Tag Archives: Memory

Question?: Pdd-nos Checklist

Laura asks…

3 year old daughter’s speech. Need other parents’ advice!?

A few days ago, I read a book titled, “The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late” by Thomas Sowell. The book is of course about children who don’t speak or speak very little until they are between 2-4 years old. It emphasizes that bright children also can begin to speak very early, but (focuses on those who do not.)

My daughter is nearly 3. She does not carry on a conversation with anyone, points to most things she wants or we have to “read” her to pick up on what she needs. She sings the alphabet song, counts 1-20, says some sentences that I can comprehend but other sentences I cannot understand. Most times, I only know she is speaking actual sentences when she is going along with what she has “memorized” from commercials or movies while watching them- sometimes she just sits down and recites the movies and commercials from memory, although her words “jumble” together to the point where someone who didn’t know her wouldn’t know she was actually talking. She also loves to cuddle, hug, and play with other children, and she seems to understand some commands very well, and at other times she does not.

I read in the above book that “experts” are too quick to label a child “slow”, autistic, or as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when the child is only highly intelligent, strong willed, or just going at his or her own time-frame when it comes to social interactions and learning the practicalities of everyday life. Many of the late talkers in his study grew up to be engineers, mathematicians, or in other fields which require significant analytical skills. I am not suggesting that my daughter will be a genius. I just have a feeling that she should be allowed to “prosper” naturally. Certain people-those who haven’t had children in 30-60 years and one controlling, passive aggressive doctor (forgive me God for the criticism) who wouldn’t respect my questions and suggestions as a parent-think she needs help! I know that there are excellent professionals out there but, if there are any PARENTS with similar children, I would love your input! I have already read about parents of adult children who had similar “difficulties” as children and had no medical intervention; those adults are doing well.

I do not want to overlook a “problem” that may in fact exist. I am very nervous about taking my daughter to a specialist who may interpret a problem where there is none. I know I’m probably answering my own question, but…

What do you think?
A specialist can’t always tell the difference in my opinion, but thank you soooo much Sari Lynn for your insight!
Thank you Happymomof2. All I can say is that I know what you mean about worrying when I shouldn’t and being made to feel that what is actually “normal” is a delay or problem. I know I shouldn’t worry. My gut tells me everything is okay. It’s only an insecurity that gets me to ask for other people’s opinions about my daughter. I am a stay at home mom and will continue to work with her in a steady fashion. I know she will “catch up!”
Lauren R, I will surely take your advice! Thanks for the info! I worry about being impressionable and influenced if I were to find services available to my daughter, but realizing that I would be in total control of her health and safety help me to not be afraid to work with the professionals if I have to!
ADDED: In the meantime, why don’t you read information from reputable, science-based sources rather than pop-culture sensationalistic books (see below for links).
The Einstein story makes me crazy: Einstein was a genius in one particular area, but a total incompetent in many social (communication!) areas,~Anonymous

Anonymous, it seems as though you’re trying to be “kind” in your response. But, I don’t feel comfortable. I worry enough about my daughter, which is why I’m afraid to go to a specialist who may refer to her as “incompetent”! So, what would that make the specialist? Maybe she does need speech therapy, but I will be sure not to go to someone who labels her “incompetent”! Who says you do well in all your social interactions with others-you just learn to disguise your “fumbles” through the way you’ve learned to communicate!
I stated “I know that there are excellent professionals out there but, if there are any PARENTS with SIMILAR children, I would love your input!”
EDIT: THANK YOU so much for your post Beetlemilk. I will take heed to and look into all the info you have given me!

admin answers:

You are the foremost expert on your child, not any doctor.

