Expert tips from an autism specialist and occupational therapist to help your clients thrive in therapy and in life.

November 11, 2019

In either of these scenarios, did the child learn a new skill to help them cope with the demands of daily life? Did you build your trust and your relationship?  Did the child’s own goals become more aligned with the goals you have for him? The answer to all of these questions is probably no. But the good news is, we don’t have to choose between get...

September 17, 2019

In these four videos you'll learn how and why to use an autism-specific behavior problem solving process.

September 10, 2019

Last week in the Early Intervention Occupational Therapists group on Facebook, I did a four part series on teaching play to kids with autism. Check out the replays below to get some tips you can use right away in your work.

Part 1: Why playing is hard for kids with autism 

In this video, I review what we know about autism learning styles, and discuss...

August 11, 2019

Everyone who’s worked with kids with autism on tough goals knows that in order to be successful we have to tap into their motivation. None of us, neurotypical or otherwise, has an easy time doing things that aren’t meaningful or motivating to us. This is especially true for our young clients with autism. So the question becomes: what motivators wil...

August 4, 2019

When we teach flexibility, we can watch as our kids learn to look to their schedules to see what changes they can expect that day. We’ll feel proud as kids play with toys in a variety of ways, share them with others, and use their new skills in different places and under new circumstances. We’ll create systems that allow our kids to know what to exp...

May 20, 2019

If you work with non-verbal or minimally-verbal kids with autism, teaching them to ask for the things they want and need is one of the most important things you can do.

However, there are several mistakes that most therapists make when teaching requesting to kids with autism. These mistakes can make your well-intended intervention so much less effect...

April 18, 2019

The process of being a new therapist, or an experienced therapist in a new setting, is truly stressful. And while it’s totally normal to feel this way, we all want move past this feeling as quickly as we can. We want to feel honest, calm, and present in our work, whether things are going great or our sessions are descending into chaos. The good new...

March 13, 2019

Let’s talk about behavior problem solving for autism. If you work with kids with autism, you’re using some type of behavior problem solving whether it’s a formal process for you or not. And if it’s not a formal process, what happens is we tend to use the strongest framework that we have and work from there. For many OTs, that’s a sensory processing...

March 6, 2019

If you don’t have a toolbox full of autism-specific strategies, letting go of hand-over-hand can feel scary. After all, when your client can’t or won’t follow the instructions you’re giving, what exactly do you do? Keep reading to learn three reasons why it’s worth letting go of hand-over-hand assistance in most circumstances, and how to figure out...

February 13, 2019

Many parents and therapists have heard by now that visual supports can help kids make sense of their instructions. We know that receptive language, or making sense of what they hear, is difficult for our kids with autism, and that visual learning is something they're relatively good at. The problem is, when we start making visual supports things can...

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