Tag Archives: Occupational Therapy

Question?: Autism Signs 2 Year Old

Susan asks…

Best way to work with an autistic child?

Alright well we recently found out that a two year old relative of mine, a little boy, is autistic. He cannot say any real words, he talks gibberishly occasionally but never tries to communicate with us. The doctors said that we should talk to him a lot now. What are the best things or activities we can do with him to help him learn to talk faster? Thanks!

admin answers:

Children with autism best learn by repetitiveness. Many children with autism like routines. You need to speak to them directly, at eye level and in plain words. Children with autism tend to take things very literally..for example, if you said that’ll be a piece of cake meaning it will be easy, they would look for a piece of cake. When doing things with them it is best to have a clear beginning and ending to the acitvity. If you read Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew, by Ellen Notbohm (link below to excerpt from book), this will give you a better understanding on communicating with them.

His parent(s) should look into a speech therapy assessment. This will help him with his communication and oral motor skills. They should be sure the therapist has knowledge in sign language and the picture exchange communication system (PECS). Many times these forms of communication are used until they can learn to communicate on their own. They should also have an occupational therapy assessment done. This will help him if he has any fine motor skill delays and if he has sensory integration (many children with autism have some type of sensory issue). Left alink below so the parents can print some PEC pictures, and a link to an answer I left for someone else on how to implement PECS. They also need to look at all forms of treatments for their child (learning approaches, complimentary approaches, & biomedical and diet approaches) , you have to do it on trail basis because what may work for one child may not work for another if even their characteristics are the same.

Have them check with the local school board for early intervention services, this can make a big difference. It’s been proven that children with autism who receive early intervention tend to do better than those who don’t. They need to get familiar with special ed, such as individuals with disabilities education act (IDEA), individual family service plan (IFSP), individual education plan (IEP), and 504 plan. (links below for more info on those). He can also receive services such as speech and occupational therapy through the school. Like for my son he receives speech therapy at the school 3 times per week and occupational 1 time per week, outside of school he receives speech 2 times a week and speech 1 time a week. They need to be sure they keep documentation of everything, from assessments to any communication done with anyone about his autism.

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Question?: Pdd Nos Symptoms

Mandy asks…

Looking for simple explanation of PDD-NOS (Pervasive De – and things that have worked to improved the diagnose

Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

admin answers:

PDD-NOS is a condition on the autism spectrum. Autism is generally defined as a disorder involving language delay, difficulties with social reciprocity and social skills, and repetitive behavior. PDD-NOS is a condition where there are signs and symptoms of autism, but not enough to make a full diagnosis. For instance, perhaps the person shows language delay and difficulty with social skills, but not repetitive behavior in the classically autistic sense. That kind of thing.
Interventions for PDD-NOS are similar to those used for autism: speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior intervention, social skills intervention, etc. However, individuals on the autism spectrum are NOT the same – there is a huge variance in how people act and behave, even though they might have similar diagnoses. As a result, the type of interventions that might work best for one person might be different for someone else.

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Question?: Treatment For Autism Spectrum Disorder In Children

Lizzie asks…

Can you have PDD-NOS and not be on the autism spectrum?

Our son has a huge line-up of testing that is scheduled to be done, but the neurologist said that he more than likely has PDD-NOS. Our speech therapist said that PDD isn’t autism, it’s just a delay, is that true? I thought they both go hand in hand.

admin answers:

In short no.

PDD-NOS is on the autism spectrum, it is NOT classic autism, but it is still an ASD- Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Long answer-

Your son might end up with a provisional diagnoses of PDD-NOS- meaning they will diagnose him with that, but then later might drop it. Its very difficult especially at a young age to properly diagnose a child if they have classic autism, or Aspbergers, or a general developmental problem. It can take years for them to know for sure what your son has- but it doesn’t change what type of help he is going to need, however for most state/school programs as well as insurance cases, they need some form of diagnoses to pay for speech/occupational therapy whatever they determine he needs. Because the treatment plan decided on will be individual to your son, it doesn’t really matter what “label” he has as long as he is getting the help he needs.