I am very similar to your daughter and am 38 yrs old. My father has similarities too. In 1975 I was referred to a behavioral psychologist for peculiar vernacular, and addressing my parents by their names and not pronouns. I was promptly diagnosed ‘Autistic’. I went on to receive many diagnoses, most which were inaccurate like 1978’s school psychologist Stanford-Binet IQ test that resulted in mentally retarded. An independent test I hit the ceiling and was diagnosed as super gifted. I am very bright, I have some social quirks, its functional. I’ve gotten married, had children, held a job, drive, graduated many times from college. I’ve been diagnosed 7x as autistic, 3 were diagnosed asperger’s.

My father was diagnosed Autistic in 1950. He is a director and psychologist for a residential autistic setting. He is thrice times married. He is gifted, has a rather flat affect most of the time and is difficult to engage in conversation. He was hyperlexic, reading @ age 2. He is asperger’s and was diagnosed in 1988 when I was.

I have a son diagnosed autistic and I disagree. Autism like ADHD is a catch-all diagnoses that is over diagnosed. My son has been dx ADHD as well. Really, he’s bipolar. (my background is a psych nurse for years)

Einstein was autistic and that doesn’t fit at least 299.00 or Autistic disorder. More like Bill Gates who is asperger’s.

Engineers and mathematicians are among the highest fields of autistic people in them, some studies say 20%. (My father’s father was an engineer, his mother was a CPA so math). My mother was bipolar, her mother was a mathematician.

Here’s what we know:
Your daughter is bright
She has an incredible rote memory
conversation skills are her area of weakness
she is using some delayed echolalia

Probably she would be diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum given the above and the overdiagnoses of it.

Help? What kind of help? She doesn’t need any help. I’m fine, my father is fine, my brother (dx PDD.NOS) is fine (information tech-computers). She can talk, and the articulation will come. What you can work on with her is conversation skills. Try to get some back and forth. Playdates 1:1.

My sons all get services but they are needed. I ignore a lot of what I don’t feel fits.

Intelligence testing is inaccurate for those without enough language to complete them, and they are inaccurate before age 6. I’ve scored a 56, 147-163 (7x)


So here are signs of asperger’s big deal.
Aspie Adult checklist (Alyson Bradley / www.asplanet.info – Sept. 2008 / updated May 2009):
1. Over think, analyze things,2. Prefer own company, 3. Obsessional interest, 4. Like routine, 5. Like rituals, 6. Collections, 7. Sensory problems, 8. Over focus on details, 9. Perfectionist, 10. Think outside the box!, 11. Cannot understand jokes, 12. Weird laugh and/or make odd noises,13. Nervous fidget, Stim, 14. Upset by crowds, shy, 15. Face doesn’t show emotion, 16. Very honest, can seem naïve, 17. Quirky, different somehow , 18. Cannot understand point of small talk, 19. Cannot understand society unwritten rules, 20. Bullied at school, work etc., 21. Lack of friends, socializing, 22. Friends much older or younger, 23. Mumbles, speaks to self, 24. Inappropriate emotions, response, 25. Connect well with animals, 26. Computer (Mr Spock) like logic, 27. Unexplained memory lapses, 28. Irregular sleeping patterns, 29. Hopeless or expert with maps, 30. Awkward, clumsy, bad body posture….

ON the site above the AS test I score a 44/50 with a score of 32 being most likely aspergers and an average female score of 11.

ETA: Sure

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Question?: What Is Autism In Spanish

Charles asks…

My two year old does not want to open his mouth to speak. He only mumbles. Any speech therapist out there?

He does seem to understand the contents of his books because if he hears me recite the story, he immediately locates the book and even the page I am reciting. . He has books in Spanish and in English. He also likes to play with his baby keyboard softwares.

admin answers:

If he’s learning two languages, it’s normal for there to be a delay. He actually has a larger vocabulary than unilingual kids, but won’t speak till a bit later.

Make sure he uses words when he wants something. If he points and mumbles, say “Do you want milk?” until he responds with an actual word. Do not give in until he uses a word.

His amazing memory paired with his inability to talk could also be a sign of autism. I’d get him to a doctor if I were you.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Test

William asks…

What are the chances of a female getting diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome in the UK?

