Category Archives: Autism Treatment

Communication Tips for Parents of Autistic Children | Autism Counseling in Michigan

communicate autistic child

If your child was recently diagnosed with autism, you’ve probably struggled to communicate for a while. This is one of the biggest obstacles for parents of autistic children. It may take time to learn a form of communication that works for your child, but there are some steps you can take to speed up that process. Here are some tips for how to communicate with an autistic child.

Nonverbal Does Not Mean Unresponsive

Some people avoid talking to nonverbal children altogether because they rarely speak back. When they do, it may not be in direct response to the previous statement. However, children with autism often communicate without spoken language. They create their own form of sign language, where certain gestures or eye movements indicate how they feel, what they want, etc. If you take time to learn this language and adapt it, you will be much more satisfied with your communication efforts.

Use Your Body When You Speak

Nonverbal communication relies heavily on body language. By using gestures while you speak, you can begin associating words with movements. When your child needs to speak to you, he can use those pre-defined movements to convey his desires directly. Something as simple as nodding your head up and down for yes, side to side for no will create a baseline of communication that you can build on.

Speak in Small Phrases

Autistic children cannot always understand long sentences. They may respond better to simple words, phrases and gestures. Instead of asking your child, “Would you like to eat an apple?” just say “Eat apple?”

The golden rule for this is to use one more word than your child uses. If your child normally uses one word to describe something, use two. Apple – Eat apple. If your child is completely nonverbal, use one word as often as possible. If your child is high-functioning with a decent flow of communication, focus on concise sentences that are easy to follow.

Narrate Your Child’s Movements

As your child plays, eats, or does any physical activity, narrate his or her actions. This establishes a connection between words and movements, which will make it easier for your child to “speak” to you in the future. Allow your child to explore his or her interest. If your child is fixated on puzzles, use words to describe the pictures on the puzzle pieces. It is easier to learn when you feel excited about the subject matter. Children with autism are no different.

Find What Works for Your Child through Autism Counseling

Every child is different, and every autism diagnosis is different. The best way to learn how to communicate with nonverbal children is through autism counseling. While the primary focus of autism treatment is on the child, the program also helps parents better understand their children’s needs. You may have individual counseling sessions as a parent in addition to your family counseling sessions. Your autism counselor will give you new ideas to talk to your child and improve his or her life as a whole.

For more information about autism counseling, contact Perspectives Counseling Centers. We have multiple locations in Southeast Michigan, and all of them offer specialized autism treatment programs.  

Does The Good Doctor Accurately Portray Autism? Autism Treatment MI

good doctor autism

Autism awareness has grown considerably since television shows started adding autistic characters to the cast. Back in April, Sesame Street created a new puppet named Julia to help children understand autism spectrum disorder.  Billy, the Blue Ranger in the new Power Rangers movie, has high-functioning autism, and so does the star of the Netflix original series Atypical.

Yet another show has come out with an autistic lead role. This time it’s “The Good Doctor.” Dr. Shaun Murphy is a young surgical resident who has both autism and savant syndrome. These conditions allow him to have a unique perspective on the medical world – he sees things that other doctors cannot see. The question is: how accurately does this showcase autism spectrum disorder?

How Autism Is Portrayed In The Good Doctor

From the first episode, it is clear that Dr. Murphy looks at the world differently. He analyzes situations in his mind, similar to how Robert Downey Jr.’s thoughts are portrayed in the newest Sherlock Holmes movies. He processes information literally and does not always pick up on social cues. He avoids eye contact, twiddles his fingers, and speaks with a bold, matter-of-fact tone.

The show also explores the doctor’s early life, including memories of traumatic experiences triggered by sounds, sights and smells. The audience sees what life was like for this character before he was diagnosed or treated for his autism.

Does This Represent Autism Well?

Autism is not a condition with a defined set of symptoms. This is why people are placed on a “spectrum,” representing how easily they can function with the rest of society. Some people with autism would not be able to get through medical school or the chaos of working in a hospital, but that is not to say this character is inaccurate.

For the most part, The Good Doctor does a sufficient job of explaining what autism is and showing how it affects the main character. Much like Sam from Atypical, Shaun has trouble with flashing lights and loud noises around him. He can sometimes identify sarcasm, but he may not find humor in it. These are all experiences someone with autism might have.

It is impossible to define what an autistic character should and should not be, and this show is still in its infancy. For now, the writers and actors have maintained a strong level of authenticity. At minimum, they have helped to bring even more awareness to autism and autism treatment.

