Thursday, September 29, 2011

6 Ways to Nurture Curiosity in a Child With Autism

Along with motivation, curiosity is the one of the best and most direct paths to learning new things. Encouraging curiosity in children is a crucial role parents need to play in developing their child's intellect. Children will stay curious as long as they are allowed to explore, discover and ask questions. It's that easy!

If your child is non-verbal and unable to ask questions remember that there are many ways to be curious. Never assume that a child cannot learn just because he can't articulate a question. Every child's level of curiosity will be unique.

Young children tend to show their curiosity in various capacities. Children with good communication skills may be verbally inquisitive and their constant questioning, the "whys" and "why not's", can drive you nuts! This is when parents need to practice patience.

Other children on the spectrum explore their world more quietly because their ability to communicate is challenged. But as parents pay careful attention, they are able to notice what catches their child's fancy and build on it.

Your autistic child, verbal or not, may be curious about many things on her own but depending on where she falls on the autism spectrum this exploration may become hyper-focused, excessive, repetitive and cause her to escape from the world around her. Sometimes this is a coping skill kids on the autism spectrum will use when sensory overload occurs.

In situations such as these it is important to remember that curiosity and exploration becomes much more functional when it is interactive. Steering your child's curious mind in a positive direction by joining in with him will not only expand his cognitive intellect but his ability to socialize as well.

Regardless of your child's abilities, discovery and learning is most pleasurable when it is shared with someone else. A young child's learning is reinforced when it is experienced with a loving caretaker who offers a positive comment or gesture.

When exploration is pleasurable it reinforces additional attempts to learn new things and prepares a child to become an active life long learner. Repeated curiosity ensures mastery of new skills, builds confidence and increases self-esteem along the way, which leads to a sense of security for more exploration.

If you want to reinforce curiosity in your child in order to encourage an internal motivation for life-long learning, here are some helpful tips:

1 - Be patient with questions. "What for?" "How come?" and "Why?" can seem like a broken record at times but this is a sign that your child is internally motivated to understand his world and how it works. Providing a quick and simple answer will often satisfy your inquisitive one. Sometimes, it is effective to turn the tables and ask your verbal child, "What do you think?"

When the timing is not favorable for a litany of questions to be asked, such as bedtime, it is time to set some boundaries with a reply such as, "Our time for questions is over and we need to keep the others for tomorrow. It's time for sleep now."

2 - Give your child voice. If your child is non-verbal or challenged with language why not bring the questions to her. As you and your child experience your day together, find opportunities to formulate questions that will make her think - questions that you think she might ask if she were more able to. After a short pause, verbalize possible answers to your question.

Any simple task or even a common household item such as a window screen provides an opportunity for posing questions that will stimulate brain cells to make vital connections. "Why do houses have screens?" "What would happen if they didn't have them?" etc

3 - Create new adventures from everyday experiences. Make being outside an enticing learning experience. A walk in the park can be transformed into a treasure hunt or scientific laboratory that is ripe for promoting new learning. A child who explores their natural environment benefits from using all five of their senses, which stimulates brain development in more ways than one.

4 - Develop questioning conversations when the timing is good for you. Take advantage of breaks in your busy schedule or quiet opportunities for discussion, like driving in the car, to formulate your own inquires that stimulate your child to think. Conversations such as this, that are scheduled on your time clock, will allow you to give your full attention to your child and how his brain thinks or his body responds.

If your child is stumped by your questions let him know it's all right by responding, "That's OK, let me tell you what I think." Once you share your information in a respectful way your child may have something to add. If your child is nonverbal and unable to contribute you are still stimulating connections in his brain simply by trying to engage him.

5 - Revitalize your curious side. The more you share your own inquiring mind with your child, the more it will spark their interest. Try making your inquisitiveness contagious. A good time to do this is when you are reading a story together by asking aloud, "What do you think will happen next?" or "I wonder how this story will end?" When doing daily chores invite your child to problem solve with you by asking for their input. "What do you think would happen if we never took the trash out?"

6 - Ask, "What If?" or "What else?" Asking your child to take their thinking one step further will certainly help develop and expand their brain's capacity for learning. Asking, "What would the birds do if it snowed today?" could lead your child to respond in many ways. Any answer should be validated and followed up with "What else might happen?" In prodding your child to establish new ways of thinking, you are modeling a joy of discovery. Just remember, the focus is not about getting the correct answer but more about engaging them in a conversation.

Do you still need to be convinced of the benefits that come from engaging in the inquiry process with your child? Once you realize the power of stimulating your child's curiosity and all the brain cell connections that it makes, you can trust that it is rewiring your child's brain in a positive way.

If a young child's curiosity is encouraged in an open and enjoyable manner learning will always be seen as something pleasant. What better gift can a parent provide!

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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Von Economo Cells, Autism, and Intuition - A Few Special Brain Cells May Produce Social Awareness

Von Economo Neurons, Autism, and Intuition.

Recently discovered brain cells called Von Economo cells (VENs), named after the neurobiologist who described them, are unique in that there are only about 200,000 of them in a normal adult human. That's amazing because just about any other type of brain cell we have number in the billions. Up until just recently, we saw these cells only in the great apes and not in any other animals. They are present but rare numbering only five or six thousand in the solitary gorilla, but relatively more numerous in the hyper-social bonobo monkey.

VENS can be seen in just two parts of the most recently evolved part of our brains, the neocortex. They are present in the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC), and the frontal insula (FI).

Other brain cells in the neocortex, the pyramidal cells, have a long process on the apical end but many shorter processes on the basal side (apical and basal dendrites). The VEN is unique in that it has very long dendrites on both poles and the cell body is 4.5 times larger than an ordinary pyramidal cell. Large size is conducive to high speed transmission of signals. VENs are just now being mapped thoroughly but in essence they seem to pick up signals from several deeper, more primitive brain centers regulating fight or flight, pleasure/reward, punishment, fear, and uncertainty and quickly process and simplify what might be a cacophony of signals and transmit the result to the frontal and temporal cortex. VENs are thus implicated in "gut feelings", intuition, and the rapid first impressions we all get when we meet someone new. In the frontal and temporal cortex, these instant impressions are blended with more deliberate and slower more rational judgments formed there. In fact, one fascinating feature of VENs is that they, unlike any other brain cell, express serotonin 2b receptors on their surface. These receptors are also present on cells in the stomach and small intestine and are responsible for peristalsis. Unconscious or "gut" feelings might be picked up more rapidly by the brain this way rather than have rely on detection what the gut is doing, allowing for more rapid and perhaps socially appropriate or danger avoiding response.

The right side of the brain contains 30% more VENs than the left side and this right dominance seems to be important for normal functioning of the brain. In fact, MRI studies of the FI can demonstrate that the right FI is larger in normal individuals and not in autistic kids. Furthermore, normal brains react to uncertainty, facial expressions and pictures of loved ones strongly in these areas on functional MRI scans but not in autistic brains.