I think I may have Aspergers syndrome. I will ask for a referall soon. I am a young female adult will I be taken seriously? Thanks

admin answers:

This is a good question and I have some knowlegde of this.

The likelyhood is that, unless you are obviously disabled looking, your GP won’t think you have it or won’t think you will benefit from having a diagnosis. However, often when you ask a UK GP for a referral, for whatever reason, people often get one, so you might be referred. The problem might then be though is where you are referred to and what diagnostic services are avilable in your local area of the UK. There aren’t many places who know about Aspergers in females and how it presents. People who do know about Asperger’s in females say that females are less aggressive, tend not to have meltdowns that boys do, have better social skills than boys, are more empathetic than boys for example. This means that females are less likely to be diagnosed with Aspergers and many diagnostitians won’t know how to spot it. Tony Attwood is a well renouned expert on Asperger’s including Asperger’s in females so you might find his material useful.

Another problem is that as you are a female adult you have to provide informants who knew you as a child and remember you well as a child. Parents can forget how you were in some ways and are unable to answer the specific questions assessors ask and are sometimes unable to give reliable answers, so a diagnosis might be made on shakey grounds. As a young female adult though your parents’ memory might not be so bad.

So, I think the chances aren’t great that an adult female will be confidently diagnosed. If you were looking to have an assessment for a female child who is having serious difficulties then the chances are higher.

Another quesion is why you would want to be diagnosed with it and how you think it would be helpful. Are you looking for support? There are hardly any services for people with Aspergers. If it is for a child or young person who is at school or college, then it would be helpful in terms of having a support worker, a study helper, computer equipment, extra time in tests etc that is if any of these things are needed. Not all people with Asperger’s need help like this though. You could get this help by being diagnosed with dyslexia though. The difference with a dyslxia diagnosis though is that it only last 2 years and you have to pay for the dyslexia test again if you need extra time for exams (which I think costs about £200 or more). If you have an Asperger diagnosis then I think accommodations for that would stand for life.

If you are an adult female with Asperger’s then be prepared that you won’t recieve any support unless you have mental health problems and need therepy from a psychiatrist or a psychologist – which you would get just the same as if you did not have Asperger’s. So, having an Asperger’s diagnosis wouldn’t make any difference to the services you get.

If you live in London there is an organsation called Prospects who offer support. I don’t know how useful they are.

I know a bit about this issue actually, so if you have any more questions then feel free to e-mail me. Below is a YouTube clip of Tony Attwood talking about females with Asperger’s that might interest you. I have lots of other clips on the subject of Asperger’s in females if you’re interested.

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the emilies



People constantly ask why I do this. Why I drag my butt out of bed at this ungodly hour every morning and write my little stories.

I do it selfishly, of course. I do it because I know that if I do, I will have a record of all the moments – good and bad – that would otherwise fade from memory. I will have a running marker of progress – a reminder of how far we’ve come. And a gift to my girls when someday we’re all ready to tackle it together. A chronicle of their childhoods.

I do it for the sense of community. I do it because when I tell you that you’re not alone, it’s undeniable that I’m not either.

I do it for the conversation. For the support. For the love that flows here for my girls, for each other, and for all of our children. For the ideas and suggestions, the fervent prayers and the raucous celebrations.

And those would be reasons enough.

But there’s something else.

There’s the possibility, no matter how slim, that my little stories might reach the Emilies.

The following is a note from a woman I’ve never met in person, but whom, thanks to years of online dialogue, I’d be quick to call a friend.

Her name is Emily.




I just wanted to tell you thank you for teaching me…and since I don’t know the rest of your community, I will tell you. I was at Trader Joes today. There were huge lines at the checkout and I saw a mom with a boy about 13-14 who was wearing headphones and who after reading so many stories I knew was as you say “one of ours” but I felt like he was one of mine and so was his momma.

