ExpertBeacon Logo
Linda Hodgdon's picture

Help young kids on the autism spectrum avoid behavior challenges

Linda Hodgdon, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist, Autism Consultant
Celina Miller's picture

How to parent siblings of a child with an autistic spectrum disorder

Celina Miller
Advocate for those affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Melanie Johnston's picture

How can kids on the autism spectrum get the most out of an iPad?

Melanie H. Johnston, MA
Executive Director of BRITE Success, LLC
Melissa Yetter's picture

Using service dogs to help kids with autism spectrum disorder

Melissa Yetter
Founder of The Service Dog Institute
Heidi Ehrenreich's picture

Communicate and connect with children on the autism spectrum

Heidi J Ehrenreich, MS, CCC-SLP, BC-DMT
Autism Coach, Speech/Language Pathologist, Registered Dance/Movement Therapist
Esther Hess's picture

Celebrating a happy holiday season with kids on the autism spectrum

Esther B. Hess, Ph.D.
Developmental Pediatric Psychologist
Aaron DeLand's picture

Kids on the autism spectrum can improve social skills through play

Aaron DeLand
Founder and Director, Connecting with Autism
Joanne Lara's picture

Build connections and self-esteem with Autism Movement Therapy

Joanne Lara, CCTC M/S Ed Specialist, MA
Founder Autism Movement Therapy
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorders include autism, Asperger’s syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder--Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). These disorders are characterized by varying degrees of difficulties with social interaction, communication, repetitive behaviors, intellectual functioning, motor coordination, attention, and physical health issues, such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Help young kids on the autism spectrum avoid behavior challenges

What do you do when your child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a meltdown? You probably have a list of situations where you deal with problem behaviors and meltdowns. Children with a diagnosis of ASD are frequently identified because of their difficulties with communication and behavior. Visual strategies can provide a solution.

Linda Hodgdon, M.Ed., CCC-SLPSpeech-Language Pathologist, Autism Consultant

Linda Hodgdon, M.Ed., CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist who is internationally known as a pioneer in developing the use of visual strategies for students on the autism spectrum. She is a strong believer that easy-to-use visual tools have...

View Full Profile

How can kids on the autism spectrum get the most out of an iPad?

The release of the first iPad took place in April 2010. Since then, the frenzy that has built around i-devices and tablets is nothing short of astounding. The format of these devices provides a platform for kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that promises affordable accessibility, speed and independence at a level not previously experienced.

Melanie H. Johnston, MAExecutive Director of BRITE Success, LLC

Melanie Johnston is the Executive Director of BRITE Success, LLC, which provides services to consumers with development disabilities, families and professionals developing programs, and teaching individuals of all ages using interventions that p...

View Full Profile

Managing the wandering tendencies of kids on the autism spectrum

Similar to the wandering behaviors in seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s, children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are prone to wandering away from a safe environment. In fact, according to a recent study published in Pediatrics, nearly half of all children with autism wander. Because many children with ASD have challenges in areas of language and cognitive function, it is critical for parents to understand ways to prevent--and better respond to--wandering incidents.

Lori McIlwainExecutive Director

Lori McIlwain has a 13-year-old son with Autism and is Co-founder and Executive Director of the National Autism Association (NAA). In 2007, Lori began advocating for federal resources that would reduce and eliminate emotional trauma, injuries an...

View Full Profile

Celebrating a happy holiday season with kids on the autism spectrum

For families raising kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the holidays tend to be full of stress and anxiety. Around this time of year, most of us are planning the menu for a grand Thanksgiving meal and attending numerous holiday parties. However, it is common for kids with ASD to have sensory aversion to certain types and textures of foods, as well as difficulties managing any change in routine. This can make celebrating the holidays quite challenging for families.

Esther B. Hess, Ph.D.Developmental Pediatric Psychologist

Esther B. Hess, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and a former member of the board of directors of the Selective Mutism Group. Dr. Hess is also the executive director of Center for the Developing Mind, a multidisciplinary treatment facility...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

Build connections and self-esteem with Autism Movement Therapy

Understanding social skills and exhibiting expression are huge challenges for kids on the autism spectrum. Due to speech and language impairments, they are often unable to initiate, create and sustain meaningful conversations, which are the foundation of all human social interaction.

