Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Methods for Managing Behavior Challenges In School

Most people are aware of the fact that children begin their educational process long before they step inside of their first schoolroom. This is because it is the home life of the student that is the first part of learning to socialize, solve problems, and find answers. Because of this, when a student manifests behavior challenges in school, it is often also something that their parents are asked to help to address as well.
Certainly it might be difficult to somehow deal with any behavior challenges in school strictly through at home work, but when a student also has a condition relating to ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) it is normally essential that their home life is taken into account as well. For example, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development notes that most students with some form of ASD will tend to be diagnosed very early in their lives so at home work is vital.
Because ASD is characterized by developmental disabilities, parents must accept and help to address the potential for behavior challenges in school by beginning a great deal of training well in advance of Kindergarten. This is not always something easy to handle, nor all that affordable, but there are now many high-quality programs designed for training parents in the best methods to use when beginning to teach their children with ASD.
It is interesting to note that changes in federal educational rules make it impossible for schools to shunt students with ASD into special education classrooms, and insist that they be educated in the same classrooms as students with the condition. To help teachers and classroom support staff to assist students with ASD, however, many school systems use specialized Autism training courses.
These courses are designed to teach the educators about Autism and about the methods with a proven history for success, including methods for managing behavior challenges in school. These same training courses are also made available for parents as well, though the best of them will tend to be re-designed or re-structured for the at home environment instead of the schoolroom.
The great thing about school or home Autism training systems is that they use the ABA or Applied Behavior Analysis principles known to be among the few accepted treatments for ASD. When parents and educators have these powerful tools for behavior modification available at an early part of a student's life, they can often prepare them to achieve greater educational and social success than ever before.
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, therapists and school systems how to work with children with autism.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why IQ Testing is Important to Your Child

The IQ or intelligence quotient test is one of the more common tests that children and adults take to derive the score that allows them to measure how smart they really are. The score is derived from many tests given to the subject over the course of the tests, and then calculated to measure the persons actual intelligence. The mathematical formula is then based upon a ranking system and derived from normalisation samples to yield a raw score, which can either be the 'deviance IQ' or the 'ratio IQ'. When it comes to your child, the basic and average IQ score of a normal kid would be anywhere in the range of 100, and with an IQ test you can find out whether or not your child is within the normal range, or anywhere below or above.
When you find out the intellectual level of your child, you will be able to take the steps necessary to investigate a low score and act upon a high score. This can be in the form of educational assistance from a counsellor if your child is way below the score and this could be because your child has a developmental disorder that you are not aware of. The thing about the IQ test is that it dabbles, quite unknowingly, as one of the better ways to acutely detect if there are any problems within the developmental value chain within your child. With a low score, you can figure out at an early age whether or not your child has autism or any one of the developmental disorders that can afflict children of a young age.
There are many IQ tests out there and there are even those for those who are at a very young age of 3. The test would consist of a syllabus that is designed on pictorial questions and basic associations, and will last about 30 - 60 minutes. When you start early, learning disorders can be spotted at an early age. However, you must understand that the kids IQ test is more of a general market to a problem within the child's brain and you need to act upon this to approach a psychologists to ascertain if there is indeed a problem and what that problem is. The presence of any sort of learning disorder will start long before anyone can be aware of it, but the first few signals that there is one there in the first place is when the child has difficulties at school and at tests. So starting early will allow you to ascertain the intelligence and developmental level of your child and compare it with normal trends all over the world. There are also tests for kids of all ages, 4, 6, 8 and onwards and there is of course a standardised adult test as well. Once you have that score, you will be able to take the steps necessary to save your child from suffering in silence and do something about their learning disability.
MindMatters Psychology Practice provides child development support services for children and young adults. They also provide an IQ Testing for children.
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There Are Benefits to High Functioning Autism

For a long time, doctors and specialists believed that autism was a general condition, but because of special funding researchers have begun to learn a lot about this disorder, including that there are many types of autism, among which is a disorder called high functioning autism.
High functioning autism is a condition that falls within the autism category, but children who experience this type of condition, only experience mild symptoms of autism. Normally they can interact socially and only have small social impairments. People who experience high functioning autism can often be misdiagnosed with Aspergers syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Children who suffer from high functioning autism will have only some problems when trying to communicate with others, you may also distinguish the disorder by small movements and kids will want a certain routine and feel lost without it.
Having your child diagnosed with autism can be heart breaking but if he is diagnosed with high functioning autism then there are advantages. The first thing you want to do is get the right kind of help. A lot of the symptoms of high functioning autism can be corrected and reversed but you need to teach your child how to do that, and you need the help of a pediatric neurologist and a child psychologist to do that.
Research has shown that there are certain therapies that will allow your child to have a normal life. This therapy will teach them how to interact socially, learn communication skills, and control their motor behavior. Some Doctors may prescribe medications to control the child's anxiety and hyperactivity while he is learning. This is why it is so important to seek help from specialists in the field.
A person is diagnosed with high functioning autism when the symptoms are not severe. These children are just as intelligent as others that are the same age and sometimes even more intelligent. They can use vocabulary to express themselves but their learning comprehension falls behind other children. They are not able to express emotional detail or interpret non verbal instructions or cues.
Beware of Aspergers! Many doctors tend to confuse high functioning autism with Asperger's Syndrome because many of the symptoms are similar. But there is a difference between the two, and they need to be treated in different manners.
There isn't a set definition for what is high functioning autism and it is difficult for doctors to diagnose. Doctors use different testing methods, but some use IQ tests to help them with their diagnosis, although this is not really an adequate testing method because IQ tests have many elements that autistic children struggle with. They will also determine the level of autism by the way the child uses language, and the way he behaves. It is important that you find physicians that are very experienced with autism and can diagnose it well.
Find more information on health topics at
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Educational Evaluation For Special Education Student With Autism

All students in special education are required by law to have a complete evaluation every three years to determine eligibility for special education services. The following case study is about a student named "Adam". Adam is seven years old and has autism. He is in a Special Day Class setting in a public school. The case study includes details of Adam's three-year educational evaluation.
The student in this case study has autism. His name is Adam. Adam is seven years old. He is in a Special Day Class for Severely Handicapped students. Adam's 3-year evaluation needed to be completed to determine eligibility for his special education services. Adam has an advocate and parents who are intensely involved with his education. When the assessment plan was presented to the parents, they requested additional assessments including a functional analysis, occupational therapy and an assistive technology assessment. A copy of the signed assessment plan was given to the appropriate specialists: psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, speech therapist, nurse and special education teacher.
The school psychologist observed Adam on several occasions before administering the psycho-educational profile revised (PEP-R). The PEP-R covers a variety of developmental areas. The test items are presented with simple, concrete instructions and most of the expected responses are nonverbal. The PEP-R provides information on developmental functioning in imitation, perception, fine motor, gross motor, eye-hand integration, cognitive performance and cognitive verbal areas. The PEP-R consists of a set of toys and learning materials that were presented to Adam within structured play activities. The psychologist recorded Adam's responses to the test. His scores were then distributed among seven developmental and four behavioral areas. The resulting profile revealed Adam's strengths and weaknesses in the different areas of development and behavior.
Adam's portfolio was used as an assessment tool. Included in his portfolio were work samples, progress reports, behavior reports, notes from parents and daily reports. The teacher sent home daily reports that included performance, compliance and prompt levels on Adam's tasks and goals/benchmarks. His parents signed and returned the daily reports and became part of his portfolio. The daily reports were used to assist in the assessment of Adam.
The school psychologist also conducted the functional analysis to determine why Adam was exhibiting disruptive behaviors. Questionnaires were sent home for the parents to complete. Screaming and biting were behaviors his parents and teacher were concerned about. The classroom teacher was responsible for collecting data on the behaviors. The psychologist and the teacher created a data collection form. The teacher recorded the occurrence of the undesired behaviors. The information from the parents, psychologist observations and teacher were compiled by the psychologist and the report was written.
The occupational therapist observed Adam, assessed him and wrote a report. The school nurse tested Adam with a special device. She was able to determine that his hearing appeared to be normal. Adam's parents reported no problems with his vision and hearing. The speech therapist, who worked with him over the past year, also assessed him.
Other tests that can be used to diagnose and assess students with autism are the Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC), Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and Pre-Linguistic Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (PL-ADOS). These tests are individual autism assessment instruments that have been specifically designed to assess children with autism. Furthermore, these tests rely on either historical information about the child's behavior (usually provided by a parent), direct observation of the child by a professional or a combination of these methods.
Adam's assessment for his 3-year evaluation was extensive and comprehensive. This assessment gave the team information on Adam's development, behavior, communication, health, coordination and cognitive levels. With this information, the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team determined that his placement was appropriate. Occupational Therapy (OT) services were recommended. The occupational therapist wrote several goals and will provide services for Adam. The functional analysis concluded that Adam's undesired behaviors occurred during transitions. The assistive technology assessment revealed that Adam excelled in this area. No recommendations were needed. Although Adam's assessment was extensive and required hard work for the IEP team, valuable information was provided that assisted the team in making recommendations for Adam's education. The assessment also revealed that Adam was making great progress in his special day class setting.
Did you find this article useful? For more useful tips and hints, points to ponder and keep in mind, techniques, and insights pertaining to credit card, do please browse for more information at our websites.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Receptive and Expressive Language in Students With Autism

