Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Coming Wave of Autistic and Asperger's Syndrome Adults

The latent brain of an autistic child has potential just beyond reach. However, gentle stretching may open a whole new world. I have been awe struck by the mental capabilities of those whom the world shuns. We can learn much from them.
Mental and motor skills of young people with autism, Asperger's syndrome, and other mental challenges span the mental spectrum. Autistic individuals may have above normal IQ while social skills too have a vast range. The objectives of the family, care givers, and friends should be to inspire and offer hope and life to the soul of the child. Introduce them to great music. The latent brain may be that of a savant or prodigy.
Over the years, I have observed and pondered the minds of savants and prodigies who manifest what the brain is capable of achieving. Allow me to introduce you to five savants.
Kim Peek, the real Rain Man, inspired Dustin Hoffman and crew to make the movie. He read 8 to 10 books a day with near perfect recall. He knew history and events: world, American, baseball, NASA, the Bible and much more. He could quote any verse and tell you were that verse was located. Give him any date and would tell you on which day of the week it fell. He knew every zip code of every town in America and memorized phone books for fun. Kim died in 2009.
Leslie Lemke was the first savant that I observed from his youth. He was May's Miracle. He was adopted by Mary and Joseph Lemke who brought life to his latent brain. Others called the baby a hopeless blob of flesh. Blind and speechless, he had to be helped in every step of life. Then one night, he started playing beautiful music on the piano and later broke out in fabulous vocal impersonation of any singer he chose. He still performs in public concerts as of 2012 at age 60.
Daniel Tammet can learn a new language in a week and make "impossible" mathematical calculations in his head. Stephen Wiltshire flies over a city by helicopter and later renders a detailed drawing of the skyline view with remarkable accuracy from memory. Alonzo Clemons loves to sculp horses and cattle. Moldable clay quickly becomes animal likeness in his hands.
These five savants are exceptions, but soon a wave of autistic adults will be exposed to a world unable to meet their needs. The autistic adult no longer has parents who can provide their vital support. Studies show that most autistic adults continue to live at home and about a third of them have never had a job or attended school.
This wave of autism struck US about 40 years ago. The truth is that many autistic individuals are smarter than the average person. Their brilliance is blocked by expression skills that leave the autistic frustrated and the observer confessed. Thirty years ago, the CDC estimated that there were two autistic children for ever 1,000 children. Today they say that autism has escalated to 1 in 88 children. Without pinpointing the cause, they admit that it may be an environmental factor.
Autistic children can expect to live as long as normal people. However, there is nothing normal about autism as each is unique. It is expected that many will live to be 80 or 90 years of age. The more challenging time of life for an autistic adult escalates at 20 to 25 years.
At an international autism conference, I sat at the feet of "experts" in the field who basically disagreed with each other. I do not claim to be the expert in autism but I do know that bad sugars seem to compound negative effects and Smart Sugars seem to have a positive beneficial effect in mental improvements. Evidence is that toxins, which contributed to the mental challenges, can begin to be removed by the polysaccharides.
Your homework for this Lesson is found online in short videos of five savants you will never forget. The short videos can be found online at The Endowment fro Medical Research.
JC Spencer has invested two decades in the research and study of glycomics, the science of sugars. He is CEO of The Endowment for Medical Research, Inc http://www.endowmentmed.org/
Author's book is available free at http://www.GlycoscienceNEWS.com
References from the textbook Expand Your Mind - Improve Your Brain and the ebook and Change Your Sugar, Change Your Life. The book, Change Your Sugar, Change Your Life is downloadable without charge.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=JC_Spencer

Monday, December 17, 2012

Strategies to Deal With My ASD Child Who Isn't Interested in the Holidays

Do you have a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that is just not interested in the holiday fanfare?
Unfortunately, many children on the spectrum may be tuned out or just not interested in some or all that comes with the holidays.We expect the holiday excitement we develop as parents to be contagious and easily passed along to our kids from the very beginning and we certainly don't anticipate they will be disinterested. Typically, young children readily embrace the routines and rituals we offer without question. Eventually, the anticipation becomes mutually reciprocal and inspires ideas and activities that create new memories for the next generation.
As young adults, some of us can lose interest in the holidays and become Grinch-like or mumble a few bah-humbugs. Yet when we become new parents, we assume having children will reignite a new level of anticipation to the season that may have dimmed over the years. In addition, the holidays with young children in the picture are bound to trigger our own childhood memories and renew our feelings of excitement.
Our past experiences will always color the way we envision our holidays and how we want them to unfold. My husband and I may have different opinions when it comes to celebrating the holidays but we do our best to understand where each of us is coming from and show respect for each other's feelings. Despite our sincere attempts to accommodate our individual traditions and wishes, differences of opinions and attitudes sometimes arise.
But how do we deal with the disappointment that comes when our child with Autism does not reach the level of interest in the holidays that we hoped for?
What if your son with Aspergers does not want to help decorate the tree or your daughter with PDD-NOS shows no interest in gift giving?
What does a parent do when the spark and exhilaration for the holiday season is not present in their child?
Here are some suggestions for parents who find themselves dealing with such a situation.
- Accept reality. Acknowledge that your child may never be exuberant about the same things you are and reframe your vision of the holidays. This is just another exercise in accepting your child for who he or she is and honoring and respecting those differences.
- Examine your intent. Based on your values and your long term goals for your child ask yourself, What do I want the holidays to mean for my child? What message do I want to impart? This offers any family a wonderful opportunity to examine the real meaning of the holidays.
- Don't take it personally. This is not about you - it is not a rejection of who you are as a parent. Our job as parents is to expose our children to our values and way of life while teaching them to become independent thinkers and doers.
- Lower your expectations. Knowing what you know about your child's nuances, sensory sensitivities and ability to communicate remember to customize your expectations accordingly. Think out of the box when it comes to finding ways to engage them and get them to participate.
- View it from their perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and force yourself to walk through the holiday season in them. Pay attention to what might be getting in their way - situations that have the potential to cause anxiety or communication problems that might be causing roadblocks - and do your best to address these issues and make adjustments accordingly.
- Know how much to push. All children need to be motivated at times, even those not on the Autism spectrum. If your child is not interested in a certain activity, always start small by gently encouraging them to hang one ornament on the tree or give them the task of lighting one menorah candle.
- Pay attention to siblings. Find a way to honor the things your other children enjoy around the holidays even if it means hiring that special sitter, leaving your child with Autism with relatives or taking turns individually as parents. Trying to accommodate your neuro-typical children so they don't feel captive to the world of Autism is a challenge but can be accomplished with adequate preparation and planning.
All in all, don't over accommodate your child with Autism at the expense of everyone else's fun. He or she needs to learn that the world does not revolve around him or her and they should be expected to participate together as a family in certain activities when appropriate. Keeping the information presented above in mind will not only help you shift your mindset but will also guide your decision making as well.
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 access Happy Parents, Happy Kids - Overcoming Autistic Behavioral Issues at http://parentcoachingforautism.com/how-we-help/products, a program to help you change behaviors, and get your FREE resources - a parenting e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism - 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Heart of a Champion - Working With Autistic and Disabled Individuals

