Tag Archives: Muscles

Question?: Autism Symptoms In Infants

George asks…

What are the symptoms of a child with autism?

how do you know your child is autistic?

admin answers:

If your baby otherwise seems to be growing and developing normally, then that is probably not a sign of autism. Among other normal developmental milestones that you would expect at this age include that your baby smiles, is usually comforted or soothed when she is picked up, follows objects past the midline of her face, make ‘ooo’ and ‘aah’ type cooing noises, and maybe has begun laughing. You should definitely discuss it with your Pediatrician if you don’t think your baby’s behavior is normal though.

The symptoms you describe could also be seen in infants with high muscle tone, especially if her muscles usually seem extra stiff. This is something that you should also discuss with your Pediatrician, but it isn’t really related to autism at all.

Among the early signs and symptoms that parents and Pediatricians look for to alert them that a child needs further evaluation for autism include:

* not smiling by six months of age
* not babbling, pointing or using other gestures by 12 months
* not using single words by age 16 months
* not using two word phrases by 24 months
* having a regression in development, with any loss of language or social skills

Infants with autism might also avoid eye contact, and as they get older, act as if they are unaware of when people come and go around them, as you can see in this autism screening quiz.

Keep in mind that autism usually isn’t diagnosed until about age 3, although some experts believe that some children begin to show subtle signs as early as six months of age.

There is also an autism study that showed that some children with autism had abnormal brain growth. Specifically, they had a smaller than average head size at birth (at the 25th percentile), but then had a period of rapid head growth during which their head size moved up to the 84th percentile by age 6-14 months. But rapid head growth is not a sign in all kids with autism.

In general, if you are concerned about your child’s development, especially if you think that they might have autism, you should talk to your Pediatrician and consider a more formal developmental evaluation.

And keep in mind that when a child arches her back a lot, it can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux (Sandifer Syndrome), although you would usually expect other symptoms, like spitting up and being fussy.
Getting An Evaluation
One of the frustrating things that occurs when parents think something is wrong with their child’s development is that they may be told ‘not to worry’ or that they ‘should just wait.’ Experts think that it is better for parents to trust their instincts and get their child evaluated if they think that they aren’t developing normally. This guide from First Signs is a good resource for parents trying to share their concerns with their Pediatrician.

Your local early childhood development program may also be able to do an evaluation if you are concerned about your child’s development.

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Question?: Schizophrenia Medication

Maria asks…

How do you get rid of restlessness from new medication for schizophrenia?

I’m on a new medication for schizophrenia called saphris and it’s making me REALLY restless and drowsy,i can’t sleep or anything .I go back to my psychiatrist in 9 days to see how the medication is going but i can’t not go to sleep why is this happening,how do you get rid of it? thanks a bunch xx

admin answers:

These symptoms may decrease or go away altogether once you get more used to the medicine. Of course tell your doctor any side effects as he may adjust your medication, change it, or add another. I would take the medication in the morning so that it will affect your sleep the least. During the day I would take a vitamin B-complex, and a B-12 (sublingual version) to help you be less tired and have more energy. One hour before bed I would take 3 mg of melatonin, 300 mg of calcium, 300 mg of magnesium with a small amount of protein and carbs. This combo will relax your muscles and nervous system, and increase your natural sleep hormones. None of them are sedatives. So they are completely safe to take with Saphris. You can get all these supplements at Walmarts in the vitamin section. I think you will find these additions to help a lot and are also healthy for you.

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Question?: Adhd Medications

Daniel asks…

Will I definitely lose weight on any ADHD medication?

Do all adult ADHD medications act as an appetite suppressant or is it just Ritalin and Adderall. I’ve been diagnosed recently and I’m happy with my body/weight I’m trying to find a medication that won’t make me lose.

admin answers:

My way of losing weight is priceless and more practical. It will save energy, time and most of all, medical bills. Simply drink 12-15 glasses of water each day PLUS 1/2 glass of lukewarm milk before going to bed to make your bones and teeth healthy and strong. DO NOT DRINK COFFEE, TEA, LIQUOR, CHOCOLATE AND SOFTDRINKS. Eat your regular meals. Eat only fruits and vegetables. DO NOT EAT SPICY, FATTY, SWEET, JUNK FOOD AND SALTY FOOD. Do 20 sit ups every morning to make your muscles firm. Try these for 3 months.

