Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Help the Child With Auditory Processing Issues to Block Out Background Noise and Unpleasant Sounds

Kids with auditory sensitivities may want to wear earplugs not just when there is a lot of distracting noise, such as a restaurant, but in places where unexpected loud sounds can disturb them: public bathrooms with toilets that flush loudly, parties where balloons pop, and so on. Contrary to popular belief, earplugs do not block out all sound. They simply reduce overall volume. Foam earplugs are cheap and easily found in drugstores, and you can teach your child with sensory issues how to roll them between her fingers to make them smaller and then insert them into the ear. While you don't want your child to become used to wearing earplugs all the time, in particularly challenging situations they can be a real stressbuster for the sensory child with auditory sensitivities.

Noise cancellation headphones are not only a great idea for concerts and Monster Truck® shows, but for sensory breaks where the child has a strong need to block out background noise and reduce auditory stimulation. These block far more noise than do earplugs so use them judiciously, ideally under the guidance of a sensory smart OT who can set up a sensory diet that incorporates breaks from auditory stimulation. Noise cancelling headphones can typically be found for $15-35 in hardware stores although you may want to do an internet search to find them in the smallest sizes.

If background noise makes it difficult for a sensory child to fall asleep or focus on schoolwork, you can use a white noise machine, a radio turned to static, a fan, or an aquarium to provide masking for distressing and distracting sounds. Experiment with music designed specifically to improve focusing, such as Hemi-Sync Metamusic®. New Age music or nature sounds may help some children with SPD focus better, or they may distract them further. Work with the child to find the music that enhances his focusing ability. Observe his responses and ask him if the music is helping or hindering him.

The information contained in this article is provided as a public service. It is for informational and educational purposes only. This information should not be construed as personal medical advice. Because each person's health needs are different, a health care professional should be consulted before acting on any information provided in these materials. Although every effort is made to ensure that this material is accurate and up-to-date, it is provided for the convenience of the user and should not be considered definitive.

Nancy Peske is an author and editor and the parent of a child who at age 2 was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and multiple developmental delays. Coauthor of the award-winning Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, available from Penguin Books, Nancy offers information and support on her blog and website at http://www.sensorysmartparent.com She has been active in the SPD community since 2002.

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Do You Feel Rejected Because Your Child is Autistic?

I was talking to a dear friend of mine on the telephone, who has a child with autism. She was telling me, how she feels rejected, not part of her family, relatives, and friends, because of her son with autism. Do you ever feel this way, or have felt this way? I do understand those feelings, and I can identify with them. I have experienced that many parent(s), caregiver(s), are feeling rejected because their child has the disorder of autism.

Many of us have grown up on a "turn table" trying to please most of the people we know, so they will not reject us. We want to be perfect or desire to be perfect in the eyes of others. You now have a child with the disorder of autism, and you are discovering you feel out of the "normal" crowd. You are rejected from the people that you wanted to be accepted with.

You are probably thinking and feeling that the only way to be accepted from being rejected, is through your performance. Which means, your child now has autism, and if you do what others in your group want you to do, you will be accepted. Since your child is autistic, your thoughts are, they will probably reject you. Having a child with autism does not make you as parent(s), caregiver(s), "abnormal", or should it make you feel rejected.

I have had many discussions with my friend, concerning her feelings of being rejected because she has a child with the disorder of autism. We have discussed and agreed, that you do not have to be perfect whether you have a child with autism, or child who does not have autism.

Yes, there are people who will not accept you and will reject you because your child is autistic, and you do not perform perfectly to please them, or are up to their standards. In reality, what does it matter if other individuals will reject you, because of your child with the disorder of autism?

You as parent(s), caregiver(s), do not have to feel you need to please people, so that you are accepted and fear you will be rejected, now that your child is autistic. It is imperative for you to know, you and your child have many talents, gifts, and do not need to express the feelings of rejection.

I have been in your situation. I have tried hard to prove myself in the area of being accepted, so I would fit in, and not feel rejected because of the disorder my brother had.

I came to the conclusion, and I hope you do also, that you as parent(s), caregiver(s), are not rejected because of a child with autism. You may feel that way, but the truth is, the people who are rejecting you, are in reality rejecting themselves.

Grow and learn from your child, become more educated with new research that is being done for autism, make new adjustments, changes and challenges. In addition, by doing this, it will give you new hope, and will help you break those feelings of being rejected.

We all have an inbred need to be loved. But, we do not need to perform so we are not rejected. You, and your autistic child, will experience that blows of life knock you down, but the important thing to remember is not to stay down. You will develop the quality of rebounding from rejection as you become stronger in knowing, that you will soon develop confident strong feelings of being accepted.

Learn and grow by gaining knowledge about autism. Keep updated on the new research that is being done, and make good choices of who your friends are, and the people you want to spend time with. Many individuals do not understand autism, nor do they want to know about it. Therefore, if people in your circle, are rejecting you because of your child with the disorder, choose new friends that understand, and they will give you the support you need.

"Bonita Darula provides you with an imperative e-book, about Autism. Your child and you are unique and must be treated with the individual attention you deserve. Be her guest at ==> http://www.autismintoawareness.com Take action now. Download your e-book and receive your FREE bonus products."

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Teaching Autistic Children to Take Responsibility For Their Actions

Children should always be taught to take responsibility for their behaviour. But what about those who are afflicted with autism and have different ranges of temper tantrums and angry outbursts? Should we allow them to carry on and make excuses for them because of their behavioural imbalances? Are we to ignore them or de we step in and educate them so they can learn to co-exist with others?

Children with autism can be corrected and guided into better ways of controlling or displaying their emotions. It is crucial for parents or adults to manage the temper outbursts and anger displays of an autistic child. Slowly, they can be taught that outbursts and tantrums are generally unacceptable. What is crucial is for the adults to be patient and be attuned to the triggers that set off these extreme reactions and manage them. Most often, it could be that the child is just over stimulated, tired or overwhelmed with too many new things. Autistic children don't process data like an average child does, and sometimes external factors such as too many loud noises, bright lights or unusual sounds trigger their outbursts and tantrums. Coming across too many new faces or too many activities also sets off extreme reactive behaviour in an autistic child. A simple overload of all these causes them to behave in a way that we think is inappropriate, so we should do justice to them and keep them from experiencing too much all too soon.

It may be a taxing process, but when started on early in the life of an autistic child, discipline and management of behaviour can eventually attune them to co-exist in normal surroundings. Parents or caregivers need to be educated on the sensory overload that an autistic child may experience so they can explore the most effective ways to guide the child through. This may take extreme dedication and patience, but consistency and perseverance will eventually pay off. Find out how the autistic child communicates best with his surroundings without intimidating him. An autistic child can learn to be the best according to their abilities, to fit in our society and gravitate towards new challenges and opportunities.

Andrea has written articles on many aspects of life for more than 3 years and recommends that you may want to check out coupon organizer or perhaps marketing strategies!

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Monday, June 28, 2010

About Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Most people have heard about autism and it is a recognizable childhood constraint that is not so uncommon that you are never likely to come across somebody who suffers with autism: in fact, as many as 1 in every 110 individuals is autistic, with a higher incidence of males to females. There is no need to avoid people with autism, however, as they can't pass it on to you and you can't catch it from them no matter what you do or how close you get. Autism is something sufferers are born with. It is regarded as a disorder that affects the child's development due to the activities of the brain being affected.

In fact, autism fits into a group of developmental conditions that has become known, in recent years, as PDD, or pervasive developmental disorder. The best known one of these PDDs is autism which is the reason that this group of developmental disorders is often referred to as ASD, or autism spectrum disorder. This often causes problems with communication and the normal childhood milestones. It also results in a person with autism having problems with social interactions, sometimes having an intelligence that is lower than average, or having an intelligence that is higher than average. People who are known to be autistic have great difficulty relating to people at an everyday level, with children often experiencing hindered language development.

