Tag Archives: Communication Development

Question?: Rett Syndrome Treatment

Carol asks…

Pervasive Developmental Disorder…?

What is it??? What are the causes? What does it do? How to get rid of it if you can……


admin answers:

Pervasive developmental disorders cause abnormal development, including social and communication development. The symptoms appear early on – by the age of 3 at least, except in one of the disorders – and last throughout the lifetime. There are five of them: autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Autism, Asperger’s, and PDD-NOS are called the autism spectrum.

Symptoms of autism include difficulty socializing and communicating with others, delayed speech, lack of eye contact, difficulty interpreting nonverbal signals, intense fixations and interests, repetitive or compulsive movements, poor motor coordination, and abnormal sensory processing. The severity of these symptoms varies considerably. Asperger’s syndrome is a mild and high-functioning form of autism. The symptoms are the same except there is no speech delay. PDD-NOS is when someone has some autistic traits and significant impairment, but does not meet the diagnostic criteria for another PDD. These disorders have a genetic basis, but researchers have not yet uncovered the specifics. Some people believe environmental factors also play a role.

Childhood disintegrative disorder is when a child appears to be developing normally, then suddenly regresses sometime after the age of 3. The cause of this disorder is unknown. Rett syndrome occurrs almost exclusively in females. Infants with this disorder experience regression between 6-18 months of age. Symptoms include lack of speech, seizures, sensory problems, poor motor coordination, growth abnormalities, and repetitive movements. It is caused by a gene mutation on the X chromosome.

None of the PDDs are curable. There are many treatments available, including occupational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, applied behavior analysis, speech therapy, social skills training, behavior therapy, and certain medications.

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Question?: Autistic Symptoms

Sharon asks…

How can you tell when a child is autistic?

I have known people for years without knowing they’re autistic. I don’t even realize it until they tell me.

How can you tell when a child is autistic? It’s hard for me to tell for some reason

admin answers:

Technically, a physician must perform the tests to determine a proper diagnosis. However, the main areas include a lack of language/communication development, lack of social development or interaction, and intense pre-occupation with one or two particular things (such as trains, sheep, or comic books). Most of these symptoms while be noticable by the age of 3.

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Simple Task For 6-Month-Olds May Predict Risk Of Autism

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Article Date: 18 May 2012 – 1:00 PDT Current ratings for:
‘Simple Task For 6-Month-Olds May Predict Risk Of Autism’
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A new prospective study of six-month-old infants at high genetic risk for autism identified weak head and neck control as a red flag for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and language and/or social developmental delays. Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute concluded that a simple “pull-to-sit” task could be added to existing developmental screenings at pediatric well visits to improve early detection of developmental delays.

“Research aimed at improving early detection of autism has largely focused on measurement of social and communication development,” said Dr. Rebecca Landa, study author and director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute. “However, disruption in early motor development may also provide important clues about developmental disorders such as autism.”

Dr. Landa will present this and other new research on motor delay and how it impacts development of language and social skills at the International Meeting for Autism Research, an annual scientific meeting convening May 17 in Toronto to provide researchers from around the world with a focused opportunity to share the rapidly moving scientific investigation of ASD.

While previous studies have shown that head lag indicates developmental delays in children with cerebral palsy and preterm infants, postural control in infants at risk for ASD had not been examined. In the current study, Dr. Landa and her team assessed infants in a “pull-to-sit” task, a simple measure of postural control in infants. Typically developing infants achieve this type of postural control by four months of age.

Dr. Landa’s team studied two groups of infants. The first group consisted of 40 infants, ages 5.6 to 10 months, considered to be at high genetic risk because a sibling had autism. Dr. Landa and her team examined their ability to maintain head alignment when being carefully, yet firmly, pulled by the arms from lying flat on his/her back to a sitting position. Infants were scored according to whether their head maintained alignment with the spine, or was in front of the spine, during the task. Lack of this head control indicated head lag.

Participants were tested for head lag at 6, 14, 24, and, for outcome diagnosis, at 30 or 36 months, the age that diagnosis of ASD is considered definitive. At the end of the longitudinal study, infants were classified into three outcomes: 90 percent of infants diagnosed with ASD exhibited head lag as infants; 54 percent of children meeting criteria for social/communication delay had exhibited head lag as infants, and; 35 percent of children not meeting the criteria for social or communication delay or ASD exhibited head lag at 6 months. In the second group, researchers examined six-month-olds at a single point in time for the presence of head lag. Dr. Landa and her team found that 75 percent (n =15) of high-risk infants exhibited head lag, compared to 33 percent (n =7) of low-risk infants, further supporting that head lag is more likely in infants at risk of developing ASD. “Our findings show that the evaluation of motor skills should be incorporated with other behavioral assessments to yield insights into the very earliest signs of autism,” said Dr. Landa.

“While previous research shows that motor impairments are linked to social and communication deficits in older children with autism, the field is just starting to examine this in younger children,” said Dr. Landa. “Our initial research suggests that motor delays may have an important impact on child development.”

Building on the head lag research, Dr. Landa’s team conducted a separate longitudinal study with 14-, 24- and 36-month-old children at high and low risk of developing ASD. The study found that motor delay becomes increasingly evident as children with ASD near their third birthday, yet not all children with ASD experience motor delay. Results showed that children with ASD who experience motor delays are more severely impaired by three years of age than children with ASD with no motor delays.

“While more research is needed to examine why not all children with ASD experience motor delay, the results of our studies examining motor development add to the body of research demonstrating that early detection and intervention for infants later diagnosed with autism is possible and remains crucial to minimize delays and improve outcomes,” said Dr. Landa.

