Tag Archives: Asd

Question?: Treatment For Autism Spectrum Disorder In Children

Lizzie asks…

How to get a child onto the GFCF diet?

I have a child with ASD who is extremely picky. I have been doing alot of research and was interested in starting him on the GFCF diet but not quite sure how too as he doesn’t eat much? Any ideas!!

admin answers:

You might want to network with GFCF parents. The foods can be pretty bland, not to mention expensive. Did you try these resources:

Autism Network for Dietary Interventions provides help and support for families using a Gluten & Casein Free diet in the treatment of autism and related developmental disorders.

The Official GFCF Diet Support Group is a free informative website for dietary interventions for Autistic Spectrum Disorders, PDD-NOS, Celiac Disease and Gluten & Dairy Allergies/Intolerance

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Question?: Rett Syndrome Video

Mary asks…

When sharing about Autism, what are the main points I should cover?

I just want to educate my peers without going too in depth to the point that they are bored and tune me out and subsequently don’t learn about the topic. If you have any experience or resources it would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps you know of someone that has autism and you are familiar with their struggles and know what common misconceptions are involving autism. And if you have any questions about autism, what are they? If there is anything you would like to know about the disease what would that be?

Thank you in advance for your input!!! It is greatly appreciated.

admin answers:

My son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The biggest struggles we face: Others lack of understanding when he misbehaves in public, having to fight for every acommodation he has in school and every service we’ve gotten for him.

Common misconceptions: That children with Autism are not disciplined properly. I have had people tell me that if I would take him off all his meds and give him a firm spanking he would be okay. They don’t realize that would most likely make him worse.

Good topics about Autism you might want to cover:
***The 5 diagnoses under the Autism Spectrum “Umbrella” including PDD-NOS, Asperger’s, Rett’s Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Autism. You could go into the differences and similarities.
***The new DSM-V is coming out in a few years, but is being drafted. They are proposing changes including lumping all the ASD’s together into one diagnoses. There are conflicting views on this which might be interesting to read about.
***The treatments for Autism including medications and therapy.
***How Autism is diagnosed
***The theories on what causes Autism. There are theories that it is caused by vacinations. Currently there are several studies going on around the USA about the genetic component that may exist. Some say environmental concerns cause Autism. There are many theories, but nothing proven.

I made some videos on Youtube about my son with Autism your class might find interesting:


Hope this information helps. Here are a couple of my favorite Autism videos which are NOT by me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHW0lxICADs

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Question?: Autism Symptoms In 6 Year Old

Mandy asks…

What are your tips about tutoring an 8 year old with Autism?

He is in the 2nd grade and he can read on the 2nd grade reading level though his reading comprehension is poor. That is what I’ll be working with him on mostly. I will also be working on his handwriting as his small motor skills are not strong. His speech delay puts his communication level at about 4 years old.

I will be working with him 3 times a week.

admin answers:

First be sure you know what it is…

Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old.[2] The autism spectrum disorders (ASD) also include related conditions with milder signs and symptoms.[3]

Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by multigene interactions or by rare mutations.[4] In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects.[5] Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial, and the vaccine hypotheses lack any convincing scientific evidence.[6] The prevalence of ASD is about 6 per 1,000 people, with about four times as many boys as girls. The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.[7]

Autism affects many parts of the brain; how this occurs is not understood. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. Although early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help children gain self-care, social, and communication skills, there is no known cure.[3] Few children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, but some become successful,[8] and an autistic culture has developed, with some seeking a cure and others believing that autism is a condition rather than a disorder.[9]

Second…

Autistic kids often have one particular thing that they are focused on and love. I.E. Cars, or trains, or scooby doo. Figure out what that is and incorporate it into your tutoring. This will help keep their attention.

Third…

Do your research.. There is HUNDEREDS of sights on the internet about working with Autistic children.

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Question?: Autism Symptoms Toddler Boys

Steven asks…

can anyone list the qualities possessed by autistic people?

