Saturday, July 30, 2011

Applied Behavior Analysis Treats Numerous Autism Spectrum Disorders

When asked to describe a child with autism spectrum disorder, it can be difficult. There are a number of different conditions that fall within this line of diagnoses, and children can experience the disorders to remarkably varying degrees. The common thread between children with these disorders, however, is that there is a fundamental difference in the way that they interact and learn. For virtually all children with an autism spectrum disorder, a different method of teaching is important. ABA therapy is proven to offer great benefit to students who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Applied Behavior Analysis therapy works by encouraging behavior patterns and repetitive actions in order to teach basic tasks. These exercises also help teach the mind how to learn by developing new neural connections that allow children to literally learn how to learn. These new pathways help children learn to connect the various parts of a task or concept together so that they can understand how and why things work. This is an essential part of learning, but many teachers fail to understand that autistic children do not innately have this ability.

When a school system makes use of a DVD training course and supplemental tools and materials to teach educators how to employ ABA therapy, it can prove highly rewarding for students. A large percentage of children with an autism spectrum disorder can be taught how to function normally within a classroom setting. It is not that these children are incapable of learning or performing well, only that they need extra help in order to be able to do so. Through proper Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, these students can often be afforded all of the same opportunities for education as their peer group.

While typically called a treatment for autism, it is important to realize that ABA therapy is effective for treating the entire range of conditions listed on the autism spectrum disorder diagnostic chart as well as many other behavioral conditions. The result of ABA therapy will be different for every individual child, but studies show that skills learned through early ABA are carried with the child for the rest of their life. ABA is an excellent way of preparing children for a lifetime of learning and social interaction. Employing the technique in schools and ensuring that educators are equipped to handle children with autism spectrum disorder is certainly the best method of ensuring that these children are properly taught from the earliest age possible.

Garrett Butch is the father of a 6 year old with autism and the founder of Maximum Potential Group.

Maximum Potential has developed courses that train parents and school systems how to work with children with autism.

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ABA Therapy Gets the Entire School on the Same Page For Autism Treatment

When it comes to treating children with autism, many schools seem lost in the dark. In fact, many schools have no set plan in place, putting kids in special classes where they receive minimal teaching. ABA therapy offers schools a uniform teaching method that offers significant benefit. As the only form of autism treatment covered by most insurers, This therapy is simply the most effective treatment. When your school is trained to provide this therapy, it can provide significant benefit to students with autism.

When ABA is introduced into the school system, guidance counselors, teachers, and other support staff are all educated in how the therapy works. This ensures that everyone the child deals with throughout the school day is teaching the same principles. Since ABA requires repetition and consistency to be most effective, this ensures the best possible results. The method is also quite common in homes, and parents are often brought into support team meetings so that everyone can share progress notes and create a lesson plan that will be followed both in and out of school.

ABA therapy offers schools a concrete curriculum that is guaranteed to work. The method can be used to help children with varying degrees of autism, making it a solid treatment plan and a good investment for the school system as a whole. Whether your school has only a single autistic student or many, the training makes it possible to ensure that every child truly receives the best education possible, which is the promise that every school makes to parents and students. Because ABA therapy is a solid treatment, the training can be used for future students as well, making it even more important for all faculty members to become involved.

While special education teachers must be trained in ABA therapy when the school will be teaching this method, it is important for general teachers to receive the training as well. There are many high performing students with autism, and this training makes it much easier for them to integrate into a standard classroom. ABA offers significant benefit to students and teachers alike. If you have a desire to learn the best way to treat autistic students within your school or if you are the parent of a child with autism, ABA offers something that works for everyone, providing the best help for many autistic children.

Garrett Butch is the father of a 6 year old with autism and the founder of Maximum Potential Group.

Maximum Potential has developed courses that train parents and school systems how to work with children with autism.

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Autism and School Aged Children Making Education a Positive Experience

Autism and school are becoming a hot topic for school boards and parent groups right across the country and around the world. This is because the occurrence of autism in children is increasing at an alarming rate. Educators today are seeing an exponentially higher number of autistic children in their classrooms than a decade ago. For that reason, an increasing number of parents and educators want to ensure all children receive a positive educational experience.

As no two autistic children display precisely the same autism symptoms, it becomes impossible to create a standardized program that creates positive experiences for children with autism at school.

Therefore, it is likely that in order to receive the best possible education an autistic child will need to undergo an ever-changing educational strategy throughout their entire learning career.

For example, while some students on the spectrum may be able to keep up with peers on an academic level, they may experience challenges as far as the development and use of language and social skills. On the other hand, an autistic child of the same age, gender and IQ level as their peers may struggle not only with social skills and language, but also struggle to keep up with academics because the learning techniques are not right for him or her specific symptoms.

That being said, there are some techniques that seem to work well. This can include creating predictable and stable routines for the school day with clearly laid out accompanying schedules, which can include pictures. Having daily schedules that detail all the various activities and at what time they will occur can help children to understand the way the day will play out and be better able to transition between the various activities and tasks of the day.

Children with autism can also benefit from attending social skills programs that aim to improve social interaction and comprehension of various social cues from adults and other students. If possible, some time every day in a special education classroom where autistic students can have one-on-one time with a teacher or educational assistant will help to enforce lessons and skills learned in a "safe" environment. Here, effective support to lessons might include the use of functional communication cards to give students a break from having to communicate verbally - something that can be very taxing to some autistic children.

Don't forget that not all school lessons are academically based. Your child may be good at art, music or sports for example. So if they are struggling to keep up with their peers in academic classes and have to be pulled out to attend special classes, push for them to be included in the classes where they can do well. Excelling in classes where they join in with their peers can be an important confidence booster allowing for a more effective academic and social experience overall.

Though a diagnosis of autism and school may feel incompatible at times, it's important for parents not to lose faith that their children have the strength and ability to pull through when they are presented with the right learning strategy.

This is especially true when that learning strategy is supported with the activities that the child experiences at home. Many of these activities can be strictly for fun, like drawing or craft work and others can be very helpful in reinforcing the classroom's daily routines. Parents should feel able to speak with teachers often to see what they can do at home to help their child's autism and school progress to go as smoothly and positively as possible.

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 how your child's autism and school experience can be a positive one.

There are currently over 20,000 other parents and caregivers just like you signed up for The Essential Guide To Autism newsletter. Join today and become part of the community.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Special Education Language - 10 Acronyms You Should KnowSpecial Education Language - 10 Acronyms You Should Know

The Special Education system in Ontario has a language of its own. If you are the parent of a child who has been recently identified as exceptional by the school board, you can get lost in the language during your first school meetings. There are many acronyms that are used by school administrators and school staff and most often they don't think about the fact that parents may not understand their "language". So it's up to the parents to become knowledgeable about the language of special education. In this article, I am going to explain the meanings of ten of the most important acronyms in special education.

IEP - Individual Education Plan.

The IEP is a document that lists the strengths and needs, and the programs, services, accommodations and supports that are required by a particular student. It lists the annual goals in each alternative or modified subject area, as well as the learning expectations for each term, which are determined by the student's strengths and needs. A student does not have to be formally identified as an exceptional student to receive an IEP. But if the student is formally identified by an IPRC, it is a requirement of the Regulation 181/98 of the Education Act that they receive an IEP.

IPRC - Identification, Placement and Review Committee.

The IPRC is composed of at least three persons, one of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the school board. At annual meetings, where the parents are invited to attend, the committee decides whether or not the student should be identified as exceptional and if so, which category of exceptionality. They also decide on an appropriate placement for the student. The parents can either agree to the decisions, or appeal the decisions.

