Pediatric Speech and Occupational Therapy Austin's Communication Station is a privately owned clinic that provides speech and occupational therapy for children in a family friendly environment.
We accept BCBS, Humana, Medicaid, Superior, CHIP and other insurances. Please Call us for more information. In addition to traditional speech therapy methods focusing on one-on-one therapy, Austin's Communication Station also offers a variety of intervention techniques to best serve the needs of each individual child. These techniques may include small group therapy facilitated by our experienced
Operating as usual
This morning I walked downstairs to my sweet boy sitting on the couch, surrounded by his treasures.
He waved. It was quick though. He was very busy watching his shows. He takes his show watching very serious. Especially on weekend mornings.
‘Cooper, it’s mom’s birthday today!’ I said.
Now I don’t know what I expected. Not words of course. But a cheer. A smile. A gasp. But nothing. He looked back down. It stung. Like a tiny bee sting or a poke in the side. But the pain is duller these days. It doesn’t take my breath anymore. It’s just enough to take notice.
That’s how it’s changed over the years for me. What used to drop me to my knees now stings. We’ve gotten stronger, he and I.
As I made my coffee, steps away from him, I thought back to being 28, and when I first became a mom. I was such a different woman then. Untouched by autism. Oblivious to the beauty and possibilities in being different. I knew nothing of adversity. Not really.
And then I heard it.
Sid the Science kid singing ‘Happy Birthday!!!!!’ on my son’s iPad. I looked back to see the biggest smile on my sunshine boys face as he pointed to his ear and then to his iPad, nonverbally telling me to listen.
‘It’s my birthday! And we will have cake and balloons and presents...’ said Sid, the PBS Kids character.
And then he clapped and pointed to me. He was using the character to communicate with me.
I sobbed right there. I couldn’t help it. The happy tears fell from my eyes. He knew. He understood. He just had to find the words and way to tell me.
This is his autism. Complicated, creative, beautiful, and in his own time.
I can say with certainty that this was the best birthday gift I have ever received.
Thanks buddy. I love you.
Today, we shall party! In our own way.
Sid the Science Kid
There is usually so much more going on that we can’t see to cause behaviors.
There can be so much going on that we don't see.
Sketchnote by Parents with Confidence
Grieving the Future I Imagined for My Daughter I now had two children, but was only just beginning to understand what it means to be a parent.
All can do the job. ❤️
Sting's Catchy New Song Explains the Chain Reaction of Hiring People With Down Syndrome A call for workplace inclusivity
Such a great story!!!
Great easy to use tips and ideas!! Today!!! 2pm!!
This is awesome!!! I want to share in case any of our families would like to help with the research!
When you have a neurotypical child, you feel reasonably assured that class participation and decent study habits will result in good grades. These kids have close friends. They get invited to participate in social things like dances and weekend gatherings. They make the teams, auditioned organisations and clubs.
But when you have a child with certain differences, this is often not the case. Learning may take longer, both academically and socially. Despite their tremendous efforts, results are often a fraction of their peers and social acceptance is fleeting, setting them up for painful comparisons and bitter frustration. Instead of a fun and fulfilling experience, school can become a breeding ground for depression and anxiety, and assignments a battle ground at home. It is exhausting for parent and child alike.
This is the week of SPED (Special Education), Autism, Dyslexia, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) awareness.
For all the children who struggle every day to succeed in a world that does not recognize their gifts and talents, and for those who are walking beside them, please let this be a gentle reminder to be kind and accepting of ALL people.
Recognize that the "playing field" is not always a level surface.
Children who learn differently are not weird. They are merely gifted in ways that our society does not value enough. Yet they want what everyone else wants: To be accepted!!
If you choose, please copy and paste this in honor of all children who are deemed "different". Our world would be far less beautiful without them.
Such true words from my amazing colleague and friend. Kids are so accepting and able to accept change so much better than most of us adults. Let’s try not to “worry for them” but rather learn from them 🙂 https://www.katyboucher.com/blog/the-kids-have-moved-on
The kids have moved on. — Katy Boucher I agonized for weeks before camp last summer. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for all of us to wear masks- kids unable to see my expressions, me struggling to fully hear what they were saying. I was certain they would be too hot wearing masks, and would struggle to keep them on a
Happy happy 12th Birthday ACS!! It’s been a crazy 12 years but such an amazing journey! Here’s to many more years of being able to help kids and families!
We had so much fun making ornaments with the ACS kids during our "same but different" holiday celebration! Here's our winners for each age group! Happy holidays everyone!!!
Such a sweet video!!
This poem is read by 10 people, all at different stages of their journey with verbal dyspraxia/apraxia, who would not have the voice they have if it wasn’t for our amazing speech therapists.
So this is a “Thank You” from us to all the amazing speech therapists helping children and adults find their voice so their story can be told. 💙
I know with the craziness of this school year some kiddos might need some extra help with academic work. Our fabulous front office assistant Bailee, a UT Junior, is interested in helping tutor some of our kiddos if anyone is interested. She now has some afternoon and weekend openings available! All tutoring sessions are conducted online at this time.
