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Question?: Pdd-nos Checklist

Donna asks…

Autism / Asperger’s Questions?

I strongly suspect my 2 1/2 year old son has some form of Autism. The only thing that makes everybody a little skeptical is that he shows plenty of emotion, imaginative play, and really looks at you when he’s communicating with you.

Now the reasons I think he is Autistic are that he has yet to develop speech, no social play with his age group, stacks or lines up objects, sometimes tiptoe walks among other little things.

Is it possible for a child that has these characteristics to have Autism or even Aspergers?

Currently I live in Mexico and they more reluctant to diagnose you with Autism here and appears they are not as prepared to deal with this disease than we are in the states(I am an American Citizen married to Mexican woman)

What are some effective home therapies that me and my wife can use on my son while we wait for his documents to arrive so we can have him treated in the States?

Thank You

admin answers:

You aren’t going to come by a diagnosis of asperger’s with a speech delay, that isn’t to say that is not what it is, and that could be flushed out later. Still since the DSM-IV states you cannot have a speech delay and asperger’s only really cutting edge docs will give a r/o dx of asperger’s syndrome with a speech delay only not at his age usually, about 4.

YES, its very possible to have some features of autism, some typical features, and even some asperger features. This has a diagnosis of its own, called PDD.NOS (pervasive developmental delay not otherwise specified. It’s atypical autism, or autistic features.

I remember being confused about the PDD.NOS diagnosis, as I watched my 2 yr old son in the neurologist office feeding a baby while talking on the room phone (that’s a lot of pretend play going on for an autistic kid, or so I thought). He also lined toys up at that age.

Here is a great indicator as to where your son is falling on the spectrum:
http://www.childbrain.com/pddassess.html

Try to make his repetitive play functional. Try to elaborate it. Set up 1:1 playdates. Look into educating yourself on sensory integration. Look at the sensory processing checklist

http://www.asperger.net

For speech, receptive (understanding of language) comes first, so focus on that. Do not use flashcards, they hold little interest to kids of this population, anything 2-D skip. Get the actual object. Ask him to differentiate between 2 common objects. A duck, a ball. Then try to get him to identify the one you are asking for.

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The Relationship Between Autism and Antidepressants

Autism is a disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with other people. The long list of proposed autism causes includes genetic and environmental factors. Some recent studies also show a link between autism and antidepressants.

What are the signs of autism?
Autism symptoms often start showing when a child is around six months old. They become more apparent at the age of 2-3, and continue up to adulthood. Autism has three general symptoms, all of which need to be present for a child to be called autistic.

– Impaired social interaction-Children with autism do not have the basic social instincts many people take for granted. Autistic children do not respond to their own names as often as normal children would, and rarely make eye contact with those speaking to them. They also have difficulty expressing themselves with hand gestures, such as pointing.

– Impaired communication-Most autistic children have difficulty developing enough speaking skills to communicate. Children who babble or speak in patterns completely different from their caregivers are most likely autistic. As they grow older, autistic children usually repeat others’ words instead of speaking on their own.

– Repetitive behavior -Autistic children display repetitive or restricted behaviors. These include stereotypy, or repeated movements and gestures; compulsive behavior, such as arranging objects in lines or stacks; and ritualistic behavior, or daily repetition of the exact same activities.

What causes autism?

Autism is a complex disorder, and most studies on it are incomplete. There are several proposed theories regarding autism causes. Genetic factors are the most common, but it remains unclear which genes affect a child’s probability of developing autism. A child whose parent had autism will not always develop the disorder, but the chances of it happening are high.

Environmental factors a child is exposed to while in the mother’s womb also affect the development of autism. One common cause is the mother’s own immune response to viral infections. If triggered during early pregnancy, this immune response has a negative effect on the development of the child’s brain and nervous system.

Some studies propose other factors that can cause autism to develop shortly after the child is born. These include mercury poisoning, certain vaccinations, viral infections, and exposure to opiates.

Autism and antidepressants

According to laboratory tests done on animals, the intake of antidepressant substances called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) in high amounts resulted in autism-like behaviors. Further studies show exposure to SSRI increases the probability a child will develop autism up to four times. This means women taking antidepressants containing SSRI during pregnancy risk increasing the chances their child will be born autistic.

Like most of the research done on autism causes, the studies linking autism and antidepressants are still incomplete. Despite this, many doctors advise pregnant mothers to be aware of the potential risks involved when taking SSRI drugs during pregnancy.

If you were taking antidepressants during your pregnancy and your child developed autism, you can look for an autism attorney to help you acquire compensation from the company that produced the drugs.

Adriana knows all about autism causes, and possible link between autism and antidepressants.

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Symptoms and Characteristics of Autism

The word autism has become the common used term for all disorders categorized in the autism spectrum, such as Asperger Syndrome and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). These, and including autism itself, are similar enough in symptoms that they are easily misdiagnosed-and were in the early days of the discovery of this class of disorder. Symptoms and characteristics of such disorders range from mild to severe and despite an overall basic makeup, will affect each bearer differently.

The most common and respected cause of Autism occurs when there is a mutation of the genes. This disorder can occur in both sexes; however, studies have shown that it affects boys more so than girls. Symptoms of this neural development disorder can appear as soon as 6 months of age and will have ‘settled in’ so to speak between two and three years of age. The earlier the diagnoses the better capable of preparing the child for integration into a ‘normal’ life-at least in so far is possible for someone with autism.

This disorder affects a child’s perception of the world surrounding them. Not only do they see things differently, they compute and learn things differently as well. There is no cure for this syndrome, at least not one that has been tested true but while remission is not a possibility, functioning in society is. Autism cases range in severity. From mild cases and high functioning autistic, to ones suffering with severe mental retardation, each case is unique to the child diagnosed.

Common to all ASD cases however, is a history of repetitive behavior: hand flapping and repetitive movement (stereotypy), arranging items in uniform stacks and lines (compulsive), reacts negatively to changes in schedule and routine (ritualistic), eye poking, skin picking, head banging (self-injury). These behaviors are one of the many difficulties an autistic child will face throughout his/her life. Problems with motor coordination are indicated throughout the spectrum as well however; seem to be more prominent in standard autism. And while these symptoms are indicative of autism and its counterparts, others may develop as a result of the disorder. Gastrointestinal difficulties stem from the fact that diet is often affected in autistic children. Their repetitive and compulsive behaviors will leak over into the nutritional choices and often lead to selectivity in preferred foods-leading to a strong refusal of others. Studies have shown that while this doesn’t necessarily cause malnutrition it is a main factor in their GI troubles.

Unfortunately, people tend to think of this disorder in a negative light, and while it is undeniable the negative aspects that an autistic child faces in his/her life-it could prove more beneficial to the child to define it in terms of ‘being different’. Autistic children are not sick. They were born and began developing differences in their neural make up. Their brains began developing at a different rate as their bodies progressed steadily at the norm. These children are faced with altered factors in life, but this in no way makes them negatively different. Yes, autistic children will develop differently from other children. They will learn things differently, see things differently, and react to outside stimuli in a different manner. Still, autism while being a neurodevelopmental disorder should in no way be considered a stigma.

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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