Some students with autism have challenges with receptive and/or expressive language skill acquisition. Understanding how this affects the dynamics of communication can be crucial when teaching or interacting with individuals on the spectrum. While every person with autism is unique, here are some guidelines when it comes to this:
"If I don't respond, it doesn't mean I don't understand."
Making the assumption that 'not responding' indicates 'not understanding' can be misleading. If an individual has challenges with expressive language, he may very well understand what you are asking him, or stating to him, or saying in his presence.
"It doesn't help when you say it louder."
Barring any auditory challenges the individual may have, speaking in a louder tone of voice will most likely not illicit a different response from them - and it is usually considered inappropriate.
"I can say, "Thank you" in different ways."
If you know someone with autism who has expressive language challenges, you will learn to pick-up on their more subtle responses. Work on helping him develop more language, but also learn to understand and accept these communications as well.
"I may be able to...if you ask me the right way."
Many skills and activities do not require a verbal response if the learner is directed in the appropriate manner. When working on Math, for instance, asking a student, "Show me which number is larger" or "Write down the larger number" can be more effective than, "Tell me which number is larger." The latter way of asking requires a verbal response from the student, which could be much more difficult than the math problem itself.
While it is important to work on developing a student's receptive and expressive language skills, it is also important to understand, and react appropriately to, the individual's current ability level in this area. There is always a fine line between requiring language from a student (to help them develop the skill) and accepting their approximations. Knowing how to balance these considerations will create a more effective teaching environment and help avoid frustration.
Mr. Jeffrey Young is the President and Founder of Innovative Piano, Inc. Mr. Young has published over 17 books dealing with music and autism. To learn more about the author and the program please visit
Innovative Piano, Inc. - Offering piano lesons for students with autism - Nationwide!
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Autism in Adults - Three Employment Job Tips

One of the biggest worries when you have autism in adults is what their future is going to be like. Will they be able to work? Hold down a job? While this question is obviously very different for each person, there are some guidelines to help you answer this question.
The level of job will obviously depend on their skill and functioning level, but here are some ideas for autism in adults where the adult is at the lower end of the functioning level. They still have skills to use, but they have many challenges as well.
1. Use their skills and interests
Most adults with autism have skills that can be capitalized on in a job. Do they have a need for order, and like to line things up a lot? Teach them how to file, and see if they can get a part-time job in an office.
Perhaps food is an interest, but you're not sure what jobs in a restaurant an adult with autism would be capable of. See if they can get a job delivering flyers for a local pizza place -- something low stress and with little interaction with other people -- or cleaning tables of their favorite eatery. Using interests is always a good way to encourage motivation when working with autism in adults.
2. Take advantage of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
The folks at these centers are usually great at pairing up people with disabilities with jobs. One of the most useful things they can often do is offer the use of a job coach when working with autism in adults.
A job coach will shadow your adult with autism on the job and give them instruction or reassurance when they need it. After the person gets more comfortable and used to the job, the job coach is often faded out -- but not always. Sometimes, Vocational Rehabilitation can provide paid internships of a sort. The adult with autism gets experience being trained in some area, and the business contributes part of the pay while Vocational Rehabilitation contributes the rest.
The people at Vocational Rehabilitation have lots of connections with employers all over your area, some that you may not have even heard of. They know which employers are likely to work well with working with autism in adults, and which aren't. They know who to talk to, and what to ask for. Say, for example, there is a job that you think would fit your adult child with autism really well, except for a few things they aren't able to do. In a regular job situation, they would just show you the door, but Vocational Rehabilitation can often negotiate for a modified job position that more closely fits the abilities and needs in regard to autism in adults.
There is often a wait list to get services from Vocational Rehabilitation, but it is worth it. Google Vocational Rehabilitation for your local area or look for it in the social services section of your phone book.
3. Know what jobs are a good and bad fit
Take for example working the counter of a fast food restaurant. You have to take orders very rapidly, and be good at operating machinery, like the cash register, at a very fast pace. That would be overwhelming for a lot of adults with autism. Their processing speed is not that fast. Things get backed up in their mind, and it can cause meltdowns, even if the task is simple.
Instead, choose something that is slow-paced or can be done at the person's own pace. This often works very well when working with autism in adults. Perhaps, something that can be done on the sidelines?
Like to be outdoors? Maybe working as a cart attendant, putting back grocery carts, would work. Others may get bored with the job, but an autistic person's need for order may make this job appeal to them.
Perhaps putting stock on shelves? If the job is relaxed about the pace, may also appeal to the sense of order and everything in its place which is often a strength of adults with autism.
Think about what attributes are most prominent in autism in adults, then try to think of a job that uses those skills or attributes. But try to avoid anything, again, that is fast paced or requires too much interaction with people -- a little is okay, a lot will probably be overwhelming.
If you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to finding jobs that work when working with autism in adults.
And for further tips and techniques to help an adult with autism gain employment and live a happy and fulfilled life, go to the web site There you will be able to sign up for the free Autism Newsletter as well as get additional information to help your loved ones thrive on the autism spectrum.
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Autism Syndrome: Autism Help When Travelling

