Why should pediatricians use a structured screening like the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddler-Revised (MCHAT-R) to screen for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in toddlers? After all, parents don’t like to fill out seemingly endless forms, and with all the topics doctors are required to cover in well-child visits, it can be easy to skip the formal screen in favor of “eyeballing” a child’s behavior or relying on parent report. Next time you’re faced with a screaming toddler or a stressed-out parent and you’re tempted to skip the screen, consider the following.
Most children need help staying organized, keeping belongings neat and being on time. This is because the areas of the brain that help us with these skills are still developing (and may not be finished until we are in our thirties!). Kids with ADHD and/or impaired executive functioning often need even more help, even with seemingly simple tasks like handing in completed homework. Parents often tell me that they are tired of nagging and fighting, but if they don’t, they are afraid their child won’t succeed. If you feel like a broken record, or if you just want some tips for your organization toolbox, these strategies might help.