Tag Archives: Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders

Question?: Pdd Nos Symptoms

Donald asks…

my 6 yr old was just dxd with pdd-nos we had her iep at school yesterday, but i need some advice?

need help understanding pddnos what is my child allowed to have in school? whats types of behavior are similar to other kids, need to talk to someone with a child with same issues

admin answers:

I taught a few students diagnosed with PDD-NOS and for the most part they had what is called SDD – Significant Developmental Delays. This means they may be behind in growth or hitting typical milestones in development. One of my students was very intelligent; however, he did not interact well among his peers socially. With each child, behavior varies. Here’s some more information below…

Hope this helps!

Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD)
Home > About Autism > What are Autism Spectrum Disorders? > Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD)

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Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD)
The term “PDD” is widely used by professionals to refer to children with autism and related disorders; however, there is a great deal of disagreement and confusion among professionals concerning the PDD label. Diagnosis of PDD, including autism or any other developmental disability, is based upon the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association (Washington, DC, 1994), and is the main diagnostic reference of mental health professionals in the U.S.

According to the DSM-IV, the term “PDD” is not a specific diagnosis, but an umbrella term under which the specific diagnoses are defined.

Diagnostic labels are used to indicate commonalities among individuals. The key defining symptom of autism that differentiates it from other syndromes and/or conditions is substantial impairment in social interaction (Frith, 1989). The diagnosis of autism indicates that qualitative impairments in communication, social skills, and range of interests and activities exist. As no medical tests can be performed to indicate the presence of autism or any other PDD, the diagnosis is based upon the presence or absence of specific behaviors. For example, a child may be diagnosed as having PDD-NOS if he or she has some behaviors that are seen in autism, but does not meet the full criteria for having autism. Most importantly, whether a child is diagnosed with a PDD (like autism) or a PDD-NOS, his/her treatment will be similar.

Autism is a spectrum disorder, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. As a spectrum disorder, the level of developmental delay is unique to each individual. If a diagnosis of PDD-NOS is made, rather than autism, the diagnosticians should clearly specify the behaviors present. Evaluation reports are more useful if they are specific and become more helpful for parents and professionals in later years when reevaluations are conducted.

Ideally, a multidisciplinary team of professionals should evaluate a child suspected of having autism. The team may include, but may not be limited to, a psychologist or psychiatrist, a speech pathologist and other medical professionals, including a developmental pediatrician and/or neurologist. Parents and teachers should also be included, as they have important information to share when determining a child’s diagnosis.

In the end, parents should be more concerned that their child find the appropriate educational treatment based on their needs, rather than spending too much effort to find the perfect diagnostic label. Most often, programs designed specifically for children with autism will produce greater benefits, while the use of the general PDD label can prevent children from obtaining services relative to their needs.

Behaviors:
The central features of Autistic Disorder are the presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication, and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interest. The manifestations of this disorder vary greatly depending on the developmental level and chronological age of the individual. Autistic Disorder is sometimes referred to as Early Infantile Autism, Childhood Autism, or Kanner’s Autism (page 66).

A. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and (3), with at least two from (1), and one each from (2) and (3):

Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
Marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction .
Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest)
Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:
Delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gestures or mime)
In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language
Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level
Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
Persistent preoccupation with parts of object
B. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:

Social interaction
Language as used in social communication
Symbolic or imaginative play
C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

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Question?: Rett Syndrome In Boys

Ken asks…

what are difference between autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and Rett syndrome.?

please list similarities and differences, thank you

admin answers:

I have been diangnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.It’s a type of high functioning autisim.Here is some information I have found on all three conditions.