To help tackle these challenges, Autism Movement Therapy (AMT) was designed for individuals on the autism spectrum. The goal is to help kids jump-start the integration of neurological transmission of information between the four lobes of the brain via the corpus callosum.

Joanne Lara, CCTC M/S Ed Specialist, MA Founder Autism Movement Therapy

Joanne Lara, M.A., is a core adjunct professor at National University in LA, California and helped design the Autism Certificate. She was Technical Advisor/Autism Consultant for Kiefer Sutherland’s FOX TV show ‘TOUCH’. Lara earned her master's...

View Full Profile

Positive behavioral supports for children on the autism spectrum

Everyone loves to interact with others and experience enjoyable outcomes. It is gratifying to smile. It feels pleasant when we are experiencing tranquil moods. Positivity creates good moments. By building positive behavior supports for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we can eliminate challenging behaviors and replace them with prosocial alternatives. Each family, classroom and work space benefits from building positive behavioral supports that are simple and achievable.

Rebecca McKee, MSED, ACBAAutism and Behavioral Coach

The 13th Child Autism & Behavioral Coaching, Inc. is a consulting company focusing on individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Social Communication Disorder & other socio-behavioral uniqueness. Building pro-social skillfulness & interpe...

View Full Profile

Creating Halloween traditions with kids on the autism spectrum

Halloween is all about dressing up as scary, ghoulish characters, knocking on the doors of strangers, ingesting enormous amounts of candy and relishing the unexpected. But for many kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), this can be a difficult and stressful time of year.

Esther B. Hess, Ph.D.Developmental Pediatric Psychologist

Esther B. Hess, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and a former member of the board of directors of the Selective Mutism Group. Dr. Hess is also the executive director of Center for the Developing Mind, a multidisciplinary treatment facility...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

Evaluating educational programs for kids on the autism spectrum

Evaluating educational programs for any student is complex, but deciphering what to look for in a program serving a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is even more confusing. There are many conflicting views about what is appropriate intervention. And every individual with ASD is so different that families frequently become confused and frustrated when trying to determine whether a program will work for their child.

Christine E. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-DBoard Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral

Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D has more than 20 years of professional experience in working with children, families, and schools focused on autism. She has worked in a variety of settings including community outreach, academic, education, and c...

View Full Profile

Teach social skills to individuals with autism spectrum disorder

Kathy Ralabate Doody, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, State University of New York, Buffalo State Exceptional Education Department SUNY, Buffalo State

Most kids learn to work and play well with others in kindergarten. However, for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), getting along with others may be challenging. Educators often teach social skills to very young children, but for individuals with ASD, lifelong learning is extremely important. This social skill instruction should begin in early childhood and never stop.

Kathy Ralabate Doody, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, State University of New York, Buffalo State Exceptional Education Department

Dr. Kathy Doody received her doctoral degree in Special Education, with a concentration in autism spectrum disorder, from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She joined Buffalo State’s Exceptional Education Department as an Assistant P...

View Full Profile

Helping your children to understand their autism spectrum disorder

Assisting your children in understanding their autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the foundation for personal wellness and self-advocacy. Many parents don’t tell their children about their ASD until there is a crisis or conflict, thus associating their autistic identity with something negative.

Dena L. Gassner, LMSWDirector

Dena Gassner is a UCEDD trained, Master's degreed social worker who uses her own authentic identity of autism to help others learn and grow in their understanding. She is married for 20 years, and is the parent to Brooke (28) and Patrick (23). P...

View Full Profile

Reaping the benefits of exercise for those on the autism spectrum

Laura Fine Director of Training/Autism Fitness Instructor Exercise Connection

Exercise is forever and for everyone. Despite having a developmental disability, exercise provides the opportunity to develop an individual’s full physical and mental potential, while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Having a sedentary life and being overweight can increase one’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, bone and joint issues, and even depression. And the effects of these conditions can take an even bigger toll on an individual with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  
 

Laura FineDirector of Training/Autism Fitness Instructor

Laura has been working with individuals with autism and developmental disabilities since 1994. In 2002, her professional career began where she has worked with students in 5th grade through adult day programs, developing functional curriculums a...

View Full Profile

Help kids on the autism spectrum improve language and reasoning

When children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are asked to use language for reasoning and problem solving, they can become easily and quickly overwhelmed. They also tend to have difficulty self-regulating, which involves staying calm and organized. This self-regulation is key for emotional development--essential for academic success, as well as interpersonal and employment success.