Please contact me for more information if this is something you might be able to utilize for your children. We will consider kiddos on a first come, first serve basis.
ACS ten years ago today. When we were doing the build out and about to move into the current building. This was the game room and sensory gym. 😱😱😱
Finally working on updating my office 🙂. (Almost 12 years after we opened 🤣). Thanks Mark Bartelt for painting today!
I’m so excited for one of our long time ACS kiddos!!! Congrats Nikki!!
cbsaustin.com Nicky is a CC4C Champion Child. The nonprofit connected her with her dream high school team, the Regent's Nightline dancers. Although she's been through a lot ever since she was a baby, she has a vibrant, positive attitude. She's so excited for the CC4C parade to uplift and hopes that you'll sign up...
kvue.com The kicker for the NFL's Washington Football Team saw KVUE's story about Desmond Pulliam and was touched because his son also has autism spectrum disorder.
Little Munchkins Learning Center
Children and teens struggle with stress just like the rest of us do. How do you check in to make sure that your child is doing alright? https://bit.ly/2EAhqhm
This is from one of my truly amazing colleagues Katy Boucher! Please take a minute to read it. It’s very important to allow ourselves to feel!
katyboucher.com For the past three months, we've all had secret feelings parties inside of us. Dr. Marc Brackett's new book, "Permission to Feel," helped me discover mine. Maybe it can help you and your kids, too.
ACS Circus Week was a Big Success! We are making the most of the Tele-therapy sessions! We have some spots open to help some other kiddos and families if you need some speech or occupational therapy over the summer! Hope you enjoy the fun pics!
Teletherapy is going AMAZING at ACS!
I've been behind on updates and sharing pics but we have had so much fun doing teletherapy with kiddos over the past SIX weeks! I can't believe it's been that long! We definitely miss seeing people in person but we've been so thankful to be able to help kids and families during this time via teletherapy!
I will post each weeks pics in a separate post so here's week three! The theme for week three was Crazy Hat/Crazy Hair week and it was so much fun!!!
We still have some schedule spots available for tele-sessions so please contact Amy for more information at [email protected].
Such a great tribute for our amazing Lauren Thomas!! She’s such a great human an incredible asset to the ACS team :). Congrats Lauren!!!
Here’s a little #VolunteerAppreciation for graduating college senior, Lauren Thomas. She has been pushing the Happy Wheels Cart around Dell Children’s Medical Center for 5 semesters! Since 2017, Lauren has trained other volunteers and always showed up to her shift with a smile for our families. Due to COVID-19 Lauren will not be able to walk in a graduation ceremony this spring, so we want to celebrate her remotely with well-deserved recognition for her time assisting our families during her college years.
I highly recommend this workshop!!!
cwtherapy.com Presented by Sarah Ward. Registraion is now open for our May 2nd, three hour, executive funtioning webinar. Register Today!!
Tele-therapy week 2 is almost done! It seems to be going well ☺ We have been getting a lot of good feedback from kids and parents! Enjoy the pictures below of some of the fun we’ve been having!
Since we in Texas are now in the “Stay at home except for essential industries” status until at least April 30th, we will continue tele-therapy until at least then. We are happy to help with some of the upcoming school work, organizing or helping you and/or the kids plan to get assignments done, setting up daily routines, chores, self-care routines, etc. We can also help with reading comprehension, math word problems, money, time, project planning, written language/writing, handwriting, navigating computers etc. Please let us know if there is anything you guys need ideas about or if you want to pick up some additional sessions to help with some of the new digital learning or the school work sent home, self-regulation, coping with anxiety or boredom etc.
We have a few spots left. Please email Amy at [email protected] if you have any questions or want any more info 🙂
ACS is so thankful to be able to help children during this uncertain time by seeing them for sessions via teletherapy! Please contact Amy at [email protected] if you have questions or are interested!
autismparentingmagazine.com Back on March 13, 2020, a realization started to settle over this country as to what the actual impact COVID-19 (coronavirus) was going to have on all our communities. Since that time, people have been practicing “social distancing.” Schools have shut down, the expectations of the family unit ha...
I feel this amazing post from my dear friend and Colleague Katy Boucher deep in my heart and core!
We can't fight this, fretting about it and watching non-stop news and being scared of everything isn't going to fix it. Honestly, it might just make us more stressed, more sleep deprived and more susceptible to it and other germs.
I think all of us need to just "say OK" and "surrender". Respect others for who they are and how they are coping with this, it's unprecedented and scary and noone knows what's going to happen or the "right" way to deal with it. We need to be kind to others, help when we can, and sometimes just realize that everyone is entitled to their own way of coping even if we don't agree with it or believe it for ourselves. Most of us are truly doing the best we can!
Love your neighbor, wash your hands, isolate yourself when you are sick, and try not to touch your face. Treat people like you want to be treated :)
If the room was dark enough, I used to roll my eyes in yoga classes when the teacher would tell us to “surrender,” or “let go.”