Autism
Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability, patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior.
Although the specific etiology of autism is unknown, many researchers suspect that autism results from genetically mediated vulnerabilities to environmental triggers. And while there is disagreement about the magnitude, nature, and mechanisms for such environmental factors, researchers have found at least seven major genes prevalent among individuals diagnosed as autistic. Some estimate that autism occurs in as many as one United States child in 166, however the National Institute of Mental Health gives a more conservative estimate of one in 1000[1]. For families that already have one autistic child, the odds of a second autistic child may be as high as one in twenty. Although autism is about 3 to 4 times more common in boys, girls with the disorder tend to have more severe symptoms and greater cognitive impairment. Diagnosis is based on a list of psychiatric criteria, and a series of standardized clinical tests may also be used.
Autism may not be physiologically obvious. A complete physical and neurological evaluation will typically be part of diagnosing autism. Some now speculate that autism is not a single condition but a group of several distinct conditions that manifest in similar ways.
By definition, autism must manifest delays in “social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play,” with “onset prior to age 3 years”, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The ICD-10 also says that symptoms must “manifest before the age of three years.” There have been large increases in the reported incidence of autism, for reasons that are heavily debated by researchers in psychology and related fields within the scientific community.
Some children with autism have improved their social and other skills to the point where they can fully participate in mainstream education and social events, but there are lingering concerns that an absolute cure from autism is impossible with current technology. However, many autistic children and adults who are able to communicate (at least in writing) are opposed to attempts to cure their conditions, and see such conditions as part of who they are.
There is a great diversity in the skills and behaviors of individuals diagnosed as autistic, and physicians will often arrive at different conclusions about the appropriate diagnosis. Much of this is due to the sensory system of autistics, which is quite different from the sensory system of other people, since certain stimulations can affect an autist differently than a non-autist, and the degree to which the sensory system is affected varies wildly from one autistic person to another.
Nevertheless, professionals within pediatric care and development often look for early indicators of autism in order to initiate treatment as early as possible. However, some people do not believe in treatment for autism, either because they do not believe autism is a disorder or because they believe treatment can do more harm than good.
Social development
Typically, developing infants are social beings—early in life they do such things as gaze at people, turn toward voices, grasp a finger, and even smile. In contrast, most autistic children prefer objects to faces and seem to have tremendous difficulty learning to engage in the give-and-take of everyday human interaction. Even in the first few months of life, many seem indifferent to other people because they avoid eye contact and do not interact with them as often as non-autistic children.
Children with autism often appear to prefer being alone to the company of others and may passively accept such things as hugs and cuddling without reciprocating, or resist attention altogether. Later, they seldom seek comfort from others or respond to parents’ displays of anger or affection in a typical way. Research has suggested that although autistic children are attached to their parents, their expression of this attachment is unusual and difficult to interpret. Parents who looked forward to the joys of cuddling, teaching, and playing with their child may feel crushed by this lack of expected attachment behavior.
Children with autism often also appear to lack “theory of mind”, the ability to see things from another person’s perspective, a behavior cited as exclusive to human beings above the age of five and, possibly, other higher primates such as adult gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. Typical 5-year-olds can develop insights into other people’s different knowledge, feelings, and intentions, interpretations based upon social cues (e.g., gestures, facial expressions). An individual with autism seems to lack these interpretation skills, an inability that leaves them unable to predict or understand other people’s actions. The social alienation of autistic and Asperger’s people can be so intense from childhood that many of them have imaginary friends as companionship. However, having an imaginary friend is not necessarily a sign of autism and also occurs in non-autistic children.
Although not universal, it is common for autistic people to not be able to regulate their behavior. This can take the form of crying or verbal outbursts that may seem out of proportion to the situation or self-injurious behaviours. Individuals with autism generally prefer consistent routines and environments; they may react negatively to changes in them. It is not uncommon for these individuals to exhibit aggression, increased levels of self-stimulatory behavior, self-injury or extensive withdrawal in overwhelming situations.
Sensory system
A key indicator to clinicians making a proper assessment for autism would include looking for symptoms much like those found in sensory integration dysfunction. Children will exhibit problems coping with the normal sensory input. Indicators of this disorder include oversensitivity or underreactivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds; physical clumsiness or carelessness; poor body awareness; a tendency to be easily distracted; impulsive physical or verbal behavior; an activity level that is unusually high or low; not unwinding or calming oneself; difficulty learning new movements; difficulty in making transitions from one situation to another; social and/or emotional problems; delays in speech, language or motor skills; specific learning difficulties/delays in academic achievement.
One common example is an individual with autism hearing. A person with autism may have trouble hearing certain people while other people are louder than usual. Or the person with autism may be unable to filter out sounds in certain situations, such as in a large crowd of people (see cocktail party effect). However, this is perhaps the part of the autism that tends to vary the most from person to person, so these examples may not apply to every autistic.
Communication difficulties
By age 3, typical children have passed predictable language learning milestones; one of the earliest is babbling. By the first birthday, a typical toddler says words, turns when he or she hears his or her name, points when he or she wants a toy, and when offered something distasteful, makes it clear that the answer is “no.” Speech development in people with autism takes different paths. Some remain mute throughout their lives with varying degrees of literacy; communication in other ways—images, visual clues, sign language, and typing may be far more natural to them. Some infants who later show signs of autism coo and babble during the first few months of life, but stop soon afterwards. Others may be delayed, developing language as late as the teenage years. Still, inability to speak does not mean that people with autism are unintelligent or unaware. Once given appropriate accommodations, many will happily converse for hours, and can often be found in online chat rooms, discussion boards or websites and even using communication devices at autism-community social events such as Autreat.
Those who do speak often use language in unusual ways, retaining features of earlier stages of language development for long periods or throughout their lives. Some speak only single words, while others repeat the same phrase over and over. Some repeat what they hear, a condition called echolalia. Sing-song repetitions in particular are a calming, joyous activity that many autistic adults engage in. Many people with autism have a strong tonal sense, and can often understand spoken language. Some children may exhibit only slight delays in language, or even seem to have precocious language and unusually large vocabularies, but have great difficulty in sustaining typical conversations. The “give and take” of non-autistic conversation is hard for them, although they often carry on a monologue on a favorite subject, giving no one else an opportunity to comment. When given the chance to converse with other autistics, they comfortably do so in “parallel monologue”—taking turns expressing views and information. Just as “neurotypicals” (people without autism) have trouble understanding autistic body languages, vocal tones, or phraseology, people with autism similarly have trouble with such things in people without autism. In particular, autistic language abilities tend to be highly literal; people without autism often inappropriately attribute hidden meaning to what people with autism say or expect the person with autism to sense such unstated meaning in their own words.
The body language of people with autism can be difficult for other people to understand. Facial expressions, movements, and gestures may be easily understood by some other people with autism, but do not match those used by other people. Also, their tone of voice has a much more subtle inflection in reflecting their feelings, and the auditory system of a person without autism often cannot sense the fluctuations. What seems to non-autistic people like a high-pitched, sing-song, or flat, robot-like voice is common in autistic children. Some autistic children with relatively good language skills speak like little adults, rather than communicating at their current age level, which is one of the things that can lead to problems.
Since non-autistic people are often unfamiliar with the autistic body language, and since autistic natural language may not tend towards speech, autistic people often struggle to let other people know what they need. As anybody might do in such a situation, they may scream in frustration or resort to grabbing what they want. While waiting for non-autistic people to learn to communicate with them, people with autism do whatever they can to get through to them. Communication difficulties may contribute to autistic people becoming socially anxious or depressed.
Repetitive behaviors
Although people with autism usually appear physically normal and have good muscle control, unusual repetitive motions, known as self-stimulation or “stimming,” may set them apart. These behaviors might be extreme and highly apparent or more subtle. Some children and older individuals spend a lot of time repeatedly flapping their arms or wiggling their toes, others suddenly freeze in position. As children, they might spend hours lining up their cars and trains in a certain way, not using them for pretend play. If someone accidentally moves one of these toys, the child may be tremendously upset. Autistic children often need, and demand, absolute consistency in their environment. A slight change in any routine—in mealtimes, dressing, taking a bath, or going to school at a certain time and by the same route—can be extremely disturbing. People with autism sometimes have a persistent, intense preoccupation. For example, the child might be obsessed with learning all about vacuum cleaners, train schedules or lighthouses. Often they show great interest in different languages, numbers, symbols or science topics. Repetitive behaviors can also extend into the spoken word as well. Perseveration of a single word or phrase, even for a specific number of times can also become a part of the child’s daily routine.
Effects in education
Children with autism are affected with these symptoms every day. These unusual characteristics set them apart from the everyday normal student. Because they have trouble understanding people’s thoughts and feelings, they have trouble understanding what their teacher may be telling them. They do not understand that facial expressions and vocal variations hold meanings and may misinterpret what emotion their instructor is displaying. This inability to fully decipher the world around them makes education stressful. Teachers need to be aware of a student’s disorder so that they are able to help the student get the best out of the lessons being taught.
Some students learn better with visual aids as they are better able to understand material presented this way. Because of this, many teachers create “visual schedules” for their autistic students. This allows the student to know what is going on throughout the day, so they know what to prepare for and what activity they will be doing next. Some autistic children have trouble going from one activity to the next, so this visual schedule can help to reduce stress.
Research has shown that working in pairs may be beneficial to autistic children. Autistic students have problems in schools not only with language and communication, but with socialization as well. They feel self-conscious about themselves and many feel that they will always be outcasts. By allowing them to work with peers they can make friends, which in turn can help them cope with the problems that arise. By doing so they can become more integrated into the mainstream environment of the classroom.
A teacher’s aide can also be useful to the student. The aide is able to give more elaborate directions that the teacher may not have time to explain to the autistic child. The aide can also facilitate the autistic child in such a way as to allow them to stay at a similar level to the rest of the class. This allows a partially one-on-one lesson structure so that the child is still able to stay in a normal classroom but be given the extra help that they need.
There are many different techniques that teachers can use to assist their students. A teacher needs to become familiar with the child’s disorder to know what will work best with that particular child. Every child is going to be different and teachers have to be able to adjust with every one of them.
Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders typically have high levels of anxiety and stress, particularly in social environments like school. If a student exhibits aggressive or explosive behavior, it is important for educational teams to recognize the impact of stress and anxiety. Preparing students for new situations by writing Social Stories can lower anxiety. Teaching social and emotional concepts using systematic teaching approaches such as The Incredible 5-Point Scale or other Cognitive Behavioral strategies can increase a student’s ability to control excessive behavioral reactions.
There is a great diversity in the skills and behaviors of individuals diagnosed as autistic, and physicians will often arrive at different conclusions about the appropriate diagnosis. Much of this is due to the sensory system of autistics, which is quite different from the sensory system of other people, since certain stimulations can affect an autist differently than a non-autist, and the degree to which the sensory system is affected varies wildly from one autistic person to another.
Nevertheless, professionals within pediatric care and development often look for early indicators of autism in order to initiate treatment as early as possible. However, some people do not believe in treatment for autism, either because they do not believe autism is a disorder or because they believe treatment can do more harm than good.
Social development
Typically, developing infants are social beings—early in life they do such things as gaze at people, turn toward voices, grasp a finger, and even smile. In contrast, most autistic children prefer objects to faces and seem to have tremendous difficulty learning to engage in the give-and-take of everyday human interaction. Even in the first few months of life, many seem indifferent to other people because they avoid eye contact and do not interact with them as often as non-autistic children.
Children with autism often appear to prefer being alone to the company of others and may passively accept such things as hugs and cuddling without reciprocating, or resist attention altogether. Later, they seldom seek comfort from others or respond to parents’ displays of anger or affection in a typical way. Research has suggested that although autistic children are attached to their parents, their expression of this attachment is unusual and difficult to interpret. Parents who looked forward to the joys of cuddling, teaching, and playing with their child may feel crushed by this lack of expected attachment behavior.
Children with autism often also appear to lack “theory of mind”, the ability to see things from another person’s perspective, a behavior cited as exclusive to human beings above the age of five and, possibly, other higher primates such as adult gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. Typical 5-year-olds can develop insights into other people’s different knowledge, feelings, and intentions, interpretations based upon social cues (e.g., gestures, facial expressions). An individual with autism seems to lack these interpretation skills, an inability that leaves them unable to predict or understand other people’s actions. The social alienation of autistic and Asperger’s people can be so intense from childhood that many of them have imaginary friends as companionship. However, having an imaginary friend is not necessarily a sign of autism and also occurs in non-autistic children.
Although not universal, it is common for autistic people to not be able to regulate their behavior. This can take the form of crying or verbal outbursts that may seem out of proportion to the situation or self-injurious behaviours. Individuals with autism generally prefer consistent routines and environments; they may react negatively to changes in them. It is not uncommon for these individuals to exhibit aggression, increased levels of self-stimulatory behavior, self-injury or extensive withdrawal in overwhelming situations.
Sensory system