Sensory perception is also affected, with altered states of awareness, lighter and brighter colors, louder sounds and more intense smells: in fact, everything experienced appears to be at a more profound intensity than individuals without this developmental disability. Another well-known condition that comes within the aegis of PDD is Asperger syndrome, whilst Rett Syndrome and CDD [childhood disintegrative disorder] are two lesser known developmental disorders within this particular spectrum of medical disorders.

Is it Known how Autism Occurs?

Autism affects each sufferer differently and, for every person with autism, there is a different degree of affliction, some having autistic symptoms that are very mild whilst others are very profoundly affected. It is this wide spectrum that causes doctors to believe that autism is partly due to genetics and partly due to influencing environmental aspects. So far researchers have established that autism is not caused by any viral infection and, although a family with one autistic child is more likely to have another, they know autism doesn't occur as the result of anything the parents have done when raising their children.

Within our brains there are 100 billion neurons. These neurons, or nerve cells, carry electrical impulses that jump across little gaps between the many thousands of connections. These gaps are called synapses. The way electrical currents can jump across synapses is due to a biochemical process that lowers the number of potassium chemicals [potassium ions] on one side of the synapse whilst, at the same time, increasing the number of sodium ions. This is referred to as 'opening the gateway'.

When the gateway opens, there is an exchange of ions from one neuron to the next, enabling the electrical impulse to jump across the gap. The gateway then closes behind it and another gateway opens in front of it. In this way an electrical impulse leaves the brain and will travel to different parts of the body. All our senses depend on these electrical impulses, including communication and how we behave. The gateways are affected by the quantity of chemical messengers the brain sends out: these are called neurotransmitters and they are chemicals as well.

There are lots of different kinds, such as dopamine and serotonin, although there are many more. Each one interacts with another one and they all rely on a very delicate balance between all of them, so it is hardly surprising that, sometimes, things don't go exactly according to plan and something gets mixed up or misfires. This can cause problems such as autism.

Other from that, research continues. At present doctors and researchers still don't know for sure why some children develop autism and why some children don't. Furthermore, there are no tests that can identify whether a child is exhibiting autistic symptoms or not. Usually, autism is identified when a child is aged between 18 months and 4 years, often by doctors ruling out other causes for the child's lack of spontaneity or development.

The diagnosis eventually rests on experts' observation of the child's behavior and presence or absence of communication. Eventually, the diagnosis is established by listening to the parents' observations of how their child responds within the home environment, along with reports from neurologists, child psychologists and pediatricians. Ultimately, these reports are considered along with the known childhood milestones, enabling a pattern of persistent behavior to emerge.

Living with Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder for which there is no cure. However, the effects of the autism can often be minimized by teaching the child how to cope with it. The child develops specific skills for coping with the problem, eventually learning how to minimize the effects of autism in their lives and their surrounding family. Despite this, there is no getting away from the potentially devastating effects autism can have on how the surrounding family is able to cope. Some families manage better than others, but the sooner treatment begins the sooner a child with autism can begin to adapt to the incomprehensible world they have found themselves in.

As the child grows it becomes evident how the autism is affecting them: this will affect the kind of treatment they will be offered. Treatment will be managed within the team allocated as being responsible for that child. This team will be made up of child psychologists, pediatricians, neurologists and probably social workers, as well as other ancillary professionals such as speech therapists and behavioral therapists amongst others.

Treatment for an autistic child will be organized to make the most of the skills they have, and maximizing the skills they need to have to be able to cope with their lives. Such therapies may include speech therapy, occupational therapy and even music therapy and may, or may not, also include course of medications as well. Another therapy that is becoming particularly popular due to its efficacy is art therapy. Although many children with autism eventually succeed within mainstream education, some autistic children are better suited to being educated at a special school that can cope with behavioral difficulties.

Behavioral Difficulties

A person growing up with autism will always be aware that they are living in an incomprehensible world. Hopefully, however, by the time they are adults they should have developed the skills to deal with most problems they may encounter, although this isn't always the case. It is important to remember that the brains of people with autism function differently to everybody else, including many of the fellow sufferers. Social cues such as body language and facial expressions can cause them perplexity, causing them to behave in a manner that may seem strange. Their behavior may even make you feel uncomfortable and prefer to avoid them. Basically, however, somebody growing up with autism doesn't have the social skills to pick up the unspoken cues that people around them provide all the time.

Frustration can be a big problem for children with autism because they are unable to express themselves adequately. They may want to make friends but be unable to do so because they don't know how to go about it. This can cause tantrums or behavior that could be perceived as aggression, or they may behave in ways that could be interpreted as inappropriate, causing the recipient of such behavior to feel very uncomfortable indeed. Although people with autism don't experience emotions and want to show affection, their interpretation of how this affection should be shown is an individual experience. It is one that could probably not be accepted as the 'norm', perhaps if you hug them they will pull away because they don't like the experience of being touched.

Sudden noises can cause people with autism to become easily startled as their senses are greatly heightened. They respond best to routines as changes in their daily pattern of living can cause them to become extremely anxious: rigorous routine helps them to maintain a degree of control over their lives that, in many ways, are dominated by the will of somebody else's control. There are some individuals with autism for whom repetitive movements represent their fragile control over their lives and, to them, mean that the world will be all right that day. Different objects and ideas can represent real occurrences in their lives: perhaps avoiding all foods with a certain color, or counting the number of red cars they pass on the way to school: a certain number meaning it will be a good day and a different number resulting in a bad day, with all subsequent emotion and behavior stemming from these arbitrary encounters.

Anne is a full-time, professional writer, educated to MA level. Her specialist field is medical and healthcare subjects, as well as a profound interest in the latest technology and scientific research.

Anne is currently re-developing her website, http://writtenbyanne.com.

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Birthday Party Success on a Special Needs Diet

There are two parts to birthday party success on a special needs diet. One is having your own party with food you can eat and everyone will enjoy. The second is being invited to someone else's party and being prepared with your own goodies that don't make you feel like you are missing out on the "good stuff."

As a child with ADHD or on the autism spectrum, it might be rare that they are invited to a party to begin with, so when it does happen, you want it to go well. The focus of today's article is about food and not the sensory issues of birthday parties. Provided your child can handle these events, I'm going to give you tips on how to enjoy them while on your special needs diet. If you're child isn't quite "there" yet with the ability to attend parties without overwhelm, keep in mind that being on the diet will change that! Don't disregard this helpful information, but keep it for when you need it.

Your Own Party

The place to start is mental attitude toward the issue of party food. When we first went through these dietary changes, I panicked just thinking about what I would make that the other kids (who weren't used to our food) would enjoy. Don't focus on what they will think about the food. Focus on the fun they will have while there. That's all that really matters. If the party is fun, then it's a success.

The good news is that by serving only healthier foods, or even a few transitional things that are still within the diet criteria, you are going to have a whole group of kids who aren't spiking on artificial chemicals and sugar overload. That alone can make a world of difference from the typical party craze.

It's been through trial and error that I've found what works well. I definitely don't recommend that you make your child's food different on the side and provide standard food to the other kids. After all, this is your child's party and you can make sure that he or she gets the same thing that all the other kids get for once.