OEN - Ontario Education Number

Parents will notice the OEN on school documents such as the report card. A unique OEN is assigned to every student across the province by the Ministry of Education. The same number will follow the student through his or her elementary and secondary education and will be indicated on all of his or her school records.

OSR - Ontario Student Record

The OSR is a record of a student's educational progress through school. The contents are to be used by school staff for the purpose of "improvement of instruction" of the student, according to the Education Act. Parents are to be told about the purpose of the OSR and its contents. They must be allowed to have access to all of the information contained in the OSR.

EQAO - Education Quality and Accountability Office

EQAO is an arm's-length agency that provides information about student achievement in Ontario, based on periodic assessments. This is basically to see how the teachers, the school boards, and the educational system in general are performing. When students are in grade 3 and again in grade 6 they are required to take reading, writing, and math tests administered by the EQAO. They are also required to take a math test in grade 9. However, the principal is authorized to exempt students from taking any or all of the tests if they are unable to participate for reasons such as a developmental disability.

SERT- Special Education Resource Teacher

There is usually one in every school. As the name implies this teacher is a resource for regular classroom teachers. He or she consults with classroom teachers regarding students who have IEPs and are placed in the regular class. In fact the SERT is usually the lead person in charge of developing the IEP for these students. Sometimes small groups of students are withdrawn from the regular class to a resource room for more intensive instruction in math and language. This class is run by the SERT.

EA - Educational Assistant

EAs are assigned to classrooms, either regular class or small placement, to support students as part of a multidisciplinary team. They also help teachers with non-instructional tasks. In some school boards, EAs may have the same duties as described below for SNAs.

SNA - Special Needs Assistant

The SNA supports students with special educational needs, usually in a special education classroom, under the supervision of a special education teacher. In addition to helping with their learning needs, duties may include assisting with the students' safety and physical needs, including hygiene and feeding, as well as assisting with therapy sessions.

ABA - Applied Behaviour Analysis

ABA methods are best known for treating people with autism and other developmental disabilities.ABA methods are based on scientific principles of learning and behaviour to build useful repertoires of behaviour and reduce problematic ones. The undesired behaviour(s) are clearly defined and recorded, and the antecedents and reinforcers of the undesired behaviour(s) are analysed. Individualized programs are developed based on this information. The teacher must collect and analyze the data on an ongoing basis in order to measure the student's progress in each of the program areas. The program must be altered as necessary to maintain or increase a student's success.

TEACCH - Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related handicapped Children.

Intervention strategies include clear and explicit expectations, physical and visual structure, schedules, work systems and task organization. The goal is to allow children with autism to develop skills so that they can be independent of direct adult prompting.

These ten acronyms are just the tip of the iceberg. Take some time to learn some of the "language" of Special Education and you will be a better advocate for your son or daughter with special needs.

Karen Robinson at AFASE at school provides special education advocacy training and consulting services to parents and guardians whose children are challenged by autism and other developmental disabilities.

I develop my clients into informed, proactive advocates for their children's educational needs. They are empowered by current, customized information that enables them to articulate their children's needs to school staff and school board administrators in a way that is both assertive and collaborative.

Browse through my website to learn more and sign up to receive free advocacy tips and news.

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The Difference Between Autism and Aspergers

In order to more fully understand the difference between Autism and Aspergers it is helpful to understand that Autism, also referred to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), covers a range of developmental and cognitive abilities ranging from mild to significant impairments. A person who has been diagnosed with autism may be so severely affected that there are significant impairments to social, language, and cognitive development. On the other hand, autism may be so mild that a person my function at a very high level intellectually while continuing to struggle with social interactions.

One of the primary areas of difficulty for a person with autism is in the area of language development. Since the early 1990's many young people diagnosed with Autism have made progress (approximately 85%) with language development partly due to early intervention and increased awareness and understanding. Although speech can be developed, many individuals with autism continue to struggle with repetition of words they have recently heard (echolalia), and an inconsistent style of speech with respect to language patterns. Grammatical structure may also present difficulty. The development of vocabulary may be inconsistent. It is not unusual for children and adults with high-functioning autism to have patterns of language that are not expressively different then individuals with high functioning Asperger's syndrome.

What stands out as a characteristic trait in individuals with Asperger's is a heightened awareness and interest in a specific area. The intensity of the focus on a subject is often more significant than the desire to interact socially. When autism signs are diagnosed the focus often tends to be centered on order, structure, and routine. Although, once again, the difference is harder to discern when comparing high-functioning autism to Asperger's syndrome.

By definition of ASD, for a person with autism, cognitive impairment is often a marked deficit. In addition to language deficits, functional and self-help skills often present substantial difficulty. Individuals with Asperger's, on the other hand, characteristically have average to above average intellectual skills. While social skills present difficulty, language and self-help skills are often close to age appropriate.

When considering the types of autism and Asperger's symptoms the lines are not always clear. As previously mentioned, mild autism and Asperger's syndrome may look very similar. The difficulty lies in the fact that every individual is different. No two people react and behave in the same way. To better understand the difference between autism and Aspergers one must look at the specific symptoms, behaviors, and their frequency, while continuing to gather information on autism and the symptoms of Aspergers.

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How To Overcome Autism and Anxiety On Socialization

Children with autism are often misunderstood, especially when it comes to autism and anxiety on socialization and it's not surprising that the most loving parents can make some mistakes.

The body of information about this condition is vast, but some of it is conflicting. This can leave even the best parents feeling confused and overwhelmed. One thing no parent wants to see is his or her child is suffering in any way. When it comes to autism and anxiety of socialization, there is some conflicting information out there about the children and what they might really want to accomplish.

For a long time it was thought that children with autism did not want to socialize. Some parents would feel bad about trying to get them to relate to other children their age, as it brought about a lot of frustration for the child. Autistics can lack many of the basic social skills needed to make and keep friends. They aren't good with eye contact, initiating conversations, and relating to peoples emotions. Even some children who do not have this condition can have problems in these areas sometimes.

For a long time it was thought that autistic children did not seek out or did not want to develop these types of social relationships, and would rather be 'alone.' There have been many studies that have proven this theory to be false. They do want to relate, and sometimes they want this very badly, but they just don't know how to go about it. This, as you can imagine, leads to enormous amounts of frustration for the child, and of course, for the parents. The anxiety that comes with this can be overwhelming and might cause setbacks.

People mistakenly think these children prefer to stay away from their peers because they show signs of preferring the company of adults they know, or they seem to show a preference to play by themselves. This isn't necessarily a preference for many of them. They simply cannot handle the anxiety of trying to build and maintain relationships that they do not have the skills to hang on to.

Avoidance and withdrawal are their way of coping with the overwhelming anxiety of the situation. A child thrown into this situation without preamble or warning will suffer great anxiety and frustration. However, knowing how to proceed can be difficult for any parent. Sometimes, there are no easy answers.

Each child has to be evaluated individually. There are some great programs that help children with the basics of socialization before they are presented with actually trying it. Some children have severe problems, and the choice to put them into special educational classes does have drawbacks, but putting a low-functioning child into regular classes has huge drawbacks as well.

Though taking time to evaluate a child before making a decision will help, you can never really eliminate the effects of autism and anxiety on socialization for a child with this condition. You just have to keep up, readjust when needed, and give them all the support you can.

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

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Autism Social Skills - Why Do Children With Autism Need Friendships?

Our children with Autism need friendships for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are the same as our typical children. Some of those reasons are a bit different for our children.

Of course children with Autism need friends to be able to practice social skills. They need to learn to share and take turns. Friends are many times with people longer than siblings. Siblings share location and parents. Friends share interests and time.