A key indicator to clinicians making a proper assessment for autism would include looking for symptoms much like those found in sensory integration dysfunction. Children will exhibit problems coping with the normal sensory input. Indicators of this disorder include oversensitivity or underreactivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds; physical clumsiness or carelessness; poor body awareness; a tendency to be easily distracted; impulsive physical or verbal behavior; an activity level that is unusually high or low; not unwinding or calming oneself; difficulty learning new movements; difficulty in making transitions from one situation to another; social and/or emotional problems; delays in speech, language or motor skills; specific learning difficulties/delays in academic achievement.
One common example is an individual with autism hearing. A person with autism may have trouble hearing certain people while other people are louder than usual. Or the person with autism may be unable to filter out sounds in certain situations, such as in a large crowd of people (see cocktail party effect). However, this is perhaps the part of the autism that tends to vary the most from person to person, so these examples may not apply to every autistic.
Communication difficulties
By age 3, typical children have passed predictable language learning milestones; one of the earliest is babbling. By the first birthday, a typical toddler says words, turns when he or she hears his or her name, points when he or she wants a toy, and when offered something distasteful, makes it clear that the answer is “no.” Speech development in people with autism takes different paths. Some remain mute throughout their lives with varying degrees of literacy; communication in other ways—images, visual clues, sign language, and typing may be far more natural to them. Some infants who later show signs of autism coo and babble during the first few months of life, but stop soon afterwards. Others may be delayed, developing language as late as the teenage years. Still, inability to speak does not mean that people with autism are unintelligent or unaware. Once given appropriate accommodations, many will happily converse for hours, and can often be found in online chat rooms, discussion boards or websites and even using communication devices at autism-community social events such as Autreat.
Those who do speak often use language in unusual ways, retaining features of earlier stages of language development for long periods or throughout their lives. Some speak only single words, while others repeat the same phrase over and over. Some repeat what they hear, a condition called echolalia. Sing-song repetitions in particular are a calming, joyous activity that many autistic adults engage in. Many people with autism have a strong tonal sense, and can often understand spoken language. Some children may exhibit only slight delays in language, or even seem to have precocious language and unusually large vocabularies, but have great difficulty in sustaining typical conversations. The “give and take” of non-autistic conversation is hard for them, although they often carry on a monologue on a favorite subject, giving no one else an opportunity to comment. When given the chance to converse with other autistics, they comfortably do so in “parallel monologue”—taking turns expressing views and information. Just as “neurotypicals” (people without autism) have trouble understanding autistic body languages, vocal tones, or phraseology, people with autism similarly have trouble with such things in people without autism. In particular, autistic language abilities tend to be highly literal; people without autism often inappropriately attribute hidden meaning to what people with autism say or expect the person with autism to sense such unstated meaning in their own words.
The body language of people with autism can be difficult for other people to understand. Facial expressions, movements, and gestures may be easily understood by some other people with autism, but do not match those used by other people. Also, their tone of voice has a much more subtle inflection in reflecting their feelings, and the auditory system of a person without autism often cannot sense the fluctuations. What seems to non-autistic people like a high-pitched, sing-song, or flat, robot-like voice is common in autistic children. Some autistic children with relatively good language skills speak like little adults, rather than communicating at their current age level, which is one of the things that can lead to problems.
Since non-autistic people are often unfamiliar with the autistic body language, and since autistic natural language may not tend towards speech, autistic people often struggle to let other people know what they need. As anybody might do in such a situation, they may scream in frustration or resort to grabbing what they want. While waiting for non-autistic people to learn to communicate with them, people with autism do whatever they can to get through to them. Communication difficulties may contribute to autistic people becoming socially anxious or depressed.
Repetitive behaviors
Although people with autism usually appear physically normal and have good muscle control, unusual repetitive motions, known as self-stimulation or “stimming,” may set them apart. These behaviors might be extreme and highly apparent or more subtle. Some children and older individuals spend a lot of time repeatedly flapping their arms or wiggling their toes, others suddenly freeze in position. As children, they might spend hours lining up their cars and trains in a certain way, not using them for pretend play. If someone accidentally moves one of these toys, the child may be tremendously upset. Autistic children often need, and demand, absolute consistency in their environment. A slight change in any routine—in mealtimes, dressing, taking a bath, or going to school at a certain time and by the same route—can be extremely disturbing. People with autism sometimes have a persistent, intense preoccupation. For example, the child might be obsessed with learning all about vacuum cleaners, train schedules or lighthouses. Often they show great interest in different languages, numbers, symbols or science topics. Repetitive behaviors can also extend into the spoken word as well. Perseveration of a single word or phrase, even for a specific number of times can also become a part of the child’s daily routine.
Effects in education
Children with autism are affected with these symptoms every day. These unusual characteristics set them apart from the everyday normal student. Because they have trouble understanding people’s thoughts and feelings, they have trouble understanding what their teacher may be telling them. They do not understand that facial expressions and vocal variations hold meanings and may misinterpret what emotion their instructor is displaying. This inability to fully decipher the world around them makes education stressful. Teachers need to be aware of a student’s disorder so that they are able to help the student get the best out of the lessons being taught.
Some students learn better with visual aids as they are better able to understand material presented this way. Because of this, many teachers create “visual schedules” for their autistic students. This allows the student to know what is going on throughout the day, so they know what to prepare for and what activity they will be doing next. Some autistic children have trouble going from one activity to the next, so this visual schedule can help to reduce stress.
Research has shown that working in pairs may be beneficial to autistic children. Autistic students have problems in schools not only with language and communication, but with socialization as well. They feel self-conscious about themselves and many feel that they will always be outcasts. By allowing them to work with peers they can make friends, which in turn can help them cope with the problems that arise. By doing so they can become more integrated into the mainstream environment of the classroom.
A teacher’s aide can also be useful to the student. The aide is able to give more elaborate directions that the teacher may not have time to explain to the autistic child. The aide can also facilitate the autistic child in such a way as to allow them to stay at a similar level to the rest of the class. This allows a partially one-on-one lesson structure so that the child is still able to stay in a normal classroom but be given the extra help that they need.
There are many different techniques that teachers can use to assist their students. A teacher needs to become familiar with the child’s disorder to know what will work best with that particular child. Every child is going to be different and teachers have to be able to adjust with every one of them.
Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders typically have high levels of anxiety and stress, particularly in social environments like school. If a student exhibits aggressive or explosive behavior, it is important for educational teams to recognize the impact of stress and anxiety. Preparing students for new situations by writing Social Stories can lower anxiety. Teaching social and emotional concepts using systematic teaching approaches such as The Incredible 5-Point Scale or other Cognitive Behavioral strategies can increase a student’s ability to control excessive behavioral reactions.
Asperger’s Syndrome
Asperger syndrome (sometimes called Asperger’s syndrome, AS, or the more common shorthand Asperger’s), is characterized as one of the five pervasive developmental disorders, and is commonly referred to as a form of high-functioning autism. In very broad terms, individuals with Asperger’s have normal or above average intellectual capacity, and atypical or poorly developed social skills, often with emotional/social development or integration happening later than usual as a result.
Like other conditions classified as autism spectrum disorders, Asperger syndrome appears to be more prevalent among males than females, with males making up approximately 75–80 percent of diagnoses. Many clinicians believe that this may not reflect the actual incidence among females; well-known Asperger syndrome expert Tony Attwood suggests that females learn to better compensate for their impairments because of differences in socialization (Attwood, pp 151–2). Some preliminary evidence for this is found in the Ehlers & Gillberg study, which found a 4:1 male to female ratio in the people they thought definitely had Asperger’s but a much less lopsided 2.3 to 1 ratio when merely suspected or otherwise borderline cases were included.
The overwhelming majority of available information on Asperger syndrome relates to children; there is currently more conjecture than hard evidence on how it affects adults. It is thought that most people with Asperger syndrome learn to cope with their social impairments later in life. However, there is no “cure” as such, and some people, including prominent clinicians such as Attwood and some of those diagnosed with Asperger’s, would strenuously argue that a cure is neither possible nor desirable (see “A gift and a curse” and “Culture” below), mainly pointing out that the syndrome is a hereditary trait and attempts to “cure” or eliminate it would be an example of eugenics. Organizations such as Cure Autism Now disagree; this remains a highly controversial area.
The most common and important characteristics of Asperger syndrome can be divided into several broad categories: social impairments, narrow but intense interests, and speech and language peculiarities. Other features are commonly associated with this syndrome but not always held to be necessary for diagnosis. This section reflects mainly Attwood, Gillberg, and Wing’s thinking on the most important characteristics of Asperger; the DSM-IV criteria (see below) represent a slightly different view.
Social impairments
Although there is no single feature that all people with Asperger syndrome share, difficulties with social behavior are nearly universal and are perhaps the most important criteria that define the condition. People with Asperger syndrome lack the natural ability to see the subtexts of social interaction (sometimes resulting in well-meaning remarks that may offend and so on, finding it hard to know what is “acceptable”) and also tend to lack the ability to broadcast their own emotional state.
Non-autistics, often colloquially called neurotypicals, are able to gather a host of information about other people’s cognitive and emotional states based on clues gleaned from the environment and the other person’s facial expression and body language, but people with Asperger syndrome have an impairment in this ability, sometimes called mind-blindness. To be mind-blind is to find it difficult or even impossible to figure out things a person implies but does not say directly (more colloquially, to “read between the lines”). This is not because they cannot imagine the answer but because they cannot choose between the possibilities; the mind-blind person cannot reliably gather enough information to do so or does not know how to interpret the information that they do gather.
Along with this difficulty in reading the nonverbal communication of others, most people with Asperger’s have difficulty expressing their own emotional state via body language, facial expression, and nuances as most people do. Some such people have emotional responses as strong as, or perhaps stronger than, those of most people, although what generates an emotional response might not always be the same; the difficulty is in expressing these feelings, although it sometimes comes across as lacking them. And some such people do truly lack, or have reduced levels of emotions. For example, many people with Asperger syndrome have difficulty with eye contact. Some make very little eye contact because they find it overwhelming, whereas others have unmodulated, staring eye contact that can cause discomfort to other people. Similarly, the use of gestures may be almost nonexistent or may seem exaggerated and differ from what would normally be considered appropriate for a situation.
It is worth noting that because it is classified as a spectrum disorder, some people with Asperger syndrome are nearly normal in their ability to read and use facial expressions and other subtle forms of communication. However, this ability does not come naturally to most people with Asperger syndrome. Such people must learn social skills intellectually, delaying social development.
Some people feel that much of the social difficulties in Asperger Syndrome are more accurately characterized as “mutual misunderstanding”, in that neither the “aspie” nor the neurotypical understands each other. Some autistics assert that they have a much easier time reading body language of other autistic people, and that neurotypicals have difficulties interpreting autistic body language. Comparing the nonverbal communication problems that often occur between people from different cultures is a common defense given for this theory.
Narrow, intense interests
Asperger syndrome can involve an intense and obsessive level of focus on things of interest. For example, one person might be obsessed with 1950s professional wrestling, another with national anthems of African dictatorships, or another with building models out of matchsticks. Particularly common interests are means of transport (such as trains), computers, maths (particularly specific aspects, such as pi), astronomy, geography, and dinosaurs. Note that all of these last items are normal interests in ordinary children; the difference in Asperger children is the unusual intensity of their interest.
Sometimes these interests are lifelong; in other cases, they change at unpredictable intervals. In either case, there are normally one or two at any given time. In pursuit of these interests, the person with Asperger’s often manifests extremely sophisticated reason, an almost obsessive focus, and great memory for apparently trivial facts (occasionally even eidetic memory). Hans Asperger called his young patients “little professors” because he thought his thirteen-year-old patients had as comprehensive and nuanced an understanding of their field of interest as university professors.
Some clinicians would not entirely agree with this description; for example, Wing and Gillberg both argue that there is often more rote memorization than real understanding of these areas of interest, despite occasional appearances to the contrary. However, such a limitation is not required for diagnosis, even under Gillberg’s criteria.
Children and adolescents with Asperger syndrome often have little patience for things outside these areas of interest. During the school years, many are perceived as highly intelligent underachievers or overachievers, clearly capable of outperforming their peers in their field of interest yet persistently unmotivated to do regular homework assignments (sometimes even in their areas of interest). Others, in contrast, may be hypermotivated to outperform peers in school. This adds to the difficulties of diagnosing the syndrome. In more serious cases, the combination of social problems and intense interests can lead to unusual behavior, such as greeting a stranger by launching into a lengthy monologue about a special interest rather than introducing oneself in the socially-accepted way. However, in many cases adults can outgrow this impatience and lack of motivation and develop more tolerance to new activities and meeting new people.
Speech and language peculiarities
People with Asperger syndrome often are noted for having a highly pedantic way of speaking, using language far more formal and structured than the situation normally would be thought to call for. A five-year-old child with this condition may regularly speak in language that could easily have come from a university textbook, especially on his or her special area of interest.
Literal interpretation is another common but not universal hallmark of this condition. Attwood gives the example of a girl with Asperger syndrome who answered the telephone one day and was asked “Is Paul there?”. Although the Paul in question was in the house, he was not in the room with her, so after looking around to ascertain this, she simply said “no” and hung up. The person on the other end had to call back and explain to her that he meant for her to find him and get him to pick up the telephone (Attwood 78).
Many people with Asperger syndrome also make idiosyncratic use of words, including new coinages and unusual juxtapositions. This can develop into a rare gift for humor (especially puns, wordplay, doggerel, satire) or writing. Another potential source of humor is the eventual realization that their literal interpretations can be used to amuse others. Some are so proficient with written language as to qualify as hyperlexic. Tony Attwood refers to a particular child’s skill at inventing expressions, e.g. “tidying down” (the opposite of tidying up) or “broken” (when referring to a baby brother who cannot walk or talk) (Attwood, 82).
