Tag Archives: Facial Expression

Question?: Schizophrenia Symptoms

Mark asks…

What are the symptoms of early Schizophrenia?

I wanna know what it feels like, the mind state of early on set symptoms of Schizophrenia because I wonder about myself sometimes?
Yeah I always felt weird since 11 I’m 22 now eek.

admin answers:

Keep in mind that schizophrenia onset is typically between the ages of 15 and 25 (although it can affect children younger than fourteen, with a subtype known as childhood-onset schizophrenia). The disorder can come on over a period of years (called insidious onset) or be very rapid. It affects 1% of the general population. But only a qualified psychologist, psychiatrist (or in some areas a social worker) can properly diagnose schizophrenia.

Here’s a list of some physical symptoms:
A blank, vacant facial expression. An inability to smile or express emotion through the face is so characteristic of the disease that it was given the name of affective flattening or a blunt affect.
–Overly acute senses- lights are too bright, sounds are too loud.
–Staring, while in deep thought, with infrequent blinking.
–Clumsy, inexact motor skills
–Sleep disturbances- insomnia or excessive sleeping
–Involuntary movements of the tongue or mouth (facial dyskinesias). Grimacing at the corners of the mouth with the facial muscles, or odd movements with the tongue.
–Parkinsonian type symptoms- rigidity, tremor, jerking arm movements, or involuntary movements of the limbs
–An awkward gait (how you walk)
–Eye movements- difficulty focusing on slow moving objects
–Unusual gestures or postures
–Movement is speeded up- i.e. Constant pacing
–Movement is slowed down- staying in bed (in extreme cases, catatonia)

Emotional Symptoms:
–The inability to experience joy or pleasure from activities (called anhedonia)
–Sometimes feeling nothing at all
–Appearing desireless- seeking nothing, wanting nothing
–Feeling indifferent to important events
–Feeling detached from your own body (depersonalization)
–Hypersensitivity to criticism, insults, or hurt feelings

Examples of Mood—-

–Sudden irritability, anger, hostility, suspiciousness, resentment
–Depression- feeling discouraged and hopeless about the future
–Low motivation, energy, and little or no enthusiasm
–Suicidal thoughts or suicidal ideation
–Rapidly changing mood- from happy to sad to angry for no apparent reason (called labile mood)
–Severe Anxiety

Hope it helps 🙂

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Causes

Robert asks…

How many know about Aspergers Syndrome?

I am wondering how many people out her know about aspergers syndrome. If you do then please elaborate on how you came to know and if you don’t then please explain why it has never come up. Thankyou for your time.

admin answers:

I had a friend who’s son has aspergers syndrome and as i always do, (i’m very inquisitive) i looked it up on the web.
Asperger’s Disorder is a milder variant of Autistic Disorder. Both Asperger’s Disorder and Autistic Disorder are in fact subgroups of a larger diagnostic category. This larger category is called either Autistic Spectrum Disorders, mostly in European countries, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders (“PDD”), in the United States. In Asperger’s Disorder, affected individuals are characterized by social isolation and eccentric behavior in childhood. There are impairments in two-sided social interaction and non-verbal communication. Though grammatical, their speech is peculiar due to abnormalities of inflection and a repetitive pattern. Clumsiness is prominent both in their articulation and gross motor behavior. They usually have a circumscribed area of interest which usually leaves no space for more age appropriate, common interests. Some examples are cars, trains, French Literature, door knobs, hinges, cappucino, meteorology, astronomy or history. The name “Asperger” comes from Hans Asperger, an Austrian physician who first described the syndrome in 1944. An excellent translation of Dr. Asperger’s original paper is provided by Dr. Uta Frith in her Autism and Asperger Syndrome.


A.Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

(1) 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
(2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
(3) 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 to other people)
(4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

B.Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

(1) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
(3) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)
(4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

C.The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

D.There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).

E.There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood.

F.Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia.