I have spoken with high functioning autistic people who say that to navigate a new social situations they often must have a kind of script in their minds. They use past experience and logic to generate appropriate responses to ever changing social situations. This compensatory method for coping with uncertainty seems to be a hallmark of autism. I've encountered many autistic children who may do very well if everything in their world is expected and routine, but totally decompensate in the face of change. Furthermore, humans are not born with a full complement of VENs, but only sprout them in early childhood until age four. This is about the time autism seems to manifest in childhood. And it is this time of life that both genetic and environmental factors can be influential. Indeed some studies have shown autistic kids to have fewer VENs and other studies show and excess of VENs but with disorganized or truncated dendrites, consistent with theories that autism involves failed "pruning" of neurons in early childhood. Perhaps genetic influences inhibit "pruning" and environmental or inflammatory conditions shut down the development of VENs. Either way, the result is an inability to cope with social situations and uncertainty, arguably some of the most highly developed and evolutionarily recent manifestations of consciousness.

Now very recently VENs have been found in whale brains, dolphins, and elephants. This is quite interesting because VENs therefore must have evolved convergently in these species which are unrelated to us. Similar selective pressures must encourage the production of VENs. Perhaps large brain size itself triggers the secondary enhancement of consciousness as a byproduct of needed upgrades in connectivity!

To your health,

Dr Z

Peter Zvejnieks, MD is a board certified physician in Columbia SC. His blog can be found at

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iTherapy - Emerging Autism Therapy

Technology for the most part serves for the betterment of society. In the realm of education, technology has become an integral part of the system. Educators from all over the nation are using technology in their repertoire to enhance classroom learning. Among the many benefits is greater access to education for everyone, but in particular technological advancements have opened education more than ever to learners with disabilities like autism spectrum disorders.

iTherapy capitalizes on the latest technologies available from Apple like the iPad, iTouch and the iPhone. iTherapy at its core means, the use of an Apple product in combination with an app (computer application) in a therapy environment as a modality to meet goals implemented by an IEP team.

Software (apps) for any of the Apple products is readily available from the app store located within the iTunes website. Currently there is about two hundred thousand apps with more added on a daily basis. Some of the programs I've used with success include: Model Me Going Places, First Words: Deluxe, First Words: Animals, iSpeak and proloquo2-Go to name a few. You can use these apps individually or combine them to achieve a set goal. Whether you are using voice output, building vocabulary, correcting articulation or strengthening muscle coordination, any of these devices make it easier, more fun and reinforcing.

In addition, learning goes on long after the therapy session has ended. Unlike other computer based therapies, they can take their Apple product wherever they go thus allowing them to engage in learning whenever the opportunity presents itself. Not to mention their apple product can hold music and movies. Alas, they too can be cool!

Prior to this technology, individuals with limited communication ability were forced to use devices specifically design for individuals with cerebral palsy. These devices are heavy, cumbersome and very expensive, in the range of $5,000-$10,000. Most of these devices have voice outputs that are robotic in nature-lets just say they tend to end up as door stops.

In short, when you combine apple's hardware with software like proloquo2-Go or First Words: Deluxe. The result is ACC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) that is powerful, portable, desirable yet affordable. Set this in a therapy environment with a focus on predetermined goals designed by an IEP team and you get iTherapy-an effective learning strategy.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dinosaurs and Their Appeal to Children on the Autism Spectrum

Dinosaurs and the Autism Spectrum

Autism is a life-long, debilitating condition that affects a surprising number of people. Research from the National Autistic Society suggests that as many as half a million people in the UK have some form of Autism or have a related condition such as Asperger Syndrome. Autism is a condition that affects the way in which people relate to themselves and the world around them. Sufferers can be over-sensitive to sensory stimuli, they can find it difficult to make sense of their environment. Asperger Syndrome is a form of Autism. People with Asperger Syndrome find it difficult to communicate and interact with others. Neither Autism or Asperger Syndrome are related to low intelligence, indeed, from our experience with children that have Asperger Syndrome the child concerned is often shown to have a higher than average IQ. For example, one of the attractions of dinosaurs to children on the Autism Spectrum are the long names and all the complicated facts associated with these prehistoric monsters. Some children on the spectrum, seem able to retain vast amounts of information related to their favourite dinosaurs and can recite an astonishing amount of factual information about them.

Detecting Children on the Autism Spectrum

These conditions cannot be detected just by looking at a person, there are no visual symptoms but they do manifest themselves in certain behaviours. If these behaviours can be identified in young children at an early age than steps and processes can be put in place to help them and their families manage their condition in an effective way. As these are termed "hidden disabilities" it can be very difficult to diagnose the condition. Fortunately, thanks to the campaigning of a number of charities and other organisations the awareness of both Autism, Asperger Syndrome and other related conditions has risen substantially over the last twenty years or so and many teachers and teaching assistants are now trained in being able to identify Autism in the school children in their class.

Children with Asperger Syndrome may have fewer difficulties with their speech and they usually do not have the accompanying learning difficulties associated Autism, but they may have specific learning issues. These can include dyspraxia and dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Fortunately, society's understanding of these conditions has greatly improved since my own time at school. Recently a friend was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum and having related dyslexia but as a school child her condition was not noticed and she did not (and nor did her parents), receive the help and support needed.

With the right help and encouragement, people on the Autism Spectrum and with Asperger Syndrome can lead completely fulfilled and independent lives. The important thing from our perspectives as teachers is to understand the condition and to put in place support at an early stage to help children and their parents/guardians/family members manage.

Autism is a Spectrum

When teaching a class it can be difficult to identify the behaviours in a young child that could indicate that this child has Autism or a related condition. The problem is there are "degrees" of Autism. I always prefer the term Autism Spectrum condition rather than the alternative title Autism Spectrum syndrome, but in my experience both are used. I imagine the condition of Autism like a long bar with a person with this condition fitting somewhere along this bar as each individual can be affected differently. It is true to say that whilst all people with Autism will share certain behaviours and difficulties making sense of their world and their environment, some people will be able to live independent lives whilst others, who may have related learning difficulties and disabilities will require specialist support throughout their lives.

Where do Dinosaurs Fit In?

There are certain types of behaviour associated with children on the Autism Spectrum. Not all people will display the same behaviours, Autism affects individuals in different ways. One of the mantras I use when teaching in a class where there is a child or children on the Autism Spectrum is to remember to "celebrate their uniqueness and to rejoice in the way that they are able to see the world differently from myself". However, there are common behaviours and the subject of dinosaurs seems to lend itself to them.

For example, some children may be natural scholars and become extremely knowledgeable about a subject they enjoy. Studying dinosaurs seems to tick many of the boxes for them and they become almost totally immersed in their subject. Children on the Autism Spectrum may be able to recall information better than their peers, with so many facts and figures surrounding the study of dinosaurs they seem to be naturally drawn to this topic. For instance, being able to quote facts and statistics about dinosaurs - which was the biggest, fiercest, heaviest, fastest, longest? Vertebrate palaeontology and the Dinosauria in particular seem to be a rich source of information that is often recited repeatedly with parents/guardians being bombarded with questions and demands for more data.

In addition, young people on the Autism Spectrum may often not want to join in games with other children, preferring to play alone, immersing themselves in their favourite subject area and playing with dinosaur models and other replicas. Often they can repeat the game over and over again or insist on doing the same activity over and over again at the same time each day. The availability of videos and DVDs on dinosaurs can help with this. Children on the Autism Spectrum can enjoy watching repeated plays of the same DVD.

Dinosaur Days Out

Fortunately, there are a number of museums that have displays of dinosaur fossils and other items that can be visited. However, for a family taking a child on the Autism Spectrum out for the day can be a daunting prospect and one difficult episode can result in the parents/guardians losing all confidence.