I have heard some have good memory, others are good at art. Can anyone give a full detail?

admin answers:

Autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs)

Published by Bupa’s health information team, August 2007.

This factsheet is for people who would like information about autism and other autistic spectrum disorders.

Children with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) don’t develop the social and language skills that other children do. As a result of this, they find relating to other people difficult. They may also have unusual behaviours and learning difficulties.

* What is the autistic spectrum?
* Symptoms
* Causes
* Diagnosis
* Therapies and interventions
* Help and support
* Further information
* Questions and answers
* Related topics
* Sources

What is the autistic spectrum?

Autism is a range, or spectrum, of disorders that affect individuals to varying degrees. A child can have their own combination of difficulties, putting them somewhere on what is called the autistic spectrum. Some children with autism may have learning difficulties and very limited speech and communication. Other children with a milder form of autism, called Asperger’s syndrome, may have a good vocabulary but still have difficulty with communication.

According to the National Austistic Society, over 500,000 people in the UK have an ASD. A study published in 2006 has shown that as many as one in 100 children may have an ASD. It’s four times more common in boys than girls.
Symptoms

Children with an ASD have three main types of problems. These are to do with their:

* communication
* social development
* interests and behaviour (social imagination)

If you notice signs of ASD in your child, you should see your health visitor or GP.
Communication

Children with ASDs may not develop the usual speech or non-verbal (eg pointing) skills of other children of the same age. They may also have trouble with understanding meaning in spoken or written language. Children with severe autism may never speak at all but may be helped to communicate in other ways (eg signing or using picture symbols).

These communication problems may show up as:

* not babbling or pointing by the age of one
* not responding to their name
* not learning two words by the age of two
* in older children, unusual use of language and difficulty starting or keeping up conversations
* repeating words they have heard over and over again

Social development

Children with an ASD may have difficulty in making friends and getting on well with their peers. They may:

* seem very independent as toddlers and aloof when they get older
* have poor eye contact
* not seek affection in the usual way and resist being cuddled or kissed
* be unable to play with other children and have difficulty making friends
* seem to be “in a world of their own”
* not understand other people’s thoughts and emotions
* find it difficult to accept simple social rules, which can cause problems at school

Children with an ASD can be affectionate, but may not be able to respond to another person’s need for affection.
Behaviour and interests

Children with an ASD may show very little or no interest in play that involves pretending. Instead they may be overly interested in repetitive activities, such as lining up their toys or watching the washing machine drum rotate. Children with an ASD may also:

* learn to sit up or walk later than most children
* be oversensitive to noise or to touch (for instance, finding the vacuum cleaner or hairdryer deafening)
* have odd mannerisms such as rocking back and forth, hand flapping, walking on tip toes or head banging
* some may be clumsy and so struggle with physical activity

Older children and adolescents may develop obsessions such as an excessive interest in timetables or lists, and in storing up trivial facts.
Intelligence and autism

Around three-quarters of people with an ASD have a learning disability. Some people who have Asperger’s syndrome may have normal or high intelligence but struggle with social skills. Outstanding abilities with maths, music or drawing are uncommon.

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Question?: Autistic Spectrum

Lisa asks…

Can sociopaths fit on the autistic spectrum?

I’m wondering if the thrill-seeking and manipulative behavior of sociopaths is incompatible with autistic spectrum disorders. Are they mutually exclusive diagnoses, or can one be both?

admin answers:

Yes, one would think they are mutually exclusive (although there may be a few extremely high functioning autistics who are also sociopaths).

Antisocial Personality Disorder is an entirely different matter. Someone with an ASD can definitely have ASPD, but this would usually occur iwithout things such as manipulative behaviours.

