis and ASD

With the end of the year comes the end of my blogging for PsychCentral. When I was asked to participate in this endeavor, I committed to blogging for only a few months as a trial period. That time has come to an end.

Although the door has been left open for me to return at a later date should circumstances change, I want to say thank you to John Grohol and the PsychCentral staff...


Receiving Gifts Graciously

Mark opens the present and says with disappointment, “Oh, I already have that.” Mary sees the new DVD she’s received and says, “I hate that movie” or John has a reaction of apathy when given a __________ (fill in the blank).

These and other ‘less appropriate’ reactions are not uncommon when kids on the spectrum receive gifts.

Pre-teaching and practice is the best intervention here. BEFORE your family and friends arrive...


Are You Feeling Lucky?

I imagine if you’re searching for information about autism, ‘lucky’ is probably not the word you’d use to describe your feelings at the moment. For those new to autism spectrum disorders though, I wonder if you realize how lucky you are to begin your search for information at a time when resources are growing exponentially?

I just read about another resource that will soon be available – the first Global Autism Center in Israel....


Sensory Issues Are Like Building A House

A metaphor often used to describe sensory processing issues is the foundation of a house. I don't know where I first heard this metaphor, so my apologies for not giving credit where it might be due.

As in building a house, one must first have a firm foundation on which to build a house before proceeding with the framing. The framing must be secure before adding the walls and roof. ...


Rubber Bands, Trains and Legos

Years ago I was giving a presentation and talked about how I used toy trains in therapy to address a number of therapeutic goals with children on the autism spectrum. I talked about how valuable the trains were in developing social skills, vocabulary, spatial concepts, number concepts, flexibility, and a number of other core skills.

About a month...


More Groundbreaking Research for Diagnosing Autism

Given the current plethora of information about two recent studies for diagnosing autism, it seemed only relevant to mention them in this blog. Titles like “Instant Test for Autism,” “First Biological Test for Autism” and “Brain Scans Detect Autism” are all over the Internet and news reports.

The newest test is called the Lange-Lainhart test after the lead researchers Nicholas Lange and Janet Lainhart. Nicholas Lange is an...


An Episode of CSI May Teach A Lesson

I was watching an old episode of the show CSI-Las Vegas, when Dr. Gil Grissom was still in charge and Warrick Brown was still a cast member. But, I digress for those of you who don’t know this show or care about the cast. The show is about a group of investigators and forensic scientists who investigate crimes in the Las Vegas area.

So what does this have to...


IQ Doesn’t Predict Academic Achievement

In a recent study, researchers found that the IQs of children with high functioning autism don’t predict their academic success. Am I being too cynical or could this have been published in the Journal of Duh ? (Add your own sarcastic tone here)

Anyone who has worked with, lived with or is personally diagnosed with an autism spectrum (and can critically analyze themselves) has known this for years. Test scores are...


If You Can’t Bring the Kids to the Store…Bring the Store to the Kids.

I recently heard about a school system in New Jersey that has decided to develop a convenience store within their school to help teach special needs students in a real-life circumstance about job skills. It’s about time!

For years I have been advising teachers, parents and other therapists that working in isolated contexts is only good to a point. We MUST help our kids apply the skills...


Asking vs. Telling: A Strategy for Thinking & Independence

In my last blog I addressed the issue of teaching our kids the skills they need versus doing the skills for them. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is their independence.

Obviously, not every child on the spectrum has the same capabilities for being independent. That is a judgment call that only those around a child can make. But...

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