There are some hopefully helpful tips and advice we can pass on to help parents/guardians manage the day out ensuring that it is a rewarding activity for all concerned.

1). Remember the Sensitivity

Some children on the Autism Spectrum can be over sensitive to loud noises and bright lights. If intending to visit a dinosaur attraction we recommend contacting the providers before you go to gain an understanding of any elements that may be distressing to your child.

2). Contact the Provider before you Visit

Getting in touch with the museum before the day gives you the chance to learn about any special arrangements that may be in place to help you get the most out of your day. You can also receive specialist advice and organise support on the day should it be needed.

3). Get the Guidebook before you Go

By getting a guidebook or leaflet before you visit you and your child can plan their day. This can help the child preparing them for the experience to a degree and enable you and your family to be able to get the most out of the visit

Obsessing on Dinosaurs

Not all children on the Autism Spectrum will have obsessions. Those that do may not obsess on dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. For instance, we have encountered a number of young children who become totally immersed in subjects as diverse as cars and "Thomas the Tank Engine", but a number of children do develop a fascination for the Dinosauria. This in itself is no bad thing, as with the establishment of the creative curriculum in most parts of the United Kingdom schools are often covering this subject area within their teaching schemes of work. Learning about dinosaurs can help develop confidence, after all, many children will share this common interest and love of all things to do with dinosaurs. There are a large number of supplies of resources that can assist, everything from the local library, the regional museum and of course the internet. For parents/guardians too, learning about dinosaurs can be a rewarding experience especially if it is an area the enables them to celebrate the way in which their particular child views the world.

Everything Dinosaur is a company run by parents, teachers and real dinosaur experts. It specialises in developing educational dinosaur toys, models, clothing and games and strives to help young people learn more about science through their fascination with prehistoric animals. Many of the items featured on the Everything Dinosaur website have been designed and tested by the teachers and real dinosaur experts in the company.

To learn more about the products and services we offer at Everything Dinosaur click on our website links.

Our aim is to help young people learn more about Earth sciences through their fascination with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Team members are happy to provide advice and support supplying free quizzes, drawing materials, puzzles, games even recipes for dinosaur themed biscuits and birthday cakes. With something like 600 products on line including dinosaur party supplies, Everything Dinosaur has built up a strong reputation assisting parents, guardians and fellow teachers, helping young people to learn more about science through creative play.

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How to Help Your Child With Autism Begin The School Day

The beginning of the school year, and the start of each school day, can create potentially stressful situations for you and your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Most children with Autism not only need routines, they require them in order to cope with an ever-changing environment. This article is designed to help prepare your child for the transition to a new year and for the beginning of each school day.

For children with autism, who typically have difficulty with transitions, the daily requirement of getting up and ready for school can cause tremendous stress and frustration. Starting school can present extreme difficulties for children with autism because children with ASD are required to conform to unpredictable and demanding schedules, rules, behaviors, and social norms.

As you prepare your child for a school year, begin by introducing new school supplies gradually. When purchasing clothing attempt to keep within the parameters of what fabrics, colors, and textures are suitable for your child. Tags may need to be cut out of clothes and all items should be clearly labeled. Depending on your child's specific needs, select materials that will appeal to his or her unique interests. For example, your child may want a certain cartoon character on his or her lunch box. For another children, this might pose too much of a distraction. Item can be purchased, set aside out of view, and introduced gradually. By the time school begins, however, your child needs to have the chance to become acquainted with each new item.

Visit the school, discuss, and walk through routines. For example, pack your child's lunch box and have a picnic in the lunch area at the school prior to the beginning of the year. As teachers begin to set up their new classrooms plan to visit the school. If possible take your child to see the classroom, the nurse's office, the library, etc. You also have the right to arrange a meeting before the school year starts. This is a good opportunity to get to know the team members and to make certain that your child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is up-to-date. Discuss concerns with the support staff and let the school know what your child needs in order to be successful. Request a follow-up meeting a week or two after the year begins to iron make adjustments.

Many children with autism respond well to visual stimuli and are comforted by what is familiar; establishing and maintaining a daily routine helps your child feel secure. Create a daily picture schedule to help your child prepare for the day and to transition between home and the external world. You may want to use picture cards. These cards can be laminated and attached with Velcro to laminated cardboard. This daily schedule will help your child with transitions. The picture schedule includes photos in chronological order that represent key transitional activities. Pictorial schedules may, but do not have to, include captions. If a picture schedule is used at home it may readily be adapted into the school setting. A picture symbol, such as a question mark, can indicate when an unexpected or unpredictable event may occur. Becoming familiar with such a symbol will help even the unexpected become more predictable. Another idea is to use timers and alarms to indicate the time for a transition from one activity to another. Your child's temperament will help in determining which schedules and devices will alleviates rather than promote anxiety.

Social stories that explain procedures and routines may also help your child to understand events and behavioral expectations.

Keep an open line of communication with the school, particularly the principal and teacher(s). While email is helpful, communication logs provide a hands-on method for relaying information between home and school. A small notebook for daily comments can eliminate hours of frustration for your child and his or her caretakers/teachers. Any change in routine can be documented in order to facilitate an understanding of unsettling events or changes in your child's routine.

While every child with ASD is unique the suggestions listed above have proven helpful in preparing for a smooth transition to a new school year and, with minor adjustments, to the daily school routines.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Biomedical Autism Treatment - Diet Helps Autistic Kids Get & Stay Healthy

For most kids getting periodic colds, congestion or upper respiratory infections (ear, sinus) is a normal part of growing up. However, children should not have to get sick at every exposure. If your child seems to develop an illness quite frequently, their immune system is likely in a weakened state. The goal then is not to prevent them from ever getting sick, but to reduce the frequency (and duration) of an illness. The way to accomplish this is through a strong immune system, and diet can play a big role in strengthening immune resistance to bacteria and viruses.

The following is a list of considerations to implement biomedical autism treatment to help support a health body and immune system for autism-spectrum children (ASD):

Whole Foods Diet - A whole foods diet contains quality sources of protein (poultry, fish, eggs, lean meats, beans, nuts, nut butters) lots of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds and high quality fats and oils such as flax oil, olive oil and coconut oil. You want to eliminate as many processed foods as possible - foods that are processed with chemicals, preservatives, additives, flavor enhancers, artificial colors and sweeteners, added sugar and hydrogenated oils.

Reduce Sugar - A tablespoon of refined sugar can suppress the immune system by 50% - in some cases for up to four hours. If your child is eating high sugar foods frequently throughout the day - candy, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, soda, sugary cereals, and products with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup - their immune system is likely suppressed all the time. If this is the case they are at a much greater risk of developing frequent illnesses.

Eliminate Dairy Products - Cow's milk dairy products can be mucous forming foods. Mucous in the mouth and respiratory tract provides a friendly medium for bacteria and other pathogens to grow. Many children on the autism-spectrum have a history of chronic ear and respiratory infections. They likely have an allergy to dairy. Eliminating the dairy has been found to significantly help children on the autism-spectrum - not only because of their immune weaknesses, but dairy products can also cause behavioral (tantrums, irritability) and cognitive (attention, focusing) problems as well.

Get More Essential Fats - Certain good fat sare called essential because our body cannot make them and we must get obtain them from our food. There are two types of essential fatty acids (EFAs) - omega 6 and omega 3. Most people get an abundance of omega 6 EFAs found in nuts, seeds, safflower, sunflower and corn oils. However, many ASD kids are not getting enough omega 3 EFAs. Sources high in omega 3 EFAs include fish oil, flax oil, krill oil and cod liver oil. EFAs are important for the immune system and help to regulate activity of white blood cells (T-cells and B-cells) that fight off infections.