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Interrelated Health Issues Experienced By Children With Autism: Anxiety, GI Problems, Sensory Over-Responsivity

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Anxiety / Stress;  GastroIntestinal / Gastroenterology;  Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Article Date: 21 Sep 2012 – 1:00 PDT Current ratings for:
Interrelated Health Issues Experienced By Children With Autism: Anxiety, GI Problems, Sensory Over-Responsivity
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One in 88 children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study by a University of Missouri researcher found that many children with ASD also experience anxiety, chronic gastrointestinal (GI) problems and atypical sensory responses, which are heightened reactions to light, sound or particular textures. These problems appear to be highly related and can have significant effects on children’s daily lives, including their functioning at home and in school.

Micah Mazurek, an assistant professor of health psychology and a clinical child psychologist, found in her study of 2,973 children and adolescents with ASD that nearly one-fourth also had chronic GI problems, such as constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or nausea. The results also showed that children with chronic GI problems were more likely to experience anxiety and sensory problems.

“These problems can have a very real impact on daily life. Children with anxiety may be distressed or reluctant to engage in new activities, and those with sensory problems may have trouble paying attention or participating in over-stimulating enviornments,” Mazurek said. “These children may also suffer uncomfortable GI problems that they may not be able to communicate about to adults.”

Clinicians should be aware that anxiety, GI problems and sensory sensitivity often co-occur in individuals with ASD. Effectively managing these concurrent issues may improve children’s quality of life and their responses to treatment, Mazurek said.

“Parents need to be aware that these problems may underlie some of their children’s difficulties, so if they notice any symptoms, they should talk to their doctors or therapists about treatment options,” Mazurek said. “Practitioners who work with children with ASD need to be mindful that there is a pretty high rate of these problems, so if children are treated for one issue, it may helpful to screen for these additional symptoms.”

This is the first study to examine the relationships among anxiety, GI problems and sensory over-responsivity in a large, nationally representative sample of children and adolescents with ASD. Participants in the study were enrolled in the Autism Treatment Network, a network of 17 autism centers throughout North America that are focused on best practices for medical treatment of children with ASD.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. The study, “Anxiety, Sensory Over-Responsivity, and Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” was published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. Mazurek is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Psychology in the MU School of Health Professions and a clinical child psychologist at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Mazurek’s coauthors from the School of Health Professions include Stephen Kanne, executive director of the Thompson Center and the William and Nancy Thompson Endowed Chair in Child Health in the Department of Health Psychology; and Lee Ann Lowery, director of the MU Pediatric Occupational Therapy Clinic in the Thompson Center and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Several experts external to MU also contributed to the study.
University of Missouri-Columbia Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

MLA

n.p. “Interrelated Health Issues Experienced By Children With Autism: Anxiety, GI Problems, Sensory Over-Responsivity.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 21 Sep. 2012. Web.
26 Sep. 2012. APA

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‘Interrelated Health Issues Experienced By Children With Autism: Anxiety, GI Problems, Sensory Over-Responsivity’

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Youths With Autism Are Targets For Bullying

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Pediatrics / Children’s Health;  Psychology / Psychiatry
Article Date: 08 Sep 2012 – 0:00 PDT Current ratings for:
Youths With Autism Are Targets For Bullying
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According to a new study published in the American Medical Association’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 46.3 percent of youths with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been victims of bullying.

This study was part of a pioneering program of research on teens and adults with autism led by Paul T. Shattuck, PhD, and assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. As more children are diagnosed with autism, research needs to be done to see what life is like for teens and adults with this condition. Previous research has been limited on this subject.

Bullying is characterized by negative actions towards a peer involving a power struggle between the victim and the perpetrator. Until this point, there has been little to no research on the correlation between ASD and bullying.

Nationally represented survey data was used to establish how common bullying can be in adolescents, and compare these rates with developmental disabilities that coincide with major shortfalls of ASD, as well as point out social ecological connections with bullying involvement.

Findings show bullying involvement for youths with an ASD was 46.3 percent for victimization and significantly higher than the national percentage for the general adolescent population. Rates of being the perpetrator (14.8 percent) and rates of being the perpetrator as well as the victim (8.9 percent) were comparable to national estimates of typical adolescents.

