Takeaway: Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a subtype of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), where children compulsively try to avoid any demands and requests from other people. These are stressful, so avoiding them feels good. But only for a bit. Then the anxiety comes back even stronger and slowly takes over their lives. Thankfully PDA can be managed if diagnosed early enough. So, it’s worth consulting a specialist for an assessment and a custom care plan. Read More
Takeaway: ‘Selective mutism’ is a complex, uncontrollable reaction to anxiety, where children can’t speak in certain situations. It’s not that they don’t want to, or choose not to, they simply CAN’T. The trick is to get a diagnosis quickly (before things get worse) and use the training techniques your speech and language therapist provides. Read More
Takeaway: Parents can spot the signs of autism long before anyone else. You just need an expert to help make sense of what you see. That’s what the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is all about. It’s a semi-structured interview where a specialist uses your observations to assess whether or not your child is in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It provides an opportunity to give your child the kind of care and support she needs.
Takeaway: A child’s life can be unnecessarily traumatic if her autism spectrum disorder (ASD) goes unnoticed. Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule [ADOS] is one of the evaluation tools. It’s a reliable, standardised test trusted by specialists around the world. And it’s used not just to detect ASD, but also to measure the extent of its impact on a child’s abilities. Read More
Takeaway: Auditory processing difficulties pop up when a child has trouble processing sounds. So, she can hear fine but her brain struggles to interpret what she hears. Thankfully, there’s a lot we can do to help: (1) Start speech and language therapy, (2) Teach her coping skills, and (3) Modify her environment. Read More
Takeaway: Many children have trouble learning how to speak and communicate fluently. But for most, this is a phase they outgrow. With DLD, a child’s brain develops differently, making it harder for her to learn and use language, through school and into adulthood. Thankfully, though, there are tools and techniques you can use to help your child adapt. Read More
Takeaway: Dyspraxia is a developmental difference where the brain has trouble coordinating physical movements. Children with dyspraxia appear ‘clumsy’ and have problems with everyday activities like self-care, writing, and playing sports. But with the right kind of help, they can learn to adapt and live fulfilling lives. Read More
Takeaway: Dyscalculia is a learning difference that influences how a child understands, learns, and uses maths and numbers. Children with dyscalculia don’t quite get how numbers work — e.g., what they mean, how to count and compare them, and how they connect with the real world. This means they struggle with maths and have problems with other numbers-related tasks like telling time, dealing with money, and keeping score while playing games. Not all children who struggle with maths have dyscalculia, though, so you’ll need an educational psychologist to help you know for sure.
Takeaway: We now see autism as being a spectrum with a range of subtypes. Asperger’s Syndrome is the old name of the mildest of these subtypes. Children with Asperger’s have a lot of the same characteristics as children with classical autism, but it doesn’t affect their functioning as much. And with the right support, they can live full, meaningful lives. Read More
Takeaway: Children with autism have problems with social interaction, get stuck with repetitive behaviour, and are overloaded by sensory stimuli. But there’s such a variation in autistic behaviour that even doctors misdiagnose it. For example, they might notice your child’s short attention span and assume that her challenge is ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). And once they’ve assumed this, they’ll likely ignore the underlying autism spectrum diagnosis. That’s why it’s important to take your child to an experienced multi-disciplinary team of specialists. Read More