Working with individuals with physical and intellectual handicaps can be a herculean task. Most educational professionals have some exposure and understanding of how to work with this population, but it takes a particular and exceptional educator to effectively and willing work with them. I'd like to illustrate some of these finer points to hopefully improve the quality of time spent with those who have special needs. It will require some special tools; you'll need a mask, a lightning rod, an hourglass, and a jukebox. If you have these four things, you can be an effective and effervescent educator of the people who need your passion the most. All of these things are encompassed by a heart, and with it you can be a hero for those who need one.
However, I need to confess something; I don't have the heart for it.
I am a student at The College of New Jersey, perusing an undergraduate degree in Health and Exercise Science with a specialization in education. One of the classes mandated in my core curriculum is a class called Adapted Kinetics; it's really a politically correct way to categorize physical education for the intellectually and physically disabled. A large portion of the class is working with disabled individuals and getting real-life experience on how to work with them. There is very little to no coursework otherwise, aside from a couple of tests. As a class we worked with the Special Olympics of New Jersey for a golf outing, and we had weekly visits from the Eden Institute, a local group specializing in the care and education of autistic individuals.
It's been the most uncomfortable and challenging class I've taken in college at any level, bar none. I'm a certified personal trainer and I've worked with an exceptionally varied clientele, from NFL athletes to 8-year old children. I was an assistant coach for a local high-school lacrosse team, and I consider myself well experienced for my age and education. From the accounts of others, I'm personable, knowledgeable, and talented in the development of athleticism.
None of that prepared me for the atmosphere and challenges of working with the students of the Eden Institute and the athletes from SONJ. It's definitely unnerving. Communication is different than with the rest of the world,, and there isn't necessarily payoff for the work you put in. It drives me absolutely crazy. I started training because I know what the power of progress and success in athletics can do for the body and psyche of an individual. I enjoy the nature of the client/trainer relationship, learning how to most effectively communicate with each person. I love the light bulb that goes on when a client achieves a goal that they would have never imagined possible for themselves.
Working with disabled people can rob you of some, if not all of these things. I would go as far to describe it something akin to a personal training hell. It's very difficult for me as a professional to accept that someone I work with may never achieve or appreciate the joy of success and progress as I have.
Approaching the situation is intimidating. No one wants to be insensitive or aloof to these individuals, but sometimes it's hard to mask our feelings of discomfort. Not all people get that way, but the first tool in successful education is being able to bury the negative stuff if it's there.
That's our mask.
The second tool is a lightning rod. A lightning rod is something that accepts and distributes energy from the world around it in a safe and productive manner as an educator, whether it is with disabled persons or otherwise, you are a lightning rod.
Disabled peoples, perhaps even more so then others, feed off the energy you put forth. If you're not jumping around like a buffoon and enjoying what you're doing, you can bet that the person you're working with definitely won't be either. The enthusiasm you show can go a long, long way in making the educational experience more effective and enjoyable for you and the individuals under your instruction. However, finding the energy for this isn't always easy. Sometimes, you need to manufacture it yourself. The students are usually not ones to supply inspiration without a stimulus. It is on the educator to work at creating some electricity That sometimes takes time and patience, represented by the hourglass.
The jukebox, unlike some of the other tools alluded to previously, isn't a metaphor. Music is a great medium to facilitate energy, and it is a form of communication that crosses all boundaries. Having music in the background can help block out noise that might otherwise distract the students, and you can use changes in songs to cue changes in activities. From my personal experience, autistic individuals enjoy and are very responsive to music. Experiment with the types of music and see what the students respond to positively.
While all of these tools may not seem extravagant or uncommon, having all of them available and being able to actively use them for the betterment of others isn't found often.Not everyone has the desire to work with disabled individuals. To those that do, and willingly test the boundaries of patience and understanding, I have the utmost respect. However, any fitness professional has a good chance of being responsible for the education of these individuals, and I hope this article helps you make that experience better for you and your students.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jeffrey_A_Robinson

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Self-Stimulating (Stimming) Toys for Autistic Children

Stimming or self-stimulation is one of the many symptoms of autism. It is the way children with autism self-stimulate or self-regulate their reaction to overwhelming situations and their emotions. Stimming behavior could include; clapping, rocking, spinning and repeating of words and phrases. Some of the main reasons children with autism stim is to manage their emotions, challenging situations and overwhelming sensory input, such as from too much light, heat etc.
Among the ways to help children with autism stim in a fun,safe and creative way is to give them toys that helps to make self-stimulation tolerable for parents, other family members and caregivers. For children that do repetitive flapping, clapping or other hand gestures for example, it maybe best to give them a toy or game that doubles as a regulator or self-stimulating device that develops their creative side. An example of a device that can be used is a piano glove, that can be placed onto the child's hands just as you would a regular glove, and as the child claps or moves his or palms onto a smooth surface a range of melodies are created, with time and practice your child will begin to create his or her own melodies and style of music that are relaxing to him or her..
Often times it can be difficult to reach an autistic child when he/she has retreated into the serene world they have created for themself, and music maybe the ideal way for other children and adults to connect with the child. Most Autistic children have a great appreciation for music, such as; Derek Paravicini, Matt Savage and many others. Thus giving an autistic child the gift of music is a great way for the child to enhance his or her musical ability, in way that is fun and stimulating.
Other musical instruments parents and caregivers may consider using to engage an autistic child could include a synthesizer piano and LED drum sticks. The foldable synthesizer piano can be very convinent to take on the go and be used as a self-regulator in over-whelming situations before they arise. Optionally a pair of comfortable headphones can be plugged into the synthesizer piano, that allows children to create and listen to their music quietly without disturbing others around them. Or children may use the synthesizer Piano in the privacy of their room and entertain themselves for hours.
The drum sticks on the other hand offers double the sensory stimulation the autistic child appreciates. Each drumstick creates beats that allows children to create their own style of music. Using the built-in navigation buttons children can interchange the snare, tom and cymbals to create snappy rock melodies and more. Each drumstick have an impact sensitive tip with bright led lights, that adds to children's fascination with the drum sticks. There are also pre-installed demo songs to help children create amazing music.
To use the drum sticks, children simply push the on switch, using the navigation buttons on each drumstick, choose from a selection of rhythms and melodies, and by moving the hand in a rhythmic motion they can enjoy the music the light- weight portable drumstick makes.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cecilia_S.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Coaching Basketball to Children With Autism

Through my experiences as a volunteer basketball Coach at the Special Olympics New Jersey Sports Complex and working at various camps and clinics, I have encountered life changing practices through the teaching of developmental basketball. Many people assume that children with autism or other disabilities do not need to learn the necessary skills and concepts associated with basketball. However, I have discovered that it is essential to teach autistic children the same skillsets and concepts as children without disabilities but in a modified manner. As an aspiring College Basketball Coach, I focus on individual skill development, teamwork, and communication when volunteering. These three aspects of basketball are a few keys to success when coaching sports and are important to teach to children at a young age. As a volunteer, I was able to learn new and innovative ways to teach individual skill development, teamwork, and communication that will help children with autism develop their basketball skills and gain confidence and abilities that will help in the overall spectrum of living a healthy life.
Individual skill development is the foundation of becoming a better basketball player and players can improve by working on their weaknesses and expand on their strengths through individual skill development. When working with autistic children, I have experienced, as with some children without a disability, that the players are more incline to focus mainly on their strengths and are less interested in identifying a weakness. Furthermore, the players are usually reluctant to work on skills that could use more development. To overcome this developmental issue, I utilize a principle called "quick transition" to help children improve on weaknesses or areas where they aren't as competent. The "quick transition" principle focuses on the child's strength while quickly transitioning to a new task that needs more development and finally back to the player's comfort zone. Getting a child with autism to get out of their comfort zone is a challenge and is exciting for me when it occurs. I have been successful with implementing this principle and would suggest to anyone, whose challenge is to motivate children with autism to work on their basketball weakness as well as strengths, to use the principle of "quick transition". Individual skill development is an important element and is a much needed skill to facilitate the use of teamwork.
Teamwork is the backbone of basketball and all other team sports. Although it is important to have players improve on their individual skills, they must all play as a team in order to achieve one overall goal. Teamwork is the most challenging aspect of teaching children with autism but it can be done. The key here is to begin by introducing a basic concept of two individuals cooperating together to make a pass, score a basket, get a defensive stop, or any other concept of the sport. Once the players are comfortable with achieving a common goal as two people, appropriately transition them into a small group by adding another person into the equation. Once they become competent in this area, continue with adding other players until you reach the goal of five players on the team contributing to the conception of the overall objective. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the head men's basketball Coach at Duke University has a quote that reads, "Two is better than one, only if two acts as one." This quote epitomizes teamwork and encourages players to understand the concept that working and cooperating as a team will get the job done more effectively and efficiently which is essential to get children with autism to learn. While teamwork is essential, teamwork needs to be cemented in communications.
Communication in basketball is one of the things that can separate a good team from being a great team. Communication is the voice that wills a team to victory because it creates energy, and provides structure and order. Children with autism may have different types of communication deficiencies. For example, I have coached children who communicated well with me using short precise words and sentences, and others who did not verbally express themselves at all. When communicating with children with autism, I've learned to keep my instructions direct, precise, and also to be repetitive and demonstrate exactly what it is I want them to perform. The act of demonstrating a specific skill or concept helps tremendously in the development of the players skills and they seem to enjoy being able to have a leader to mirror and imitate after. Of the three keys to success when coaching basketball to children with autism, communication seems most important in developing a great team and great players.
In conclusion, as an aspiring College Basketball Coach, I am constantly trying to teach and learn new and innovative ways to help players develop. Additionally, I am committed to helping athletes become socially conscientious and solid citizens of society. Children with autism need the same love and care as children without disabilities and need to be able to participate in physical activities if they desire to do so. Basketball is a great way to introduce the concepts of individual skill improvement, teamwork, and communication and will help with achieving an overall goal. The most interesting and fascinating element in coaching is the satisfaction of being able to coach and help diverse players. As I help these players from different background and abilities, they ultimately help me become a better coach, teacher, mentor, and leader. I hope that this article has introduced a few key concepts in coaching basketball to children with autism that you can implement into your playbook.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Donovan_A_Smalls_II


