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Going to the Doctor: A guide for children with autism and other sensory needs

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Going to the Doctor: Getting my child with a disability through the office successfully

No one likes doctor visits! It can be a scary place for children, especially those with a disability, or those that cannot understand verbal language quite well.

Before going to the doctor’s office:

  • Buy play doctor instruments. Pretend play with your child how the doctor will utilize these different materials.
    • Use a stethoscope to listen to the heart
    • Use a pretend doctor stick to look at the mouth
    • Use a pretend toy to look at the eyes
    • Use a pretend otoscope to look at ears
  • If your child has a hard time pretend playing with the play instruments, you can utilize something your child likes to get them to be more likely to pretend play.
  • For example, if your child loves to watch videos, tell your child “first listen to the heart then watch the video.” Once your child lets you pretend listen to his/her heart, give him the video for 30 seconds or so. Repeat with all the other pretend materials.
  • If your child prefers videos, find a video of a child going to the doctor. Show it to your child and tell them they will be going to the doctor soon. Show them the video every day, up to 7 days before the appointment.
  • If your child prefers pictures, find a book of a child going to the doctor. Read it to your child!

At the doctor’s office:

  • Before going to the doctors, have a special toy, or food ready for your child. Tell them if we do good at the doctors, he/she can have it.
  • When it is time to go to the doctor’s room, have the doctor or nurse give your child a small food item or toy your child likes. You might have to bring something from home.

Make sure the doctor or nurse physically gives it to the child. This can start a great child-doctor relationship! Your child will learn the doctor is a pretty cool person.

  • Bring whatever materials you used at home to practice to the doctor’s office.
    • Tell your child the doctor will listen to their heart. You can listen to your child’s heart (like you practiced at home), and then the doctor can do it! Remember to give your child the item he/she likes (just like at home).
    • If you used a book, show your child the picture of what the doctor will do. Then your doctor can do it!
    • If you used a video, show your child the step on the video. After they watch the step, have the doctor do it.
    • After each step, don’t forget to give your child something they like!



Press Release: Early Autism Services Brand Changes

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*** For Immediate Release ***

St. Louis, MO – Comprehensive Early Autism Services has formally updated its business name to Early Autism Services. In addition the organization has released a new company logo which is displayed below.

Early Autism Services will continue to provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy for children with autism and their families, but will move forward with this new branding.

“We are passionate about each of the children and families that we work with, and we were ready for an image that shared our energy and passion for the work we do and the families we serve,” said Adam Kuda, Marketing Director at Early Autism Services.

Early Autism Services opened nearly a decade ago in Chicago, IL, and now the organization works with children in more than 10 states in the US and also has operations in Canada and Australia.



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For questions please contact:

Adam Kuda – Marketing Director

“Time-Out” & “Time-In”

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behavior planning for autism

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions that often bring challenges related to: social skills, speech, and behavior. For many parents, trying to understand and manage their child’s behaviors can be difficult. One of the biggest challenges is trying to create a consistent structure for handling situations when their child is acting out. Additionally, having a consistent way to reinforce positive behaviors is often overlooked.

Below is an example of a method parents can use effectively when trying to address certain behaviors of their child, both positive and negative.

Time-Out & Time-In.


What is Time-Out?

When a child is told to go somewhere – like a chair or facing a wall, alone for a determined amount of time.

How to effectively implement Time-Out.

  • Use a calm voice and avoid making choices based on emotions.
  • Set specific rules and criteria and ensure a consistent implementation.
  • Use brief statements of the behavior you want to see next/again.
    • “When you are calm, you can tell me what you need.”
    • With an inside voice, let em know what you want when you are ready.”
    • The video games are not available, you can have a book or your race car. Let me know when you are ready to pick with an inside voice.
      • Avoid offering to many options.
      • Avoid offering options after the behavior occurred.

When NOT to use Time-Out

  • With children who use behavior to avoid or escape situations, tasks, or activities.
  • With children who engage in self injurious behavior and could cause harm to themselves.

What is Time-In?

Reinforcing positive behaviors through praise or attention.

Ho to use Time-In

  • Provide lots of attention for the behaviors you want to see again.
  • Labeling the things you like. (Descriptive praise.)
    • “I love how you are sharing your blocks with your sister!”
    • “You are sitting waiting so nicely!”
    • “Thank you for helping clean up!”
  • Identify what your child likes.
    • Verbal praise, hugs, tickles, squeezes, high fives, tokens, toys.
    • Use these paired with descriptive praise.
  • Use high energy and incorporate them with activities your child likes.


At EAS, we build individualized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy programs which help address behavior planning, as well as: social skills, fine motor skills, language and communication, play skills, self help, and more. If you would like to speak with a clinician to set up a time to see discuss building a personalized program for your child, please click on the link below.