All posts by autism

Autism Symptom Checklist – The Importance of Keeping an Autism Symptoms Checklist

Autism is a neurological disorder that may lead to drastic damage at behavioral, communication and social interactions level. Usually verified during the first periods of life, autism is believed to be a serious condition the present determines abnormalities in the development of children. Autism Symptom Checklist

The above all autism symptoms can sometimes be observed at birth. However, the presence of these kinds of a disorder is typically shown later, at ages virtually one or two years. Children with autism may encounters milder forms of the disorder, or, on the contrary, they may be affected by a large amount of severe forms of autism. Autism is a disorder that affects the way people relate to others, perceive and express feelings, communicate with other people, behave and adapt to new situations.

At the first sight, a person who suffers from autism appears to be normal and in fact, autistic people aren’t very different from people not affected by the disorder. Some autistic people have average and above average IQ’s, and the disorder affects people regardless of their intelligence level. People with autism usually focus their intelligence towards working with numbers, excelling in areas like mathematics. Despite the fact that many autistic people are very intelligent, they are unable to express themselves or to properly relate to other people. They usually have low emotional intelligence and behaviors targeted towards the self. Parents suspecting that their children might be affected by autism should pay careful attention to autism symptoms.

If autism symptoms are spotted soon, the damage done by the disorder can be controlled. Autistic children that receive the appropriate treatment, special care and attention, are less likely to develop severe forms of the disorder. Therefore, speed is vital in detecting the first autism symptoms. Parents that notice abnormalities in the behavior of their children should consider keeping track of autism symptoms with the help an autism symptoms checklist. It is best to keep an autism symptom checklist and to verify the responsiveness of children earlier than the age of two years, in order to be able to intervene in the development of the disorder. Autism Symptom Checklist

Here is an autism symptoms checklist presenting the most common autism symptoms to small children and babies:

– inappropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills;

– strong resistance to environmental and behavioral change (autistic children don’t let people interfere with their routine, engaging in repetitive, stereotype behaviors and activities; they also have low adaptability to new situations);

– hyper-activity or hypo-activity (autistic children usually have extreme behaviors; they are either very active, being difficult to calm down, or passive, avoiding any interactions and showing little responsiveness to stimuli);

– inability to understand and act in the presence of danger (autistic children usually don’t seem to be aware of potential dangers);

– poor imitational skills (inability of imitating simple gestures or facial expressions);

– low responsiveness to the hearing of their own name;

– difficulties in social interactions, avoidance of making eye contact with people;

– the tendency of engaging in activities and behaviors that may result in self-harm (banging their heads against their cribs, excessively scratching their skin);

– poor emphatic skills (children with autism experience difficulties in relating with other people; they also can’t express their compassion or understanding to people in distress).

These autism symptoms presented above are the most common signs of abnormalities that children with the disorder might present and it is very important to spot them as soon as possible. Autism Symptom Checklist

This autism symptoms checklist should guide you in revealing the presence of autism during children’s first years of life. Don’t let your child suffer anymore! Lead your child out of his world through Autism Symptom Checklist program now!

Autism Anxiety Overload

The renowned autism expert Tony Atwood is fond of putting it this way: “Autism is anxiety looking for a target.” Autism and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Autism affects a person’s ability to communicate with others or to understand the world around him, and that’s bound to cause anxiety and panic sometimes.

Anxiety becomes even worse when there is a change in the autistic child’s routine. Even positive and “fun” changes, like a school field trip or a visit to the zoo, can increase anxiety and aggressive behaviors.

For parents, the best course of action is to anticipate upcoming changes and help your child prepare for them. Many parents find it helpful to use stories and pictures to prepare children for impending disruptions. If it’s a field trip to the zoo, for example, use pictures to show your child what he’ll see at the zoo, what the zoo will be like, and what sort of things to expect. Do this each day for three or four days prior to the trip. That way, when the trip actually happens, the child won’t be entirely out of his element, but will already understand and appreciate some of what will be happening.

Other changes in the routine are less enjoyable but still necessary. Getting a new teacher can be traumatic, as can moving to a new house. If at all possible, try to spread out the major changes. If you move to a new house, try to do it during the summer, so that your child won’t have to deal with the added anxiety of getting a new school and new teacher mid-year.

You can also introduce your child to the concept of “change” in a positive way by practicing with non-negative things. For example, just for practice, give him a little extra TV time instead of homework time one night, to show that changes in the routine can often be fun and good. Then practice with a neutral change (homework after dinner instead of before dinner), then with a negative one (changing play time into chore time). This process can help your child grow accustomed to the idea of change and learn to adapt without becoming anxious.

