My Autism Story

Amy shares her attempt at trying to explain what autism is like from her son’s perspective.

My name is Barclay.  I am almost four years old.  I have autism.  My mom wanted you to know what autism was like for me and even though I can’t tell you myself, she understands me well enough that I trust her to get it mostly right! Continue reading “My Autism Story”

Podcast 06: Planning for Your Special Needs Child’s Future, with Elder Law Attorney, Danielle Faller

Amy welcomes special guest, Elder Law Attorney, Danielle Faller of Hemness Law. Danielle gives information all parents of special needs children need to know.

Hemness Law

At Hemness Law, we limit ourselves to the practice of Elder Law. Elder Law is a unique area of legal practice which is defined by the type of clients we serve the elderly and persons with disabilities.

Special Needs Alliance

The Special Needs Alliance is a national organization comprised of attorneys committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Many of our members have loved ones with special needs; all of them work regularly with public benefits, guardianship/conservatorships, planning for disabilities and special education issues. They collaborate with advocates throughout the special needs community to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

ABLE Account

ABLEnow accounts help individuals with disabilities save money to pay for qualified expenses, without being taxed on the earnings – and in most cases, without losing eligibility for certain means-tested benefit programs.

The Vestibular System: The Seventh Sense and Autism

As a child you were taught the 5 senses: sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing.  But did  you know there are actually 8?  The other 3 lesser known senses are the proprioceptive sense, vestibular sense and interoceptive sense.  (Click here to read my blog “The Interoceptive System:  The Eighth Sense and Autism)  In this blog we will discuss the vestibular sense and it’s role in those impacted with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, language delays or other developmental disabilities. Continue reading “The Vestibular System: The Seventh Sense and Autism”

Interoception: The Eighth Sense and Autism

Amy explains what interoception is and how to help children who have autism better develop interoceptive awareness.

I had never heard the term, but I knew exactly what it was.  My 3 1/2 year old son has ADHD and ASD.  I recently jotted down on a piece of paper several things I was noticing in him.  Things that didn’t seem related, but at the same time seemed to have a connection.  Things like “never seems hungry, never seems thirsty, never seems sleepy, under responsive to painful stimuli, overly responsive to temperature of food, under responsive to physical touch, seems unable to recognize emotional changes in people,” and the list goes on.
Continue reading “Interoception: The Eighth Sense and Autism”

Podcast 04: Defining Your New Norm

Amy shares how having a child with a developmental disability, such as ADHD or Autism, means that you more than likely will have to redefine what normal looks like for you family.

A Christmas Meltdown Turns Into Christmas Miracle

Amy shares how a holiday meltdown turned into a holiday miracle.

Christmas came and went.  It was a little overwhelming for my ADHD/ASD child.  He is 3 1/2 and it took him a while to understand that gifts were for opening.  He’d open one and just want to play with it.  Then once he understood the concept it was as if he had to open every gift in overdrive.  It was chaotic at times.  He is used to not having access to many toys as we keep them in bins in a closet.  We attempt the one bin in, one bin out rule.  So having toys everywhere for a few days did dysregulate him.  However, had a little dysregulation been our only holiday challenge, we could have easily managed that.  What happened to my son over the holiday was nothing short of a complete meltdown.  Thank goodness, we figured out why. Continue reading “A Christmas Meltdown Turns Into Christmas Miracle”

Genetic Testing Using “Genesight”

Amy shares a genetic test her son with ADHD and ASD had done by his developmental pediatrician and how the results have helped shape her son’s treatment.

My son is 3 1/2 years old and diagnosed with a severe communication disorder called Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

For the last six months he has been on a roller coaster of medication trials to help get some of the ADHD symptoms under control.   He’s gone from Focalin, to Dyanavel, to Guanfacine with nothing seeming to be the right fit.  The Guanfacine offered the least side effects, but also the least results.  He is in a full-time Applied Behavior Analysis program and was so wired during the first half of the day that therapy was becoming a challenge.  He would then crash mid-morning and fall asleep which meant he was then missing several hours of therapy.

I called his developmental pediatrician and asked if we could discuss trying yet another medication.  She said she first wanted me to bring him in for a test called the “Genesight“. Continue reading “Genetic Testing Using “Genesight””