The name PDD-NOS literally means- Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified, meaning they just don’t have enough data to decided how to specify it. While he has the diagnoses of PDD-NOS he is considered to be on the autism spectrum- however in time they may decided it was a general delay and he won’t be considered on the spectrum anymore.

Right now, my son, has just gone through a bunch of tests, and has a couple more lined up in the fall. He has PDD-NOS, but they feel he will end up being either classic autism or Asbergers, or even OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) but right now he shows signs of all three, so they aren’t sure which he has. His neurologist describes it this way- when a plant is very small, sometimes you aren’t sure what type of flower is going to grow on it, however once it blooms it is obvious what kind of plant it was- but it doesn’t change that it is a plant. Meaning my son has something, we aren’t sure what, but it doesn’t change the fact he has something. The main concern is how do you help him get better.

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Question?: Autism Signs In 3 Year Olds

Paul asks…

Question for parents with autistic children?

My 3year-old daughter has autism, and right now she is in DD Pre-K for 12 hours a week. She loves school, but I feel like I should be doing more for her (like speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc.).

So my question is…what kinds of activities are your autistic children involved in? Thanks so much!

admin answers:

When my daughter was that age, she attended early-intervention pre-K for about 9 hours a week, and had occupational and speech therapy for 1-2 hours per week. Other than that, we just played with her. She loved Barney & Friends and learned a lot from watching that. Plus, because she is such a visual learner, I would sit with her and draw pictures of letters, numbers, etc., and things they represented (A is for apple, draw the A, draw the apple, etc.). I tried to give her opportunities where she could excel, like with colors – she knew them very well and liked them, too, so I would draw rainbows and she would tell me what color to use, when. Or sometimes, for a special treat, we’d mix water with food coloring and then pour the colored water into other jars to make new colors (i.e., red and blue make purple, and so on).

I wish I could say that now (she is 15) my daughter no longer exhibits any signs of autism but that’s not true. She still struggles with language, still attends speech therapy for an hour a week, still has the occasional meltdown, etc. However, I have happy memories of spending that time with her when she was little, and feel fortunate that she is as affectionate with me as she is. I think in the long run, she has taught me more (about things like empathy, patience, and courage) than I ever taught her….

Hope this helps!

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Question?: Treatment For Autism Spectrum Disorder In Children

Betty asks…

Has anyone ever heard of Hypersensitivity Disorder in Children?

Doctor told me today that he believes my daughter has hypersensitivity disorder, not bi polar like I thought. If anyone has had children with this what is it and are there treatments?
this is all mental, her mood are eratic. Its not food related

admin answers:

I have not heard of Hypersensitivity Disorder, but my daughter has Sensory Intergration Dysfuncion – I wonder if they are similar.
With her she is hyper sensitive to the the physical world around her. It all drains her physically – then she has melt downs.
Two of her main triggers were noise (the noise of a fly buzzing in the room would bother her, the school bus ride and gym class were extra hard for her) and flouresent lights.
Tags in clothes, seams in socks, and the feel of the material of her clothes are all concerns too.
We took her to occupational therapy and they were extremely helpful.

You mentioned that you are worried about your daughter being
Bi-polar. I had those same concerns about my daughter.
Her moods were way out of proportion.
We knew ever since she was little that she did not respond the way other kids did.
I cannot tell you how many times I heard
“If that were my kid I would (fill in the blank – there were many different options suggested)
OR
If you were only more consitent (they knew nothing of our family schedule)
OR
You need to provide her with more stimulation
OR
She is just being stubborn – you need to take more control
OR
You are being too controling – she is just wanting to have some say in her world
Many people who do not live with children like this think they are experts on what we are doing wrong and telling us how to handle our children.