For continual, ongoing anxiety, many parents have begun using anti-anxiety medications for their autistic children. Usually, the medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and are also used for obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Prozac, Luvox, Zoloft and Anafranil are all common for anxiety in autistic children.

For behavioral problems, antipsychotics such as Haldol, fluphenazine and chlorpromazine can be prescribed. These can reduce aggression in autistic kids, but sometimes also cause sedation and muscle stiffness.

All patients are different. You and your doctor should monitor your child’s progress very closely, using the lowest dose of medication possible, to see if what improvements it makes and whether there are any adverse reactions. Medication should be the last resort for autism, not the first one. There are a number of natural remedies available if you don’t want to go down the drug route. But try behavioral and dietary modifications first, to see what improvements can be made naturally.

There are many more resources and information about diagnosing, controlling and treating Autism in, The Essential Guide To Autism – for more info – Click Here

Autism and Supplementation

Supplements have become an important part of the health industry. There are literally thousands of products on the market that can give your body the added nutrients it needs. People with autism are especially prone to nutritional difficulties and it is important that they take supplements to achieve a balanced nutritional state.

The first step toward addressing autism and supplementation is to adopt a gluten and casein free diet. These proteins have been found to potentially worsen the symptoms of autism. In fact, gluten and casein, in many autistic children, have been found to help the brain produce natural opiates, making foods that contain them practically addictive!

Another important step is the implementation of a balanced and healthy diet. Remember, autistic children are influenced by routines, so if a healthy diet is instituted early and followed, autistic children will likely adhere to it.

It is also important to have the input of a doctor to determine if your autistic child is absorbing the proper amount of nutrients. Simple blood tests can determine nutrient levels and from this data a diet can be successfully adjusted to address any shortfalls. Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) medical professionals are a good place to start because they have been especially trained to understand the challenges facing autistic children.

There is a list of common supplements that autistic children are often lacking or simply do not have at optimum levels. Selenium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folinic acids, vitamins C and E, essential fatty acid, cod liver oil, taurine, and various amino acids.

When beginning a regiment of supplements, it is important to work them in slowly. It is equally important to document changes in behavior. Pay close attention to the effects of supplements on your child. Note any differences and prepare to discuss them with your doctor or nutritionist.

In terms of positive and negative effects that can result from the use of supplements, and a change in diet – they will not be easy to miss. Positive changes can include a reduction in the severity of behaviors. Many autistic children can show improvement in managing behaviors and social interaction. It is equally important to note regressions in behavior. If negative behaviors are observed, the supplement added should be reduced or eliminated. For the most part, negotiating the diet and supplementation of an autistic child is a trial and error undertaking. It is recommended that when first purchasing supplements you start with small packages. Buying in bulk can save you money in the long run, but if you buy a ton of a supplement that produces undesired results, you are stuck with useless product.

Should you chose to add supplements to your child’s diet, you will need to d so in a controlled manner. Don’t just dole out supplements on an experimental basis. Work with a doctor or a nutritionist to come up with a specific plan that is geared toward your child’s success. This regiment should include frequent tests for metal toxicity, stool analysis, and tests for various amino acids and peptides.

There is a lot to consider when choosing supplements for your child. This process is very important and can improve the overall quality of their life. Do not rush into the process and make sure you cover all the bases before proceeding. Give supplements time to work. Oftentimes, it takes time for the body to accurately process nutrients and for you to see any changes in behavior.

There are many more resources and information about diagnosing, controlling and treating Autism in, The Essential Guide To Autism – for info Click Here

How To Show Love To an Autistic Child

One of the most pervasive myths that surround autism is that a child who has it will never show affection and can’t accept getting affection from anyone. There have been literally piles of stories of parents taking their child to a psychologist and the doctor telling the parents that your child can’t possibly be autistic because he gives you a hug now and then. While this opinion is just flat wrong, studies have shown that autistic children do process sensory touch differently than a non-autistic child and that this is where the myth that autistic children don’t like to be touched comes from.

Autism and the way it affects kids really runs the gamut from light to severe. An excellent point to remember when dealing with an autistic child is that every single autistic child is different and will react to almost everything differently. Here are some tips for showing your autistic child affection, and remember, your experience may vary.

