"My approach to intervention is rooted in respect for child development and focuses on making the mundane meaningful, looking at daily interactions as opportunities for learning and growth while respecting the uniqueness of the individual and family. It’s about setting high expectations for long term quality of life and relationships for individuals on the spectrum and implementing a specific and doable plan to get there one step at a time.”
– Lauren Wilson, LCSW, RDI® Program Certified Consultant

Friday, September 30, 2011

What is Episodic Memory?

This *is* episodic memory, and quite a funny example of it.

Notice how emotion is tied in with the description of this memory, and the usefulness of how this young boy has embedded the memory.  The next time he is faced with a challenge, you can bet this memory will be used to remind him of his prior successes.

There has been a wonderful four part blog on Episodic Memory from a fellow RDI Consultant.  Episodic Memory and Children with ASD.  She does a beautiful job of breaking down a rather complex concept into easily understandable and transferable ideas.  These make for great sharing with friends, family and school team members.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quotable Sundays

 “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

Another favorite.  If we spend out days looking for the elusive peace or perfection we will run ourselves ragged.  The truth of the matter is that we can always find it, because in the midst of all the nuttiness that sometimes can take over a day there is our ability to embrace it for what it is and say "aaahhh" and when needed, remind ourselves that "this too shall pass."

Have a great and "peaceful" week! 


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Children with autism and siblings share brain 'signature' — SFARI

"Children who have autism and their healthy siblings share patterns of brain activity that are different than those seen in children with no family history of the disorder, according to unpublished research presented Thursday at the IMFAR 2010 conference in Philadelphia."

Children with autism and siblings share brain 'signature' — SFARI

The Social Brain and ASD

New research from Ami Klin

The Social Brain and ASD

"The discovery of distinctive brain activity patterns for individuals with ASDs and their siblings has great potential to advance autism research and clinical practice. By looking at the functioning of socially- activated regions of the brain, we may be able to tell who does and does not have ASD. We may also be able to tell who seems fine but carries (and perhaps overcame) genetic risk for ASD. There may come a time when a diagnosis of ASD -- and even a measure of its severity -- is based not just on observation of external behavior but on this "neural signature." In addition, new treatments focused on social deficits may intentionally target activation of crucial brain regions, while the effectiveness of older treatments might be measured by how activation of the social brain changes over time."

 It has certainly been my experience that as children on the spectrum are given the opportunity to make those important neural connections make true progress in remediation.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Transitioning to Adulthood

I've been so thankful to see in the last few years more attention be paid to the transition to adulthood for individuals on the spectrum.

Recently the New York Times published a piece on the subject.  The video included in the story is a bittersweet look at the progress we have made as a community and the road we still have to travel.

Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quotable Sundays

"Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." 
-Roger Lewin

This is perhaps one of my favorite quotes of late.  While having a few answers is nice, it's the ability to problem solve in the face of uncertainty that gets us where we want to go.

This week I encourage us all to put some problems at our child's feet.  The competence they gain from working through one is learning that lasts a lifetime.

Daily "Problems" (read opportunities for learning!)
-Allowing disagreements
-Allowing things to stay lost a little longer (Moms, I know you actually know where everything is!)
-Turning off the GPS
-Missing chairs
-Deciding what to wear
-Deciding who goes first

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Intersubjectivity and Mirror Neurons

It's long, 54minutes, but very interesting.

Survey Participants Needed


A doctoral candidate on the Big Island is looking for research participants.

Here is a bit about the study:

Research Purpose

Understanding the effects of advocacy training on the perceived self-efficacy and parental stress in parents of children diagnosed with autism could provide compelling evidence that parents need advocacy training to protect their mental health.  Healthy parents promote a healthy family system that benefits all children.  Such a link may also provide evidence for the need to make advocacy training more accessible for parents who are new to caring for their child diagnosed with autism.  This study was expected to provide valuable information for parents of children diagnosed with autism as well as those involved in providing assistance and training for these parents.  If the study found a decrease in parental stress and an increase in perceived self-efficacy in parents of children diagnosed with autism who participated in Wrightslaw Advocacy Training (WLAT), it could measure the benefits of such advocacy training programs.  

Perceived self-efficacy is the belief in one’s personal abilities to complete a task.  It is more concerned with the judgment of how well one can perform rather than how well one actually performs.  

Find out more or particpate here:  http://www.autismparentresearch.com/index.html

Friday, September 9, 2011

Autism Remediation for Our Children

This was recently re-brought to my attention.  It is a wonderful and very active yahoo group about remediation and autism.

Join here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Visuals Visuals Visuals

Where would we be without visuals?  My most difficult days are often the ones where I have forgotten to bring my planner, the adult version of a visual support.

Visuals can take some of the anxiety out of every day situations allowing our kids to be more available for dynamic thinking.

I recently came across this site that has many pre-made visual supports and simple video clips explaining possible uses for each.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Failure the Opposite of Success?

"No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear." 
-Edmond Burke. 

I think not.  I like to think that failure are the bumps we face on the way to success.  We only truly fail if we stop at those bumps and refuse to move forward.

I think we've all looked fear in the face and felt frozen.  And yet, if we take a moment to re-frame that fear, often of failure, we find the opportunity to make great things happen.