I lose weight in 3 months from 75 kilos to 62 kilos. I am on my 5th year now and am maintaining my weigth from 56 kilos to 58 kilos. So, as I have mentione, try these in 3 months.

Have a nice day and GOD BLESS 🙂

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Rain Night at the Ballpark

So, when it was pouring rain on Friday, were you all, “Thank God I didn’t go to that baseball game with Stimey!”?

I’ll admit it: even I kinda wished I wasn’t going to the baseball game. Especially when we got there and it was still something like 900 degrees outside, but it was pouring rain and this is what it looked like out on the field.

That bright sky gave us a little hope though.
Not to mention that even though Friday was Hockey for Hope/Autism Awareness Night for the Bowie Baysox, Sunday is Cowboy Monkey Rodeo night.


Cowboy monkeys. Riding DOGS.

We clearly chose the wrong night to attend.

Except we didn’t, because Jack and the other diehard Cheetahs players (and some players from a couple other local teams) who attended got to go out on the field and be cheered on by all 16 people in attendance.

I’m not sure if you’ll be able to spot my family in the crowd.
It was really cool. Jack and the other players were totally into it. Jack did his flexed muscles pose and then he stood out there with his thumb in the air. He cracks me up. But what is he staring at with that funny expression?

So, those unidentifiable creatures are Louie (the green…thing) and Rocko (the rockfish? I think?). Evidently Louie is the original mascot and Rocko is a new secondary mascot. Because all minor league baseball teams need two mascots. I’m thinking of getting a secondary mascot myself. You know, to help Algernon out.

We ended up having a really fun time. The kids ate a lot of junk food, including 12 dollars worth of ice.

Quinn: “This is turning out to be a great dinner!”
I think the Baysox won, which is great. We didn’t find out because we bailed after the second inning when it started thundering and then rain started pouring down. I actually wish we could have stayed longer because I was having a lot of fun, which is strange considering I find baseball to be, by far, the most boring of the sports.

But you don’t argue with a sky like this:

It’s funny, because even though I don’t like baseball, I feel like that’s all I’ve been talking about lately. In fact, I have a report from an Orioles game we went to a while back that I haven’t posted yet either. That’ll come soon. Interestingly, it poured rain that night too.

And now I have to go because we have an early baseball practice tomorrow. See? All baseball, all the time. Enjoy your weekend!

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Brain Wired At Birth But Experience Selects Which Connections To Keep

Main Category: Neurology / Neuroscience
Also Included In: Autism
Article Date: 08 Jun 2012 – 1:00 PDT Current ratings for:
‘Brain Wired At Birth But Experience Selects Which Connections To Keep’
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Ask the average person the street how the brain develops, and they’ll likely tell you that the brain’s wiring is built as newborns first begin to experience the world. With more experience, those connections are strengthened, and new branches are built as they learn and grow.

A new study conducted in a Harvard lab, however, suggests that just the opposite is true.

As reported in the journal Neuron, a team of researchers led by Jeff Lichtman, the Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, has found that just days before birth mice undergo an explosion of neuromuscular branching. At birth, the research showed, some muscle fibers are contacted by as many as 10 nerve cells. Within days, however, all but one of those connections had been pruned away.

“By the time mammals – and humans would certainly be included – are first coming into the world, when they can do almost nothing, the brain is probably very wired up,” Lichtman said. “Through experience, the brain works to select, out of this mass of possible circuits, a very small subset…and everything else that could have been there is gone.

“I don’t think anyone suspected that this was taking place – I certainly didn’t,” he continued. “In some simple muscles, every nerve cell branches out and contacts every muscle fiber. That is, the wiring diagram is as diffuse as possible. But by the end, only two weeks later, every muscle fiber is the lifelong partner of a single nerve cell, and 90 percent of the wires have disappeared.”

Though researchers, including Lichtman, had shown as early as the 1970’s that mice undergo an early developmental period in which target cells including muscle fibers and some neurons are contacted by multiple nerve cells before being reduced to a single connection, those early studies and his current work were hampered by the same problem – technological challenges make it difficult to identify individual nerve cells in earlier and earlier stages of life.