 

Sesame Street Adds Autistic Character To Cast: MI Autism Treatment

sesame street autism

One of the world’s most beloved children’s shows is adding a new character to the cast – a 4-year-old Muppet named Julia. What makes Julia so unique is the fact that she has autism, giving children a better understanding of what autism is and how people with the condition view the world. This is a tremendous stride in autism awareness, and it goes to show how important Sesame Street and other programs are to children of all ages.

A Look At Julia, The Muppet With Autism

Julia is a shy character with fiery red hair and a wonderfully engaging smile. She picks flowers, paints, and expresses her creativity in a number of ways. She doesn’t always know how to communicate with other characters on the show. Sometimes she simply repeats what other characters have said, or a character will have to repeat a question in order for Julia to understand it. It’s not always easy to get her attention, and she may not pick up on social cues.

She’s a great representation of autism as a whole, even if she does not reflect every autistic child’s thoughts and behavioral patterns. Overall, she should be an excellent addition to the Sesame Street gang, and we can’t wait to see what she’ll do.

Choosing The Right Way To Convey Autistic Behaviors

It’s called the “autism spectrum” for a reason. There is no specific way an autistic person acts, thinks, or behaves. Each person is unique, which means that not all autistic children may act exactly like Julia. Sesame Street had to find a happy medium, somewhere on the spectrum that was relatable, easy-to-understand, and still representative of the condition. From what we’ve seen, they have done a great job at capturing the unique way someone with autism views the world while simultaneously showing that every child from every walk of life is unique too.

Resources For Parents With Autistic Children

In addition to bring Julia onto the cast, Sesame Street has created a database of resources for parents of autistic children. This has help videos for children and for parents, along with daily routine cards to help children with autism get through day-to-day tasks. If you have an autistic child, you may also get autism treatment through our specialists in Michigan. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Metro Detroit, MI to schedule an appointment with an autism therapist near you.

Early Signs Of Autism: MI Autism Treatment

early signs of autism

Autism is a condition that affects 1 in 68 children in Michigan and throughout the United States. There is no cure for the disorder at this time, but children who are diagnosed early on receive the most benefits from autism treatment. A child’s developing brain has remarkable opportunities for recovery, especially before the age of two. Watch for these early signs of autism so you can get your child the treatment he or she needs as soon as possible.

When Will Autism Symptoms Develop?

Autism symptoms manifest at different points in a child’s life, depending on the severity of the disorder. It is difficult to truly identify signs of autism spectrum disorder before 24 months of age, but some symptoms show as early as 12-18 months. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about any odd behavior you notice in case it’s an indication of an underlying issue, like autism.

Signs Of Autism In Infants And Toddlers

As a whole, you should watch for developmental delays or limited social interactions. For instance, your infant or child may avoid:

  • Making eye contact with people, even when being spoken to or fed
  • Playing with other children in daycare, at church, at school, etc.
  • Reaching out to be picked up
  • Crying or making noises for attention
  • Imitating speech and behaviors
  • Following an object put in front of his or her face
  • Waving goodbye or pointing at objects he or she wants
  • Speaking or babbling
  • Smiling, laughing, or expressing emotions

There are many other causes of developmental delays. Some children simply take longer to learn how to communicate their thoughts and needs. Nevertheless, airing on the side of caution will ensure that your child gets the right care as quickly as possible if autism is the root cause.

Signs Of Autism In Older Children

By the time your child is past the toddler stage, you will have probably already noticed some social difficulties, language delays, and other signs of autism. Because the autism spectrum is so vast though, you may not pick up on high-functioning autism until your child gets older. Here are some indicators to watch out for:

  • Difficulty paying attention when people talk
  • Not wanting to cuddle or be held
  • A consistent lack of interest in what’s going on
  • Not sharing accomplishments with others (colors a page in a coloring book but doesn’t show it to you)
  • Repeating words or phrases over and over
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s body language
  • Repeating questions instead of answering them
  • Difficulty following simple directions
  • Taking everything you say at its most literal form
  • Difficulty adapting to changes in his or her life

If your child exhibits these symptoms or other signs of autism, talk to your doctor about psychological testing and treatment options. Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers are highly recommended by hospitals, doctors, schools and churches in Michigan because of our high success ratings with autism treatment, ADHD therapy, child counseling, and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child.