Friday, May 28, 2010

15 Autism Strategies For Managing Autistic Children

Managing an autistic child can be difficult at times, which is why having autism strategies in place can make the difference between coping and feeling overwhelmed. The strategies don't have to be difficult or complex, it's really simply a matter of ensuring that your child feels secure, comfortable, and calm, so that they can grow and develop in a positive environment.

It's important to remember that a number of the behaviors autistics display are those that they have developed in order to provide security and certainty to the world that surrounds them. Some of the behaviors that an autistic child naturally develops are designed to shut out situations they find too difficult to cope with. Thus applying the right approach can help a parent reach their autistic child instead of being shut out.

The following is a list of 15 different autism strategy suggestions parents can utilize to help them manage their children with autism spectrum disorders:

1. Provide a predictable environment and daily routine

2. Prepare your child in advance for any changes that need to occur to the routine, don't spring surprises on them. Keep in mind changes should only be made when absolutely necessary.

3. Activities should have structure.

4. Distractions should be kept to a minimum, especially when communicating, so don't try competing with the TV or lots of background noise when giving instructions.

5. Ensure you have your child's full attention when trying to communicate with them.

6. When giving instructions they should be simple and direct so there is no room for misunderstandings.

7. When instructions are given, you need to allow enough time for your child to process them. Autism strategies require patience - don't rush your child.

8. Try using visual aids like flash cards or picture books when communicating as these can help get your message across and cement understanding.

9. Try to be as consistent as possible with everything you do involving your autistic child. This includes punishments.

10. If an autistic individual is not coping, he/she requires a "safe" place where they can retreat in order to calm down and de-stress.

11. If your child is not coping with a situation, consider if underlying causes (I.E. confusion, stress, fear, pain or over-stimulation) could be a factor and try to remove that cause.

12. When the stress levels of an autistic have reduced, encourage them to return to group activities or situations.

13. Speak to the school to see if a buddy system could be introduced to help provide academic and social support. This involves pairing autistic kids with non-autistic peers.

14. Before attempting to alter or discourage a behavior that you think is inappropriate, carefully consider if this is necessary, as the behavior you are trying to diminish may be replaced by something worse.

15. Don't take autism behaviors personally, find ways to de-stress yourself and remember that laughter is often the best medicine when you're at your wits end.

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In addition, parents need to keep in mind that education is one of the best autism strategies they can apply in their efforts to manage their child's autism. The more information one knows about autism, the easier it will be to cope, understand the needs of autistics, and help provide them with the best environment to grow up in.

By Rachel Evans. Sign up for a free newsletter for more information on autism. In the newsletter you'll find out more about the signs and symptoms of autism.

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Dealing with Autism in Public

Autism is a developmental disorder that affects roughly one out of 100 children. It is characterized by a lack of ability to function socially and in more severe cases, the process of communication.

Discovering that your child has autism can be a traumatic experience. Oftentimes, parents may believe there is something developmentally wrong with their child, but accepting that autism is the culprit can be difficult to say the least. Accepting that your child is autistic and getting him the help he needs is just the beginning. There are many other factors that go into parenting an autistic child.

At first, having an autistic child can be embarrassing for some parents. Autistic children do not have the same social skills as most of their peers. They are often prone to fits of anger and violence due to their inability to properly communicate. Oftentimes, these 'tantrums' occur in public.

There are many people that do not understand the first thing about autism. This means that they are more likely to make rude or insensitive comments about autistic people. People, on the whole, are an understanding bunch, although there are plenty of people who will make insensitive comments, ask inappropriate questions, and even stare at autistic children.

The first instinct for many parents may be to meet this insensitivity with anger. This is not the best approach. Consider that the person who makes an insensitive comment is ignorant to what autism is. They just don't know any better!

What you should do as a parent, is try to ignore the comments if possible. This may be easier said than done, but it falls upon you to be the voice of reason. In addition, you should always focus on providing a good example for your child. Remember, the well-being and safety of your child is paramount. Everything else is secondary.

If ignoring rudeness is impossible, you should approach confrontation with the aim to educate. If someone understands that your child is autistic they will be less likely to make any further comments.

In addition, it is a good idea to have a plan when you go out in public. Understand the types of situations that can upset your child and do your best to avoid these circumstances whenever possible. It is also a good idea to keep a journal of your child's behaviors and cross-reference them with locations. This will allow you to understand the triggers for bouts of violent or aggressive behavior.

To minimize disruptive behavior, think about the particular outing you have planned and what the worst case scenario would be and then plan for it. Take along a favorite toy or snack for placating your child, if they do 'act out' or make unusual movements/noises have some stock answers at the ready i.e 'Sam has autism and lots of people/noises/new environments upset him. His movements/noises helps him cope with stressful situations'. Try going out in small groups of friends or family who know your child and can help you cope with any public outbursts or comments from strangers.

Dealing with autism in public is not an easy task. There are many people out there who will make judgments, comments, and other rude gestures at your child. Parents of other 'normal' children may also make insensitive comments. This is a negative part of human nature - but it is impossible for you to change it. What you can do is to provide information about the disorder and offer insight that will help others understand. If this does not work do not initiate a confrontation, as that will probably only upset your child and probably attract further attention.

Rachel Evans writes a Free Autism Newsletter. You can join for free here please visit Free Autism Newsletter. For more information on the latest autism research and for information on autism pdd

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Autism Recovery - Video Games, TV, Movies and Stimulatory Behavior

An autism Intervention specialist physician explains:

While doing one of my live weekly video chats recently on my biomedical education website, the topic of self stimulatory behaviors and vocalizations came up. Vocalizations can include repeating words or phrases from TV shows, movies, or video games, echolalia, etc. and can be an indicator of an underlying sensory issue.

I know therapeutically, after starting Methyl B-12 therapy, children often become more aware of their surroundings and also of social cues. Often times they begin to pick up on the facial and vocal cues and other aspects of nonverbal communication that they previously missed. What comes along with that is also using language more frequently and appropriately and the natural inquisitiveness that children generally have. This is all very common with Methyl B-12 usage.

On the live chat, this parent was expressing that she did see improvement with Methyl B-12 therapy but was also seeing an increase in self talk and dialog from watching TV and playing video games. I realized that we were witnessing a child with better awareness and language that was now able to express things he was experiencing better than before. The Methyl B-12 was having a positive effect on the language area of the brain and we were seeing an overall improvement in awareness.

The child was recognizing things from watching various media and was now able to verbalize it. Often times children with Autism can become very rigid about what they watch on television and can want to watch the same thing all the time. When they gain awareness, especially if you are doing any sort of biomedical treatment, you want that awareness to be of appropriate social interactions, not the media.

Monitoring how much TV or video games your child engages in is a prudent thing to do. Occasional use is fine but what you really want is a child interacting with peers, siblings, family in the normal ways. Trips to the park, stores, etc. are all apart of our daily life and open up opportunity for interaction with others, which is even more important for your child with Autism.

Children with Autism can become hyper focused on what they watch, so you want to limit the amount of exposure to television or games in favor of real life interaction with others.

Don't let ANYONE tell you there is nothing you can do to help your child. Autism really is treatable! Start your child down the road to recovery from autism. Biomedical Autism treatments and therapies have resulted in many, many children improving, or even even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis.

For lots more free biomedical autism intervention information and videos from Dr. Woeller go to

Dr. Kurt Woeller is an biomedical autism Intervention specialist, with a private practice in Southern California for over 10 years. He has helped children recover from autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders, and has the information you need to help your child. Get the information you need at his free blog above, interact with him directly at his membership website at

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Autistic Runner - Techniques to Help Him Slow Down

Working with an autistic runner is difficult, but not impossible. Building a trusting relationship and an attachment helps the child to stop running. I will demonstrate how to work with the runner through an actual example with a boy I call Aaron.