It is a bit more complicated when our child has Autism. They sometimes do not seem to really want friends. Our children like spending time alone. Many of our children like the quiet. There is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes. Even most of the time.

The only problem is that they are missing out on a different type of relationship. Friendship is different than the relationship between us and our children. It is also different than the relationship between siblings. It requires different skills.

Sometimes parents are years down the road before they think about friends. Children with Autism are lonely in a way that is difficult to describe to a parent of a typical child.

This is one area we can do something about. We need to start planning in a strategic way from the early years. Short play dates during the toddler years and planned one on one visits as our child gets older are important. Putting our child in position to find friends is important.

Do the children in the neighborhood go someplace in particular on Friday nights? Is there a Boy Scout troop or a Girl Scout troop? How about baseball? We will have to do the planning ourselves, probably for longer than a lot of children who do not have Autism. It is possible to help our child find a friend or two though.

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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Autism and the Importance of Play

Children have been learning through play for millions of years. In my opinion most children learn best through play, including children with autism.

Play is extremely important to children with autism, even though they typically have a difficult time understanding the concept of play. The reason is because play is an abstract concept and children with autism are generally more concrete thinkers. In addition, play involves an intense level of communication and eye contact, something children on the spectrum typically have a hard time maintaining.

At the beginning of the school year 2010- 2011, my assignment was teaching a classroom of children with multiple disabilities. There were seven children and they were all of Kindergarten age. Three met the diagnostic criteria for autism. Two of the seven were non-verbal. Three were only partially verbal. The remaining two were verbal but with autism-like verbal skills which included an inability to understand abstract questions or answer "W" questions or who, what, when, where and why.

Reason Number One: Play is important to children with autism because it teaches reciprocity.

Children with autism have a hard time understanding the give and take action of reciprocity, as well as the eye contact which usually goes along with the reciprocity. They tend to play by themselves as a way to isolate themselves, often engaging in self-soothing behavior. This year I witnessed a six-year-old with autism experience her first experience with initiating play be making the simple gesture of "Come chase me." To see her laughter as she understood the concept of initiating play was remarkable.

Reason Number Two: Play is important to children with autism improves communication skills.

Whether it be verbal or non-verbal communication, play naturally increases communication skills because children have to communicate in order to get what they want. Even if the activity is independent, as in each child having their own play doh and tools, or their own sensory bin, they naturally want to talk with each other about what they are doing.

In the case of the child above, we found she does better with silent forms of communication rather than speech. Instead of saying "Throw me the ball," I found it better to simply hold out my hands and wait for her to throw it. It took me time to learn this and also to learn to give the appropriate amount of wait time.

Reason Number Three: Play is important to children with autism improves the ability to think abstractly.

Children with autism tend to be concrete thinkers making imagination difficult. What comes naturally to some children, such as playing with baby dolls or in the housekeeping area, has to be taught explicitly to children with autism.

Reason Number Four: Play is important to children with autism promotes friendships.

Play promotes friendships by creating bonding and communication experiences between children. As children play together, they develop a fondness for each other through laughter and sharing.

Reason Number Five: Play is important to children with autism promotes bonding between caregiver/teacher and child.

Getting down on the floor to play, dancing and singing, running around in the gym, chasing children around on the playground equipment - all of these things promote bonding between the teacher/caregiver perhaps more than anything else.

The joy of seeing a child learn to play who didn't know how to play before is perhaps even more rewarding than teaching a child academic skills. The reason is because play will last a lifetime and provide continuous pleasure for a person with autism or developmental disability.

Reason Number Six: Play is fun!!

Play is important to children with autism because it's fun and it promotes physical exercise and mental well-being. We all need to take time out to play every day.

For more resources on children with disabilities or tips on how to get a teaching job, go to Kristin's website, My Special Needs Classroom, at

Kristin Whiting is an adoptive Mom, Special Needs Preschool Teacher, and a regular contributor to Associated Content, EzineArticles, Squidoo and Hubpages. She has varied interests in such topics as family life, domestic adoption, foster parenting, healthcare, education, working with children who have special needs, social issues and parenting.

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Little Known Ways to Improve Your Autistic Child's Memory

No matter what autistic child we are talking about, they will most likely have problems with organization. This is not to say that they are stupid, because they are not, it's just a simple problem that children with autism (and Autistic Adults) have, no matter if they are super intelligent.

So with such problems people would think that they have to crowd the autistic child, telling them to do something, being almost on their back about what not to forget. But this unfortunately is not the best way to get the most from your autistic child. Just remember that your autistic child is just like you, they are human! Do you like your boss or your spouse always being on your back?

The answers are obviously no, but just imagine what your autistic child feels. Where you or I could say, stop annoying my, or go away, your autistic child most likely can't even articulate what they want to say to you, which would most likely be... "Get Off My Back".

This is going to be the same for even the most gifted of autistic children. They will be able to remember a 26 digit number no problem, but when it comes to finishing homework or even as simple as bringing their copybook into school, they can fall well behind.

But fear not, there are some non-forceful strategies that will have your child begin to remember the small things they need.
One thing to remember is that autistic children react immensely well to pictures. So, being that we know this, we will be able to formulate a plan around pictures to jog their memory.

One little secret idea that is a great way of ensuring that your child goes to School with everything and also comes back with everything is to make a small picture book, with pictures of everything they need to have in their bag. It could contain pictures of:

1. Their pencil
2. Their pencil case
3. Their copybook
4. Their textbook
5. Their lunchbox

I think you get the gist of what I am going on about. What you do then is attach it to the bag on the outside by a piece of string, or something else. Then, they will always have this in their view and will be able to look at to see what they need to take home.

This is a great way of building up their confidence and helping them feel independent.

I think the main thing to take into consideration is that there will be sometimes that your child will forget things, but so will any child, so the best course of action is not to make them feel stupid. This will kill your child's self esteem and they may even start to forget more things by it. A downward spiral can happen very fast in an autistic child so you have got to be very careful how you talk and interact with your child.

Above all else, seeing your autistic child's memory and confidence improve can be very heart warming. Remember that it takes that little bit of work from you that will create amazing results in your child.

Thomas Stewart is a full time author who specializes in Childhood Autism. Along with his unconventional and often controversial ideas on autism recovery, his work will bring you to a new place of enlightenment when it comes to starting on a path to helping your child recover from autism. You can pick up his FREE e-Course & Find out more about Thomas at

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to Manage Autism Wandering

Autism is an condition that affects over 1.5 million people in the U.S., including adults, and wandering is a behavior that is challenging for all. A generation ago, most children who were diagnosed with it were institutionalized. Thankfully, parents, schools, physicians and society in general now know most of the symptoms and behaviors of those afflicted, and can work with these individuals to ensure that they have a healthy and safe lifestyle. Without preparation for wandering, an individual can possibly leave the house and encounter dangerous circumstances. Preparing one's home, and taking measures to protect those with autism can give a sense of security to those that care for them.

Preventing Wandering

As much as you may want to be there for your child or adult that you are offering caregiving to, there will be moments when you cannot supervise every second. Bathing, sleeping, working or just turning your back for a few moments to complete a task can allow enough time for your charge to walk out the front or back door and "elope" as wandering is sometimes called. The risks are real if the individual gets too far - overexposure to heat or cold, accidents involving traffic, and unfortunately, drowning. Here are a few tips to prevent the wandering:

1. Place a STOP sign on all doors and describe what it means, and that it is there to remind them to tell you if they want to go outside.
2. Install an alert system on doors and windows to notify you if either are opened.
3. Install a double-sided deadbolt on doors and do not allow the child or adult see where you keep the key.
4. Fence your yard.

Recovering a Wanderer

Should the child or adult with autism wander, there are methods to help you recover them more quickly.