We took her to the pediatrician and found out she had allergies, we took her to the therapist for “anger issues”, we took her to an occupational therapist because she had Sensory Intergration Dysfunction (SID see above for defintion).

She was in the 4th grade and was a straight A student as far as grades went.
Social skills were another matter entirely.
She spinning out of control.

We had many pieces of the puzzle, but did not get the whole picture until she was 10 years old.
We took her to her therapists office but had a PHD who specialized in children test her.
It was supposed to be a 3 hour test.
3&1/2 hours later they came out (she thought it was great – it was play time all the way and she was the main focus!).
The results were the result.
By that I mean they were not specifically testing for any one thing.
It could have been ADHD, Asperger’s, Autism, Bi-polar, depression, dsylexia, or any one of a number of things.
Her results were Asperger’s Syndrom (which by the way in rare in girls)..
Asperger’s is on the Autism Spectrum Disorder Scale (a.k.a. The scale).
Many Asperger’s people are initally mis-diagnosed as Bi-Polar that is why it is very important to have a person who is VERY familiar with mental health issues (your family docotor is not this person) do the diagnosis.

There is a reason the symbol for Autism is a puzzle piece.
We had all the little pieces diagnosed – but not the big picture.
One in every 166 children has Autism.
It is not all “Rain Man” and sitting by yourself in corners rocking back and forth.
Her therapist missed it.
Her pediatrician missed it (although to be fair – they only get to see each kid for 15 – 20 minutes and they are not mental health experts).
Her teachers missed.
Her occupational therapist missed it (although again to be fair – she did diagnose the S.I.D.).

What you can do is call the school district and ask them to come and do an evaluation (You don’t mention how old your daughter is – but that does not matter it can be diagnosed as early as 2 years old).
The school district has specialists who know what they are looking at (be it any of the above “issues”).
These people are professionals – not just teachers with a couple of psych classes on the side.
They have the hours and hours it takes to get a proper diagnosis.
You already paying for these services with your tax money.
We did not know that we could request an evaluation, the request does not have to come from anyone at the school.

Our lives have been totally changed since we found out what we are dealing with.
Is every day a honeymoon?
Heaven’s no.
But now we have coping mechanisms in place.
We undertand that she is wired differently and it will take different stratagies than what we are used to.
AND – she is so much better for knowing.
What she told me after we found out – now I know that it’s not because I wasn’t trying hard enough or that I wasn’t good enough, it’s just because I’m wired differently.
Good luck, I’ll be thinking of you.

Lisa450 would you please contact me?

My daughter is 11 years old and needs to know that there is a good future for her. Because we don’t know anyone else with Asperger’s it is hard for her.
I NEVER give out my email address so I hope you re-read these answers and get this.
Bordershepp@yahoo.com
Take care

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App On iPod Touch Helps Autistic Adults Work More Efficiently

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Medical Devices / Diagnostics;  IT / Internet / E-mail
Article Date: 04 Sep 2012 – 8:00 PDT Current ratings for:
App On iPod Touch Helps Autistic Adults Work More Efficiently
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With difficulties related to behavior, communication, cognition, and sensory processing, people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a hard time not only finding a job, but keeping the job as well. In the United States, just 15% of adults struggling with ASD are getting paid for some type of work. However, according to new research, people with the disorder are able to work more efficiently with the task management and organizational features on personal digital assistants (PDAs).

The research consisted of case studies that demonstrated the use of Apple® iPod touch® PDAs as vocational supports, which was published in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Tony Gentry, Ph.D., of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and lead author, explained:

“Strategies that provide enlightened workplace supports are clearly needed in order to help people with ASD find useful work and perform successfully on the job. Adults with ASD often have valuable assets and strengths that are sought after in the workplace, such as logical and mathematical ability, exceptional computer skills, or photographic memory.”

The cases took place over a 4 year period, involving the participants in a randomized trial so the experts could observe the use of iPod touch® PDAs as job coaching aids at the participants’ work.

