Tag Archives: autism

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Speech Therapy and Autism – The Problem and a Solution

The problem with speech therapy and autism is speech therapy is generally aimed at teaching sound production to the muscles and building one sound upon another in a predetermined pattern of progression. However, autism and speech is more about communication than word formation.

Teaching communication, as opposed to speech, requires a greater level of sophistication from the teacher.

Unfortunately, too often the child is taught in a fashion that, when mirrored, looks like scripted talking and planned responses. This is not usually because the child can’t learn to speak in a more fluid way. (Made obvious by the fact that most ASD individuals do speak with great fluidity and a huge variance in tone when speaking within their perseverative self-talk.) The difficulty for these folks in learning to communicate often has to do with turn taking and the brain’s ability to transition between the processing of receptive to expressive, then back again, at a user friendly speed.

Thus the fluid self-talker should be encouraged to maintain their beautiful flowing dissertation of ideas while responding to our similarly shaped suggestions. Once they get used to ‘communicating’ then we ask them to show an interest in our things.

This works very well.

Unfortunately, what is usually done is the child is asked to STOP TALKING LIKE THAT (in his or her fluid way) and start repeating according to our robotic requests. A real-life example: Say “CAR” not ‘hello Steve …a clue a clue that’s hysterical!’

TEACH WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO LEARN AND IF WHAT YOU ARE WANTING IS SENTENCES THEN RESPOND TO AND ENCOURAGE SENTENCES!

If what you are wanting is communication, that is done by responding.

Practice the skill of responding to, and encouraging, sentences.

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Parents: Model Patience During the Pandemic

Q:  How can parents model patience to children while we wait out this pandemic?

I am often posed this question, by parents and reporters, with phrasing that is some version of “while we wait this out.”

Here’s the thing: The solution, the answer to this question, is buried in the question itself. Children of all ages are very grounded in the present, so implying to them that they are “waiting it out” also implies to them (and the parents) they are missing out; that now is not as good as then or later. The question itself tells us that staying home is difficult.

But, is it?

By seeing everything as a phase opportunity you shift the focus back into the present and the stress automatically lessens.

Dr. Lynette Louise with playing on a blanket in the grass with one of her toddler granddaughters.

While you’re in this phase, tell jokes and laugh about not having to hug people with bad breath or scratchy beards. Talk about it at the child’s level, make it relatable, make it a gift. Remote schooling means sleeping till the last minute and eating breakfast while you work. YAHOO! Wearing masks hides pimples and stained teeth, makes you look mysterious and is easier to play ‘guess who’ when you meet up with old friends. Teach about understanding people using body language and eye expressions.


Most of all, make it a special year or two with opportunities like learning social media etiquette and focusing on the benefits of the moment. These are skills you and your child need. They will benefit you for life. 

Bonus: There’s no better time than the present to put home economics and shop class back into the curriculum. No better time to teach what you know (and learn what they know) rather than abdicating to academics.

Let’s model patience during this pandemic. We can help ourselves do so by recognizing this as an opportunity to be explored and exploited rather than waited out.