As spring and summer approach many families begin to make their vacation plans. For families who are planning to travel with children with autism, this can be an overwhelming prospect.
For most people vacations are synonymous with relaxation, a chance to unwind, to be freed from day to day routines. For children and adults with autism, however, departure from daily routines and forced transitions may create tremendous stress. The better prepared you are the more likely it is that your vacation will run smoothly. By knowing and understanding your child's limitations you can prepare for and hopefully avoid many difficult situations.
This article is designed to provide suggestions on how to get ready for and travel with an individual who has spectrum autism.
Consider your child's unique needs very carefully when planning a family vacation. If your child has a specific area of interest, such as ocean life, you may want to plan your vacation around this interest. If your child is terrified by loud unexpected noise, plan to travel to a relatively quiet location. If possible, start with short overnight trips and build up to a more involved vacation.
Balance activities with down time. You may want to take someone with you who can serve as a babysitter. That way you may periodically leave your child with autism in the security of your vacation home while you sight-see with other family members. Again this depends on how much your child can handle. Start with small increments and add-on. It's helpful to have a back-up plan along the way in order to avoid frustration and overload.
Having a set daily routine paralleling your child's normal routine at home will provide a comforting structure. Again, plan to balance activities with quiet family time. A structure with built-in time for relaxation will more than likely meet the needs of the entire family.
Duplicate activities when possible. If you know, for example, that you will be attending a family function in a large restaurant start small by going to local restaurants to build up toward the larger event. Again, if all else fails, have a back-up plan.
Vacations typically involve wait time, you can help your child prepare by practicing periods of "waiting"; picture cues and social stories can be helpful cuing strategies. There are many methods for autism training and autism learning that can be found on the web and in autism-asperger books.
Communicate with everyone who is involved in the trip. It is essential to discuss the needs of the family with all involved. Let friends and relatives know what to expect. If your child is likely to have a meltdown, or strip off clothing, prepare others by explaining the possibility and indicate how they can respond and assist.
Before the vacation, prepare in as many ways as possible. Plan for the expected as well as the unexpected! While your preparation probably began months earlier, approximately two weeks prior to your trip show your child pictures and explain where you are going. Find photographs and/or videos that depict the place you are traveling to and show them to your child with autism spectrum disorder symptoms.
If possible, when you are planning to travel by air, visit the airport ahead of time and run through security. Call your local airport in advance to find out if this is a possibility. Alert the airline about the specific needs of your child in order to avoid surprises. (Many airlines will provide seats in the bulkhead when there is a specific need or request. Plan to reserve this area well in advance as these seats will often be the first assigned.)
Although flying cannot always be avoided, it may not be the best option for many children with autism as it may be too stressful. When vacationing, try to start small and build up gradually. Some families choose to return to the same vacation spot year after year because they are able to build routine through familiarity.
When flying, or traveling by car, carry along activities and snacks that will keep your child occupied and calm throughout the trip. Recorded music and videos may provide entertainment and a diversion from what is happening nearby. Take familiar items, such as stuffed animals (if possible have duplicates in case of loss. One little girl was devastated when a family friend threw her doll across the room tearing off a cloth arm in the process. It wasn't until the arm was surgically replaced (needle and thread) by her mother that the home was restored to a peaceful state!) Remember that not just visual reminders of home that evoke feelings of familiarity.
Track the upcoming vacation on a calendar, count down the days, take the calendar along and refer to it during the vacation.
Create social stories. (The internet is a great source for photographs and vacation specifics.) Create a picture planner to refer to before and during your travels. If you and your family are returning to a familiar vacation spot, a scrapbook that recounts the previous vacation(s) will help your child to prepare. Carrying visual prompts, social stories, and photographs with you while travelling will also serve as reminders about what to expect, what is happening, and will help to reinforce appropriate behaviors. Visual schedules can be used while vacationing to initiate the day and as prompts throughout the day.
Base the daily routine, while vacationing, on your child's typical daily routine. While this is not entirely practical, strive toward primary events occurring (i.e. meals) at their fixed times. Have as many familiar foods available as possible. If you are staying with friends or relatives explain the need for your child to have the foods, beverages, objects, and routines that provide comfort. Remember to bring these items with you wherever you go!
Many vacation sites are designed to accommodate individuals with special requirements. Contact guest services; tell them when you will be arriving and find out what accommodations are available. Many theme parks, such as Disneyland, may allow you to by-pass long lines. You may want to take or rent a stroller or wheelchair to avoid your child's fatigue. Large theme venues will often have hotels available that are geared toward supporting very young children and older children who have specific needs.
Consider where you will stay very carefully. Often an environment similar to the home setting is advisable, for example a condo rental will provide many amenities. If you choose to stay in a hotel, ask someone in guest relations for a quiet room location. Consider your child's unique needs and plan on reserving a space that will accommodate the specific necessities. It is likely that you will be spending a fair amount of time in this setting also, so factor in your own personal needs!
It is recommended that staff and neighbors be alerted when there is a risk of wandering. In addition to having appropriate ID (as well as pertinent medical information) on your child, it is helpful to alert security in the event of a flight situation. You will need to attach the identification in such a manner that it won't be disturbing to your child. Include the phone numbers where you can be reached immediately as well as information concerning your child's specific needs. Make certain that you also carry a photograph of your child with you in the event that you have to identify yourself as your child's parent(s).
When traveling:
It is helpful to carry earplugs or a headset for your child to tune out unusually loud sounds and crowd noise. Take-out dinners and room service can also provide a respite from crowded and noisy restaurants.
Time your visits when parks, beaches, and tourist attractions are not as busy. Early morning and late afternoon may be the ideal times to visit the beaches. Museums tend to be less busy early in the day, especially on Sundays. Theme parks are not typically as busy in the spring and autumn months. Contact the visitors' bureau and ask questions, explain your situation. You will find the majority of people are ready and willing to help. Remember to build in flexibility. Even the best laid plans can fall apart. Have family members spell one another so that everyone has a chance to relax. When all else fails step back, regroup, and maintain a sense of humor!
There are always going to be individuals who are ready to criticize and make rude comments. Remember that their inconsiderate remarks reflect their own insecurities. You can always smile and walk away, or you can use the opportunity to educate them about the needs of individuals with autism. Again, remember that this is your vacation and nobody has the right to destroy your enjoyment. There are many related articles on the internet and several autism Asperger's books that provide information on traveling with children with PDD autism and autism in adults.
By building familiarity into the unfamiliar, family vacations can become a welcome change for your family, a time when your entire family can enjoy a break from the typical routine. By starting small and adding on, most children can learn to enjoy and eventually look forward to a family vacation. Through careful preparation and the implementation of change you can also help to foster your child's development, independence, and individuality. Travelling with individuals with ASD can become a vacation for the entire family!
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Asperger's Syndrome Child: Developing Social Skills at Home and School by Teaching Empathy

Many parents feel notice that their child with Asperger's syndrome of high functioning autism shows little if any empathy for others which inhibits their social skills. These children can seem aloof or selfish and uncaring.
But any parent with a child on the autism spectrum knows that outward appearances can be deceiving. Our loved ones with Asperger's syndrome of high functioning autism are very caring and feeling beings. But they often have difficulties understanding the feelings of others which is a contributing factor to the well known autism symptom -- lack of social skills. Often times, we see this inability to understand another person's feelings as a lack of empathy.
How Can a Person with Asperger's Syndrome Develop a Sense of Empathy and Improve Social Skills?
Lack of emotional readiness, sensory overwhelm, and lack of relevant experiences can all contribute and help explain why your child with Asperger's syndrome may seem distant or uncaring of others feelings.
In this article, we will talk about the process of developing empathy -- an important ingredient in improving social skills. Below, a young adult with Asperger's syndrome shares her experiences and feelings to help us understand how those with Asperger's syndrome feel and cope.
If a child with Asperger's syndrome or high functioning autism is disconnected from people when he is young, due to different brain wiring, this sense of difference is likely to persist and cause him to withdraw from people and experiences over the years. The more he thinks of himself as a person who can't connect with other people, the less likely he will be to try.
In order to develop social skills, one must practice. But if a child continually fails in his or her social interactions, they will eventually become discouraged and give up.
Experiences of a Young Adult with Asperger's Syndrome --
I moved to a house with a 94 year old, very vibrant and active roommate two years ago. This woman, Madeline, has the most welcoming smile and presence I have ever felt. I immediately felt calm and comfortable in her presence, which never happens for me. I started spending more and more time with her, watching TV and talking about nothing important -- just soaking up her gentleness and positivity, her utter acceptance of me. Every time she smiled at me, it made me happy.
I thought this behavior -- willingly spending time with another person -- quite out of character for me, but I kept doing it. Madeline was always happy to see me. Merely entering the room could make her face light up. Therefore I started feeling a sense of connection to her.
Some of these principles, especially high affect -- Madeline was a very passionate speaker with highly evident emotions -- as well as pure acceptance, gentleness and meeting someone on common ground are some of the very principles of the autism therapy floortime. (Floortime is a therapy designed to increase emotional and cognitive connections in an autistic person's brain, and to bring the person slowly into the world around them by first joining them in their world.)
Madeline had wonderful social skills. She had the ability to make me feel welcomes and to draw me out.
My Relationship with My Roommate Increases My Empathy and Improved My Social Skills --
After I had been living here about seven months, Madeline had to go to the hospital for about two weeks because of a problem in her leg. The first night she was there, I worried about her constantly. I kept thinking "But she was always talking about how much she hated hospital food!" I hoped she had something good to eat and was being well taken care of.
This probably sounds quite unremarkable, except I had never before worried about someone on quite an emotional level before. I had always expressed sympathy (when I remembered) and felt intellectually things like "I hope so and so gets better soon. That's terrible. Well, I hope it works out," but never really on a gut stabbing, stomach hurting, almost visceral emotional level before.
It rather took me by surprise. While the feelings were of a negative nature, I was so happy to have them (upon later reflection) because they made me feel so much more connected to the human race! I didn't feel so isolated inside myself when I had those feelings.
So That's What They Were Thinking!
Later on, at different times, two of my friends began having severe health problems of the same sort that I had experienced a few years ago. They were both long distance, so I was limited in what I could do to help them.
I had many long phone conversations with one friend, Elaine, trying to provide both emotional support and practical solutions. After the often hour long conversations, I was drained and in emotional turmoil. I felt helpless. I wanted to ease her pain so much. I wanted to make things better for her. I did what I could, but it wasn't much. It almost felt like too much to deal with, but I would never walk away from her.
After a few phone calls like this, I got an epiphany. So THAT'S what my parents and friends were feeling during all of my crisis phone calls to them! Years before I had called them during my own health crisis in tears. They tried to help, but I just felt more alone. I kept telling them "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!" I was convinced they didn't care, because they often had a hard time showing their emotions about the situation and I had an even harder time reading what they did say.
I would mention something that was bothering me and be hurt when my grandfather would change the subject without any response. "Why didn't you say anything?" I would ask him. "You know how I feel," he would say. "No, I don't!" I would tell him. "Come on, you know I feel bad for you," he'd say. "No, I don't!" I'd repeat.
I truly felt isolated from those that were trying to help me because I couldn't imagine how they were feeling towards me. Why? Because I had never felt that way towards anyone else. How could I even know those feelings existed, or at least know what they felt like?
Relationships Develop Empathy for a Person with Asperger's Syndrome --
If you can understand how others are thinking, you can feel more connected to them. You can understand their needs more and feel the desire to fill them. This, as I understand it, is empathy. Without the kind of interactions and friendships that foster this awareness (that so many on the autism spectrum don't have), you're stuck pretending to be functioning in a world you don't understand one bit, longing for emotional connection and having everyone around you think you're self-centered and uncaring about others. Without these emotional connections you never really can have sufficient social skills to develop deep and nurturing relationships.
I believe empathy lives in every single person -- but the right experiences and circumstances have to be present to bring it out.
Tips for Parents and Those with Asperger's Syndrome or Autism
  • Try to expose your child to social situations and experiences that they haven't had before, within the limits of their abilities. Social groups, summer camps, anything that will offer the ability to foster these forms of relationships. Make sure the programs are well matched to your child's needs, though.

