Creating social access for autistic children, what does it take?

Creating social access for autistic children, what does it take?

Autistic children have indeed potential: most of their emotional abilities improve with age, concludes Postdoc researcher Boya Li in her second Ph.D. thesis on the emotional development of autistic children.

“The development of social and emotional skills is a totally different type of learning. You can’t learn it from books or from your teachers in the classroom, you have to learn it in daily interactions with other people. You can imagine that If you have limited access to social interactions, it is a lot harder to learn these skills. It’s very possible that when you walk into a school, you might see an autistic child sitting in the corner of the classroom, not really playing with other 孩子們 or talking to teachers. Possibly, this child prefers to be alone at times, which is fine, but also this child needs friends and other social contacts, and social learning. How can we achieve that, and how does this affect their social-emotional development? For this, and in collaboration with the Center for Autism, we followed autistic and non-autistic children in their pre-school years, during three years.”

While Li’s Ph.D. confirms the challenges and difficulties many children with autism face in the emotional domain, her research also gives hope. “Most emotional abilities that I examined improved with age in autistic children. Some abilities even grew at a faster rate than in non-autistic children. I am really excited about this outcome, because now I can show that autistic children have the potential and the ability to improve. People often have a stereotypical view that autistic people cannot change, but also autistic children show a learning curve.”

Stereotypical view of autism

Li herself is also not unfamiliar with the stereotypical view on autism. When she started her Ph.D., she held a ‘medical view’ of autism, but her view has changed drastically by the end of the project. “When I look back at the chapters of my thesis, I feel a little ashamed of two chapters when detecting traces of this medical thinking, as if autism is a problem that should be cured. Just as a lot of researchers in this field, before I saw autistic children as children with deficits and impairments. My original goal for my Ph.D. project was therefore to detect these problems so my findings could help professionals and educators to find a intervention that could help them. But this is not how I look at the issue now.”

“Before I focused on how autistic children recognized facial emotions of non-autistic people and how they reacted in empathy provoking situations compared to a non-autistic person. All behavioral outcomes of autistic children were evaluated based on the standards established by non-autistic people. That is like using Dutch standard to evaluate behaviors of a Chinese child, or vice versa. This clearly doesn’t work. Maybe autistic children have indeed difficulties in recognizing other non-autistic people‘s emotions or reacting in a non-autistic way, but we never thought of the other side of the story.

NWO Schoolyard Project: The other side of the story

Li brings her vision into practice with the Bold Cities/ NWO schoolyard project that she recently joined. This project looks at the development of children with autism from a new perspective. “I love this 項目 because it is a beautiful extension of my Ph.D. research. I want to look at the other side of the story, so not focusing on how autistic children should improve, but on how the other side, the environment of the child, could be improved. For example, we want to see whether there are barriers in the social environment that hinder autistic children from participating, like the attitude of people at school who might not understand autism.”

There is room for improvement in the physical environment of autistic children as well. “We know that autistic children have a different sensory experience. As you know most social interactions take place during breaks when children all rush to the corridor or to the playground. However, that time can be very arousing for autistic children. Instead of chatting and laughing with peers, they may experience anxiety or stress that makes them unwilling to participate. So with the Bold Cities/ NWO Schoolyard Project we want to improve situations like this. As cliché as it sounds, children are the future so we should do our upmost best to facilitate and support them, and to provide all children, with and without 自閉症, the optimal learning environment.”



ADHD doesn’t only affect attention. Better considered an executive function and self-regulation deficit, ADHD affects the whole person — the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social self. It increases daily stress and chips away at a positive sense of self. It interferes with self-care and makes it hard to keep healthy habits.

This helps to explain why ADHD is linked to chronic stress, burnout, anxiety , mood disorder , sleep problems , substance use, and other conditions and issues. The reverse is also true: chronic stress and anxiety can worsen ADHD symptoms.

ADHD impacts the whole self, so is treatments must likewise target more than inattention and impulsivity. Integrative medicine is growing in popularity because it’s a treatment approach that addresses symptoms and promotes general health and wellness. Integrative Medicine for People with ADHD: Index of Topics

What Is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine considers the whole person and leverages all options — holistic thinking , complementary therapies , and conventional treatments — in devising a patient’s care plan.

