Tips for Doctors: How to Connect Better with Your Autistic Patients
Autistic people have different sensitivities, struggles, and needs than one other and everyone else. It is important to know, accept, and accommodate struggles that autistic people may work with in order to make their experience with you more comfortable. It will also help you to assess, diagnose, and treat your patients more effectively. Here are some things that doctors should know and can do when treating autistic patients.
What are Diagnosis and Supports?
In support of the National Autism Conference, this infographic and video and infographic explain “What is a Diagnosis?" and "What are some autism supports?". The accessible language series was created to help individuals with intellectual disability participate more meaningfully in the development of the National Autism Strategy.
DOHaD 2022: Early Adverse Childhood Experiences and Sleep
Children with developmental disabilities are more likely to experience Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) than their neurotypical peers. A common health issue in people with a history of childhood trauma is insomnia, with trouble getting to sleep quickly and an inability to stay asleep both being problematic. ACEs can affect the ability to sleep soundly through the night well into adulthood, with the more ACEs a person experiences, the less sleep they get. Researchers are looking at the role sleep plays in the long-term health impact of ACEs, and what can be done to protect the physical and mental health of individuals who had a high number of ACEs growing up.
Self-Injurious Behaviours in Children: Advice for Doctors from a Doctor
Few medical professionals have experience with patients with complex behaviours like Self-Injurious Behaviours (SIB). This video features advice for paediatricians from Dr Anamaria Richardson, a paediatrician attached to the groundbreaking Self-Injurious Behaviours Clinic at BC Children's Hospital. She, a parent, and a behavioural specialist all share their experiences with SIB and how proper support can improve the lives of patients and their families.
PTSD from Sexual Assault
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can be difficult to recognize and treat in individuals with social communication challenges. This workshop will discuss why trauma is often overlooked in Autistic individuals and how to enhance awareness of PTSD and support effective intervention.
Indigenous Individuals who are part of the intellectual disability community described their challenges and joys during a project created by AIDE Canada and partners Surrey Place, from 2021 to 2022. The year-long project, which was structured around the first nations holistic lifelong learning model, began with a series of community gatherings hosted by an Indigenous Elder. Forty community members attended the gatherings. The resources below were built to amplify and respond to community voices.
Celebrating Intersectionality: Autism, Gender and Sexuality
This webinar focuses on the important relationship between autism, gender expression and sexuality. Dr. Wenn Lawson and Yenn Purkis share their experiences and offer guidance in navigating neurodiversity as it relates to sexual identity and expression. This session will feature Dr. Lawson and Yenn Purkis covering key elements of development, identity and self-expression.
Building Resilience: Recognizing and Combating Compassion Fatigue
The Building Resilience webinar will focus on helping care providers recognize the signs, symptoms and complications of work-related stress, occupational hazards, burnout, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. The webinar will provide education utilizing evidence-based practice, and shares tools, skills and strategies to directly combat negative outcomes.
Autism: It's Not Just for Males Anymore
This Toolkit is intended to inform educators, parents, and yet-to-be diagnosed females, transgendered and nonbinary individuals about an alternative presentation of autism. The ratio of males to females appears to be much lower than previously thought. Obstacles to diagnosing those who do not present with the male phenotype are revealed, and the overlap with sexual and gender minorities and with eating disorders are exposed. Problems with the classification system and diagnostic tools are illuminated and alternative tools are identified.
Neurodivergence and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder from Sexual Assault: A Toolkit for Moving Forward- PART 1
Neurodivergent persons have a higher risk of being diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and have higher rates of sexual abuse than their neurotypical peers. This toolkit was a direct request from focus groups with autistic self-advocates. PTSD can be extremely challenging, but there are resources available to help. We have made every effort to avoid triggering persons while still providing relevant and useful information. There are also additional resources and suggested readings at the end of the toolkit if you would like to learn more about this topic. This toolkit is broken into two parts: 1) Understanding Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and 2) Moving Forward from PTSD.
HELP with Behaviours that Challenge: A Tool for Primary Care Providers
The Developmental Disabilities Primary Care Program of Surrey Place Toronto published a tool called HELP with Behaviours that Challenge (HELP) to help primary care providers and other individuals who support people with IDD implement this approach into practice. The HELP tool provides a framework that promotes an in-depth exploration of the underlying causes of symptoms and behaviours, even if they appear to meet the criteria for psychiatric disorders. The tool offers a multi-perspective evaluation of situations where those disorders, such as anxiety and depression, may be present. Primary care providers can anticipate and alleviate patient distress with the comprehensive framework
Exploring Physical Health and Aging in Autism
Physical health is something most people worry about as they age, but few research studies have focused on healthy aging in autistic individuals. Join us for this webinar with experts from around the world as they discuss what we know, what we need to know, and what future directions research studies should take in order to better support autistic adults as they approach their senior years.
Understanding Complex Self-Injurious Behaviours
Self-injurious behaviours (SIB) frequently occur in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. These are often called "complex" behaviours as there can be multiple reasons a person may be engaging in them and it can be difficult to know how best to support the individual to stop causing themselves injury. In this toolkit, we describe the reasons SIB may occur, ways you can help professionals narrow down the causes of the behaviour, and suggestions on how to reach out to specialists who may be able to help.
INSAR 2022: Mental Health Conditions and Autism Among Females: Emerging Evidence about Comorbid Diagnosis
The International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) is the largest autism research conference in the world. At this year's conference, the topic of mental health conditions in autistic males and females was discussed. Rates of comorbid diagnosis, meaning being diagnosed with more than one health or mental health condition, are higher for autistic individuals compared to the general population. Few research studies have looked at these rates in autistic males vs. females. Researchers found that autistic females were more likely than autistic males to have one or more comorbid diagnoses. Potential reasons for the difference are discussed along with links to a self-assessment questionnaire and additional resources.
Transitioning Out of the Family Home
This webinar offers important considerations and insights for autistic individuals and their families in considering a transition out of the family home. Multiple perspectives are offered, with practical advice and issues to consider and plan for at this key point of transition from the home of one's family-of-origin.