Aaron was four years old when I first met him. He was nonverbal and a runner. He was participating in a program for autistic children and I was a volunteer. It is hard to describe why I connected with Aaron, but it was a connection of a lifetime. It is over twenty years later and I still have contact with his family.

I was warned he was a runner, but I thought I could manage this. I did not know what I was in for. I knew that I needed to gain an attachment with him. To help gain this attachment, I would show him lots of attention and would at his request tickle him. He loved the tickling. Sometimes, I noticed he was very anxious and he would climb on the ledge of a window. I would hold his hand and say something like this, "Aaron, I am holding your hand because I am nervous you will fall and hurt yourself. You do not have to get down until you are comfortable." He immediately would get down. A lesson I learned was to not demand his compliance, but instead to talk to him about his fear with the hope he would respond, which is exactly what he did. Having developed the beginnings of an attachment we explored what it would be like outside the room we played in.

Now I saw what it meant to be an autistic 'runner.' He would run fast for a four year old, but I managed to keep up with him. My fear of losing him gave me extra energy to run fast. He would run to a video arcade. He loved the blinking lights with all sorts of noises. Each week this running to the arcade became a ritual for us. I was getting great exercise, but thought maybe we could do this differently. This is where my creativity came into play.

I would stand in front of him as he was running and catch him and thus made his running into a game we could play together. He would soon learn that this game was fun and also he was learning how to interact with me. The attachment was solidified. After sometime, he actually stopped running and began to walk with me. At times I would stop and he would continue to walk. I would call, "Aaron, I am back here." He would stop and run back to me. I would continue to do this so he would become more conscious of me. Over the years, we took many long walks (over an hour) together.

Runners can be difficult to work with, but not impossible. Developing the attachment is critical, but once the trust is solidified and the child realizes you are a permanent fixture you have accomplished an important first step. You need to believe that through the relationship with you that he will want to walk with you. By making it fun, the child will want to join in. I believe that Aaron not only wanted to have fun, but he also wanted to stop running, but did not have a reason and the knowledge to do so. Together we made it happen.

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 I can also be followed on Twitter at Autism Thoughts.

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Alternative Treatments For Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, ADD, and ADHD

Childhood neurological disorders are so on the rise that in 2007 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called them a "major health threat". These disorders are being described as behavioral, social, and academic dysfunctions. Ten years ago, Autism was a rare disorder, found in approximately 1 out of 10,000 children. Today, Autism is now affecting 1 out of 150 children!!! Affecting twice as many boys as it does girls.

This year, 1.5 million children entering school will be diagnosed with some type of neurological disorder that affect the ability to learn and socially interact. That is 1 out of 6 five or six year olds! This is staggering!!!

Why are these conditions becoming so prevalent? Well, there are numerous causes for this: maternal health, difficult delivery, genetics, environmental toxins, vaccines, injury, etc. The list can go on and on...what we do know is how these children are affected.

So, lets pinpoint what is affected. Your brain is formed by two cerebral hemispheres, a left and right side. The left side is going to be coined as the gas pedal. The right side will be known as the brake. Within the first 2 years of life, emphasis on development of the right cortex (hemisphere) is given, a natural process for every person. After the first 2 years, the emphasis is switched to the left cortex (the right cortex is still under development, but the emphasis switches).

In order to understand why these children are suffering from their behavioral, social, and academic dysfunctions, you must understand what the regions of the brain do and what they are responsible:

Right Cortex
Big picture
Nonverbal communication
Large muscle control
Math reasoning
Interpreting information
Understanding abstract concepts

Left Cortex
Small picture
Verbal communication
Small muscle control
Word reading
Math calculations
Processing information
Linear and logical thinking

If the right cortex of the brain is affected during the first 2 years of its developmental growth, then the above functions will be affected. For instance, nonverbal communication is the foundation of verbal communication. Nonverbal communication is the ability to understand body language and interpret this. When nonverbal communication doesn't develop properly, it makes learning verbal skills difficult or even impossible.

These same children with right brain deficiencies may be good at reading words but will not be good at interpreting what they are reading. They may also be good with numbers but be bad at higher-level math skills.

Children with the right brain weaknesses will have a poor attention span. They tend to be impulsive and anxious, along with being compulsive. Remember, think right = brake and left = gas!!!

Since the right cortex controls the large muscles of our body, these children tend to have delayed and poor gross motor skills; for example: balance, coordination, and rhythm.

Right brain deficiencies are often diagnosed as: ADD, ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, Autism, and OCD.

Left brain deficiencies tend to affect children in just the opposite way. For reading sake, lets just say that the most diagnosed conditions caused by left brain deficiencies are: dyslexia, processing disorders, central auditory processing disorder, learning disabilities, reading disorders and selective mutism.

Now that we know and understand what the two regions do, we know how to fix it. FIX IT??? Yes, if there is a right brain weakness (majority of the children with neurological disorders suffer from a right brain weakness...remember, right cortex forms during the first 2 years) we know how to fix it and vice versa.

How do we do this? Through Brain Based Therapy...brain stimulation. Anytime you stimulate different regions of the brain, those regions of the brain light up = neurons are activated (neurons are what make up our brain). Think of it like this...if you lift a 1 pound weight long enough, what is going to happen to your muscle? It will strengthen! If you activate/stimulate a certain region of your brain, it will strengthen! Through specific neurological exercises you can strengthen the brain...specifically certain sides of the brain.

So, if you have a right brain weakness...then we must perform certain neurological exercises to strengthen that region = Autism, ADD, ADHD, and Asperger's Syndrome improved!!!

This is all performed through non-invasive medication or surgeries!

This is half the battle...the other half of the battle is working with the children metabolically...

Dr. Corey King, owner of Tustin Chronic Condition Center focuses on treating those patients who are still searching for answers to their health conditions. We specialize in the following: Autism/ADD/ADHD, dizziness/vertigo, fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, and chronic pain.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Important Facts Involving the History of Autism

Although the history of autism likely began well over a century ago, autism wasn't previously recognized as its own condition, it was originally confused with another mental disorder, schizophrenia.

For many years, it was also believed that autism was the result of one, basic cause. Today, it is known that autism does not only have one cause, and nothing about the disorder is basic.

For instance, although all autistics have issues with social development, some may be highly gifted and learn to live independently, while others are mentally unable to grasp concepts and are completely dependent.

However, you may be wondering, how did the history of autism develop and where did it all begin?

The following are the main facts that outline the major breakthroughs in autism history.

o 1912 - Eugene Bleuler - a Swiss psychiatrist was the first to recognize a pattern in schizophrenic individuals who seemed to be self-absorbed. Bleuler referred to this self-absorption as "autism"; he was the first to create and use this term. However, he was not the first in the history of autism to recognize autism as being a separate mental disorder from schizophrenia.

o 1943 - Leo Kanner - an Austrian-American child psychologist was the first to recognize autism as an independent mental disorder. Kanner described a group of 11 children having the following common characteristics:

o Displaying anguish with changes

o Problems with social interaction

o Delayed echolalia (vocally repeating the sounds or words of another)

o Good memory

o Overly sensitive to specific stimulants, particularly sound

o Problems with food

o Difficulty being spontaneous

o Notable intellectual potential

Kanner labeled the behaviors of these 11 children as having early infantile autism.

o 1944 - Hans Asperger - an Austrian scientist and pediatrician, wrote about his experiences with a group of children he came to call autistic psychopaths. Asperger noted many of the same traits in the children that Kanner studied. However, the one trait he did not mention was the delayed echolalia. Instead, he noted that his group of children spoke like "little grown-ups". Asperger also mentioned their clumsy motor skills that were different from the average child. If the name Asperger looks familiar, this is because he plays a major role in the history of autism in regards to Asperger Syndrome, now recognized as a specific type of high functioning autism.

o 1967 - Bruno Bettelheim - An Austrian-American child psychologist and writer wrote The Empty Fortress: Infantile autism and the birth of the self. Within his work, Bettelheim discussed three therapy session he had with children whom he called autistic. Bettelheim claimed that the autistic disorder was the result of their mother's coldness. It was his belief that parents should not be involved in the children's therapy. This lack of understanding of the condition left many parents wrongly feeling they were somehow to blame.

o 1970's - Autism knowledge and research spread to Sweden. The Erica Foundation in Sweden began education and therapy for autistic children. During their research, it was discovered that autism was more complex than initially realized. This led researchers down a new path, making them realize, for one of the first time in the history of autism that there was more than one, general cause of autism.

o 1980's - Autism research really took off and more researchers were becoming convinced that the typical reasons were related to neurological disturbances, which may be on occasion combined with other genetic factors such as chromosomal aberrations, metabolic disturbances, or illness.