1. Place a medical bracelet with name, address, phone number and note that the individual has autism, so that a person finding them can notify you at once.

2. Have the person wear a GPS Device on their belt, wrist, or on a lanyard around their neck as a safety precaution.

3. Alert your neighbors of the person with autism's condition in case they happen to come upon them if they are out unsupervised.

4. If the autistic person does happen to wander, be prepared with a sheet that has a current photo and describes any identifying features, contact information, the individual's favorite songs, toys or hobbies, any sensory, medical or dietary issues, and the method of best communication to give to those looking.

5. Teach your child or adult with autism how to swim. Because those with autism are naturally drawn to water, to potential for them to want to seek out a pool, a lake or a stream is high. When they are prepared, they may be safer. Make sure the final swimming test is done with clothes on.

These steps may not prevent wandering, but an ID and a GPS device will help you greatly in recovering a person with autism who wanders.

At Guardian Angel is a company that has a goal to keep individuals, especially those who are aging, safe. With several products available, you can find out more at and register for a newsletter at one of the "issues with" sister sites to be delivered online each week.

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Strategies for IEP Goals Autism Experts Recommend Most

The IEP goals autism sufferers typically attempt to achieve include more effective learning, minimized symptom behavior, and an individualized understanding experience.

An IEP is the individualized education plan created for your child's learning experience at school. The IEP provides a uniquely tailored document that steers the educational development for the individual child, allowing teachers, parents, and experts to recognize whether or not progress is truly being made.

The IEP goals parents are seeking are an overall outline that includes measurable elements so that progress - or lack thereof - may be recognized. No two plans are the same and they each have their own individual purpose and steps for achieving further educational development.

Parents often wonder exactly what role they play in the development of their child's IEP, its goals, and its practice. Fortunately, there are many resources that help to guide parents along this sometimes daunting road.

The first thing parents should do is sit down with their child's instructor(s) to discuss their child's needs, challenges, and various autism symptoms and behaviors. This will help to ensure that their child's IEP and its goals are indeed laying a practical, workable foundation for the educational services that he or she will be receiving.

It is vital that the parent understand exactly what the IEP means and how it will be impacting the autistic child's learning. Therefore, parents should always feel encouraged to do their own research, ask for second opinions, and pose as many questions as necessary until the IEP is fully understood.

Experts recommend that parents think of IEP goals as a process and a document to be set, instead of a vague indefinable concept. This way, parents are better able to learn each of the parts of the autism IEP and its goals throughout the creation of the final document.

With each new school year, parents become more familiar with the various steps to writing IEP goals their children will be working to achieve. They learn many important tips and strategies for getting the most out of the IEP meeting to draft the document such as:

1. Before the meeting occurs, review your child's information, including that provided about home, the community (such as doctors, tutors, therapists, etc.), and schools. If you find that the information fails to show the complete picture, make an effort to fill in as many of the missing pieces as possible. You want to be certain that the picture you're painting of your child's unique situation is as accurate as it can be. Bring your records to the meeting, including pictures your child has drawn or painted, any work your child has done, audiotapes, and/or videotapes that demonstrate any insights or specific concerns that you would like to share.

2. If your child will be in attendance for all or a portion of the IEP meeting, make sure to let him or her know in advance exactly the way the meeting will function. Inform your child that it is a very important meeting and that any ideas or opinions that he or she may have to contribute will be helpful. You may need to prepare your child about every part of the meeting and that he or she may need to speak up. Speak with your child about the ways that he or she can express feelings and ideas.

3. Brainstorm with the people who know your child well - family members, friends, teachers, therapists, tutors, and consultants, for example - to get some ideas to bring to the IEP meeting. Write everything down so that you won't forget.

4. Ask questions to any team member at the IEP meeting so that you always understand. Never hesitate to request further explanation. If you don't agree with something, ask more questions and request backup information that will support that person's claim. If you have information that states something different, don't hesitate to share it.

5. Be thorough about your efforts at the meeting. Make sure that you agree completely with what is being suggested, and with all of the language used in the document. Before any of the IEP goals autism processes are finalized, make sure that you're certain your child's unique needs will be met and that you haven't left any doubts in your mind.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans' brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help your child get the best of their education with an IEP goals autism strategy and for information on autism resources please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Home-Schooling Your Autistic Child

If you have an autistic child, then you are aware of the many challenges you face raising your child. With the behavioral problems that many autistic children suffer from, raising an autistic child may feel like two full-time jobs at times. Educating an autistic child is also a difficult task that must be fully thought out.

While public schools are funded to handle children with special needs, these locations are not always the best arenas for autistic children. One of the reasons that home-schooling your autistic child is a good idea is because special education programs may lump autistic children in with others who have maladaptive behavioral problems.

Remember, autistic children have behavioral problems due to their developmental inability to properly function normally in social situations. If they are placed in with others who have emotional problems they may regress instead of progress. However, if home-schooled, parents can control the social influences that are likely to either help or hinder the progress of their child. They can keep them away from insensitive teachers, bullies, and have greater control of their education.

Due to their obvious differences, many autistic children are treated with cruelty. This horrible fact of life can undo much of the progress that your child may have already made. Most autistic children function best when routines are set. Home-schooling is the best way to ensure these routines are established and followed.

In addition, home-schooling is a good choice because many autistic children are sensitive to sound. If they are in a classroom with a bunch of other children making noise, it can be difficult for them to focus.

The home-schooling setting is normally more quiet and conducive to learning, besides, it offers autistic children a typically 1:1 teacher to student ratio. Plus, if you're following a GFCF diet it's much easier to implement this at home and you can be sure that your child is only eating what you're giving them.

Furthermore, research has demonstrated that autistic children who are home-schooled score better on problem behavior assessments.

In order to make the most out of your child's home-school experience, it may be a good idea to keep a journal. Write down anything about your child's behavior and performance that is important. For instance, you can keep track of when your child is most productive, when he or she learns best, and what are the potential distractions. Remember you'll need to adapt your teaching style to suit their learning ability. Trying to make them learn 'your way' will just lead to a lack of progress and frustration all round.

As a parent and a teacher it is important for you to read up on recent literature involving the education of autistic children. There are many resources that provide information on teaching strategies, learning methods, and the different types of intelligence. Knowing this information will enable you to tailor a home-school program that will meet your child's needs.

The beauty about home-schooling is that if one approach doesn't work you can adapt your style until you find an approach that does work.

Home-schooling is fast becoming a common educational choice for parents of autistic children. The research involved clearly outlines the benefits of home-schooling. However, you must ensure that you will have the time and the dedication to follow through with home-schooling. Simply keeping your child at home is not going to do any good if learning is not occurring. It is important that you address academic, behavioral, and social needs.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans's free Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you discover more on how to go about teaching a child with autism at home and also more information on autism schools. You can also visit Rachel's blog at

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The Effects on the Development of Non-Autistic Children When They Have Older Autistic Siblings

Autism is currently affecting 1 in 150 children, but children who suffer from the effects of Autism are much higher. In a family with more than 1 child who have a child with Autism, the effects on the non-autistic sibling can be life long.

For a family whose Autistic sibling is the eldest, it creates an entirely different family structure with the younger non-autistic child either taking on a caregiver or guardianship role or emulating the behaviours of the child with Autism.

Children with Autism take up a lot of the parent's time and energy often leaving little for the younger non-autistic sibling. Sometimes a non-autistic younger sibling feels that they have to compete for their parents attention and that the extra attention somehow means that the child with Autism is the more loved child. This can lead to resentment of their disabled sibling and sometimes negative behaviour. To these children, any attention is better than no attention - even if it is negative.

