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How Can We Be Happier?

Read insightful and timely articles by Dr. Ronit Molko on a wide range of behavioral health topics.

Great Teeth, Great Smile, Great Life. Kid At The Dental Office.
June 27

How to Overcome Sensory Issues While at The Dentist – by Dr. Greg Grillo

After 17 years of practice in North Central, Washington, nobody’s more familiar with dental anxiety than I am. For dental patients who have autism, especially children, this anxiety is compounded by challenging sensory elements such as bright lights and loud noises. Dental care is an extremely important part of living a healthy life and living …
June 25

Areas of Advancement in Autism Services for Successful Adults

As autism prevalence increases and more children on the spectrum mature to adulthood, the need for services that help autistic adults lead independent and fulfilling lives is becoming an increasingly urgent concern. While many interventions help autistic kids and their families navigate the challenges of childhood and adolescence, there has been comparatively little progress made …
June 23

What Can We Do to Address Unemployment in the Autistic Community

Over the next decade, an estimated 500,000 teenagers with autism will enter adulthood, and potentially, the workforce. Many of these young adults will begin the job hunt, hoping to find work that can help them establish independence and gain more independence and personal fulfillment. But, unemployment remains a significant problem.  Unfortunately, as things stand now, more than …
May 30

Home-Based Vs. Center-Based Services for Autism

When I first began working in the field, autism interventions were primarily offered in clinic and research-based settings. As those therapies and the scientific understanding of autism evolved and as the demand for services has grown, a market for home-based and community-based services emerged. Services are expanding and the availability of funding is increasing, resulting …
May 24

Supporting Neurodiversity in the Classroom

One concept frequently lost in the education of autistic children is that the purpose of education is to prepare them, not only for managing childhood but for succeeding in adulthood as well. Autistic adults are seeking the same markers for happiness as neurotypical adults. They are looking for as much independence as possible—a job to …
April 30

What is Covered? The Insurance Landscape for Autism Services

In today’s health care ecosystem, the availability and quality of a field of services are dependent on insurance coverage. In the world of autism services, the tableau of insurance coverage is decidedly mixed. Children with autism spectrum disorders are generally covered by health insurance for services they require, but not universally. All but two states …
April 17

Light It Up Blue for Boys, But Don’t Forget the Girls

Why do we Light It Up Blue? For years, prevalence data in the field of autism held that the condition primarily affects boys, by ratios described as four or five to one generally and up to 10-1 among those without intellectual handicaps. Indeed, in the early days of identifying autism and Asperger’s Syndrome,  autism was …
Man Hands Holding A White Paper Sheet With Two Faced Head Over A
April 4

Measure What Matters: Redefining Neurotypical Intelligence Standards for Autistic Individuals

I’ve written previously about how we misunderstand the intelligence of people on the autism spectrum. We evaluate their intelligence with tests and observations that measure a narrow slice of the intelligence continuum and then judge them by their ability to socialize with us. Neurotypical vs. Autistic Culture Neurotypical people—a term for individuals without autism coined …
Neurology Research
March 30

Autism Case 1: Donald Triplett

By Ronit Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D Donald Triplett was born in 1933 to Mary and Beamon Triplett in Forest, Mississippi. At that time, no one had ever identified the behaviors he exhibited as an infant and toddler. The Tripletts understood that their son was encyclopedic in certain areas but emotionally distant and violently opposed to minute …
Selfie Of Young Smiling Teenagers Having Fun Together. Best Frie
March 20

The Social Intelligence of Autistic Individuals, Part 1

If a perfectly intelligent American were to find themselves catapulted into a foreign world with its own traditions, customs, culture and language, all totally unfamiliar to the person transported there, it would not be surprising for the people of this world to consider their visitor unintelligent, viewing intellect through the narrow lens of their own …
February 28

Why Identity-First Language Matters to Autistic Individuals

By Ronit Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D Are there autistic individuals in your life? Or are they people with autism? This is a critical distinction and a topic of debate in the autism community, one which recognizes that words matter and shape how we think. Half a century ago, people with developmental disabilities were referred to using …
February 21

Looking Ahead to Next Evolution of ABA

Most professionals and families in the autism community would agree that over the past 30 years, ABA has served autistic individuals well, providing many of the skills and supports necessary to improve functioning and enable individuals to participate more fully at school and within family systems. So inevitably, it is time to evolve. All companies …