Shattuck says:

“Spending more time in a general education setting, as opposed to a segregated special education classroom, was associated with a higher rate of being bullied. Schools need to work harder at the successful integration of students with disabilities.”

Shattuck suggests more parental interaction for plans and policies that will positively include students with disabilities, such as staff and teacher training on bullying prevention to ensure a violence free school environment.

Written by Kelly Fitzgerald
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. “Bullying Involvement and Autism Spectrum Disorders Prevalence and Correlates of Bullying Involvement Among Adolescents With an Autism Spectrum Disorder”
Paul R. Sterzing, PhD, MSSW; Paul T. Shattuck, PhD; Sarah C. Narendorf, PhD, MSW; Mary Wagner, PhD; Benjamin P. Cooper, MPH
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, September 2012, doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.790 Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

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n.p. “Youths With Autism Are Targets For Bullying.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 8 Sep. 2012. Web.
8 Sep. 2012. APA

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‘Youths With Autism Are Targets For Bullying’

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Helping Your Child With Autism Cope With School Anxiety

Do you really know how your child feels about going back to school this year? Maybe last year was a positive experience but can you really assume this will be another carbon copy? Many children, even those without an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), can harbor secret worries and concerns they can’t seem to express which can then develop into troubling and difficult behaviors.

If you think back to your first days of a new school year, what comes to mind? Along with the excitement of wearing that new outfit and seeing your good friend again what were the concerns you carried with you?

Is your special needs child looking forward to going back to school? Despite your sensory sensitive daughter’s interest in school could she be worrying about new school building she has to go to? Is it possible your son with Asperger’s might have a concern about the school bus ride or eating in the cafeteria? If so, what can be done to alleviate their fears?

Starting early to prepare your child for a new school year is important in order to get them off to a good start. Going shopping for school clothes is a given but there is so much more to getting ready for school than shopping for new outfits and back-to-school supplies. Being prepared with pens, pencils, pads of paper and the backpack to put it all in, as well as the proper equipment for sports and the new sneakers for physical education class is all important, but what about the rest?

For school to be a pleasant and successful experience for your child with Autism being prepared means so much more than acquiring the material possessions that are required.

Retuning to school, even if in the same school building, can be filled with worries such as making new friends or what your new teacher will be like but for a child with Autism, the anxieties can be much bigger than that. Helping your child transition with ease into a new school year to ensure an experience that will keep a smile on her face requires mental, emotional, cognitive and social preparation as well.

Taking from your own experience and knowing what you know about your child what are some things you can do to:

– Mentally prepare your child for school? Putting the date when school will begin on the family calendar or creating a special one for your son will help him make a mental note for when his summer routine will change. Spending time identifying things that will be a novel experience for your child is another productive exercise. If your child is to ride the bus for the first time, you may want to contact the school/bus driver to schedule a time to meet him or her and arrange for a school bus tour.

– Emotionally prepare your child for school? Asking your daughter to express her worries and concerns about school would be the simplest way to approach this but this is not always possible. Young children who have difficulty communicating and expressing themselves require a different tactic. Sometimes all we can do is anticipate what the anxieties might be based on good detective work. If you sense your child is worried that her new teacher will not understand her unique way of relating, make an appointment for them to meet before school starts.

– Cognitively prepare your child for school? Keeping up with reading is one of the best things any parent can do to keep their child’s mind fresh and ready to learn. Increase trips to the library or start now if you haven’t been yet. Reading is key to any child’s school success and extremely important to maintain. Daily reading with your child will give him/her a boost. Kill two birds with one stone by creating a social story about school – you can address his anxieties and increase reading time all in one.

– Socially prepare your child for school? If possible, invite old or new classmates that may have moved into the school system and invite them over so your child can get to know them better and practice her social graces. It can help your child immensely if you rehearse back to school conversation starters and group social skills with them to use with their friends, teachers and other adults.

All in all, there are many things you can do as a parent to fully prepare your child and reduce the risk of tantrum-like behaviors or emotional meltdowns when school time rolls around.