Ideas to make it easier on you:

  1. Set the party time mid-afternoon for a 2-3 hour window. That way you can avoid providing an entire lunch or dinner meal.
  2. Make a list of your child's favorite foods and include them. (The success of any of the following food suggestions will, of course, depend on your child's unique sensory issues. If your child has limited preferences, keep these in mind for the other kids. Even if yours wouldn't eat it, keep it within the diet guidelines so you don't have to say no just in case!)
  3. Don't underestimate our kids and assume they won't eat something healthy! Set out a uniquely designed veggie platter with the other snacks and watch it disappear, too.
  4. Make a delicious fruit salad with berries or other in-season fruits. Serve in a clear cup with a blend of fruits as a sauce on top.
  5. There are great homemade non-dairy ice cream recipes and even store-bought brands.
  6. Make cupcakes instead of a birthday cake if you don't want to serve a GFCF version to everyone. You can provide both, but have them look the same. Better yet, use homemade or store-bought non-dairy ice creams to make an ice cream cake and skip the baking all together.
  7. Give small, inexpensive toys that you can buy in bulk as prizes and goodie bag stuffers instead of candy. As a party activity, make a craft and have that as the take-home gift. (At my daughter's 6th birthday party, I bought a package of craft gems, some bottles of craft glue, and shot-glass sized tea candle holders. The girls all decorated their candle holders and took them home with a candle inside. It was very inexpensive and they all loved it!)
  8. Make air-popped popcorn instead of the microwaved, chemical covered kind.
  9. Make homemade lemonade (with stevia or agave syrup instead of sugar) or serve plain fruit juice mixed with soda water for fun party drinks. Freeze a berry inside ice cubes for an added touch.
  10. If the party must be scheduled around a main meal, use oven baked potato wedges (or "fries") as the main base of the meal. Build the rest of the meal around it. If you think of a base that doesn't include flour products or dairy, then it takes the pressure off of making something without substitutes!
Most importantly, be prepared! Brainstorm and be creative. Remember, the games and entertainment you have will make the party the success, so put most of your efforts there and have fun!

Parties Away from Home

It isn't easy to go to a party and miss out on all the special treats and foods that are standard party fare. Let's face it, pizza, hot dogs, cake, flavored chips, artificially buttered popcorn and chemical-filled drinks abound at parties. The last thing we need is the regret of attending one and dealing with a week long reaction to the food. It only takes a small amount to see a reaction like this and to overload at a party will not move you toward success. This is not the time to let down your guard on diet, especially knowing that parties are a sensory overload even without the junk food!

Plan of action:

  1. Simply explain to the other parent that your child has allergies to certain foods. (You don't have to mention the specifics like artificial ingredients, gluten, dairy, etc...)
  2. Be specific that your child should only eat/drink what you provide. (It is just safer this way. Other parents will sometimes go to great lengths to try to provide something "acceptable" for your child but miss a key ingredient. After their efforts, it's harder to say no, so play it safe and keep it simple from the start!)
  3. Be prepared and stay well stocked! (Prepare the "safe" recipes in bulk batches of cupcake sizes and freeze them to have on hand at a moment's notice. That way, you aren't making a whole cake recipe for your child every time someone else has a party!)
  4. Keep a stash of "party food" ready, but not visible! (There are natural, fruit-juice sweetened candies and gummy bears that you can buy to use as a trade for the chemical-filled junk when coming home from a party. This stash is only for trade-offs from what other people give them. I don't recommend keeping it for regular use at home!)
  5. Even better, trade for money! (Older kids who understand the value of money and want to save for something special will gladly hand over the candy in return for some cash. Keep it realistic and don't pay too much. As my son says, "That candy only lasts a little while in my mouth, but a toy lasts forever!")
These tips don't only apply to birthday parties away from home, but also for seasonal events, spontaneous get-togethers, or even regular play-dates. Being prepared and sticking to the plan are the most important factors in your success with a restricted diet. Start with these suggestions and create a plan that works well for you.

© 2010 Stephani McGirr

WOULD YOU LIKE TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR BLOG, EZINE OR ON YOUR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include the following with it: Stephani McGirr publishes "The Nourishing Journal" - a free twice monthly eZine for parents of ADHD, ASD, and other special needs children who are looking for natural methods to help their family. If you're ready move from struggle to success and create a peaceful home life your family loves, get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at http://www.NourishingJourney.com.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Picture Communication and to Do Lists For Kids With Sensory Issues Or Autism

Encourage sensory kids, even preverbal or nonverbal ones, to work with To Do lists!

Many people are able to organize their day and prioritize their activities without having to refer to a To Do list. Others enjoy the satisfaction of checking off each task on the list as they complete it. Kids with sensory issues often have difficulty with organization and should be encouraged to create and work with To Do lists for chores, homework, and appointments. Having visual evidence that there's a lot to be done before the television goes on will help them stay focused on the tasks they need to complete.

Visual or picture To Do lists, which use stick figures, simple line drawings, or photographs to illustrate what is on the agenda, can be very helpful for a child who is unable to read. A To Do list provides clarity about what the future holds and helps build the child's ability to sequence tasks. One child may do fine with a morning routine To Do list that has line drawings for eating breakfast, washing up, brushing his teeth, taking his vitamins, getting dressed, brushing his hair, putting on his backpack, and walking with a parent to the bus stop. Another child might need to have a particular activity broken down into steps: for washing hands, her To Do list might have a sequence of drawings that illustrate turning on the tap, wetting the hands, using soap, rinsing the hands, turning off the faucet, and drying the hands.

In addition to using visual To Do lists during the course of an average day, you can make a unique list of the tasks to be completed while you and your child are out and about. If your child sees that photograph of the bank and then the photo of the grocery store, she will feel a sense of control as she is taken from one environment to the next. You might even ask her to "read" what's next on the list.

To Do lists in school are helpful, too, for everyday activities and special events such as field trips. Encourage kids to check the agenda throughout the day and cross off completed tasks.

Copyright © 2010 Nancy Peske

Nancy Peske is an author and editor and the parent of a child who at age 2 was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and multiple developmental delays. Coauthor of the award-winning Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, available from Penguin Books, Nancy offers information and support on her blog and website at http://www.sensorysmartparent.com She has been active in the SPD community since 2002.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Making Sense of a Lack of Eye 'I' Contact in Individuals With Autism

"Sometimes I practice looking at someone directly to see what it feels like. If I practice long enough maybe it will feel okay to do. I notice that this is important, but it goes against my rules. If somebody made me look at him in the eye, I would probably do it, but you better believe that I would hate him. I will look someone in the eye when I am ready and do it in my own time and space. If someone is trying to fix himself that part is just not ready yet. Have you figured out that I am very stubborn? It's not that I like being stubborn, but I need to protect myself."

Let's make sense out of this autistic child's experience. We can only infer what is going on within him. He seems to be telling us that eye contact does not come naturally to him. He also might be saying, "leave me alone and do not force me to look you in the eye." If he is forced, he is saying he will resent that person's interference. Finally he is telling us he is trying to fix his situation and does not want to be intruded upon by others.

What do we do about this child who cannot look at us directly? This is a quandary for us because as typical people we know that when good communication is taking place the individual is direct and focused on the other person. With the person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this is not the case. In fact it appears to be just the opposite. The urgency is to want the person with ASD to be in the world and be like us. This may cause us to force or demand the child to use eye contact. I believe this is putting the cart before the horse.

As we know people with ASD struggle with communication and relationships with others. Eye contact stands out as a nonverbal gesture that feels troublesome for those who work with or have children with autism. I believe that the child will start to be more direct with his eyes when he is ready. Thus we need to be patient and let it happen in the normal course of the child's development.

Some thoughts to think about regarding eye contact:

1) the child is not deliberately being difficult by not using eye contact,
2) his body will not let him use his nonverbal gestures as we might be familiar with,
3) this does not mean that the lack of eye contact cannot change over time,
4) as the child develops his ability to communicate verbally, his use of direct eye contact will develop as well,
5) in fact it might be the last nonverbal gesture he will be able to conquer. This will vary from child to child,
6) eye contact is a nonverbal (gesture) communication from the unconscious of a person,
7) when communication is good we say that the person is congruent. Their verbal communication is complimented by their nonverbal gestures (eye contact being only one of many nonverbal gestures). This means that the person will use direct eye contact when he feels more comfortable with his verbal communication and his relationships with others. Eye contact demonstrates the individual's confidence and self-esteem, and finally
8) a way to think about eye contact is that the child will use 'eye' contact when he can use 'I' contact.