Janice Nathan, M.S., CCC-SLPSpeech-Language Pathologist

Janice Nathan is a certified speech-language pathologist and owner of Nathan Speech Services. Janice works with children and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) providing individual speech and language therapy as well as social...

View Full Profile

Helping kids on the autism spectrum to use their vision is vital

Our visual system is often the first to tell our motor system when and where to move--both fine and large motor--and supports our auditory system in understanding words that are spoken. Vision also integrates directly with a person’s emotional health, physical health and nutritional health. All of these systems are neurologically integrated and thus, they all impact each other.

Marcy Rose, OD, FCOVDOptometrist

Dr. Marcy Rose received her Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Communications from Ohio University in 1980. She then attended The Ohio State University College of Optometry, where she received her Doctorate in Optometry in 1984. Dr. R...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

Exercise is vital to a healthy lifestyle for kids with autism

Bradley Seth McNew Autism Health Through Exercise: Understanding Special Exercise Needs www.PlayThroughAutism.com

While typically-developing kids may be involved in numerous team sports, athletics and social playgroups, kids on the autism spectrum don’t always have these opportunities. This is one reason why the population of kids with autism has a 7 percent higher rate of obesity than the general population. While the end goals are the same for all kids, the approach needed to achieve a healthy and active lifestyle may be very different for kids on the autism spectrum.

Bradley Seth McNewAutism Health Through Exercise: Understanding Special Exercise Needs

Hi, I’m Seth. I’m fortunate that I get the amazing opportunity to work with this incredible population and help our community to reach better fitness goals, encouraging life long health in kids with autism. As a long time youth sports coach,...

View Full Profile

Understanding a child on the autism spectrum can help them thrive

Dr. Robert Melillo Co-founder of Brain Balance Achievement Centers Brain Balance Achievement Centers

According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 50 American children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Due to this high number, parents nationwide are taking steps to get in front of the issue, trying to determine at an earlier age if their children are on the spectrum.

Dr. Robert MelilloCo-founder of Brain Balance Achievement Centers

Dr. Melillo is a researcher, professor, lecturer and bestselling author. He has more than 20 years of experience studying the brain and is a pioneer of the Theory of Functional Disconnection. His areas of expertise include: autism spectrum disor...

View Full Profile

Early detection for autism can significantly impact your child's life

Daniel Cross Pediatric Physical Therapist A Step Ahead Pediatric Therapy

As a parent, you never want to think that your child may have a problem. When dealing with autism spectrum disorders, early detection makes a huge difference in treatment. The younger the child, the greater the impact treatment can have. Treatment can reduce the disorder’s effects and help your child to learn and thrive.

Daniel CrossPediatric Physical Therapist

A recognized leader in pediatric rehabilitation, Daniel Cross delivers a positive, therapeutic experience through expertise, flexibility and patient centered care at A Step Ahead Pediatric Therapy. As president and managing therapist at A Step A...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

How to parent siblings of a child with an autistic spectrum disorder

Celina Miller Advocate for those affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Speaks

Parenting a child affected with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a challenge, but so is parenting their siblings. Children with an affected sibling go through some of the same emotions as a parent, but the kids lack the perspective of an adult. Understanding autism may be difficult for the most patient parent; just imagine if you were five. Here is some advice when it comes to parenting siblings of children affected with an ASD.

Celina MillerAdvocate for those affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Celina is a writer, advocate, trained yoga instructor, musician, and mother to three - one of whom is affected by Aspergers syndrome. She understands the complexity of issues faced by families who are touched by ASD. A graduate of the University...

View Full Profile

Using service dogs to help kids with autism spectrum disorder

Children with disabilities present a unique challenge to parents. And kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present even more unique challenges. When children have ASD, they do not connect well with their environment. Social relationships are challenged and safety is often a huge concern.

Melissa YetterFounder of The Service Dog Institute

Founded by Melissa Yetter in honor of her son, Sam Yetter (www.SamYetter.com) Incorporated in South Carolina December 16, 2009 Non profit 501c3 status April 21, 2010 Mission: The Service Dog Institute (TSDI) is non-profit organizati...

View Full Profile

Communicate and connect with children on the autism spectrum

Communication is a complex interpersonal interaction whose ultimate goal is to engage in meaningful discourse through mutual interest and reciprocal connection. This communication requires that both sides of the communication circle understand what is required and thus can modify their “natural” way of interacting to become an effective communication partner.

