Reframing Your Child’s Intense Interests as a Strength

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  by Katherine Johnson. M.S., BCBA Senior Director of Partnerships, LEARN Behavioral The first child I ever worked with wanted nothing more than to play with Thomas the Tank Engine—all day. Over the years, teaching many different children on the spectrum, I experienced a dazzling array of special interests: animals, birthdates, the Titanic, horror movies,… Read more »

This School Year, Build a Trusting Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher

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by Katherine Johnson, M.S., BCBA Senior Director of Partnerships, LEARN Behavioral   Building a strong relationship with your child’s teacher can benefit everyone involved. In fact, studies show that parental involvement in a child’s schooling boosts their motivation and performance. Parents with positive ties to their child’s teacher can learn more about the school environment,… Read more »

How to Handle Screen Time with Your Child with Autism

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by Brittany Barger, M.Ed., BCBA Behavior Consultant, Autism Spectrum Therapies   Summer can mean outdoor activities and family vacations, but it can also mean more time spent at home, with parents and caregivers scrambling to come up with a kid-friendly daily agenda, while managing work, running errands, and tending to countless other priorities. It should… Read more »

Six Steps to Prepare Your Child with Autism to Interact with Police

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Blaring lights, screeching sirens, looming strangers with shiny badges—encounters with police can bring an overload of sensory experiences, making it difficult for kids and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to respond calmly to an approaching officer. As headlines report and data reflects, these encounters can lead officers to assume people with autism are defiant… Read more »

How to Keep Your Child with Autism Engaged This Summer

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by Ronit Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D Strategic Advisor, LEARN Behavioral What a difference a year can make. Last June, most parents were forced to reckon with the prospect of extended, pandemic-related lockdowns and a summer unlike any since the 1918 influenza pandemic. Now, however, summer has arrived, the sun is shining, and with more than 50… Read more »

Easing Your Child Back Into Life Post-Pandemic

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by Ronit Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D Strategic Advisor, LEARN Behavioral If the last 16 months have taught us anything, it’s that the only constant in life with COVID-19 is change. And while the persistent evolution of information and safety protocols has left many with a severe case of whiplash, its impact on children has been even… Read more »

How Parents and Caregivers of Kids with Autism Cope with Stress

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by Katherine Johnson, M.S., BCBA Senior Director of Partnerships, LEARN Behavioral Parenting can be stressful, and research shows that parents of autistic children consistently score higher on stress indicators than other groups of parents. While stress can be good for us—in manageable doses, it can energize and motivate—prolonged bouts of stress can lead to health… Read more »

This Earth Day and Beyond, Spend More Time in Nature

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by Genevieve Marshall, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA Clinical Director, SPARKS Years ago, in an undergraduate social psychology class, I recall my professor focusing an entire lecture on how the industrial revolution affected our relationship with nature. Specifically, the professor talked about the migration to cities and the increasing amount of time children spent inside, whether working… Read more »

Evie and Kelly Mutsch Talk About Their Journey with Autism—and Their Thriving, Eco-Friendly Business

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When Evie Mutsch, at age two-and-a-half, started applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy at the Wisconsin Early Autism Project (WEAP), she spoke no words and tended to express herself in tantrums, her mom, Kelly, says. Today, however, at age 10 and a half, words pour from her mouth as she talks about the intricacies of the… Read more »

Perspectives: Embracing Individuality in Behavior Analysis

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By Katherine Johnson, M.S., BCBA Senior Director of Partnerships, LEARN Behavioral   Eye contact. “Quiet” hands. These were goals for autistic children everywhere in ABA programs in the 1990s. As a generation of autistic children have come of age and grown into autistic adults, we’ve heard their criticisms, a few of them being: eye contact… Read more »