From the Editor’s Desk
I think I must live in a time warp. No sooner is school out, and it’s back to school again—clearly a sign of these busy times we live in. But there is good news—lots of great articles on a variety of subjects, and important research news to ease you back into the academic year ahead.
To begin: Dr. Arnold Miller and colleague, Carol Hilliard, team up to share a fascinating, multisensory approach to reading that builds in the generalization of skills as part of the program. Dr. Lee Wilkinson brings his characteristic attention to detail to bear on the important subject of identifying children with ASD in the school setting. Toward this end, he describes a multi-step screening procedure—and includes recommended screening instruments—that school personnel can readily apply in the school setting. Speech-language pathologist Linda Murphy discusses subjects near and dear to my heart—episodic memory and experience-sharing. If that sounds a bit esoteric, rest assured you will not only completely understand both, but also be able to apply the carefully-detailed techniques with your own children or students. We are also delighted to welcome Mike Frandsen who shares important insights on the benefits of sports and exercise—and their links to social and cognitive development—for children and youth with ASD. Donna Richards turns her attention to “Mars” (ala Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) to address the different coping styles of dads. And, rounding out our Feature Articles is Lana Slawkowski, the mother of our beautiful “cover girl,” writing about a true-to-life fairy tale.
Before proceeding to the articles by our regular columnists and our research section, I am very sad to report that yet another bright light in the autism community has dimmed. Clara Claiborne Park, author of two of the most outstanding books about the experience of autism ever written, died on July 3, 2010. Clara was a member of ASQ’s advisory board and a friend. She will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her. You may read more about this extraordinary woman on page 31.
In keeping with our back-to-school theme, Dr. Teresa Bolick writes about ways to help teachers tune into the self-regulation needs of children and youth with ASD. In addition, readers may pick up some useful advice on what to put (and maybe NOT put) in school lunch boxes after reading Alyson Beytien’s article, Eat, Drink, And Be Picky. And, you’ll also feel a lot more prepared to fight the “homework wars” after checking out the TIPS column. Dr. Barry Prizant completes his two-part article on the interrelatedness of respect and language, and I weigh in on the controversial recommendation to eliminate the diagnosis of Asperger’s Disorder in DSM-V in my Cutting Edge column.
On the research front, you’ll find abstracts from the International Meeting For Autism Research (IMFAR), with lay commentary graciously provided by Dr. Nancy Minshew of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Topics covered include: the relationship between emotional information and body movement; the interaction between gaze direction and facial expression; and the affective responses of mothers. Our Research Newsdesk column addresses behavioral intervention for the control of tics in Tourette Syndrome, and the discovery of new autism genes. So, between research news and our NewsBriefs, we’ll keep you covered in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee or a spot of tea!
Stay tuned for ASQ’s SENSATIONAL Family / Holiday issue due out in November, featuring: A one-year update on Shannon, Jason, and Isabella Perrone (the family on the carousel on the cover of our 2009 winter issue); Hartley Steiner, great sensory-friendly activities/products and a budget-friendly holiday gift-buying guide for children and teens; Kymberly Grosso, lessons from her teenage son; Laura Hand, The “House” that Asperger Built; and Drs. Jacqueline Kelleher and Ruth Eren, IEP development from the perspective of families; all that and a BIG announcement regarding a brand new feature coming to ASQ in 2011!
Last, but absolutely not least, you’ll notice a new name—Jennifer Twachtman-Bassett—in the table of contents under Departments. I am so very happy to announce that just three days ago (that would be three days before press time!), my lovely daughter Jennifer was married on what the weather forecasters proclaimed was one of the five best days of the summer. It was indeed that, and for many more reasons, having nothing to do with the weather. Enjoy the rest of the summer, and do visit us on Facebook and on www.ASQuarterly.com.