  • For children, social stories are also a good way for a parent to focus on development of social skills and empathy. You can create your own social stories with your child by drawing pictures of people and events and adding captions to the stores. Perhaps a relative that your child knows was in the hospital. Maybe a friend fell off their bike and scraped their knee. Think of an event that your child can relate to. By developing a story around this event, you can help your child fill in the emotions that the people in the story felt -- worry, fear, sadness -- to help your child with Asperger's syndrome practice empathy.

  • You can also purchase books that are specifically designed to teach empathy and feelings. Check out which has arrange of these books.

  • Many therapists can help your child with Asperger's syndrome learn social skills by focusing on developing empathy. Check with your school or a local Asperger's syndrome or autism support group. There may be a class offered by your local education department. So many children with autism and Asperger's syndrome need this type of training that classes are common.

  • Consider purchasing videos or audio tapes. Many companies sell videos specifically geared to children to help them understand the feelings of others. After all, practice makes perfect. One good thing about videos is that they can help your child read facial expressions. Children with high functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome often have challenges reading facial expressions. Videos can make a point of highlighting the aspects of facial expressions. And by allowing your child to watch the video many times, they can pick up a lot of clues to reading the feelings expressed by a person's mannerisms, gestures and facial expressions.

  • For adults with Asperger's syndrome, try to expose yourself to different social opportunities. Also consider therapy to try to help you work through these issues.
And for further tips and techniques to help your children with Asperger's syndrome live a happy and fulfilled life, go to the web site and There you will be able to sign up for the free Asperger's and Autism newsletter as well as get additional information to help your loved ones thrive on the autism spectrum.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Massage, Autism & Dopamine

Children diagnosed on the autism spectrum have varied symptoms that contribute to ultimately reaching a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Symptoms of autism typically appear before a child is 3 years old and last throughout life. Children with autism can display a wide range of symptoms, which can vary in severity from mild to disabling.
General symptoms that may be present to some degree in a child with autism include:
- Difficulty with verbal communication, including problems using and understanding language.
- Inability to participate in a conversation, even when the child has the ability to speak.
- Difficulty with non-verbal communication, such as gestures, facial expressions and eye-to-eye contact.
- Difficulty with social interaction, including relating to people and to his or her surroundings.
- Inability to make friends and preferring to play alone.
- Unusual ways of playing with toys and other objects, such as only lining them up a certain way.
- Lack of imagination.
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or familiar surroundings, or an unreasonable insistence on following routines in detail.
- Repetitive patterns of behavior, or body movements, such as hand flapping, spinning, and head banging.
- Preoccupation with unusual objects or parts of objects.
Researchers also estimate that between 56% and 83% of children with autism spectrum disorders experience sleep disturbances, including refusal to go to bed, getting out of bed, tantrums at bedtime, early waking, requiring a parent to sleep with the child and hyperactivity at night (Schreck and Mulick, 2004) (Taira et al., 2008). This can create not only difficulty at the very time of the day when relaxation is needed most, but not having adequate sleep can have detrimental effects on parent and child.
So, what does that have to do with Dopamine? Dopamine is a chemical that is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. Dopamine is important for normal functions of neurons, and plays a role in turning neurons on. It is also a vital component in many nervous system functions, including mood, sleep, movement, and motivation.
According to research performed by the Touch Research Institute published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy (Field et al., 2005). Not only does this increase in dopamine contribute to sleeping patterns for children on the autism spectrum, but massage therapy can also affect their anxiety levels due to the decrease of the stress hormone cortisol. Massage Therapy may provide relaxation, decreased anxiety and increased dopamine which can assist in appropriate and restful sleep.
Copyright (c) 2010 Liddle Kidz Foundation Infant and Children's Pediatric Massage
Looking for expert advice and tips to help improve your child's health? Find research proven answers to all your questions about infant massage and pediatric massage therapy for Autism at Pediatric Massage Master Teacher, Tina Allen, founder of leading children's health and nurturing touch organization Liddle Kidz Foundation, shares over ten years of expertise working with children and families.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Autism in Children - The Importance of the iPad to Improve Communication

