Tag Archives: Self Injurious Behavior

Question?: Pdd Nos Symptoms

William asks…

What are the symptoms of autism in children under two?

admin answers:

Appears indifferent to surroundings
Appears content to be alone, happier to play alone
Displays lack of interest in toys
Displays lack of response to others
Does not point out objects of interest to others (called protodeclarative pointing)
Marked reduction or increase in activity level
Resists cuddling

Young children with autism usually have impaired language development. They often have difficulty expressing needs (i.e., use gestures instead of words) and may laugh, cry, or show distress for unknown reasons. Some autistic patients develop rudimentary language skills that do not serve as an effective form of communication. They may develop abnormal patterns of speech that lack intonation and expression and may repeat words or phrases repetitively (called echolalia). Some children with autism learn to read.

Autistic children do not express interest in other people and often prefer to be alone. They may resist changes in their routine, repeat actions (e.g., turn in circles, flap their arms) over and over, and engage in self-injurious behavior (e.g., bite or scratch themselves, bang their head).

Other symptoms in young children include:
Avoids cuddling or touching
Frequent behavioral outbursts, tantrums
Inappropriate attachments to objects
Maintains little or no eye contact
Over- or undersensitivity to pain, no fear of danger
Sustained abnormal play
Uneven motor skills
Unresponsiveness to normal teaching methods and verbal clues (may appear to be deaf despite normal hearing)

Research has shown that autism occurs more often in first born children and males. My daughter (first born) was an incredibly easy, cuddly baby, but definitely displayed language/communication delays. Her diagnosis is Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

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N-acetylcysteine For Treating Irritability In Autism

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Psychology / Psychiatry
Article Date: 04 Jun 2012 – 0:00 PDT Current ratings for:
‘N-acetylcysteine For Treating Irritability In Autism’
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Autism is a developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills. Irritability is a symptom of autism that can complicate adjustment at home and other settings, and can manifest itself in aggression, tantrums, and self-injurious behavior. These disruptive behaviors are frequently observed in children with autism, which may considerably affect their ability to function at home or in school.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdoses, but it may have other applications related to its effects in the brain. NAC helps maintain and restore glutathione, which play a key role in the antioxidant defense system. Additionally, cysteine as supplied by NAC treatment, stimulates a protein, the cystine-glutamate antiporter, resulting in the decrease of glutamatergic neurotransmission. NAC has two resulting effects: 1) it may protect brain cells by raising the level of a protective antioxidant metabolite called glutathione, and 2) it may reduce the excitability of the glutamate system by stimulating inhibitory receptors.

These drug actions are important because, although the causes of autism are unknown, it is clear that there are many influencing factors and scientists are pursuing multiple hypotheses. Two in particular relate to NAC: one theory is that autism may be caused by an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in the body; the other is that the glutamate system may be dysfunctional in individuals with autism.

These hypotheses led researchers at Stanford University and the Cleveland Clinic to conduct a pilot trial of NAC in children with autistic disorder. Children were randomized to receive either NAC or placebo daily for 12 weeks and their symptoms were evaluated four times during that period.

They found that irritability was significantly decreased in the children who received NAC. In addition, NAC was well-tolerated and caused minimal side effects.

Lead author Dr. Antonio Hardan commented, “Data from this preliminary trial suggest that NAC has the potential to be helpful in targeting irritability in children with autism. It is also unclear if NAC improves other symptom domains in autism.”

“At this point it is too early to tell how NAC reduced irritability in autism, but this finding will be an important addition to the field if it can be replicated,” said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, where the study is being published.