Heidi J Ehrenreich, MS, CCC-SLP, BC-DMT Autism Coach, Speech/Language Pathologist, Registered Dance/Movement Therapist

I met my first child with Autism in 1970, well before it was identified as a spectrum disorder. Since then, my work has integrated nonverbal and verbal aspects of communication for therapy, consultation and training. My expertise includes messag...

View Full Profile

Kids on the autism spectrum can improve social skills through play

Aaron DeLand Founder and Director, Connecting with Autism Connecting With Autism

The secret to teaching natural and lasting social development for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is to build their internal desire to want to be social. The traditional approach has been to train kids how to be social, without spending much time on helping them to really want it.

Aaron DeLandFounder and Director, Connecting with Autism

I started working with children as a classroom teacher. I transitioned to working with children on the spectrum in 1999 as an in home ABA therapist, in 2002 I began training at the Autism Treatment Center of America. In 2007 I founded Connecting...

View Full Profile

Learning to connect with nonverbal kids on the autism spectrum

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often relate better to objects than people; have enhanced perceptional functioning, especially for details; are emotionally intuitive; and have deeply passionate interests. These nonstandard ways of learning and processing often make individuals with ASD great writers and thinkers with fresh perspectives. However, at the same time, it can be difficult for kids with ASD to connect with others. This article offers advice for parents, caregivers, therapists and teachers on how to develop and enhance important connections.

Lois Prislovsky, PhDPresident

Lois Prislovsky earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and completed over 138 hours of post-doctorate studies in assessment, cognitive psychology, Lindamood-Bell reading therapy, DIRFloortime metho...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

Teaching vital safety skills to kids with autism spectrum disorder

Many families are raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as one or more typically developing children. In these families, the simple task of going to the grocery store can quickly turn into a stressful outing for parents. And this type of outing can become a dangerous activity for children with ASD, who do not have the skills necessary to maintain their personal safety. This article provides some guidance when considering what safety skills to teach--and how to teach them.

Jennifer Agganis, MS, BCBABoard Certified Behavior Analyst

Jennifer Agganis graduated from Simmons College in Massachusetts with her Master's in Behavioral Education in 2002 and obtained her Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification in 2003. She has been working with individuals diagnosed with auti...

View Full Profile

Helping kids with autism spectrum disorder bond over music

It is common for parents raising children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) to find it challenging to connect and bond with their children. If you experience these difficulties, music can be an important means to deepen the bond with your kids.

Ryan Judd, MA, MT-BCMusic Therapist and Founder of The Rhythm Tree

Ryan Judd is a board certified music therapist with a master's degree in Music Therapy. He has been in private practice and specializing in children with special needs for more than 13 years. Ryan is known for his ability to connect with and mo...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

Ensuring safety and security for children on the autism spectrum

Dennis Debbaudt Owner, Autism Risk & Safety Management and Managing Partner, Debbaudt Legacy Productions, LLC

Concerns surrounding personal safety and risk are quite common among the autism community. So, just what can we do to increase security for kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and lower the risks? Parents and caregivers need to become proactive, make safety a part of their daily routine and plan a detailed response for a possible autism emergency. This article provides a set of tools to help keep kids with ASD safe.

Dennis DebbaudtOwner, Autism Risk & Safety Management and Managing Partner, Debbaudt Legacy Productions, LLC

Dennis Debbaudt is the proud father of Brad, a young man who has autism. In the 1980's, he wrote for the Detroit News and worked with network television current affairs programs in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom. A professional investigator...

View Full Profile

Helping children with autism spectrum disorders face their fears

Children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are at an increased risk for developing anxiety symptoms. Anxiety comes in many forms, from an acute fear of spiders to persistent worries about making mistakes. When these fears start to interfere with children’s everyday lives, they can have negative effects on school performance, peer relationships and family life.

Judy Reaven, Ph.D. & Jessica Stern, B.A. Judy: Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Scho

Dr. Reaven has worked in the field of developmental disabilities as a clinician, researcher and educator since 1985. Since 2001, she has been Director of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic of JFK Partners. Clinical and research int...

View Full Profile

Managing picky eating in children with autism spectrum disorders

Do chicken nuggets, French fries, chips, cookies and juice for breakfast, lunch and dinner sound familiar to you? Do you attempt to switch out the regular chocolate chip cookies with reduced sugar or the regular potato chips with veggie chips to try and get some nutrition into your child? Chances are you rarely succeed because your child probably would rather not eat anything for days if it means tasting anything new.

