Conversation with my lovable eight year old boy with autism. Me: Do you have autism? David: Yeah. (Pause.) I want some milk. Me: What do you like to play with? David: Calvin Me: Calvin is coming over today. He comes to see your sister. (David never plays with Calvin but does say hi to him). Me: Do you like school? David: Yeah What do you do at school? No answer Me: Do you like to run marathons? David: Yeah (Pretty sure ...

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Lately when I ask my son to make a choice or do anything he considers difficult, he says, "Bus number twenty three.  Number twenty three.  Bus number seventy nine.  Number seventy nine." He memorized not only the words but the exact cadence of how buses are announced at his school and recites this script instead of screaming.  If you know David, this avoidance tactic is creative, a little annoying, and downright ...

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I love to pick up my two year old from daycare. Her language is becoming increasingly complex with small sentences, lots of gesturing and expression. When I ask how school was, she says, "Miss you. I crying." Or, "I running fast with friends." Or sometimes a confident, "good," with a head nod. Yesterday, she said, "friend, bite me." Her very kind teacher confirmed the event, and asked my daughter to show me ...

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Here are ways doctors can help autistic or delayed children behave and learn. I certainly do not mean to trivialize the behavior issues that erupt as typical children develop, but the problems of atypical kids are more difficult and less likely to be fully addressed by general pediatricians and society at large. 1.  Understand the ABCs of behavior. Antecedent = What happened immediately before the behavior?  Behavior = A description of the ...

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The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act provides increased funding beyond inflation for school meals for the first time in 30 years and addresses both food insecurity and obesity in children.  Here are the details: 1.  Growing bodies and brains need good nutrition, the best medicine for our patients.  Children at or below 185% of the poverty level qualify for free or reduced cost meals.  Although children compose only 25% of ...

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