Include Probiotics - Probiotics are beneficial bacteria. These include the common lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacter bifidus. These normal intestinal bacteria help to strengthen what is called the mucosal immune system. The mucosa of the mouth, respiratory and intestinal tracts are considered to be our first line immune defense. The mucosa helps to fend off invading pathogens once they have entered our body. Probiotics help to enhance the effectiveness of our mucosal immune system.

Whole Food Nutritional Supplement - A great way to obtain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, etc. is to use powdered greens. There are a number of products available at most local health food stores that are good for kids.

One way of getting children to take supplements is mixing them in a smoothie. Listed here is an example of a great tasting and nutritious smoothie drink.

1 cup almond or rice milk

1-2 tablespoons flax oil or fish oil

1-2 tablespoons partially ground flax seeds

1-2 tablespoons powdered greens

2-3 capsules of probiotics

½ to 1 banana

Blended mixed frozen fruit - add as much as needed to obtain the consistency you feel your child will like (frozen strawberries, cherries, blueberries, mango, etc.). Mix well in blender. This will generally create 2 to 3 servings.

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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Gluten Free Casein Free Diet For Autism

A GFCF diet is gaining recognition for helping children with autism. Removing gluten and casein from a diet can prove to be challenging as gluten and casein are found in many foods we eat. A GFCF diet for autism is considered an alternative treatment and is based on the belief that many with autism have allergies to gluten and casein.

Many believe autistic children may have an allergy or high sensitivity to both gluten and casein and choose to have allergy testing done. However, there are those that claim, even with no shown allergies to gluten or casein, that their child improved considerably with a GFCF diet. The belief is that children with autism process the gluten and casein differently and as a result their symptoms are exacerbated.

Some parents, as well as Doctors, believe that removing gluten from an autistic child's diet can be beneficial. Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of barley, oats, rye and wheat. When on a gf diet most breads and crackers are avoided, unless of course they are gluten free and reading nutrition labels becomes a way of life. Gluten can be found in many foods such as soy sauce, BBQ sauces and many times is a hidden additive so it is important to become familiar with safe gluten free foods.

Removing casein can prove to be just as challenging because casein is in many foods as well. Casein, a milk protein, is contained in dairy products and other foods containing dairy. Casein can also be found in dairy and lactose free foods and is often times a hidden additive, just as gluten is.

Beginning a GFCF diet is becoming easier than in the past because of the wide availability of gluten and casein free foods. Many companies are making it easier to identify GFCF foods with marketing and labeling and health food stores have begun to carry GFCF foods as well. Mainstream stores are jumping on board and making it easier for the consumer to identify and purchase GFCF foods.

The elimination of gluten and casein is gaining recognition and support in the world of autism. If your child suffers from autism this may be an alternative approach worth educating yourself on.

Gratefully Gluten Free began as a small GF business offering GF baked goods. It has since grown into a webstore offering three different all purpose GF flour's for all your GF baking and cooking needs. Visit for more information.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

How Music Therapy Helps In Treating Autism

Musical therapy is gaining acceptance in the field of treatments for autism. Individuals on the autism-spectrum who receive music therapy will often have improvement in overall temperament and learning abilities. I recently saw a young boy who loved the Beatles. Hearing their music has helped with his behavior and willingness to communicate. Other individuals have responded in similar ways to other types of music. Music makes connections to the non-verbal part of our brain making it a perfect therapy for disorders in which the person has trouble communicating. This is why it is a perfect fit for autism.

Music therapy has been used in conjunction to help with learning skills. Classical music often playing in the background has been shown to help with mental processing for math and complex problems, but more importantly in autism music in general provides a non-threatening medium for people while playing games that help to improve social and behavior skills. For example, by encouraging eye contact while singing or using musical instruments that need to be held close to the face musical therapy can help autistic individuals break social barriers. In short, music is fun and engaging.

The main thing that music therapy has been shown to help with is the development of speech and communication skills. Music has the ability to connect the verbal and non-verbal functions in the brain. This is critical in autism as speech difficulties are so significant. In the beginning certain individuals may be only able to hum, grunt or make non-word noises while others will babble phrases of verses. The little boy who was a Beatles fan learned to pronounce the famous line "we all live in a Yellow Submarine..." Autistic individuals will often gain the capability to put phrases and sentences together in attempts to communicate with other people. No matter how skilled the individual is with speech, they can participate in musical therapy by clapping to the beat of the song, humming along, or doing simple echoing sounds. It doesn't really matter just getting them involved in music can make powerful transformations.

Individuals on the autism spectrum are commonly found to be good at music. Some people have perfect pitch, while others may play a particular instrument very well. Even if they show no genius musical ability by common standards you may find that a particularly person has abilities in music that exceed his or her other abilities. A musical therapist can use music as a way to link this kind of learning with other kinds of learning skills such as communicating emotions or improving memory. Trained professionals can use music to teach children and others how to communicate in nonverbal ways, making it easier for patients to learn.

However, music doesn't need to be reserved for a therapy or a classroom setting. Play music in the home and/or car as a way to introduce new sounds, instruments, and voices into the auditory world for an autistic individual. Break out those Beatles albums and you never know what might emerge for a person on the spectrum. They too may find their favorite Beatles song and learn to sign and communicate in a way they never have before.

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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The Benefits of Animal Therapy For Autism

For those of us who have had pets in our lives, it's no great surprise to learn that interactions with animals can have therapeutic and healing benefits. Many animals soothe, comfort, and calm, just by their quiet presence. And animals are now also being used as a form of autism therapy.

A New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work graduate student named Jennifer BarĂ³l lead a research project to study the benefits and impact of animal-assisted therapies on children with autism when used as a treatment tool.

The study, entitled "The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on a Child with Autism" ran for 15 weeks between July and November of 2006. It was geared toward the goal of discovering whether or not there is any evidence that therapies based on animal-assistance would be able to improve an autistic child's social skills.

The results of the study were interesting. For example, before undergoing the animal-assisted therapy with an eight-year-old Australian Cattle Dog named Henry, participant Zachary, who was five years old, experienced a dramatic struggle in order to communicate. Zachary was prone to throwing tantrums as well as covering his ears and eyes when he became frustrated with his lack of ability to be understood. Participation in new activities was stressful to him. He couldn't understand how to play with others and had never before uttered a complete sentence.

However, once Zachary met and bonded with Henry, he went through a virtual transformation. His self-assurance level is much higher and he is willing to experience new activities with an obvious curiosity. Furthermore, Zachary is better able to understand what is going on around him, including the needs of others. Moreover, halfway through the therapy for the research project, Zachary completed his first sentence.

In the case of Zachary, a whole new world of experiences and understanding was opened up by the animal-assisted therapy. Within the mental hospital clinical reports, there have been many reports of autistic children who have built strong relationships with individual animals, such as pet dogs or cats. When autistic children play with animals, any violent tendencies they may have will typically disappear. They take on quite maternal characteristics, taking special care of the animal including feeding, cleaning up after them, and interacting with them.

The blood pressure of autistic children will also usually be lowered when experiencing an animal treatment. Furthermore, symptoms such as insomnia and headache can be eased with this treatment.