  • Trial and error. For some kids with more severe autism, a simple, random hug can be sensory overload. They can become agitated, upset and even violent if they are touched without prior warning. You will probably need to have a trial and error approach when it comes to hugging and touching your autistic child. Some methods may be responded to in a positive way, other ways won’t be. You just have to try and see.
  • Let the child come to you. If you think your autistic child needs a hug, instead of rushing into his personal space and just taking one, speak to the child, bend down to his/her level and open your arms. Smile and let the child know that they are loved and see what the response is. If they don’t come running in for a hug, don’t be offended, it may just not have been the right time for the child.
  • Try hand signals. If your child is too sensitive to hugs or touches to show affection, you can try positive reinforcement in addition to hand singles. Things like a simple thumbs up accompanied by a smile and some positive comments can let the child know they are loved and what they did was good. You can also offer the child a chance to hug during these situations and they might just take you up on it.
  • Make sure everyone is on the same page. If you, the parents, are starting to make progress on getting your autistic child to be more affectionate, you don’t need a sibling, teacher or grandparent who doesn’t know or understand your child’s boundaries messing up all of your hard work. If you’ve begun to implement an affection program with your autistic child, make sure everyone who would possibly try to hug or touch him/her knows the rules. Consistency and repetition are crucial to autistic kids, and this applies to a situation like this, as well.

Trying to figure out a puzzling condition like autism can be a lifelong challenge. For many parents, the affection issue may be the biggest. But with patience and learning to go by the child’s cues and not your own, you will be able to connect with your child in a deep and meaningful way.

There are many more resources and information about diagnosing, controlling and treating Autism in, The Essential Guide To Autism – Click Here

Making Learning Fun

Autism is a disorder of the brain that is biological in function. It causes anywhere from mild to severe social impairment and an inability to function normally in society. However, there are ways to treat many of the cases of autism. Autistic children can learn and excel and if certain teaching methods are used, their progress can be nothing short of fantastic.
One of the most important things to realize in making learning fun for autistic children is the fact that they learn in different ways than children without autism. Autistic children generally have a disability in social skills. Sometimes this difficulty in communication involves language skills. However, there are a number of ways to make learning these important skills more than just a chore. By injecting fun into learning, it has been shown that autistic children learn at a faster pace. Actually, fun and learning work well for all types of children, but autistic children are special and require more tailored methods.

Children with autism seem to learn best when the instructional material is presented in visual form. In this case it might be worthwhile to try different educational programs via a computer. Using a computer is a fun way to learn. The majority of educational programs are highly visual.  Many of the games available involve storylines, plots, and realistic human behaviors. Some of the skills autistic children can learn from carefully selected video games are language skills, reading and math skills, and social skills. Visual learning devices are highly effective and can be accompanied by various rewards to reinforce what is being learned. For instance, food and extended leisure activities can be used as rewards that will encourage the child to want to learn. In addition, the use of positive reinforcement will help develop a bond between student and teacher, and create a sense of trust that will help strengthen the learning environment.

Social stories are another way to make learning fun for children with autism. Since one of the aspects of autism is the inability to interact normally in a social situation, social stories can be utilized in a variety of different ways in order to model appropriate behavior. Autism education pioneer Carol Gray developed this approach in 1991. By using engaging stories, children with autism can learn appropriate and inappropriate responses to situations. The level of fun, of course, is up to the way social stories are used. Usually, the stories are tailored to the child. By modeling situations familiar to an autistic child, they can be better prepared to react in a socially appropriate to those same situations in the future. Social stories usually have three distinct ways of addressing a particular situation. The first describes who, what, where and why in relation to the situation. The second is a perspective sentence that illuminates how others react to the situation being discussed. Finally, the third sentence tries to model an appropriate response. Sometimes the use of social stories can be accompanied by music and pictures. In terms of making the process a bit more fun rewards can be used when a situation is properly addressed.

Children with autism require special education needs to address their social difficulties. It is really important to make these activities as much fun as possible so the student will stay motivated. It is not easy for an autistic child to change his or her response to various situations, so it is imperative that the activities be non-threatening and highly interesting. It has been demonstrated that over time the use of visual aids and social stories are two of the most effective ways to help autistic children overcome social situations they feel are threatening. To most of us, these situations are normal, everyday occurrences, but to children with autism they can sometimes be terrifying moments that they do not have the skills to deal with. These teaching methods, while entertaining and fun, can help children adapt and manage their perceptions of social interactions.

There are many more resources and information about diagnosing, controlling and treating Autism in, The Essential Guide To Autism – Click Here

Overcoming Food Obsessions

The general public often doesn’t realize what parents of autistic children are keenly aware of: It is a physical condition as much as a mental one. Research shows that more than 50 percent of autistic children have gastrointestinal problems such as Crohns Disease or colitis. Some scientists theorize that autism begins in the gut, with the gastrointestinal walls being damaged and allowing toxins to leak into the bloodstream and affect brain activity.

For this reason, parents of children with autism must monitor not just their children’s behavior but their eating habits, too. In particular, products containing gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye) and casein (found in dairy products) seem to exacerbate autism symptoms, apparently because the person’s body cannot digest them properly and the incompletely digested (and therefore poisonous) proteins are leaking into the circulatory system.

