News and Notes from The Johnson Center

Pilot Program Takes off For Preschoolers with ASD

JCCHD | Mon, May 07, 2012 | [Applied Behavior Analysis][Autism Treatment]

Families of children with autism are often told their children need Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  Sounds easy enough, right? Just find an ABA provider and start services.  Unfortunately, finding quality services at an affordable price can be an extremely difficult process. Knowing firsthand how families struggle to find appropriate services, The Johnson Center incorporates quality ABA services into our multi-disciplinary program.

Our behavioral services department offers a wide range of programs and services, including supervision ...

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A visit from Dr. Martha Herbert, author of The Autism Revolution

JCCHD | Thu, May 03, 2012 | [Autism Treatment][Community][Events]

The Johnson Center was honored last week by a visit from Dr. Martha Herbert, presenting her new book, The Autism Revolution. Dr. Herbert is an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a pediatric neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Co-written with Karen Weintraub, Dr. Herbert described the writing partnership as a perfect match.

A number of lucky parents and professionals from the Austin area listened as Dr. Herbert described the events that led her to write The Autism Revolution.  Because of the number of articles she has ...

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What is My Part in This Experience? One Sibling’s Story

JCCHD | Mon, April 30, 2012 | [Community][Events][Sibling Spotlight]

Jacob was only nine when his younger brother Tim was diagnosed with autism. Jacob knew that his brother was different. He didn’t like to play, had trouble speaking, and would do funny things like rip up paper. Jacob was told that Tim was “autistic,” but he didn’t understand what that meant. Was it contagious? Would Tim be this way forever? Whatever autism was, to Jacob it meant that Tim got more attention and was able to have people come over to their house and spend hours playing with him. It even meant that Jacob had to be pulled out of school because Tim often had to go to the doctor, speech therapist, or occupational therapist. Even the doctors would treat Tim differently and give him special attention. Jacob couldn’t help feeling that it wasn’t fair.

When Jacob was 14, he had a better understanding of what ...

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My child has been evaluated, now what?

JCCHD | Fri, April 27, 2012 | [Autism Treatment][Assessment Corner][Events][Webinars]

Assessment is crucial in identifying children’s particular needs. In our last webinar, we provided an overview into understanding different types of assessment and why on-going assessment and evaluation is so advantageous. On May 1st, Dr. Claire Schutte, staff psychologist at The Johnson Center, will delve deeper into the issue. This next webinar will cover what to do once your child has been evaluated, and how to best put those results into motion.

As many parents already know, treatment plans and therapy goals should be re-assessed and ...

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Family and Food: Eat Like An Inca

JCCHD | Tue, April 17, 2012 | [Family and Food][Healthcare]

In the coming weeks, we will be highlighting healthy, nutrient dense, whole foods to broaden and bolster the quality of your family’s diet. 
This week, the focus is on Quinoa.

Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wa”, is an ancient grain having been around for thousands of years as ...

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Dr. Martha Herbert to speak in Austin

JCCHD | Fri, April 13, 2012 | [Autism Treatment][Community][Events]

If you will be in the Austin area on Wednesday, April 18, we hope you will make plans to join us for what is sure to be a fascinating presentation by one of our collaborators, Dr. Martha Herbert.
Dr. Herbert is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and ...

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Because Being a Teenager is Tough Enough ... Social Skills Training for Adolescents with ASD

JCCHD | Thu, April 12, 2012 | [Applied Behavior Analysis][Autism Treatment][Community][Events]

Being a preteen or teen is hard under the best of circumstances. We have often heard people say they couldn’t be paid enough to go through that time in their life again; this might (or might not) be an exaggeration, but we do know being a teen is even harder for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Reports have shown that adolescents with an ASD are more likely to experience intense feelings of loneliness and frustration over their inability to fit in, and lack of or poor quality friendships than their typically developing peers. Good friendships are important because they help kids establish independence, deal with the stress that can come with being a teenager, and they build confidence and self-esteem. The good news is that social skills can be taught and positive peer interactions and friendships can be established with the right tools and support, leading to a sometimes dramatically improved quality of life.

The Johnson Center provides social skills groups using ...

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DSM-V – What do the changes mean?

JCCHD | Tue, April 10, 2012 | [Assessment Corner][News]

If you have a child with autism you have likely heard of the DSM-IV.  The DSM-IV stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). It is published by the American Psychiatric Association and it’s the primary manual used by clinicians to provide a formal diagnosis of autism and related disorders. The manual outlines the specific criteria that must be met to receive a diagnosis, as well as the corresponding label and numerical code that is sometimes used by insurance companies to identify the diagnosis. The main purpose is to provide standard guidelines for clinicians to use for the diagnosis of different psychological disorders and conditions.

The DSM-IV currently identifies a set of Pervasive Developmental Disorders that are considered “autism spectrum disorders” (ASDs). These include Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). The DSM-IV has been under revision for ...

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Autism in the News: How do they know it is 1 in 88?

JCCHD | Mon, April 09, 2012 | [Assessment Corner][News]

Last week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its most recent update on the rates of autism in the United States.  The numbers are staggering, indicating a rate of 1 out of 88 eight-year-old children (1 out of 54 of boys and 1 out of 252 of girls). Review of rates over the past several years indicates a skyrocketing increase—the CDC data shows an increase of 78% in autism rates from 2002 to 2008. While unanswered questions remain regarding the cause of this increase, one thing is very clear: public health action is needed to help children and families dealing with autism.

How were these numbers determined? The CDC developed the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM) in the year 2000 to…

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Sibling Support

JCCHD | Fri, April 06, 2012 | [Events][Sibling Spotlight]

When children are diagnosed with autism it not only affects the child, but the entire family. Specifically, brothers and sisters of children with autism face many challenges—they may become overwhelmed with feelings of jealously, resentment, loneliness, or inadequacy. Many siblings of children with autism report being bullied or feeling embarrassed when in a public setting.  In a recent book titled Siblings: The Autism Spectrum Through Our Eyes (2010) children talked ...

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