Other characteristics
Those affected by Asperger’s may also manifest a range of other sensory, developmental, and physiological anomalies. Children with Asperger’s may evidence a delay in the development of fine motor skills. In some cases (although with many exceptions) people with AS may have an odd way of walking, or display compulsive finger, hand, or arm movements.
In general, orderly things appeal to people with Asperger’s. Some researchers mention the imposition of rigid routines (on self or others) as a criterion for diagnosing this condition. It appears that changes to their routines cause inordinate levels of anxiety for some people with this condition (Attwood 100).
Some people with Asperger’s experience varying degrees of sensory overload and are extremely sensitive to touch, smells, sounds, tastes, and sights. They may prefer soft clothing, familiar scents, or certain foods. Some may even be pathologically sensitive to loud noises or strong smells or dislike being touched; for example, certain children with Asperger’s exhibit a strong dislike of having their head touched or their hair disturbed. Sensory overload may exacerbate problems faced by such children at school, where levels of noise in the classroom can become intolerable for them. Some are also unable to block out certain repetitive stimuli, such as the constant ticking of a clock. Whereas most children stop registering this sound after a short time and can hear it only if they consciously listen for it, the child with Asperger’s can become distracted, agitated, or even (in rare cases) violent if the sound is not removed.
Additionally, people with Asperger’s exhibiting severe symptoms may frequently be diagnosed with clinical depression, Oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, General anxiety disorder, Bipolar disorder, Obsessive compulsive disorder, or Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. However, while elements from all of these conditions are associated with Asperger syndrome, the cause is usually Asperger’s itself and not a separate condition. While there may be a correlation between them, the disorders are in fact distinct from one another. There is research which indicates people with Asperger’s may in fact be far more likely to have the associated conditions, but for now the connection is largely one of resemblance.
Asperger syndrome usually leads to problems in social interaction with peers. These can be severe, especially in childhood and adolescence; children with Asperger syndrome often are the target of teasing and bullying at school because of their idiosyncratic behavior, language, interests, and their lowered or delayed ability to perceive and respond in socially expected ways to nonverbal cues, particularly in interpersonal conflict. A child or teen with Asperger syndrome often is puzzled as to the source of this mistreatment, unaware of what has been done “wrong.” Those who are aware of their condition may come to recognize such errors, but almost never immediately upon making them. The social alienation of children with Asperger syndrome can be so intense that they create imaginary friends for companionship (although this is certainly not specific to Asperger syndrome, since non-autistics may do the same). Even later in life, many people with Asperger’s report a feeling of being unwillingly detached from the world around them.
Bullying and other reasons were cited as a cause for William Freund’s rampage in October 2005.
One example of this sort of bullying: non-Autistic students will pretend to befriend those with Asperger’s syndrome by using sarcasm and intense use of “sexual phrases” which many children with Asperger’s syndrome may not recognize as such. The Asperger’s child is unaware he is being bullied and believes he has a true friend, while the “normal” child and his friends are laughing at him.
Children with Asperger syndrome often display advanced abilities for their age in language, reading, mathematics, spatial skills, and/or music, sometimes into the “gifted” range, but this may be counterbalanced by appreciable delays in other developmental areas. This combination of traits can create problems with teachers and other authority figures. (It may be relevant here that one of the social conventions many people with Asperger’s syndrome ignore is respect for authority. Attwood notes a tendency to feel that everyone should be treated much the same regardless of what social position they occupy; the student with Asperger’s syndrome may not give respect to an authority figure until he or she feels it has been earned, an attitude many teachers either do not understand or take strong exception to.) Like many other gifted children, a child with Asperger’s might be regarded by teachers as a “problem child” or a “poor performer.” The child’s extremely low tolerance for what they perceive to be mundane and mediocre tasks (such as typical homework assignments) can easily become frustrating; the teacher may well consider the child arrogant, spiteful, and insubordinate. Meanwhile, the child sits mutely, feeling frustrated and wronged and often having no idea how to express these feelings.
However, Asperger syndrome does not guarantee one will have a miserable life. The intense focus and tendency to work things out logically, a characteristic of Asperger syndrome, often grants people with the syndrome a high level of ability in their fields of interest. When these special interests coincide with a materially or socially useful task, the person with Asperger’s often can in fact lead a profitable life. The child obsessed with naval architecture may grow up to be an accomplished shipwright, for instance.
Although many people with Asperger’s are not considered socially successful by common standards – and there are many who remain alone their entire lives – it is certainly possible for them to find understanding people with whom they can have close relationships. Many autistics have children, in which case their children may or may not have an autism spectrum disorder. Also, many people with Asperger syndrome recognize that there is a problem and try to adapt to living among people without the syndrome, even if they are unaware of the term “Asperger syndrome” itself or believe it does not apply to them. It is possible with training and self-discipline for a child with Asperger’s to end up as an adult who, though still having Asperger’s, is able to interact well with others. However, because of their delayed social development, it is not unusual for people with Asperger’s to feel most comfortable with people much younger or older than they are.
However, not showing affection (or not doing so in conventional societally-acceptable ways) does not necessarily mean that he or she does not feel it. Understanding this can lead the significant other to feel less rejected and be more understanding. There are usually ways to work around the problems, such as being more explicit about one’s needs. For instance, when describing emotions, it can be helpful to be direct and to avoid vague terms such as “upset” when the emotion being described is anger (some individuals with Asperger’s would interpret “upset” as mere annoyance, or even nausea). It is often effective to lay out in clear language what the problem is and to ask the partner with Asperger’s to describe what emotions are being felt or ask why a certain emotion was being felt. It is very helpful if the family member or significant other reads as much as he or she can about Asperger’s syndrome and any comorbid disorders. In a minority of situations the opposite problem occurs; the person with Asperger’s is unusually affectionate to significant others and misses or misinterprets signals from the other partner, causing the partner to get annoyed and leave the person with Asperger syndrome feeling depressed and alone.
Experts generally agree that there is no single condition called autism. Rather, there is a spectrum of autistic conditions, with different forms of autism taking different positions on this spectrum. But in certain circles of the autism community, this concept of a spectrum is being questioned. If differences in development are purely a function of differences in skill acquisition, then attempting to distinguish between degrees of severity may be dangerously misleading. A person may be subjected to unrealistic expectations, or even denied life-saving services, based solely on very superficial observations made by others in the community.
In the 1940s, Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, working independently in the United States and Austria, identified essentially the same population, although Asperger’s group was perhaps more “socially functional” than Kanner’s as a whole. Some of Kanner’s originally identified autistic children might today get an Asperger syndrome diagnosis, and vice versa. It is a mistake to say that a “Kanner autistic” is a child who sits and rocks and does not communicate. Kanner’s study subjects were all along the spectrum.
Traditionally, Kannerian autism is characterized by significant cognitive and communicative deficiencies, including delays in or lack of language. Often it is clear that these people do not function normally. On the other hand, a person with Asperger’s will not show delays in language. It is a more subtle condition, and affected people often appear only to be eccentric.
Researchers are grappling with the problem of how to divide the spectrum. There are many potential divisions, such as autistics who speak versus those who do not, autistics with seizures versus those without, autistics with more “stereotypical behaviors” versus those with fewer, and so forth. Some researchers are trying to identify genes associated with these traits as a way to make logical groupings. Eventually, one may hear autistics described as being with or without a specific gene, with or without changes to a certain chromosome, etc.
Leo Kanner identified another form of autism around the same time as Hans Asperger.
Some clinicians believe that communicative or cognitive deficiencies are so essential to the concept of autism that they prefer to consider Asperger’s a separate condition from autism. This opinion is a minority one. Uta Frith (an early researcher of Kannerian autism) has written that people with Asperger’s seem to have more than a touch of autism to them. Others, such as Lorna Wing and Tony Attwood, share in Frith’s assessment. Dr. Sally Ozonoff, of the University of California at Davis’s MIND institute, argues that there should be no dividing line between “high-functioning” autism and Asperger’s, and that the fact that some people do not start to produce speech until a later age is no reason to divide the two groups because they are identical in the way they need to be treated.
A gift and a curse
With the increase of Asperger syndrome diagnoses, its image continues to shift from that of a disease to a more complex view of a syndrome with both advantages and disadvantages because there are adults diagnosed with Asperger syndrome or autism who have become quite successful in their fields, possibly as a direct result of intellectual gifts and above-average focus and motivation associated with the syndrome. For example, some prominent Asperger-diagnosed people include Nobel Prize-winning economist Vernon Smith, comedian/actor Dan Aykroyd, industrial rocker Gary Numan, Craig Nicholls, frontman of the band The Vines, as well as Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon. BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen is widely cited as having Asperger syndrome, although he appears to have made this conclusion without consulting a medical professional. [1][2]
Speculation about recognized people who may have Asperger syndrome
It has been speculated that Albert Einstein had what is now considered Asperger syndrome.
Recently, some researchers such as Simon Baron-Cohen and Ioan James have speculated that well-known figures of the past, such as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton, had Asperger syndrome because they showed some Asperger’s-related tendencies or behaviors, such as intense interest in one subject, or social problems. A chapter of the aforementioned Gillberg book is devoted to this subject, including a detailed case study of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein concluding that he met the criteria for the condition. However, such posthumous diagnoses remain controversial.
The specific arguments alleging that certain famous people might be on the autistic spectrum vary from person to person. Some claim that Albert Einstein (one of the more frequently cited figures of the past as possibly autistic) was a loner as a child, had violent temper tantrums, repeated under his breath sentences he uttered, and needed his wives to act as parents when he was an adult, factors that are stereotypical of autistic people. Isaac Newton stuttered and was epileptic. Many of these suspected historical Asperger cases might have been quite mild, but some skeptics believe these people may have had a few autistic traits but not enough for an autism spectrum diagnosis. Finally, many critics of historical diagnosis claim it is simply not possible to diagnose the dead, so nothing can be said definitively regarding the Asperger status of historical figures.
Such speculation may simply be an attempt to create role models for autistics to demonstrate that they can be exemplary contributors to society. Autistic rights activists often use such speculative diagnoses to argue that it would be a loss to society if autism were cured. However, others in the autistic rights movement dislike these arguments because they think autistics should be able to value their uniqueness without the desire for a cure, regardless of whether people such as Einstein were autistic.
Shift away from view as a disease
The speculated social contributions of autistic people have contributed to the shift in the perception of autism spectrum disorders as complex syndromes rather than diseases that must be cured. Proponents of this view reject the notion that there is an ‘ideal’ brain configuration and that any deviation from the norm must be considered pathological. They demand tolerance for what they call their neurodiversity in much the same way lesbian and gay people have demanded tolerance for theirs. Views such as these are the basis for the autistic rights and autistic pride movements.
A Wired magazine article called “The Geek Syndrome” suggested that Asperger syndrome is more common in the Silicon Valley, a haven for computer scientists and mathematicians. It created an enduring notion popularized in the media and self-help books that “Geek Syndrome” equals Asperger syndrome and caused an explosion of self-diagnoses in part because it was printed alongside Simon Baron-Cohen’s 50-question Autism Spectrum Quotient Test. Like some people with Asperger syndrome, geeks may exhibit an extreme professional or casual interest in computers, science, engineering, and related fields and may be introverted or prioritize work over other aspects of life. However, no determination has yet been made of whether the “Geek Syndrome” personality type has a direct relation to autism or is simply a “variant normal” type that is not part of the autistic spectrum.
Regardless, societal acceptance of Asperger or Asperger-like traits is still rare, as many people in the autistic spectrum will confirm.
Rett syndrome
Rett syndrome (Rett syndrome, Rett’s disorder) is a progressive neurological disorder. The symptoms of this disorder are easily confused with those of autism and cerebral palsy. The gene is recessive and can therefore lie dormant for generations. The clinical diagnosis specifies a small head and small hands and feet. Stereotypical repetitive hand movements such as mouthing or wringing are also included as diagnostic signs. Symptoms of the disease include learning disorders and a total inability to socialize. Girls with Rett syndrome are very prone to seizures and GI disorders. They typically have no verbal skills, and about 50% of females are ambulatory. Rett syndrome (symbolized RTT) is X-linked dominant, affecting almost exclusively girls. Development is normal until 1 year of age, when language and motor milestones regress and acquired microcephaly is seen. Hand wringing and sighing are characteristic, and they develop autistic behavior. Rett syndrome is usually caused by a mutation in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein-2 (MECP2). MECP2 is found on chromosome band Xq28, near the long end of the X chromosome. Rett syndrome can also be caused by a mutation to the gene encoding cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5). Rett syndrome affects 1 in every 12,500 female live births. Most individuals with Rett syndrome are female. One explanation given for this was that the genetic defect that caused Rett syndrome in females caused embryonic lethality in males (that is, males with pathogenic MECP2 mutations died before they were born). While a plausible hypothesis, more recent research has contradicted this explanation. Most males with a pathogenic MECP2 mutation suffer from neonatal encephalopathy and die within a year or so of birth. Males who have two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome (often called Klinefelter’s syndrome), one with a mutated MECP2 gene, follow a similar development path to females with Rett syndrome. Males who have somatic mosaicism also have symptoms like females with Rett syndrome. Infants with Rett syndrome typically develop normally until they are 6-18 months old. Physioneurological development tends to plateau after this brief period of normal development, and is followed by deterioration of the high brain functions. Psychomotor and cognitive abilities rapidly decline between 1-2 years of age. Symptoms that develop are similar to those of autism, including mental retardation and poor growth. It is, hence, easy to mistakenly diagnose Rett syndrome for autism, or cerebral palsy.
Symptoms of Rett syndrome that are similar to autism:
•screaming fits
•panic attacks
•inconsolable crying
•avoiding looking into other people’s eyes
•lack of social/emotional reciprocity
•general lack of interest
•marked impaired use of nonverbal behaviors to regulate social interaction
•delay of linguistic development
oloss of speech

