Tag Archives: Sameness

Question?: Autism Symptoms In Adults

Donald asks…

How can you tell if some one has autism?

What are the symptoms?

admin answers:

Autism – Symptoms
Core symptoms
The severity of symptoms varies greatly between individuals, but all people with autism have some core symptoms in the areas of:

Social interactions and relationships. Symptoms may include:
Significant problems developing nonverbal communication skills, such as eye-to-eye gazing, facial expressions, and body posture.
Failure to establish friendships with children the same age.
Lack of interest in sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people.
Lack of empathy. People with autism may have difficulty understanding another person’s feelings, such as pain or sorrow.
Verbal and nonverbal communication. Symptoms may include:
Delay in, or lack of, learning to talk. As many as 40% of people with autism never speak.1
Problems taking steps to start a conversation. Also, people with autism have difficulties continuing a conversation after it has begun.
Stereotyped and repetitive use of language. People with autism often repeat over and over a phrase they have heard previously (echolalia).
Difficulty understanding their listener’s perspective. For example, a person with autism may not understand that someone is using humor. They may interpret the communication word for word and fail to catch the implied meaning.
Limited interests in activities or play. Symptoms may include:
An unusual focus on pieces. Younger children with autism often focus on parts of toys, such as the wheels on a car, rather than playing with the entire toy.
Preoccupation with certain topics. For example, older children and adults may be fascinated by video games, trading cards, or license plates.
A need for sameness and routines. For example, a child with autism may always need to eat bread before salad and insist on driving the same route every day to school.
Stereotyped behaviors. These may include body rocking and hand flapping.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Symptoms

Donna asks…

What is the difference between being awkward or having Asperger’s?

According to the Internet, people with Asperger syndrome are very awkward in social situations and have a hard time understanding body language. What would be the difference between just being an awkward person, or having Asperger‘s? (As in mannerisms, behaviour, etc.)

admin answers:

Asperger‘s syndrome is quite complex and affects people in many ways. There are countless symptoms that may be in place, but the thing is that the exact combination of symptoms varies a lot between individuals and nobody has all of the known symptoms. Awkwardness is just one of the many characteristics that most people with Asperger‘s syndrome have, but that doesn‘t mean that everyone who is awkward has Asperger‘s syndrome.

One of the main symptoms of Asperger‘s syndrome is poor social skills. People with Asperger‘s syndrome have difficulty reading into people and situations. They have difficulty understanding things like body language, facial expressions, tone of voice etc. And may use unusual or little body language themselves. They tend to be unaware of various unwritten social rules and are not good at picking up social cues, subtle hints and such. Therefore they are often awkward in social situations and don‘t know exactly what‘s expected of them or how to fit in.

Among other common symtoms of Asperger‘s syndrome are sensory issues (being hypersensitive or hyposensitive to certain textures, light, sounds, smells, touch, taste etc.), obsessive interests, a strong need for routines or sameness, difficulty dealing with changes, poor motor skills and many more.

So Asperger‘s syndrome is a lot more than plain awkwardness.

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Question?: Asperger Syndrome Quiz

Michael asks…

How do you know you have Asperger syndrome?

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

admin answers:

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

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

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

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Question?: Adhd Symptoms In Adults

George asks…

Is medication necessary for adults who are diagnosed with high functioning autism?

In a world where everyone is diagnosed with something, unfortunately I have been labed Bipolar and ADHD as an adult, even though the symptoms did not quite fit. Upon starting college, behaviors and ways of learning seemed to give way to a new diagnosis (which replaced the others). Is this something that can be harnessed to be a positive force in one’s life, or is medication pushed on people who are diagnosed with this form of autism? If so, why?

admin answers:

My son has been diagnosed with ADHD & I have a 10 yr old grandson that has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. When I was young I was just considered a very shy & quite kid. Now in my mid 70’s my daughter is convinced the Asperger’s Syndrome was inherited from me. Medication for ADHD did help my son learn better & make better grades in school, but no medication exists for Asperger’s. I’ve had a wonderful life to date & find nothing wrong with my dislike of meaningless conversation with people I have nothing in common with.
This “one size fits all” mentality & a desire for sameness appears to be a product of a society wishing to label & categorize each & every person. My grandson has an IQ of 165 & is typically at the top of his class in any subject, but has no friends among his peers… Therefore they see this as abnormal, while I view it as normal. My wife & I both have IQs above 140.

