Autism Spectrum Disorder and Speech Therapy

By: Pranali Shah, MS, CF-SLP Introduction Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that affects communication, behavior, and social interaction. It is called a spectrum disorder because it encompasses a wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment. People with ASD may experience challenges in social communication, such as difficulty with understanding […]

The Connection between Autism, ADHD, and Sleep 

By Christine Hemelians, MS, OTR/L Quality sleep is important and beneficial for everyone; however, it’s especially important for babies and toddlers. Sleep plays a crucial role in the development of mental and physical health for children. It impacts alertness and attention, cognitive performance, language and vocabulary acquisition, and learning and memory (Pacheco & Vyas, 2023). […]

Stimming: What is it and why it happens

Stimming: What is it and why it happens

By: Christine Hemelians, MS, OTR/L Stimming can be used to describe repetitive movements and actions to stimulate the senses. These movements can occur due to a result of too much or not enough stimulation in the environment. A child might use stimming to help regulate their emotions or to cope in an overstimulated environment. Stimming […]

Autism and play: Why play skills are important and should be reinforced at home

By: Christine Hemelians, MS, OTR/L Play is an important part of a child’s development. However, in children presenting developmental delays or diagnosed with autism, play can be very limited. In fact, play in children on the spectrum can look very different than their neurotypical peers. In autistic children, play may be repetitive, like lining up […]

Early signs and characteristic traits of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Early signs and characteristic traits of Autism Spectrum Disorder

By Deborah Lee MS, OTR/L In light of April being Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, here are some early signs and characteristic traits of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to be mindful of if and when you have a toddler. Being able to identify and notice some of these signs earlier on will only benefit your […]

Exploring Autism and Occupational Therapy

In honor of April being both Occupational Therapy and Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month we would like to highlight the importance of occupational therapy for autistic children. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability, and the Autism experience is different for everyone. The core characteristics look different from child to child and include differences in communication, […]

What are fidget tools and why are they important for kids?

By Christine Hemelians, MSOT, OTR/L We all fidget in some way shape or form. For example, shaking our legs, twirling our hair, biting our nails, chewing on pen caps, or tapping fingers on the table. While this may be thought of as distracting, these actions are used as a form of self-regulation, and if directed […]

Autism: Preconceived Notions vs. Truth

By Madison Gwizdalski MS-CCC, SLP In 2021, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to 2018 data. This data indicated that most children were still being diagnosed after age 4, but that autism could be reliably diagnosed around age 2!  You might […]