Symptoms of Rett syndrome that are also present in cerebral palsy:
•short stature
•severe dementia
•mild learning disability
•hypotonia
•Delayed or absent ability to walk
•gait/movement difficulties
•ataxia
•microencephalopathy – abnormally small head, lack of head growth
•some forms of spasticity
owringing of hands
oChorea – spasmodic movements of hand or facial muscles
odystonia
obruxism – grinding of teeth

Symptoms may stabilize for up to a few decades before complications set in, such as epilepsy or seizure and spastic paraparesis (spasticity or paralysis of the lower limbs).
Depending on the severity of psychomotoral and cognitive impairment, 2-15% of patients may achieve a nonretarded level of functioning through various rehabilitation methods. Marriage, success in achieving employment and independent living can be achieved during adulthood. Currently there is no cure for Rett syndrome.
Males with pathogenic MECP2 mutations usually die during infancy stage from severe encephalopathy, unless they have an extra X chromosome (often described as Klinefelter’s syndrome), or have somatic mosaicism.
Females can live up to 40 years or more. Abnormal lab data values on Rett disorder may show:
•EEG abnormalities from 2 years of age
•atypical glycolipids
•elevated levels of beta-endorphins and glutamate
•reduction of substance P
•decreased levels of nerve growth factors
Mortality rate among children with Rett disorder is approximately at 1.2% per year.
High proportion of deaths are abrupt; due to:
•heart conduction problem – abnormally prolonged QT interval on ECG
•spontaneous brainstem dysfunction
•respiratory arrest