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Question?: Autism Signs And Symptoms

Robert asks…

What is Autism and what are the signs/symptoms?

I’m trying to understand Autism a little more. I don’t know anyone personally with it, just wondering if someone could describe it in simple terms. I’ve had people tell me they “know what it is” but cant really describe it.

admin answers:

Autism affects each person on an individual basis, so the symptoms are unique to each individual, they can be in any combination and range anywhere from mild to severe. There are also different forms of autism each ranging from mild to severe. There are other conditions that can co-exist with the autism, other conditions that have similiar symptoms, and some condtions that share some symptoms of autism. The link below has information about each form of autism including characteristics, diagnosing, etc and has information about other conditions that can co-exist with the autism, other conditions that have similiar symptoms, and some condtions that share some symptoms of autism.

You’re basic symptoms are: http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_whatis_char

Insistence on sameness; resistance to change

Difficulty in expressing needs, using gestures or pointing instead of words

Repeating words or phrases in place of normal, responsive language (echolalia)

Laughing (and/or crying) for no apparent reason showing distress for reasons not apparent to others

Preference to being alone; aloof manner

Tantrums

Difficulty in mixing with others

Not wanting to cuddle or be cuddled

Little or no eye contact

Unresponsive to normal teaching methods

Sustained odd play

Spinning objects

Obsessive attachment to objects

Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain which ties into Sensory Integration- any of their senses can be over or under sensitive

No real fears of danger

Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity

Uneven gross/fine motor skills

Non responsive to verbal cues; acts as if deaf, although hearing tests in normal range

Aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior

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It really depends on the individual because autism affects each person differently regardless of what form they have.
Here’s some basic/general things that may help you have a better understanding of autism and how it affects an individual, but again it depends on the individual as how they are affected.

Many have receptive and expressive language disorder so it is best to speak directly to them in plain words and it’s good to speak to them at eye level for example if it is a child.

They interpret language very literally, e.g. If you said ‘that’ll be a piece of cake’ in meaning it will be easy, they would look for the actual piece of cake. Idioms, puns, nuances, double entendres, inference, metaphors, allusions and sarcasm can and will confuse them.

Many have limited vocabulary, sometimes they don’t know what words to use to let someone know they need something or the words in order to describe something which can lead to body language, withdrawal, agitation or other signs that something is wrong.

Many have echolalia, which is saying words or phrases that come from books, people, tv, etc. Over and over again..they may say it but they don’t necessarily understand what they are saying.

Many are very visually oriented, sometimes it is best to show them as well as telling them, and to show them several times, they learn best by consistant repetition. Like for a child a visual schedule helps them through the transistions of their day.

They have trouble with social interactions, most don’t know how to “read” facial expressions, body language or the emotions of others. For a child, structured play activities that have a clear beginning and end are best. Sometimes they don’t know how to start a conversation or enter a play situation.

Many have sensory issues, everyday lights, sounds, odors, tastes, and textures can be very uncomfortable to them and give them a sensory overload; e.g. Certain lights can hurt their eyes, noises can hurt their ears, sweet odors to us can smell awful to them, sweet tasting stuff to us can taste awful to them, something soft to touch can be painful to them to touch. They can also have under sensivity, for example, some have self-injurious behavior, they don’t realize what they are doing should hurt because they can’t feel the pain like we do, or they may be able to tolerate much higher pitched noises than we can because they don’t hear they full volume of the noise as we do.

Meltdowns, blow-ups, tantrums: All their behavior usually a form of communication that they simply don;t know how to communicate as we do. They can occur because one or more of their senses has gone into overload; they are frustrated; etc.. Many things can play into their behavior.

Some must be comfortable around you before they will socialize with you or have contact with you, e.g. When my son began behavioral therapy he didn’t want anything to do with the therapist, didn’t want to be near her or touched by her, after seeing her for a about a month (he seen her 1x a week for a hour) he would socialize with her and would sit on her lap, give her hugs, etc. In a sense, it’s like they have to learn to trust you first.

They usually are very honest and to the point; don’t care about the superficial crap in life and so on.

I also suggest reading a couple of excerpts from books by Ellen Notbohm, one is titled Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew http://graphicpieces.com/autism10thingschild.html , & Ten Things Your Student With Autism Wishes You Knew http://graphicpieces.com/autism10thingsstudent.html , they will give you some basic insight about autism and how it can affect someone and give you a better understanding of autism from their perspective.