Why is the iPad so important for working with autism in children? Steve Jobs probably never had this in mind while he was developing it, but the truth is this little gadget has revolutionized the world for nonverbal kids with autism.
Communication devices that before were cumbersome to use and cost several thousand dollars a pop have now been reduced to a unit as small as the iPad, and apps that cost between a dollar and in some cases a couple hundred dollars, depending on the complexity and program. That's a huge advantage over the previous technology.
The iPad Gives Nonverbal Kids a Voice
There are people with autism, both kids and adults, who would not be able to speak a word or communicate with anyone at all if not for something called AAC - augmentative and alternative communication. Simply put, AAC means any device that gives a person who could otherwise not speak a voice. This can range between low tech devices that allow you to point at a picture, to facilitated communication which mostly includes supported typing on a keyboard with voice output, to things like the iPad.
These devices allow people with autism to communicate with the world around them, thus relieving a huge amount of frustration that would come otherwise from having to be silent.
Why the iPad?
So what makes the iPad so much better for autism in children, particularly nonverbal autistic kids? There are several reasons why this is proving to be such a great augmentative/alternative communication method.
1. The Variety of Programs (Apps)
There are programs you can download onto your iPad called apps. There are thousands upon thousands of apps out there, for all different purposes. Just within the autism world, there are thousands of apps. The purpose of many of these apps is to help nonverbal kids speak. A lot of them do it with pictures and symbols that you can load onto the program.
The child sees a picture of something he wants, and points to it. When pushed, the touchpad says the word out loud. Using simple finger movements, the child can also arrange several symbols or pictures into a sentence. "I want to play," or "I want an apple," or "I'm tired." The iPad says this out loud and allows the user to communicate their needs and desires.
2. The Ease of Use
When working with autism in children, you will often see a lot of fine motor problems. It is hard for kids to control exactly where their fingers go, or to do things that require a lot of fine motor control. Even devices like the iPod Touch are more difficult to use for a child with autism, because they require more motor control.
But the iPad has a big screen, and all that is requires is very broad pointing and swiping. It is engaging, with all the animations, sounds and games, so it holds the user's attention.
You touch it, and something happens - it can't get much simpler than that. This immediate cause and effect is much more likely to grab and hold the attention of kids with autism than other devices. Also, many kids with autism have good visual memory, and this makes navigating through the screens relatively easy for them after a few tries.
3. The Educational Value
There are so many different kinds of apps you can download, that anything you can conceive of is there. Some apps teach kids with autism spelling, but do so in such a fun and engaging way that the kids think they are just playing -- so they keep doing it. There are programs that can teach a variety of different skills, in many different academic areas.
4. The Social Value
You can also use the iPad to create customized social stories for every possible situation. If you're going out to the store, you can create an animated social story with personal pictures and your own voice saying and showing exactly what will happen during this process. "Jonah will put on his shows. Jonah will get into the car and not fight with his brother. Jonah will walk down the aisles of the grocery store... " You can say or show whatever you want, and your child can look at it as many times as they want.
This makes them feel more comfortable and prepared about going out in the world, and makes the outing go much more easily for you. It makes the effects of autism in children easier on you and your family's life.
Another nice thing about iPads is they blend in. As the child gets older, they start worrying about blending in more. The iPad doesn't mark them as having a disability, because it is something that many people have.
For a list of websites that review autism related iPad apps, you can see this list of autism apps that the New York Times put together.
The iPad is not the only AAC device out there, but it is the one that best blends all the past and future technologies together. Previous devices where you typed something in and had voice output cost thousands of dollars. The iPad cost a few hundred dollars. (And everyone in the family can use it.) Therefore, for anyone working with autism in children, finding some sort of augmentative alternative communication device, like the iPad, for them is highly recommended.
And for further tips and techniques to help your child with autism live a happy and fulfilled life, go to the web site There you will be able to sign up for the free Autism newsletter as well as get additional information to help your loved ones thrive on the autism spectrum.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Asperger Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The Asperger's Syndrome was named after a Viennese pediatrician, Hans Asperger. In 1944, he explained the reason behind inefficiency in social behavior but normal intelligence in his male patients. This is a neurological disorder in which the person suffering shows a number of typical characteristics like odd patterns in speech, obsessions, poor coordination, inefficiency in social interaction and several other peculiar behaviors. The children who suffer from this disorder find it difficult to differentiate the various body languages and are able to show only a few facial expressions. They may be obsessive about their routines and may be unusually sensitive to some sensory stimuli.
It was noted by Asperger that though the males suffering from this condition show normal language development and intelligence, they find it hard to effectively communicate their ideas. They may have problems with paying attention for longer spans and they are also known to have a behavior that others find odd or eccentric. These conditions do not go away with age and an adult who has this condition shows the same symptoms. However, despite Asperger's Syndrome being a lifetime condition, if it is diagnosed at an early stage and proper services are provided, there is a chance that the symptoms may reduce with time.
Causes: Though there is no specific cause known for the condition, it is generally suggested that it is genetic, possibly running through generations in a family. Also, it is thought that some fetal development problems might cause this condition considering the differences in structure and function of specific parts of the brain. Some researches showed that the condition might be associated with depression, bipolar disorder and other mental disorders. There is a wrong idea that the condition is caused due to bad parenting. However, Asperger's syndrome is a neurological disorder and does not depend on the upbringing of the child.
Symptoms: In most cases, Asperger's syndrome is diagnosed in children in the age of 5-9 years. It might be difficult to differentiate the symptoms from troubles in behavior and this is why they can be evaluated only by professionals in many cases. The diagnosis of this condition is often confused with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD.
Treatment: There is neither a cure not an effective medical treatment for Asperger's Syndrome. There can be treatment for some symptoms like depression which are associated with the condition. The main treatment for this condition is training as in the case of Autism. Training for modification in behavior and social skills has found to be effective. Training may also be provided for decision making, problem solving and other skills.
The condition does not mean that a person suffering from it will not be able to succeed socially and academically. In fact, there are many people suffering from the Asperger's syndrome who believe that this condition is more of a "difference" and not a "disorder". There are people with this condition who are leading a full and happy life through proper education and support.
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Taking a Look at Aspergers Symptoms

Aspergers syndrome is on the range of behaviors classified as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Aspergers is considered to be at the high end of functioning for patients suffering from autism. Diagnosis at this end of the range can sometimes be difficult because symptoms can be subtle depending on the functionality of the involved individual.
The behaviors known to make up the spectrum of autism are very much social in nature. They can be detected in familial interactions as well as alone time. It is the social implications of the behaviors that speak to the necessity of its early diagnosis.
Probably the most commonly known symptom for autism comes in the form of repetitive behaviors. This particular symptom can be seen all across the spectrum. It is the degree to which such patterns are practiced as well as what it takes to cause cessation that can be useful in determining the severity of the disease.
Obviously, if an individual is so committed to knocking his/her head against the wall that he/she cannot be distracted, functioning is very much impaired and diagnosis would be on the low end of the spectrum. However, repetitive behaviors practiced on a much smaller scale can be seen by observers as annoyances instead of symptoms. That can be a problem for an undiagnosed aspergers victim.
Other symptoms of Aspergers are not so obvious. Individuals afflicted can have problems with social interactions and may present like they are not even interested in them. Difficulties with communication can look like speech issues when they could in fact be caused by an inability to read body language or other skills necessary for conversation.
Creative play, abstract thinking, and changing course outside their little box can be very difficult too making interactive play and teamwork a struggle. Aspergers kids can also be very literal setting them up to not understand the nuances of communication and cooperation. Understanding the concept of sharing and the importance of empathy can all be challenging to grasp.
Any combination of these aspergers symptoms leaves an afflicted person with a list of behaviors that interfere with social interactions and prevent relationship building. Despite the fact many look like they don't care about relationships, most want to fit in just like the rest of us. Early intervention to teach necessary social skills can give those diagnosed with Asperger's Sypmtoms the tools they need to lead happy, productive lives.
If you would like to know more, check out the many resources available on the web, and do not forget to view the Asperger's Sypmtoms
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Leaky Gut Treatment - What Are The Most Effective Methods?

Leaky gut syndrome is defined by an increased permeability of a person's gut in response to undue inflammation and irritation of the intestinal walls. As this heightened permeability results to the inappropriate functioning of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, it could have tremendous effect on a number of body processes, and is a primary factor in the progression of most autoimmune diseases and food allergies. Though a leaking gut has become increasingly typical and could have colostrum supplementation as an effective leaky gut treatment, doctors often overlook this health condition when diagnosing and prescribing any treatment for its associated symptoms.
GI tract inflammation increases its permeability via formation of sizeable gaps between cells lining one's intestinal walls. While larger molecules passing a healthy gut are digested into smaller pieces before passing into one's body, with leaking gut, these molecules could pass through the intestinal linings before these metabolic processes are complete. Bacteria, toxins and viruses could also pass through a leaking gut, permitting them to enter the circulation & gain direct access to tissues throughout the body. So what is the best leaky gut treatment? To recognize appropriate treatment, people need to understand common disorders that cause it.
First is a weakened immune system. This condition weakens one's immune system by decreasing its ability to fight pathogens at its point of entry - the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation and/or irritation of intestinal walls impairs the protecting lining enclosing immunoglobulin antibodies that are usually present in a normal gut, rendering them dormant & removing a significant line of defense. What is the leaky gut treatment? One should simply strengthen his immunologic system by eating healthily and performing regular exercise. A diet full of fruits and vegetables is an effective and natural solution as it also helps to clean the intestines.
A second common disorder is nutritional deficiencies. For minerals and vitamins to be transported into one's body, they rely on carrier proteins which reside in the gut. Such proteins are also harmed by inflammation in a leaky gut, making them unable to carry ingested vitamins and minerals into one's body for utilization. Similarly, very long periods of irritation could prevent the absorption of said nutrients and essential proteins. What is the leaky gut treatment? An increased intake of vitamins, minerals and proteins could somehow compensate for the lack of absorption. As mentioned, a nutritious diet is a good way to treat your symptoms.
The biologically active elements in colostrum are incredibly effective in leaky gut treatment as it strengthens one's immunologic system. They also repair tissues damaged by autoimmune diseases, another common health disorder. Colostrum supplementation seals the mucosal layer of the intestines as well, making them impervious to larger molecules & microorganisms and preventing the development or further progression of the disease. Additionally, growth factors found in bovine colostrum could have an anti-inflammatory outcome throughout one's body, making colostrum highly substantial in the primary solution for this condition, and alleviating the painful symptoms of several autoimmune diseases associated with a leaking gut syndrome.
To learn cutting edge techniques for overcoming Leaky Gut Syndrome permanently, click here: leaky gut treatment
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A Dad's Perspective on The Journey With Autism and What We Can Do to Help