For information on recognizing and treating autism sign up for the free Autism newsletter below.

The history of autism still continues to this day, as researchers are still on a quest to determine the cause and the most effective treatment.

By Rachel Evans. Sign up for a free newsletter for more information on autism. In the newsletter you'll find out more about the signs and symptoms of autism.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Autism Activities For Children

Having your own world. This would probably describe what autism is all about. It is a very common neural disorder affecting millions of people all over the world. Social interaction is impaired as well as communication. Studies show that parents usually detect this disorder in the first two years of life. It is important to understand how to deal with autistic children for them to have normalcy in their daily routine. Autism activities for children truly help parents and caregivers to address this concern. Here are some suggestions:

1. Mimicking. Autistic children are great mimickers! This is because they enjoy repetition. Try to write down different animals with their corresponding sounds then let the child say it with you. Also try different transportation sounds such as those in trains and ships. You can also go into teaching them actions like brushing the teeth, fixing the hair, etc! Simple everyday routine you can inject within your fun game.

2. Singing. Because autistic children are apt at making just about any sound, might as well teach them simple songs. This will enable them to make sensible sounds than just shouting. Fun common tones are ideal because it is relaxing. Singing would be a good way to release anxiety to your child.

3. Art and Board games. Try to educate your child with doing simple art work. This will help in lengthening their attention span and help in the calming process. Easy board games are also suggested to facilitate mental development. These also give the child a sense of fulfillment if he is able to finish and win it! It is important though not to give them the difficult games as it might irritate them. Try giving them first those simply puzzles or those basic building blocks.

4. Sports. This is one of the autism activities for children that can certainly boost his social interaction and confidence. Choose sports that are organized and do not necessarily need too much sensory arousal. You will see that some autistic children can very well exceed in sports. It is important to guide and supervise them at first because autistic children have difficulty adapting to change and developing social interaction.

5. Safety. This is probably the most important thing among all the autism activities for children. Children suffering from the disorder require more attention from their parents when it comes to safety and protection. Include in his daily routine the dos and don'ts of going around the house. Make simple policies that would prevent common accidents. Constant acting out and reinforcement will inculcate in the child how to be safe.

Although not all autistic children grow about living a normal life, some actually do. At least in learning normal routines that can help them interact and be independent. Helping them in their early childhood will reduce or eliminate the negative effects of autism. The key is to teach them in their early years. Autism activities for children are coping instruments both the parents and the child can benefit from.

Autism should not be a reason to burden your family. Although there is still no cure for autism, early detection can really make a big difference. Visit Autism Activities for Children and learn more about the causes, symptoms, and how to handle autism.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Beating the Odds - Autism Child With Normal Developing Peers

Yes, it is official. My son William is going to graduate from Pre-K into Kindergarten. It has been a tremendous mountain to climb, but in the end, it has paid off in spades. He will be 5 in September and he will be graduating in a class of his peers. He is very verbal, smart, still a bit light in the social department but he is getting better. His biggest improvement is the fact that he is starting to notice when others are hurt or are in pain. He is compelled to ask if you are allright and wants to rub your back or your face to make sure you are not hurt. SO WONDERFUL! This from a child who 2 years ago, could care less what your facial expressions meant even when you were describing your mood. Now he feels pain, love, sadness, joy and expresses it every moment his he has. He has manners, always asks politely, the occasional tantrum here and there, but nothing like before (where he was kicking and screaming and flopping himself on the floor). He used to bite teachers and other kids, he used to push you around to get what he wanted. Now he asks you politely and with manners to get what he wants. He would kick his shoes off every chance he got. Now he could care less about that and concentrate on his math and trying to write his ABC's.

The other day, when I was picking him up from school, he was sitting at a computer and said "look mommy, i wrote my name!". He typed WILLIAM on the screen in all caps and I almost fainted in the classroom. When his teacher told me he was ready to graduate, my heart stopped. It has taken us so long to find a proper placement for him that I was afraid to embark on a new chapter of his life (finding another typical structured placement for him). But, his teacher insisted that he is smart and a quick learner and his behavior is much improved. I had to give in and say that I would be glad that he graduates to the next level and I never thought I would see the day. The day that my Autistic child would graduate in a class of his peers and be ready for the next level. Throughout all the struggle and heartache came this wonderful story of triumph and tribulation that I can measure and see from 18 months old until now. It is an amazing feeling to step back and not have to over analyze the behaviors and learning difficulties that have challenged him since he was barely 2. I can just sit back and bask in the glow of this moment and hope that there are more good moments like this than the bad moments we've had in the past. I am so proud of him. He brings me joy every day of my life and my life wouldn't be the same without him.

As a parent and his advocate, I have written countless letters, have had at least 5 mediation hearings over IEP disputes, kicked out of over 6 daycare/pre-school facilities for his behavior and suffered a massive loss with the separation of his parents. But alas, he has still triumphed and will be able to start Kindergarten in a regular class environment with TSS support for half the day. We mainly work on his focus on the task now a days, but in the beginning it was everything.

Speech was severely delayed, he did not grasped social concepts like feelings, he would push us around the room in order to request items, he would constantly run and run when bored, he couldn't sit still for a minute to do anything, not even things he liked to do.

Patience, perseverance and understanding has guided me throughout this experience. Through every round of testing, through every report that read that he was at least one and a half years behind typical children, through every doctor that looked at me with a sad expression on their face, we still persevered. If you or any one in your circle lets you start to feel sad about your situation, you need to drop them and fast. This too shall pass and you will join me in the celebration that will give you much fulfillment in the future for you and your child.

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How to Understand the Person With Autism's Need to Check and to Keep Things in Order

"I have to check everything before I leave the house. If I deviate from my specific process, I have to start all over again. If anyone interrupts me in the process of checking, I have to start all over again. I am afraid if I do not follow the 'checking rules' something bad will happen. When I do not do things in order it feels like I am doing something wrong. I cannot deviate from what I think of as my order. Order makes me feel comfortable. It relaxes me. Also I am not equipped to explain myself if I am going out of order. I do not have a way to defend myself. Order is my way of knowing what to expect and to know what comes first, second, etc. I cannot use myself so how can I explain if things get out of order?"

What is this autistic boy telling us? He checks and keeps everything in order and cannot deviate from his process. This reminds me of another autistic boy who would line up letters of the alphabet. If I took a letter and put it in the 'wrong' place he would immediately change it back to its proper place. Both these boys are telling us that keeping things in order and checking helps to keep them calm and relaxed. They are self-regulating. They are both very fearful if things are out of order and not in their proper place. This autistic boy is aware that he does not know how to express his concerns about order. He is obsessed with this need for sameness and order.

Checking and order seem to provide as the autistic boy told us a way to calm himself down and self-regulate. Infants learn to self-regulate through the mutual regulation that takes place between mother and child during the attachment process. The child with autism has an incomplete attachment so can only rely on himself for methods to self-regulate. Each child with autism will find methods to self-regulate. As the child completes the attachment process, he will learn other methods to self-regulate through the interaction with a caregiver or a therapist. As this occurs he will start to also feel less anxious and will be able to give up coping strategies that were developed to manage his anxiety and stress

I also think that other things are going on that we might speculate about. From the perspective of an Incomplete Attachment this child is trying to keep things in order because 1) He feels no order from within. In other words, he lives with a chaotic internal world, which is dissociated and does not allow him to have access to his words (lacks self-agency), 2) if he had access to his words then he could live without fear and 3) be able to respond to spontaneous situations and allow things to be out of order. Spontaneity from this perspective comes out of being sure of oneself which comes out of the ability to have access to ones feelings and to express those feelings freely.

