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Newsletter - Exciting New Therapy to Help Develop Speech in Children with Autism
January 19, 2012

Winter Newsletter 2012

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year! It’s hard to believe another year has passed. We are very busy again this year expecting another baby in the middle of February. We have two boys and now we are expecting a girl this time! We are very excited!

What’s New at updates

It’s that time of year again in which I am trying to go through all of my pages and update them with the latest information available as well as finding those random typos. If I significantly change any content I will be sure to send it out in a link from my blog, so if you are interested in viewing the changes I have made be sure to check out my blog page.
Child Behavior Blog

Bonus Child Behavior Tip

Bringing Home a New Baby

One of the most common challenges parents face is sibling rivalry. While it may seem impossible to avoid some rivalry, there are some things that will limit it. My first recommendation is to avoid “punishment techniques” of children as the result of some type of sibling rivalry. I recommend this because when children are punished as a result of something they have done to a sibling, they fail to focus on their behavior and instead blame the sibling for the punishment.

I have seen children sit in time out and mumble “I’m gonna get you when I get out of this.” Or “I hate you!” to their sibling, which indicates that the purpose of the time out is not actual working. A time out is for children to be in an area with reduced stimulation, to calm down and think about the behavior they have done that resulted in the time out. So, in my experience, punishment techniques actually create more sibling rivalry. Better options are to simply separate the two children and tell the offender that he/she isn’t able to play with the other one for a set amount of time.

When bringing home a new baby, there are a few things we did with my oldest son when we had our younger son that seemed to work well. I would talk to him about the new baby and help him visualize how fun it was going to be to have a younger brother. I would tell him stories about how they were going to play cars together and other sorts of things that my older son was interested in doing.

I would also tell him he was going to be the best big brother ever, which really seemed to make him proud. We got him some “You’re a big brother!” presents for him to open the day we brought Little A home from the hospital, which were mostly things that would help occupy his time during feedings.

Finally, I have always allowed him to have his time to play without Little A never forcing them to play together. If Mr C decided he didn’t want Little A to play with his toys, I would tell him he had to take them to his room and we would put a gate up so that Little A couldn’t get to them. Now Mr C will simply say, “I don’t want to play with him right now.” And we honor his request. Mostly they will play together very well with hardly any sibling rivalry. Mr C says Little A is his best bud in the whole world. Although Mr C has already been kissing my belly and telling me how much he loves his little sister, we will see how this works with a new sister instead of a brother….

What’s in the News?

Exciting New Therapy to Help Develop Speech in Children with Autism

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, have developed a new treatment referred to as Auditory-Motor Mapping Training (AMMT) that is intended to help nonverbal children with autism develop speech. The AMMT treatment strengthens a network of brain regions thought to be abnormal in children with autism through the use of combined singing (intonation) and motor activities.

"We developed AMMT, in part, because another intonation-based therapy, known as Melodic Intonation Therapy, had been successful in helping stroke patients with aphasia recover their ability to speak," adds senior author Gottfried Schlaug, MD, PhD, Director of the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Neurology at HMS.

Results of the proof of concept study showed that after eight weeks of the treatment, all six children ranging in age of 6 to 9 years old that were completely nonverbal were able to approximate whole words and phrases. I personally am very excited by the results of this study! Especially the fact that the children were older and it is frequently stated that by this age, if speech has not been acquired it likely will not develop at all.

Read more on medical news today

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