Diana A. Wolf, MA, BCBACEO and Behavior Analyst

Diana Wolf is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, who has been practicing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the field of feeding disorders and developmental disabilities for 8 years. She received her Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavior An...

View Full Profile

Making exercise part of life for children on the autism spectrum

Incorporating daily exercise into one’s life can positively change your life. For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), exercise has the ability to challenge the mind, body and sensory system. To achieve success and help kids with ASD engage in exercise, it is important to establish structure, adapt to their needs and move with them.

David S. Geslak, BS, CSCS, ACSM-HFSPresident & Founder

David Geslak began teaching exercise to children/adults with autism in 2004. Back then, exercise wasn’t listed as a form of treatment, which only further inspired Dave to change this paradigm. As he witnessed both physical and emotional breakthr...

View Full Profile

Advice for providing grief support to kids on the autism spectrum

For children on the autism spectrum, the many facets of grief can be potentially more confusing and distressing than for a neurotypical individual. Parents may notice behavioral changes--subtle or overt--as well as differences in sensory perception. It is very important to be aware of these changes. Not only is communication and openness critical in providing support, but your child also needs your assistance to stay balanced and healthy. This advice will help you support your child in his or her grief.

Karla Helbert, LPC

Karla Helbert is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and owns a private psychotherapy practice in Richmond, Virginia. She specializes in grief and bereavement, anxiety disorders and in providing therapy for people on the autism spectrum. Ka...

View Full Profile

Doing your homework before using nutrition to treat ASD

Through the 1980s, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) were believed to be rare, with a prevalence of no more than 5 cases per 10,000 people--and were considered more of an intriguing clinical dilemma than a major public health problem. Today, ASD is reported to affect approximately 1 in every 88 children in the United States. The diagnosis of ASD is actually more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDs combined.

Nicole A. WithrowMS, RD, Ph.D candidate

I am a Pediatric Registered Dietitian at the Colorado Children’s Hospital, adjunct faculty at Metro State University of Denver. I have worked as a Research Dietitian for the Autism Treatment Network and for three and a half years I was a nutrit...

View Full Profile

Communicating at home with your child on the autism spectrum can be rewarding

What can parents do at home to help their child with autism? How can parents interact with their child on the autism spectrum? How can they work on communication at home? While these questions can be overwhelming, there’s good news. Parents can do many different things at home -- and these can be embedded within the child’s daily routine. This article provides useful tips for parents who are looking for more ways to interact with their child and help improve communication.

Karen Duerk, MA, CCC-SLPSpeech-Language Pathologist

I have worked in the field of autism for 8 years. I currently work at The Joshua School in Englewood, Colorado. I am the speech-language pathologist and program specialist for the preschool program. I also work in private practice, seeing stu...

View Full Profile

Children with autism spectrum disorder will grow with help at home

Daniel Cross Pediatric Physical Therapist A Step Ahead Pediatric Therapy

Finding out that your child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s can be a very overwhelming experience and can put stress on your family. There is a sense of panic that consumes you as all the dreams and expectations you had for your child seem to disappear. Don’t give up hope. Your child can still achieve goals and expectations with a little bit of work, consistency, and help from doctors and professionals. There are many things that you can implement at home that will help your child progress and achieve their goals.

Daniel CrossPediatric Physical Therapist

A recognized leader in pediatric rehabilitation, Daniel Cross delivers a positive, therapeutic experience through expertise, flexibility and patient centered care at A Step Ahead Pediatric Therapy. As president and managing therapist at A Step A...

View Full ProfileRecent Articles

Children with autism need special care to ensure oral health

April is recognized in the United States as National Autism Awareness Month. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that Autism affects 1 in every 88 births in the United States. Each year since the 1970s, the Autism Society has been celebrating this month to raise awareness and educate the public about autism and the issues within the autism community.

Dr. Steven G. Goldberg, DDS, FADFEDentist and Inventor of the DentalVibe Injection Comfort System

Steven G. Goldberg, DDS, FADFE, graduated from New York University’s College of Dentistry and has been in private practice for more than two decades. In that time, he went on to build a successful general and cosmetic dental practice in Boca Rat...

View Full Profile