Tag Archives: Hopes And Dreams

back to school

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I have a post brewing, my friends. A big one. A really sort of terrifying one. One that – as desperately as I want to write it THISVERYSECOND – demands, and deserves, far more than the eight minutes that I have right now to write it. So it will have to continue to simmer just below the surface for one more day.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share the following. Yesterday, a friend asked for some resources to share with teachers in her kiddo’s school. Since it’s that time of year – the time so fraught with anxiety and doubt and sometimes downright abject terror and How is my baby gonna make it in school and Will he have someone looking out for him and Will there be someone who gets her, who helps her, who will take the time to understand her and Will she maybe, just maybe, make a friend?

Yup, it’s that time of year.

Here is what I shared with my friend. Please – seriously, PLEASE – add to the list in the comments!

Happy reading – I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Momastery On Gifts and Talents

Temple Grandin’s Advice For Educating Autistic Kids

Just Stimming: Quiet Hands

Mom-NOS: A Hairdryer Kid in a Toaster-Brained World

Diary: Hopes and Dreams

Diary: How to Talk to Kids About Learning Differences – Part One and Part Two

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How Is Autism Treated

There have been stories and tales of a cure or magical treatment for autism. These claims are not true. They set up the hopes and dreams of both parents and teachers alike only to be disenchanted with the discovery that the claim is false. There has only been one proven treatment for autism and the treatment is not a cure. The treatment is an educational program that individually fits the autistic child’s abilities and works around the disabilities to teach the child alternative forms of communication and behavioral skills which will allow them some semblance of a normal adulthood. When an autistic child reaches school age, there will be a meeting of professionals including a psychologist, doctors, parents, speech therapists, and other interested parties who will draw up an individualize education program for the child. The program will look at the abilities of the child and what level of achievement the child has had in the parent’s home and outside services. Mainstreaming the child into regular classrooms is the goal of the program, but the child will be pulled out of mainstream classes in order to provide special services which may include a speech instructor or an behavior specialist who works on both the communication process and the behavior associated with autism.

There are advocates that autistic children should be brought out of the mainstream classes and put into a more restrictive environment that will limit the sensory items that might distract or upset the child. The autistic child needs to have a pattern in their lives and in the mainstream classroom; the hustle and bustle of public education settings may lead them to sensory overload. Not only that but the social aspect of being different and not being able to contribute or communicate to the rest of the class can be heartbreaking to both the student and the teachers involved. The self-contained class room will break down tasks into manageable chunks that the child can be successful and maybe eventually learn.

The treatment process goes on both at home and at school. The autistic child must be taught how to appropriately interact with others. A common behavior in autistic children is to take off their clothes. They see no sense of wrong or right by being nude in public. Such behaviors need time and patience to mend and some methods might work for one child and then be completely a failure for others. Parents, teachers, and medical professionals need to keep abreast of new treatments so that they can replace a treatment or method that has been proven a failure for a particular child. Sometimes the behavior cannot be changed at all and the individualize education program must come up with strategies to deal with the behavior.

Parents and teachers must remember that the autism is a life long condition and as the child moves through life the treatments must change to fit the life period of that child. For example, when puberty come along the autistic child will discover themselves sexually and masturbation usually follows. The program must change to fit the new behavior of masturbation and in a few years it must change again to teach the child the appropriate behaviors with the opposite sex. The changes are not understood by the child, but like Pavlov’s dog, a conditioned response may be instilled in the child and the proper behavior may be a learned response.

Visit My Blog for more FREE information, help and guidance.

Visit: http://autismforum.blogspot.co.uk/

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Spotlight on Jay Nolan Community Services

This blog post is by Jeff Strully, the Executive Director of Jay Nolan Community Services, Inc.

When Jay Nolan Community Services, Inc. (JNCS) was first established in 1975, we initially provided support for people with autism and other disabilities in group settings. But then in 1992, in a sign of the times, we changed our philosophy and the way we delivered services. We made the crucial decision to close our group homes and begin providing people with individualized and personalized support. Our goals were to enable them to live in their own homes, make money at jobs they enjoyed, and become fully participating members of their communities. And what a positive change it was! 20 years ago, we managed 13 group homes; today, we instead have 97 individuals living in 96 different homes of their own with varying levels of support.

Today JNCS is the leading provider of personalized support services in California, with most of its consumers concentrated in Southern California – particularlyLos Angeles, Santa Clara and surrounding counties. We are nationally recognized for offering high-quality individualized and personalized care and planning, guided by the needs and wishes of the person receiving services and his or her circle of support. Our philosophy grows out of the belief that – with the right kinds of support and assistance – individuals with disabilities can and should pursue their hopes and dreams and live their lives to the fullest potential as active members of their communities. It is an ideal of inclusion rather than exclusion and segregation.