The companionship of animals can help reduce any lonely feelings in autistic children, promoting a base of healthy character development within them, including personality traits such as being respectful, trusting, contributing, committed, self-confident, and responsible. Autistic children can also learn decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, and both language and social skills through interactions with animals.

This kind of therapy can be beneficial overall, as well as in times of greater trial, such as puberty - when your child will go through many changes and have many questions and will be in need of greater stress relief.

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 animal therapy for autism and for information on autism service dogs please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ways To Help Children With Autism

When a child has been diagnosed with autism there are many characteristics of autism that children may display. Children with autism do not demonstrate the same symptoms as the other so it's important to recognize every symptoms in case there are just one of the symptoms recognized.

Children with autism may not act as though anything is wrong until after the age of two when the child development stages are not noticed. By the age of two, children usually display many different signs that show they are progressing well. However children with autism may show one of the following symptoms:

Cannot smile and return a smile when you smile at them. This can occur anywhere from age six months and up. They cannot mimic sounds and facial expressions. This is usually noticeable by the age of nine months however if the child doesn't mimic your facial expressions or sounds by the age of two there may be a problem.

Children with autism cannot talk by the age of sixteen months of age. If a child said something at first but then quite talking then this may also be a sign of autism. The child cannot point, reach, wave, or show you something by the age of one year old.

Parents and child care providers may notice that a child is not responding in as early as a year old but may decide to wait until the child turns two before worrying about it. When the doctor is notified that the parents and or child care giver has noticed a problem, they may order further testing to rule out other types of disabilities.

When children with autism interact with other children, they do not want to play with others, mimic others, or share toys with others. They simply focus on one part of a toy, usually something that goes around or runs, and will not play with any toys other than that one. They will not share that toy with others either.

Children with autism will need to be placed on medications to control the behavioral outbursts as well as other medication depending on what the doctor decides to do.

It's important that parents of children with autism learn all they can about the condition and learn how to help their child handle activities of daily living. When you work together as a family, children with autism tend to display less symptoms than those who do not have a complete support team. Everyone involved in that child's life should be a part of their care.

Children with autism like to have a routine that doesn't change in any way. A simple change is something that upsets them and therefore you should create a schedule that does allow some freeway in schedule changing. Don't jam pack their schedule so they do not have an opportunity to change anything. Take charge of your child's schedule and don't allow anyone to change the schedule without first checking with you. Children with autism can lead a happy life surrounded by those who love and care for them.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on ADHD children please visit

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Autism Treatment - Respen-A Dosages and Autism

I have had some parents who have asked me about, and have concerns over, the fact that Respen-A contains an ingredient that is derived from a drug. Reserpine is the active ingredient in Respen-A. Reserpine is derived from an Indian herb called snakeroot, its name being rauwolfia serpentine. The FDA approved the use of Reserpine for hypertension in 1955. These days, Reserpine is not used all that often to treat hypertension, at least not to a significant degree. So it was approved to treat high blood pressure but now there are many other medications used now. When it was used to treat hypertension, the dose used was.1 -.5 mg. What is used in Respen-A is.01 mg so you are getting between 10 to 50 times less Reserpine in Respen-A than what was used for high blood pressure.

Respen-A was first introduced into the Autism community around November of 2008 and there was a small study done to track some children for about a year's period between November 2008 and November 2009. A press release was sent out based on the results, which were very promising, and then parents began using it for their children. Back in 1957 there was a study, published in the Journal of Mental Disorder and Disease, using Reserpine on a group of children with Autism. The study used an oral elixir with a dose of between 3 and 7 mg. Remember, the FDA approved Reserpine at a dose of.1 and.5 mg for hypertension and in 1957 they were using 3 - 7 mg on children with Autism using an oral elixir. The findings of the study were that the children had better verbal communication, better eye contact, better socialization, much less self stimulatory behavior, better overall awareness, more willingness to socialize and more willingness to play, etc. And quite honestly what we are seeing in children with Respen-A is the same things that we see improvement in with children using therapies like Methyl B-12.

Some children do report some side effects like excessive sleepiness or some report dry mouths, but nothing that was very significant. But when the doses were increased to 10 - 12 mg, then adverse neurological behaviors were observed, similar to Parkinson's symptoms. But these doses used back in 1957 were 200 to 700 times the amount that is used today in the Respen-A patch. So you can see that the dosages are not even close to one another and yet the benefits we are seeing certainly are. Again, the improvements I see in my patients who are using Respen-A include better eye contact, improvement in quality of speech, improvement in general awareness, a more deliberateness in speech and also appropriateness of speech, and improvement in socialization are the main improvements I have seen in my practice. I want to highlight these things because I feel that there is a misconception out there about what Respen-A does and I wanted to show the actual amounts of Reserpine that are used in Respen-A compared to the amounts used in the study in 1957 and even the amounts used for high blood pressure.

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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Autism Treatment for My Child - What Should They Eat?

There are a lot of things that you want to avoid when using diet as an autism treatment tool for your child. But there are also a lot of things that you want to put in their diet, that can help ameliorate some of the symptoms and help them cognitively and behaviorally.

1. Vitamins

First of all, you will want a diet that is well balanced in terms of essential vitamins. Vitamin B is an important one. It helps increase brain function, can help produce neurotransmitters, and helps the absorption of essential nutrients into the body. This in turn helps improve nervous system function. All of this increases overall health.

Vitamin C improves the immune system, as most people know.

Also, though, it helps neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are naturally occurring chemicals that can cause problems for the body; Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, and as such, helps to control the damage that the free radicals do.

Multivitamins are important to take because many people with autism have deficiencies in many vitamins and minerals. Vitamins can be an essential autism treatment for your child.

2. Probiotics

Probiotics can help the digestive problems that so often plague autistic kids, and can be an effective autism treatment for these symptoms in your child.

Our guts have a lot of "friendly bacteria" that keep things in balance. Sometimes, though, these friendly bacteria can get out of balance and start to bring havoc on our bodies and digestion. Using probiotics as a supplement brings things back into balance.

Probiotics can improve bloating and gas issues, and other digestive issues. Digestive complaints are common with those on the autism spectrum. Yogurt is a good source of probiotics. Plain yogurt is better than the sugary flavored kind, however.

The best way to get probiotics is a full spectrum supplement that has many different strains of probiotics. Your doctor or someone at your local health food store can help you figure out what kind are best for you.

3. Essential Fatty Acids

What are Omega 3s? They are essential fatty acids. Your body can't make them but they do a lot for your health. Omega 3s improve brain function. They seem to "oil" the gears of the brain, especially in the case of the child with autism. Omega 3s also help prevent cancer, heart disease and arthritis.

The best way to get Omega 3s is from fish. Salmon is a great source of Omega 3s. Fatty fish, like mackerel, trout, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna also work well. Many nuts, like pumpkin seeds and walnuts, have Omega 3s too. Of course, the easiest thing to do is to get fish oil supplements that have Omega 3s in them. You will want to find supplements that have both Omega 3s and 6s in them. Nordic Naturals is one such company that makes an excellent product.

So you see, adding a few extra things to your child's diet can be an excellent addition to your autism treatment plan for your child.