Karen Savlov is a psychoanalyst and Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in West Los Angeles, California. My specialty is Autism Spectrum Disorders, anger, dissociation, depression, anxiety and relationships. For new and creative ways to think about autism read and follow my blog at http://www.wonderingaboutautism.blogspot.com. I can also be followed on Twitter at Autism Thoughts.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Discover How Computers Will Help Children With Autism

Autistic children have a disability that results from abnormal development or communication skills, social skill deficits and reasoning. Many characteristics include lack of eye contract, repetition of words, phrases, tantrums, anger outbursts, inability to express verbally, insensitivity to pain, not formulating complete sentences, finding loud noises and bright lights to disrupt their routine. In addition, most do not like being cuddled or hugged.

Due to these facts, it has been determined that children with autism and young adults who have this disorder, find working on computers to be therapeutic and educational.

Teaching children with autism how to use a computer, may seem overwhelming or difficult. It is not difficult. These individuals enjoy the computer, for the fact, it gives them an opportunity to learn how to play games, see pictures, learn music, watch videos from newsworthy web sights, write short e-mail letters to their parents and friends. It takes some patience to teach them, but most are willing to learn and have the desire to want to understand how to use computers.

Computers help in assisting autistic children gain self-confidence, it draws them out their isolated environment, and it teaches them to follow instructions that open new challenges and opportunities for them to grow.

Purchasing a computer for an individual with autism, depends on their needs, desires and at what level the person is at, with their age and their disorder. One must take into consideration that the computer should have a large key board, with visible letters, numbers, lap top computers are usually an excellent choice. In addition, simplicity of the construction is a must, not complex looking that contains confusing accessories. Keep it simple, but fun looking.

It is wise to purchase some variations of software that contains games, that the child with autism would enjoy and understand. If they enjoy cartoons, history, music, reading, numbers, and sports, try the software on the computer and allow the child to become familiar with what shows on the computer screen.

As the individual with autism becomes more proficient with the computer, you can upgrade it to perform other tasks. In the future, you could even purchase a printer and show them how to print data, and use a digital camera and other accessories, that would make it more challenging for the person.

One of the advantages of using a computer for children with autism, is, it can help with replacing pen and paper, concentrate longer, better eye-hand coordination, show a desire to be more verbal, expressive, and communicate in a positive way. It can increase their interest and motivation, and teach them to be self-starters.

Be patient with the individual who has the disorder of autism, when teaching them how to use a computer. Make it fun, enjoyable, and it will benefit your child and you.

"Take action now, to discover how computers will help in assisting your child or young adult, who has autism, to learn and progress. Bonita Darula, encourages you to visit http://www.autismintoawareness.com to download your e-book and bonus products and learn more about autism. Do not delay."

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Autism and Flying

If we are honest I think we will all admit that travelling anywhere with any child can be testing at some point during the journey. Travelling with an Autistic child can be even more testing. Not just for the parents or the child but for those people travelling around them. The question is what can you as a parent do to make your journey that little bit easier?

Parents will already have a plan in place to prepare their child for the Airport so we wont be going into to much detail about that here rather our focus will be on the actual Airport process and the flights.

Airport Parking

Most people who live any distance from the airport will probably use a form of airport parking, so it makes sense for your airport experience to begin by planning the type of airport parking you will be using. Children with Autism dependent on what part of the Spectrum they are one will probably struggle to deal with social interaction to some degree. By choosing a park and ride option you will either have to get on a dedicated transfer coach with lots of other people or have to wait around for the transfer coach that circulates on an on going basis. Both of these options are not very Autism friendly due to the fact that there will be a lot of waiting around and interaction with other people.

The alternative option to park and ride is what is know as meet and greet parking. This method is much more Autism friendly as it enables you and your family to drive directly to the airport and have your vehicle collected from the terminal you are departing from. By choosing this method you will avoid any waiting around and will definitely not subject your child to any unnecessary social interaction.

Easy Check In

Its worth checking with your airline if they have an express check in service. If they do then you will be able to check in online before you arrive at the airport this speeding the whole check in procedure aling vastly. If you can use the express check in service all you will have to do upon arriving at the airport is join the express check in queue which moves greatly faster than the other queues as all you are in effect doing is off loading your luggage.

Med Seats

Each aircraft has what are known as Med seats (medical seats) which the aircraft staff can allocate at their discretion upon departure. I would recommend calling the airline well ahead of your journey and explain to them that your child is Autistic and it would be in everybody's interests if you could be allocated the med seats at the front of the aircraft. The reason why these seats are good is because they reduce the stimulation that will inevitably surround your child. This will hopefully keep them calm enough and prevent any tantrums that would of course affect everybody else on the plane. It is worth mentioning this when trying to secure your seats as ultimately if they allow you to have them it will make everybody's life easier especially the cabin crew.

Knowledge is power

The final piece of advice is down to the parents and how they feel at the time. It is advisable and nice if when sitting down you inform the cabin crew and surrounding passengers of your child's condition. You don't have to go into great detail about it but generally people are more understanding if they know why things are happening and by you knowing they know the stress levels will be lower.

Unfortunately queueing at airports is inevitable but the more phone calls you make before you travel the easier your journey will be.

Written by Jamie Lyons on behalf of Heathrow Airport Parking and Manchester Airport Parking specialists MF Airport Parking