Connie Hammer, MSW, parent educator, consultant and coach, guides parents of young children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder to uncover abilities and change possibilities. For more information about covering all the bases for achieving a back-to-school peace of mind that is priceless go to http://parentcoachingforautism.com/products/back-to-school

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Focusing On Strengths Improves Social Skills Of Adolescents With Autism

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Article Date: 04 Aug 2012 – 0:00 PDT Current ratings for:
Focusing On Strengths Improves Social Skills Of Adolescents With Autism
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The junior high and high school years are emotionally challenging even under the best of circumstances, but for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), that time can be particularly painful. Lacking the social skills that enable them to interact successfully with their peers, these students are often ostracized and even bullied by their classmates.

However, a new study conducted by researchers at the Koegel Autism Center at UC Santa Barbara has found that by playing on their strengths – high intelligence and very specific interests – these adolescents are as capable as anyone else of forging strong friendships. In addition, the research findings demonstrate that the area of the brain that controls such social behavior is not as damaged in adolescents with ASD as was previously believed. The findings appear in a recent issue of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.

“The problem is that their restricted interests can dominate their lives and further push away people they’d like to get to know,” said Robert Koegel, director of the Koegel Autism Center and the study’s lead author. He is also a professor of counseling, clinical, and school psychology and of education in UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. “They’re so highly focused on that interest, people think they’re weird. But by involving themselves in an activity around the interest, they not only make friends but also become valued members of the group. Their specialized skill becomes a strength.”

The research team, which also includes Lynn Koegel, the center’s clinical director, and Sunny Kim, a graduate student in education at UCSB, took a creative approach to helping three boys with ASD to interact with their peers. Rather than discourage their sometimes-obsessive interests, the researchers helped set up social clubs around them and invited students who do not have ASD to join. The clubs provided a venue for the ASD students to display their special interests and abilities, and helped them engage with their peers in a more meaningful way.

Koegel offered the example of a student with ASD who has a keen interest in computer graphics. The team created a graphic design club in which students would design logos for various companies and businesses. Because most of the students lacked the necessary expertise, they depended on their classmate with ASD to make the venture a success. “When he was able to interact on a topic in which he was interested, he was able to demonstrate more normal social behavior,” Koegel said. “He not only made friends with his fellow members, he was elected club president.”

According to Koegel, the findings are also significant because they indicate a higher degree of brain functionality than researchers had previously associated with ASD adolescents. “It has been commonly believed that the part of the brain related to social skills is so damaged that adolescents with ASD are incapable of normal social interaction,” he said. “We demonstrated that not to be the case. Once you can motivate kids to try things, they make dramatic and rapid improvement, which shows the brain is not as damaged as first thought.”

Conducted through the Koegel Center’s Eli & Edythe L. Broad Asperger Center, the study sheds important light on a period of growth and development that is presenting new issues as children who were diagnosed with ASD reach adolescence and young adulthood. “This study is so important because it suggests so much optimism,” Koegel said. “It shows the brain isn’t as damaged as people thought. And it shows that otherwise unhappy individuals can lead more fulfilling lives.”

He added that the research team was pleasantly surprised to see that the students with ASD became highly valued members of their groups, and were given a great deal of dignity and respect. They also noted that, without any instructions or encouragement from any of the researchers, many school peers enthusiastically joined in these club activities and had a great deal of enjoyment throughout and beyond the time frame of the study. “In short, this was a lot of fun for everyone,” Koegel said.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. Other researchers involved with the study include John Danial, a doctoral student at UCLA; and Rosy Fredeen and Derek Rubenstein, doctoral students at UCSB at the time the research was conducted.
University of California – Santa Barbara Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

MLA

n.p. “Focusing On Strengths Improves Social Skills Of Adolescents With Autism.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 4 Aug. 2012. Web.
5 Aug. 2012. APA

Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.


‘Focusing On Strengths Improves Social Skills Of Adolescents With Autism’

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Contact Our News Editors

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View the original article here