Focusing on Child Strengths in Autism – with Renae Beaumont, PhD

Focusing on Child Strengths in Autism – with Renae Beaumont, PhD

Focusing on Child Strengths in Autism – with Renae Beaumont, PhD

When a child first gets an autism diagnosis, many parents and families immediately start thinking about deficits—that is, what the child can’t do—and how to accommodate for them.

In the latest episode of the “In the Know” podcast, Renae Beaumont, PhD, Clinical Psychologist at Weill-Cornell and founder of the innovative therapeutic program Secret Agent Society, describes how focusing on a child’s strengths from an early age, rather than their deficits, can be transformative in helping them become happier, more self-aware, and more skilled in communicating their needs.

“Early is everything. Those early years are so critical, and you want to make the most of those,” Dr. Beaumont says. “Helping your child learn skills and knowing the supports that are available will really help them thrive.”

In this conversation, Dr. Beaumont also focuses on how families can navigate the waitlists that increase the time to diagnosis, the work that she does not only with families but also with schools and educators to create a more helpful environment for children with autism, and a few of the evidence-based interventions that are currently available.

As Dr. Beaumont says, “Thinking in more helpful ways can really help children and even adults feel much better and then take actions and behaviors that are going to lead to better outcomes aligned with what matters to them.”

As part of her overall advocacy for children and adults with autism, Dr. Beaumont sees many positives in the directness, creativity, and other unique characteristics that autistic people often share.

As she explains, “I think it’s important we understand some of autistic cultural norms just as much as we expect autistic people to understand some of the norms for what we call neurotypical or non-autistic individuals.”

Our recently launched podcast series, In the Know, regularly features conversations with top experts in behavioral and developmental health to provide information and insights for clinicians and for families of children with developmental delays.

“In the Know, Presented by Cognoa” can be found on most major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, and others. Be sure to subscribe so you can be sure to catch the future episodes when they are available!