On the other side of the coin, a younger non-autistic sibling can sometimes copy their Autistic older brother or sisters mannerisms leading to a concern that this child may have Autism as well. Even in a normal household, this is what would happen. Younger children learn a lot from their older siblings and if the behaviour is not regarded as acceptable, how are they to know.

With early development, the non-autistic child is going to watch and copy what the older child is doing. They will learn their behaviours, the flapping, the stacking of blocks and sometimes, the gutteral sounds that replace speech in approximately 50% of children with Autism. Care needs to be taken that the non-autistic sibling does get a chance to socialize with other children to encourage a healthy development. Even something as small as a playdate with a neighbours child or at a daycare with other non-autistic children of a similar age.

The beauty of children is, that unless they are taught to do so, they are going to treat their Autistic sibling like one of the family and accept their behaviours. They may not always like what they do, but, they will understand that the child with Autism is part of the family and will love them as such. They may take on a caregiver role, speaking for them, helping them with things etc and therefore the roles of older and younger sibling will be reversed.

Having children with Autism in the family can also sometimes lead to social isolation. It is difficult at best to take a child with Autism on some outings as sometimes their behaviours are not socially acceptable, e.g. the screaming and the flapping. Despite recent media attention about Autism, there remains quite a large number of the public who still are uneducated and look upon Autistic children as being naughty and undisciplined with bad parents.

For families with little or no outside help, it means less time going out as a family and also, unfortunately, less time that the non-autistic child gets to do things that other children their age are doing.

Educating the younger non-autistic sibling about Autism and how it is affecting their older sibling in an age appropriate manner is a good way of helping the younger child deal with some of the things they may not understand. Explaining to them that the older child is not always in control of what they do and that just because they behave in such a way, it does not make it right. Encourage the non-autistic sibling to discuss their feelings and encourage them to come up with ways that they can help out, thereby freeing up a bit more of their parents time for themselves.

Autism affects the entire family and it is only natural that the non-autistic sibling have some issues with role reversal and development but by communicating and being open, this can all be built on positively enabling the non-autistic child to build a healthy relationship with their Autistic sibling with little detrimental effect to their own development.

Donna Mason has been a Registered Nurse for the past 16 years. She is the mother of 6 children, 3 of whom have varying degrees of Autism. For more information on Autism signs and symptoms, and to learn more about this mother's battle in the fight against this misunderstood condition, visit us on the web at:

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10 Great Toys For an Autistic Child

Have you considered a toy for autistic child? Regardless if a child has autism, another disability or not, all children love toys. Of course, no child is alike. Therefore, what may be enjoyed by one child may not hold the interest of another. Thus, the trick is to figure out which toys your autistic child will enjoy playing with, and will help them develop skills.

The following are 10 great toys for autistic children. The first 5 are suggestions are for children age 3-7 and the second 5 are for children age 8 - 12. Following each basic toy description is examples of where you can find them -

Ages 3-7

1. Paints and/or coloring pencils with large paper - This is a great way for an autistic child to express him/herself in color. Knowing what colors your child responds to may be helpful when it comes to learning. Check Toys R' Us, Sears, or Wal-Mart.

2. Building blocks - any toy for autistic child that can be stacked helps them improve their motor skills. Great toys to consider include "Lego", alphabet blocks, colored shapes, etc. Check Toys R' Us, Sears, or Wal-Mart

3. Stories with Repetition and/or Rhyme -These books help in the development of speech skills. Good book examples you can consider include "Dr. Seuss" and "Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes". Book stores, online at, or your local library.

4. Mix and Match toys - Toys that involve sorting and grouping together matching numbers, colors, shapes, etc. help improve cognitive skills. One interesting toy for autistic child is "Match & Spell 3 - Letter Word". This game teaches a child how to spell basic words by putting together matching colored cards that create a picture of the word. This game can be found online at the autism toy store

5. Toys that light up - Toys such as the "flashing molecule ball" are good for visual stimulation. When the ball is squeezed, the colorful balls light up and flash. Check online at or Toys R' Us.

Ages 8 - 12

1. "Calculator Cash Register" - This is a perfect pretend toy for autistic child. This particular toy comes with a working calculator, pretend money (bills, coins and credit cards). This toy encourages creativity and math skills. Check online at or local toy stores.

2. Musical toy instrument - If your child has an interest in music, consider getting a toy instrument such as drums, guitar, recorder or piano with sheet music. These toys teach cognitive, motor, creative and sensory skills. Check local toy stores, Toys R' Us or Wal-Mart

3. Picture books - Picture books such as "I Spy" are great ways to engage your child's imagination. "I Spy" has a collection of picture riddle books based on different themes. Check your local bookstore, online at, or library.

4. Classic board games -There are many classic board games to choose from including "KerPlunk", "Scrabble Jr.", "Monopoly Jr.", "Trouble", "Yahtzee", etc. Board games can be a toy for autistic child that helps to improve social skills, and depending on the game, may help to develop cognitive and motor skills. Check Toys R' Us, Wal-Mart and Sears.

5. "Stretch-Eze" - This is a unique sensory toy that is ideal for stretching, exercise, and making creative movements. The "Stretch-Eze" is a stretchy circular band that comes in different sizes and colors. Look for it at

Keep in mind that the toys listed above are only toy for autistic child suggestions. You don't need to base the toys you give your child on their age. In fact, many parents of autistic children find that any toy is acceptable if their child responds to it regardless of the age specifications on the box. Note: The only exception is choking hazard age warning.

Rachel Evans writes a Free Autism Newsletter. You can sign up here: Free Autism Newsletter. You can also see our blog posts by clicking here: The Essential Guide To Autism Blog and you can see more autism reasources here:

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Increase Eye Contact in Children With Autism

The lack of eye contact is one of the first noticeable signs of Autism. This becomes clear somewhere between 13 and 24 months. However, trying it can be for parents, all is not lost. A proactive program can be used to increase eye contact in children with Autism.

Most children with Autism start to develop normally, but after their first birthday their temperament and socialization begins to change. Children with Autism start to avoid interaction with other people. Things that would make them smile and giggle before, now makes them cry. Before they would look at faces and recognize people. Then as if over night, children with Autism will wiggle and jerk their heads purposely not looking at other faces. When a parent tries to turn the children and look into his/her eyes, he/she with look up or down, anywhere but at the parents eyes.

Why does this happen and why is it important to correct it? Autism is first and foremost a socialization disorder. Eye contact is very personal. It requires a certain level of self esteem to look another person in the eye. Take for example, an interview situation. The person being interviewed feels nervous and unsure of what the interviewer will say or do. It is very difficult to maintain eye contact and often it is easier to look around the room or focus on an inanimate object. The person being interviewed will do anything not to look the other person in the eye and reveal their true feelings. After all, the eyes are the windows to the soul.

It is important to teach and reassure children with Autism that it is safe and socially important to look at other people. In order to let someone else know that you hear or understand them it is necessary to look at them. Especially, with the lack of language that most children with Autism have, they cannot answer verbally.

This is actually rather simple procedure, but will be met with resistance which adds a level of difficultly.

1.) Use an object that the child seems interested in or is attached to. For children with autism this can be just about anything, a blanket, toys, or household objects. It needs to be small. Nothing bigger than a face. Do not use anything that they hold all the time. This object needs to be removed from sight for a length of time, so security objects will not work.

2.) Hold the object at arms length to the side of your body in front of the child.

3.) Wiggle or shake the object to get the child to look at it. DO NOT make any noise yourself. Let the object draw all of their attention.

4.) Once the child looks that the object of the count of five, give it to them to hold for about 10 mins. They may cry when it is taken away just redirect with a security object.