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. Kennedy Krieger researchers will present the head lag findings during a poster session on Friday, May 18 between 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET in the Sheraton Centre Toronto, Sheraton Hall. Dr. Landa’s presentation about the impact of motor delays on development will be held on Friday, May 18 at 3:15 p.m. in Grand Ballroom East.
Other researchers who contributed to the head lag study were Joanne Flanagan, MS, OTR/L, of Kennedy Krieger Institute; Anjana Bhat, PT, PhD, of the University of Connecticut; and Margaret Bauman, MD, of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Support for the head lag study was provided by National Institutes of Mental Health, Cure Autism Now (now Autism Speaks) and The Karma Foundation.
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Can I Recognize Signs of Autism in Infants?

Early signs of autism can be detected in children under the age of 24 months, however this early it is an inexact science. Children develop at different rates. Of course, all children should still basically fall in and around the developmental milestones set up by specialists in child development. A child’s pediatrician will ask you standard questions at each checkup regarding your child’s development.

If he/she notices something that may be off, further tests and research may be needed. Also, if you notice what you think may be early signs of autism in your child, vis. no eye contact or smiles or reactions to stimuli around six months of age, no reciprocated feelings of happiness expressed towards you at nine months of age, the lack of babbling and interest in their surroundings by one year, slow communication development, if any of these signs persist well past the gray area of the developmental milestone, be sure to consult with your pediatrician.

While, a doctor is remit to diagnose any disorder within the autism spectrum before two years of age, if it is a possibility, then treatment of a sort can begin. Early recognition of developmental difficulties will make it much easier to help your child manage them as he/she grows older. Even if it isn’t autism, activities involving social interaction, activities geared towards helping a child become familiar with their environment and to take active interest in it, and the setting of a basic schedule so as to give the child some structure and safety net in their life, will help with developmental delays. If detected during infancy this also gives the parent a good amount of time to come to terms with the changes their life is going to go through.

The biggest factor in dealing with Autism is patience. Children with developmental disorders need to feel the nurture and compassion from their caregivers as early on as infancy. They may not respond in ways that you feel are normal, but a loving patient attitude from the parent, caregivers, etc. will help the child to feel safe and confident in their world. This is a great ease on their mind and will actually help them to learn, grow, and develop. Fear is one of the biggest adversaries of personal growth-physical, mental, and emotional. It is the responsibility of the adults in any child’s life to alleviate this debilitating emotion.

Remember, just because your child is experiencing some developmental delays does not mean that the final prognosis is Autism, or any other developmental disorder. Children develop at different rates, it can’t be stressed enough. Some even learn to walk skipping the crawling milestone completely. And as long as your child is effectively communicating with you even if not in full sentences when he/she is supposed to, does not mean the child has a disorder.

Don’t be afraid to talk this over with your child’s pediatrician though. Any worries or fears should be discussed because it is the primary physician that will best be able to alleviate your fears. This in turn will help you to give your child a more stable, comfortable environment, whether or not the child has autism.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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Autism Teacher Training – Is There An Oversight That Autistic Children With A General Education May Experience Setbacks?

Autism Teacher Training

While many schools try to integrate children with learning challenges into the mainstream classroom, autistic children with a general education could experience setbacks because of the environment in school. A classroom not suited to autistic behaviors and teachers or students not understanding disorder characteristics could hinder the learning ability of an autistic student. Autism Teacher Training

An inclusion school environment can be successful if teachers have experience and training in autistic education. Not having the proper training could lead to setbacks in an autistic child’s verbal and nonverbal communication development, sensory processing, social interaction and imaginative or creative play.

Because autism affects non disordered pupils with habits stressful to others, teachers need to help all students adapt by using different techniques based on the needs of the autistic child. Because autistic children have habits, such as repetitive behavior or sudden outbursts for no reason, a classroom needs to be flexible in order to conform to an individual’s learning needs and be capable of addressing behavioral issues in a calm and understanding, yet disciplinary, manner.

Mainstream schools with successful autism inclusion rely on visual aids, structure and routine to ensure that there are no setbacks later in life for an autistic student. In addition, by pairing an autistic child with a traditional student, an autistic student’s socialization improves through peer interaction and anxiety is reduced. With a well rounded education, the autistic student will be able to conduct daily living needs and function in society as an adult. Autism Teacher Training

While most people rely on two or three learning styles, autistic students use only one style of learning. Because autistic children have different learning styles than traditional students, a dual curriculum is necessary in certain general education areas. Otherwise, the autistic child will be unable to process the information being taught. Autistic children whose learning style is not being met can cause disruptive behavior, such as running around in the classroom or not listening to the teacher. In these situations, a classroom may not be suited for autistic learning.

If teaching styles in a mainstream school cannot be adapted, then a school that is tailored towards the autistic student is the best option. The school environment and teachings will be better geared to the student and there will be no issues with not understanding the behaviors of the disorder.

However, there are pros and cons when comparing an inclusion school to an autistic needs tailor made school. While autistic students can learn from other students, a general education could cause setbacks if educators fail to modify their teaching styles to accommodate autistic students. However, a school tailored only to autism shelters autistic children and prevents them from learning societal challenges among others without the disorder. Autism Teacher Training

While the debate continues to ask whether a general education can cause setbacks, it is known that a proper education for an autistic student requires a nurturing environment that allows the individual to feel comfortable in learning. By doing so, autistic students will be able to find their talents and succeed in life. Don’t let your love ones suffer anymore! Lead them out through Autism Teacher Training program now!

Feeling lost without solutions? Autism Teacher Training is a proven Autism Solution for your Child. Try The Program and change child’s life forever!
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