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Facing an Autism Diagnosis

An autism diagnosis is a shock for any family to bear - even though you know it's a possibility. It's not what you want to hear, and secretly you're hoping to hear something different. If you've questioned a diagnosis of autism - convinced that it's wrong and that it can't be the explanation for your child - you're not alone. It's a very usual initial reaction. And after that can come a flood of other feelings and emotions, turning these early days into a rollercoaster ride.
In this article we look at some of the common responses, and consider ways of coming to terms with to the autism diagnosis.
Diagnosis Denial
You are never fully prepared for a diagnosis of autism, and - as we said above - refusing to accept it is a very common first response. Rather than face the fact that there's a problem that needs addressing, you might blame the doctors for not understanding your child, or accuse them of getting something wrong.
But although denial is an initial coping mechanism, it's not helpful longer term as it could blind you to the fact that your child needs help. So even if you don't initially agree - even if the very thought makes you angry and sad - take time to listen to the facts and consider the information. Keep an open mind.
Sadness and Grief
These are well known emotions people have to deal with when they receive a serious medical diagnosis. And when that's an autism diagnosis for their child that seems to shatter the dreams they've had for their child, the sadness and grief can, initially, be overwhelming. But they are normal responses, so don't beat yourself up or try to bury the grief. Try to work through this real mourning phase and if you need a good cry, then have one. Just swallowing the pain can cause you more damage. Remember - you're not being depressed; you're experiencing a normal emotion and you can work through it to get to acceptance.
From the passivity of sadness to the exploding activity of anger - and it can happen in a minute, so don't let it take you by surprise. You can see-saw from one to the other throughout the day, and the anger can often be towards those closest to you or towards parents of healthy children. No, it's not pleasant, to experience or receive. But it is a normal response - a way of warning people that you are deeply hurt, and a release of tension. Keeping anger bottled up is bad for you, but so is letting it explode. So talk to people about how you feel, don't try and hide your emotions completely.
Finally - Acceptance
If you're having any of these problems with your child's autism diagnosis, be reassured that they are part of a journey, not the destination. The destination is acceptance and with it the ability of being your child's best and strongest advocate.
Be Gentle With Yourself
All this can take time, and different family members may need more or less time to adjust. Once there is acceptance the real work can begin and you can start to help your child. Research autism as much as you can, get an understanding of the treatments, and see your child begin to make progress. In summary: an autism diagnosis is just the beginning - and it can bring hope.
Jane Howitt studied dentistry, went on to graduate as a psychologist and is an experienced teacher and a copywriter. She has written extensively about Autism and is committed to disseminating valuable information to those who need it. Visit her blog at Vital Info About Autism
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Toys That Help Autistic Kids Using The Multisensory Approach

One of the emerging techniques in helping autistic kids develop their sensory and motor skills is the multisensory approach, which uses baby toys and games that encourage the child to make use of two or more senses together. When you're selecting the right toys and games for an autistic kid, you should find products that produce music or some kind of sound when they're touched or pressed. For instance, a teddy bear that says "I love you" is a good idea for a toy to give to a special child. Other suggestions are included in the following discussion about educational and nurturing products for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Some children with autism learn when presented with visual cues along with sounds. So, a therapist may hold up cards with colorful illustrations while saying the words printed on them. When a child with ASD has the ability to focus on visual stimuli even for a few seconds, this technique has a chance of improving the child's cognitive functions. As an alternative, the toy itself makes the sound, such as a pre-recorded voice speaking the word. This is most common with electronic toys that produce animal sounds when the child presses the key with an image of the animal.
However, among baby toys that are best used during a multisensory training with an autistic child is the set of nine blocks in the Plan Toys pack. The set includes three visual blocks, 3 auditory blocks, and 3 blocks for kinetic learning. Each block's surface has a different feel to encourage the child to identify various textures based on touch. The other blocks must be handled with an adult present to guide the child when determining the differences between the visual cues, verbal cues, and tactile sensations.
Auditory and olfactory senses are another pair of sensory stimuli that help kids with ASD control how they interact with their environment. A set of visually arresting cards that have been printed with colorful images of common fruits also contains small packets that exude the scent of each fruit. These common fruits include banana, apple, orange, and strawberry. A second set that works the same way contains images of foods, such as chocolate, milk, cheese, pizza, and ice cream. After learning which scents are associated with foods or fruits, the child may point to the cards to indicate the kind of food he or she wants to eat. Even when the child hasn't learned to speak the words yet, this ability to recognize objects visually is a great leap towards helping an autistic kid in developing cognitive functions.
Encourage positive interaction that strengthens bonding with your kids through creative play. Guide them through their discovery of the world around them using educational baby toys and nurturing products for children with special needs. Find them all at http://www.limetreekids.com.au where kids and parents can learn from each other.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Florence_M_Jones

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Overcoming Obstacles Through Faith While Dealing With Autism

Whether you're currently dealing with a major health issue for you or your child or you're in the midst of treatment and recovery...are you feeling overwhelmed yet? If you aren't yet you likely will at some point. Why? Because any health challenge can weigh you down. Treatment and recovery, whether it's to lose weight with a new diet and exercise routine or learning that your child has 20 new food allergies to somehow eliminate from his / her diet, can take you down roads with major Michigan type pot holes. Proverbs 24:16 has been an inspiration to me, "For a just man falls seven times, and rises up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief [adversity, affliction]". So it's okay to fall we just have to be sure to get up again. Now that's the real question. How does one get back up?
Three ways I've found to lift me up when I've fallen down is by, seeking God each morning, transparency with trusted friends who will pray and bring me back into the light of hope, and acknowledging and confessing any bitterness I experience then thanking God for the issues I have before me knowing that all things work together for good. Sometimes just one of these can get you over the hump or bump. But sometimes it takes a few days and the combination of all of them to kick start your engine and get you back on the road again.
A few cautions, first be sure you are reading and receiving God's input more that you are dishing out your issues. Sometimes we talk (pray for ourselves) so much and miss hearing just what we need from God. Second, when speaking with friends, they must be on board with you and your journey to health and healing. Sometimes, it's newer friends who become your trusted ones as you run this race to health for you or your child. It's not that you ditch your other family and friends, it's simply that they may not understand and thus may hinder your progress especially when you are down. Surround yourself with those who are your cheerleaders and will lift you up to run the race before you. Then you can be who you need to be around your family and friends who may not understand but will eventually gain your respect as they see the progress you are making. Remember to keep your expectations from God and not others so you do not become bitter if those you think should be your support and understanding fail to fill that role. Lastly, acknowledging how easy it is to get caught up in the "why me" syndrome is important. For when you encounter challenges in health, especially ones that were a result of someone's mistake, especially with your child, it's easy to feel like a victim. However, Christ is our strength and our example during times like this. I rely on Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."
Trusting also, that all things work together for good is vitally important to remember. For me, if my son had not been inflicted with Autism, severe enough to warrant institutionalizing, I never would have been motivated and embarked upon the journey I did to keep him out of an institution. This journey lead us to not only his recovery from Autism, but my own from Lupus no longer living with pain, lethargy, in and out of the hospital at times. Also, the recoveries for my other children from asthma, eczema, ADHD and allergies have been tremendous.
As we walk with the obstacles in our lives let's remember to overcome through the Lord rather than be overcome and without hope. It's not easy but nothing good and lasting ever is. However, the sweet victory in each step of progress is worth every bit of effort made. You will not regret pushing forward while running the race to the finish line. You can do it! Stay focused and remember, God first, Trusted friends, Defeat bitterness. You will win the race just don't give up.
Kristi Chrysler is a Motivational Speaker and certified Health Coach. She has helped her son in his Autism Recovery and has herself recovered fully from Lupus.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kristi_Chrysler

