Tips to Help Children With Autism Thrive

Available with English captions and subtitles in Chinese and Spanish.

Both the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and management of the condition can be frightening to parents. You may be unsure about the best ways to help your child, feel conflicted over treatment advice and suggestions, or feel that you may not be able to make a positive impact on their development.

Discover what motivates children, how to teach behaviors you want to see, and how to ensure that both you and your child are having fun.

Audience Questions

Laura D. Mead, MSEd, MBA, provides insights to support children with autism through the current pandemic and other unexpectedly difficult times. In addition to her informative presentation, Mead also answers questions including:

  • With the rise of video games and kids needing stimulation and fun entertainment, do you have any recommendations for educational games for younger kids or elementary-age kids?
  • My son is 17 years old and struggles to establish routines, initiate, and follow through. He’s very rigid, and he needs cues. Do you have tips for somebody like him who can become verbally aggressive or argumentative?
  • Do you know if there are medications that have been known to help children with autism?
  • Do you have any additional suggestions for a 13-year-old that, despite schedules and reminders, still repeatedly asks for the extra five minutes over and over again? How do you successfully manage that kind of situation?
  • How as a parent can you actually figure out the amount of downtime that your child really needs?
  • Any extra tips on co-occurring autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ADHD?
  • We have a 9-year-old who is extremely rigid and depends on us for everything. I feel the need to continue to push him to try doing things himself and giving him expectations to do things we constantly go over, but it’s causing a separation in our relationship, and I don’t want to be the “evil stepmom.” I’m not sure if I’m being too harsh, but I don’t want to contribute to his rigidness. Perhaps I need to look at this differently. Do you have any advice?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


Parents may find these games, available online, helpful:

You may also find this book useful:

About Laura D. Mead

Laura D. Mead, MSEd, MBA, a teacher and administrator with 20 years of experience in special education, is currently the educational administrator at Pathways Academy, McLean Hospital’s school for students on the autism spectrum, with and without co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses.

Ms. Mead’s background is in psychology, education, and art. She has taught elementary and middle school special education to students with social-emotional and behavioral challenges in both private and public school settings. Her interests lie in building students’ self-esteem within the therapeutic learning environment.

Learn more about Laura D. Mead.

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