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jamie_R_Lyons

Making Sense of How an Individual With Autism Communicates

Getting one's needs met and to exist happily in one's family, community and beyond is dependent on the ability to communicate. As non-autistic individuals we can use ourselves to communicate our needs and express our feelings. The individual with autism depending on his functioning level, has anywhere from extremely limited (nonexistent in some) to some ability to ask for his needs to be met. Some people with autism seem to communicate by persevering on a topic that seems to not relate at all to whatever the topic might be. For example, one child may become fixated on televisions and only be able to talk about this subject, no matter what else is being discussed. It is not unusual for individuals with autism to seem to come out of "left field" with what they might say. For example, the topic may be going to the grocery store and what will be bought at the store. The child may say, "you are pretty."
There are also individuals who are nonverbal, those who use echolalia and still others that can only express their needs by reversing their pronouns. When they want a cookie to eat, instead of saying "I want a cookie," the child may say, "you want a cookie."
Let's make sense of what is going on. It is my opinion that a person with autism has not had the benefit of a completed attachment, lacks the ability to use him/herself in relationship to others and is also in a state of dissociation which causes varying degrees of consciousness and awareness. This incomplete attachment compromises the child's ability to have relationships and to communicate. Let me explain how these different elements contribute to not only problems in communicating, but also relating to others.
It is important to remember that the individual with autism wants to communicate and in fact is always communicating about himself even though he may be nonverbal, echolalic or reversing pronouns. He is like any human being in that he has a need to communicate. Unfortunately, because he has had an incomplete attachment, he cannot identify his feelings, which are dissociated, and therefore cannot use those feelings to express his needs. In other words, he has not developed to a level where he has self-agency. This means he literally cannot ask for anything for his own benefit. This is not a physical problem, but instead a developmental problem that can change over time.
It is my opinion, that what one sees with the nonverbal child with autism is the reverse of what one sees with a typical child. I call this phenomenon Inside out, upside down. In other words, the unconscious part of the child is on the outside and the conscious part is in the inside. That is why some nonverbal children with autism seem out of control and low functioning, but with the use of a computer can communicate beautifully in writing. This is a very good example of the split or dissociation of the self. Most people are unfamiliar with seeing the unconscious. Because most people are unfamiliar with the workings of the unconscious, individuals with autism are constantly misunderstood.
The phenomenon of echolalia is also something that can be understood. One first needs to remember that the child with autism has minimal and varying (depending on their functioning level) ability to use himself in relationship to others. Also it is important to remember that an incomplete attachment precludes one from being able to use one's self. Thus echolalia is the result of not being able to use one's self. The child only has access to what they hear. They may hear "do you want a cookie?" Developmentally all the child can do is mimic the other person. There is no awareness and ability to use the self in response to the other. Thus the end result is a repetition of what the child heard.
The child who reverses his pronouns and uses 'you' to mean 'I' is beginning to use his self with others. The child uses 'you' because it is safer than 'me or I.' The child with autism does not feel safe in the world. Everything is confusing, awkward and anxiety producing. The use of 'you' as it refers to the self is another example of dissociation. As I mentioned before the child is split. As the child develops and he becomes less split and gains more agency, he will then move to using the pronoun 'me' and finally as he has more and more access to himself, he will be able to use 'I.' There seems to be a direct correlation to the use of 'I' and ability to know and access feelings and use them in relationship to others.
Now lets look at why the communication of individuals with autism appears inappropriate. First of all, I believe that an individual with autism is always communicating his state of existence. Unfortunately, most people perceive these communications from their own experience, which includes having completed the attachment process. In working with individuals with autism, many try to extinguish the "odd" behaviors of the child. In doing so, we are not understanding the message the child is trying to communicate through his strange behaviors. We in a sense are helping him to feel misunderstood versus understood and not seen versus seen. Instead these communications need to be understood within the context of a child who has never attached and cannot use the self to communicate. Every behavior that the child uses can be understood and must be understood so that the child can gain understanding and recognition, which are precursors to being able to attach. Our work with the person with autism is to understand, validate, accept and recognize him. If the caregiver or professional can recognize and see the child, then the child can start to see him or herself.
Examples may help to understand what I am communicating. I visited a three-year-old nonverbal boy, who had never seemed to play appropriately with his toys. In observing him, I noticed he was picking his lips. Instead of telling him not to pick his lips, I said, "you are telling me that something is going on around your lips and your inability to talk." He looked at me and then played appropriately with a toy. He had never done this before. Another example will help to highlight this point. I worked with another boy who liked to watch videos. He had certain ones he wanted to make sure I saw. One day, he showed me a video, which explained a complicated family dynamic. I interpreted the dynamic as it related to his family. As I was able to do that, he could begin to talk about his own personal experience. These are examples of how one interprets and uses projection with individuals with autism to help them gain access to their feelings.
In concluding, I want to restate that the perseverations, the out of context communications, the use of pronoun reversal, echolalia, and nonverbal communication, to name only a few, can be understood through the lens of an Incomplete Attachment which leaves the individual in a state of waiting for a completed attachment and without access to himself or what I call self-agency.
Karen Savlov is a psychoanalyst and Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in West Los Angeles, California. My specialty is Autism Spectrum Disorders, anger, dissociation, depression, anxiety and relationships. For new and creative ways to think about autism read and follow my blog at http://www.wonderingaboutautism.blogspot.com. I can also be followed on Twitter at Autism Thoughts.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Accepting the Verdict of Autism

Receiving a verdict of Autism can seem overwhelming. You may possibly be left with a lot of unanswered questions regarding the verdict. You may possibly be thinking the verdict is wrong. This cannot be happening to your young baby. You can find several feelings and emotions you could expertise when dealing with a verdict of Autism. The following are some about the means you can be emotion, and methods to come to terms using the verdict.


Denial is normally a popular emotion when dealing with any medical problem. Often it can be much easier to deny that there exists even a problem. Some father and mother don't need to consider that there may possibly be one thing wrong with their baby. So they pretend like there exists practically nothing wrong. The doctor was wrong, their baby is perfectly standard. Getting in denial regarding the verdict will not help something. The quicker that you accept that your young baby is Autistic the superior both of you is going to be. The problem will not go away if you ignore it. Accepting the verdict and moving on is going to be a enormous move in your case as being a mother or father to bring. The quicker this is completed the quicker you'll be able to start out seeking into treatment method selections.


Anger is 1 of various emotions you could think when you get a verdict of Autism. You may possibly be angry with yourself, or angry with God. Why is your young baby Autistic. You may possibly be angry with other father and mother which have wholesome children. This is normally a standard emotion to expertise. Recall whilst you happen to be emotion angry to believe of all the fantastic things about your young baby. Share your feelings with other people. Keeping anger bottled up can often be a bad point.


Often every time a mother or father gets a verdict of Autism they go though a grieving period. They are sad that their baby has one thing wrong with them. They may possibly be emotion sad that the dreams they had for their baby may possibly must change. They can be sad much more than the way the planet will deal with their baby, plus the hardships they'll face. Grief is normally a standard emotion to go via. The essential is normally to get via the grief, and on about the acceptance. Look at not to take a appear at the things which have been wrong. There can have to become some adjustments created in your plans for ones child's long term. That's what life is all about, change. If you uncover yourself unable to move past the grieving stage you could ought to talk to anyone. It may possibly help getting a handful of remedies sessions to deal with the feelings you happen to be experiencing.


Being a final point coming to terms using the verdict of Autism can bring awhile. Some men and women are just glad to own an solution to what is wrong with their child. Other people have a very difficult time accepting their child is several from other kids. Ultimately you could accept that your child is several, and which is okay. As soon as you may possibly have accepted the verdict of Autism you'll be able to start out to support your child. Do all the investigation you'll be able to on Autism. Feel of how difficult it can be for ones child. They have to own you to become behind them in their treatment options 1 hundred percent. The extremely initial move to doing this is acceptance.

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Play Dates For Children With Autism

The desire to have one's child interact with and to be accepted by others is the wish of all parents. When this does not occur the parent may become concerned, anxious or worried. Parents of autistic children face this dilemma on a daily basis. They are very aware that their children interact differently and display behaviors that are confusing to most.
The autistic child's ability to interact and engage with others is limited and varies on a continuum from complete non-involvement with others to sporadic and limited involvement. For the autistic child involvement with others can be confusing, intimidating and frightening. Autistic children can benefit positively to the exposure to other children through play activities.
Some suggestions to consider in setting up play dates:
1. Begin slowly and with patience. First, have a conversation with the parent of the child you want to set the play date with. Come up with a simple way to educate the parent about your child's behaviors and your desire to have the two children play. If the parent is receptive, the next step is to talk with the non-autistic child and parent together about your child's desire to play. Next talk to your own child about your intention;
2. Set up the play date in your home. Your child is familiar with this environment;
3. Limit the time based on your child's ability to be with others. I would suggest a half hour. Decide on an activity that you know that your child can engage in. Supervise the two children in the activity. If they seem engaged let the children continue the activity under your watchful eye;
4. At first parallel play may be all your child can tolerate;
5. You may want to have multiple activities available if the children do not respond to the initial activity;
6. Leave time for cleaning up, a story and refreshments;
7. Continue with short play dates, but increase the time with others as your own child can tolerate longer interactions;
8. After the play date you may want to check in with the other parent to see how her child handled the play date. If things went relatively well, you may want to continue such interactions. It is important to have a willing other parent and child that feel comfortable in supporting these activities.
As a point of caution, do not give up. This will be a slow process, but one that can be rewarding for all involved.
Karen Savlov is a psychoanalyst and Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in West Los Angeles, California. My specialty is Autism Spectrum Disorders, anger, dissociation, depression, anxiety and relationships. For new and creative ways to think about autism read and follow my blog at http://www.wonderingaboutautism.blogspot.com. I can also be followed on Twitter at Autism Thoughts.

Ten Tips on How to Be a Friend to an Autistic Person

People with autism may have a difficult time making friends or being one, for the fact that most of them have limited social skills, which makes it hard for them to relate to others or be a friend. In addition, many have not been taught social and communication skills or how to relate to them. Because of these difficulties that autistic people may experience, the question is, how can you be a friend to them?

