DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders

In this article, you will find information on old diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger’s syndrome from the DSM-IV.  Notably, in 2013, the The American Psychiatric Association (APA) consolidated these three diagnoses under one diagnosis of “autism spectrum disorder” in the DSM-5. For information about the current diagnostic criteria for autism, please click […]

TACA National Medical Scholarship

Thanks to our fundraising efforts, we are happy to announce TACA families have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship for treatment with a functional medicine doctor. Purpose The TACA Family Scholarship Fund was developed to help families who want to pursue medical treatment for their children with autism but need additional funding to initiate […]

ABLE Accounts

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 is a tax-advantaged savings program designed for eligible people with disabilities. Also known as 529A ABLE accounts, these funds can be used to help individuals and families pay for qualified disability expenses, such as: Education Transportation Healthcare Housing Assistive technology Employment Distributions for qualified disability […]

Avoiding Toxins

Accumulating evidence establishes a clear link between exposure to pollutants and chemicals with cognitive, motor, and sensory impairments. Scientists believe this is due to epigenetics, where environmental triggers switch specific genes on or off without affecting DNA sequences. In other words, you can reverse the effects of some epigenetic changes by avoiding toxins from chemicals and pollutants. […]

Complex Gastrointestinal Issues in Autism

Complex gastrointestinal issues in autism require more complex action. When your child is still suffering despite dietary intervention, supplementation, and remedies mentioned in the Constipation and Diarrhea article, it is time to find a qualified gastroenterologist. When Should I Consider a GI Specialist for My Child? Behavior is communication.  If your child with autism is […]

Tax Strategies for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, there are some tax strategies to be aware of that can save your family money. For example, you can deduct the cost of many out-of-pocket expenses on their taxes. Qualified deductions include:
• Special Schooling
• Evaluations
• Medical Travel
• Supplies and Equipment
• Special Diets
• Legal Expenses
• and more…

International Resources

TACA’s website provides in-depth, comprehensive information for parents regarding the autism journey.  Access to this information is available to families around the world. However, because TACA is a US based nonprofit, we are unable to provide any additional services/programs to families living outside of the United States. If you live outside of the United States, […]

TACA National Biomedical Scholarship

Thanks to our fundraising efforts, we are happy to announce TACA families have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship for two appointments with a biomedical doctor. Purpose The TACA Family Scholarship Fund was developed to help families who are pursuing treatment for their children with autism, but are struggling to find the funding. We […]

Must Schools Provide Meal Modifications for Students on Special Diets?

Federal laws and regulations require public schools to provide meal modifications through the cafeteria service, at no additional cost, to children whose disability restricts their diet. This includes children with autism who are on special diets due to food allergies, sensitivities, or sensory issues. In this article, we will discuss: How students with dietary restrictions […]

Behavior Issues at School: FBA, BIP, and Seclusion and Restraint

Students with autism may display challenging behaviors that interfere with their education or another student’s education. When this happens, schools should address behavior issues by conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) to create a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). Doing so will help identify why the behavior is occurring and to address it appropriately. Furthermore, schools should make every effort to prevent the need for the use of seclusion and restraint.

Glutamate

Symptoms we often associate with autism—such as anxiety, tics, and inattention—can be caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically glutamate and GABA. However, reducing the amount of free glutamate in the brain can help alleviate these symptoms. In this article, we will outline why it is important to balance glutamate and GABA, symptoms to look for, and interventions that are helpful.

Job Skills

Working gives people the opportunity to show their abilities, take pride in their accomplishments, and contribute to the community. While there are organizations such as Easter Seals and government funded programs like Vocational Rehabilitation that provide job training and placement to people with disabilities, those services vary by area. Typically, those programs do not serve people under the age of 18. Overall, it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child is prepared to enter the workforce when the time comes. In this article, we will discuss how to begin working with your child on job skills so they will be prepared as they transition into adulthood.

Executive Functioning Skills

Executive function is an umbrella term used to describe a set of cognitive skills we use to successfully navigate everyday life. We rely on them to learn, achieve goals, manage emotions, pay attention, organize, plan, and adapt to our environment. While everyone must learn and develop executive functioning skills throughout their life, people with autism often struggle with executive function, requiring accommodations and explicit instruction in order to thrive.

Facilitating Friendships

Friendship is an important part of life. A good friend can provide a feeling of connection, happiness, and self-worth. However, children with autism often have deficits in social skills and communication making it more difficult to form relationships with peers. As a result, parents play a crucial role in helping their children develop friendships and sustain them.