At any rate, all that you write and say and all that your friends write and say gave me (a shy person by nature) the ability to go up to her and offer to let her get in front of me if it would be easier for her to get out of the hectic store quickly. She thanked me and said sometimes it would be but right now we are in a good place so no thank you.

I wouldn’t have done it before you. I would have thought about it, but wouldn’t have wanted to intrude. So thank you for that.





And now I’m crying. Thank YOU.



Please don’t feel pressured — TRULY — but would you be willing to allow me to share this?




if it makes one other person step out of their comfort zone to try and help someone else by all means…ripples right?



oh for heaven’s sake, now you’re just showing off.


love you girl.


I write because I am convinced that the world is full of Emilies. Of people who — if they knew, if they recognized what they saw — would ask the question.

So I get up.

Every morning.

And write.

Knowing that they’re out there.

Knowing that the more we talk, the more Emilies we will reach.

And the more the world will change for our kids.

One grocery line at a time.


Thank you, Em. 

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A Mechanism To Improve Learning And Memory

Main Category: Psychology / Psychiatry
Also Included In: Alzheimer’s / Dementia;  Autism
Article Date: 22 Feb 2012 – 1:00 PST

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There are a number of drugs and experimental conditions that can block cognitive function and impair learning and memory. However, scientists have recently shown that some drugs can actually improve cognitive function, which may have implications for our understanding of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The new research is reported 21 February in the open-access journal PLoS Biology. The study, led by Drs. Jose A. Esteban, Shira Knafo and Cesar Venero, is the result of collaboration between researchers from The Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa and UNED (Spain), the Brain Mind Institute (EPFL, Switzerland) and the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology (Faculty of Health Sciences, Denmark).

The human brain contains trillions of neuronal connections, called synapses, whose pattern of activity controls all our cognitive functions. These synaptic connections are dynamic and constantly changing in their strength and properties. This process, known as synaptic plasticity, has been proposed as the cellular basis for learning and memory. Indeed, alterations in synaptic plasticity mechanisms are thought to be responsible for multiple cognitive deficits, such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease and several forms of mental retardation.

The study by Knafo et al. provides new information on the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, and how this process may be manipulated to improve cognitive performance. They find that synapses can be made more plastic by using a small protein fragment (peptide) derived from a neuronal protein involved in cell-to-cell communication. This peptide (called FGL) initiates a cascade of events inside the neuron that results in the facilitation of synaptic plasticity. Specifically, the authors found that FGL triggers the insertion of new neurotransmitter receptors into synapses in a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is known to be involved in multiple forms of learning and memory. Importantly, when this peptide was administered to rats, their ability to learn and retain spatial information was enhanced.

Dr. Esteban remarks: “We have known for three decades that synaptic connections are not fixed from birth, but they respond to neuronal activity modifying their strength. Thus, outside stimuli will lead to the potentiation of some synapses and the weakening of others. It is precisely this code of ups and downs what allows the brain to store information and form memories during learning”.

Within this framework, these new findings demonstrate that synaptic plasticity mechanisms can be manipulated pharmacologically in adult animals, with the aim of enhancing cognitive ability. Dr. Knafo adds: “These are basic studies on the molecular and cellular processes that control our cognitive function. Nevertheless, they shed light into potential therapeutic avenues for mental disorders where these mechanisms go awry”.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our psychology / psychiatry section for the latest news on this subject. Funding: This work was supported by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (SAF-2008-04616, SAF-2009-05558-E, CSD-2010-00045, and SAF-2011-24730 to J.A.E; SAF2010-15676 to S.K.; SAF-2009-09129 to C.V.; PI-08/1067 to J.M.S.; SAF-2009-09394 to J.D.F.). In addition, the laboratory of J.A.E. is funded from Fundación Ramón Areces and Institut de France-NRJ; the laboratory of J.D.F. from Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED, CB06/05/0066) and Fundación CIEN; the laboratory of C.S. from the EU (FP7-HEALTH-F2M-2008-201600, MemStick) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (310000-120791). S.K. is the recipient of a “Ramón y Cajal” contract from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: I have read the journal’s policy and have the following conflicts: E. Bock and V. Berezin are shareholders of ENKAM Pharmaceuticals A/S, which owns the FGL peptide (less than 0.01% shares each). Nevertheless, this does not alter our adherence to all the PLoS Biology policies on sharing data and materials.
Citation: Knafo S, Venero C, Sa´nchez-Puelles C, Pereda-Pere´z I, Franco A, et al. (2012) Facilitation of AMPA Receptor Synaptic Delivery as a Molecular Mechanism for Cognitive Enhancement. PLoS Biol 10(2): e1001262. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001262
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History Autism – Important Facts Involving the History of Autism