Dads come in all shapes and sizes, personalities and temperaments, just like moms. Both mothers and fathers have dreams for their children that begin even before conception. Once a person discovers they are to become a parent, ideas form of how things will be with their son or daughter.
Any father-to-be will entertain visions of the type of child he wants to raise. He will ponder what he will teach his child, what values he wants to instill and how he will spend his time with his child. By the time his child is born the father may already have a certain scenario fixed in his mind.
Once the excitement of becoming a father has lulled, these preconceived notions will be further shaped as reality sets in and life unfolds, but nothing is more jarring than finding out that life with your child will not be as you expected due to a diagnosis of Autism and all the challenges that will follow.
Hearing the words, "Your child has Autism" is a shock that is difficult for anyone to immediately handle and everyone deals with it differently. This news will affect dads as well as moms, siblings, grandparents and other relatives, even friends & neighbors and everyone will eventually come to accept the child in their own way and at their own pace.
Therefore it is unrealistic to expect that husbands, wives and partners will be on the same page when it comes to accepting and dealing with an autism diagnosis for their child. Even though moms and dads need to go through the same phases towards acceptance, the journey for dads tends to take longer.
So, what do we know that will help us understand what this process is like for dads and what can we do to support them along this difficult path? (While there are no absolutes about men and the way they cope it is impossible to cover every possibility so please bear with these 'generalized' statements knowing they do not apply to all).
- What we know: Men have a hard time dealing with things they can't fix. Men take pride in their ability to solve problems and are almost always ready with solutions when a real or perceived problem is presented. Any dad is apt to feel powerless or inept when the usual: working harder or smarter isn't going to fix their child. When the dad comes face to face with a situation such as this, there is, unfortunately no simple ready-made solution that will allow them to resolve the challenges their child faces.
What we can do: With that in mind, try providing a dad with small problems to solve regarding his child. Even though men feel most effective when solving big problems, giving them little things to resolve that can be successfully accomplished will help them feel useful. Placing a dad in a role of trouble-shooter will make him less apt to feel powerless and will provide evidence to the fact that little things really do matter.
- What we know: Our culture has conditioned men to see anything that is out of the ordinary as a possible sign of weakness. Dads may struggle more with acceptance of a child with Autism because they may see it as a reflection of inadequacy: "If my child is not OK then I'm NOT OK." Anything that can be construed as a weakness has the potential to create dissonance within a dad and any real or perceived judgment from a peer can become another roadblock to overcome.
What we can do: This is the time to be patient with yourself and your spouse and for you to both focus on the positive and support and talk with one another concentrating on the strengths of all involved instead of pointing out the negatives which only have the power to create a downward spiral of doom and gloom. Taking the time every evening to identify the positives that have occurred during the day is a wonderful activity to keep your mindsets headed in the right direction.
- What we know: Be it genetic or societal conditioning we are familiar with the notion that women tend to reach out more for guidance and emotional support. Men on the other hand are less inclined to go this route and are not as forthcoming in expressing their deep-seated and when they do, it is often not done in the same manner as women. Male gatherings are less conducive to heartfelt talks about Autism and less likely that a dad is able to gain any real compassion or understanding from the listener.
What we can do: It is important to find ways to encourage fathers of children with Autism to discover avenues that will allow them to vent. This is hard for dads and they need help doing so but reaching out to other dads will help shatter these unspoken codes. Finding support groups for men in similar situations will be the best gift you can give any dad in this situation.
- What we know: We all like to appear knowledgeable in everything we do, but not even a genius can know everything. Supposedly, men don't like asking for directions and they don't like to read instruction manuals, but perhaps what is most difficult for them as a parent of a child on the Autism spectrum is not having the knowledge or experience to know that their child is not deliberately defying their authority or rejecting their affection.
What we can do: Find ways to feed information to a dad in bits and pieces. Giving a dad a book to read may not be greeted with much enthusiasm, but tactfully sharing things you have discovered will plant seeds and gradually create a curiosity that takes on a life of its own. Helping a parent get to know their child and understand the unique challenges that they face will make for a stronger connection which puts you one step closer towards acceptance.
It is times like these when it is important to remember that we are all given the children we are meant to have even though they may not be exactly what we hoped for when we first found out we were going to be parents. This means that we have to let go of our prior visions and focus on connecting with the wonderful gift we have before us. As we focus on the abilities our children do have, we then create the power to change possibilities and dream new dreams.
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 e-course, Parenting a Child with Autism - 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum.
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Aspergers in Toddlers

Asperger Syndrome (AS), also called Asperger's, is a disorder in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) range. It is characterized by repetitive and restrictive patterns of interests and behaviors, and difficulties in social interaction. It is not as severe as some of the other ASDs because cognitive and linguistic development does not tend to be impacted. There are several generalized symptoms of the disorder, particularly clumsiness, atypical use of language, limited empathy, and limited or no nonverbal communication skills. The disorder is named after the Austrian pediatrician, Hans Asperger, who first noticed these symptoms in children in his practice in 1944. Today, with the knowledge modern medicine has regarding neurology and symptoms, Aspergers in toddlers may be diagnosed much sooner than in previous decades.
No one knows the exact cause of Asperger's, although there is a suspected genetic basis. Most people diagnosed with the disorder improve as they mature, and although there is no one treatment or cure, people with the syndrome can manage the worst of their symptoms with behavioral therapy. Some people with AS deal with social and communication problems their whole lives.
The symptoms of Aspergers in toddlers are usually present, although the diagnosis is usually not made until the child reaches seven or nine years of age. Early warning signs may allow a diagnosis to be made much sooner, which would benefit a child who may receive therapy to help with the worst of the symptoms. Some kids with Asperger's fail to attain milestones like crawling, waving, other simple gestures, and unassisted standing within the first year. These kids may also fail to make eye contact, show an aversion to affection, and may prefer being alone. Repetitive behaviors may also appear in the first year or two, like rocking.
Other symptoms of Aspergers in toddlers include abnormal non-verbal communication, lack of social skills, advanced language development, poor coordination - clumsiness, reflex abnormalities, delayed concept of joint attention, delayed use of gestures, delayed pointing, preoccupation with certain topics or items, early reading, sensitivity to stimuli, and obsession with complex topics.
Children with an autism spectrum disorder like Aspergers may begin to develop verbal communication or social skills, but then start to lose those skills around age three. The sooner an autistic or Asperger's Syndrome child is diagnosed, the sooner behavioral therapy can begin. Early treatment can sometimes lessen the severity of the disorder and help the child to be more able to get along in life. Speak to your doctor if you feel your child may have Aspergers disorder.
Register for your FREE webinar training now and discover the key to unlocking childhood Autism and Aspergers syndrome.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Leaky Gut Syndrome - Little Known Facts Revealed