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Question?: Pdd Nos Symptoms

Robert asks…

Can someone please explain Autism to me? My son never lost his memory or language before!?

My three year old is speech and lanuguage delayed. They are testing him for Autism.

admin answers:

“What is Autism? An Overview

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person’s ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.

Autism was first identified in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the same time, a German scientist, Dr. Hans Asperger, described a milder form of the disorder that is now known as Asperger Syndrome. These two disorders are listed in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as two of the five developmental disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorders. The others are Rett Syndrome, PDD NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. All of these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behaviors. For more discussion on the range of diagnoses that comprise Autism Spectrum Disorder, click here.

Autism Spectrum Disorders can usually be reliably diagnosed by age 3, although new research is pushing back the age of diagnosis to as early as 6 months. Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or their child’s failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Some parents describe a child that seemed different from birth, while others describe a child who was developing normally and then lost skills. Pediatricians may initially dismiss signs of autism, thinking a child will “catch up,” and may advise parents to “wait and see.” New research shows that when parents suspect something is wrong with their child, they are usually correct. If you have concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait: speak to your pediatrician about getting your child screened for autism.

If your child is diagnosed with autism, early intervention is critical to gain maximum benefit from existing therapies. Although parents may have concerns about labeling a toddler as “autistic,” the earlier the diagnosis is made, the earlier interventions can begin. Currently, there are no effective means to prevent autism, no fully effective treatments, and no cure. Research indicates, however, that early intervention in an appropriate educational setting for at least two years during the preschool years can result in significant improvements for many young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As soon as autism is diagnosed, early intervention instruction should begin. Effective programs focus on developing communication, social, and cognitive skills.”

“Did you know…
1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism
1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum
67 children are diagnosed per day
A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes
More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined
Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
Autism costs the nation over $90 billion per year, a figure expected to double in the next decade
Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases
Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism
There is no medical detection or cure for autism”

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Question?: Autism Symptoms Toddler Boys

Sandy asks…

What is Autism can some one tell me?

Please explain in your own words then give me links thanks!

admin answers:

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person’s ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.

Autism was first identified in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the same time, a German scientist, Dr. Hans Asperger, described a milder form of the disorder that is now known as Asperger Syndrome (read more). These two disorders are listed in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as two of the five developmental disorders that fall under the autism spectrum disorders. The others are Rett Syndrome, PDD NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. All of these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behaviors. For more discussion on the range of diagnoses that comprise autism spectrum disorder, click here.

Autism spectrum disorders can usually be reliably diagnosed by age 3, although new research is pushing back the age of diagnosis to as early as 6 months. Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or their child’s failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Some parents describe a child that seemed different from birth, while others describe a child who was developing normally and then lost skills. Pediatricians may initially dismiss signs of autism, thinking a child will “catch up,” and may advise parents to “wait and see.” New research shows that when parents suspect something is wrong with their child, they are usually correct. If you have concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait: speak to your pediatrician about getting your child screened for autism.

If your child is diagnosed with autism, early intervention is critical to gain maximum benefit from existing therapies. Although parents may have concerns about labeling a toddler as “autistic,” the earlier the diagnosis is made, the earlier interventions can begin. Currently, there are no effective means to prevent autism, no fully effective treatments, and no cure. Research indicates, however, that early intervention in an appropriate educational setting for at least two years during the preschool years can result in significant improvements for many young children with autism spectrum disorders. As soon as autism is diagnosed, early intervention instruction should begin. Effective programs focus on developing communication, social, and cognitive skills.

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Question?: Autism Symptoms Toddler Boys

Nancy asks…

what is autism some1 tell me cause its my project tell me smart person?

i need help

admin answers:

Autism speaks:
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person’s ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.

Autism was first identified in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the same time, a German scientist, Dr. Hans Asperger, described a milder form of the disorder that is now known as Asperger Syndrome (read more). These two disorders are listed in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as two of the five developmental disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorders. The others are Rett Syndrome, PDD NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. All of these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behaviors. For more discussion on the range of diagnoses that comprise Autism Spectrum Disorder, click here.

Autism Spectrum Disorders can usually be reliably diagnosed by age 3, although new research is pushing back the age of diagnosis to as early as 6 months. Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or their child’s failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Some parents describe a child that seemed different from birth, while others describe a child who was developing normally and then lost skills. Pediatricians may initially dismiss signs of autism, thinking a child will “catch up,” and may advise parents to “wait and see.” New research shows that when parents suspect something is wrong with their child, they are usually correct. If you have concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait: speak to your pediatrician about getting your child screened for autism.

If your child is diagnosed with autism, early intervention is critical to gain maximum benefit from existing therapies. Although parents may have concerns about labeling a toddler as “autistic,” the earlier the diagnosis is made, the earlier interventions can begin. Currently, there are no effective means to prevent autism, no fully effective treatments, and no cure. Research indicates, however, that early intervention in an appropriate educational setting for at least two years during the preschool years can result in significant improvements for many young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As soon as autism is diagnosed, early intervention instruction should begin. Effective programs focus on developing communication, social, and cognitive skills.

Very long but it will help you with your project.

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Preparing schools for the “new” definition of autism

You have heard the news, and if you are a parent of a child with high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, you are worried!

By May 2013, an autism diagnosis will likely be much harder to obtain than in the past.  The American Psychiatric Association is making final revisions to its Diagnostic and Statistical  Manual of Mental Disorders, including drastic changes to the criteria by which individuals are diagnosed with autism.