5.) Remove object from sight for an hour and then reintroduce the object.

6.) This time hold the object away from the body, get their attention, then move the object half way to your body. Hold their attention for the count of five and let them have the object for 10 mins.

7.) Repeat the process, halving the distance each time, until the object is in front of your face.

8.) Once they are able to look at the object in front of your face, then silently make smiling and surprised faces at them. This will get their attention and learn that it is safe and secure.

9.) When the eyes begin match yours, say lightly "Look at me". This will teach them to pair the phrase with your eyes.

10.) Once they can look at your eyes consistently, phase out the toy and just use the phrase 'Look at me.' Sometimes you might need to hold up your finger to catch their gaze and bring it back to your face.

The method does work. My son has classical autism and is now 11 years old. Even as I write this he is moving my face to his so that I look him in the eye. He wants my attention. Try it. Good luck!

Dawn has an 11 year old son with Classical Autism.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

How Bean Bag Furniture Provides Therapy For Autistic Children

Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, affects one out of every 150 children, but there are many different therapies available to help autistic children enjoy better quality of life. One of the best therapies recommended for autistic children is called deep pressure, which involves putting pressure on children's bodies in order to stimulate their nervous systems and promote calming feelings.

One of the best ways to provide deep pressure therapy for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder is with beanbag furniture. Bean bags can provide safe and even pressure all over a child's body. Because they are filled with shredded foam, beanbag chairs are perfect for deep pressure therapy for autistic children because the foam conforms to the child's body. The foam also is soft enough be safe for the child, even while providing the sensory input autistic children crave.

Children with some forms of autism disorders like to make violent movements, and beanbag furniture can offer a safe outlet for this behavior. Parents or therapists can purchase a large beanbag chair and allow the child to jump and flop onto the chair. This allows the child to control the amount of pressure they are receiving and provides them a safe place to move. Giving the child the opportunity to safely provide themselves with pressure stimulation can help control aggressive behaviors.

Another way to provide children with Autism Spectrum Disorder deep pressure therapy with beanbag furniture involves two smaller beanbag chairs or a beanbag chair and a beanbag pillow. Some children with ASD enjoy being surrounded or squished. You can allow the child to lay on one bag and press the other over the child's body so that they are squished between two soft surfaces. This provides even pressure all over the child's body.

Beanbag furniture can also provide autistic children with exercise and fun. Since bean bags are filled with shredded foam, they are light enough for a child to pick and move. A beanbag chair for this kind of activity should be small enough for the child to hug with their arms so that they can pick it up and move it around. With different beanbag chairs in different colors, you can make a game out of moving the chairs around or sorting by color or size.

In addition to providing children with Autism Spectrum Disorders a safe form of deep pressure therapy, beanbag furniture also offers several advantages to parents and therapists. Not only are bean bags affordable, but they can help save money on taxes. Any item used as therapy for a child can be a tax deduction, so parents and therapists who use beanbag chairs will save money not only when they purchase the chair but on their taxes as well.

With the many features and benefits of a bean chair, buying one which provides the comfort and affordability necessary to meet your needs is crucial. Comfy Sacks has beanbags in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Instead of being filled with beans, they are filled with a proprietary blend of shredded polyurethane foam. This guarantees that it will be soft, and durable for years to come.

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Trials and Stresses of Autism Parents

When a parent finds their child has Autism they deal with the emotions as well as the challenges of this realization. There are a variety of treatments for children with Autism. Parents are also being taught different ways to handle their child. It is also important to treat the parent and help them know the best ways to care for their child. The parent may not have Autism, but they are dealing with a lot as well. A parent must deal with the Autism symptoms of their child while also dealing with their own emotions. They are building their own relationship with their child while going through the aspects of Autism as well.

They worry as any parent does that they are making the right decisions. They want to work with their child as well as loving their child. They want to make sure they do the best they can to help with every aspect of the child's needs. Parents need the knowledge to help their child not only with Autism symptoms, but the need for emotional care as well as physical care.

Everything that Autism parents endure means they need to have a support system for themselves too. They love their child, but it can be stressful and painful at times. It is important to meet with other Autism parents, spend time with family and friends and still get out and do things that they find fun. This will help them stay focused on their child because they will have an outlet of their own. It could be going out on a date night once a week or taking a few hours alone to read a book. The parent needs to know there is someone in their life that will listen to them if they are having a bad day and need a special time to vent. Some of the reasons that autism parents find the complete situation so stressful is due to:

Guilt: Somewhere down inside each of the parents with a child with autism blames himself or herself for the child's condition as numerous researches point out hereditary or genetic factors leading to the condition. This adds to the ongoing stresses.

Finances: Even if your healthcare provider and insurance provides for some of the costs, there are numerous costs to bear which may get stressful at times.

Societal Pressures: Being away from the normal children's activities, awkward questions of strangers, cannot attend regular functions which in all, can alienate the parents of autistic child which can also lead to immense strain.

Autism parents need to not only tend to their own emotional health, but their physical health too. The child needs their parent and caregiver. If they are sick then they won't be able to care for the child. It is vital for parents to not neglect themselves. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the needs of the child.

It is important for Autism parents to stay connected to the world as well as each other as parents. It will help ease the road of being an Autism parent. There is more to your life.

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Measuring Milestones As a Parent of a Child With Autism

Do you remember not getting what you had your heart set on when you were a child? Maybe it was a special birthday gift, or that trip to the zoo, or that new skateboard you coveted. That was childhood but now as adults we are more mature in how we deal with disappointment, or are we?

We are wise enough to know that not everything is within our grasp and there are some things that will elude us despite our financial means. Parenthood, for one, is a roll of the dice from the very beginning. There are those of us who struggle to bring a child into this world and those of us who easily procreate. Some parents may be briefly disappointed about the gender of their child but all are grateful for the birth of a healthy son or daughter.

Despite this appreciation for a son or a daughter that has all ten fingers and ten toes, some of us secretly wish for more. As our children begin to develop, we anxiously anticipate the typical childhood milestones of smiling, crawling, walking and talking and can't wait to share these moments with others. We all would like our children to be timely in achieving these developmental highlights and when they lag behind the norm, it can be difficult to accept.

As a parent of a child with Autism it is difficult not to want for more or feel defensive when other parents are asking questions and drawing comparisons about each other's children. "When did your child sit up?" "My child is counting to 20." "What was your son's first word?" "My Sally can say, "please" in French."

Innocent interrogations or comments such as these can be very unnerving. Proud parents want to share and don't intend to be irritating but many don't realize what it is like to be on the receiving end of this conversation, especially when your child has a different set of challenges to overcome. Every child's path to growth is different and unique and to measure everyone by the same yardstick is counterproductive.

Tuning out the accomplishments of other children can be difficult yet it is extremely important to stay focused on your child and trust that with your help he will realize his full potential of who he is meant to be. Paying attention to the mini-milestones may help you recognize progress more readily and guide you to identify better ways of assisting your child in reaching the bigger milestones. Here are some things to keep in mind.

What you pay attention to grows. What you choose to concentrate on will take precedence in your life. If you focus on what is not working, what is not working will continue NOT to work. If your child is still non-verbal at the age of four, all the worrying in the world will not give her voice but once you shift your focus onto all the other ways your child communicates amazing things will begin to occur. Noticing and responding to her non-verbal language will encourage more of it to blossom and reinforce those productive behaviors to continue.

Little milestones lead to bigger ones. Many great accomplishments have been achieved in baby steps. Progress has to start somewhere and it usually starts small. Don't negate the tiny bits of progress your child makes because it forms the foundation for bigger steps to be taken. Focus on one behavior, look for tiny signs of progress and celebrate. If you need help staying focused, write down each little step for a visual record that confirms growth.