History Autism

Although the history of autism likely initiated well during a century ago, autism wasn’t formerly recognized as its own condition, it was originally confused provided another mental disorder, schizophrenia. For many years, it was also believed that autism was the result of one, basic cause. Today, it is known that autism does not only have one cause, and nothing about the disorder is basic. History Autism

For instance, although all autistics have issues with social development, some may be highly gifted and learn to live independently, while others are mentally unable to grasp concepts and are completely dependent. However, you may be wondering, how did the history of autism develop and where did it all begin? The following are the main facts that outline the major breakthroughs in autism history.

• 1912 – Eugene Bleuler – a Swiss psychiatrist was the first to recognize a pattern in schizophrenic individuals who seemed to be self-absorbed. Bleuler referred to this self-absorption as “autism”; he was the first to create and use this term. However, he was not the first in the history of autism to recognize autism as being a separate mental disorder from schizophrenia. History Autism

• 1943 – Leo Kanner – an Austrian-American child psychologist was the first to recognize autism as an independent mental disorder. Kanner described a group of 11 children having the following common characteristics: o Displaying anguish with changes o Problems with social interaction o Delayed echolalia (vocally repeating the sounds or words of another) o Good memory o Overly sensitive to specific stimulants, particularly sound o Problems with food o Difficulty being spontaneous o Notable intellectual potential Kanner labeled the behaviors of these 11 children as having early infantile autism.

• 1944 – Hans Asperger – an Austrian scientist and pediatrician, wrote about his experiences with a group of children he came to call autistic psychopaths. Asperger noted many of the same traits in the children that Kanner studied. However, the one trait he did not mention was the delayed echolalia. Instead, he noted that his group of children spoke like “little grown-ups”. Asperger also mentioned their clumsy motor skills that were different from the average child. If the name Asperger looks familiar, this is because he plays a major role in the history of autism in regards to Asperger Syndrome, now recognized as a specific type of high functioning autism.

• 1967 – Bruno Bettelheim – An Austrian-American child psychologist and writer wrote The Empty Fortress: Infantile autism and the birth of the self. Within his work, Bettelheim discussed three therapy session he had with children whom he called autistic. Bettelheim claimed that the autistic disorder was the result of their mother’s coldness. It was his belief that parents should not be involved in the children’s therapy. This lack of understanding of the condition left many parents wrongly feeling they were somehow to blame.

• 1970’s – Autism knowledge and research spread to Sweden. The Erica Foundation in Sweden began education and therapy for autistic children. During their research, it was discovered that autism was more complex than initially realized. This led researchers down a new path, making them realize, for one of the first time in the history of autism that there was more than one, general cause of autism.

• 1980’s – Autism research really took off and more researchers were becoming convinced that the typical reasons were related to neurological disturbances, which may be on occasion combined with other genetic factors such as chromosomal aberrations, metabolic disturbances, or illness.

For information on recognizing and treating autism sign up for the free Autism newsletter below. The history of autism still continues to this day, as researchers are still on a quest to determine the cause and the most effective treatment. Don’t let your child suffer anymore! Lead your child out of his world through History Autism program now!

History Autism is a proven Autism Solution for your Child.

Try The Program and change child’s life forever!
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