And parents should learn as much as you can about dietary issues in the treatment of autism. Tips from other parents and professionals can be extremely helpful. A great site that has tips and suggestions for additional treatments is the There you can sign up for their FREE newsletter with tips and info on autism.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

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 The School System - Education

Autistic children will have special needs when it comes to schooling. Many children with Autism go to public school and do just fine with some special modifications. There are laws pertaining to kids with disabilities. Here are some of the things you will need to know about Autism and school.

The Individuals With Disabilities Act

The Individuals with Disabilities act was passed to make sure all children receive a free and appropriate public education that meets their needs. The act requires children with special needs to have special education service as long as they meet the requirements. Autism meets that requirement.

Free and Appropriate Education

This is an education that meets the special needs of your child. It is one that allows them to make progress learning.

Least Restrictive Learning Environment

This means that your child will be placed in an educational setting that is right for their special needs while allowing them to socialize with kids that do not have a disability. The school will do what it can to meet the needs of your Autistic child while keeping them in regular classrooms.

To figure out what special needs your child will need the school will evaluate your child. This evaluation can be requested by the school or the parent. If you think there is a problem write a letter to the school asking them to evaluate your child. They will send a paper home for you to sign that gives permission for the evaluation to take place. During the evaluation your child will be tested for learning disabilities along with any mental, or behavioral problems. After the evaluation is complete the school will have a meeting with you to discuss their findings, and what can be done to help your child.


An IEP is used when a child has a need for special education services. The group that evaluated the child will be part of the team that creates the IEP. The parents will also have a say in what is included in the IEP. An IEP will state the needs the child has to get an appropriate education. They will also list the services the child is going to receive in the IEP. The IEP can be evaluated at any time if the services are not working for the child. An example of some services that might be included in an IEP are extra time when completing class work, have tests read aloud to the child, or an aide is provided for the child. Each IEP will be different for each child. The IEP will be evaluated on a yearly basis unless the parents request it sooner. The parents have the right to be at every IEP meeting held.

You are your child's best advocate when dealing with the school system. Some schools will try to give you the run around. They will do whatever they can to keep your child from having any special services in school. You have to be the one to stand up for your child. You are their voice. If you do not feel comfortable dealing with the school alone there are lawyers and advocates that are there to help.

By Graham Williams. If you are interested in finding out more about Raising An Autistic Child [] Or Understanding Autism [] Then click on those links for the LATEST INFORMATION you can get on Autism. While your the don't forget to visit my home page and claim your 3 FREE HEALTH BOOKS

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Current Trends in Autism Treatment

Autism affects approximately 1 in every 110 children and approximately 1 out of every 70 boys. Over the years, autism has started to become a fairly common illness as more and more children are starting to become affected. Autism is usually recognized by the age of three. Each case of autism is unique, as some are more severe than others.

Fortunately, there are a number of autism books and treatments that can help children and families learn to cope with the illness. One treatment that a lot of families find to be effective is speech therapy. A lot of individuals may be skeptical when it comes to speech therapy and autism because they believe that a speech therapist can only help people who do not know how to pronounce words. Autistic children know how to pronounce words, but need some assistance in what to say and when to say it. Speech therapy can also help autistic children learn to carry on a conversation while understanding the meaning of the words being used.

Social skills therapy is another more effective way to help children learn to cope with autism and lead normal lives. The most obvious and prominent complication in children with autism is their inability to interact and communicate clearly and effectively with others. Because they have little knowledge of exactly what is going on in a social situation, they are limited to what they can say and do. Oftentimes, children with autism might end up saying or doing inappropriate things that may offend others because of their limited ability to understand the basics of a social setting. Social skills therapy is taught by therapists who specialize in treating autistic children, studied a number of autism books, and who have the necessary skills to help the child interact appropriately.

A number of activities are used by therapists who specialize in social skills therapy to help the child understand what to do and what to say around other children and adults. For example, in order for a child to learn how he must act around other children, he will be placed in a situation where he feels comfortable, but will also be provided with a challenge and where he can be taught, such as on a playing field with other children who are playing a game of ball. Social skills therapy also focuses on helping the child learn to maintain and understand the importance of eye contact. The therapist will also teach the child the importance of body language and how to identify what it means in a social situation.

A lot of parents choose not to place their children in therapy, but would much rather read autism books and learn the techniques themselves. Many autistic children do not respond well to therapy, causing parents to have no choice but to attempt to teach the child themselves. Parents who stay home can usually spend more time with their children. However, instead of using nothing but autism books, it's best to make sure the child has interactions with other children.

Autism affects approximately 1 in every 110 children. What the cause? What are the solutions

Check out our Autism Books [] to get the latest in treatments and some surprising information on what causes autism here at []

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Faces of Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome (AS) has recently made a very visible jump in the American public's consciousness. Recently two TV reality shows have had contestants with this high functioning form of autism. Check out the stories of Heather Kuzmich a model that was catapulted to the top ranks of American popularity on America's Next Top Model and of Zev Glassenberg a contestant on the Amazing Race. Neither Kuzmich or Glassenberg was a winner on their respective show, however the country as a whole was given a glimpse of the challenges these patients face.

Asperger Syndrome is a developmental disorder that falls within the autistic spectrum affecting social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and a reluctance to accept change. If a patient has a mild case it may go undiagnosed and the patient will be labeled as odd or eccentric. Some sources indicate that many famous successful people such as Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, Henry Ford and Bill Gates exhibit symptoms of AS.

The disorder is named after Hans Asperger a Viennese pediatrician. In 1940 he described a behavior pattern that was demonstrated in some of his patients. He noted that these patients had normal intelligence and language development but impaired social skills. He noted that this was more prevalent in boys than girls.

Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome include high intelligence, high level of vocabulary, repetitive routines or rituals, socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior, problems with non-verbal communication and clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements. The onset of AS is later than what is typical for classic autism. Most kids are diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 9.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that somewhere between 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 children in the United States have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD's occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but are four times more likely in boys than girls. The causes of ASD's are unknown. According to the CDC most scientists agree that genetic material is a risk factor for any ASD. Children who have a sibling or parent with an ASD are at a higher risk of also having an ASD.

Diagnosing AS can be difficult since there is no medical test such as a blood test to diagnose the disorders. Physicians must look at the child's behavior, development and parent responses to make a diagnosis. There is no cure for AS but early intervention treatment services can improve a child's development and socialization.

Persons with Asperger's rely heavily on rigid internal rules and struggle with the unwritten social cues and social interaction. Reality TV stars Kuzmich and Glassenberg both survived in very high stress, competitive, and social environments. They both had some missteps but overall there presence on the national scene allowed the rest of us to have a glimpse of their private world.

Alicia Verity brings 20 years of experience in the healthcare field, along with a Master's Degree in Public Health, both of which uniquely positions her to help guide Healthagen's content and user experience. Diagnose medical symptoms and find appropriate medical care with Healthagen's free healthcare app called iTriage.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Treatment of Autism - The Importance of Supplements That Many People Overlook

Autism is kind of disorder that affects the social and behavioral skills of children. This syndrome usually manifests when the child is an infant, especially during his or her third birthday. The child with autism finds it difficult to communicate effectively and this is can be frustrating to those around, especially the parents.

The cause of autism has been attributable to many factors, though some of these have been controversial. For example, the issue that vaccination causes autism has been controversial since the report was made public. Also, in the past the term 'the refrigerator mothers' was coined to reflect the fact that bad parenting is one of the causes of autism in children. This has equally not gone down well with autism research.