Learning about Leaky gut syndrome in context with autism is a fast-growing need for families with a member diagnosed with the brain disorder, Autism; what causes it and how to control and treat it are among the aspects most sought out by people today.
At the most basic level, leaky gut syndrome is the inability of an autistic person's intestinal wall to prevent large, undesirable molecules from filtering in, i.e. it becomes permeable and leads to an increased sensitivity to allergies and other diseases or can be understood as reduced immunity.
Thus, those autistic children who suffer leaky gut syndrome are bound to suffer frequent bouts of allergies or common illnesses as protein substances and other hard to break down molecules filter through their intestinal tracts into the intestines, causing the body to misinterpret them as a harmful substance (such as a virus) and go into an anti-body production overdrive to combat these.
Other complications arising from leaky gut syndrome are caused when an autistic individual's body, unable to recognize these substances that filter in to the intestine as being harmless, which may well be familiar foods but the body is unaware of that info, starts to cause an auto-immune disease and this situation has the body attacking itself! Apart from these 2 dangerous situations that can arise from leaky gut syndrome, there are others including bacteria getting transported to bloodstream that should only be found in the intestinal tract, which causes infections and weakens the liver besides resulting in increased toxicity elsewhere in the body. All of these complications from leaky gut syndrome can mean continued poor health for an autistic person.
To avoid these type of medical problems arising from leaky gut syndrome, it is advisable for families with autistic members to raise their awareness levels regarding the source, symptoms and treatment of the disorder. This includes avoiding intake of a diet that is high in carbs, alcohol and caffeine content, drugs such as ibuprofen and antacids - all of which work to reduce the impermeable nature of the intestinal walls that is a measure of disease control. While research is on for other medical diagnoses that may shed light on the causes of leaky gut syndrome and exact source, inconclusive evidence registered so far points to ways to prevent the syndrome from manifesting itself in serious ways as the sensible way to deal with the issue.
Since the digestive system of autistic children is very sensitive, medical advice strongly recommends going on a gluten and casein free diet that are essentially hard-to-break-down protein substances that can inflame the condition; avoiding spicy food and the above stated items that aggravate the condition, are other recommendations for dealing with the irritable leaky gut syndrome to enhance the quality of life for an autistic individual.
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Establishing Routines for a Child with Autism And Coping with Changes

Whilst all children benefit from routine in their day to day lives, children with Autism thrive on it! As a parent of a child with Autism it is very important to look at establishing daily routines in your child's life. Routines will provide predictability in their life and relieve much anxiety and uncertainty about what is happening around them. A rountine will allow your child to have greater control over their environment.
Provide your child with schedules and timers so that they can see clearly what is happening and when. An egg timer works well as a visual cue for children with Autism - or alternatively, we have even been known to put markings on the wall clock to show the times for different parts of our daily routine. Alarm clocks and oven timers can also be used as part of a routine, for example to remind a child that it is time to change tasks, get ready for bed, or leave for school. Establish daily routines as early as possible and stick to them as best you can.
Having now said that, of course change is inevitable in life, and with change comes disruptions to routines - yes, a potential nightmare for a child with Autism.
There are many strategies that can be used to help a child with Autism work through day to day change. Picture cards are fabulous and are a strategy that we use regularly in our home. The picture cards show images and photos of the many things that we do during the day, places we visit, and tasks that need to be completed. At the beginning of a day, we select the cards that represent what will be happening for that day. We stick the cards up on a velcro strip, and as we move through the day we remove each card and 'post' it in a 'completed' box as we finish with a task or scenario. The benefit of the cards is that the child is able to see the full days 'story' and can predict what will happen next. We also use picture cards for getting ready for kinder, getting ready for dinner, or getting ready for bed - the cards outline the tasks that need to be completed, one after the other.
Again, the best made plans can go out the window when an unexpected visitor knocks on the door, or we run out of milk and need to make a quick trip to the shops. We have a '?' or 'what if' card that we use for these times. It is a card that can be thrown into the mix at any time, and the child understands that this card can mean change. To begin with the '?' card is unpredictable, and a lot of time and patience is required with its use. However, the '?' card used consistently when a change arises will eventually give the child a sense of predicability - the child begins to associate it with change and begins to realise what sort of things to expect from this and as such is better able to cope.
Remember that children with Autism love routine. When changes to your child's routine need to occur, make sure you allow them plenty of time to adjust to the change, use visual cues when you can and provide plenty of support to help them through it. The result - a more relaxed child and a less stressed parent!
(By Elissa Plumridge [] - this article may not be altered, and must retain the authors details)
Elissa Plumridge is a mother of two children, her son having an autism spectrum disorder. She shares her views and advice on autism spectrum disorders, drawing from her experience as a mother of a child with an ASD and as a teacher. More information can be found on Elissa's blog at []
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Autism Behavior Ways to Beat The Summer Blues!

Given the nature of autism behavior, summer can actually be more difficult for kids with autism than most. In fact, many parents with kids who have autism dread the start of summer. Why? Summer wrecks with kids' routine. Summer is full of endless days with nothing to do and no plan, no routine, no schedule. If there is one surefire thing you could possibly do to cause tantrums and bad autism behavior in kids with autism, it is to remove their schedule.
Beat the Summertime Blues
All year long, kids with autism can at least rely on a few simple things. The yellow school bus which takes them to school, their classes and activities during school, and the yellow school bus to take them home. Love them or hate them, at least they're there. And having your day structured in some way, for a child with autism, is so much infinitely better than doing nothing.
So what do you do? Well, you have several options.
1. Extended School Year
Some schools will offer extended school year programs to those at risk for falling behind or those who need the extra enrichment and learning that extended school year programs provide. Many kids with autism need consistent learning or else they will start the school year way behind where they left off. They might even end the school year ahead, but they will forget all they learned during the summer and often regress without the structure that school provides.
Often, autism behavior that is problematic masks problems underneath - in this case, that the child needs more stimulation and engaging activities. Ask your special education teacher or principal about this option.
2. Summer Camps
There are, of course, also summer camps. There are dozens of different kinds of summer camps you could send your child to. Decide what is most important for you and your child. Do you want to work on social and communication skills in an autism focused environment? There are camps for that. Do you want to send your child to camp focused on his interests, such as a Lego camp, sports, or arts and crafts? There are camps for that.
Your local Town Recreation department usually has a selection of camps for kids in the summer at relatively low-cost. Often, they will even have summer camp programs designed for those with special needs. You can often get an aide to help your child participate in these activities. The key is planning ahead. Start early. Find out as early as possible in the year whom you will have to talk to and get permission from to get your child the services they need over the summer.
Doing so gives you the best chance of taking the negative autism behavior symptoms you often see in your child during the summer and turning them into positive ones.
Summer Camp Options
You can look at a site like camps to find autism related summer camps that might be good for your child -- or just talk to your local autism society chapter or doctor. Sometimes you can find a great program locally, and sometimes you have to travel for it. Such programs usually incorporate therapy, academics, social skills learning, fields trips and just plain fun into a smorgasbord for autism learning and increasing positive autism behavior.
3. Create a summer learning routine for your child
Learning does not have to stop just because school has. Many experts will recommend that you develop units of learning during the summer to enrich your child's learning. In other words, make your home into a part-time school. Have theme weeks, such as learning about sea creatures with a trip to the aquarium. Learn about mammals and take a trip to the zoo. Take advantage of Internet lesson plans and learning resources.
Try to build a routine for your child over the summer so they will know what to expect. Designate some time each day for learning about a topic of interest to your child, then some time for an activity in the community like the swimming pool, the movies or a museum.
Community activities
The nice things about museums are they often free or low-cost, and some have special programs for kids with special needs. Kids' museums in particular sometimes have autism only days where kids with autism and their parents can have the whole place to themselves. This means they won't have to explain autism behavior to others and can be free to express themselves however they want.
Get into arts and crafts, or develop new hobbies. Summer is a time for learning and exploring interests that there wasn't time for during the school year. Just make sure there is some routine to all this, and you'll be all set. Your child will be enriched, happy, and you will see positive autism behavior (less or no meltdowns, more engagement) if you find a way to engage your child in a routine this summer.
And for further tips and techniques to help children with autism live a happy and fulfilled life, go to the web site and There you will be able to sign up for the free Asperger's and Autism newsletter as well as get additional information to help your loved ones thrive on the autism spectrum.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Understand Autism to Help Autistic Children