This autistic boy may be checking for multiple reasons: 1) it provides as mentioned previously a way to feel calm, relaxed and regulated and 2) from the perspective of an Incomplete Attachment, the autistic child is dissociated and can never be sure of 'what has just happened'. He is never sure that what he has just experienced has really happened. He has no way of 'testing reality' by asking questions especially if he is low functioning. Thus he is left to his own devices to try to figure out what is going on. In a dissociated state nothing feels stable and he cannot be sure of what is happening at any point in time. Thus the checking is his way of making sure that everything is stable and that what he really saw did actually happen.

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 I can also be followed on Twitter at Autism Thoughts.

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Discover the Experience of Creative Leisure When You Have an Autistic Child - How?

You can discover the experience of creative leisure, even though you have an autistic child. You owe it to yourself. How can this be accomplished? One of the keys to creative leisure is, imagination, and it is at its best, when there is leisure. This also helps your autistic child to grow with more confidence and self-esteem, by you enjoying leisure for yourself.

When you use your imagination, and allow it to enter your thoughts, it means relaxed atmosphere, by which you let your subconscious mind bring it to consciousness. This can be a solution to your problems, that might be solved, and it will help you understand your child with autism, with more understanding. During leisure, the intensity of the conscious effort is relaxed, the subconscious mind suddenly takes over. When you are ready to listen to your subconscious mind, the idea that is created, is consciously put before your thought.

Your autistic child may bring you many challenges, and stress. That is why, it is a good practice to find creative leisure, to calm down the stress, and have a better handle on some of the challenges that do occur.

Creative leisure may bring a thought, an idea or a message, an address, that comes suddenly out of the blue. Sometimes it is a good idea, to respond to those ideas, or thoughts, that flash into your mind.

Another excellent idea is, to just sit for an hour in silence, sitting still, not engaging in reading, nor looking at anything in particular. Rest your mind, and body, let the stress, and negative thoughts leave your mind, so you can have creative leisure.

Your autistic child may be an extremely active one, require much given attention to his or her needs, you feel worn, wiped, and exhausted. Try to take time to rest, relax, focus on creative leisure. During this time, make a conscious effort to plant seeds of knowledge, information, goals, new ideas, thoughts, suggestions during this time of leisure.

Go to a golf course, fishing, take a walk near a lake, go to the library, do some gardening, spend time on your hobby, go to the zoo, have a picnic by yourself under a tree, take a relaxing bubble bath, but whatever you do, do it for yourself with the goal in mind to have creative leisure.

It is imperative to take time for yourself and realize you deserve to enjoy creative leisure. Your autistic child is important as well as you are, but you need to be good to yourself and not feel guilty that you are wasting time. or that you do not deserve it. You need to get your mind and yourself away from the tedious routine, and enjoy life, plus yourself. You will find that you will become stronger to endure more challenges and enjoy more of a positive life style, that will improve by, creative leisure.

Bonita Darula is urging you to be her guest at ==> that provides you with an imperative e-book, about Autism. If you want to learn, the secret truth about 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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Developing an Autism Behavior Plan

Intervention, medical or otherwise, is a good way of somehow putting a stop on the progression of autistic behaviors. One good intervention is the autism behavior plan or the Behavior Intervention Plan.

Definition of Behavior Intervention Plan
The Behavior Intervention Plan or BIP is a written plan that lists down supports and strategies to reinforce positive behaviors while discouraging the recurrence of unwanted behaviors. In many ways, this plan may be associated with behavioral analysis, an area in the field of psychology that experiments on the best ways of modifying behaviors. The tools here typically involve the use of the ABC model which shows the relationship between the antecedent or cause of the behavior, the behavior itself, and the consequence of the behavior. Quite simply, BIP focuses on these three areas to improve the behavior of an autistic individual. It gives more attention, however, on the function of the behavior.

According to the principles of functional behavior assessment, all behaviors are purposeful. Although it is clear within autism that some children act spontaneously, many experts believe that these behaviors are not completely devoid of purposes. In one way or another, a behavior serves a purpose for the individual performing it.

There are plenty of ways to determine the function of a particular behavior. One of the most effective is the systematic analysis of a certain behavior that provides a prediction of the motivation behind the behavior. There are at least four categories wherein most behaviors fall under namely, escape or avoidance function, gain attention function, gain sensory input function, and gain a tangible item function.

Special attention should be given in understanding the function of a problem behavior and the indicators for each function since an autism behavior plan is partially established on these functions. Below are some of the widely accepted indicators of each function:

Escape or avoidance function
Misbehaviors typically occur when a task or a new activity is presented. This will continue until the activity has begun. At this point, misbehavior will progress until the autistic individual is allowed to discontinue doing an activity or when he is allowed to leave.

Gain attention function
Before or after performing a specific behavior, the patient would try to gain the caregiver's attention by smiling at him or by performing gestures.

Gain sensory input function
Some behaviors are products of an autistic's need to experience sensory input such the need for better lightning or the need to hear a particular song or melody. This is expressly indicated by the child's direct request for a sensory input.

Gain a tangible item function
This function is indicated by an autistic individual's need to access or get an item. Indications of these may happen before or after the behavior. The autism behavior may begin as a result of a delay in getting the item or when he clearly knows that he cannot have it. It may end when the item is received.

What is included in an autism behavior plan?
Apart from the function of the behavior, other details should appear on the plan. The target behavior is of prime importance. It should be clear for the observer which problem behaviors are targeted for modification and what possible function do these behaviors serve. Based on these two, strategies to increase or decrease the occurrence of the behavior should be specified. Interventions or skills to be taught and external supports needed should also be indicated on the autism behavior plan.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

5 Effective Special Education Methodologies For Children With Autism

Do you have a child with autism, pervasive developmental disorder, or Aspergers Syndrome? Have you been searching for specific methodologies that could benefit your child's education? This article will discuss 5 that are proven to help children with autism learn.

Curricula that are used to teach children are required by law to be research based which means that they are proven to work to teach children. The problem is that many school districts are sticking to antiquated curricula and methodologies, rather than looking for research based ones.

Below is a list of 7 that you can ask for to benefit your child's education:

1. Applied Behavioral Analysis has been researched since 1987 and is proven to help children with disabilities learn. ABA is intense 1-1 from 25-40 hours per week. Children are taught skills in a simple step by step manner such as teaching colors one at a time. ABA is extremely expensive; between $35,000 and $50,000 per year. For maximum benefit the child should start as close to age 3 as possible and continue for at least 4 years. Many states are beginning to cover autism treatment, so check and see if your state is one of them.

2. Reading should be taught using a multisensory reading instruction that is Orton-Gillingham based. Make sure that any teacher that teaches your child has received the appropriate amount of training. Also make sure that they are giving your child direct instruction, for the amount of time that the reading system prescribes. Many school districts may use a good multisensory reading program, but do not train the teachers, and do not give the child direct instruction for the prescribed amount.

A few names of multi sensory reading programs are: the Barton Reading and Spelling System, Lindamood Bell system, and the Wilson reading program.

3. Social Skills can be taught by using the SOS system (Social Skills in School) by Dunn. Also Building Social relationships by Bellim, or Social Skills interactive software. A new method for teaching children how to develop relationships is called the Relationship Development Intervention.

4. For Central Auditory Processing disorder there are several effective methods available; Fast ForWord, Earrobics, and Berard Auditory Integration Training (called Berard AIT). Also make sure that the method used is used for the correct amount of time, or progress may be minimal.