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Autism - Helpful Hints for Asperger Syndrome Child

Our grandson Ben was diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome when he was 9 years old. This mental disorder is a high performing form of autism. One of the many traits of autistic children is that they do not process language and verbal instructions the way normal people do. At least this is the case for Ben. A major problem Ben had during his school years was his inability to follow verbal instructions. If a teacher told the class what the next days homework assignment was Ben would never write it down or remember what she said. If, however, she would write the assignment on a piece of paper and give it to Ben he would be able to keep up with it.
One thing Ben's mother learned to do was to print his schedule of classes and tape it to the outside of his binder. This definitely helped him get to the correct class and get there on time.
Those specialists who work with Asperger students suggested we make detailed lists and post them where needed. This suggestion definitely helped. You may think that such a detailed list would not be necessary, but I assure you, it is necessary.
Here is an example of a reminder which was placed on the bathroom mirror in order for Ben to help Ben get ready for school each day:
  1. Get a clean towel and wash cloth.
  2. Get into shower and soap body thoroughly and rinse well.
  3. Shampoo your hair.
  4. Dry body completely with towel.
  5. Brush your teeth.
  6. Use deodorant under arms.
  7. Get dressed using clean clothes.
Without this written list, Ben would fail to perform the basic tasks he needed to do.
If you suspect your child may have Asperger symptons Billy Moore invites you to visit his wife's webpage about Autism Asperger Syndrome. It is a must-read for those parents with Asperger children who are looking for help.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Billy_S._Moore

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Autism Finding Could Lead to Simple Urine Test for the Condition

Determining that a child has autism is an important part of starting early treatment. When intervention begins early, children have better success rates and are more likely to act in relatively normal ways. The problem with autism diagnosis is that it is a long process that takes months to reach a final conclusion. While the current diagnostic tools are in the process of developing, new research suggests that it is possible to catch the problem earlier with a simple urine test.
Current Diagnostic Tools:
The current tools to diagnose autism are inefficient because the focus is excluding other potential problems. For example, doctors will test hearing to ensure that the problem with reacting socially is not related to an inability to hear.
While it is possible to diagnose autism at an early age, the process of making a final decision is about ruling out other options. It takes several months or even as long as a year to determine that children are struggling with autism and need treatment to improve their ability to function in normal society.
Gut Differences:
While current tools are limited, new research is making it possible to identify biological differences between children with autism and children without the condition. New research has identified differences in the gut that will provide more opportunities to accurately diagnose autism at an earlier stage when children might be able to improve social functioning.
The major difference in the gut is the metabolism, bacteria and elements involved in digestion. Children with autism have a different metabolic rate and bacteria in the body that breaks down food items. As a result, the components in a urine sample will differ and a simple urine test can identify autism.
Developing Tests:
Although experts understand that the gut of a child with autism is different from a child without the problem, tests are still in the developmental phase. Researchers are identifying different elements in the urine samples that will consistently provide positive results for autism.
Future Benefits:
Since current testing still follows traditional routes, the new tests will offer benefits for future generations. Parents and doctors will discover autism faster, which provides a higher chance of treatment success for high-functioning children.
The benefits are not limited to only the early treatment. Since the differences in the digestive system are being identified, it will lead to better treatment of digestive problems for autistic patients. Over time, the treatment options will improve and children will have fewer health problems associated with autism.
Research is making it possible to test for autism in the urine. By simplifying the process of identifying the problem, doctors are able to start treatment earlier and more children will successfully live in normal society. The benefit of early treatment and the ability to treat other common problems associated with autism will help parents and doctors keep the children as health and happy as possible.
Letendre Ed is the author of this article on Surgical supplies.
Find more information, about Urine test here.
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Getting Children With AUTISM Moving!

Every physical educator will spend some time teaching students with disabilities. There are many forms that we have to be aware of, especially autism. To date, children born with autism are increasing as the year's progress. About 1 in 88 children are born with autism. As a physical educator we must be aware of how to teach these students to better their understanding and knowledge of physical education. Our job is to teach them how to become cooperative with all other students.
Everyday children should be participating in some sort of physical activity. To this day about 30% of children in America are obese. And because children with autism are factored into this number there should not be an excuse to treat these children differently or not encourage physical activity upon them as well as healthy eating.
Most parents and families struggle when having a child with autism; our job is to help motivate the child to become physically active. Because these families think that eating is one thing their child enjoys, they let them eat whatever they want, including fast food or unhealthy foods. As much as today's life is "rushed" all children should consume healthy and prepared home cooked foods (which contain less calories) as well.
Eating properly is only one aspect added to the number of obese children in America. Another aspect is physical activity and this begins in physical education class. In order to help prevent this number from increasing, we as physical educators must promote physical activity in all children. We can do this by getting children moving. Not only in class but at home as well. This country revolves around electronics and technology. To make time for our children to play outside instead of with video games or watching television is key in promoting physical activity. Activity in physical education is a great way to get children moving all the while having fun.
There are many different keys as to how to teach students with autism. While teaching we should avoid long periods with the same activity. This method of teaching is called task variation method. We want all our activities to be short because children with autism have a short attention span and we want them focused throughout the entire activity we are teaching as much as possible. This method will help increase the attention and retention of practiced skills and activities.
Students with autism can also adjust to their teachers or peer teachers (students who assist students who need extra help). Once they are more comfortable with their teacher's, students with autism might show more emotions and enthusiasm with what they are doing. As the time of learning progresses, students can become more reactive and cooperative, which is our ultimate goal.
Our objective for students with autism is to have them cooperate and interact with others. To do this, taking small steps is best. For example, if the physical educator were teaching a lesson on soccer, it would be best to progress from starting with the soccer ball within a warm-up, flowing to using the ball to kick, pass, dribble, shoot and then eventually create a game like activity. Having students work with partners may be a little difficult for students with autism yet is a very necessary task because we want these students to learn to interact with others. The more partner and group activities are completed, the more the interaction and cooperation we will see with students with autism.
Encouragement and enthusiasm is very important while teaching students with autism. This is because some of these students will not have much emotion when in class, they could be quiet or get very distracted. The best way to keep their attention and is to get them excited to be there in class. If the teacher and/or peer teachers are excited to be there this can catch onto the students. Interacting with the students is another way to keep children with autism excited about physical activity. Some students love high-fives or hugs, which is excellent in terms of interacting with them.
Some other helpful ideas for a physical education class containing children with autism to keep them moving are to include music, visual demonstrations, and creative techniques to increase students with autism participation in physical activities.
Music stimulates a lot of hormones in the body leading to a great feeling for all students. Students with autism love listening to music while being active. There are many different activities that students can cooperate in which encourage physical movement in PE. One example would be conductorsize. This is a new technique that gets students moving their upper arm and entire body while listening to music. During this activity, students can do this by following an instructor or simply on his or her own. Each student will have two (lummi) sticks, which they will use while pretending they are conductors of a band. They will move and conduct freely to the beat of music, which is very fun and entertaining for students with autism.
Visual demonstrations will definitely help students with autism to understand the activity or rules. A perfect example would be the proper way to pass and trap the soccer ball. You can even give out specific cues that will help students remember the correct form such as, inside of foot, kick, toe (to trap the ball). These cues are simple and straight forward so many students can remember and focus on key points to kick and trap the soccer ball as they see you demonstrating the cues.
The last idea is to stay creative; we want to make these children enjoy and benefit from physical activity. To do this we need to make our activities fun, short and entertaining for the children. These different keys will help benefit physical activity, which in the long run could potentially decrease the obesity in children with autism.
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Music Therapy for Autism