One participant, a daytime custodian at a fast-food restaurant, Jeffrey, struggled with moving from one task to another and could not remember the steps needed to retrieve and stock condiments or to clean the bathrooms. He would show “calming behaviors” (like spinning and humming) whenever he was stressed that he couldn’t do what was needed.

In order for Jeffrey to be able to switch from task to task, the therapist set reminder alarms on the iPod to cue him what to during his shifts. Step-by-step checklists were created using the Notes application so he would be able to efficiently finish each task.

He showed improvement within a week with the help of the reminder cues and task notes. A year later, Jeffrey is thought of by his boss as a reliable employee and will continue to use his new helpful tool on the job. Another participant, a 60 year old woman named Grace, with epilepsy, autism, and mild cerebral palsy, uses the device to help manage her commute on a specialized transportation bus. She use to think that the bus missed her if it was late, which caused her to panic and leave her purse on a park bench and step into the traffic to check to see if it was coming.

She now has alerts set to remind her to go to the bus stop and to call the transportation company if the bus is late. To help her relieve some of the stress while waiting for her ride, she has podcasts of some radio shows and music. The device also contains a custom-made video for Grace to watch how to wait for the bus safely, and what to do if the bus does not come. The subject also uses the iPod at work to help her stay on task and see what needs to be done next. Six months later, Grace is independent and ably, according to her manager.

Researchers observed another subject, Lily, struggling with Downs Syndrome and ADS, who does housekeeping work in the Mother Infant unit of a hospital.

She becomes angry when someone corrects her performance or when someone changes her normal work schedule, which makes her react with inappropriate behaviors like crying and stumping. The participant cannot navigate a calendar on her own, read, or tell time.

She has a verbal application called VoCal on the device thats provides spoken word alerts since she cannot read. The reminders tell her to clock in to work, take breaks, switch tasks, and recharge her iPod.

To show Lily how to complete tasks properly and to remind her to react appropriately when she sees changes in her workplace, she uses the Storykit application which provides verbal prompts and pictures.

If she finishes a day without any childish outbursts, she receives a reward, such as free time to play songs or games. Her success is recorded with the iReward app.

Lily’s work performance improved because of the device, and she also saw a reduction in the behavioral challenges she normally faced. Unfortunately, she misplaced the device after a month and quickly fell into her old routine, but once she received a replacement, she quickly gained independence again in her workplace.

Any generalizations are difficult to make from these three cases because of a wide range of variables in work settings, personal characteristics, and duties, Dr. Gentry pointed out. They do show, however, the flexibility of PDAs as workplace supports for those suffering with ASD.

He concluded:

“This is an exciting time for anyone in the fields of education, physical rehabilitation, and vocational support, where we are seeing a long-awaited merging of consumer products and assistive technologies for all. Field-based research in real world environments is essential to help us determine how best to use these tools to help our clients live more rewarding lives.”

Written by Sarah Glynn
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. The Apple iPod Touch as a vocational support aid for adults with autism: Three case studies
Tony Gentry, Stephanie Lau, Alissa Molinelli, Amy Fallen, Richard Kriner
Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation September 2012 doi: 10.3233/JVR-2012-0601 Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

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Dolman/Delacato method

Dolman/Delacato method

Dolman and Delacato believe that children should learn to crawl or creep before learning to walk.

Three times a year, the Delacato Centre holds courses, which take place in January, May and September, and last for one week. Parents make an appointment to learn how to conduct the therapy at home.

In a study by Rimland and Edelson, 445 parents of autistic children who participated in the therapy reported seeing improvement in their children.

The Dolman/Delacato Method is also known as patterning. Advocates of this method view autism as being the result of a brain injury. The idea with this therapy is that in children with autism (and other disabilities) the brain can be taught to accept new experiences through patterns of movement. New pathways in the brain are forged by making the child crawl or move as children do at earlier developmental stages.

