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Showing posts from February, 2014

Book Review: The Parent's Guide to the Medical World of Autism by Edward Aull, MD

The Parent's Guide to the Medical World of Autism: A Physician Explains Diagnosis, Medications and Treatments by Edward Aull, MD Behavioral Pediatrician. It was with great trepidation that I approached this book. I knew that it was an important topic but both the title and the cover make it seem like it would be a very tough read. Much to my surprise though, the first half is light and breezy and the second is too informative to put down. This is essentially two books in one. The first half of the book is about diagnostic procedures while the second is all about medication. The author, Dr Aull, is a Behavioral Pediatrician with over 30 years of experience treating and diagnosing patients on the autism spectrum. In this book he draws upon his experience to provide many real-world long-term examples of the effects of various medications. Diagnostics  I enjoyed the first half of the book much more than the second because it was much more relatable and because it w

Article: From Fish to Dogs – Selecting a Therapeutic Pet (at Special-ism)

When I was four, my parents got me a border collie cross something (Labrador, I think). It was an inspired decision. Spot became my "everywhere friend" and we had lots of adventures together. In fact, we became inseparable for the next eighteen years. In the course of those eighteen years, Spot was a comfort, a companion, a friend that I could talk to and a playmate. He acted for my protection against bullies and managed to chase off a few snakes too.  There is no doubt in my mind that my life was much better because of spot. My next article over at Special-ism all about pets, big and small. Perhaps your special needs child is asking for a pet and you're putting it off because you're not sure whether it would be a good idea? Did you know that there are service dogs for people with autism? Do you want to know what they do? Head over to Special-ism to have a read; From Fish to Dogs – Selecting a Therapeutic Pet

Aspergers and Bumping into Things.

I'm constantly bumping into things and I often have scrapes and bumps and bruises on my body but can't remember how they got there. It's the same for my kids and it's all to do with spatial awareness. Spatial awareness, which is often also referred to as motor clumsiness is the ability to think about a figure, usually your own body, in three dimensions.  Specifically it's about doing the mental calculations required to move your body through spaces without hitting other objects (unless you're hitting them on purpose, as in bat and ball games).  It's not always about your body though because sometimes it's about other moving objects, like catching a ball for instance, or "extended parts" of your body, such as  when moving furniture from one room to another without bumping into walls. A lack of spacial awareness isn't one on of the defining criteria for autism and indeed I've seen some children on the spectrum with amazing ball cont