5. For children with sensory integration disorder there is a program called the Alert Program: How Does Your Engine Run? Occupational therapy is also used for children with sensory integration dysfunction (SID-which most children with autism have). If your child is receiving occupational therapy for SID, make sure that the schools OT has the correct training, to deal with sensory integration issues. Ask for proof that they are SIPT qualified, before they are allowed to work with your child.

By knowing these 5 methodologies you will be well on your way to helping your child with autism learn. The internet can be used to find more information on those methods that you feel will help your child. Good Luck!

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has helped families navigate the special eduation system, as an advocate, for over 15 years. She is a presenter and author of the book "Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game." The book has a lot of resources and information to help parents fight for an appropriate education for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled "The Special Education Spotlight" send an E mail to: For more information on the book, testimonials about the book, and a link to more articles go to:

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High Functioning Autism - The Symptoms and Signs Explained

High Functioning Autism (HFA) is similar to classic autism with a few differences. High Functioning Autism is an informal term given to those with autism who have an IQ of 80 or above. This labeling needs to be done carefully since determination of IQ scores is sometimes difficult to measure using standard measurement instruments. People with HFA can speak, read, and write; basically they are not cognitively challenged. Many diagnosed with HFA are living independently. Many people with High Functioning Autism do not need constant care. Some live independently while others live in a group living situation. Most are able to function independently and hold down full or part time jobs. Contrary to those with traditional autism, people with High Functioning Autism are more tolerant of change. People with HFA are more accepting of change as long time to prepare is available.
Still sensory issues occupied with HFA exist. The "tics" are still present although the person may not even notice that they are fidgeting.
Despite the higher IQ's of those classified as someone with High Functioning Autism, people might still have a delay in communicating events and use less emotion in their speech. They also might continue to speak even though their audience may have lost interest and expressed nonverbal cues indicating that.
People with High Functioning Autism like others on the autistic spectrum, like routine and order. They may also stick to a limited wardrobe. Even with the higher IQ and more ability to function independently, social interaction may still be difficult. They may be seen as overly serious or earnest, and because of the social delays interaction in a "normal" social scenario may be hampered. People described as having High Functioning Autism have difficulty initiating love and friendship relationships and are often viewed and being too intelligent or nerdy. Oftentimes this leads to low self-esteem or loneliness. These people are often labeled as odd or are often targets of bullying.
Some people have a slight difficulty with motor skills and coordination. This may be seen as being clumsy or awkward. Sensory motor dysfunction is often associated with those who have HFA. These motor skills can be helped with physical therapy. Some may also harbor habitual movement. People with HFA don't lack empathy although they do not know how to express it.
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Bean Bag Chairs Used to Help Autistic Kids

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) includes three known variants with autism itself forming its core; Asperger syndrome, and atypical autism (otherwise known as Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) make up the other two-thirds of the disorder's makeup.

Regardless of which one a sufferer is inflicted with, all share many common traits. However, often overlooked, is their need to feel safe. Autistic children possess a strong desire to be alone, to do tasks by themselves. Keeping company with no one offers them a position of safety. A disorder present in 1 of every 150 children demands heavy research in regards to easing the child's discomfort.

When searching for a low cost option to help the autistic sufferer's desire to feel safe, one should consider the option of bean bag chairs. These chairs offer an environment of security, with or without the presence of others. This sense of safety is of great importance for autistic children who are known for fits of rage as it calms them, lessening the chance of any violent occurrences to either themselves or others.

There have been many studies done to determine the effect of various colors on peoples' behavior. Colors such as light blue and lighter tans are known to provide a more relaxing elementary level classroom. In adhering to knowledge gained through these studies, the usage of blue suede would surely suffice. There exists synthetic suede that is produced from microfiber, a material known to be soft to the touch, durable, less expensive, and easier to sew than actual suede.

Decisions other than which color and material to use are also prevalent to the purchaser. Sizes vary from three feet to as high as eight feet in height. The size of the bean bag chair is obviously relevant to the size of the child.

Bean bag chairs provide more than just a piece of furniture for an autistic child; they can also be used as an exercise tool. By picking up the bean bag chair and moving it about. Autistic children have been often seen as methodically moving toys, such as trains in a particular order. The bean bag chair allows them to carry more weight safely which is extremely important in maintaining the child's motor skills. This exercise clearly illustrates the need to select the proper size and weight for you child. One should take caution as to choose a bean bag chair that is not too heavy or cumbersome.

Think that bean bag chairs can help your kids with their struggle with Autism? Then check out the bean bag chairs at

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Autism Treatment - Serotonin Imbalances & MAO-A

There appears to be growing evidence that in Autism, what we may be seeing chemically, at the brain level, could have to do with a serotonin imbalance. For many years it's been thought that for people who have depression, mood problems, mood instability issues, difficulty learning, etc, could actually have a deficiency in serotonin. It's been thought even too with some of the kids on the Autism spectrum that there may be a serotonin deficiency which can again lead to some of the mood problems, behavioral problems, depressive episodes, as well as issues in learning, attention, etc. In many cases, if it's real severe, kids are put on things that help to stimulate serotonin or at least preserve the serotonin production in the brain such as things like Zoloft and Paxil and whatnot. And in some cases it does help with some of their underlying sensory issues.

But, it may be what were looking at is well we're not necessarily have a true deficiency of serotonin, but the active metabolite of serotonin is not being produced adequately. There's an enzyme in our body, and it's active in the brain, called MAOA (Monoamine oxidase A) and there's actually two versions MAO-A and MAO-B. MAO-A helps to convert serotonin, it also helps to convert norepinephrine and histamine but specifically serotonin it actually helps to convert it into its active form. And when you convert it into its active form, the serotonin works more effectively and therefore we've seen an improvement in many of the underlying issues in kids on the Spectrum the less self stimulatory behavior, improved sensory issues, attention, focusing, learning capabilities.

And one interesting thing about serotonin if it's actually too high in it's inactive state, it actually can inhibit oxytocin receptors and we know that oxytocin is very important for eye contact, facial expression recognition, socialization and even anxiety. So again, going back to understanding the biochemistry of how things work in the brain is critically important and specifically important in the condition of Autism.

Autism really is treatable! Biomedical Autism treatments and therapies have resulted in many, many children improving, or even even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis. For lots more free biomedical autism intervention information and videos from Dr. Woeller, go to

Dr. Kurt Woeller is an biomedical autism Intervention specialist, with a private practice in Southern California for over 10 years. He has helped children recover from autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders, and has the information you need to help your child. Download his free ebook at

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Swing Therapy For Autistic Children

Most of us have no problem combining all our senses. For autistic children (and grownups) however, it's a mighty challenging task. Processing stimuli from the senses of sight, smell, sound, touch, taste, balance and body is overwhelming. Those suffering from autism will often withdraw to avoid over stimulation, or try to sort out the input from their senses with self-developed soothing mechanisms and repetitive behaviours.

A significant amount of occupational therapy for autism focuses on sensory integration through specially designed programs. Some of the greatest tools for sensory integration therapy for autism type disorders are various types of swings. People with various autism spectrum disorders such as Autism, PDD, ADHD, Asperger's, proprioceptive dysfunction and tactile defensiveness will benefit from using swings as part of their therapy.

Additionally, children and adults with Sensory Processing Disorders (also called Sensory Integration Disorders), especially those with proprioceptive or vestibular dysfunction, should definitely have swings or therapy hammocks as a crucial element of their treatment.

The benefits of the hammock can be two-fold. Children who find the smooth, swaying motion soothing, will relax and unwind while using it. However, children who have a vestibular dysfunction will feel uneasy while in the hammock and might initially protest its use. For them, hammock therapy is more about regaining equilibrium and learning to tolerate vestibular stimuli.,

The motion of swinging restores balance to the vestibular system, provides proprioceptive input (deep pressure) and generally helps autistic-spectrum children feel more "in balance". The soothing motion of swinging soothes, relaxes and increases concentration. Children who have trouble focusing on tasks such as reading or math, might find it easier to concentrate sitting in a hammock chair, their bodies engaged in a soothing motion.