And though the use of mice that have been genetically-engineered to express fluorescent protein molecules in nerve cells has made it easier for researchers to identify nerve cells, it remains challenging to study early stages of development because the fluorescent labeling in the finest nerve cell wires often becomes so weak as to be invisible.

“We typically begin studying these mice at about a week after birth, but as we began to look at earlier and earlier stages, the fluorescent color was coming up ever more weakly,” Lichtman said. “If you went from post-natal day seven to post-natal day four, there were very few labeled cells. And if you went to post-natal day zero, there were none.”

Eventually, he said, J.D. Wylie, one of the lead authors, took a new idea – using antibodies to label nerve cells – and a bit of luck for the research to pay off.

“We were just very lucky that one of the first animals we looked at, we saw a labeled axon,” Lichtman said. “Once we saw it, I knew it was just a matter of time until we got another, but it wasn’t until J.D. did 50 more than we found it, so to get the 20 or so examples we have, thousands of mice had to be looked at. Had we not seen that first one, I think we might have given up on this. It took a lot of effort and work, but it showed something that we’ve never seen before, which is a remarkable amount of connectivity.”

Simply identify the axons, however, was only the first step.

To fully understand how widely diffuse the branching becomes early on, researchers had to count how many different nerve cells were contacting muscle fibers. To accomplish that feat, Juan Carlos Tapia, the other lead author used a new technique the lab had developed for serial electron microscopy that allowed him to capture images of as many as 10 axons connecting to a single muscle fiber.

After reaching its peak at birth, researchers found the branching was quickly pruned back, until just a single nerve axon remains connected to each muscle fiber. Though there isn’t a definitive answer to what is driving that pruning process, Lichtman said there is strong suggestive evidence that points to experience.

“We think that experience must be the engine that allows some branches to survive and the vast majority to disappear,” he said. “If this were a stereotypical developmental program, you might imagine that it might trim off whole parts of the arbor, but when you look at where the ten percent of surviving branches are located, you see the arbor extends over the same area, it simply has fewer branches. It has chosen, at the terminal level, which branches to keep and which not to.”

In future studies, Lichtman plans to study how those decisions are made, work that could potentially lead to insight into a number of disorders, including autism.

“That is one theory people have talked about, whether autism could be a disorder where connections that should have been trimmed back weren’t, and as a result stimuli are much more intense than they should be,” he said. “There are stories about children with autism spectrum disorders who cannot run in their bare feet on grass, because it’s just too painful.”

Ultimately, Lichtman said, the paper spotlights the unique developmental strategy undertaken by all mammals, including humans.

“This is a strategy to generate a nervous system that is tuned to the world it finds itself in,” Lichtman said. “Interestingly, this is not the predominant strategy of nervous systems on the planet. Most animals – insects for example – come into the world knowing, based on their genetic heritage, exactly how to behave.

“It seems like a paradox – why would the best brains seem to be the most backward, and take the longest to figure out how to do things?” he asked. “Rather than allowing our genes to tyrannize our behavior, we more than any other animal are under the tyranny of the environment we find ourselves in. If you start with a nervous system that allows for any wiring diagram, you need only choose the right option for a particular environment. That’s why humans today are behaving differently than our grandparents, and our grandparents are different from people 1,000 years ago, or 10,000 years ago. Whereas a fruit fly today and a fruit fly 1,000 years ago are probably behaving the same way”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
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How Can Your Autistic Child Improve With Handwriting?

Children with autism may find it difficult to focus, concentrate on teaching method’s or learning new skills. One of the difficulties for many individuals with autism, is their handwriting. How can he or she improve their handwriting?

I have experienced by watching autistic children in the classroom, especially in our traditional classrooms, most of the students who have autism, display a difficult time with handwriting, how to relate to it or what to do with it.

The length of keeping your autistic child to stay focused, capture new approaches or new techniques, is sometimes a challenge for children to learn and improve with their handwriting.

In addition, the teacher, other students who have their attention on learning and going forward with the next step, involved in making progress, can be hindered.

Handwriting for autistic children may make a difference by using the correct tools, imagination, techniques and knowing what the individual is capable of doing and not doing. For example:

* Use a wide pencil for a better grip.