At least two of the following)
(a) inability to interact with peers
(b) lack of desire to interact with peers
(c) lack of appreciation of social cues
(d) socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior

2.All-absorbing narrow interest
(at least one of the following)
(a) exclusion of other activities
(b) repetitive adherence
(c) more rote than meaning

3.Imposition of routines and interests
(at least one of the following)
(a) on self, in aspects of life
(b) on others

4.Speech and language problems
(at least three of the following)
(a) delayed development
(b) superficially perfect expressive language
(c) formal, pedantic language
(d) odd prosody, peculiar voice characteristics
(e) impairment of comprehension including misinterpretations of literal/implied meanings

5.Non-verbal communication problems
(at least one of the following)
(a) limited use of gestures
(b) clumsy/gauche body language
(c) limited facial expression
(d) inappropriate expression
(e) peculiar, stiff gaze

6.Motor clumsiness: poor performance on neurodevelopmental examination

(All six criteria must be met for confirmation of diagnosis.)

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Quiz

Michael asks…

How do you know you have Asperger syndrome?

I suffer from depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I always feel low on myself and feel akward in life. I just seem like i dont want anything to do with relationships, I always have to start trouble if there’s nothing to think about. I cannot look at people. I’m scared of being alone in life. I’m 19 years old?

admin answers:

Here’s an overview of the symptoms. You probably won’t have every single one of them, but that’s normal.

– Lack of social understanding. This is the underlying problem in some of the the other symptoms.
– Difficulty conversing successfully. This could mean talking too much, talking too little, talking about situationally inappropriate subjects, being excessively and brutally honest, simply not having a clue about what to say, or applying learned conversation skills in an awkward and forced way.
– Difficulty making or keeping friends.
– Limited ability to interpret nonverbal communication like body language and facial expression.
– Difficulty relating to and empathizing with others.
– Trouble making and maintaining eye contact.
– Obsessive interests, usually in odd or narrow subjects.
– Need for sameness and routine. This often resembles OCD.
– Rigid or black-and-white thinking.
– Need for plans and schedules; strong dislike of spontaneity.
– Tendency to interpret things literally. This could manifest as an inability to understand figurative language like metaphor and sarcasm. More subtley, it could mean taking what people say at face value.
– Speaking in a pedantic or overly formal way.
– Speaking in a monotone or otherwise odd intonation.
– Above average intelligence, especially in verbal abilities.
– Motor coordination issues. People with AS are often very clumsy and are slow to acquire skills like tying shoes or riding a bike.
– Sensory sensitivities. Certain kinds of noise, light, texture, etc. Can cause us anything from mild discomfort to extreme pain. We might also be undersensitive to other stimuli, usually pain.
– Inability to filter out background stimuli. We can’t tune out little things like the hum of the computer or the sound of cars driving by, which can be incredibly distracting. This and the aforementioned sensitivites lead to…
– Tendency to get overwhelmed in high-stimulation places like grocery stores or busy streets. This can lead to an uncontrollable meltdown or shut-down.
– Auditory processing problems. Some of us have trouble understanding what people are saying even though our hearing is fine. This is partly to do with the lack of a sensory filter.
– Synesthesia, or crossed senses. For example, I can see sounds.
– Trouble concentrating, organizing, and planning effectively.
– High levels of anxiety and depression.

I recommend reading more about Asperger’s. You might want to take http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php this test. It is NOT a diagnosis, but it could help you understand Asperger’s better. The best thing to do if you research it and still believe you have it is to see a specialist. Your GP should be able to suggest someone. Best of luck!

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Question?: Pdd-nos Checklist

Linda asks…

What are signs that a child has Autism?

admin answers:

I tend to worry about checklists, because they’re often taken out of context…ie “My child flaps his hands when he’s really excited, could it be autism?” Lots of kids, and adults flap when excited. Ever watch Wheel of Fortune?

A really good website if you’re concerned is First Signs http://www.firstsigns.org/index.html

EDITED TO ADD: Another good website, with examples of what the diagnostic criteria means.. This website is great for those that don’t know much about autism. Http://www.bbbautism.com/diagnostics_psychobabble.htm

To be diagnosed with autism, a child should have 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):

(1) qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
(a) 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
(b) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
(c) 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)
(d) lack of social or emotional reciprocity

(2) qualitative impairments in communication, as manifested by at least one of the following:
(a) 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 gesture or mime)
(b) in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
(c) stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language
(d) lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level

(3) restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities as manifested by at least one of the following:
(a) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
(b) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
(c) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting or complex whole-body movements)
(d) persistent precoccupation with parts of objects

B. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years: (1) social interaction, (2) language as used in social communication, or (3) symbolic or imaginative play.