Setting up a swing in the home is easy and does not require a large investment. A hammock, hammock chair, hanging bag or a therapy platform swing are all relatively inexpensive, easy to find and do not take up a lot of room. Making a platform swing out of a hammock is an easy do-it-yourself project, with instructions available in our blog. Put one in the child's room, playroom or family room for a retreat or a therapy corner for an autistic child.

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Weighted Blankets Can Induce Melatonin For Sleep in People With Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and ADHD

Children and adults with autism benefit from weighted blankets because they calm the nervous system so they can relax and sleep. Melatonin is the chemical in the brain that helps us sleep. The science of how a weighted blanket leads to melatonin lies in the body and brain's sensory processing.

People on the autism spectrum often have Sensory Processing Disorder (a.k.a. Sensory Integration Dysfunction). Sensory Processing Disorder is a neurological disorder involving smell, hearing, pain, body position, taste, visual, temperature, and the body's position and movement. In short, the brain receives all this stimuli but can't make sense of it so it can react normally.

One type of sensory stimulation, rather calming, is proprioceptive input, which is pressure on the muscles and joints. Proprioceptive input sends signals to the brain that cause serotonin to be released, which is the neurotransmitter in the brain that makes people feel happy. A lack of serotonin being used properly by the brain is one of the causes of depression.

Further down the path we get to melatonin. Some parents give their children melatonin pills to help them fall asleep. But, an increase in serotonin causes natural melatonin to be released in the brain.

This is where the link happens: weighted blankets cause the serotonin to be released, which is calming, which in turn causes melatonin to be produced, which causes a feeling of sleepiness. So, a weighted blanket helps people with autism, Asperger Syndrome, PDD, ADHD, and ADD will help them fall asleep and stay asleep.

Eileen Parker is the creator of the Cozy Calm weighted blanket. She has autism and sensory processing disorder so she knows first-hand how her weighted blanket gives her a happy and restful sleep. Find her weighted blankets at Read her blog at

Her blankets are machine wash/dry, made of soft, cuddly fleece, and they are evenly weighted. They are designed for people like her.

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Diagnosing Autism and the Differences With Sensory Integration Disorder

When it comes to diagnosing autism, there are many different factors that need to be considered. This is because the autism spectrum disorders have such a vast range of potential symptoms and no two cases are alike. Therefore, it is very easy to mistake autism for another condition. Among the most common mistakes when diagnosing autism is not understanding the difference between being on the spectrum, and sensory integration disorder.

This leads to the question of whether autism spectrum disorder and sensory integration disorder (also known as sensory processing disorder) are the same condition, or at the very least if they are related. Does one exclude the other? To begin, they are considered to be completely separate disorders, but to further understand them, Dr. Lucy Jane Miller performed a study "Quantitative psychophysiologic evaluation of Sensory Processing in children with autistic spectrum disorders", involving 40 high functioning autism or Aspergers Syndrome children who were tested for sensory integration disorder.

Dr Miller's results showed 78 percent of the participating children also displayed notable signs of sensory integration disorder. While, 22 percent of the participants did not show signs. However, a secondary study by the same researchers, "Relations among subtypes of Sensory Modulation Dysfunction" looked into children diagnosed with sensory integration disorder and tested them to see how many also had autism. Within that experiment, zero percent of the participants had autism. The reason that this is interesting is that while children with autism can exist without having sensory integration disorder, the majority show signs of the condition. On the other hand, there is no inclination toward autism in children who have only sensory integration disorder.

Children with both disorders demonstrate challenges with high-level tasks that involve the integration of different areas of the brain. This can include emotional regulation as well as complex sensory functions. However, the key to diagnosing autism as opposed to sensory integration disorder usually lies in the fact that autistic children experience greater problems in the areas of language, empathy, and social skills. Sensory integration disorder children do not experience the same connective breakdowns for controlling emotional empathy and social interaction.

In both disorders, children experience difficulties in tasks that require their brains to make long-distance connections, for example, between the frontal lobes (which coordinate the activities of the brain) and with the cerebellum (which regulates the perceptions and responses within the brain).

If you think that your child may have one or both of these disorders, it is important to speak to your child's pediatrician for autism diagnosing or identification of sensory integration disorder on its own or in combination with autism. If autism or autism alongside sensory integration disorder is the diagnosis, then you will be able to begin talking about the possible treatments available. These treatments can include various medications as well as alternative therapies and may overlap in terms of addressing aspects of both conditions simultaneously. For example many children with autism benefit from sensory integration therapies that also work well for children with sensory integration disorder.

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 how to go about diagnosing autism and for information on autism characteristics please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Autism Sensory Integration - Why Does a Child With Autism Need Physical Therapy?

There are many reasons a child with Autism may need physical therapy. Physical therapy helps develop strength, develop balance, possibly provides sensory integration, and for many children is just plain fun. Physical therapists have well defined goals for the work they do with a child though.
Children with Autism are sometimes tight, sometimes floppy, and sometimes a combination of the two. Most parents see this in their child's trunk or core of their body. It later is evident in their arms and legs but we see it first in their body.
A babies body strengthens from the inside or core to the limbs. It is a similar process for a child with Autism to develop strength in the right areas. It is also a similar pattern to develop flexibility if that is part of the problem
Physical therapists work with large muscles. They can uniquely work with a child with a disability to help develop flexibility or strength. Physical therapists can manipulate your child's body. They also can help parents problem solve situations at home or in other environments parents go with their child.
Some of our children with Autism walk on their tip toes and could work with a physical therapist on this issue. Other children have problems with balance when they walk and somewhere someone will suggest physical therapy. The physical therapist can work with our children on going up and down stairs.
Usually an occupational therapist is the person to go to for help with sensory integration. Occasionally a physical therapist is interested in sensory integration issues and will provide a unique perspective. When looking for this type of therapy for a child with any disability you have to ask for sensory integration specifically. There are some teams that work on sensory integration that include physical therapists.
As parents it is just easier when our child likes to go to therapy. Some children with Autism are sensitive to touch and the therapist will have to work out those issues first. After that our children seem to like it though.
My child would also come out of the session tired. They had worked and played hard. Physical therapists may also give you 'homework' to do with your child between sessions.
Since parents want to see their child use skills over a variety of settings it is always a good idea to at least try the homework. Siblings and grandparents were always a good source of hands to try some of this homework.
Would you like more free information? Please register here:
Mylinda Elliott is the parent of five children. The third of the five has Autism which was diagnosed early on. The fourth of the five children has Aspergers. She is a self taught expert on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Mylinda Elliott has also worked professionally in the disability world for the past fifteen years. She is considered the "Go To" woman for advice or resources on disabilities.

Autism Sensory Integration - Parents Need Quick Tools to Reduce Sensory Overload

Many times there are quick fixes to sensory overload for people with Autism. Quick fixes are little things that can be done or little tools that we can carry in a purse or car. Because little things can build up and turn into a melt down it is so much easier to deal with issues while they are little.

One of the things my children used to complain about was the tags in their clothes. When I had little understanding of Autism I thought my child needed to just get over it. Then that and other things would lead to overload. Now I know to take care of the tags early on.

Of course thank goodness for the brands that have gone to stamps instead of tags. It takes a little more effort to find those brands for the adult woman with Autism but is well worth the effort. One little tool that proved invaluable was a set of ear plugs. The inexpensive ones worked the majority of the time. The idea was to muffle the noise. I carried those in my bag and my car for years.

We also had a relatively inexpensive head phone. The ones you see specifically for children with Autism are usually very expensive. Parents can pick up one of these head phones at a sporting goods store. People who shoot guns use them. Although they are cheaper they are of a quality equal to the disability specific head phone.

