This Is Me Tool

Worksheet Helps Professionals See Patients as People First

Full Story A patient should always be seen as more than a cluster of symptoms. For patients with special healthcare needs, a holistic view is even more critical. That’s why the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri provides a worksheet called the “This Is Me” tool, which was specially designed to help caregivers get to know patients personally and medically.

Wait Times for Autism Cut in Half

Wait Times for Autism Services Cut in Half without Adding Staff

Full Story After being referred for services or diagnosis, people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often spend several months on a waitlist before their appointment is even scheduled, then wait several more months to see a professional. Some can wait a year before receiving therapy or medication. This problem isn’t just inconvenient for families: the earlier children with ASD receive intervention, the better their outcomes tend to be.

Setting Goals For Families Leads To Greater Success

Setting Goals for Families Leads to Greater Success

Full Story As any business book will tell you, getting team members on board with a project is best accomplished by integrating them in all aspects of the work—including the goal setting process. This principle is certainly true in healthcare.

Insomnia Treatment Plan Helps Daughter with Autism

Insomnia Treatment Plan Helps Daughter with Autism

Full StoryMia has slept continuously with her mother, Luz Belleza-Binns, since she was a baby. At first, it provided much needed comfort for the young child with ASD. As Mia grew, Belleza-Binns tried transitioning Mia to her own bedroom, but Mia would wake up frequently calling for her mother. In order to sleep through the night, Mia went back to sleeping in Belleza-Binns’ bed. Now at the age of 7, Belleza-Binns knew it was time for Mia to learn how to sleep in her own room.

Donna Murray

Key to Autism Access Answer Lives in Community Physicians: Q&A with Donna Murray, Senior Director, AS-ATN

Full Story What keeps Donna Murray, senior director of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (AS-ATN), up at night? “I think about all the families on wait lists, for months and months, to see autism specialists. I think about how people don’t have access to the critical intervention services they need,” says Murray. “We simply have to do better.”

Parent Story: "He's Just a Boy"

Parent Story: "He's Just a Boy" (Video)

Full Story In this gripping presentation, Shelly Armstrong, a parent partner in NICHQ's autism collaborative, recounts her son's diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Working with Parents to Improve Care for Children with Autism

Working with Parents to Improve Care for Children with Autism (Video)

Full Story In NICHQ’s Autism Collaborative project, teams across North America are using quality improvement techniques to better the care of children with autism. A key component of this work is partnering with parents of children with autism to guide the improvement process. In this video, parents and providers share their stories of success through the collaborative.

Putting Insomnia to Bed for Children with Autism

Putting Insomnia to Bed for Children with Autism

Full Story We all know that when we do not get enough sleep we are likely to become moody, cranky and distracted and find it difficult to listen or even think. Now imagine how difficult life can be for a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who also suffers from insomnia.

Autism Awareness Ribbon

Practices Improve Constipation Treatment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Full Story Many children with autism spectrum disorder reject certain foods due to taste, texture or newness, leading to constipation that can affect their behavior. Despite this known problem, physical symptoms in autism are often overlooked by the health establishment. Some practitioners aren’t sure how to treat symptoms of constipation in children with ASD.

Dr. Dan Coury

Q&A with Dr. Dan Coury, Faculty Chair of NICHQ’s Collaborative to Improve Autism Care

Full Story "From what we know about autism disorders and early intervention, it’s important for us to be able to screen and identify these individuals as early in life as possible. Those who are entered into appropriate intervention programs often have improved outcomes. So one of the big priorities for this project is reducing wait times at clinics so children can get treatment as early as possible.”

Parents Help Revamp Autism Treatment Center

Parents Help Revamp Autism Treatment Center

Full Story Laura Wilson’s son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was 5 years old at the Oregon Health & Science University’s Institute on Development and Disability. Her experience, she says, wasn’t ideal. “It was a comprehensive clinic that did a great job of evaluating, but after families left the clinic they had no support,” says Wilson, whose son is now 15.