* I believe it is imperative that you must be a friend to yourself first. This is accomplished by understanding yourself and nurturing yourself as you grow.

* To be a friend to an autistic person, you want to become strength to him or her. This is done by encouraging the autistic individual, not by putting them down with criticism, which will cause discouragement and low self-esteem.

* Many individuals with autism have difficult behaviors, because of their various levels of the disorder which creates numerous challenges. This may vary according to their age and environment. Be patient with the person with the disorder of autism and let him or her know you do care about them and want to be their friend. Be on common ground with them.

* It is important for you as parent(s), caregiver(s) to become sensitive to the disorder of autism. Practice companionship. Sometimes it is wise not to talk at times but be silent, listen to what the person is communicating or trying to say. I have learned, there are times when the wrong words or not using the right words can destroy friendships that are in its embryo stage.

* To be a friend to an autistic person, is to try to overlook his or her faults and understand that he or she is overcoming their weaknesses, as you are overcoming yours. Be patient with the person and let him or her know you do care about them and want to be their friend. Be on common ground with them.

* I have learned, not to attempt to change or find fault with people who have the disorder of autism, but make them comfortable with your presence, give them time to get to know you. Be tolerant of these individuals and have an understanding with a forgiving heart.

* Autistic individuals are people who want and need friends just as people who do not have the disorder. They want to belong, feel accepted and loved. They may have difficulties socializing or communicating, but you can discover how to be friends with them and continue to grow with them.

* Another way to be a friend to a person who has autism, find out what their likes and dislikes are. If the person enjoys lunch, take him or her to a restaurant that will be enjoyable. If sports is an enjoyment, take the person to a baseball game or watch it with them in a park or on television. Be creative, find out what the person wants to do, what he or she likes, and enjoy it with them. You can also make new suggestions and create new ideas.

* Send an autistic person a card in the mail with encouraging words on it, or a letter to say you are thinking about the person and you care. This can be done once a week or whenever there is a special occasion or just for fun.

* Bring the individual some treats, home made cookies, or candy. Many autistic children will appreciate balloons, so will adults as a gesture to be friends with the person. Use your imagination, and you will discover that making a friend with a person who has autism will be rewarding.

Bonita Darula is requesting you to be her guest at ==> http://www.autismintoawareness.com that provides you with an imperative e-book, about Autism. If you want to learn, the secret truth about friendship, treatments, diet, nutrition, research, coping, siblings, compulsive rituals, potty training and other topics that are crucial for your child. Take action now and download your e-book.

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Everything I Know About Autism I Learned From "Rain Man"

Many Americans had never heard Autism until they saw the movie "Rain Man," starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. In the classic film, Cruise discovers that he has a brother, Hoffman, who suffers from autistic disorder, and is unable to care for himself. Cruise travels across the country to take his brother home with him, only to be continually baffled, annoyed, and sometimes enraged at the oddness and specificity of his demands.

But along the way, Cruise also realizes his brother's tremendous gift: He is a savant. He can do high level math problems in his head with no processing time. His mind operates more quickly than Cruise ever thought possible. For a while, Cruise even profiteers from that gift by taking his brother, who he discovers can count cards like nobody's business, into a Vegas casino.

It is probably that scene more than any other that intrigued so many people about autism. What kind of potential and power is locked within the human mind? And isn't it cool that autistic people can do such amazing things!

The reality is somewhat less . An autistic person has, as Dr. Temple Grandin puts it, different wiring in their brains. They may have tripple the bandwidth in one category--math, for instance, is a common one--but that bandwidth comes the expense of normal functioning centers in the brain. Grandin insists that Albert Einstein would certainly have been diagnosed with Autism had the experts been around in his day. That would explain how the greatest mind of the twentieth century could, as legend tells, remember to go to a party but forget to wear his pants: all the wires were going to the technical math and science centers of his brain. His mind had no time for fashion.

While there are many savants who are autistic, most autistic children do not come with flashy gifts for card counting or music or painting. And even if they did, it would be little relief for their parents. Cool gifts are cool, and world class gifts are world class cool. But what parent wouldn't trade in even the most phenomenal mental powers for a real conversation with their autistic child?

Yes, autism is a fascinating study for many people. But for these parents, it is less interesting, and it's not a study. It's a person. They don't want a Rain Man. They just want to know their son.

Jason Landry lives in the Northwest, where he enjoys blogging, building websites, parenting, and watching football.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jason_Landry

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Feeling Inadequate to Cope With Your Autistic Child?

You received the unexpected news that your child is now diagnosed with autism. You are stunned, shocked. Do you feel you are inadequate, to cope with this news? These feelings you have are normal. Do not allow them to have power over you, or let them stop you from moving forward in a healthy direction.

Use your feelings and thoughts by directing them to build a future. There will be challenges, but you need to keep on keeping on. Remember, you will get through the challenges of bringing your child up in a healthy environment. Each day it will become easier to cope, and you will realize you are not inadequate to do it.

You will not be able to control the news that your child is diagnosed with autism, but you can control what happens to him or her. You are in charge to make good choices. By doing this, you will become stronger to cope, and gain positive strength that will prevent you from feeling inadequate.

If you feel you are inadequate to cope with the news that your child has been diagnosed with autism, find other parent(s), caregiver(s), who share similar feelings, and network with them, talk about your feelings, and how you can learn, and grow to make them become positive.

I remember, when my brother had his disorder it became painful to me, especially when I became a teenager. I felt inadequate, I could not cope. I was so concerned about what my friends would think, how could I have them over for a pizza party, how could I explain to my friends that my brother was not one of us. He was different and difficult.

As I grew older with age, I realized how special my brother was to me. He taught me that I was not inadequate, and I learned to cope with his disorder. I was taught by my brother, patience, compassion, learning levels of acceptance of who you are and strengths, that my other family members and friends did not have.

Do not feel you need to measure up to others, or you are inadequate to cope, or people would think less of you, and not understand your situation because you have a child with autism.

News can be shocking at times, especially when you have the truth that your child is autistic. But remember, you are not inadequate to cope with the news. This is a time when feelings can be put to a test, and the challenges can be charged into positive long term results.

Your child with autism will bring you joy, and strengthen you. Love your child, he or she is special, so are you. Learn from your child who has been diagnosed with autism. He or she is a gift, and your are appointed to raise him or her, by doing your very best that you know how to do.

"Bonita Darula is requesting you to be her guest at ==> http://www.autismintoawareness.com that provides you with an imperative e-book, about Autism. If you want to learn, the secret truth about inadequacy to cope, treatments, diet, nutrition, research, coping, siblings, compulsive rituals, potty training and other topics that are crucial for your child. Take action now and download your e-book."

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Autism and Bilateral Coordination - Why Fine Motor Skills Are Important Too

How is bilateral coordination important in Autism? A major attribute that places us humans apart from many other animals is our ability to use tools - our manual dexterity, our bilateral coordination. Along with primates, we have an opposing thumb and separate digits that allow us a greater range of grasp and manipulation of objects in our environment.

We pay a great deal of attention to our baby's developing gross motor skills e.g. crawling, walking, climbing and running. They are our way markers, our important milestones.

We pay much less attention to how our babies learn to use and coordinate their hands, their hand-eye co-ordination and the complex development of fine motor skills.

Achieving bilateral coordination (the competent use of both hands together) and fine motor skills is another major milestone in child development, without which we cannot fully master complex physical tasks, including the use of cutlery, dressing, drawing, handwriting and using scissors. Nor can we experience fully all the sensory information available to us.

Have you noticed how many children on the autistic spectrum perform tasks with only one hand?

Check out the many videos of autistic children on Youtube and those on the Autism Speaks Video Glossary. Compare the dexterity of the 12 month old neuro-typical child with the much older 'red flags for ASD' children.