I want to state one thing that I don’t feel is totally true, someone stated that people with autism tend to focus on one area, or say excel in one area and yes that is very true in many cases with autism but not with all, some do excel in more areas than one and I say this because my son is one of those who do excel in more than one area.. And some don’t excel in any particular area at all and I feel that is one of the many misunderstandings of autism.

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rewriting the script

~

Beginning with the degradation of structure at the end of the school year and then again at the end of ESY, Brooke has been scripting and stimming INTENSIVELY. This is a yearly phenomenon – the transition time and lack of predictability / structure take their toll. As her anxiety goes up, so does her need to create sameness in her world. She is therefore scripting extensively – a lot of Elmo’s World, Godspell (a favorite movie) and random stuff from favorite YouTube videos (the ‘No No Baby’ is a current favorite perseveration), books and made up scripts. You’ll likely begin to recognize her scripts as such fairly quickly. For example, if you ask her if she’s OK, she’ll answer, “Just a little sinus trouble; ignore it.” Once in a blue moon it’s contextually appropriate. Either way, it’s a quote from Bert on Sesame Street. Another to note is “You must think I’m stupid” from Charlie Brown. We’ve been trying to extinguish that one for obvious reasons, but it has proven to be a challenge.

~ From our letter to Team Brooke, September, 2011

*

Scripts. Ah, what to say about the scripts?

We live in scripts. My girl’s speech development was entirely echolalic. In the beginning, that meant that if you asked her if she’d like milk or water, she’d say, “Or water.” The problem being that very often what she really wanted was the milk, but the only thing for which she was capable of asking was the last thing presented. And we had no idea.

Then the scripts became bigger. Books, television shows, dialogues she’d heard once, strings of words she’d made up. Our lives were littered with them.

And then, somehow, with the sheer force of will, she made them functional. She managed to lift and hoist chunks of conjoined words from memory and drop them into conversation. It was – and is – incredible to watch.

Can you imagine having nothing but isolated phrases to choose from in order to interact with the world? Just for today, if someone handed you a piece of paper with bits and pieces of scattered dialogue from Dora the Explorer, Blue’s Clues and JoJo the Clown, do you think you could use them – and nothing else – to tell the people around you what you wanted / needed / felt at any given point in the day? She did. To the best of her staggering ability, she did.

Eventually, she moved mountains and novel speech came. But the scripts never left.

In the summertime, they are their most prevalent. Call it regression, call it a search for predictability at a time when her world is nothing but predictable, call it comfort. Call it whatever you want, but the scripts are on in full force this time of year.

When I walk in the door from work, I am greeted in the middle of a script. Blue’s Clues and Godspell are the current favorites. Sometimes I redirect her. Sometimes I say that I’ll join in after a greeting. Most of the time, I play along in some fashion.

For the most part, Katie can’t stand them. She calls them the Scripties. Most of the time, she does whatever she can to avoid participating. Sometimes she uses them as currency. “Brooke, I’ll do any script you want but first you have to …” It works. Sometimes.

Determined to find a way to let her use her love of scripts, I searched high and low for a theater group that Brooke could participate in – and happily, I found one two years ago. Ever since, Brooke has attended a special needs drama class in town.

They meet once a week during the school year and put on not one, but two performances. The kids need a lot of help. There’s a ton of prompting from their teacher, Drama Dave to say their lines on cue. Except for one little girl. She’s got the idea down pat.

Last night, after dinner, the girls and I began to play together. (<;;—-I'm going to let that sentence stand alone, if you don't mind. I'm hitting enter now, so we can start a new paragraph and continue the story, but that sentence needs to stand alone.)

Brooke asked if we would play the Worst Pancakes In the World game. Katie and I shrugged, neither of us knowing what that meant, but both game to find out. It turned out that it was a script that she wanted us to follow, from what I don’t know. There were three roles – the CHEF, the FRIEND and the DOCTOR. And it went something like this ..

FRIEND to CHEF, who is stirring something in a bowl: Hey, whatcha doin?

CHEF, while stirring: Making pancakes. Want one?

FRIEND: Sure. *Eats pancake, grabs throat* Ewwwwww! That’s the worst pancake I’ve ever tasted! *Falls down and dies*

CHEF: Doctor, come quick!

