“It’s All My Fault!” Understanding Guilt in Parents of Children with ASD

Guilt is a powerful emotion. It has both motivating and destructive effects. It can be seen as a moral conscience, directing us toward doing the “right thing.” Imagine a society where there was no sense of moral guilt - this could lead to a situation where there is anarchy. Our guilt allows us...

Beyond Academics: The Importance of Executive Functioning Skill Development

Children diagnosed with ASD are known to present with a range of executive functioning needs. While educators and special education teams work to implement accommodations, modifications and supports to provide students with ASD what they need to access their education and surrounding environment,...

Should Parents Tell Their Children They Have Asperger’s?

A diagnosis of Asperger’s can be an overwhelming experience for parents and children. Some parents may feel an initial sense of relief at finally finding an answer to their child’s difficulties; at the same time, it also can foreshadow a long and trying road ahead full of therapies, academic...

Why Emotional Literacy Is So Important

Social and emotional literacy develop over time and need to be nurtured just like any other skill such as math or riding a bike. Unlike math or bike-riding, however, the teaching of emotional literacy is often overlooked. It has been referred to as the “missing piece” of education despite its...

Treating the Adolescent with ASD: The Quest To Establish Selfhood

In our society, adolescence is thought of as a time of self-discovery and identity formation. It is a time when the individual is not quite a child anymore, but is certainly not an adult; it is the transitionary period between the two. During the span of roughly seven to ten years, or in some cases...

Using Summer Vacation to Build College Readiness Skills

Heading to college in the fall? Summer vacation is the perfect opportunity to work on the skills you’ll need to succeed in college. Whether it’s understanding the way your disability affects you, navigating new environments, using an ATM machine, making your own doctor’s appointments, or...

Evidence-Based Interventions for Students on the Autism Spectrum

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation both demand that schools utilize scientifically supported, evidence based methods. Yet, outside of applied behavior analysis there are few well-designed studies supporting interventions for our students on the...

ASD and Internet Crime

In the past few years a disturbing trend has emerged. Increasing numbers of ASD individuals being arrested and incarcerated for internet crimes involving child pornography and inappropriate contact with minors. As a clinician who specializes in autism spectrum disorders, I have been asked by...

Executive Functions: Skills to Promote Success in School and Beyond

Many children diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA) struggle with impairments in executive functioning (EF). Executive functions are defined as “an umbrella construct defined as the control, supervisory, or self-regulatory functions that organize and direct all...

Demystifying Aggression: Developing Effective Interventions

Aggression is likely the most problematic of all issues that may accompany autism spectrum conditions in terms of separating individuals from the mainstream and significantly affecting many aspects of quality of life. For children and adults alike, problems with aggression can sabotage life...