Abby has significant motor delays. Her mother asks you some version of this question during every visit: “Is it my fault that Abby isn’t walking yet?” or “What did I do to cause this?” The question itself makes you uncomfortable, because you can’t really answer it well and because you feel like you’ve tried to answer …

Today I want to share someone else’s blog post that just wow’ed me. Before you read what I write, read this short post by Lisa Reyes: Someone Asked My Son with Autism Why Eye Contact Is Hard. This Was His Answer.

As I read Phillip’s answer, I kept thinking what if we approached toddlers with this in …

Ben is joining Marissa and her mother during breakfast because Mrs. Smith asked for support with helping Marissa communicate at meals. At first, Ben just observes and chats with Mrs. Smith. He asks her what her goals are for Marissa during breakfast. She says that she really wants Marissa to say or sign “please” and “thank …

Meet Chris – He and his family have moved 7 times since he was born and are now staying with friends. Chris was referred to your program by his mother at the suggestion of her friend’s mom. The referral said that Chris was 29 months old and not walking. When you arrive for the screening, you see …

On your first visit you ask, “Is Tyler saying any words?” 

“Oh sure, Tyler has lots of words! He can say ball, mama, doggie, outside. He probably says 20-30 words!” his mother replies.

When you ask for more information, you realize that Tyler’s words are almost exclusively said in imitation after his mom prompts him. He only has 2 words that …

Meet Jesse and his Mother
Jesse is 22 months old and often plays by himself. When his mother tries to play with him, she says that he ignores her or will move to another activity. When you observe their play, you notice that she tries very hard to join in what Jesse’s doing, but in doing …

The practice of early intervention (EI) is always evolving and changing as new evidence comes to light about how to support children and families. This brief summarizes a research study that examined the behaviors of caregivers of young children with autism that were associated with higher levels of joint attention and language in children. It is …

Examples of using pausing to encourage development are more powerful than me describing why this technique works so let’s start with a few examples from real intervention visits:
Sandy
One day on a visit with Sandy and her nurse, we played with Sandy’s favorite toy and assisted her as she activated it.  Sandy had multiple disabilities and difficulty with communication. After she …

Early interventionists, physicians and nurses, child care providers, preschool teachers, home visitors, playgroup leaders, family members – you all have the power to help with early identification of autism spectrum disorder. Earlier identification is associated with earlier, appropriate intervention and better long-term positive outcomes for children. It is not an easy topic to discuss with …

You’re on a first visit with the family of a toddler who is suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). You greet the mother and try to say “hi” to the child, but he wanders away to continue his circuit around the room.  As you watch, he picks up toys and drops them, dances in front …