While these changes will have less impact on those diagnosed with “classic autism,” people who are currently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, likely won’t  be diagnosed under the new, stricter guidelines.  In fact, the proposed new guidelines would eliminate the Asperger’s classification completely.

What does this mean for those currently diagnosed with Asperger’s?

According to a recent study by Yale University, less than half of patients currently diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome will receive an autism diagnosis under the proposed new guidelines.  Without that diagnosis, they will no longer have access to the therapies or educational resources neccesary to help them learn to interact and grow into socially adjusted adults.

I asked Mark Claypool,  a fellow optimist who I turned to for reassurance, to talk about these changes might affect our kids. Mark president and CEO of Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, an organization that provides academic programs, life skills training, vocational and transition services, support services and collaborative classrooms to students with autism, emotional disturbance, physical challenges and developmental delays:

Laura: My son has autism, but has never been considered “high-functioning”. Friends with children with Asperger’s Syndrome and HFA tell me how lucky I am–that it is easier fro me to get services for my son.What is your take on this issue?

Mark Claypool: It’s a frustrating problem for parents. Kids are getting caught in-between and every day that goes by for a child not getting the services that they need is a lost day.

Laura: I know parents of children with unspecified learning differences and behavior problems that have pushed for a diagnosis of autism just to get services. What has been your experience?

Mark Claypool: No parent wants their child to be misdiagnosed with a disability, no matter how badly they want the services. Perhaps the revised Diagnostic and Statistical  Manual of Mental Disorders will help us refocus on the needs of a child as an individual and not a label.

Laura: California and many other states now mandate insurance coverage for children on the autism spectrum for ABA. Doesn’t that lighten the load and responsibility of school districts?

Mark Claypool: Ideally, but right now, the schools are pointing at the insurance companies and the insurance companies are pointing at the schools, saying, “Aren’t you going to do that?”

Laura: The most rewarding aspect of your job?

Mark Claypool:

Helping make public education a positive experience for students and their parents who have these issuesWorking with school districts to help them design services for children that need themIncluding  children with disabilities and keeping them at their home schools, rather than sending them all to substantially separate schools.

Amen!

Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, is an organization that provides academic programs, life skills training, vocational and transition services, support services and collaborative classrooms to students with autism, emotional disturbance, physical challenges and developmental delays. Spectrum Center partners with nearly 100 public school districts to help them educate students who have autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and other conditions.

***

Got  questions? Need resources? Email me here citybights@sfgate.com and I will do my very best to help.

***

FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK and TWITTER and read the first three chapters of A REGULAR GUY:GROWING UP WITH AUTISM HERE.

View the original article here

Researchers Examine Impact Of New Autism Diagnostic Criteria

Main Category: Autism
Article Date: 12 Apr 2012 – 1:00 PDT

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Getting an autism diagnosis could be more difficult in 2013 when a revised diagnostic definition goes into effect. The proposed changes may affect the proportion of individuals who qualify for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, according to a study by Yale Child Study Center researchers published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

The proposed changes to the diagnostic definition will be published in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).”

“Given the potential implications of these findings for service eligibility, our findings offer important information for consideration by the task force finalizing DSM-5 diagnostic criteria,” said Yale Child Study Center director Fred Volkmar, M.D., who conducted the study with colleagues Brian Reichow and James McPartland.

Volkmar and his team performed an analysis of symptoms observed in 933 individuals evaluated for autism in the field trial for DSM-4. They found that about 25 percent of those diagnosed with classic autism and 75 percent of those with Asperger’s Syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified, would not meet the new criteria for autism. The study also suggests that higher-functioning individuals may be less likely to meet the new criteria than individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Volkmar cautioned that these findings reflect analyses of a single data set and that more information will be provided by upcoming field trials overseen by the APA. He stressed that it is critical to examine the impact of proposed criteria in both clinical and research settings.

“Use of such labels, particularly in the United States, can have important implications for service,” he said. “Major changes in diagnosis also pose issues for comparing results across research studies.”

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. Citation: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Vol. 51, No. 4 (April 2012)
http://www.jaacap.com/article/S0890-8567%2812%2900042-1/abstract
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posted by Shell Tzorfas on 14 Apr 2012 at 5:02 am

1 in every twenty-nine12 year old boys in NJ now has Autism, Who are well enough to be in Public School. This was taken from the CDC findings of 1 in 49 for both sexes. These findings are FOUR years old. If they researched children from 2 through 10 the numbers would be far worse. Asperger’s kids were Barely included. Why? Because they usually do not qualify for school services and if what they have impacts their ability to learn then they likely have just plain Autism .A sudden 78% increase can NOT be Genetics.Let’s get to the Point. These kids are injured by the point of a needle that includes Aluminum, mercury, embalming fluid, ether, fetal cells-Peanuts-antifreeze and much more. So now after they have been fully injured, the medical community has the audacity to UNdiagnose and take away what minute amounts of services a few get in the first place? I do appreciate that the research in this article shows the truth, that it will be difficult for many affected kids to get help or a diagnosis leading towards help. What is the Point?

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posted by Carol Fowler on 14 Apr 2012 at 6:56 am

This reminds me of how the state of Ohio handles identification and services for other exceptional learners. Students are identifited as gifted on the basis of a 95th percentile on a norm referenced test or a group IQ score of 127 or higher. These scores are valid for 24 months. SO a student may either be identified specific academic, superior cognitive or both for a 2 yr period. While the state requires identification and parental notification;it does not mandate services for the identified child. Furthermore, when the child is retested 24 months later on a norm referenced test, the child should he not meet the required percentile or IQ score is no longer identified gifted.

Should that child reside in a district that provides services for the gifted and talented, the child would no longer qualify for those services. Hence gifted one day, not gifted the next day.
It is this educator’s opinion who is also a parent to 4 daughters, that once gifted always gifted unless a medical condition affects the brains ability to process and function at pre-condition levels.

The analogy here is that there will be children and adults who exhibit symptoms and functions that today would garner them services as an individual on the ASD, but tomorrow even though those same symptoms and functions exist, the individual would no longer qualify for services under the ASD diagnosis. Yet, there has been no change in the neurochemical functioning of the brain or any other changes to the “wiring” of the brain.

What compelling and significant studies in mumber of participants and quality of data is there that suggests it is in the individuals best interst or it is an educational best practice to create new criteria for the DSM V that will eliminate significant numbers of individuals from receiving appropriate services?

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‘Researchers Examine Impact Of New Autism Diagnostic Criteria’

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Comorbid Conditions

Many other medical conditions may occur along with autism. These comorbid conditions are also important in determining the diagnosis of autism. The comorbid conditions may be used to indicate autism; however, they do not have a direct effect in causing disabilities associated with autism. Autism is firmly diagnosed as a cognitive disability that starts in early childhood, continues through adulthood and has an effect on the development of imaginative, communication and social interaction skills.

Over 40 comorbidities have been associated with ASD. (Zafeiriou, Ververia, & Vargiamia, 2007) Some of the most common comorbid conditions are:

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders apart from those that are included in the autism disorders may occur, however it is difficult to say it is a comorbid anxiety problem.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depressive disorder. It may have other comorbid conditions in itself.

Bowel Disease

Gastrointestinal symptoms are known to affect a large percentage of children with autism. Constipation and inflammation of the intestines are among the common bowel diseases that are comorbid with autism disorders.

Depression and other Psychopathological Disorders

Various phobias, depression and some psychopathological disorders are known to occur with autism, though this has not been examined systematically.

Fragile X Syndrome

This has an effect on two to five percent of the population with autism. In this condition one component of the X chromosome is defective, and therefore looks fragile when viewed under a microscope. If a child has Fragile X, then there are high chances that his or her sibling will have Fragile X.

ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may co-occur in children with autism. The co-diagnosis of ASD and ADHD is prohibited by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition). ADHD treatments are not very successful among children with ASD. Other kinds of medication and therapies are required for its treatment.

Mental Retardation

Some individuals with mental retardation are reported to also have autism.

Neuroinflammation and Immune Disorders

Many comorbid conditions connected to autism may be triggered by some immune disorders. Recent findings have shown that neuroinflammation and immune disorders are present in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid of some patients with ASD.

Non-Verbal Learning Disorder

This is typified by a considerable difference between greater verbal scores and lower performance scores in IQ tests. Disabilities related to motor, social and visual-spatial skill are also noticed.