For many parents, autism is a frightening condition that often leaves them feeling disconnected from their children. The fact that the medical community at large still has a lot to learn about autism only exacerbates the issues families face when one of their loved ones is diagnosed with the condition. Treatment options for autism are limited, and generally require intense training at considerable expense. However, in recent years, music therapy has become increasingly popular as music not only has the power to calm and soothe, but may also be exploited as a means of communication.
As a non-verbal and non-threatening medium, music therapy is safe and useful for autistic children. Music activities are developed to address their special needs. For example, social play is one area in which children with autism struggle, but musical games that include passing an object back and forth are compelling while encouraging social interactions. With music, you also have the option to create a sound together, and many common symptoms of autism can be addressed. Eye contact can be encouraged with clapping games, attention issues can be addressed by playing an instrument; and a child's favourite music can be used as a reward for achieving cooperative social behaviours such as sitting with a group of children in a circle.
More significantly, music therapy has been found to be very effective in helping children with autism develop speech. Communication is one of the major deficits seen in children with autism, especially with regards to expressive speech which is often impersonal or entirely void. Autistic children may be completely mute or rely on very basic communication tools such as grunts, cries, shrieks, or humming. Even more advanced autistic children often rely on very basic communication skills highlighted by a lack of expression or a monotone delivery. Yet, in the music classroom, teachers often relate rewarding experiences with autistic students as they become more engaged and interactive with the music and their classmates.
There is a wealth of scientific research that supports the idea that autistic children show sensitivity to music. Sometimes they play musical instruments extraordinarily well, and the goal of music therapy is to draw on these musical sensitivities to improve communication and social awareness. Some of these children may sing even when they do not speak, and an autistic child's responsiveness to music can easily be adapted to non-music goals. Through consistent and systematic tasks, many autistic children benefit significantly from music therapy. Songs with simple words and repetitive phrases assist with language development, and the joy of music itself can be used to encourage socially beneficial behaviours. As music therapy continues to be an effective tool for autistic children, the applications of the therapy also continue to grow. Many therapists feel that music provides necessary insight into the thoughts and feelings of autistic children.
Please visit Soundhealth Products for more information on Sound Therapy
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Replacing Negative Behaviors in Children With Habit Training

Parents often complain that they work on changing one irritating behavior only to find their child has replaced it with another annoying action. The easy solution to this problem is to choose the replacement behavior yourself and instill it as a habit.
All children have the ability to learn new ways of doing things and develop new habits or ways of relating. But when left to their own devices children, especially those on the Autism spectrum, will easily retire into their own little worlds and continue the patterns that have been wired into their brains. Therefore, establishing new behaviors of any type will take much encouragement and repetition over a span of time.
As the saying goes, even the most intelligent people typically have to do something twenty-one times before it becomes a habit. How much repetition and for how long depends on what it is you are trying to eliminate or change. Bad habits are harder to break because one has to struggle against the power of immediate reinforcement; such as, making my sister cry always gets me my mother's attention.
Replacing old behaviors with new ones also takes lots of focused energy and effort. If you want to eliminate a negative behavior and substitute it with a more acceptable one, patience and consistency are a must. Most children will need to have the new behavior labeled, taught and role modeled, followed by many opportunities to practice. This may be difficult for busy parents to do but essential nonetheless if a change for the better is the goal.
Breaking an old habit is like blazing a new trail in a jungle - it may not be as easy as following the well-worn path but worth it if it avoids the quicksand. As children routinely perform the same action over and over again, their brain slowly gets rewired as the alternative pattern of behavior creates new neural pathways. Once established, these will override the old ones and become the default behavior.
Here are five easy steps to habit train your child:
1) Choose a value or a behavior you want to instill or modify. Prioritize them in order of annoyance and start at the top only working your way down when the one above has been mastered.
2) Provide appropriate substitutes for behaviors you want to change. If you want to stop a behavior you need to introduce an appropriate alternative to take it's place and specifically train your child to use it.
3) Make it easy for your child to remember the new behavior. Train your child with prompts and reward the behavior you want to see more of. If you are trying to get your child to stop screaming post visual reminders for them to use their 'inside voice' all around the house and praise them immediately and specifically when she speaks appropriately.
4) Be intentional and consistent in your teaching. This means creating a plan of action, getting all household members on board with it and spending the time necessary to address the negative behavior you want to eliminate every time it surfaces.
5) Practice, practice, practice. Being extremely specific and concrete with your directives and using role-play as a tool will help children with Autism generalize from one situation to another. Giving children ample opportunities to practice new behaviors is extremely important and cannot be overdone if you want to achieve success.
Always remember that many negative, aggressive behaviors and tantrums in children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder often stem from an inability to communicate effectively. If you were a non-verbal child and unable to communicate your needs to get them met, wouldn't you tend to tantrum too? Even a child with some language ability, who is trying his best to communicate but can't get his point across, can easily become frustrated and discouraged.
In cases such as these, stopping negative behaviors may have more to do with improving communication than teaching substitute behaviors. Introducing alternative methods of communication and training them to use it can form new habits and ways of relating to people that result in more satisfaction and less frustration for all. An Augmentative or Alternative Communication (AAC) method or device may mean the difference between feeling invisible, isolated, and dependent versus being able to be seen/heard, interact and get their own needs met.
As parents we need to fully embrace our role as teacher or trainer and not shy away from it. Yes it is time consuming but consistently instructing and guiding our children is what gets the best results. If not, we are granting any and all behaviors permission to take hold. We all know that the deeper a root has established itself the harder it is to remove. So make your job easier and tackle those negative behaviors before they become too ingrained.
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 access Happy Parents, Happy Kids - Overcoming Autistic Behavioral Issues at http://parentcoachingforautism.com/how-we-help/products, a program to help you change behaviors, and get your FREE resources - a parenting e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism - 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.
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Monday, November 12, 2012

Autism Therapy: What Reliable Therapies Are Out There For My Child?

Autism Therapy: What Reliable Therapies Are Out There For My Child? Autism Therapy: What Reliable Therapies Are Out There For My Child? by Nancy Clyne

When my boys were diagnosed with autism back in 1991 and 1993 there really were only a few therapies available. However, now in 2012 there are numerous therapies and treaments available for children and individuals who have been diagnosed with autism.

So one of the greatest challenges presented to parents today with a child who has been diagnosed with autism is discovering and choosing a good reliable treatment.

I will try to list some of the therapies and treatments that are available and you can use the internet to research it a little bit more.

It is best to remember that there is no perfect treatment and even though one treatment may help one child does not necessarily mean it will help another. You maybe successful at finding a treatment for your autistic right off the bat or you may have to try more than one treatment or you may even need to use a combination of treaments at one time. As an example, auditory therapy worked very well for our oldest son but we did not see very many results with our second son. Both our boys have done well with a behavior modification program and medication. And early intervention is always extremely important.

Here is a list of therapies that you may be interested in researching:

Applied Behavior Analysis
Daily Life/Higashi
Fast ForWord
Gentle Teaching
Holding Therapy
Intensive Interaction Therapy
Jacob's Ladder
Linwood Method
Play Therapy
Sensory Integration Therapy
The Denver Model
The Miller Method
Tomatis Method
Videotaped Self-Modeling

Auditory Integration Training
Chelation of Mercury
Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
The Irlen Method

Gluten-free, casein-free diet
Low salicylate diet
Lutein-free diet
The Feingold Diet
Specific Carbohydrate Diet
Thiamine supplementation
Probiotic diets
Gold salts
Nutritional supplements

Applied Behavior Analysis
Earobics Literacy Launch
Jacob's Ladder
Music Therapy
Social Stories
Integration Training

Music Therapy
Relationship Development Intervention
Social Stories
The Son-Rise Program
Videotaped Self-Modeling

As you assess each therapy, it maybe beneficial to talk with your physician and other professionals who maybe working with your child. Also use the internet by reading and researching the different websites, visit these websites and research the various therapies, then make and appointment with your doctor to get his or her advice. Also take time to visit or call the treatment facilities, and then decide which treatment or course of treatments that would be best for your child and your family.

Nancy Clyne operates www.livingwithautismonline.com, a blog all about Autism. Nancy loves giving away free information and is now giving away FREE memberships to her newsletter. You're not going to believe what you are going to receive when you sign up... and it's all free! More information here: http://www.livingwithautismonline.com

Article Source: Autism Therapy: What Reliable Therapies Are Out There For My Child?