Studies exploring the effectiveness of integrative approaches for ADHD specifically are limited. Moreover, the most common treatments for ADHD are the conventional – medication and psychotherapy. Still, just as ADHD affects many aspects of wellbeing, a variety of treatments and approaches can do the same.

As an integrative practitioner, my approach for treating patients with ADHD is this: If the 多動症症狀 are significantly impairing, I start with medication, and then phase in other strategies, often outside of conventional care. If the ADHD symptoms are mild to moderate, the non-medication and lifestyle approaches can be tried first.

Over time, as the other skills and strategies are employed, the need for medication can be re-evaluated and the dose reduced.

An example of an integrative medicine plan for ADHD may combine psychotherapy (a conventional strategy), stress-management skills (holistic thinking), and omega-3 fatty acids (a complementary supplement).

Conventional Treatments for ADHD

Holistic Wellness and Lifestyle Approaches for ADHD

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

  • Brain-gut health
  • Acupuncture

Integrative Medicine for ADHD: Combining Holistic & Conventional Care

Most of the following approaches address ADHD’s secondary symptoms — namely stress, anxiety, mood, low self-esteem, 和 情緒失調. Treating these factors can help decrease the severity and impairment of ADHD’s core symptoms.

Stress Management and Executive Function


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients develop a greater understanding of their ADHD symptoms and teaches skills that help with 執行功能障礙.

CBT aims to improve patients’ problem-solving and stress-management skills by setting realistic goals and teaching organizational and time-management skills to achieve them. This type of psychotherapy can also improve balanced thinking and communication skills by focusing on one’s unique challenges (e.g., history of 創傷 or other comorbid mental health conditions).


Like CBT, coaching helps individuals meet their goals and develop skills to address ADHD-related barriers along the way.


Mindfulness — a practice that includes meditation as well as awareness shifts in daily activities — has been shown to improve both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, as well as selected measures of attention, emotion regulation, and executive functions1.

By analysis of automatic habits, the practice allows you to change them in the moment. For example, mindful awareness may help you realize that you are procrastinating, and help you tune in to the emotions that are driving the 拖延.


A facet of mindfulness, practicing self-compassion is particularly important for mental health. Offering yourself some validation and kindness — “This is hard. I’m stressed. I’m struggling” — will make a difference in how stress is experienced.

我的孩子和 #039; 的自閉症診斷是如何導致我自己的







有趣的是,一旦這兩個被診斷出來,我仍然不知道我的大孩子,我 13 歲的孩子,他在小學時在社交和學業上的表現都非常出色,可能會出現在譜系中。當他們開始上高中時,一切都分崩離析,讓我們發現他們也患有自閉症和多動症。

在我所有的孩子都被診斷為自閉症之後,我開始閱讀我推薦的有關自閉症女孩的書,以幫助我更好地理解和支持我的女兒。我決定突出任何與我產生共鳴的東西是個好主意。在這本書讀到一半時,我強調了其中的大部分內容,並意識到這根本不是針對我女兒的。它解釋了從我還是個小女孩到現在的生活對我來說是怎樣的。很多我不知道的事情與自閉症有關,我認為它們只是 Anthea 所做、想到或感覺到的事情。








從青春期早期開始,女孩和婦女報告的情緒症狀發生率最高,並且有證據表明近年來患病率有所增加。我們調查了與青春期早期女孩情緒症狀相關的風險因素和累積風險暴露 (CRE)。

研究發現,四個危險因素與青春期早期女孩的情緒症狀具有統計學上的顯著關係:學業成績低、特殊教育需求、家庭收入低和照顧責任。 CRE 與情緒症狀呈正相關,效應量較小。


有證據表明,在青春期早期,女孩開始出現比男孩更嚴重的情緒症狀(即抑鬱和焦慮症狀),通常在 12 歲左右[1].1 研究表明,這種差異存在於整個生命週期中;與男孩和男性相比,女孩和女性在青春期中期報告抑鬱症狀和障礙的可能性是其兩倍 [1]。他們也更有可能出現焦慮症狀和障礙,儘管這會根據焦慮的類型而波動 [2]。抑鬱和焦慮症狀明顯不同,但又密切相關,青少年的合併症發生率很高[3]。研究表明,在英國,近年來青春期女孩的情緒症狀和障礙顯著增加 [4,5,6,7] 和其他西方和非西方國家 [8, 9],需要對與這些困難相關的因素進行緊急研究。這些研究一致指出,整體情緒困難明顯增加(即,不僅僅是抑鬱 或是 焦慮症狀)並且僅在女孩中增加,而在同一隊列中的男孩中不增加 [4,5,6,7,8,9]。從青春期早期開始,在青春期的不同時間點都觀察到了影響[6]。通常,女孩中的這些增加很小,但正如 Fink 等人所指出的那樣。 [6] 效果不容忽視,值得關注。