In a child age 16-30 months, the MCHAT is an excellent screening tool to see if you should evaluate for autism. Http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-ppautism&msg=20700.1&ctx=0

Edited to add: I have an issue with autism being diagnosed where the criteria is being disregarded. Are you using autism and pdd-nos interchangeably? If so, then I can see how it could happen. Beetlemilk, because your son’s don’t meet the criteria for autism, they’ve been diagnosed with pdd-nos. PDD-NOS is a diagnosis by exclusion. If a child presents with some symptoms from (1), (2), and/or (3), and their pattern of symptoms is not better described by one of the other PDD diagnoses (i.e., Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Rett’s Disorder, or Childhood Disintegrative disorder) then a professional might decide that a diagnoses of PDD-NOS is warranted.

When comparing PDD-NOS to Autism, PDD-NOS is used when a child has symptoms of autism, but not in the configuration needed for an autism diagnosis. Social component is where the most impairment is seen. Children who fail to meet criteria for autism and don’t have adequate social impairment typically have a developmental disability, and their symptoms can by accounted for by that.

Regarding the childbrain quiz, my daughter now scores around 118, and that was using the grading guide before answering each question. Without using that guide, I did score it closer to 132. Still in the moderate range, and it’s an accurate reflection. When she was younger, she did score higher. I’ve seen that to be a very good screening tool as well. One caution though, children with speech delays could fall under “mild pdd” when it’s not present. That’s why it’s important to follow up with a reputable diagnostician.

Within the autism diagnostic criteria, My daughter has the following profile From section 1 A is fairly mild, B severe, C is fairly resolved, D is mild
From section 2 A mild since language is comming in, B Severe, C moderate, D moderate
From section 3 A & B moderate…working very hard to resolve these, but her obsessive tendancies are pretty tough to crack. C & D are not issues at all, nor have they ever been issues.

Within the criteria for an autism diagnosis, her spectrum is mild to severe, depending on symptom. She’s also very high functioning (which relates more to self help skills, and IQ) I would say honestly she’s mild/moderate autistic

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How to Determine Autism

When the problem comes in the form of difficulty in communication and interaction with others although the child who develops autism develops this even till their adulthood more emphasis is given to boys because they are likely to have autism than girls.

Autism is an ubiquitous disorder. The rate of incidence of autism is increasing 10-17% per year in the U.S. The classical type of autism are: classic autism, asperger syndrome, Rett’s Syndrome. The causes of autism are given to the genetic origin, although social factors and surrounding environment appears to play a major role in developing autistic behavior in children.

Some symptoms of autism in child may include the following: like to stay/play alone, frequent behavioral out bursts, does not like to have eye-to-eye contact self-inflicting tendency, exaggerated movements, may seem unresponsiveness to others. The way an autistic child behaves depends on his surroundings as well. A precise diagnose of autism is hard to give. Early signs of autism may include decrease in activity level, abnormal pattern of speech, sleeplessness.


The child with autism may show little intellectual level than children of his age. The signs of autism are the following: withdrawn difficulty in social interaction, exaggerated behavior and movements, flat facial expression, voice and language disability, self-inflicting tendency, aggressive behavior, sleeplessness. No drugs are available to treat autism. Autism and asperger syndrome are similar as language and behavior skills. People with asperger syndrome have a normal intellectual level and may also exhibit exceptional skills as well. They do not have learning disabilities, but they have difficulty in social interaction, perceiving facial expressions.

Even children with autism present disabilities in their behavior they are treated like everybody.

More informations about autism causes or about child autism can be found by visiting http://www.autism-info-center.com/
More informations about autism causes or about child autism can be found by visiting http://www.autism-info-center.com/
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Teaching Affective Communication And Autism

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder affecting the brain.

The levels of autism vary from low functioning autism where the person may be non-verbal with additional learning deficits, to high functioning and asperger syndrome where the persons IQ will be average or above average.

With asperger syndrome you often hear this set of individuals referred to as the rain man, little professor or “geek”.

The levels of autism will vary between individuals but there will always be a common thread in the triad of impairments…

…These are:

Social deficits

Communication deficits

Imagination and interaction deficits.

Autism spectrum disorder affects the way each individual processes information and how they develop socially. With autism the individual will not process information in the same way as a normally developing person.

