What is AAC and how might it help your child?

What is AAC? AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. AAC is any device used to communicate that is not spoken speech; even texting can be seen as an AAC device. This form of communication is typically used with children who are minimally verbal or nonverbal. To begin, individualized communication devices must first be “fitted” to see which device will …

What to expect at your diagnostic evaluation

Most parents have several questions running through their head about what to expect during a diagnostic evaluation for their child. Although it may seem overwhelming, this assessment is here to help provide clarification and guidance. Here is what you can expect during a diagnostic evaluation for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). First steps: Initial interview and complete history At the beginning …

Why Your Child Repeats Things: Echolalia

What is echolalia? What does it mean when your child keeps repeating words, phrases or sounds? This is called echolalia. Children may do this when they do not know how to effectively communicate or lack communication skills. Many times, echolalia is used to practice or learn language. Repetitive speech is common for children in their early childhood and also common …

What is a standard intake?

During a diagnostic evaluation, a standard intake is meant to collect and organize information about a client prior to treatment. It is used as a platform for the clinician and client to clearly communicate their concerns. The information gathered during the intake is used to help formulate diagnoses and create individualized treatment plans. In the field of pediatrics, parents and …

What are the early signs of autism?

The signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) vary greatly among individuals of all ages. Some children show signs as early as a few months old while others do not show any obvious signs until age two or three. It is important to remember that every child is unique in their growth and development. Even children who do not have autism …

Diagnostic Evaluation: Learning Disability

It is important to remember children with learning disabilities can have normal or above average IQ tests but do not fully demonstrate that potential on achievement tests. A discrepancy between test scores and IQ scores shows the presence of a learning disability. Why are children referred for a learning disability evaluation? Children who have challenges with learning but do not …

Different Severities of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting different areas of skills needed for a variety of functions. This results in social difficulties and the presence of restricted and/or repetitive behaviors. ASD has replaced what used to be four separate disorders, with the only difference between them being severity. Instead, the use of the word spectrum acknowledges that this …

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

What is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in children? Major depressive disorder is a form of depression characterized by chronic feelings of sadness or loss of interest and pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyable. Signs of Major Depressive Disorder A key sign of major depressive disorder is change in mood. Change in mood is a normal part of a child’s …

Diagnostic Evaluation: Mood Disorders

What is a Mood Disorder? A mood disorder is characterized by emotional disturbances that consist of overly intense and persistent periods of sadness, elation, or both. These periods of intense mood significantly impair a child’s ability to function in everyday life and cause disruption.  Mood vs Emotion The difference between mood and emotion is outward expression. A child’s mood is …

Promoting sleep in children with ASD

Maintaining optimal sleep is vital for all, but most importantly for children across the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In typical development, sleep is important in impacting children’s growth associated with both emotional and behavioral growth. Therefore, sleep disturbances may severely impact ASD symptoms. Fewer hours of sleep has been shown to correlate with social skill deficit, communication impairments and stricter …