In My Backyard
In My Backyard
Season 2: Episode #10 - STORIES: Parents of Children on the Autism Spectrum

Today’s podcast is the fourth installment of the “In My Backyard” series: STORIES. In this episode, Patricia speaks with two parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association published the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM. In this edition, what had been referred to as Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder were reclassified under one diagnosis, Autism Spectrum Disorder. According to the DSM, the primary characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder include:

  1. Persistent deficits in social communication and interaction across multiple contexts, and
  2. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities.
  3. The symptoms must be present in early childhood and must cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

Deficits in social communication and interaction in young children might look like an avoidance of eye contact, a flat facial expression, lack of interest in other children, few gestures such as pointing, waving goodbye or blowing kisses or not pointing out objects of interest such as a balloon or fire truck.

In this episode, Patricia has the honor of speaking to Melissa Gallardo, a Licensed and Marriage Family Therapist from The Guidance Center’s San Pedro Clinic and Danny Montenegro, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Supervisor in The Guidance Center’s Long Beach School-Based Program. In addition to being clinicians, both Melissa and Danny shared that they each parent a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In My Backyard is brought to you by The Guidance Center, a children’s mental health agency in Long Beach, CA. In My Backyard is produced by Tricia Costales and Matthew Murray. Thank you to Jay Vincent B for original music. All other music licensed through SoundStripe. Thank you to our listeners and supporters.

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