I am a participant in an Alberta Family Life Survey for families of children with disabilities. This is a three year project at the University of Alberta designed to help gain an understanding of the multiple roles parent-carers have and what resources they need to keep the family running. I just received the preliminary results of the first survey. I’d like to share some of the highlights of what 538 families said.
Marriage is work and a lot of it, even when the relationship is a strong and loving one. About 60% of all marriages end in divorce. That is a staggering figure. I’ve read that the failure rate of marriages that have a child with autism is 80%, although I have never seen a confirmed study of this number. Does the autism factor put marriages at a higher risk for breakdown?
On June 9, the Globe and Mail ran an article about the discovery of the complex genetic architecture of autism. This discovery may make is possible to predict autism through a DNA test at birth or even before; however it will only indicate 10 percent of those who will develop autism.
Most young families look forward to summertime – a holiday and a break from the old routines. For those who have young children with autism, going on a vacation may be simply out of the question because of the disruption to routines, travelling to a strange place, or visiting with relatives the child is unfamiliar with. Throw in a special diet into the mix and travelling becomes even more difficult. You have to avoid restaurants and take your own food everywhere.
We just returned from our annual conference in
Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 9th. It’s an occasion when we celebrate and recognize what mothers mean to us and the difference they have made in our lives.
Dr. Stanley Greenspan, the creator of DIR/Floortime Model, passed away on Tuesday, April 27th. He was Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at
I recently read an article about driving and ASD. It is one of the rites of passage to adulthood in our society. Driving is a complex task that involves many systems working together and a myriad of rules to follow. The question is, given some of the challenges people with ASD have, should they drive?
I was presented with a statement about my daughter, Julia, in parent-teacher interviews this past week. Her teacher felt that Julia manipulates people to get her own way. My response was, “Manipulation implies that Julia knows what your thoughts are and what you are likely to do next in a given situation and I don’t think she can do that.”
When I pressed for details of the manipulation, it came to light that the behavior was happening around recorder time in music class.
Through the work of Dr. Lucy Jane Miller of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, supported by organizations such as SPD Canada and their President Lori Fankhanel, we may see the addition of Sensory Processing Disorder in the next DSM V due out in April 2013.
The Winter Olympics wrapped up on Sunday in
“Worldwide Autism Epidemic!” screams the headline. I wish it were true. If we were in the midst of an epidemic of autism, then something, or someone, would be to blame, and with a bit of sleuthing we could eliminate the problem, and prevent even more children from suffering. And, if the epidemic were man-made, we could punish the guilty. Alas, there is precious little scientific evidence to support the notion of an autism epidemic.