Advance and regular medical science research has either removed or has an effective control over all kind of health issues except for autism which still persists in our world. So it become essential for parents and care-taker to first understand autism or sensory processing disorder, before helping their children or loved once, to overcome from stress from autism as far as possible. Since no specific treatment for this disorder is available, so all that we could do is to identify the level of autism and cooperate (through therapy) in accordance with it to help them to reach their potential....Everyday.
Symptoms of autism starts visible as early as, at the age of 12-16 months and develops into full intensity at the age of four; there are several things through which one can diagnose the symptoms of autism, such as:
  • Unusual physical or body movement
  • Different kind of eating habit
  • Lack of interest and concentration
  • Impairments in communication
  • Repetitive behaviour
Only way through which we can handle autism is therapies, there are different kinds of therapy available depending upon the intensity of autism, thus it become important to identify the type of autism and choose therapy accordingly.
Some of the therapies that are helpful for children, suffering from autism are as follows:
  1. Weighted Therapy: Research shows that weighted therapy helps a lot to keep autistic children calm and relax, and basically help them to control their physical movement. Weighted therapy could be in the form of weighted toys, weighted blanket, weighted lap pads or weighted lap animals.

  2. Children Games:Providing therapy through children games, especially one designed for autism, is the best way to handle autistic children, as kids are attracted towards games so they learn fast and quickly through it, and it brings lot of change in their behaviour.

  3. Relaxation Resources: Several relaxation resource are available in market, inform of book, CD's and script, which could be easily used at home, school or in therapy room, to increase the concentration level in children and also it helps to make their behaviour stable and calm.

  4. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses a special chamber, sometimes called a pressure chamber, to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood for faster metabolism and it is also found that it also decreases neurological inflammation. Evidence based research has shown some improvement after autistic children undergoes some hours of exposure.

  5. Sensory Processing measure: This tool helps in determining the complete picture of children's sensory functioning at home, in school or in the community. Hence, it is advised to keep this tool kit handy with you, if you are related with autism treatment.
As there is no specific or known medicine is available for autism till now, so therapy is the best alternative for children suffering from autism. Secondly more care, love and attention should be given to autistic children as compared to their counterparts, and right strategies should be followed for each and every child depending upon their condition, so that they can reach their potential everyday with improved social understanding.
Kate Horstmann is an occupational therapist, who is consistently working in the field of children Autism, by helping and empowering Parents, teachers or therapist to help children struggling with autism through children games or evidence based therapies.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Back to School for Those With Autism Spectrum Disorders

When it's time to take your child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to school, it can be quite a turbulent time, to say the least. All routine is thrown out the window and replaced with sheer and utter chaos. New overwhelming sights, sounds, smells, and touches will all be experienced in the first day of class. In order to make this transition a little more peaceful there are a few steps you can take ahead of time to prepare your child for success in a mainstream environment.
1. Take your child to the school a couple of times before the start of the school year. Walk them around the halls. Let the feel the walls, adjust to the lighting, and get used to the pattern of the tile on the floor. This might be a good time to map out their routes, if they will be changing classrooms. Show them where the restrooms are in relation to their class room/rooms. Let them see their classroom and become familiar with it as well. I understand you can't do this to far in advance, but the more visits you can get in the better.
2. Introduce yourself and your child to the teacher. Communication between you and your child's teacher through out the school year is going to be key in their success. You might as well make your self known right away, and let then know you are an involved parent. Let the teacher know you are their to help however you can. During this time your child will be able to become familiar with the teacher as well. This should help the transition if there is a recognizable face among all the craziness.
3. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse! Devote a little time each day to going over scenarios that your child might encounter while they are at school. What to do when you get upset at a student/teacher is a good one. What do you do if you get lost trying to find your room. Who do you go to if someone is picking on you or bullying you. For that matter make sure your child knows what bullying is and understands that it is not OK.
This is just a general guide. You know your child, if preparing them ahead of time will only make them perseverate on it, then this will not work for you. I hope this has been a help[ to some.
I have more resources on my website at
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Healing Diets Alleviate Autism Symptoms

Your monthly autism support group is helpful. Sometimes, a mom sitting next to you is busy jotting down a shopping list. You notice some interesting items: coconut flour, rice noodles, gluten-free cereal and quite a few organic fruits and vegetables. Immediately you realize that this mom must follow a special autism diet for their child. You may wonder if these diets really do benefit children with autism.
You may have done little research on diet, as you have been very focused on behavioral therapy. What are the facts supporting autism diets? You may begin to wonder if your child can benefit.
Diet is an important part of intervention for autism. According to leading autism organizations, autism pediatricians, nutritionists and parents around the globe, autism diets provide measurable results in helping reduce children's symptoms of autism.
There are many diets that autism nutrition specialists, physicians and parents are applying with great results. They are the Gluten-Free Casein-Free (GFCF) Diet, Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet, Low Oxalate Diet, Body Ecology Diet, Feingold Diet and the Weston A. Price Diet-each with their own individual healing properties.
Autism diets are recommended and applied with the help of nutrition consultants based on a child's autism symptoms, food allergies and sensitivities, digestive capacity, family history, bio-individuality, and a number of other criteria.
According to parents polled by Autism Research Institute (ARI), after mercury/heavy metal chelation, autism diet is the most effective intervention for children on the autistic spectrum - more that any drug, nutrient or other biomedical therapy. One simple healing principle holds true today: thousands of children are finding relief from symptoms of autism as parents correctly and diligently apply autism diet. Autism is treatable and diet helps.
Parents and physicians consistently report improvement in the following symptoms: stimming, sleep, language, eye contact, attention, hyperactivity, learning, fatigue, aggression, self-injurious behavior, rashes, digestion, diarrhea, constipation and gas. While children experience symptom alleviation at different levels, the GFCF Diet, for example, shows a 65% improvement rating ("got better") as reported by thousands of parents in an Autism Research Institute (ARI) survey; Specific Carbohydrate Diet, while a smaller sample of hundreds, has shown a 66% improvement.
Every parent with a child on the autism spectrum that takes the time to do cursory research and read parent reports regarding autism diets finds that they have a very powerful healing tool right at their fingertips.
While it's important to consult a qualified autism nutrition and diet specialist, it's beneficial to take the time to understand and explore how food heals and how a particular diet may help your child. Since parents feed their child every day, the more you comprehend diet and nutrition, the more effective you can be. Visit autism diet websites and explore the leading autism diet books available. You are your child's most important health advocate.
On your next trip to the grocery store, take these first simple steps to implement a healing autism diet for your child. Purchase organic fruits and vegetables when possible; remove all artificial ingredients, colors and preservatives from food choices. Do not purchase pre-package foods such as canned or frozen chili, macaroni and cheese or taco seasoning. Serve only meat from grass-fed animals when possible. By choosing nutritional organic foods to prepare for your family, you remove harmful toxins, colors, additives, pesticides, PCBs, antibiotics and hormones from your child's dinner plate.
The first diet most parents, physicians and autism nutritionists recommend is the Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet. Find out about the interesting facts behind this diet-it's helping many children on the spectrum. Enjoy the process-if a healing diet might help your child, why not try it? Connect with parents on autism diet Facebook and Yahoo! groups for success stories, resources, new ideas, recipes and diet implementation tips. Remember, the most important step to implementing autism diet-just start!
Julie Matthews, a top US biomedical autism diet/nutrition specialist and Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) Practitioner, helps parents recover children from autism. She is a parent/physician educator and creator of Nourishing Hope for Autism Nutrition Intervention for Healing Our Children" (Book) and "Cooking to Heal Autism Nutrition and Cooking Classes" (DVD). Visit to study autism diets and view video presentations.
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