A gluten-free, casein-free diet, known as GFCF, has become very popular among parents of autistic children. Some members of the medical community continue to be skeptical of it, but other doctors and organizations — including those working with Defeat Autism Now (DAN) — wholeheartedly support the GFCF diet.

Many parents report remarkable improvements in their autistic children after removing gluten and casein from their diets. They find their children having longer attention spans, making better eye contact and in general behaving less aggressively and more “normally.”

The difficult part is implementing the diet. Cereals and dairy products comprise a major part of the typical American diet. People with gluten allergies already know how hard it is to find gluten-free products; adding dairy to the list of prohibited items makes it that much more inconvenient.

In addition, many autistic children will latch on to particular foods they like and refuse to eat anything else. Since so many foods have gluten or casein, chances are good that something on your child’s “favorites” list will be an offender. Also, because gluten and casein foods act as opiates, autistic children may crave them in particular — the very foods that are doing them the most harm!

So weaning your child off these foods can be difficult. To start with, many parents find it best to eliminate dairy. A lot of people are lactose-intolerant, after all, and dairy products don’t make up nearly as big a part of most people’s diets as gluten products do. It’s fairly easy to replace casein foods with other things.

Gluten is trickier. Not only is it in a lot of foods, but even foods that don’t have it are often contaminated with it, due to having been processed in the same facilities. You’ll need to examine ingredients lists carefully, and check with the manufacturer directly if you’re in doubt.

Often, parents say their autistic children won’t eat anything else, and they worry they’ll go hungry if these foods are taken away. It is necessary to be loving but firm, and not to give in if your child behaves badly in response to having his or her favorite foods taken off the menu. Within a few weeks, you’ll probably see a change in your child’s behavior, and you may be surprised at what he or she will eat that previously was unacceptable.

For More information about treating and managing Autism please There are many more resources and information about diagnosing, controlling and treating Autism in, The Essential Guide To Autism – Click Here

Activities for Autistic Children

Please can you offer some activity-based suggestions and PE/games options for autistic children that they can do at home or at school. Looking at two age groups here 7 – 10 and 11-16.

Parents, teachers, and other caregivers often get so caught up in educating and providing structure to the lives of autistic children that they forget that, above all, he or she is a child. Like any other child in his or her age group, your autistic child wants to have fun. While some activities may not be suitable for those suffering from autism, there are a number of fun games to play with autistic children, many of which can get them involved with others or help them further develop motor or social skills while just focusing on having a good time.

Autistic children in the elementary school age range can benefit greatly from song. Even children who do not verbally communicate with words can learn to hum along or play simple instruments, such as tambourines or whistles. Using sounds that are repetitive and with educational lyricshelps autistic children learn school lessons but also gives them an outlet for some of the sensory stimulation they need, such as yelling. Play follow the leader with the instruments to help the children focus their attention and improve socialization skills.

Depending on how mature your child is, he or she may also not only be able to participate in regular childhood games, but greatly benefit from them as well. These activities, including tag and other games, can be learned more easily than you think. Stick with games in which the autistic child is not forced to have close physical contact with other children, as this may be hurtful for autistic individuals. Also, remember to play to your child’s strengths or what he or she wishes to learn. If he or she has a problem with yelling inappropriately, for example, encouraging him or her to be involved with a game of hide and seek may help curb this behavior.

Autistic children often wish to be included in games with non-autistic peers, and so this may help with the learning process. At home, focus on games that involve closer contact with trusted family members. For example, make it a game to get across the room without touching the floor. Perhaps the only route in some instances is to be carried. Remember that each child is different developmentally, so stay in tune with how challenging the activities should be.

As your child matures, he or she may want to be involved with organized sports. This should be encouraged, but choose your sport carefully. Golf, baseball, and other sports that do not involve strong personal sensory stimulation may be better for your child than something like tackle football. However, be open to all possibilities. Be sure the team’s coach understands your child’s disability and is willing to work with him or her.

At this later developmental stage, also continue encouraging learning activities. Sensory games work well to further teach these children, and as they mature emphasize the importance of appropriate behavior as you are playing these games. Using things like water balloons in games your child already enjoys is often as fun for children with autism. Also realize that an autistic individual has trouble seeing things from another’s point of view. Therefore, they may be less likely to enjoy games in which something must be kept a secret from another person (like go-fish).

Overall, you and your child need to grow together. Remember that although he or she has many special needs, sometimes your child needs to simply be a kid as well. Encourage play along with work, and realize that games and activities for autistic children may fulfil two key elements, socialization skills for life and learning to enjoy playing with their peers.

There are many more resources and information about diagnosing, controlling and treating Autism in, The Essential Guide To Autism – Click Here