Dr. Hardan agreed, adding that “large randomized controlled trials are needed to attempt to replicate the findings from this pilot trial and to determine whether or not NAC is effective in targeting other symptoms observed in autism such as repetitive and restricted interests.” This small pilot study was the first step and so the next stages of work can now begin to determine whether NAC could potentially become an approved treatment for autism.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. The article is “A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of Oral N-Acetylcysteine in Children with Autism” by Antonio Y. Hardan, Lawrence K. Fung, Robin A. Libove, Tetyana V. Obukhanych, Surekha Nair, Leonore A. Herzenberg, Thomas W. Frazier, and Rabindra Tirouvanziam (doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.01.014). The article appears in Biological Psychiatry, Volume 71, Issue 11 (June 1, 2012), published by Elsevier.
The authors’ affiliations, and disclosures of financial and conflicts of interests are available in the article.
John H. Krystal, M.D., is Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and a research psychiatrist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. His disclosures of financial and conflicts of interests are available here.
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posted by jmburke on 4 Jun 2012 at 9:51 am

just wondering? I have a daughter with aspergers, she also has Celiac and is on a restricted gluten-free diet. which many autistic children are on just because it does seem to help and in some cases extremely well. Does that have anything to do with the glutamate system they are discussing above???

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‘N-acetylcysteine For Treating Irritability In Autism’

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Children With Autism Behavior Problems Benefit From Parental Training

Main Category: Autism
Also Included In: Psychology / Psychiatry
Article Date: 28 Feb 2012 – 0:00 PST

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Children with autism spectrum disorders who also have serious behavioral problems responded better to medication combined with training from their parents than to treatment with medication alone, Yale researchers and their colleagues report in the February issue of Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

“Serious behavioral problems interfere with everyday living for children and their families,” said senior author on the study Lawrence Scahill, professor at Yale University School of Nursing and the Child Study Center. “Decreasing these serious behavioral problems results in children who are more able to manage everyday living.”

Scahill and his team completed a federally funded multi-site trial on 124 children ages 4 to 13 with autism spectrum disorders at three U.S. sites including Yale, Ohio State University, and Indiana University. In addition to autism spectrum disorders, children in the study had serious behavioral problems, including multiple and prolonged tantrums, aggression, and/or self-injurious behavior on a daily basis.

The children in the study were randomly assigned to medication alone for six months or medication plus a structured training program for their parents for six months. Parent training included regular visits to the clinic to teach parents how to respond to behavior problems to help children adapt to daily living situations. The study medication, risperidone, is approved for the treatment of serious behavioral problems in children with autism.

“In a previous report from this trial, we showed that the combined treatment was superior to medication alone in reducing the serious behavioral problems,” said Scahill. “In the current report, we show that combination treatment was better than medication alone on measures of adaptive behavior. We note that both groups – medication alone and combined treatment group – demonstrated improvement in functional communication and social interaction. But the combined group showed greater improvement on several measures of everyday adaptive functioning.”

Based on these findings, Scahill and his team are now conducting a study that uses parent training as a stand-alone strategy in treating younger children with autism spectrum disorders. This study is being conducted at Yale and four other medical centers across the country. The investigators also plan to publish the parent training manuals as a way to share this intervention with the public.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our autism section for the latest news on this subject. Other authors on the study included Christopher J. McDougle, Michael G. Aman, Cynthia Johnson, Benjamin Handen, Karen Bearss, James Dziura, Eric Butter, Naomi G. Swiezy, L. Eugene Arnold, Kimberly A. Stigler, Denis D. Sukhodolsky, Luc Lecavalier, Stacie L. Pozdol, Roumen Nikolov, Jill A. Hollway, Patricia Korzekwa, Allison Gavaletz, Arlene E. Kohn, Kathleen Koenig, Stacie Grinnon, James A. Mulick, Sunkyung Yu, and Benedetto Vitiello.
The National Institute of Mental Health funded the study. The work was also funded, in part, by the Yale Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.
Citation: J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, Vol. 51, No. 2 (February 2012)
Yale University Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

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Yale University. “Children With Autism Behavior Problems Benefit From Parental Training.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 28 Feb. 2012. Web.
9 Mar. 2012. APA

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‘Children With Autism Behavior Problems Benefit From Parental Training’

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All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

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Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.


