Thursday, December 16, 2010

Keep the Holidays Merry For Your Special Needs Child

Some tips on how to make the season bright:

Minimize anxiety by preparing your child well in advance of your

Avoid crowded malls and other overstimulating venues.

Keep to a schedule as much as possible -- it will be hard to get your
        child (and yourself) back on track.

Expectations – inform your child who to expect will attend social
         gatherings. View family photos beforehand; review their names.

Involve your child in holiday preparations. Decorate gradually if your
         child has difficulty accepting change.

Traveling during the holidays is stressful for everyone. Pack favorite
         toys/foods that can help calm your child.

Make sure the host/hostess offers foods your child can eat if
          he/she is on a special diet. Better yet, bring the prepared dish
          wrapped in a festive bow!

Educate those that will celebrate with you about your child’s needs or
          dislikes (i.e. hugs from relatives ).

Role play – practice opening gifts, waiting for others, courteous

Recognize the signs of overstimulation – if you sense your child is
          becoming overwhelmed, direct him/her to a quiet area.

Your child is the most precious gift of all – see the wonders of the
          season through the eyes of your child and have a joyous holiday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Latest news on the autism front: Researchers announce positive results on a new MRI scan that detects autism.

The new findings appear online in the journal Autism Research. For further reading, visit McClean Hospital.

The preliminary results are encouraging.  If the specialized MRI brain scans are proven conclusively to be accurate, those at risk or who are suspected to have neurological disorders can be objectively diagnosed early on.  For my patients, such scans will aid early development and implementation of therapy plans to target the child's specific area of dysfunction.  Commencing neurological therapies at an earlier stage provides those with autism a better chance to maximize their full potential.