* A larger tool for writing, such as, a crayon, lumber pencil, darker lead in the pencil, colorful lead, etc.

* If desired, you may want to use a smaller writing tool, for a better grip for your child.

* Use larger paper to start with.

* Use a slant board for comfort.

Remember, handwriting is an imperative skill and is used for basic communication, worldwide.

Being able to write well encourages a child to, write articles, take notes, write essays, poems, reviews, book reports, summaries, prepare for lectures, etc.

To teach a child handwriting who has autism, a plan should be created for the entire class. This plan should include, being aware of various motor skills for each individual. This is extremely helpful to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each child.

If you, or your teacher know of certain activities that may strengthen the muscles in the fingers and hands, of the child who has autism, try to initiate those activities, so those areas become stronger. This is a great help for gaining confidence to improve handwriting. For example:

* Stringing beads.

* Playing the piano or typing.

* Finger painting.

* Playing with finger puppets.

* Squeezing a hand ball.

* Paint by numbers.

* Activities that involve weaving.

* Stringing yarn to make a picture.

* Connecting dots on paper to make a picture or form.

Improving handwriting skills in your autistic child, may require you to take notice of the grip, your child is using for a tool. Sometimes, children push down too hard, hold the writing tool too tight. This may cause it to break or become too wobbly and out of balance to write with.

Encourage your child to improve his or her handwriting, if he or she is having a difficult time. I have experienced, when teaching an autistic child something new, and it requires skill, be patient. Be creative. There will be positive results for your child and you.

Bonita Darula operates a web sight==> http://www.autismintoawareness.com/ SIGN up to RECEIVE your FREE WEEKLY AUTISTIC NEWSLETTER on current TOPICS which will include updated links for you to review and learn from. Take action and learn how to improve handwriting for your autistic child.

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What Should A Parent Do When Their Child Is Diagnosed With Asperger’s Syndrome – Part 2

We have already checked out some factor that you’ll be able to do immediately after you learn that your child has Asperger’s. These things were mainly to try to to with how you create the individuals and therefore the environment around the child more accommodating thus that there is overall acceptance and facilitate for your child.

There are things you’ll do with the child to assist her along in their development.

1.    Establish a routine. All kids work best underneath routine, however its even more important with a child with Aspergers. Wake-up time, get dressed, get breakfast, get prepared for school, have your meal, bedtime – all these ought to be as routine as possible. The vital issue here is to create certain that you stick with the routine because changes are bound to upset your child. It’s a truth of life that we cannot be with them all the time, however if you’ve got to leave, build positive that whoever is accountable understands the price if the routine and sticks to it.

2.    Set very specific expectations. Bear in mind that Asperger’s will not have an effect on intelligence as such, and your child should be able to satisfy affordable expectations (create sure they are cheap). Expectations lay out for the kid in very clear terms what is expected of them and eliminates litter and confusion.

3.    Visual aids are nice for kids with Aspergers, thus use them whenever you can. Create them as fun as possible. Use them to help you with that daily routine, and you may find that they perceive a lot of faster. Draw photos and stick them round the house to remind them to bound things at sure times. Go ahead and obtain any alternative visual aids that you’re thinking that may be of facilitate – your therapist or doctor should be able to prescribe some.

4.    Because they need motor co-ordination development issues, play games that will help them develop their muscles and co-ordination. Create the games fun, but keep the subtle. Loud noises or bright lights will be disturbing for some kids therefore try and invent quiet games. Your doctor should be in a position to help with these too – there are some that are recommended.

5.    As a result of they’re slow to find out emotion, aid them along by talking to them regarding human feelings. Watch TV, for instance, with a touching story, and then go ahead and discuss the varied characters and how they felt and why they were happy or sad. With time, they will start to understand emotion and become a lot of empathic towards others.

With these tips, you are only obtaining started on looking for the various ways that you’ll be able to help your kid if they suffer from Asperger’s. There are countless ways. A number of them you’ll learn from reading or interacting with folks in different forums. Others can come back to you as you still interact along with your child and acquire to be told and understand them better.

Always keep connected, as a result of it can help you to understand that there are more individuals out there who see the same answers that you simply do. You’ll begin by joining our on-line group, Parenting Asperger’s Community, to connect and learn more at http://www.parentingaspergerscommunity.com
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