DOCTOR: He’s dead. We will bury him.

End Scene.

Last night, if you’d walked into my kitchen, you’d have found the three of us laughing so hard we could barely breathe. We traded parts. First Brooke was the CHEF while Katie was the FRIEND and I was the DOCTOR. Then Katie was the DOCTOR and I was the FRIEND. Then she was the CHEF and Brooke was the FRIEND and well, you get the idea.

I will never forget Katie shouting, “But um, I’m not dead. And I’m not a boy! You’re a stinky doctor!” (And yes, Monty Python came immediately to mind). Or me, playing the FRIEND, lying on the ground as the CHEF and the DOCTOR attempted to ‘remove the body’ – each pulling a foot and getting nowhere.

We laughed. We played. We laughed some more. We riffed off of our parts, using our deepest voices when we were boys and our highest princess voices when we were girls. Eventually, we fell down into a heap of giggles. At some point, Katie hit Brooke in the eye. By accident. And even that just felt deliciously typical. It’s not a sibling interaction until somebody gets hit in the eye, right?

It was John Robison who first said it to me in a way that I really understood. What are seen as challenges for kids like yours, he said, might just be gifts in the right settings.

It took a long time for that to make any bit of real sense to me. I mean, I got it – I get it – but it has taken years for it to really, truly have meaning.

Last night, I’m pretty sure I got it.

solodialogue

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Social Stories for Children With Autism

For a child with autism, the world can be an overwhelming place. Typically, the disorder causes a need for sameness and aversion to or difficulty with transitions. This means that the first day of school, the first day of holidays, the first day back to school from holidays, the first time at the dentist, and other “firsts” can be extremely challenging and confusing for the autistic child. Social stories for children with autism can help him or her prepare for an upcoming change.

Social stories are short stories written by parents, teachers, counselors, or therapists that explain appropriate behavior and social cues for an upcoming social event. Each story uses a combination of control sentences, affirmative sentences, directive sentences, descriptive sentences, perspective sentences, and cooperative sentences to help the child learn how to behave in a certain situation, or to prepare for an upcoming change in his or her routine. The social stories for children with autism are written from a kid’s perspective, in the present tense, and can be used in many different situations.

Descriptive sentences give details (who, where, what, why, and when) about the upcoming situation to help the child recognize the situation when it happens. Directive sentences talk about appropriate responses to that situation. Perspective sentences teach the child what responses or feelings he or she might experience. Affirmative sentences refer to a rule, law, or commonly-shared opinion about that situation or event. Cooperative sentences describe how other people will act or help the child. Control sentences are those created by the child to help him or her remember specific strategies for coping with and working through the event.

An example of a social story which uses all six types of sentences is:

When we go to the bike store,
There will be a lot of different bikes to choose from. (Descriptive)

I might not know right away which bike I like the best. (Perspective)
That’s ok with everyone there. (Affirmative)
I can hold onto my beads while I make my decision. (Control)

When I make my decision about which bike I want, I will tell my Mom. (Directive)
My Mom will go buy the bike for me. (Cooperative)

Social stories for children with autism work very simply. The child or parent reads the story, and rehearses the story ahead of the upcoming change in routine or social event. When the actual event arrives, the boy or girl can use the knowledge learned in the story to guide his or her behavior.

Register for your FREE webinar training now and discover the key to unlocking childhood Autism.
autismininfants.org

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Down Syndrome Autistic – Handling An Autistic Child

Down Syndrome Autistic

Autism appears to be the leading mentally challenged disorder presently. But, exactly what is autism?

Autism, usually rearing its head in children, is described as a developmental disorder that bears impaired communication, emotional detachment and excessive rigidity. There are two types of autism – regressive and non-regressive. Autism, developing in children from about 18-months-of-age, is known as autism when children begin losing language and other developments. Non-regressive autism occurs from birth.

How do I know my child autistic?

When children are born with Down’s syndrome, it is harder to trace autism in them then it is to trace in a non-Down’s syndrome child. Social and emotional developments are delayed in an autistic child. If tracing autism in a Down syndrome child is close to impossible for you, look out for the following. Down Syndrome Autistic

Autistic loneliness – Generally, children with Down’s syndrome are loveable and enjoy being hugged or love to hug. However a child with autism usually prefers to be by himself. Autistic children consider people as objects rather than people.