Prior to the therapy beginning, the child is assessed to determine which requirements must be met in his or her therapy sessions. Then, the child participates in therapy sessions lasting for an average of two hours per day, during which he or she performs exercises based on physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and education. The parents may carry out this therapy at home.

Advocates state they’ve seen results ranging from extremely successful to noticeably successful.

Success in the Dolman/Delacato Method rests on the shoulders of the parents. The more work the parents do with the child, the more success will be noticed. Parents who work extensively with the child will also see results more rapidly. It is claimed that within eight months from the beginning of the therapy, some children from ages 2-10 years old are re-classified as ‘high functioning.’ For children with more serious forms of ASD, benefits such as better eye contact, improved attention span, improved behavior, and better language skills are seen.

Tagged as: Dolman/Delacato method

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Dolman/Delacato method

Dolman/Delacato method

Dolman and Delacato believe that children should learn to crawl or creep before learning to walk.

Three times a year, the Delacato Centre holds courses, which take place in January, May and September, and last for one week. Parents make an appointment to learn how to conduct the therapy at home.

In a study by Rimland and Edelson, 445 parents of autistic children who participated in the therapy reported seeing improvement in their children.

The Dolman/Delacato Method is also known as patterning. Advocates of this method view autism as being the result of a brain injury. The idea with this therapy is that in children with autism (and other disabilities) the brain can be taught to accept new experiences through patterns of movement. New pathways in the brain are forged by making the child crawl or move as children do at earlier developmental stages.

Prior to the therapy beginning, the child is assessed to determine which requirements must be met in his or her therapy sessions. Then, the child participates in therapy sessions lasting for an average of two hours per day, during which he or she performs exercises based on physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and education. The parents may carry out this therapy at home.

Advocates state they’ve seen results ranging from extremely successful to noticeably successful.

Success in the Dolman/Delacato Method rests on the shoulders of the parents. The more work the parents do with the child, the more success will be noticed. Parents who work extensively with the child will also see results more rapidly. It is claimed that within eight months from the beginning of the therapy, some children from ages 2-10 years old are re-classified as ‘high functioning.’ For children with more serious forms of ASD, benefits such as better eye contact, improved attention span, improved behavior, and better language skills are seen.

Tagged as: Dolman/Delacato method

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Children With Autism – Proper Tips For Helping Kids With Autism

Before my son was diagnosed with autism we knew he had developmental issues, we began different therapy’s very early in his life.

The first was physical therapy (PT) the doctors told us when he was born that he might not walk, so physical therapy was recommended to us to help with this issue. The therapist worked with him to stand holding on to things and then eventually we were watching him take his first steps. I was surprised at how much determination was shown by the therapist and my son, it seemed that the right combination of attitudes had him walking in no time. This was late he was about two and a half by the time we got him steady enough to not hold on and comfortable with taking a few steps on his own.

The next therapy that was helpful for us was occupational therapy, (OT) which seemed very similar to PT to me as a mother because I had never experienced therapy before. The OT would work with him on other areas like his oral fixation with both edible and un edible items. I later found out this is called pica,”a tendency or craving to eat substances other than normal food (such as clay, plaster, or ashes), occurring during childhood or pregnancy, or as a symptom of disease.” This definition came from the dictionary. The therapist gave me many suggestions on tools like chewy tubes for him. When he put something like a pencil in his mouth I would replace it with his chewy tube, that way he was getting the input that he needed with a safe item in his mouth. As the years past we had a lot of issues with PICA he would get into our cupboards and find cleaning agents, or in the car he would find the oil for the car, it became very important for us to keep a close eye on his every move to keep him from getting hurt or ill from his actions. For a young child who was not supposed be able to open containers he became very good at taking covers off just about any package he got his hand on.