The autistic person will struggle with communication, being unable to read another persons body language or facial expression the ability to mind read, the “theory of mind”.

Our natural ability to read facial expression and body language is a social skill we learn from our environment, peers and parents. This naturally learned skill is missing in autism and social skills will need to be taught directly.

Autism is a lifelong disability; autism spectrum disorder can not be cured, but can be helped with treatments and therapies.

Therefore teaching affective communication and autism can be done through the use of autism social skills training in the format of autism social skills stories.

The social skills stories are pictorial representations of events, activities and skills the autistic person struggles with.

For example Alex is a 6 year old autistic boy who is having communication difficulties at recess.

Alex is unable to tell the dinner lady what he wants for lunch and becomes anxious and aggressive when lunchtime begins.

Alex was given a social skills story to help him rehearse and understand recess and learn this social skill.

After a week or two of reading the social skills story before and during recess, Alex soon learned how to ask for his dinner and therefore recess was no longer an anxious stress related time of day. The teachers were happy and so was Alex.

Teaching affective communication, as with the autistic boy described earlier; can be affectively achieved with autism social skills stories they present the social skill in pictorial images and text making it easy to follow and understand.

Autism social skills stories are always written in the first person, present tense and from the autistic person’s point of view.

To download autism social skills stories visit


social skills training can be helped and taught using autism resources such as autism social skills stories fom:
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Help for Children on the Autism Spectrum Recognizing Emotions

Many children on the Autism Spectrum have difficulty recognizing emotional cues such as nonverbal  expressions which are thought to be conveyed through the eyes as well as connecting with others emotionally on an interpersonal basis.  A large part of communication between humans is nonverbal communication.  This means to say that it is not just the words that are spoken but in addition how they are spoken, inflection, as well hand gestures, body postures and facial expression. 

The inability to recognize faces and facial expression is called prosopagnosia.  This inability to interpret facial expressions often leads to difficulty in social situations with others.  It is also been thought to be involved with a lack of empathy toward others which also is at times associated with autism.  The area of the brain most associated with prosopagnosia is the fusiform gyrus of the temporal lobe. Although it is thought that the fusiform gyrus has a specific face area, it is also thought to be responsible for things such as processing of color information as well as number and word recognition. 

As an example, people with prosopagnosia can recognize a different pens or forks but not faces.  Until recently it was thought that propsopagnosia or face blindness and is is sometimes called could not be improved.  Instead,  patients were taught techniques to compensate for the face recognition deficiency such as looking at clothing, voice or hair color in order to attempt to identify who the patient was speaking with. A recent study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders published out of the University of Alabama Birmingham used a computer based social skills training program for children with autism spectrum disorders. 

This interactive program showed a positive impact in a group with Autism and a group with Asperger’s Syndrome.  Both groups showed improvement in the ability to recognize faces as well as improvements in the ability to recognize emotion. The Asperger’s group also showed improvement in social interactions in a natural environment. This should come as great news to parents who see their children have difficulty making friends and struggle while attempting to socialize at school or the park. This feeds well into the current model of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to change, in which practitioners of functional neurology are looking for tools to activate specifically targeted under functioning areas of the brain. With regular stimulation of these areas at the correct intensity and frequency, positive changes can be made to help address various deficiencies whether sensory, motor or in this case social.

If you have a child on the Autism Asperger’s Syndrome and this type of treatment sounds interesting to you, look for a physician that practices functional neurology in your area.

Dr. Nelson Mañé is board certified in chiropractic orthopedics and neurology. He has subspecialty training in childhood neurobehavioral disorders, electro diagnostics, vestibular disorders (balance problems) as well as training in functional medicine. He is one of the most experienced doctors using high power laser therapy. He is a DAN! Doctor (Defeat Autism Now). He has been featured on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, BAY News 9 as well as the autism documentary “Walking in the Dark; Finding the Light in Autism. Dr. Mane has also been interviewed for Spectrum Magazine, Tampa Tribune and Parenting Special Need Magazine. Patients seeking treatment at Mañé Center will discover they are receiving the highest quality of care, because our genuine interest is your well being.
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Characteristics Of High Functioning Autism

High functioning autism is on the higher end of the autism spectrum disorder scale. The symptoms of autism are still present but to lesser degree.

 The characteristics of high functioning autism are often confused with asperger syndrome because of the close similarities.