My child did not tolerate them on her head very well. Although these headphones were kept in the car we only used them when there was big noise that we could not escape. She was a little more cooperative then.

Would you like more free information? Please register here:

Mylinda Elliott is the parent of five children. The third of the five has Autism which was diagnosed early on. The fourth of the five children has Aspergers. She is a self taught expert on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Mylinda Elliott has also worked professionally in the disability world for the past fifteen years. She is considered the "Go To" woman for advice or resources on disabilities.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

What You Should Know About Allergy Induced Autism

Allergy induced autism has only been recognized by scientists and doctors for a relatively short time since the "discovery" of autism. Since being recognized, its presence has become increasingly common; in line with the increase in autism cases.

Those who are at the highest risk for allergy induced autism are children who have regressive autism - that is, those children who develop normally and start regressing at around the age of two years - and children with behavioral and neurological problems in combination with extreme digestive issues (such as intractable constipation).

Such children are generally incapable of metabolizing (digesting) important common food proteins; specifically casein and gluten. Casein is one of milk's main proteins and is also commonly utilized in the manufacturing of foods. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and several grains and is often added in the manufacturing of food.

In some children with autism, gluten and casein aren't digested in the normal way. Instead, they are metabolized only partially and become a substance quite similar to morphine, which can pass through the wall of the digestive tract and enter the blood stream.

These children also often have a "mutant" form of protein in their urine after ingesting casein or gluten. This protein is believed to be the byproduct of the creation of the morphine-like substance; the result of which is "spacey" behavior in children and a virtual addiction to foods that contain casein and gluten.

Due to this improper digestive functioning, these children are also incapable of eliminating many of the chemicals within their environment and their food. These can include pesticides, pollution, detergent additives, artificial colorings and flavorings, chemical food additives, and other substances that can become toxic when built up to unusually high quantities.

The symptoms of autism will typically present themselves within a child's first three years. While some autistic children may have intolerance to chemicals in food, other substances can impact other children. The most common "culprits" are believed to be corn, sugar, wheat, and citrus fruits. Symptoms may be completely unnoticeable, however, it is common for children with the disorder to experience low blood sugar, excessive sweating (particularly at night), bloating, diarrhea, incapability to regulate body temperature, rhinitis, a redness in the face and/or ears, and under-eye circles.

The reduction or elimination of problem substances from a child's diet will not cure their autism, but it can help with some of the symptoms of allergy induced autism. And this approach has been found to be effective in many children and adults. The improvements reported have been significant in some cases, but for many children, who appeared to be severely autistic, restricting their diet has reduced their symptoms only as long as they don't deviate from the strict dietary limitations.

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 allergy induced autism and for information on different types of autism please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

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Biomedical Autism Treatment - Gluten and Casein-Free Diet (GFCF)

A Doctor Explains the Benefits of Using a Gluten and Casein Free Diet:

The gluten and casein-free diet has been a main stay therapy for children on the autism-spectrum for many years. The reason?

It works.

Many kids see a dramatic improvement in their condition.

What Does a Gluten and Casein Free Diet Do?

The GFCF diet helps many children improve their cognitive skills in a number of areas:

* Improved attention and focusing

* More awareness of their environment

* Better eye contact

* Less self-stimulatory behavior

* More capacity for receptive and expressive language skill.

These skills do not always increase with the same intensity for all children, but if you reference the statistics from the Autism Research Institute it is shown that the gluten and casein-free diet is a top therapy that over 60% of parents feel has made significant changes with their child. In some kids, the GFCF diet may not make a significant change cognitively, but children become healthier with improved digestive function. It is not uncommon for autism-spectrum children to have bowel problems such as chronic constipation or diarrhea. I have seen on many occasions chronic bowel problems resolve almost overnight when a child is placed on the Gluten and casein-free diet.

What is Gluten and Casein?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut (and other wheat derivatives). Casein is a protein found in dairy such as cheese, milk, yogurt and dairy products. Both proteins can affect people negatively - particularly autistic children - because of the chemical influence these food proteins have on brain chemistry. Gluten and casein are also called morphine derivatives because part of their influence is similar to opiate drugs on the brain which affect cognitive abilities such as language, awareness and behavior. If you have ever taken a medication like morphine, codeine or Vicodin you have experienced the chemical influence of these drugs both physically and mentally - in essence, many children on the autism-spectrum are being drugged from gluten and dairy foods. Kids can improve both physically and behaviorally with a gluten and casein-free diet as well. Listed below are just some of things I have seen improve with autism-spectrum children when placed on a GFCF diet:

* Better bowel function, i.e. less constipation and/or diarrhea

* Improved skin tone, reduced rashes, i.e. eczema

* Dark circles under eyes improve

* Improved pain tolerance, decreased self-injurious behavior

* Increased appetite for other foods

I recommend a trial period of at least 4 months on a 100% gluten and casein-free diet. By then you should see many of the results listed above in your child.

Don't let ANYONE tell you there is nothing you can do to help your child. Autism really is treatable! Start your child down the road to recovery from autism. Biomedical Autism treatments and therapies have resulted in many, many children improving - even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis. For more information and a free ebook on biomedical autism treatment go to

Dr. Kurt Woeller is an autism biomedical specialist, with a private practice in Southern California for over 10 years. He has helped children recover from autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders, and has the information you need to help your child. Get his ebook, "7 Facts You Need To Know About Autism (But Probably Weren't Told)." You can download it right now for free at

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Casein and Gluten Free Diet - Autism and ASDs

It's a sad fact that all conventional medicine has to offer a parent with an autistic child is drugs that are designed to treat completely different problems like schizophrenia.

But Jenny McCarthy isn't the only mother with autistic children who seem to benefit from a diet which excludes gluten and casein. Even parts of the medical profession are beginning to come on side and suggest excluding gluten, casein and sometimes other things as a first approach.

Part of this is down to pressure from parents, of course. But part of it is because of research into the effects of celiac disease, which frequently coincides with mental difficulties ranging from "foggy thinking" to ADHD-like symptoms when undiagnosed (and hence untreated). Other researchers have found a link between gluten, casein and serious mental problems like bipolar disorder.

Parents who have tried the GFCF diet (as it is often known) are often almost evangelical in their zeal, which some find off-putting. But if you had found a cure for a child when they were afflicted by something this serious - wouldn't you be enthusiastic and want to help others in the same boat? Of course you would. So we can't blame mums and dads in this situation if they sometimes seem to be a bit "over the top" in their endorsement of what seems to them like a miracle cure.

It's no miracle, though.

If the mechanism behind gluten and casein's role in autism is what it seems to be, it's really quite understandable. Researchers say that the cause is that when either of these proteins is broken down, it's a two-step process. In normal digestive systems, that is.

But in some people who have a defect of one kind or another, the second part of the process doesn't take place. So the opioid peptides which are produced at the first stage (casomorphin and gliadomorphin) are never broken down further, and may leak into the bloodstream.

Until now, the mechanism behind the "leaky gut syndrome" which allows this leakage was unexplained, but a receptor called CXCR3 was discovered in July 2008 by researchers in Maryland which "opens the intestinal barrier to make it more permeable."

Imagine a constant drip feed of opium (very similar to the 'first stage' digestive products of casein and gluten) every time your child eats almost anything?

If true, the theory clarifies how eliminating this continuous stream of toxic chemicals can result in a once withdrawn child seeming to come back to life. Like I said, no miracle, but it can seem like it. And all because of a change in diet...

It also explains why adding chemicals to what's already floating round in the bloodstream has very little positive effect. You have to break the addiction to "naturally" produced opiates, not add another layer of dependence.

The gluten and casein free diet is not an easy choice, for sure. Gluten is in almost all processed foods, and what's left most likely contains casein. So it's pretty much a back-to-basics diet, with lots of whole grains (excluding wheat, rye, barley and closely related grains), fresh fruit and nuts, vegetables and meat which haven't been through a factory, and no dairy products. There are plenty of things left to eat, but they are not, in general, things you can just pick up and take home to warm up in the microwave.