If the lights were on, I’d nod my head and politely pretend I agreed with “letting go” of things we couldn’t really control.
But secretly, I had confidence that I could totally manage myself, my situation, and probably, most of the outcome, as long as I had a reasonable amount of self control.
And then this whole virus that looks like a suction cup ball from the Oriental Trading party-crap catalog took over our lives.
At first I was like, “Ok. I can navigate this. My kids can work through this. Our school will manage this.”
Then I was like, “Oh. Did they just say two week closure?”
Then, I said, out loud, “Charlie Baker did you just say THREE week closure?”
Then Trump casually suggested August (That’s when all the crying happened.)
I cancelled all of the things, and worked with my colleagues to set up online school. I took a deep breath, rewrote my household budget, and started my kids on a YouTube video-making project. I could organize my way through this.
Then, last night, three or four people texted me articles about just how long this could actually go on. Months and months, the articles read. I ignored one. I politely texted back, “no thank you,” to the next two. On the fourth, I simply said, “Ok.”
I woke up this morning in a firm place of, “Ok. This is life now. Whatever. Let’s ride it out.”
Maybe that’s what the yoga and mindfulness people mean by “surrender?” A giant exhale and “Ok?” An understanding that while we do what we can, we can only do what we can?
Well I guess I’m converted. I won’t roll my eyes anymore. Ok.
From my amazing Colleague and friend Katy Boucher! Thanks for the great ideas :)
OK, here we are. It’s the next morning!
You might be scrolling through Facebook, feeling overwhelmed by a flood of free educational resources online, and other parents’ fancy home education plans they are sharing.
My advice? PAUSE.
Give your child’s school a minute. They have reality whiplash, too. My guess is that many schools, or even teachers, might send a plan/work/offer guidance later this week. If they don’t? Then everyone else will have more of a clue of what’s up and you can ride their coattails.
For now? Let your kids know this isn’t mini summer vacation, but that for now, you will use this time THOUGHTFULLY. Pick one NON-ACADEMIC SKILL/TASK you often hear yourself saying you wish you had more time to work on:
•Find YouTube videos on shoe-tying and practice
•Watch Marie Kondo on Netflix and clean out the closet and playroom
•Make and establish an exercise routine
•Give an in-service on using household appliances like laundry and the dishwasher
•Make a list of people in our area who are suffering, not struggling (because we are all struggling- NORMAL!) and brainstorm practical ways your family can help.
You don’t have to become Mrs.Mom or Mr. Dad, the delightfully calm homeschooler overnight. Just be their grounded, on purpose parent. ❤️
Such an awesome way to look at things!
Let’s rethink the spectrum 💙
Please note: this is not a diagnostic tool but a visual to help explain the diversity of the autism spectrum
makesociallearningstick.com One of the more difficult things about being a child is learning to deal with emotions. It’s especially hard for younger kids, who don’t have a lot of awareness or control over the way they feel. Emotional intelligence and regulation is a developmental skill, so just like walking and talking, ch...
This is long, but worth it. This is such an important concept and lesson to teach our kids. All people are NOT the same but everyone wants to be accepted.
(This was posted by a long time friend and colleague, Renee Attaway Storer. Reese is her daughter.)
Reese told me about a girl at school (7th grade) who can be difficult to deal with. She hugs everyone, inserts herself into conversations and groups without the normal steps, talks too much/ dominates conversations, doesn’t read the cues, laughs too loud, has some odd mannerisms, and more. Apparently she has also cried in class because kids bully her. Reese said the girls in her class don’t want to be around her and move when she comes close to them (because they don’t know how to deal with it). So Reese came home to ask me how to help her. She recognized that this girl was definitely one of my “social thinking people” and Reese thought she needed help. She said she has chosen to sit with her and make the other girls include her - because she is worried about her being excluded and sad.
I can tell you honestly I am more proud of Reese’s heart in this situation than I am her grades, vocal talent, dancing, friends, popularity and or anything else. Above everything I want her to be kind. And I was NOT Reese in 7th grade and can recall girls I avoided bc of this very reason.
We must teach our kids to reach out and be kind even when a kid is annoying to them. This girl doesn’t look like she has autism or a social challenge to her peers. They see her as annoying or weird. But these kids who are at the higher end of social challenges are bullied the most and have the highest rate of mental health problems including depression and su***de. Please talk to your children about how to handle this type of kid.
A few pointers:
- talk to them about how they probably are missing the social cues because their brain makes it hard.
- encourage them to say hi to them when they see them (and peer pressure their group into doing it too).
- let them know not to make fun of them or laugh at them (I promise EVERY kid does this- and so do most adults. We don’t know what to do when we see someone as “different” or “annoying”.)
- encourage them to invite them to sit at their table or hang with them.
- tell them to be blunt but kind (they aren’t reading subtle cues!)- “hey I don’t like hugs but I would love to high five instead”.
Sorry for the teaching today- but this has been so on my heart as I work with these awesome kids that find the social world so hard💗
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