Goodbye April showers, hello beautiful May flowers!
April was National Autism Awareness Month! We spotlighted a few articles about some intriguing developments related to Autism. For instance, the invention of the Autism Glass developed by Catalin Voss of Stanford University, which uses Google Glasses programmed to help autistic kids recognize facial and social cues the moment they happen! “‘…there are just not enough therapists to meet increasing demand, and flash cards are removed from real life,’ Voss Says. The Autism Glass would give kids real-time social cues in a daily life setting while providing parents and psychologists data to better understand autism” This could mean big things for autistic children and adults who struggle to understand peer’s expressions and will help them to better function in society.
William K. Smithwick showed us how closely linked occupational therapy and autism really are. The two go hand in hand when it comes to helping children with autism learn how to co-exist in society. Though there are many different and effective methods of treatment and intervention for children with autism, Smithwick says occupational therapists are different, “Occupational therapists, OT’s, ask, ‘What matters to you?’ and not, ‘What is the matter with you.”’
unrelated to National Autism Awareness Month, but still interesting, if not heartwarming, was the article showcasing second grade teacher Hanan Hroub and all of her work for teaching methods built around educational games that she created for children traumatized by violence. Among several other honors, Hroub was awarded the Global Education Prize for her efforts to integrate play therapy in her classroom. Though Hroub has received some negative attention despite her efforts, she continues to do what she loves: teach love.
We revisited and debunked (again) the old myth that spanking children may have any sort of positive outcome for children. It didn’t then, it doesn’t now and it never will!
Child developmental psychologists have found that infants really understand more than they get credit for! The University of Chicago performed a study that linked motor system recruitment to infants’ social interactive behavior. According to Helen Tager-Flusberg, professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University, “This research tells us that, by the middle of their first year of life, babies are beginning to be able to understand that people act intentionally, that they choose one toy over another because they want that toy.”
Enjoy the reaming days of April as we prepare ourselves to welcome May and all that it has to offer!