我們著手調查與 11-12 歲女孩的情緒症狀相關的風險因素,因為有證據表明此類症狀在女孩中有所增加。此外,由於風險因素往往同時發生 [10],我們還檢查了暴露於更多風險因素是否與症狀增加相對應。我們專注於調查 2017 年青春期女孩樣本中與症狀相關的可能因素,提供對最近時間點易感人群的流行病學模式和暴露水平的寶貴見解,而不是可能導致此類症狀增加的因素,目前還不是很清楚。鑑於報告的女孩一般症狀有所增加,我們關注的是症狀而不是疾病。4,5,6,7]。此外,有證據表明,抑鬱和焦慮症狀超出了嚴格的診斷標準中規定的範圍,這表明精神病理學是連續的,而不是通過不同的疾病狹隘地表達出來。11, 12].



社交和情感 (SEL) 技能不僅僅涉及圍繞教育流行語的概念,例如成長心態、毅力和自我倡導。由於學生與同齡人進行社交、協作和交流的機會有限,因此在更大程度上強調了 SEL 技能。在發展和提高 SEL 技能方面,遠程學習和虛擬學校教育給學生帶來了各種障礙。因此,SEL 已成為學區、家長和教育工作者更加關注的焦點。除了為在家培養 SEL 技能提供資源外,家庭能夠確定孩子是否達到特定年級水平的 SEL 標準也同樣重要。在接下來的系列中,我們將按年級討論學生應具備的每項 SEL 技能,以便為家長和教育工作者等提供有用的資源。

小學低年級 (K-3)

正如預期的那樣,學生成功所需的 SEL 技能會隨著學生在年級水平上的進步而變化或發展。在小學,SEL 的大部分重點是與世界的積極互動。這些年來,孩子們顯然高度依賴成年人,但他們也開始與同齡人一起進入自己的社交領域。以下是孩子們在此期間應該已經或正在發展的一些值得注意的 SEL 技能:



早期學習者應該能夠積極傾聽他人的觀點,並在傾聽的同時認識他們的感受。小學生應該能夠識別和描述他人的積極特徵;他們將能夠給予真誠的讚美。學生還將開始培養協作技能,例如如何以建設性的方式與同齡人一起工作/玩耍,如何解決 [...]





如果您的孩子不會說話,並且迴避眼神接觸和触摸,但只聽過一次就可以彈奏鋼琴協奏曲,那麼很容易發現同時存在的 自閉症 和天賦。





  • 學得更快更輕鬆
  • 很快就會厭倦
  • 更強烈地感受情緒和身體感覺
  • 更敏銳地記住事情
  • 隨著複雜性的增加進行思考和推理
  • 需要挑戰、改變和新奇
  • 經歷社會孤立
  • 脫離社會規範

被認為有天賦或具有更高智力的智商水平是 130 或更高.這在人口的前 2% 之內。

智商不是用於評估認知水平的唯一因素,因為智商測試只能衡量您在測試時的功能。如果你生病或被 壓力 或令人不安的想法,你可能不會得分。







  • 高成就者成熟後發展均勻,而天才兒童則發展不平衡,有些能力遠遠超過其他人。
  • 有天賦的人比高成就者更敏感,更情緒化。
  • 高成就者可能比有天賦的人更外向,後者更有可能 內向的人.

一些學校天才項目的入學標準是成績而不是智力測試。許多還包括比頂部 2% 更大的部分。這意味著這些課程中的一些學生可能是沒有天賦的高成就者。

在美國, 59 分之 1 孩子是自閉症。關於 70% 的自閉症患者有智力障礙,這意味著他們的智商低於 70。其餘 30% 的智力範圍從平均到天才。