Changeless routines – Even a slight change can cause a child with autism to go berserk. Sameness breeds familiarity for them.

Lack of eye contact – Autistic children do not make eye contact, but instead they often look ‘right through’ people.

Repetitive movement – It has been observed that autistic children can sit for long hours while waving an object and staring at it. Down Syndrome Autistic
How do I, as a parent, handle a child with autism

Autistic children usually display intense emotions. Mrs Pillay is a mother whose 5-year-old son, Somesh, has been diagnosed with mild autism. “Even though it’s just mild autism, he is extremely sensitive and cries over nothing at times. He is in normal day care but when these episodes take place, he has to be separated until he calms down. Sometimes he stares into oblivion for hours,” explains Mrs Pillay about Somesh. Down Syndrome Autistic

Somesh’s condition for mild autism is nothing out of the usual. Working with an occupational therapist is probably the best for both Mrs Pillay and her son. Autistic children suffer from seizures, ranging from mild to severe, at times. When a child is seizing, never move him unless he is danger of falling down the stairs, etc. Try to gently turn the child on his side and loosen the clothing around his neck.

If a holiday celebration is coming up, plan it wisely. Gifts and toys do not make a difference to a child with autism. Mrs Webber remembers her daughter, Christina now 16, back in the old days when everyone would be busily tearing open their presents on Christmas morning. Christina, then 5, would sit and stare, focused on an ornament hanging from the tree. “She never touched a present and even when we unwrapped her gifts for her, she would merely ignore us, the gifts and just about everything else in the room,” remembers Mrs Webber with a tear. Rather than toys, shower the child with love and attention, which according to most therapists are what many autistic children are lacking in today. Down Syndrome Autistic
What happens if autism is left untreated?

If left untreated, autistic children’s social skills and speech skills will not develop effectively. The number of children who recover from autism without any help is extremely low.
What treatments are there available for autistic children?

There is no cure for autism but there are many treatments available for autism. However the treatment that suits the child may vary from individual to the next. Listed below are those that are not only popular but have seen good effects as well.

Behaviour Modification – Highly structured and skill-oriented activities that are based on the patient’s needs and interests are carried out with a therapist and extensive caregiver.
Communication Therapy – Autistic patients who are unable to communicate verbally , communication therapy is used to initiate language development.

Dietary Modifications – At times, altering the diet, digestion may be improved and food tolerances or allergies may be eliminated and therefore behavioural problems (caused by these tolerances or allergies) may reduce. Down Syndrome Autistic

An autistic child can be as different or similar as a normal child, depending on how you look at him and treat him. At the end of the day, he is your child and will always be. No amount of denial or leaving him for long hours in special needs schools will change that. It’s time for every parent to make a difference and embrace the child for who he is rather than for what he is. Down Syndrome Autistic

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Symptoms Of Asperger Syndrome – Asperger’s Syndrome And Its Symptoms

Symptoms Of Asperger Syndrome

Asperger’s syndrome is a condition common in young children who experience impaired social interactions and develop limited repetitive patterns of behavior. Asperger’s syndrome is other wise commonly called as pervasive developmental disorder. Motor activities may be delayed and clumsiness is often observed in an individual suffering due to this disorder.

Individuals with asperger’s syndrome usually exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. In addition, individuals with asperger’s syndrome show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness.The exact cause of this disorder is not known till date. Some of the symptoms of asperger’s syndrome are similar to that of autism. As a result, some researchers feel that asperger’s syndrome is a mild form of autism. Symptoms Of Asperger Syndrome

It is considered that some genetic factors may be a cause for the occurrance of asperger’s syndrome in an individual. The child suffering due to this disorder shows below-average nonverbal communication gestures and fails to develop peer relationships. In addition, the child suffering due to this disorder has an inability to express pleasure in other people’s happiness and lacks the ability to reciprocate emotionally in normal social interactions. Asperger’s syndrome is more common in boys than girls.

Scapegoating by other children as “weird” or “strange”, inability to return social or emotional feelings, and inflexible about changes in specific routines or rituals are some of the other symptoms of asperger’s syndrome. Repetitive behaviors, including repetitive self-injurious behavior, no general delay in language, and no delay in cognitive development, or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills or in curiosity about the environment are some of the other symptoms of asperger’s syndrome. Symptoms Of Asperger Syndrome

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