The Little Known Secrets To Effectively Hugging An Autistic Child

How much do you love to get a hug?
You see we often seek pressure in a variety of ways to calm ourselves and cope with emotional or sensory overload.

but hugging an autistic child can be quite something different as I’m sure you have found out.

Have you ever wondered how to hug your Autistic Child and get the responses that both of you need?

Well here are the top 8 things that you need to know about hugging your autistic child.

1. Hugging your autistic child can cause more distress than it was obviously meant to cause.
I know this sounds horrible, but your Autistic child doesn’t understand what is happening.

2. Autistic children or adults are often unable to communicate their needs by indicating a particular amount or length of pressure.
So when you are hugging your autistic child this can really be quite ineffective and can actually a negative effect.

3. The simple hug can be both distressing and frustrating for your autistic child.
Imagine not being able to communicate what it is you need and it being forced on you by someone who will not let it be, that’s pretty much what it can feel like, so be careful and understanding.

4. Autistic children sometimes crave pressure to help calm anxiety
This is very important, but how can we do this when we are distressing them all the time with our hugs.

5. Allowing Your Autistic Child To Control The Pressure of A Hug Can Work Wonders
This is enabling them to do and give what they want while still experiencing the feelings that they need to achieve.

6. You don’t have to give your autistic child the hug they need
Something that acts in a similar way can be used; a lady that has Autism has created what is called ‘The Hugging Machine’.

7. You can wrap your child in a blanket
This will allow them to control the pressure that they need also. Blankets act as a barrier to squeezing and can give your autistic child the freedom that they need when entering into such an act.

8. Children with ASD sometimes react better with Mechanical devices
Great work is actually being carried out which will be able to have the devices tailored to the needs of the specific autistic child.

These kinds of positive steps forward with your Autistic Child can make you see a much brighter future. But that’s only a small tip of what is available to help your autistic child.

You see, it doesn't matter where you live, who you know, what you believe in, or even who you voted for in the election. You are part of a community, part of a select group of people who can join together to combat the confusion and frustration associated with having an autistic child.

I personally don’t agree with all of methods that people have created for child autism, but I agree with the message that they are trying to give to the world (our community). They are giving us freedom, joy, happiness, and hope for the future …

Those are ideas we can *all* get behind.

What really makes me hopeful is that you are educating yourself in what needs to be done, this will in turn give you the knowledge to make proper decisions in relation to your autistic child.
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Thomas Stewart is a full time internet author who specializes in Childhood Autism. Along with his unconventional and often controversial ideas his work will bring you to a new place of knowledge when it comes to starting on a path to recovering from autism. You can pick up his FREE e-Course & Find out more about Thomas at www.Autism-LaidBare.com

Bean Bag Chairs Help Kids With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by a wide range of developmental disorders.  It affects as many as 1 out of every 150 children.  Parents of children with autism can employ many different strategies to help improve their child's behavior and mood.  One way of helping to treat a child with autism or with other intellectual disabilities is to make use of a bean bag chair.  A bean bag chair is soft, comfortable, and is able to apply equal press across your child's whole body.  This can help to calm a child down when they begin to show signs of aggression or may consider harming them self or others.  A bean bag chair can also be used as an exercise aid.

When choosing a bean bag chair, the first consideration is size.  They range in size from as little as three fit all the way up to eight feet.  One of the most popular sizes is six feet wide and allows your child to be completely immersed in it and is comfortable for them to use when watching television.

Bean bag chairs are available in a series of colors and textures.  One of the most popular fabric choices is microfiber suede.  It’s soft and plush which is great for all children, especially for children with autism.

There use extends past just being a piece of furniture.  One exercise you can do is to allow the child to pick up the bean bag chair and move it from one room to the next.  This is dependent upon the size and weight of the beanbag chair, but doing so will help to work out the child’s motor muscles.  Another exercise is to allow the child to sit in the bean bag chair and apply pressure to the sides of the chair as to simulate a cocoon.  This kind of exercise applies deep pressure touch which can be benefits for autistic children who are prone to violent movements (also known as “crashers”).  It enables the child to become less sensitive to touch and prevents any opportunities for the child to hurt himself during the process.  Regardless of the exercise, it is important to explain the nature of the exercise and doing it for a specified amount of time.

With the many features and benefits of a beanbag chair, buying one which provides the comfort and affordability necessary to meet your needs is crucial.  Comfy Sacks has bean bag chairs 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.

Think that bean bag chairs are right for your child's sensory processing disorders, or want to see some large bean bags? Then check out the beanbags at ComfySacks.com

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Think that bean bag chairs are right for your child's sensory processing disorders, or want to see some large bean bags? Then check out the beanbags at ComfySacks.com

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Early Intervention Makes a Huge Difference for Autistic Children

Autism is much more common in today's society than parents might think. With the numbers increasing annually, the Centers for Disease Control has stated that one out of every 88 children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
Times Have Changed
Back in the day, if a child was diagnosed with autism there was little to no help available. Children were left to work independently and parents were left to pay extensively for private tutoring and assistance-often without results. Autism organizations were not around to provide assistance for autistic children so that they could find a way to live somewhat normal lives. In fact, just over a decade ago, autism was considered a learning disability and often children were poorly diagnosed.
Today, autism is a growing concern and is also becoming more popular in research. More parents are aware of what autism is, and there are organizations to help educate and provide financial assistance to parents of autistic children.
Diagnosing Autism
Early detection is key in helping a child with autism live a more normal life in society. Since autism can be seen as early as eighteen months of age, children should be watched throughout their development for any warning signs of autism. High-risk groups, such as children with siblings diagnosed with autism, should be watched even more closely by physicians and parents alike.
Warning signs of autism include:
• Not engaging in pretend play, not making eye contact, not liking to be held or cuddled, not understanding typical emotions or relating to their own feelings, not handling change well, and not relating to others
• Repeating actions over and over, and repeating words that are said to them
• Having unusual reactions to everyday things
• Rarely responding to their own name
Why Early Intervention Is Imperative
Research has shown that early intervention can improve a child's overall development. Children who receive autism-appropriate education and support at key developmental stages are more likely to gain essential social skills and react better in society. Essentially, early detection can provide an autistic child with the potential for a better life. Parents of autistic children can learn early on how to help their child improve mentally, emotionally, and physically throughout the developmental stages with assistance from specialists and organizations.
Lastly, catching autism and working through it early also benefits parental relationships. The strain of caring for an autistic child can be an everyday challenge, but with early preparation and intervention, parents can prepare themselves for the road ahead emotionally and mentally.
myASDF is helping families affected by autism by providing education, information, and financial assistance when, where, and how it is needed most. Learn more about how you can help support children on the autism spectrum by visiting http://www.myASDF.org or by calling 877.806.0635.
Michael Slutsky is the director of myASDF, a charity that supports children with autism spectrum disorders by providing education, information, and financial assistance to their families and relevant community service organizations. Visit http://www.myASDF.org or call 877.806.0635 for more information and to see how you can help.
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Potty Training A Child With Autism