Casein is also often added to "non-dairy" cheeses and similar products to make them more like the real thing, so you need to be very careful.

Another problem, in the early days, is that there is often a "withdrawal" process, because opioid peptides can produce an addictive effect. This is hard to deal with, when your child seems in the early stages to get worse instead of better. Just remember, this is not an indication that the diet isn't working. It may just be withdrawal symptoms. Allow enough time for them to wear off before you give up. In many cases, perhaps most, after a little while, this stage passes and you will start to see positive results.

Check out my article Drugs used to treat Autism. I think it's shocking.

And Now! get your FREE COPY of Gluten and Dairy Free-Easy here: Free-Easy Publications

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Autism Treatment - The Difference Between Gluten Sensitivity and Celiacs

I want to cover there are differences between gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. The gluten and casein free diet is regarded as the primary diet for most children with Autism as a way to reduce the inflammatory proteins found in gluten. Gluten is a component of wheat and casein is found in dairy products. These foods can also be problematic for children with Autism due to the drug like effect from peptides. Peptides can influence brain chemistry negatively and they are small amino acid chains.

People who are sensitive to gluten have problems tolerating the gluten protein in wheat products. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder where the person lacks the ability to breakdown proteins found in wheat, one is called gluten and another is called gliadin. People with Celiac disease lack the enzyme necessary to break this inflammatory protein down in the digestive tract. This exposure to inflammatory proteins can wear down the surface lining of the digestive tract as a result of the autoimmunity that is created. So people who suffer from Celiac disease all have a gluten sensitivity but not everyone who is sensitive to gluten has Celiac disease.

Testing for gluten intolerances and Celiac disease can be very complicated. To identify sensitivities you can do an IgG food sensitivity profile and look for reactions to gluten, gliadin and even to the entire wheat complex. To test for Celiac is much more in-depth. You can look for IgG and IgA reactions to gliadin and you can do an IgA immune test for something called transglutaminase. reticulin antibodies can also be assessed. To get a conclusive diagnosis of Celiac, some gastrointestinal doctors will do a more invasive test includes a scope down into the intestinal system to obtain a biopsy from several areas.

This can assess cellular changes that are constant with Celiac. You can see how the testing is much more in-depth for Celiac disease versus just a gluten intolerance. The treatment for both disorders is the same, avoid products with gluten. So hopefully this will illuminate the differences between a gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. With kids on the spectrum, we suggest removal of gluten because we understand the benefits, not only to the digestive system but also for cognition as well.

Autism really is treatable! Biomedical Autism treatments and therapies have resulted in many, many children improving, or even even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis. For lots more free biomedical autism intervention information and videos from Dr. Woeller, go to

Dr. Kurt Woeller is an biomedical autism Intervention specialist, with a private practice in Southern California for over 10 years. He has helped children recover from autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders, and has the information you need to help your child. Download his free ebook at

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Biomedical Autism Treatment - Gluten Sensitivity With Autistic Kids

An Autism Doctor Explains the Effects of Gluten On Children With an Autism-Spectrum Disorder:

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, kamut, and spelt. Wheat tends to have the highest amount of gluten and is the most problematic to those who are gluten sensitive.

Wheat is the grain of choice for bread, pasta and other baked goods. The amount of gluten in wheat today is much higher than it was a century ago due to hybridization and the preference for the doughy texture that high gluten wheat provides. Gluten can literally be described as the "glue" that holds the flour together.

Although whole wheat and sprouted wheat are generally healthy foods, to a person who is gluten sensitive - particularly a child with autism - these foods can be a real problem.

Gluten Can Wreak Havoc On The Digestive System

The health conditions associated with gluten sensitivity include skin disorders (hives, psoriasis, eczema), autoimmune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, diabetes), digestive disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac, reflux, ulcers), neurological disorders (ataxia, autism, ADD/ADHD), and others.
In some children, failure to thrive or tendencies to chronic infections are also seen. The main reason that gluten can have such far - reaching effects is that it promotes inflammation in the gut and other body systems - common problems for autistic-children.

Food Allergies And Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity can predispose to the development of increasing food allergies due to the damage of the lining of the intestines.

If you look through a microscope at a tissue sample of a healthy intestine you would see finger-like projections called villi. Villi increase the surface area of our intestines increasing our capacity for nutrient absorption. Along the surface of the villi are hair-like projections that secrete the enzymes needed to digest our food. In a gluten sensitive child, you see a flattening of the villi with a loss of the ability to produce enzymes. The development of malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies and food allergies are the result.

Gluten Sensitivity Can Cause Behavioral Problems

Food allergies increase because of the inadequate breakdown and absorption of particular food particles. This can also be the reason for the cognitive issues seen in autism - including language issues, poor attention and focusing, self-stimulatory behavior, etc. as the gluten proteins interfere with brain chemicals. Behavioral problems are also associated with gluten sensitivity and autism such as aggression, self-injury, and tantrums.
Biomedical Autism Treatment - Gluten Elimination Trial

If you suspect that your child is gluten sensitivity, or has chronic symptoms for which your doctor has no explanation, do a trial elimination of gluten for 3 to 4 months to see how your child responds. The cure for the problem of gluten sensitivity is quite simple -eliminate gluten in all its forms. Gluten-free grains are available and include rice, millet, buckwheat and corn.

Don't let ANYONE tell you there is nothing you can do to help your child. Autism really is treatable! Start your child down the road to recovery from autism. Biomedical Autism treatments and therapies have resulted in many, many children improving - even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis. For more information and a free ebook on biomedical autism treatment go to

Dr. Kurt Woeller is an autism biomedical specialist, with a private practice in Southern California for over 10 years. He has helped children recover from autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders, and has the information you need to help your child. Get his ebook, "7 Facts You Need To Know About Autism (But Probably Weren't Told)." You can download it right now for free at

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Autism Treatment - Gluten Sensitivity & Serotonin Levels

I have discussed in previous recordings about gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease and the differences between the two. And we've also discussed how, for many kids with special needs, gluten creates peptides which are small amino acid chains, that can have a drug like effect on their brain chemistry. Gluten can create a situation where serotonin is produced in excess in the digestive tract when it is not broken down adequately.

We know that serotonin is an influential neurochemical that affects mood and states of happiness but it also can be involved in learning. Many people are given antidepressants because they need help maintaining adequate levels of serotonin in the brain. And for many children with Autism it appears that they create too much serotonin in the brain. Their brain cannot convert or process the serotonin to its active form to be used by the brain appropriately. When this happens, it can contribute to many of the behaviors we associate with Autism like self stimulatory behaviors, obsessive compulsive behaviors, behavioral issues, and attention and focusing problems.

So a child could have a situation where they already have too much serotonin and it is not being converted to its active form. And then they are eating foods with gluten which is then also stimulating an overproduction of serotonin in the digestive tract which then gets absorbed into the body and circulates through the blood supply. That scenario serves to contribute to the increased pool of serotonin. This is one possible reason that children with Autism seem to be very sensitive to gluten. This issue really is very different from the tried and true diagnostic tools used to assess people with Celiac disease.

Food sensitivity can be very complicated to assess and understand how these foods react in our bodies. But, one mechanism certainly is the inability to breakdown gluten in the digestive tract fully. That incomplete breakdown can stimulate serotonin production in the gut. And if there is a problem in converting serotonin to its active form, then you have exacerbated that situation. For many children with Autism, this is an issue.

Autism really is treatable! Biomedical Autism treatments and therapies have resulted in many, many children improving, or even even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis. For lots more free biomedical autism intervention information and videos from Dr. Woeller, go to

Dr. Kurt Woeller is an biomedical autism Intervention specialist, with a private practice in Southern California for over 10 years. He has helped children recover from autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders, and has the information you need to help your child. Download his free ebook at

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