Why is no one concerned by this glaringly obvious developmental marker?

It is hardly surprising these children show limited interests, and repetitive movements. They do not yet have the physical skills to interact with objects, and explore their environment, irrespective of their lack of interaction with people.

Can we say for definite that the typical autism trait of lining up of cars and objects is not imaginative play, mimicking sitting in traffic on the way to the mall for example? Do we also know categorically that the child is not testing and honing his hand-eye co-ordination and spatial awareness in this lining up activity... or that he is not developing his geometric and numerical abilities? Children on this spectrum are known to enjoy intricate patterns!

He knows he is successful in lining up objects, or building towers from large blocks - and toddlers like to be successful! I would say that most babies are not great risk takers, until they know they have minimised the risk. Success is usually spurred on by receiving external reward and praise from parents, siblings or carers. Sadly the baby or toddler with autism cannot readily access that either.

Young babies tend to use the hand that is most convenient at the time. If an object is placed near their right hand, they will reach with that one, but if it is nearer their left hand, they are likely to reach with their left. By about 18 months, most babies begin to show a hand preference (about 90% of the time, it is for their right hands) and by their third birthdays, almost all children can be described as either right or left handed.

Difficulties with gross and fine motor skills, awkward gait, avoidance of PE and sports are all relevant to autism. Dyspraxia, or motor planning has been co-morbid with autism as far back as I can remember, To find out about how and when babies develop bilateral coordination, and to understand why helping your child to improve coordinated use of both hands will impact significantly on your child's autism visit: http://autism-toddler-program.com

Pauline was a Specialist Teacher for 15 years. She has now has set up a parent-led early intervention program for newly diagnosed children under 5 years old with ASD. To read more about the range of behaviours displayed by older children with autism then visit: http://www.autism-toddler-program.com/autism-behaviors.html

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Pauline_Oliver

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What is the Difference Between Apraxia and Autism?

Apraxia and autism are two entirely different neurological disorders which can occur in a child independently of one another, or together in the same child. While autism's symptoms can impact and impair many different systems, behaviors, and thought patterns, apraxia occurs when the child struggles to plan and carry out voluntary physical movements.

In terms of gross motor skills, apraxia may impact a child's capabilities to stand up, sit in a chair, or catch a ball and with fine motor skills, a child may not be able to zip up a jacket, button a shirt, write or print, or even point at an object.

Children with apraxia may also struggle to produce sound patterns to make words, or even coordinate the various speech mechanisms to make the individual speech sounds such as the difference between a "g" and a "b" sound, or the hum of an "m" sound. Even when a sound is modeled, a child with apraxia may not be able to mimic the same sound.

However, though these symptoms may also cross over into autism, there remain important differences between the two conditions. For example, when a child has only apraxia it is only the motor functioning and not the social and emotional skills that are impacted, as is often not the case with autism.

Apraxia and autism can become difficult to tell from one another when the child is exhibiting symptoms of verbal apraxia (officially known as oral-motor apraxia). The reason for this is that children with either condition can be very aware of their struggle to communicate verbally, and therefore they may choose to avoid having to talk by staying away from social situations. However, in the case of verbal apraxia, if you play with your child and don't demand speech from him or her, you may find that they begin playing actively and engage others in their play.

The child usually experiences relief from being able to socialize and have contact with others without being required to talk, which is frustrating for them and can create a fear of failure. Often, with these children, when they are allowed to select the type of play and are allowed to go without having to speak, the relief and comfort they feel can make them more open to accepting the slow introduction of new sounds and syllables, which may eventually bring about simple words into their favorite games and play. Encouragement to vocalize or verbalize should be gentle in both apraxia and autism, and should be gradual, tailored to the pace of success rather than to a schedule.

In both motor apraxia and autism, children show social interaction problems, but in the case of motor apraxia, this is normally because they are not always capable of performing the physical movements that allows them access to others. However, motor apraxia won't usually make a child want to avoid social interaction altogether, such as failing to make eye contact, or specifically moving away from other people.

It is easy to see why there is so much confusion between apraxia and autism spectrum disorders. Especially considering children with these conditions can also both exhibit signs of over-reactivity to sensations. However, there are differences between the two and it is important to speak to your doctor or a specialist if you are unsure. Your doctor will be able to determine which condition your child may have, or if both are present.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans' brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about related conditions like apraxia and autism and for information on autism characteristics please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rachel_Evans

Thursday, June 3, 2010

11 Amazing Autistic Famous People

Many think that a diagnosis of autism means a child is doomed to a lonely life devoid of any accomplishments. History has proven this theory to be false, and many people with the higher-functioning forms of autism have gone on to do great things. There are some autistic famous people who though may have struggled initially can be an inspiration to children with autism, or their parents.

Autism does not have to be a dark and lonely existence. Some autistic children are very bright, and they have a personality to match. No one with a disability should be underestimated, and this goes for those with autism as much as for anyone with any other condition.

Though it has not been proven, some speculate that Albert Einstein may have had a high functioning form of autism. Because he is no longer alive, there is no way he can be diagnosed. However, these theories are popular, and they are attributed to some behaviors that he demonstrated, and that he was, in his own words, very much a loner and did not feel particularly connected to anyone, even his immediate family members. He was brilliant with math, but by some accounts, did not begin to speak until the age of two or three. He would often become so involved in his work that he would forget to eat meals and if a lecture he was giving drew no observers, he would lecture anyway. Again, this is just a theory, but it would appear that this assumption could be valid.

Jason McElwain is probably one of the more recent and most inspirational story of a person with autism. He was the manager for his school basketball team at a high school in the suburbs of Rochester, NY, and practiced shooting hoops for hours on end all by himself. Though he was not technically a member of the team due to height and skill level, he loved the game so much he stayed with them. He was allowed to play in the last four minutes of the last game of the season, and scored an astonishing 20 points during that time, some of them from three point range. Most players can't score that high throughout an entire game! He has become an inspiration to many with autism or those with autistic children.

Actress Daryl Hannah was said to have been diagnosed as 'borderline autistic' at the age of three, but has gone on to have a successful career as an actress. She is probably best known for her role in the movies Splash and the Kill Bill series.

Andy Kaufman (died 1984) was well-known for having a very strange and outlandish sense of humor. He is another actor thought to have had autism.

Two very well known artists, Vincent van Gogh and Andy Warhol may have had autism. They exhibited many traits of those with higher functioning types of this condition, and were seen as 'eccentric' and brilliant. Autism is thought to be the root cause for their bright and unusual personalities and life choices. Though Courtney Love is not perhaps the best example of what someone with autism can do, it is noticed that she was diagnosed at age three as 'mildly autistic.' She has had her ups and down, but her band Hole did enjoy some success.

Perhaps some of the most well-known people to have this condition were born before an actual diagnosis could be made. That means that these autistic famous people have a diagnosis that is based on speculation and things that they were known for when they were alive. Many of these people are important for both historical reasons, and for bettering the world in a number of ways. Examples are Sir Isaac Newton (mathematician), Wolfgang Mozart (composer/musician), Charles Darwin (naturalist/scientist), and Michelangelo (painter/sculptor/architect/poet).

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans' brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about autism group support and for information on autism and diet please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rachel_Evans

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Treating Autism Symptoms With Vitamins and Supplements - Part 2

Part 2: Vitamins and Supplements that Treat the Nervous System and Boost Immunity

Certain vitamins and supplements have proven to be beneficial in treating certain symptoms and behaviors prevalent in autistic children. We are increasingly encouraged by the recovery and progression of autistic children treated with vitamins and supplements. These therapies can be very safe when used in the correct doses and under a physician's supervision. Here we will discuss a few of the most commonly used vitamins and supplements that target the nervous and immune systems of autistic individuals.

