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Interview: CDC says 1 in 50 school kids has autism

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SEATTLE — One in 50 school-aged kids has autism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Sara Gardner, an autism expert form Bellevue College, spoke about the disorder and options for parents.


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  • Carin

    How can I get the unedited version? There was a portion of the video where she discussed what helped her son. This would be quite helpful to parents of children on the spectrum. Why censor or cut that?

  • Sara Gardner

    We actually never got to that part in the interview; ran out of time. One of the MOST helpful things in working with my son was the book, The Explosive Child, by Ross Greene. Not just for difficult behaviors, but for helping him become a more flexible, tolerant thinker, who could take others' viewpoints into account.

    Learning about what autism/asperger's is, and how it affects people differently was really helpful for him as well. Learning about strengths as well as difficulties, so that he never felt like he was just all "something to be fixed" if that makes sense. Home was always a place where he could be himself.

    Being a strong advocate for him, being "on his side" without making the school, etc into the "bad guys" helped him feel confident and able to stand up to the difficulties he faced every day. As far as other interventions, we did find him a "friendship group" which is a lot different from a "social skills" group. Focusing on being friends with the other kids in the group was so much more productive than being made to learn social skills by learning how he did things "wrong" and the "right" way to do things.

    At Bellevue College, we use a Civil Rights model, rather than a medical model to help our students learn how to use their strengths, and find supports and interventions for their areas of difficulty, so that they can navigate college, and eventually career, as well as relationships.

    Sara Gardner