Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ABA Programs for Kids with Autism

My ABA eBook in now available on iTunes for your iPad with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes.
This book contains 25 ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) programs, plus many more helpful tips for helping your child with Autism. These ABA programs are designed as guidelines for parents and caregivers of children with behavioral problems and developmental delays associated with neuropsychological disorders, such as autism.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Clinic Notes: Do iPads Apps Really help Children with Autism?

Recently a number of blog posts and online articles have asked if iPads apps really do help children with autism. These authors correctly point out that there are no empirical studies comparing the progress of children with autism who have the opportunity to use the many programs available to those who do not have the opportunity. At the same time many parents of children with autism are holding fundraisers to buy an iPad for their children with the idea that the iPad will help their children well beyond any other methodology currently available. Well, it would be hard to do empirical studies. Of course the control group would not get an iPad while the experimental group would. So the question could be asked is that ethical? Also these studies would be difficult for other technical reasons and after the studies were completed I don’t know if we would know more than we do now.
At the Children’s Treatment Center we use iPads with all of our kids with autism as well as other disorders. I bought iPads for all my grandchildren for Christmas and they are normally functioning. I am an app developer for Apple and do have a vested interest in the sale of apps, but I personally am convinced, as are many others, that the positive effect that I see with children who come to our clinic as well as my own grandchildren is overwhelming. The iPad holds the child’s attention like nothing else I have seen in my forty years of practice. Learning is fun as it should be. Yes the evidence is anecdotal not scientific, but much like asking the question is eating good for you. Do we need a scientific study?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Clinic Notes: A Drop in the Number of Children Diagnosed with Autism

In my clinic 80-90% of the children I see each week have a diagnosis of autism. And I have a wailing list that I can’t get to. I’m sure many of the kids on the waiting list will also have an autism diagnosis, too. The American Psychiatric Association is in the process of redefining the diagnostic criteria for autism for the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to be released in May 2013. This is the fifth edition of the “bible”, which is used by doctors to diagnose, study and treat “mental” illnesses. I’m not sure how many of the children that I see will loose their autism diagnosis under the new guidelines, and possibly loose services. Asperger’s is going to disappear and the kids with Asperger’s are not happy with that. They say that they do not have high functioning autism and I agree with them. So what’s the upside to the change in diagnosis? Beats me.