Positive feedback creates a clear path. The type of feedback you give your child will impact their ability to take the next step. Oftentimes children don't know how to cross the stream that lies between them and a goal. Each time you give your child positive and specific feedback it will be as if you are laying down a steppingstone for them to get to the other side. Don't ever forget the powerful guidance your words and actions can have!

Understand the impact of the environment. As you notice each tiny action your child takes towards a goal, examine the environment that surrounds him and evaluate if it is conducive to his success or if it is constricting it? This information will allow you to make small adjustments to the environment that will make it easier for your child to continue to move forward.

Little things mean more than you know. Don't discount the little things that happen every day. Sometimes they are so small and you think insignificant that you easily miss them. Try using a magnifying glass and play detective for a day. Take the time to consciously examine the little things and how they relate to the bigger picture - you will be surprised at what you find. Taking notice of even the tiniest of accomplishments can have a powerful impact on any child's progress as they struggle to realize the full potential of who they are meant to be.

Look beyond developmental milestones. All parents want their children to achieve the major milestones of life but making comparisons to other children or accepting the judgment or comments of others will only serve to keep you and your child stagnant. Each child has a special gift to offer the universe and each gift is different. Instead of spending your time lamenting the milestones your child has not reached, spend your time uncovering the special gift your child has to offer.

Connie Hammer, MSW, parent educator, consultant and coach, guides parents of young children recently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder to uncover abilities and change possibilities. Visit her website to get your FREE resources - a parenting ecourse, Parenting a Child with Autism - 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tips to Handle Behaviours of Autistic Children

Caring for autistic children can be difficult, yet there are steps and actions that can be taken by parents of autistic children to help them deal with the situations that will arise. Children who carry this autistic disorder can start showing signs as early as age 2, and if caught early, caregivers can learn to better cope with the disorder, as well as helping the child. Autism affects social skills and communications skills, among other areas, so getting an early diagnosis will help in implementing steps to help the child learn to express themselves better and to deal with the people around them and their surroundings.

Everyone has seen children who behave badly on purpose, and children with autism may exhibit some of these same behaviors, but most often they will do so unintentionally. The bad behaviors that autistic children exhibit may actually be a product of what is going on around them.

If they become startled by someone or something, then they may act in a way that seems inappropriate. While each child with autism will handle situations differently, being calm and directing the child away from the situation will most often work well. It is important to have a routine to calm them when autistic behavior arises.

It is important to understand the cues that each autistic child will give out, as these children may act a certain way when someone approaches them. They may become excited or exhibit certain behaviors when they are in stressful situations. Do they have a sensitivity to bright lights?

An autistic child will most likely have patterns that will show when they are put into some specific situations, so understanding these patterns and cues will help you to advert otherwise stressful situations for the child. Little tips like learning the autistic child's cues can make everyday life easier for the caregiver and the child.

Early diagnosis of autistic children can aide in the increased development of their social skills and the ability to better take care of themselves on a daily basis. This can be extremely important to an autistic child and their family. A child with autism will exclude certain behaviors that may be inappropriate or considered as bad.

These behaviors are normally not on purpose, but can be controlled to some extent by having routines in place and being very calm when the child starts acting out. Knowing how to handle situations that come with autism can be extremely helpful for the child and those who are caring for them.

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School To Work - How To Ensure Smooth Transition For Autistic Children

Whether the autistic child has just graduated from high school or passed out from college, learning practical and proven ways to deal with life outside a secure and disciplined environment that is mainly academic, is very essential to helping them adjust to the demands of a competitive environment, such as a work culture demands.

Many autistic children are financially dependent to a certain extent, if not fully reliant, on sustenance from their parents, much like regular kids are, but the situation is more complicated for autistic children as opposed to normal kids who are better able to fend for themselves since they do have have the mental and physical limitations of autism disorder preventing them from adjusting to a new life and coping with work demands -even when both sets of kids may be initially scared of the change.

Their time to live among peer groups in a controlled environment is over and instead of facing known situations every day as in a school routine, autistic children venturing into the professional world have to deal with new, hitherto unknown sets of living situations while applying themselves to a career, which can be intimidating for them, without help from a support group or parental guidance.

Learning ways to deal with people in a business environment and distinct differences existing in behavioral modes in school and work culture is very important for autistic children as proper grooming, hygiene and knowledge of work-place behavior constitute their elements for succeeding in a difficult, complex and rapidly advancing work culture. These are children that have needed assistance in brushing teeth and combing their hair or other such regular things normal children dismiss as being routine, but which are hard work for autistic children and thus, caregivers need to be sensitive and make autistic children aware of these expectations their work-place will have from them besides teaching them appropriate behavior in the work environment.

Autistic children who have had proper schooling are usually at a learning level of being able to control outbursts of the emotional kind they may have been prone to in earlier stages and are capable of following instructions and doing highly skilled tasks, besides some showing a marked distinction at music or math.

The main area of negotiation that autistic children need to be guided about is dealing with relationship problems as they are simple by nature and presume others to be good, like them, which unfortunately, is not always true of all people in this changing world; thus, they get taken advantage of and suffer due to the dubious ethics of others. So, it is important for caregivers of autistic children leaving a school environment for a work one to inculcate in them realistic, worldly teachings and make them survivors in a competitive work place for their own good besides having a potential employer clue in other workers about the child's condition so as to enable a healthy work-place relationship among colleagues who may need to be educated about what comes with the disorder and how to treat an autistic individual right.

Preparing the autistic child about ignorance and intolerance that may come his or her way at the workplace due to personal factors or even lack of awareness about their condition is very necessary to prevent disappointment and emotional issues later. Going in for counselling, speaking to other supportive family members or seeking advice from a caring guide can help boost an autistic child's confidence in approaching work life after school life and make the change a happy and healthy one.

Abhishek has got some great Autism Treatment Secrets up his sleeves! Download his FREE 41 Page Ebook, "Understanding And Treating Autism" from his website Only limited Free Copies available.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Biomedical Autism Intervention - Autism and Aggressive Behavior - Part 2

A biomedical Autism Doctor Explains The Different Types of Aggressive Behaviors Displayed in Autistic Children In part 1 of this article on Aggressive Behavior and Autism I discussed some of the common issues seen with individuals on the autism-spectrum such as food sensitivities, intestinal issues and others that biomedical autism intervention and treatment can help. Here I explore these and other concepts more in-depth, and things you can do to assess your child's aggressive and/or self-injury behavior (SIB). Biomedical Autism Intervention - Assessing Your Child's Behavior The first thing to do is assess their pattern of aggression and/or SIB. The following is a list of things to consider. Does your child's behavior fall into one or more of these categories? Continuous - is the aggression and/or SIB almost continuous. In many individuals this can indicate pain - physical or emotional. For example, pain from constipation or intestinal cramping, infection such as the sinuses, headaches or even a tooth ache. I have seen kids who have aggressive behavior clearly because they do not feel well. Some individuals will bite themselves or hit their head as a way to deal with the pain. Biomedical autism intervention, treatment and assessment takes this into account and recognizes that underlying medical problems can be at the root of adverse behavior.

For example, years ago I saw a child who had almost constant head-banging and was hitting himself in the mouth. After a number of medications and visits with all kinds of experts it was assumed that this condition was just part of his autism. The child was finally referred to a dentist who determined he had dental cavities in the front of his mouth. The cavities were taken care of and his self-injury behavior resolved.

