An autism diagnosis triggers tough questions and difficult emotions for parents. As the number of children diagnosed with autism has risen, so has the amount of misinformation about autism spectrum disorders (ASD). An autism expert helps you separate fact from fiction.
When Thomas Frazier, PhD, works with parents of children with autism, he knows what they’re experiencing firsthand. And he has plenty of empathy and advice to offer.
Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD For many kids, spotting a fire truck might be a high point in the day. But what happens when the blaring sirens or flashing lights trigger sensory overload? That’s often the case for children with autism. Many experience what we call “hypersensitivity” when it comes to hearing, vision, touch, smell … Read More
Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD A lack of speech is one of the biggest anxieties parents have about children with autism. In some cases, when a child is struggling to develop verbal skills, help comes in the form of technology. Speech-generating devices have long been available for children with autism, and the era of tablets … Read More
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Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD For parents raising a child with autism, an offer of help from a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other family member means a lot. The good news for families: If you want to help, you can. Whether you live nearby or far away, there are ways for extended family members to … Read More
Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD Making new friends can be challenging for any child. There’s always a bit of anxiety in approaching people, introducing yourself and building a new relationship. Now imagine trying to make friends when you have a tough time reading social cues: figures of speech, body language, hand gestures and facial expressions. … Read More
It started with an observation: Children with autism who also have a certain gene mutation tend to have especially large heads. That observation led to some of the first research linking the PTEN genetic mutation to developmental issues in a group of children with autism. Researchers Thomas Frazier, PhD, and Charis Eng, MD, PhD, published … Read More
Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD Imagine I’m having a light-hearted conversation with a friend who says something silly. I gently joke, “Your head is full of rocks.” I don’t mean that literally. If you are a neurotypical person, you understand I’m joking. You hear it in my tone of voice and see it in my … Read More
Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD Aggression toward a sibling or classmate. Self injury. Wandering off without warning. Many children with autism exhibit these challenging behaviors. When they do, parents get frightened — understandably. We see it frequently in the children and parents we work with, and we take such behavior very seriously. Anxious parents want … Read More
Contributor: Thomas Frazier, II, PhD “I’m at my wit’s end.” Many parents of children with autism have uttered these words when faced with challenging symptoms. Some children are prone to self-injury — or even aggression toward others. Some children are likely to wander off, so parents have to watch them 24-7. Still others suffer from … Read More