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Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Blog

Sensory activities at home

Posted On: May 29, 2020 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

We’re back with more ideas to keep you and your toddlers occupied while we all social distance.

 There are several benefits to sensory activities for children as noted by First Discoverers:

  • “Stimulating the brain, creating neural pathways, and improving sensory processing systems”
  • “Improving social skills such as communication and cooperation”
  • “Improving coordination, as well as fine/gross motor skills”
  • “Calming children down when they are agitated”
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Tips for helping anxious kids during the pandemic

Posted On: May 20, 2020 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

We’re continuing our series of blog posts regarding the coronavirus and helpful tips for dealing with your own anxieties as a caregiver as well as your children’s anxiety. By learning to deal with your anxiety in a healthy way, you can create a more secure environment for your children.

The Child Mind Institute has created articles for both “Anxiety and Coping With the Coronavirus” and “Tips for Calming Anxious Kids.”

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Strategies to support individuals with autism during social distancing

Posted On: May 15, 2020 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

The spread of COVID-19 has brought immense stress and uncertainty to our communities. School closures and drastic changes have disrupted our daily routines and even though it has been a few weeks since these safety measures have been put in place, there is still a huge adjustment that needs to be made.

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Working through emotions

Posted On: April 29, 2020 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

The change in routine that has been brought on by the coronavirus outbreak has impacted both adults and children alike. Children need support and nurturing to find a healthy way to process their emotions.

The National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) has created an emotions workbook to help children work through their emotions.

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Indoor activities for kids

Posted On: April 24, 2020 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

As social distancing continues due to the coronavirus outbreak, kids will most likely be restless without their usual routine and this lack of structure will impact children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) significantly. It is important to give children the movement to “strengthen their body…and calm their brain.” Since they cannot go outside or socialize with other children at this time, it can be difficult to create activities that can keep them engaged. Sensory Lifestyle has created a list of several indoor movement activities from which we have picked a select few to highlight.

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Helpful Links of Activities and Ideas While Social Distancing

Posted On: March 24, 2020 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

With the uncertainty of the coronavirus, parents might find themselves wondering what activities they can do with their children while they are home for an extended period of time. Children with autism can benefit from a structured routine and activities that continue to foster growth and teach them skills even if they are not exposed to their regular interactions or routine.

 

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Coronavirus Outbreak and the Autism Community

Posted On: March 19, 2020 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), healthy habits and lifestyle changes have become imperative to limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Autism Speaks has given several suggestions for how to stay safe and inform your family about this emerging situation.

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Back to School Tips!

Posted On: August 14, 2019 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children with autism tend to do better when a consistent routine is established but major transitions such as summer vacation to starting a new school year can be disruptive to their comfortable routine. The Marcus Autism Center and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles list several ways you can ease your child’s back to school stress and can help him/her transition into the new school year more smoothly. 

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Social stories and autism

Posted On: July 10, 2019 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

“Social story” is a term created by Carol Gray. The purpose of this learning tool is to create and sustain a meaningful interaction between individuals and are particularly helpful for people with autism.

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Tips for traveling with children with autism

Posted On: June 27, 2019 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Summer Vacation

As summer vacation begins, families will be planning their vacation destinations. Keeping your children safe and occupied during travel and vacation becomes a priority.   

The Director of Care Coordination at the Marcus Autism Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Cheryl Rhodes, has several suggestions about traveling with children with autism and provides some tips to make the parents’ and children’s experiences much more enjoyable.

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Youngest Possible Age to Screen for Autism

Posted On: June 18, 2019 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Previous research has suggested that the recommended age of diagnoses for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is between 18 to 24 months, but a new study is suggesting that autism can be reliably diagnosed at an earlier age. 

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New Television Show with an Actress with Autism

Posted On: June 04, 2019 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

A new comedy series on Freeform called “Everything is Gonna Be Okay” is coming to television very soon! This show will be featuring an actress who is on the spectrum: Kayla Cromer. The channel has not announced a premiere date yet but will include 10 episodes for the season. Kayla also speaks on the matter of having proper portrayal of characters.

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Integrating RITA-T Into New Systems

Posted On: May 28, 2019 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

As interest continues to grow for the RITA-T, multiple practices have begun integrating the screening tool into their healthcare systems. 

To date, the most noteworthy integration of the RITA-T is in the Alberta Healthcare System (located in the Canadian province of Alberta).

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In-Person RITA-T Workshop Training: Are You Interested?

Posted On: May 23, 2019 Posted By: DBP team Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

In addition to our online training for the RITA-T (https://www.umassmed.edu/AutismRITA-T/rita-t-training-course/), we have been actively doing in person RITA-T workshop trainings.

Dr. Roula Choueiri will be training groups and lead discussions in ways to integrate this screening test into their own practice's system.

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Autism and Stem Cell Therapy

Posted On: May 16, 2019 Posted By: DBP team, Dr. Roula Choueiri Tags: Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama is investigating therapies to reverse and/or change the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The stem cells are taken from umbilical cord tissue with the idea that specific cytokines are correlated with the severity of autism. A review paper from 2007 implies that the abnormalities caused by the inflammatory cytokines is causative and the idea proposed is that the stem cells harvested from the umbilical cord blood, would be useful for treating autism.

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