There have been some treatment options administered to the autistic patient and some of the treatment options may include vitamins and nutritional supplements. This is not to say that nutritional supplements are the perfect treatment or cure for the syndrome. There are other medications, which the physician can prescribe for the child. Oral secretin and thylglycine, and niacin are some of the supplements that can be administered to the child with autism.

Many people who used such supplements on their autistic children insist that they discovered remarkable changes in the condition. That seems to be the reason why more parents are advised to use these supplements. But of course, before taking any supplement for autism, talk to your doctor to recommend the best one. Your doctor knows best about these and should be in the best position to tell you the specific types to give to your child.

To find Behavior Picture Cards for autistic students and Educating Autistic Child, click any or the 2 links!

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Autism Supplements Treatment - Brain Chemistry Imbalances

Brain chemical support is a target therapy for many psychiatric or neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, as well as Bipolar Depression or Schizophrenia. Autism treatment is no different. In autism, including those with various spectrum issues such as attention deficit, sensory processing and/or speech language delay or pervasive development disorder supplement treatment can help improve an individual's ability to function more optimally.

The following list of supplements I have as autism treatments for years in my practice to help support healthy brain chemistry. This is not imply that these following supplements are the only things available for brain chemistry support, but these often show nice benefits with respects to improved attention, focusing, and overall cognitive skills. Each supplement is unique and often they work synergistically to provide optimal results:

Nutritional Lithium - micro-mineral involved in supporting brain health. Nutritional Lithium has been used for states of brain stress, cognitive problems, aggressive behavior, irritability, mood instability. Lithium also helps protect the brain against various toxins. Typical dose is 500 to 1000mcg daily.

5-HTP - Amino acid that helps support serotonin production. Serotonin is necessary for mood control, helps with states of depression, and sense of well being. Serotonin is also supportive for melatonin production which is involved in promoting sleep. Typical dose is 50 to 100mg daily.

Methylcobalamin (methyl-B12) - Methyl-B12 is useful for focusing, attention and general awareness issues in autism. It can assist with speech and language problems as well. It is also helpful in other neurological disorders too. Typical dose is 1000 to 2000mg daily. Can come in various forms such as nasal spray, subcutaneous injections and oral liquid.

Vitamin B6 - A member of the B-vitamin family that is helpful for general cognitive awareness, better attention, improved mood and biochemical support throughout the body. Should be used along with magnesium to prevent against hyperactivity. Typical dose is 4 to 8 mg per pound of vitamin B6 in conjunction with 2 to 4mg per pound body weight of magnesium.

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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Diet - An Autism Treatment You Might Not Have Thought Of

When you think about autism treatments for your child, teenager or adult, do not overlook diet. It may not occur to you at first, but what your loved one with autism is eating is just as important, if not more, than the medications or therapies he is getting in terms of affecting behavior and well-being. Many children with autism need to avoid certain ingredients in common foods, as they are very sensitive to them.
Autism Treatment Using Diet
Using diet as an autism treatment is often called a biomedical intervention. You will want to avoid artificial ingredients, food dyes, and as much sugar as possible. These can all bring havoc onto the system.
A lot of people with autism are sensitive to gluten and casein.
  • Gluten is an ingredient found in many foods, especially bread, cereal and grains. Nearly all pastries and other bakery items have gluten in them. Pasta also has it.

  • Casein is found in most dairy products, such as milk, ice cream and yogurt.
People who are intolerant to these items will have digestive complaints; bloating and gas are common. Often, there are cognitive and emotional effects, like irritation, inability to focus, and spaciness. Taking gluten and casein out of your autistic kid's diet can result in big improvements to their health and behavior. You can find a large selection of gluten and casein free items at your local health food store.
Why is avoiding sugar often a good autism treatment?
A lot of people with autism have yeast and candida problems. Candida is a natural yeast that is present in the body. However, if it gets too big, it can take over the body and cause all sorts of problems.
It can be responsible for things like abdominal gas, fatigue, anxiety, inability to think straight or concentrate, mood swings, hyperactivity, constipation, acne, depression, learning difficulties, and indigestion, among others. Candida is fed by sugar, so keeping a low sugar diet free of processed or artificial foods is the healthiest thing you can do.
Other Factors
There are many different claims and thoughts about diet and its effect on autism. Some parents report that autistic symptoms greatly improve when wheat or eggs are removed from their child's diet. Some see an improvement in behavioral problems simply be removing one group, or be eliminating caffeine, chocolate or even peanut butter.
Supplements such as B6 and magnesium have benefited some kids.
Parents simply have to decide for themselves what works and what does not for their loved ones with autism. Try it. Experiment. For some, nothing seems to work...but for many, dietary treatments for autism have been remarkably successful.
As parents learn as much as you can about dietary issues as well as other therapies for autism. Tips from other parents and professionals can be extremely helpful. A great site that has tips and suggestions for additional treatments is the There you can sign up for their FREE newsletter with tips and info on autism.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Can a Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Be Used by Special Education Personnel to Help My Child

Are you the parent of a young child who you believe has Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder(PDD)? Are special education personnel in your district refusing to acknowledge this diagnosis, despite a lot of evidence? Many school districts refuse to admit that a child has autism, because they do not want to provide the special education and related services that a child needs! But this tool can be used by special education personnel to see if your child has autism.

Below are 9 things that you must know about the ADOS:

1. Purpose: Allows an accurate diagnosis of autism and pervasive developmental disorder

2. Can be used for children who are 2 years up to adulthood.

3. Takes 30-45 minutes for a qualified examiner to use this tool.

4. The person using the tool must have prior education, training, and experience in using this type of diagnostic took. They must also have extensive experience with autism and PDD!

5. The person using the tool must take a clinical training workshop, and at the end receive a certificate of completion. Be sure and check that any special education personnel using this tool, has a certificate of completion.

6. Person should have at least 8 practice sessions to make sure that they are familiar with this diagnostic tool.

7. Typically the people who are using this tool are Doctors, Clinical Psychologists, School Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, Certified Occupational Therapists etc.

8. While this is not an objective test it is far from subjective. The ADOS is a schedule of observations which has been developed over several decades and has been found to be effective!

9. This tool should be used in conjunction with other rating scales, such as the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)! A full developmental history of the child, a medical history, developmental and academic evaluations, testing of adaptive functioning, and information on the child's sensory integration function, should also be included. As well as Speech Language evaluation and Occupational Therapy evaluations if needed.

Parents can become very frustrated with school districts who refuse to acknowledge that their child has Autism! A private independent evaluator who is trained can also do the ADOS on your child, so you do not have to depend only on school district personnel. Bring any private evaluations to special education personnel and they must consider the results! Keep fighting your child is worth it!

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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More About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Does your child suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder? If you are not sure, you may be looking for information on this condition in order to learn more and make a more productive choice of care for your child. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disorder in the brain that affects the child's development. Signs and symptoms may begin as early as infancy or it can be delayed until around the age of two. Autism Spectrum Disorder includes several conditions; Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. Each disorder has their own characteristics but they all share a common thread - autism.


When a child suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder, they display a variety of behavior problems. These behavioral issues can include repetitive behavior, social withdrawal, or impairments that can hinder the way they child functions everyday. They can be disturbing if others are talking in the room such as a school environment or if a parent has their child out in public. When a child is out of their normal environment such as in a shopping mall or business office, the noises in these areas could seem intense at time for the child and cause the child to act out. Usually the first instinct of that child is to run away as quickly as possible in order to find somewhere they can feel safe again.