Nervous System: B vitamins directly contribute to the health and development of the nervous system. Combined with magnesium, vitamin B6, in particular, shows a great reduction in stemming behaviors for a lot of autistic individuals. Furthermore, studies and parents report more eye contact as well as a noticeable increase in language cognition and speech. This combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium works, in part, because it has a calming effect on the brain and nervous system, which helps relieve hypersensitivity to light, sound and touch.

Magnesium helps with enzymatic pathway deficiencies seen in many autistic children and it helps neurotransmitters function properly. Magnesium is deficient in a lot of U.S. farm soil due to overuse and there may not be a high enough concentration of magnesium in the vegetables that you purchase. Therefore, magnesium should be given in supplement form whenever possible and under a physician's advice.

You should be aware that B vitamins need to be given in balanced doses. Getting too much of one B vitamin may cause a deficit in another, causing the nervous system to become more sensitive or agitated. Correct doses of B vitamins can make a neurological problem much better, while high doses can make it much worse. It is believed that this is why some people report worse symptoms while supplementing B vitamins.

Besides dosage, autistic children, particularly with food sensitivities or allergies, can have a negative reaction to synthetic forms of B vitamins. Look for B vitamins that are not synthetically derived, or try to get the right dosage through natural food sources. Additionally, if you see no changes, you may want to check for yeast overgrowth in the gut. Yeast can keep B vitamins from absorbing into the system while it uses them to help itself grow. Yeast overgrowth is associated with antibiotic use and can live in the body for decades. You can treat yeast overgrowth with probiotics or, if need be, with prescription medications.

Immune System: In studies, di-methyl-glycine (DMG) has shown significant improvement in about half of autistic children. DMG significantly decreases the severity and frequency of seizures while supporting and boosting function in the malfunctioning immune system that is so often seen in autistic individuals. Drastic improvement in undesirable behaviors has been documented for many study participants and children supplemented with DMG.

Combining DMG with folic acid is recommended to improve the effectiveness of the treatment and also helps to avoid agitation or hyperactivity. Zinc and Selenium also help contribute to immune system health and are often combined with DMG and folic acid.

"Part 3" of this series addresses preventing and treating the oxidative stress that most autistic children endure. Through the use of vitamin C, children can show drastic improvement in health, cognition, language, speech and behavior. As a precaution, you should always talk to a doctor about a vitamins and supplements regiment before you begin.

About the Author: Phil Le Breton is owner at Wholesale Nutrition. He has a strong interest in helping people achieve greater brain and body health. For more information about C-Salts, otherwise known as the best Vitamin C, or about other Vitamin C powder products, visit http://www.nutri.com where you can buy Vitamins and Supplements of the highest quality.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Phil_Le_Breton

Treating Autism Symptoms With Vitamins and Supplements - Part 1

Part 1: Why Do Vitamins and Supplements Work?

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) usually have a number of nutrient and mineral deficiencies. This could be due to diet or physiological abnormalities that cause certain nutrients to be poorly absorbed or misused by the digestive system. Many children with autism benefit from diets that exclude certain foods, but these limited kinds of diets can leave their brains lacking the nutrition that they need to function and develop. Whether the autistic child is on a special diet or inflicts a severely limited diet on his or her self, supplementation can help fill in the nutritional gaps and facilitate progress. The majority of autistic children can achieve higher brain function (like speech, language and social skills), have less repetitive and detrimental behaviors, increase immune system function and improve sleep patterns with the use of vitamins and supplements.

The Gluten-free/Casein-free diet and the Specific Carbohydrate diet seriously limit nutritional intake. This does not mean that you should waver from what is helping your child, but you should be aware that supplementation may be necessary. This is also true for autistic children that are very picky eaters, have texture issues with food or who are obsessive about controlling what they eat. Studies and parents have found out that most autistic children greatly benefit from vitamin and supplement implementation. Great developments have been seen in children that have no food allergies, as well as in the ones that need to be on special diets.

Vitamins, minerals and nutrients that autistic children are often deficient in include the B vitamins: B6, B12, B1, B3 and B5. Vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, folate, biotin, Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and omega-3 fatty acids are also commonly low. The brain can be greatly hindered by these deficiencies and it is no wonder that most autistic children have a very hard time progressing without nutritional supplementation.

A vast majority of autistic children have an elevated level of oxidative stress. This impairs their immune system and puts their nervous system into a hypersensitive state. The hypersensitive state is thought to be caused by the oxidative stress and a long-term inflammation of the body and nervous system. When the brain is inflamed, it tends to function on a primal level, often staying in survival mode. Cognitive skills, social skills and frontal lobe development are severely hindered when the brain is in this state. Children will often feel the need to exhibit stemming behaviors, which can include vocalizing loudly, tapping, hitting or stroking things, rocking, spinning and other repetitive behaviors. This keeps the brain focused on something other than their hypersensitivities.

Vitamins and Supplements have successfully been used to target inflammation, oxidative stress, immunity deficits, stemming, brain development and higher learning in autistic children.

"Part 2" of this series discusses which vitamins and supplements target and improve the nervous and immune systems. Vitamins and supplements offer a safe therapy option that has given many autistic children a chance to overcome the challenges of autism. As a precaution, you should always talk to a doctor about a vitamins and supplements regiment before you begin.

About the Author: Phil Le Breton is owner at Wholesale Nutrition. He has a strong interest in helping people achieve greater brain and body health. For more information about C-Salts, otherwise known as the best Vitamin C, or about other Vitamin C powder products, visit http://www.nutri.com where you can buy Vitamins and Supplements of the highest quality.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Phil_Le_Breton

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Weighted Vests - Helping Kids With Autism and ADHD

I recently read an article on ScienceDaily.com about the use of weighted vests for kids with Autism, ADD and sensory issues. I have often seen kids in my son's class using weighted lap pads, weighted shoulder bags and even weighted vests. These products are designed to provide proprioception (deep pressure) to the student to help them pay attention. For many kids this type of therapy product helps them stay calm and focused by stimulating their muscles and joints though deep pressure.

Although it makes perfect sense and I have seen it work for some kids I have often wondered if there was any research on the efficacy of these products and which ones work best. The article on ScienceDaily.com discussed a new "deep-pressure" vest that has been developed by Brian Mullen at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. According to the article, Mullen and his associates conducted 8 clinical research studies to test the safety and effectiveness of using existing weighted blankets and vests. He used the data from these studies to design a prototype system that can apply Deep Pressure via a unit that can be inserted into any commercial vest or jacket that has a lining. This makes it easier to carry around and ensures the student using the system will not stick out based on the need for deep pressure in the classroom. The initial testing of the prototype was done on adults who do not have autism so the verdict is still out on his success but the adults in the trial did prefer the prototype vest. This new vest applies pressure which feels like a firm hug or swaddling instead of just weight on the shoulders or lap.

Although Mullen's new product is not yet available it signals new hope for kids with Autism and ADHD. Personally, I have found it very difficult to find weighted products that can be shipped in any type of timely manner or delivered on a consistent basis. I have contacted a several vendors about carrying them in our store but all the companies I have found work on a small scale so availability is limited and inconsistent. Most of the mom's I meet who use these with their kids have made their own or gone to a local seamstress because they were so frustrated in trying to find a resource that was able to deliver product in a timely manner (or at all). Mullen has created a company called Therapeutic Systems to market his product so we look forward the vest being further developed. His invention will fill a void in the marketplace and help special needs kids stay focused so they can learn and keep up with their peers.

Alycia Shapiro is Vice President in charge of product development for SensoryEdge. She has advocated for special needs children in order to get the therapy services they need. Many parents either have difficulty getting the proper services or might not know these services are available. Visit her website SensoryEdge to learn more about Play Therapy and Balance and Movement Help for Children.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alycia_Shapiro