Blog

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

June 18, 2020

These ableist and racist value systems, endemic and pervasive in society, lead to catastrophic consequences in far too many young people's lives. The Department of Education's annual civil rights data collection consistently shows that Black and Latinx disabled students face the highest rates of suspensions, expulsions, and in-school arrests...

March 3, 2020

A strengths-based approach to OT with kids on the spectrum allows us to strike a balance between accepting that autistic kids think differently and also finding a way to teach them new skills. It reduces the burden on our autistic kids, who are often overwhelmed with the daily challenges of life in a world that is set up for neurotypical people. And...

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 10, 2019

Last week in the Early Intervention Occupational Therapists group on Facebook, I did a four part series on teaching play to kids on the autism spectrum. 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 on the autism spectrum 

In this video, I review what we know about autism learnin...

August 11, 2019

Everyone who’s worked with kids on the spectrum 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 autistic clients. So the question becomes: what motivators wi...

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...

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 on the autism spectrum, and that visual learning is something they're relatively good at. The problem is, when we start making visual supports...

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