Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Clinic Notes: ABA for Grandmothers with Autism

When I came in the clinic this morning I checked the messages on the answering machine like I always do. The messages were the usual--parents wanting evaluations on their children--others with a diagnosis wanting treatment. Other messages were from school systems, doctors, speech language pathologists, and other agencies and professionals wanting information on children that I was seeing--nothing different. I thought. I returned as many calls as I could before my appointments started and ran into something different. A grandmother with several grandchildren requested an autism evaluation. I asked her how old her grandchildren were and she informed me that I didn't understand. The autism evaluation was not her grandchildren. The autism evaluation was for her. I apologized and asked her why she thought she had autism. It was because her grandchildren were acting different she said. She thought they might have autism and had got it from her. That's a backward way of looking at autism I thought to myself. Then I wondered if indeed this backward way of looking at autism was autistic behavior. And I wondered if anyone was doing ABA with grandmothers with autism.

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