All posts in Life Skills

Toilet Training the Child with Autism

It’s the ultimate goal of any parent of a young child: to get the child off diapers as quickly as possible. As you may have guessed, toilet training can take longer for children with autism. However, don’t be discouraged. Almost all children, regardless of where they are on the spectrum, can be toilet trained. And for many children, toilet training can go more quickly than you’d think — within a week, if approached correctly. The trick lies in having the right system.   Is My Child Ready? First and foremost, all children – if they’re physiologically able to – should…

Social Skills Training: Navigating the Nuances

All parents want their children to grow into a healthy and happy adults. But when a child with autism struggles to “fit in” socially, for many parents, their sense of worry kicks into overdrive. Suddenly, social skills training may become the parents’ top priority for the child. Parents may find themselves continually prompting their child to say “please” and “thank you”; they may set up play dates with typically developing children, or they may sign their child up for the local Park District soccer team. In truth, perhaps the wisest thing parents can do is to step back and take…

Food for Thought: Autism and Picky Eating

It’s a fact of life: Every parent has dealt with food preference issues at one time or another. The refrain, “This is a house, not a restaurant!” has, throughout time, become a common utterance at dinner tables around the world. But picky eating – called food selectivity – is a particularly significant hurdle for many kids with autism. If not properly addressed early on, food selectivity can develop into a lifelong issue with serious consequences. Increasingly, mainstream medicine is recognizing the connections between the stomach and the brain. (See this article for more information.) For any child, and particularly for a…

From A to ZZZ: Autism and Sleeping Problems

Few things in life feel as terrific as a really great night’s sleep. And while sleep can have an enormous impact in a child’s ability to learn, frequently, parents don’t think to bring sleeping issues to our attention. From getting to sleep to staying in bed, sleeping problems for children with autism can come in many forms.  Fortunately, we can help. First, though, it’s always recommended that parents start by consulting with a pediatrician to ensure that the root of the problem isn’t medical in nature. Once we have your physician’s okay, we can try a number of tactics to…

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