Ahh... Toilet training! That delightful challenge every parent has to face... and it can be pretty hard work at the best of times, even with healthy children. So imagine how tricky things can get when you add autism into the mix. But help is at hand, and we're going to look at a few tips and techniques you can try to make potty training easier and, hopefully, more successful.
1 Patience - Your Number 1 Virtue
Never lose sight of the fact that it's going to be a bit of a journey and it won't be straightforward. So don't get totally wound up and don't feel a failure. You might have to try more than one thing to find the right solution for your child. Every child is different and there's no one-size-fits-all quick, clean easy answer.
2 Is your Child Ready?
Just because you might have read somewhere that children are ready at the age of two, it doesn't mean that it's the magic age for your child. You have to look for signs of readiness, and these could show much later than average. For example, look for signs of your child:
  • being aware that they have a wet or dirty diaper/nappy - they could pull at it, or take it off, for instance
  • being able to imitate what you do - so you can effectively demonstrate sitting on the toilet
  • responding well to positive reinforcement - when you give your child something they like they're more likely to do the behaviour you're teaching them. (We call this 'loving bribery' in our house)
  • staying clean and dry most nights
3 When should you start?
If your child shows the readiness signs later than average children, don't worry - it's quite usual for autistic children. Just make sure that your child is happy to co-operate, can sit on a potty for a toilet for a short time, is able to dress and undress and recognises the clues that mean they need the bathroom.
4 Coping with Impaired Social Interaction
Problems understanding language and logic could mean that your child finds it difficult to understand what they're expected to do. Why should they pee or poop in the toilet or potty rather than their diaper or nappy? And they also may find it difficult to express what they need. Your challenge here is to recognise their cues and help them to tell you what they want.
5 Coping with Sensory Problems
Unusual reactions to sensory stimuli - for instance, smells temperature and sounds - are experienced by many autistic children, so watch how your child reacts in or near the bathroom. Do the different smells from cleaning liquids and perfumes in the room cause problems? Is the bathroom colder or hotter than other rooms and do they respond negatively to the change in temperature? Do the noisy pipes and flushing toilet upset them?
The key here is to remove as many of the upsetting obstacles as you can. That could mean putting lower wattage lights in the room, making sure your child wears socks or slippers on the tiled floor or explaining the noises and making them into a game.
6 Using Rewards
This is my family's 'Loving Bribery' system! By the way, it works a treat with all toddlers and most adults, so by all means use widely! First, identify something your child loves. This could be a food treat or special drink, or maybe a particular toy. Then make sure that everyone only gives your child this reward as part of toilet training. The aim is to associate the loved thing with a specific behaviour and so increase the likelihood of that behaviour happening.
7 Identify Your Child's Routine
By creating a time log of what your child does and when - and what the outcomes are - you will be able to build these times into your toilet training. So, over a week, write down times your child eats and drinks, wets, soils and is changed. Then when you know, for example, that your child wets 15 minutes after drinking you can make that part of the toilet training process.
8 Punishment is Outlawed!
Toilet accidents are not to be punished. It's far more useful to use them as opportunities to explain to your child why they should use the potty. Make sure that everyone who has contact with your child understand this and follows your system.
9 And Stress is Outlawed, Too!
There is absolutely no benefit to you or your child getting stressed and harassed over potty training. If your child feels pushed into a corner they won't co-operate and they'll turn against the very things you're trying to get them to use. Let them get used to the potty or toilet without expecting results. make as much of this into a game as you can. And DON'T get wound up yourself. You do need to be strong, cool and calm.
And finally... Remember what we've said throughout this article: the Potty Training Process IS going to take time... just give it the time it needs for your child to latch onto a new idea and a new skill. And stay positive!
Jane Howitt studied dentistry, went on to graduate as a psychologist and is an experienced teacher and a copywriter. She has written extensively about Autism and is committed to disseminating valuable information to those who need it. Visit her blog at Essential Info About Autism
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Recognizing Signs of Stress in Kids With Autism

There are many things that can cause stress in any child. This can include a change in family dynamics, fighting with siblings or typical tension in the home. While these may be manageable stressors for adults, they can be big deals to children so it is important not to dismiss them.
Other stressors for children include issues at school such as teachers, class difficulty, bullies, homework, friends and much more. If you have a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder you can add even more triggers to the list such as sensory sensitivities, an inability to communicate his or her needs effectively and difficulty de-coding confusing social situations.
Never assume that your child with Autism is without stress. Wouldn't you be if you had to live in a world that was foreign to you?
Whether on or off the spectrum, children do get stressed but they may not display the same signs of stress that adults show. Therefore, it's important to watch for the common signs of stress in your children so you can catch stress before it builds and causes other problems.
If your child has more than his share of emotional meltdowns and you want to minimize the ones that are caused by anxiety and stress then you need to sharpen your detective skills. Below are several common warning signals of stress found in children.
Withdrawal: Most people can relate to a desire to escape when tension begins to build. This is one area where children often become invisible. Parents tend to see quiet time alone as a good thing and they appreciate the peace and quiet this may bring. But children on the Autism spectrum retreat into their own little world enough as it is so any increase in this type of behavior can be a red flag.
Unexplained Aggression: Many stressed-out children begin to act out in ways that are uncharacteristic for them and are aggressive in nature. For example, if your child doesn't typically show aggression that involves actions such as kicking, hitting, biting and other aggressive actions - take heed once they begin to engage in these new behaviors.
Anger - Anger can produce stress when you don't understand what is happening or you are lacking the tools to deal with it appropriately. Not knowing how to identify or deal with angry emotions can heighten anxiety in children. It is scary when angry feelings get out of control, especially if they are your own. Also, even when children understand how to deal with anger, stress can make them less likely to handle it properly. Therefore, be on the lookout for unexplained outbursts of anger that don't fit the crime.
Lethargic Behavior - Children can become depressed when they are overrun with stress and one of the common signs of this is a lack of energy, or lethargic behavior. It may not be depression exactly, but may just be your child's way of dealing with the stress.
Developmental Setbacks - If a child is stressed out you may notice that he or she is regressing or adopting habits that have long since been broken. For example, it's not uncommon for young children under stress to resort back to thumb sucking and/or lose the ability to dress him or her self or anything else he or she may have recently mastered.
Repetitive behaviors - Children with Autism often have a tendency to engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and hair twirling that help to calm them when they become anxious. Don't wait for a full-blown 'stimming' episode to occur before intervening to reduce stress levels. Pay attention to what happens just prior to escalation and intervene with distraction or alter the environment.
Stress may be a part of everyday life but there are many things one can do to prevent stress from building and alleviate it when it occurs. The first step in this process is to recognize the signs and label them as warnings. Knowing what those red flags are will help you intervene quickly when you see them.
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 access Happy Parents, Happy Kids - Overcoming Autistic Behavioral Issues at http://parentcoachingforautism.com/how-we-help/products , a program to help you change behaviors, and get your FREE resources - a parenting e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism - 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Connie_Hammer

Monday, October 29, 2012

Krill Oil Vs Pharmaceutical Grade Omega 3 Fatty Acids

While products derived from krill oil are currently enjoying popularity among many consumers due to a significant marketing campaign, this article will discuss the advantages of pharmaceutical grade fish-based Omega-3 products over those containing krill oil, including significantly higher levels of EPA/DHA, substantially lower cost per milligram of EPA/DHA and the large volume of validated scientific studies proving the health benefits associated with pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 derived from highly concentrated, ultra-pure fish oil. We strongly encourage you to compare omega 3 fish oil products to any krill oil that you are currently taking or are considering taking.
Available sources of Omega-3
There are three main sources of Omega-3 essential fatty acid available to consumers: fish oil, krill oil and plant sources, such as flax or other seed oils. While the health benefits of Omega-3 are virtually undisputed, the best source of Omega-3 for humans is the subject of ongoing debate.
Omega-3 in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, or EPA/DHA, is found naturally only in animals, with the greatest concentrations being found in seafood, including fish and krill. EPA/DHA is required by the body to support cardiovascular and neurological health and has been shown to have positive health benefits in the areas of inflammatory and auto-immune disease, mental health, brain development in fetuses and babies, vision and more. Plant-based products, while often favored by vegetarians, vegans and those who have concerns about seafood alergies, only provide Omega-3 in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). To be available for use, the body must first convert ALA into EPA/DHA. This conversion is inefficient, requiring both energy and nutrient expenditures, thereby reducing the health benefits of plant-based Omega-3 products. While there are many Omega-3 products containing ALA available, this article focuses on the comparison between products containing krill oil and pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 derived from highly refined, ultra-pure fish oil.
What are Krill?
Krill are small, shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the ocean and feed mainly on phytoplankton. Low on the food chain, they're eaten by whales, fish, penguins, seals and squid. Krill have been harvested as a food source for humans and domesticated animals since the 19th century, and possibly even earlier in Japan. Large-scale fishing of krill developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and now occurs in Antarctic waters and in the seas around Japan. Over 95% of all harvested krill are used to make something called "fish meal," which is most oftenused as a feed for farm raised salmon. Approximately 2% of harvested krill is used to produce the krill oil found in Omega-3 products.
Products derived from krill oil are considerably more expensive than products derived from pharmaceutical grade fish oil due to several factors, including:
  • the low concentration of EPA/DHA in krill oil;
  • the high cost of krill oil processing methods;
  • relatively limited availability of krill, which are located and harvested near the South Pole;
  • the fact that krill must be processed into oil onboard the harvesting ships to avoid spoilage;
  • a limited harvest season of only a few months per year;
  • the high advertising costs required to promote a relatively new and unproven product to physicians and consumer
Krill as a source of Omega-3
Like fish oil, krill oil contains EPA/DHA. However, Omega-3 products derived from krill oil typically have EPA/DHA concentrations of only 15-24%, compared to the 85%+ in pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 products. Because of this low concentration, the number of servings of krill oil required to meet the recommended daily intake of EPA/DHA is significantly higher than for products containing pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 derived from fish. For example, one of the best selling krill oil products currently on the market contains 72 milligrams of EPA/DHA in each 300 milligram capsule.
Ever take fish oil because the doctor says so? Well, you might as well ingest a stick of butter instead because the amount of fat in fish oil is very high. Check the labels. You will see essential fatty acids like Omega-3 - a combination of DHA and EPA is available in professional grade products without a prescription at your local pharmacy or direct from http://www.oceanblueprofessional.com. They also have samples you can order straight from their website. Order and get healthy!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Frederick_Sancilio,_Ph.D