Motor Clumsiness

Children with autism frequently have low levels of motor handiness and they acquire motor skills in a delayed period. Coordination may be poor which may affect their posture, handwriting, etc. Conceptual learning skills are also affected by this.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Recurring obsessive thought and actions may affect a child with autism. These are stereotyped repetitive behaviors that are not essentially enjoyable.

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette syndrome affects 6.5% people with autism. It may occur due to genetic factors or serotonin, glutamate and dopamine abnormalities.

Seizures

Seizures occur in one in four children with autism. It is caused by irregular electrical action in the brain, which can cause short-term unconsciousness, staring spells and body convulsions.

Sensory Problems

Sensory problems apart from the sensory symptoms of autism may occur as a comorbid condition. For instance damaged tactile perception is known to affect children with autism more than adults. Related motor problems such as poor motor planning may also occur.

Tuberous Sclerosis

This is an uncommon genetic disorder that causes benign tumors in the brain and other vital organs. One to four percent of people with autism are known to have tuberous sclerosis. 25 to 61% people with tuberous sclerosis may be diagnosed with autism.

References: Zafeiriou, D. I., Ververia, A., & Vargiamia, E. (2007). Childhood autism and associated comorbidities. Brain and Development, 29, 257-272.

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Autism – What Causes Autism and How Can You Prevent It

Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder that causes delays in social interaction, language as used in social communication, and/or imaginative play, that originates prior to 3 years of age, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

What causes Autism? This question is still answered with open-ended possibilities. Autism in laymen terms is an otherwise healthy person that cannot either speak in a given language format, interact with others in a social setting, or becomes emotionally triggered by very normal functions of others around them.

Autism studies have found a distinctive link with people diagnosed with autism and their unusually high heavy metal content in their blood. Mercury and lead seem to read high in their blood count. The body’s ability to defuse or expunge certain metals causes a build up or high concentration of these metals and the link suggests that this build up of heavy metals seems to block certain social solving skills in the brain.

Retention of these heavy metals in the body creates a severe imbalance in the ratio of active to inactive glutathione, the body’s most important tool for detoxifying and excreting metals. Glutathione works as an antioxidant, which regulates the potentially destructive process of oxidative stress caused both by normal metabolism and environmental contaminants. Autistic children showed a significant impairment in every one of five measurements of the body’s ability to maintain a healthy glutathione defense.

Autism has increased 10-fold from 6 in 10,000 in the 1980s, to about 60 in 10,000 today. Boys are higher candidates than girls of having autism. Since the discovery link of heavy metals in autistic people, there are some studies that suggest that if you can reduce or aid in expunging metal content from the body through the skin’s pores using a special cream, testing has shown to produce some very significant, almost immediate results.

So how does these heavy metals get into the body? One very elusive method that we seldom hear about is through vaccines. The preservatives that were placed in the vaccines were found to have adverse affects that could account for some of this metal build up. As of 2002 these preservatives have been removed.

Our food supply is also a big contributor of metals. Fish and shellfish can contain high levels of mercury. Women would are of child bearing age are warned to avoid these foods if they are anticipating pregnancy. Green leafy plants can retain levels of lead from the soil. So, basically you can come in contact with several ways of ingesting these offensive metals.

The intake is not as much the problem, as the releasing of these essential minerals. If a person cannot release these minerals, then the build-up appears to cause or at least contribute to the symptoms of autism. Autism is not something to be ashamed of, understand that your child is relying on you to get the help they need asap, for a more responsive life.

Bottom line is to have a child tested as soon as you notice certain behavioral problems that just aren’t normal. For instance,

– autistic children will avoid eye to eye contact

– they don’t interact with other children well, they like playing alone

– they don’t form words, or mimic your coaching words

– they can be sensitive to normal sounds, like that of a vacuum cleaner

– they tend to want to line up there toys in straight lines and become upset if they are rearranged

– they can indicate they are hungry, yet when food is given, they reject it

– they may want an item but not accept it from you by hand, they prefer to pick it up themselves when they decide the time is right

While some of these symptoms, done separately, may not suggest autism, it’s the collection of a larger group of items listed that tend to send signals that testing would be advised. When asking your doctor if they think your child is okay or normal, please alert the doctor to have your child tested for high levels of heavy metals and explain some of the child’s odd mannerisms. Doctors don’t have the same perceptions as you simply from a doctor’s visit. Being more verbal with your concerns for your child as soon as you notice their different behaviors could greatly improve by treatments as early as possible.

Doctors in general do not consider testing for autism before the age of 3 years, but if you have seen some of the behaviors listed above, remember, you can suggest to the doctor to do some testing for autism earlier than your child’s 3rd birthday.

President Bush recently signed the Combating Autism Act of 2006 bill on December 19, 2006. This bill, widely applauded by autism activists groups, authorizes nearly $1 billion over the next five years to combat autism through research, screening, early detection and early intervention. The new legislation will increase federal spending on autism by at least fifty percent. Please support their efforts whenever and wherever possible.

http://wealthsmith.com/autism-symptoms-autism-cure.htm

Jim has found a disorder that has touched him on a personal level and he is becoming a strong advocate for a cure of autism. To have so much knowledge available the cure is within our grasp. http://wealthsmith.com/autism-symptoms-autism-cure.htm

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jimmy_Wilson
http://EzineArticles.com/?Autism—What-Causes-Autism-and-How-Can-You-Prevent-It&id=393699

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Asperger Syndrome, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Prognosis

    Asperger Syndrome is a relatively new diagnosis. It was first discribed by Hans Asperger, an Austrian psychiatrist in 1944 but his work was not written in the English language before the mid 1970’s therefore not recognized in English speaking countries until the late 1980’s. In fact there was no official definition of Aspergers until 1994 when the American Psychiatric Association published their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.
                                                       Symptoms
Aspergers is most often identified in children between the ages of 5 to 9 years of age, and often times runs in families with histories of depression, bipolar disease and other asperger like behaviors which are commonly found in the father. Children with aspergers often learn to talk at the usual age and many times show above average verbal skills. They are often times above normal in intelligence and can care for themselves but their common social skills are lacking. Many times they have a hard time recognizing others feelings and find it hard to express their feelings to others.
     In many cases asperger patients are fascinated with certain things such as, cleanliness, schedules, and precise writing of letters, in other words they are driven to perfection in one or more aspects of their lives. People with aspergers are often times very creative and excel in mathematics, music, computer sciences and other such fields that require little socialization. They may show a developmental delay in other aspects of their lives such as reading and the ability to socialize with others, especially their peers. Often times people with aspergers are very picky eaters and notice the different textures of foods and how they feel in their mouth.
                                                        Diagnosis

     As of 2005 no single gene had been found to cause aspergers but genetic studies have identified some genes that may be involved. It is clear that more than one gene is involved in the development of aspergers syndrome. Also a few abnormalities of the brain have been linked to aspergers which are: large folds in the brain tissue located in the left frontal region, abnormally small folds in the operculum and damage to the left temporal lobe. Aspergers is often misdiagnosed as tourette syndrome, attention-deficit disorder (ADD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
                                                         Prognosis

     People diagnosed with asperger’s can be taught social guidelines but the social impairment is lifelong with an often times positive outcome in later life. The wonderful news is that patients with asperger’s syndrome have normal and many times above normal intelligence and will be able to finish their education. They seem to flourish in a structured learning situation where they are not bullied and teased by those around them. They are deep thinkers and often times must prove to themselves, what is true. As adults they can be very successful in many jobs especially those with a regular routine, where they work in isolation and colleagues understand their needs.

     In conclusion, it is thought that approximately 2.5 out of every 10,000 people have aspergers it seems to be more common in boys (4:1) and seems to affect all races equally. Interestingly though about 50% of patients with asperger syndrome have had a history of oxygen deprivation during the birth process which has led to the hypothesis that aspergers’ is caused by brain damage before or during childbirth. It has also been suggested there is an organic defect in the brain function. There are drugs that are recommended most often for children with asperger syndrome that can help ease different symptoms the patient may show such as anxiety, depression, and anger. Many times psychotherapy during adolescence helps greatly with depression and other difficult feelings related to social difficulties.

 

Jill Grant is the grandmother of a remarkable 17 year old grandson with asperger syndrome. She would like to encourage all parents and grandparents of children with this diagnsis to know their children too can be amazing additions to our society. Love, guidence and understanding is all they require to succeed. She has written an article, Asperger Syndrome, Through the Eyes of a Grandmother, available on her web site dedicated to and providing products to home health caregivers and their loved ones. Please visit her at http://www.diaperingneeds.com/articles/We Care About You L.L.C.  Jill Grant; Managing Member  Jill@diaperingneeds.com 
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