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An Analysis between Autism & Violence

Today one in 2500 persons are found to have some form of autism. It affects many children from birth. Males are four times more likely than females to have this disorder. A common characteristic of autism is lack of a normal intelligence and moral reasoning. Some have an obscure way of speaking as well as deficient non verbal communication skills (Newman & Ghaziuddin 2008). It is also difficult for an autistic person to share their feelings with others. There is a strong correlation between Aspereger syndrome and violent crime (Mawson, Grounds, & Tantum (1985). Those who are affected by autism have been described as, lacking a conscience and feelings. Some individuals affected by Autism partake in aggressive and self injurious behavior. This can be attributed to their lack of impulse control, or a failure to recognize their personal space.

Tending to autistic children/adults often requires physical force in order to protect them from hurting themselves, others, or property. With a staggering amount of the male population affected by autism it can be a challenge for law enforcement in dealing with them. The first study I researched was titled Violent Crime in Asperger Syndrome: The Role of Psychiatric Comorbidity. The study was conducted by Stewart Newman and Mohammad Ghaziuddin and published in the Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders in 2008. The study conducted a computer search of professional databases, journals and books for the keywords “violence, rape, murder, and assault and sex offenses”.

In total 17 publications were selected and 37 cases. The researchers left out those that did not have a detailed description of the criminal behavior as well as information to determine the diagnosis. The study that was conducted was a medical review. Three categories were chosen dividing the subjects in to; those with definite psychiatric disorder, those with probable psychiatric disorder and those with no clear evidence of a psychiatric disorder. For a subject to be deemed as, “definite”, there must have been a psychiatric diagnosis given or sufficient evidence. The researchers selected the particular sample because there was a definite psychiatric disorder. In total 37 cases were reviewed. The dependent variable is violent crime and the independent variable is Aspereger Syndrome. Control variables that I discovered were: substance abuse, family history of criminality and various psychological stressors.

The study concluded that a majority of the cases where a violent crime was committed, there was a presence of Asperger syndrome as well as some other psychiatric disorders. The evidence does suggest that multiple existing mental disorders raise the risk of committing criminal offenses. The limitation I found within the study was that the sample was relatively small only researching 37 subjects. Due to this restrictive sample it is difficult to make any generalizations.

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Autistic Children – How To Stop Self Injury

Many wonder why anyone would practice self-injury, as it is painful and dangerous. However, with autistic children, self-injury occurs more often than not. There are several theories as to why this practice can be prevalent in autistic children, and there are some methods you can use to help ease this distressing practice.

Because autistic children are unable to communicate through language the way that others can, they often feel frustrated at not being understood or at not getting what they need or want. Thus, autistic children may commit self-injury, by banging their heads or biting themselves (among other tactics), to release some of that frustration that cannot be communicated through words. Also, self-injury is a way of getting attention. An autistic child’s frustration goes hand-in-hand with wanting attention. For instance, by scratching oneself until one bleeds, the autistic child will immediately get someone’s attention, and this person will work to understand what the child wants or needs.

This theory of frustration and attention has been the sole thinking for quite some time. Recently, however, studies have shown that self-injury can have a biochemical component that relieves some of the pain and frustration one feels by releasing endorphins, or happy hormones,into one’s system. The endorphins also provide a release for the autistic child, allowing him or her to temporarily forget about his or her frustration and pain. Furthermore, it is believed that if one practices self-injury enough, the endorphins will begin to help mask any pain associated with such behavior, making it an addictive action.

While some professionals say that ignoring the autistic child’s self-injurious behavior is an acceptable method of treating such practice, this can obviously be very difficult. Others have suggested that communication therapy and drugs may help an autistic child by providing him or her with another method of communication. There are drugs that will help stem the addictive behavior of releasing endorphins into the system, and thus help stop such behavior. There are also nutritional solutions available; vitamin B6 and calcium have been said to help many families with an autistic child.

For the family members involved, communication training to learn how to communicate with an autistic child is also extremely important. Because normal adults, and even children and teenagers, are so accustomed to communicating through easily recognizable words or body language, they have to learn that communicating with an autistic child requires a completely different process. By looking for solutions for both the family and the autistic child involved in self-injurious behavior, one may be able to overcome this distressing practice.

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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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