 However there is one vital difference in the two diagnoses with asperger syndrome there is no delay in language development, where as in high functioning autism there is.

 There is however still no official diagnosis of high functioning autism and the condition is still being confused and often referred to as asperger syndrome.

 The high functioning autism individual will normally have an average or above average intelligence.

 The characteristics of high functioning autism include:

 Motor delays

Social deficits

Communication deficits

Obsessive interests

Sensory issues

They display a poor use of language.

 One of the main differences to autism spectrum disorder is that individuals with high functioning autism will normally want to be social and have friends; where as autistic individuals show no interest in socializing.

 Even though individuals with high functioning autism do desire social interaction they still have the same social deficits as those with autism spectrum disorder.

 They lack the ability to read facial expression or body language, lack the ability to understand humor and find reading other peoples feelings difficult. Which can make them socially isolated and often make them the subjects of bullying and taunts.

 This unwanted social isolation and sometimes bullying can lead to anxieties and depression.

 An individual with high functioning autism can become aggressive as a result of the social isolation not understanding why they are the butt of this social isolation, taunting and bullying.

 A good point to remember is a normally developing youngster will learn social skills through family, peers and their environment. An autistic individual will not, this is the same for the high functioning individual.

 Therefore social skills need to be taught and reenforced. The best method for this is using something called social skills stories. These valuable autism resources can be like throwing an autistic individual a life line.

 The high functioning individual can use the autism social skills story to help them develop social skills making them socially accepted, therefore relieving the anxiety, stress and ultimately easing depression.

 Implementing autism social skills stories has never been easier with the internet. Autism social skills stories can be downloaded directly and used for all situations the high functioning autistic individual is struggling with.

 Immediate download of autism social skills stories specifically for high functioning autistic individuals can be found at:


autism social skills stories are used for a wide variety of situations to help autistic individulas find coping methods for social skills they are struggling with
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How You Can Effectively Parent Kids With Aspergers

Parenting any child can be a extremely hard task. Children with Aspergers could offer their parents a range of extra hurdles to pass through. Its vital to completely understand the condition in order to be an effective parent to your kid. Also, joining a community of parents with similar experiences could make your situation a lot simpler to handle.

One of the most ordinary problems which Aspergers could provide children with is the difficulty of determining and accepting another individual’s emotions. It is not so much that they’re not able to feel the same emotions; it is just difficult for them to detect how some other individual is currently feeling.

Obvious signs such as facial expression and tone of voice do not make it apparent for these children. You could implement several social strategies that can help these issues. Exposing your child to a variety of social stories and situations is probably the most common way to help him/her learn how to be empathic toward other people.

It is vital to know that there are many different treatment methods available for Aspergers. What may work for one kid might not work for your own. So, it may be a trial and error technique for finding an efficient approach.

Understanding the various strategies for dealing with the condition would assist you utilize them to give them the best chances of being successful. Patience is a good quality with treating Aspergers, so keep that in mind as you go through the different methods.

Speak with your kid’s school about his/her development. Several children with Aspergers excel in academics, which could mean that they aren’t being fully challenged. Since they are unlikely to speak up and ask for harder assignments, its up to the parents to keep an eye on their child’s grades.

If you notice that your kid is making straight A’s in all of his/her classes, then you may have to suggest having them tested for a gifted class or perhaps promoted to the next grade early. Some symptoms of Aspergers might become obvious when the kid is bored during school. Gifted classrooms are normally helpful to these students, as they provide smaller classroom sizes.

Joining a forum for parents of kids with Aspergers could offer a great deal of insight on how to effectively handle your children’s differences. Belonging to a community of parents that are struggling with similar issues as you do is a beneficial way to gain support. Plus, be able to share advice among the parents make the membership worth it.

Many doctors who you discuss these problems with may provide medical jargon which you are unfamiliar with. Communicating with other parents could assist you gain some of the best knowledge about your kid and Aspergers.

As you can see, children with Aspergers can suffer from a range of social challenges. As parents of these kids, it is important that you learn all you can about the condition so as to assist your child with his/her related issues..

Many treatments can aid alleviate the issues with Children With Aspergers, but it may take several different methods before one is proven to work for your kid. Being part of an Aspergers parenting community can aid you succeed in being an effective parent. To know more visit, http://www.parentingaspergerscommunity.com/
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