On the Horizon – 09/19/12

Welcome to "On the Horizon"

Issue 198: Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders: 4 Essential Components of Treatment

On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

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  • A Note from Nicole: Summer Is Coming to a Close
  • Feature Article:
    Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders: 4 Essential Components of Treatment
  • Ask the Horizons Team
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Resources

Hi Everyone!

Our pool saw the last swim of the year this weekend, as it is coming down today to spend the winter in the garage. It’s supposed to get much cooler this week with fall temperatures arriving. As much as I enjoy summer with my family, fall is my favorite season of the year. There is something about the crisp air, the leaves turning colors, and the activities that happen during this time of year that just make my heart happy.

The feature article this week covers 4 essential components of treatment for any individual with a neurodevelopmental disorder. These are all things that parents can begin doing on their own outside of treatment. Whether used alone or in combination with formal treatment approaches, these core strategies will positively impact development and functioning. 

In the Q&A section below, Erin responds to a question about stuttering/repeating words and whether speech therapy is required. Remember that you are welcome to submit a question that’s on your mind and we will put it on our schedule to answer in an upcoming edition of this newsletter. You can email your questions to info@horizonsdrc.com anytime!

Have a wonderful week!

Looking to the horizon,

Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders: 4 Essential Components of Treatment

By Nicole Beurkens, PhD

Whether your child has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or another neurodevelopmental disorder (or you suspect that your child has some atypical developmental characteristics), you may feel confused and overwhelmed regarding treatment options. There are many different approaches that can be beneficial depending on your child’s specific symptoms and needs. It can be frustrating and challenging for parents to research all the options available, decide what to try, and then access the appropriate treatments.

Most parents want to begin addressing their child’s difficulties right away, but are not sure exactly what to do. They would be relieved to find that there are some core principles of treatment that they can begin implementing with their children right away, regardless of the other treatments to be provided. Even specialists in the field who apply specific behavioral, speech, or cognitive types of therapies often overlook these critical components to treatment. Families can begin having a significant impact on a child’s behavior, learning, social skills, and communication by addressing the following four areas:

Click here to read the rest of this article…


I have recently noticed that my 3-year-old son has started to repeat words and phrases when he is talking. This doesn’t happen all of the time, but sometimes it feels like it is getting worse. Should I be worried? Does he need therapy?

Tina in Grand Ledge, Michigan


Dear Tina,

Many children go through a phase of developmental stuttering between the ages of 2 and 4 years. This is a time of significant language development and sometimes young children’s mouths just can’t keep up with their thoughts, causing them to repeat words and phrases. I wouldn’t be too concerned if this is the only difficulty you are noticing in regards to your child’s communication; and if it doesn’t seem concerning to him.

You can support his communication development by making sure that you are providing him with lots of time and attention when he is trying to communicate, and by modeling slow speech of your own. If you are noticing other communication difficulties, or if he begins to make facial grimaces or becomes overly frustrated with trying to communicate with you, I would seek support from a speech/language pathologist.

It is possible that the stuttering is a sign of other communication difficulties that may need to be addressed. If you are unsure about whether there are other communication difficulties I would recommend seeing or speaking with a speech/language pathologist about your concerns. S/he can help you determine whether therapy is necessary at this time.

Take care,

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Upcoming Events

Hear Nicole Speak

Upcoming dates and locations where Nicole Beurkens, PhD will be speaking:

Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies to Improve Processing

September 26, 2012 in Missoula, Montana

September 27, 2012 in Butte, Montana

September 28, 2012 in Billings, Montana

October 18, 2012 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

October 19, 2012 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey


Autism Transformation for Families Audio Program

Transform Tough Days With Your Child Into Great Ones: Five Simple Steps to Better Communication, Behavior, and Relationships

More Information >>