One of our key beliefs at JNCS is that providers should not control housing, but the adult with autism and his/her family must control the lease. Therefore, if that individual fires us, then they continue to have control of their home. Person-centered work is also essential – this includes person-centered planning, person-centered support, correct and appropriate matching, listening, circles of support, and standing with people during both the easy as well as the difficult times. These are all part and parcel of what it takes to make it work. Then, the ongoing challenge is to sustain these efforts as people change, their needs change, and economic and health conditions change over time.

But most of all, it takes WILL. We need to have the will to keep going each and every day. Some days are wonderful and things seem to work out perfectly. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you just don’t succeed. The best you can do is get up tomorrow, think about what went right or wrong, and then figure out what you are going to do today to make it better for the people you serve.

For more information about Jay Nolan Community Services, visit them here.

For more information about the new Autism Speaks Housing and Residential Supports Portal and tool kit, please click here.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

INTRODUCTION

Every parent has hopes and dreams for their children and all parents want their kids to

be the best and even though no one is ever perfect, they would still try to make them

perfect, But all this may be shattered once this little boy or girl gets diagnosed with

one of the most alarming disorders in the world of childhood disorders which is not

only a serious disability; but is also a bewildering one this disorder is called Autism.

A. Title:

Autism Spectrum Disorder

B. Why Autism?

there were six childhood psychological disorders other then autism that any person would find very interesting to do a research about, but autism is found to be one of the most dangerous and confusing childhood disorder any parent can find also learning a bit about autism in Oman made it very important to talk and explain this disorder to Omani parents and the Omani community as a whole.

C. Purpose:

To spread awareness on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Oman and this will have a great and positive impact on the treatment of the Omani children that were diagnosed with Autism.

 

 

D. Objectives:
To give the reader a clear and detailed information on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
To spread awareness on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder to the Omani people in specific.
E. Limits and Difficulties:
The time given before the dead-line was not enough.
References like books, articles, etc… Related to the subject were very limited.

 

F. Methodology:

The methods used to complete this report included reading from different sources including: Books, Magazines, and Web sites also visiting The Muscat Autism Center was very helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Root of the word “Autism:

The word Autism comes or drives from the Greek word “Auto” which means self, and the adjective word “Autistic” literally means alone.

In the world of psychology and psychiatry autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder is defined as:

A life-long brain disorder that is normally diagnosed in early childhood.
A disorder that causes kids to experience the world differently from the way most other kids do.
A complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.

The history of Autism:

The word “Autism” was first used in 1943 by a psychiatric and physician called Leo Kanner who wrote a paper on “Autistic Disturbance of Attitude contact ” for a journal called: nervous child” which does not exist anymore, Dr. Leo wrote that article after conducting a research on 11 children of ages between two to eight years old who had similar symptoms which included difficulties communicating with others, difficulties interacting with others, and having unusual interests. Before the publication of that article children with the previous symptoms were labeled as “schizophrenic”. (Kocgel & Lazebnik)

 

Types of Autism

 

There are many types of autism some are known while others are not known, but there are 5 main types that most researchers agree with, which are:

1) Classic Autism:

This type can be recognized before the age of 3 years, but can be diagnosed later in life. Children diagnosed with classic autism show lack of eye to eye contact, lack of affection or emotional contact with others, difficulty to socialize and interact with others, intense wish for sameness in routine, and develop language late or not at all.

Children diagnosed with Classic autism also show high levels of Visio -spatial skills* but major difficulties in other areas.

2) Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which  includes:

A)    Aspergers Syndrome:

Is a form of autism in which speech development and IQ are normal, but in which social disabilities can be compounded by depression and mental health problems [1]. This syndrome is a higher functioning disorder than classic autism and can range from mild to saver. A child diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome can exhibit a number of characteristics, show deficiencies in social skills and have difficulties with transition or change ( they compulsively stick to rituals and any changes in their routine can upset them), they also find it difficult to read body language and to determine the proper body space.

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Some of the kids that were diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome have shown reduced sensitivity to pain & an increased sensitivity to bright light and loud noises.

*Visual Spatial Learners have a very wide imagination, that helps them make a whole movie just by reading something, that is because they can draw a picture in their mind about anything they read or hear.

 

B)  Rett Syndrome or Rex Syndrome:

This is a neurological & developmental disorder that is marked by poor head growth. Some doctors claim that Rett or Rex Syndrome is not a part of autism spectrum disorder, the reason behind this claim is that Rett or Rex Syndrome is a disorder that mostly occurs in females whereas autism affects mostly males.

Children suffering from this syndrome show loss of muscle tone, diminished eye contact, and crawling or walking problems, they also stop using their hands and often develop stereotyped hand movements such as: wringing, clapping, or patting their hands. Kids diagnosed with Rett or Rex Syndrome loses the ability to perform motor skills.

C) Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD):

This disorder occurs a little late in the child’s life, first the child seems perfectly normal then by the age of 2-4 years they start to regress, where they stop socializing with people, loss potty-training skills, stop playing, and stop making friends. The difference between autism and CDD is the long period of normal development below age 2. (Bock & Stauth, 1999)

D) Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS):

A child that exhibits some but not all of the classic autism symptoms is said to have PDD-NOS.

Children with PDD-NOS either do not fully meet the criteria of symptoms used to diagnose any of the four specific types of autism or do not have the degree of impairment described in any of the above four specific types.

Causes of Autism

Until this very day no one knows what the exact cause of autism is the only thing that is clear is that autism affects 1 of 150 kids.

The brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells called neurons. Each neuron may have hundreds or thousands of connections that carry massages to other nerve cells in the brain and body. The connections and the chemical messengers (called neurotransmitters) let the neurons that help you see, move, remember, and work together as they should, but for some reason some of the cells and connections in the brain of a kid with autism –especially those that affect communication, emotion, and senses- don’t develop properly or get damaged. Scientists are still trying to understand how and why this happens [1].

Is lack of a mother’s affection a cause for autism?

While the definite causes of autism is not yet found or clear, it is clear that there is no any connection between bad parenting or having a cold mother and the development of autism.

At first Dr. Leo Kanner, the psychiatrist who first described autism as a unique condition in 1943, believed that it was caused by cold, unloving mothers. Bruno Bettelheim, a renowned professor of child development supported this misinterpretation of autism. Their promotion of the idea that unloving mothers caused their children’s autism created a generation of parents who carried the tremendous burden of guilt for their children’s disability.

In the 1960s and 70s, Dr. Bernard Remand, the father of a son with autism, who later founded the Autism Society of America and the Autism Research Institute, helped the medical community understand that autism is not caused by cold parents but rather is a biological disorder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The diagnosis of Autism

There are no any biological tests that can be done to detect if a child is suffering from autism or not, the diagnosis of autism depends solely on observation and also educational and psychological testing.

An autism-specific screening tool, such as the Modified Checklist of Autism in Toddlers (MCHAT) should be used. The MCHAT is a list of simple questions about the child. The answers determine whether he or she should be referred to a specialist, usually a Developmental Pediatrician, a Neurologist, a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist, for further evaluation.

What do doctors do?

Often, specialists work together as a team to figure out what is wrong. The team might include a pediatrician, a pediatric neurologist, a pediatric develop- mentalist, a child psychiatrist, a child psychologist, speech and language therapists, and others. The team members study how the child plays, learns, communicates, and behaves. The team listens carefully to what parents have noticed, too. Using the information they have gathered doctors can decide whether a child has autism or not.

DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of Autism:

A total of six (or more) items from heading (A), (B), and (C), with at least two from (A), and one each from (B) and (C):

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

• Marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to- eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, 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 to other people).
• A lack of social or emotional reciprocity.

(B) 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 gesture 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.

(C) Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least two of the following:

• Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted 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 objects.

II. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:

(A) Social interaction.
(B) Language is used in social communication.
(C) Symbolic or imaginative play.

III. The disturbance is not better accounted for by Rett’s Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.[1]

 

 

 

 

 

[1] (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders , fourth edition)

 

Treatments used to cure clients diagnosed with Autism

There is no cure for autism but there are treatments that will help reduce the intense of the disorder and help the child and the family cope with the disorder.

Treatment for autism is a very intensive, comprehensive undertaking that involves the child’s entire family and a team of professionals. Some programs may take place in the child’s home with professionals and trained therapists and may include Parent Training for the child under supervision of a professional. Some programs are delivered in a specialized center, classroom or preschool.

There are many therapies and treatments for autism here are some of the most common ones [1] :

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Pivotal Response Therapy (PRT)
Verbal therapy
Floor time
Relationship Development Intervention

 

 

 

 

 

[1] (http://www.autismspeaks.org/treatment/floortime.php)

Autism in Oman

As mention in the beginning of the report the main objective from this report is to spread introduce the “Autism Spectrum Disorder” to the Omani people, because after a field research that was made in Oman on children suffering from autism the number 4000,200,1, and 0 was the result of this research.

What does 4000, 200, 1, and 0 stand for?

4000 = number cases of autism in Oman.

200 = number of cases diagnosed in Oman.

1 = number of child psychiatry clinic in Oman.

0 = the future number of undiagnosed cases of autism in Oman.

After reading and understanding the above number it is belived that no more words or discussion is need accept:

“There is a problem you are the solution. There is a dream, you make it real”

Dr. Yahya Al-Farsi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a very scary developmental disorder that deserves special attention, and having as much knowledge about this disorder makes it easier to notice it and diagnosing it earlier and this will help lower the risk of it becoming a sever and un-curable disorder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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