10 Tips for Fun and Easy School Lunches That Fit Your Autism and ADHD Diet

School lunches can be overwhelming and difficult if you are new to the dietary changes that help ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It's not just about rethinking the standard lunch with GFCF, additive-free, allergen-free food. It's also about providing a lunch your child will enjoy!
You will most likely not have anything available for your child from the school lunch menu. It's good to make connections with the cafeteria staff and find out what items can be purchased, if any at all. With the poor quality of foods in our schools, this is not necessarily a bad thing!
Packing a lunch for your child to bring to school is probably your only option. If you provide a whole foods lunch with a variety of options, it will be packed with nutrition unlike the nutrient-void processed and packaged foods.
Here are my top 10 tips to help you think outside the brown bag:
1. To begin, brainstorm about all the foods you know your child loves to eat. What fits your new diet, what can be substituted and what needs to be replaced entirely? Create a list of favorites to fall back on when feeling stuck for good ideas. Depending on your children's ages, have them help you with ideas. The more input your older child has, the more willing they are to eat what you give them. You want to make sure they actually eat the food once they get to school!
2. Create a school lunch menu plan for the week. This is as helpful as planning your dinner menu. Once you have a few meal and snack ideas that work for your child, you can easily rotate them throughout the week. This will help with shopping lists, budgeting, time and prep work. Keep the menu handy in the kitchen just in case someone else has to step in and do the lunch packing for you.
3. Plan wisely. Make the food as ready to eat as possible and easy to handle, especially for younger children. Their lunch time is limited and we all know how they would rather be playing, so keep it simple! Pre-peel and cut fruit and don't require special tools to eat. Use easy open containers. Make sure the little ones can close it again to prevent spills on the way home. Buying in bulk and using reusable containers not only saves you lots of money, but it helps the environment, too.
4. Prepare the night before. Put together all parts of the lunch that can be done ahead of time to eliminate morning stress before school. Save the cutting of fruits and vegetables that wilt or oxidize until the morning and dip into fresh lemon juice mixed with water to prevent browning.
5. Keep it cool. Freeze fruit purees or juice overnight and add to the lunchbag in the morning. They will thaw and be ready to eat midday while keeping the other food cool and fresh. Frozen fruit puree becomes a fruit pudding and frozen juice turns into a slush or juice again depending on how long it has to thaw.
6. Get creative and think fun! It is amazing what special shape cutouts, skewers and/or party toothpicks will do for appeal. Instead of just putting cut fruit into a bowl, make a fruit kabob. Depending on age, include stickers, a personal note from Mom or Dad, or (if using a brown paper bag) have them decorate the bag as a puppet before filling it. Once the food is gone, they can play! For older kids, occasionally start a treasure hunt where you send them looking for the next clues somewhere in their school supplies or at home for a reward, special treat (not food related) or privilege.
7. Talk to your child's teacher. Be sure the teacher, principal and any other staff who may care for your child are all aware of your child's dietary requirements. Let them know that your child has food allergies or sensitivities. Communication is key to dietary success at school and written instructions are always the best resource to prevent misunderstandings.
8. Focus on what your child DOES get to eat, not what he doesn't. Have your child bring home the leftovers in their lunch containers so that you can tell what is being eaten. You'll get to know how much you need to be sending each day and whether the usual favorites are still well-liked. Offer variety and choices so your child doesn't feel like the new diet is limited and boring.
9. Substitute creatively. Use rice cakes or GFCF waffles instead of bread, or better yet, use sliced, cored apple rings as a substitute for a bagel with a nut butter spread. Warm dinner leftovers in a thermos can be given on a day with a similar offering provided by the cafeteria. Have them provide a clean plate for your child to use.
10. Finally, some meal/snack ideas to get going:
  • Trail mix (nuts, seeds, dried fruits)
  • Pre-cut fruit (fruit salad, sticks, or kebabs)
  • Homemade granola bars or cups of granola cereal
  • Veggie kebabs with dip (carrots, cucumber, cherry tomato, red/yellow bell pepper, etc)
  • Dinner leftovers in a thermos (GFCF spaghetti, soup, rice dish)
  • Guacamole, mild salsa, olives, and baked corn chips
  • Dip options: hummus, black bean dip, avocado spread, nut butters, honey
  • Shredded beet, carrot, and apple salad with raisins.
  • Fruit pudding or smoothie
  • Water should be the drink of choice, but for variety try homemade lemonade or an almond or rice milk
This should be a springboard for getting your creativity flowing and thinking positively about the school year menu ahead. It's easy once you get past the transition and create a simple routine.
If you're a parent of a child with ADHD, ASD and other special needs and are looking for natural methods to help your family, visit Stephani McGirr's http://www.NourishingJourney.com to receive a free twice monthly ezine full of tips, tools and recipes to help you move from struggle to success while creating a peaceful home life your family loves.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stephani_McGirr

Monday, October 22, 2012

Autism Facts: Childhood Obesity Higher in the Autistic Population

Medical research by BMC Medics shows that rates of obesity in autistic children are around 7 percent higher than that of the general population. 7 percent may not sound like a lot but in a growing tragedy such as childhood obesity, a 7 percent increase is huge. Children with autism spectrum disorder already have many challenges to overcome, health complications due to weight issues should not be one.
Childhood obesity rates are growing at a terrifying rate, with one out of every three kids in America considered overweight. This is not just in the United States, this epidemic is in Canada, Australia, the U.K., and many other countries around the world, and this large scale problem is happening in the face of abundant nutrition information, organized sports, health materials and products and vocal medical communities. With all of these advantages and resources, 1/3 of the general population of adolescents are still overweight.
Now apply this to the autistic community. We know that there's less research and nutrition information, it's much harder to get involved in group sports due to social inhibitions, less health materials available, and a much smaller group of concerned medical professionals for developmental disorders. With all of these added challenges, how can we not be concerned about the childhood obesity epidemic being even more drastic in the autistic community?
Where to start? Here a few tips to get started with helping kids with autism get healthier. Again, I am not a medical professional, but I am a professional youth athletic coach with lots of experience in helping kids overcome adversity through exercise.
Get active and play! The best treatment for overweight children, all children, is to get off the couch and play. This is more of a challenge for many autistic kids because socializing with other kids and being out of the house on their own may be more difficult or dangerous. However, getting out in the back yard, walking around the park with a parent, dancing in the living room - Get creative. There are plenty of ways for physical play in small, safe settings as long as the goal is increased activity.
Understand dietary needs. Many of those in the autistic community also suffer from gluten and casein intolerance. Not adhering to a special diet can lead to health problems such as intestinal leakage, decreased bowel functioning, and stomach irritability. These complications will not lead to a comfortable active lifestyle, and will cause further challenges in associating exercise with enjoyment.
Get help with the right products. There are a few key resources that can really help educate and help parents with autistic children understand health needs and provide ideas for overcoming health issues in their autistic children. The products on this site are just a few examples of products that I've found and spoken with the creators to assure their quality and effectiveness.
In the end, the only way to really fight this epidemic is to spread the word and educate your network of support and other parents in the autistic community to get serious about this problem and to get active about reversing the trend of obesity in autistic children.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Seth_S_McNew