As he got older we ended up taking him to many different doctors one of which was able to give him the diagnosis of autism. We had been going to therapist before this but when this diagnosis was added speech therapy (ST) was stressed as very important because he is a very non verbal child. ST was a great help for us early in his life because he was not able to let us know his needs, there was a therapist that taught him some sign language, he caught on to it right away. He could tell us he wanted to eat or, when was thirsty, he even learned to tell us when he needed to got potty. As time went on his language developed more and with much work we were able to get him to verbalize his needs which eliminated the use of signs. I still use signs to get him to say what ne wants today. He still understands them and it keeps his speech more on topic and less echolalia.

Echolalia is when he just repeats what we tell him or what was said by some one else. Most of his speech is in this manner or just random things like ” want pizza” right after we just ate dinner. With all this going on for all these years he keeps our life interesting. Everyday brings opportunity for advancement, he is now 12 years old, despite the grimm out look we got from doctors at the time of his birth he can walk, talk, and say I LOVE YOU which they said he would never do. Thanks to therapy, mile stones were reached, and when this happens as a mother I always feel, “better late than never”. The one last thing that I feel is very important is doing the “homework” the therapist give. In my case they would tell me to work on certain stretches, or certain words with him when at home between therapy sessions. When we returned the next week they could tell we had been working on things at home. As a mother I was doing a good job. I hope this information is helpful for other parents out there who, like me, in the beginning are looking for helpful hints on helping our children who experience autism or special needs.

Check out the web site I created it has many items parents can use to do therapy for autism in your home. These items have been hand picked by me personally as things that I wished I had in the past, or need now for my son. The web site is http://www.autisticintentions.com/ it is a small selection as of now. I will be adding more inventory as I find items that I personally feel will benefit family’s like mine who are living with autism and special needs.

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Autism Treatment for Adults

Despite the fact that decades of research has gone into understanding the different disorders found in the Autism spectrum, there is no known cure in existence to date. It is bio-neurological in nature and prevents individuals of all age groups, including adults, from communicating and interacting with the individuals around them in their environment. As a result, the medical community will prescribe one of a number of therapies that help to diminish the effects of the disorder.

One of the important aspects to realize regarding adult Autism is the fact that the public school’s responsibility to the afflicted individual once they reach 22 years of age. At this point in time, the parents of the autistic individual are faced with some significant challenges such as employment opportunities and living arrangements for the person. They also have to be concerned with finding facilities and programs that offer supportive services that will help the autistic individual to achieve their goals.

Effective adult Autism treatment

This also applies to dealing with adult Autism and may involve the use of therapies ranging from behavior modification to dietary and nutritional counseling. In so doing, the effects of the disorder can be diminished while enabling the autistic adult to be a contributing and productive individual in social environments. Here are some recommendations for Autism treatment in adults:

o Occupational therapy can help the autistic individual learn how to perform everyday chores and tasks including dressing themselves and following proper hygiene

o Physical therapy is a highly effective form of Autism treatment because of regular exercise and how it teaches the individual to control their different body movements

o Behavior modification techniques are extremely effective for diminishing and eliminating those behavior patterns that are labeled as being aggressive, repetitive, and undesirable

o Sensory Integration Therapy exposes the autistic adult to a variety of sensory stimuli that teaches them appropriate reactions

o Change the person’s diet so that foods containing casein (a dairy protein), gluten, oats, and wheat are eliminated as these types of foods are not adequately absorbed by the autistic individual which in turn can affect how their brain functions

Remember that for the best results where adult Autism treatment is concerned, you want to use a combination of several approaches and not just rely on a single one. As no two individuals are ever alike, neither are any two autistic adults as they will respond differently to different approaches to treatment.

Another avenue of Autism treatment is treating the disorder naturally without the use of medications. This is oftentimes preferred by parents as it involves the use of alternative medical approaches and vitamin supplements. Over the past several years, the natural approach has become increasingly more popular. Basically, the natural approach to Autism treatment is more commonly referred to as a Holistic approach to treating the disorder. It has been hypothesized that Autism may be caused by high levels of toxic metals in the system or vitamin deficiencies.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.

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