Along with behavior disorders in Autism Spectrum Disorder includes repetitive behavior problems. Those who suffer from any type of autism will show repetitive behavior that is restricted to certain areas only.
A child who suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorders will feel more calm and comfortable in a routine that doesn't change. If a child who has established a routine suddenly has their routine changed they may react with anger, verbal problems, or may try to escape the drama completely.


When a child socializes with other children they can sit on the floor and play toys, mimic movements, and dance and play with another child. When a child suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorders the way they socialize is completely different. A child may withdraw from a crowd, prefer to play alone, will not talk to others, become fascinated with one particular toy or part of a toy and will not let it go, share, or put it down. Socialization is important to a child's growth and development however if a child has Autism Spectrum Disorders, socialization is no longer a automatic option. A child with autism must be taught to socialize a different way; one that makes them more comfortable and will not increase the symptoms.


When a child suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorders, they may not talk after the age of two, even if they were starting to talk. The words that they learned will not longer be a part of their vocabulary. It depends on when the autism actually begin. Again, some children will show symptoms and signs of Autism as early as infancy while others are delayed until they begin making developmental milestones.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on ADHD children please visit

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Symptoms of Autism to Watch For

f you have noticed that your child is not developing like they should you may want to consider taking your child to their doctor to rule out autism. There are many other conditions and disorders that can affect your child at different ages but autism is becoming one of the most common conditions. Symptoms of autism can start as early as infancy but may not be detected until after the child is around the age of two when development stages should be very noticeable.

Symptoms of Autism in Infancy

A baby who has autism may develop signs that you can look for. These signs include a baby who doesn't pay attention to objects or toys, displays no emotions, doesn't copy your actions such as when you smile at him or her they do not smile back, doesn't try to create word sounds, cannot communicate with you or others, doesn't want to talk even though he or she has already started talking, doesn't want to be around you, or has trouble communicating.

These are symptoms of autism in infancy but they can develop at any time even under the age of two. A child may seem like they are developing normally during the first few months of life and then one day you may notice that he or she has not developed a certain skill that could be vital to the way that the child can interact, learn or even socialize with others.

If you become concerned with your child's behavior, you may want to take them to their doctor for further evaluation. Before the appointment you need to watch them carefully and document their behavior to see how they are socializing with others, do they like to cuddle and snuggle with you, do they throw tantrums, do they focus on one thing and become over obsessed with the one object? These are things that you will need to report to your child's doctor if you notice it.

Once the symptoms of autism is noticed by you and once the doctor has also seen the symptoms of autism in your child then your child can begin treatment that will help to minimize the symptoms and help you and your child develop ways to live with the symptoms of autism. There are many types of treatment that will help your child deal with this condition. One of the ways is to seek counseling and work with your child one-on-one to build a better perspective of what you can expect and how to better handle everything that goes on with autism.

When symptoms of autism begin your child may not realize what is really going on and you may not know how to deal with it. The first thing that you should do is to sit down with your child and create a schedule that will keep everything on track. A child who suffers from autism likes to have a routine that is never disturbed so in order to keep this sense of routine, your child's schedule needs to include a little time for things that may arise and challenge a routine. Explain to your child what you are going to do, where you are going to go, and what you expect from them. This helps them to understand more about any changes they may experience in their schedule.

For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on ADHD children please visit

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Children Speech Disorders - What Are the Types of Speech Disorders?

Articulation is the most common type of speech disorder among children. Disorders of articulation are characterized by the omission, distortion, or substitution of speech sounds.

"Tootie" instead of "cookie," "wed" instead of "red," "thop" or "top" instead of "stop" - these are examples of common articulatory errors that can be easily overcome with a speech therapy at home.

Sometimes only one or two sounds are defective, but sometimes there are so many errors that the speech is unintelligible to everyone with the possible exception of the parents.

Voice problems are not as common as articulatory problems. They include voices that are too high or too low in pitch, too loud or not loud enough, voices that are harsh, breathy, nasal or otherwise unpleasant, and voices that are monotonous - that is, lacking in flexibility of expression.

Problems of the understanding and use of words constitute another speech or language disorder. Words, of course, are symbols; they "stand for" or represent something. What the word "cat" means to you depends upon all of the past experiences that you associate with that symbol.

A child may know that this small animal likes milk, catches mice, has soft fur, and purrs when it is petted and still be unable to associate or "connect" the word "cat" with the animal.

Children who have difficulty in understanding or using words are sometimes referred to as "aphasoid."

Stuttering is probably the speech disorder that causes parents the most anxiety. Some writers believe that it is this very anxiety that contributes to the child's problem.

This disorder is usually thought of in terms of hesitations in the flow of speech, repetitions of sounds, words, or phrases, and facial grimaces or tensions. Although there is much more involved in the problem of stuttering than a description of the symptoms, it is these observable symptoms that cause parents to become concerned.

The classification of speech disorders given above is based on symptoms, without consideration for the cause. Under this system a child with a cleft palate, or other physiological defect, would be said to have an articulation problem, a voice problem, or both, depending upon his own speech needs.

Are you worried about your child's speech problems? Do you want to know more about children speech therapy and how to improve your child's speech at home? See my website:

From Jane M. Bishop

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What Is Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is also known as PDD-NOS. This is where a child only shows some of the signs of Autism. They may not show these signs at all times, or in all places. Usually PDD-NOS is first seen in children three or four years of age. Yet some children show signs while still an infant. There are different areas that the signs could be present. We will look at two of these.

Social Interaction

The developmental delays in social interaction can often be seen when the child is a baby. They may not look you in the eyes, or smile when you are interacting with them. They do not hold their arms up for you to pick them up. They might play off by their self. Some of the children with PDD-NOS may enjoy being cuddled on occasion. They might enjoy rough housing with their older sibling or parent.

These PDD-NOS children usually do not have problems with separation from their parents. They also do not have issues with strangers. They may run right up to a stranger like they would their parents. When the child is older they will usually become close to their parents or other adults. They have a hard time making friends. They do not like participating in games with other kids. Some children with mild PDD-NOS will want to make friends, but since they have a hard time dealing with other people socially this will be hard for them.

Communication Impairments

The impairments of communication in children with Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Other Specified can start while in infancy. The child will not babble or try to talk like other children do. They may pick up a word and repeat it over and over again.

Some PDD-NOS children pick up speech easy, but they have problems using the right words in the right situation. They have trouble understanding the tone in someone's voice when they are joking or using sarcasm. If someone tells them something they take it literally. For example if the child was told it is raining cats and dogs they would most likely go look out the window and expect to see cats and dogs falling from the sky. Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified children may only talk about subjects they are interested in. It may seem that they are talking at you instead of with you.

Children with Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified have a hard time with emotions. They usually experience emotions, but to the extreme. If they are mad they have temper tantrums that last much loner than a normal child. This is the same for fears, or sadness. They may have extremely happy times. They usually will not show facial expressions that go along with the emotion.

These are just two of the many signs of a child with Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. If you see these signs in your child speak to their doctor about your concerns. They can examine the child to see if further testing in necessary.

By Graham Williams. If you are interested in finding out more about Raising An Autistic Child [] Or Understanding Autism [] Then click on those links for the LATEST INFORMATION you can get on Autism. While your the don't forget to visit my home page and claim your 3 FREE HEALTH BOOKS

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