Intermittent - aggression that is intermittent can many times be associated with food sensitivities or food colorings and/or flavorings. For example, corn or corn derivatives, i.e. corn syrup for some kids can cause aggressive behavior. This happens quite commonly, and the affects of food sensitivities can go undetected for many years. Many times a trial of eliminating common food allergens such as wheat, dairy, corn, rice, citrus foods and others for 1 to 2 months, and then slowly reintroducing a food one at a time to see what the offending food(s) may be can help determine this common cause of adverse reactions.

Situational - this type of aggression is seen with a situation at school - such as a new classroom or other agitating situation. Some kids clearly do not like being told 'no' so they act out behaviorally. Other situations that cause anxiety such as crowded places like restaurants or shopping malls can contribute to behavior issues. Sound sensitivity is an issue for many individuals on the autism. Being in crowded places can be overwhelming to their brain causing irritability and tension.

Autism Symptom or Behavior Problem? One other issue is kids (as well as teenagers or adults) being aggressive to one parent versus the other. Is your child's aggression only focused to one parent or one ? I have seen kids who are aggressive to only women - such as mom, sister or an aunt. Evaluate your child's behavior in relationship to who they act out to. A child who is particular to one parent or one has developed a learned response that they can get away with aggressive behavior in this way. Usually, this is not a biomedical issue, but a behavioral problem and discipline is in order to stop this type of activity from continuing. If your child is displaying any of the above aggressive behaviors you should investigate biomedical autism intervention and treatment. Your child's behavior could be due to a medical problem that, when treated, could quite possible be eliminated.

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 Intervention, treatment 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 11 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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Biomedical Autism Intervention - Autism and Aggressive Behavior - Part 1

A Biomedical Autism Doctor Explains The Causes Behind Aggressive Behavior in Autistic Children

The Need For Biomedical Autism Intervention

A very troubling issue with some individuals on the autism-spectrum is aggressive and/or self-injury behavior (SIB). This can be quite common in children (and as teenagers and adults) who lack the ability to communicate verbally, as well as those kids transitioning from one developmental stage to another. No particular time is more challenging than when a child is transitioning through puberty to become a young adult. There is no doubt that some individual's behavior is benefitted by prescription medicine - particularly when aggressive behaviors put themselves or others in danger. However, biomedical autism intervention and treatment has benefits as well, and is often an overlooked issue in autism.

Biomedical Autism intervention Strategy # 1 - Diet

As a biomedical specialist I have seen on many occasions that biomedical autism intervention such as the gluten and casein-free diet has helped with aggressive and/or SIB. Other food sensitivities can be problematic as well such as corn, corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors and more. Each person is different, but food sensitivities should definitely be assessed.

Biomedical Autism intervention Strategy #2 - Digestive Issues

Another contributing factor for aggressive and/or SIB is intestinal problems such as bacteria and/or yeast overgrowth, along with chronic constipation and intestinal pain. Toxins from the microbes can affect ASD individuals quite profoundly, and the pain associated with constipation, inflammation and cramping can create tremendous stress - particularly in a child, teenager, or ASD adult who cannot adequately communicate their discomfort. Again, all of these issues can be addressed through biomedical autism treatment.

Biomedical Autism intervention Strategy #3 - Environmental Allergies

Another issue that contributes to aggressive and/or SIB is environmental allergies - many of which go undetected. Contributing factors include pollen, grass or other airborne allergies. Animal dander or mold spores can be problematic as well. Allergens trigger histamine release which triggers inflammation. Increased inflammation can affect an individual not only in their respiratory areas such as the lungs, sinuses and nasal passages, but neurologically as well. Systemic inflammation is a common issue in autism, particularly nervous system inflammation. Increased allergens can contribute to chemical imbalances in the brain resulting in adverse behavior. Many times biomedical autism treatment such as nutritional supplements can reduce sensitivity to environmental allergens. Also, the addition of an allergy medication can be helpful as well.

The important thing to realize is that not all behavior problems are related to a psychiatric imbalance, but that aggressive behavior can be influenced by biomedical issues as well. In part two of this article I will explore some other important things to consider with respects to aggressive and/or self-injury behavior in autism.

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 intervention and treatments have resulted in many, many children improving - even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis. For more information and a free ebook on biomedical autism intervention and 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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Biomedical Autism Treatment - Yes, it Could Help Your Autistic Child!

An Autism Doctor Explains The Many Benefits of Biomedical Autism Treatments:

Biomedical autism treatment is an expanding area of medicine that recognizes for the majority of autism-spectrum children, teenagers and adults, that they are dealing with underlying medical issues that are at the root cause of their autism condition. Specialists such as physicians, scientists, general healthcare practitioners, and parents have known for years that biomedical autism treatment works for a large majority of autism individuals. These biomedical autism treatments include diet, supplement therapy, immune support, and more.

The main areas of improvement are the following:

* Better cognitive skills - learning, memory retention, etc.

* Improved social skills - more appropriate interactions, willingness to engage socially.

* Better eye contact, attention, focusing enhanced.

* More stable behaviors - less aggressive, tantrums, and irritability

* Improved capacity for speech development*

* Increased environmental awareness

* Less self-stimulatory behavior

For years "traditional" medical practitioners only describes autism as a neuro-developmental disorder. Their limited scope of treatment involves psychiatric medications, and behavioral therapies. However, the biomedical field understands that autism is more than just a brain disorder. It views autism as a multi-system disorder that adversely affects the brain. Multi-system means the immune, digestion, hormone, detoxification and blood chemistry systems all play an interactive role in many cases of autism Imbalances, deficiencies and dysfunctions in the normal functioning of these body systems can adversely affect a person's health and brain function leading to what we call autism or an autism-spectrum disorder. When an autistic individual is assessed medically, and their multiple underlying medical issues are addressed through biomedical autism treatment, many times their autism condition can improve or completely go away. The medical community that addresses autism this way by implementing biomedical autism biomedical treatment recognizes that autism is treatable and actually reversible for many individuals on the autism-spectrum.

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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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Autism 101 - How Changes In Structure And Routine Can Negatively Affect Your Autistic Child

Structure and routine are two common things that are needed in an autistic child's world. They have difficulties adjusting to changes and can become quite upset, and even angry when things don't go as they should. And these melt downs can make the change in routine even harder to handle.

An autistic child survives on things remaining the same.

Something as simple as day light savings time, when the external time is an hour off of their internal time, can create a nightmare for parents. Bedtime is now an hour different, meal times as well. Your child's body will be telling him one thing, while you're contradicting it, and telling him it's a different time. End result, a week or so of meltdowns as they readjust to the time.

Another thing that can disturb them and cause a meltdown is something like a field trip in school. Instead of the regular routine they are expecting, the whole day turns upside down. While the other children are excited and happy over the field trip, your little one is stressing and fretting over the change.

And these are just two examples of many things that can change the structure and routine of the daily life of your autistic child. Which leads us to the question, how can we minimize or prevent the meltdown from happening?

Dependent on your child's level of communication and understanding, this can be a difficult to almost impossible task.

In the case of day light savings time, you can try a week ahead of the change to slowly change the time for your child. Instead of them having to adjust to an entire hour difference, you start slowly, changing the schedule 10 minutes at a time over the course of a week.

In terms of things like field trips, all you can try to do is communicate to them the change that will be taking place and prepare them as far in advance as you can, so that it doesn't come as such as shock to them.

Life will always bring changes we cannot avoid. Knowing this ahead of time, and understanding the turmoil and upset it will create in our little ones is an integral step in making their lives run a little smoother.

Changes in routine and structure can be alarming and disturbing to autistic children. Doing our best as parents and caregivers to prepare them for that change is all we can do. From there all we can do is be there for them and supporting them when the meltdown ensues.

Autism affects the world around us. For more tips on parenting an autistic child, click here!

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