Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let's Get That Autism Research Psychologist Into My Classroom For a Month and We'll See Then

The other day, I was at Starbucks and I was talking to a special ed teacher who had several autistic kids and down syndrome kids in her classroom. She was working to up her certification and therefore guarantee that you won't be laid off from the school district she works at, which has laid off thousands of people already. She was reading a very interesting book that was part of her course studies, and she reiterated to me that she was perplexed by some of the research papers she had read from clinical psychologist researchers about autism and autistic behavior in a classroom setting. Okay so let's talk.
She said that she wishes that these clinical psychologists that do all these reports and research, while publishing in their journals would come into her classroom for a couple of weeks to actually look at the autistic kids, and see how well their research is doing in reality. Apparently there's a huge disconnect, and part of the problem she admitted was the fact that the autistic spectrum was so large now that they were grouping all sorts of kids into the same categories, which really made no sense at all.
Whereas, autism is primarily a brain structural issue, which can lead to all sorts of different attributes and behaviors, each child is different, and grouping them all together or trying to explain that kids that do one thing are a certain way, are sure to do another, simply isn't so, and she can prove it in a real-life classroom setting with real observations each and every day working with these kids. The research papers don't seem to be able to do that, and often they are flat wrong.
Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time that someone has told me this, and I did speak with a researcher from the University of Riverside at the Palm Desert campus who explained to me that what they were doing now was taking each individual, giving them individual tests, and trying to place them within four quadrants to get an idea of how best to teach them, deal with any learning disabilities they had, and design a curriculum which would work for their particular brain.
That to me makes a lot more sense, although I must admit it is a lot more work, and right now with the schools in severe financial hardship, I'm not sure who's paying for it, but that would be the right way to play it. Please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on the Future of Education. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net
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Autism and Biofeedback

Johnny, age 7, was fascinated for hours by running water, lost in his own world. Like many autistic children he ran on his toes and flapped his hands to self-stimulate in hopes of controlling all the noise in his head. Even minor frustrations turned into emotional meltdowns including seizures.
When Johnny came to his first brain biofeedback sessions he would retreat under the chairs. He did not talk or read. One year and 60 sessions later he makes friends wherever he goes and acts like the Mayor of the waiting room. All his autistic symptoms have now disappeared except that he is reading one year behind grade level. He now hugs his mommy out of his love for her.
Autism is a severe lifelong neuro-biological disorder characterized by limitations of communication and socialization. Autism has grown at an alarming rate from 5 in 10,000 births in 1970 up to 1 in 166 births in 2003. Little is known about the cause of autism and related disorders on the Autism spectrum such as Asperger's.
Autistic infants typically grow normally for 12-18 months and then begin losing social and communication skills. The ability to imitate disappears. There is usually poor expressive language skills. An autistic child's outward expression never includes the triad of facial expression, word and gesture. These children do not socialize with others on the playground. Rather than a true relationships, interactions are utilitarian. Autistic children use people as tools, for example bringing mom to the refrigerator and guiding her hand to get food.
Scientific research and clinical practice are showing brain biofeedback to be a very promising remedy for autism spectrum disorders. All biofeedback starts with monitoring an aspect of your body's functioning and consists of interacting with a display of your physiology. For example, as people are relaxing their hands grow warmer. Imagine holding a digital thermometer in your fingers and letting your hand temperature go up as you relax. Biofeedback is natural, benign and non-invasive. Adverse effects from biofeedback are rare and minor such as a brief headache.
The most exciting research for autism is with brain biofeedback, called neurofeedback. For 35 years brain wave biofeedback has used software connected to an EEG to produce significant improvement in numerous disorders including seizures, migraine, and ADHD. Long term follow ups show that results are sustained and that people can shed their medications.
Recent research is proving that neurofeedback also reduces the symptoms of autism. One recent study reported a 92% success rate with an average 42% reduction in autistic symptoms. We know that biofeedback generally enhances self-regulation. Speculation about how neurofeedback works includes fostering self-repair of communication pathways and promoting maturation of brain functions.
The newest form of neurofeedback is called hemoencephalography (blood-brain-image) or HEG. HEG is proving especially effective for autism. Infrared heat sensors on the head can detect blood flow within the brain. In HEG biofeedback sessions you train to increase either blood perfusion or oxygenation at specific sites such as the frontal cortex. Infrared photos show the effect to last for days and the total effect to be cumulative.
HEG training seems to work like exercise that irrigates underdeveloped areas of the brain. Think of adding more RAM into your computer. Greater brain metabolism becomes improved neural function which shows up as better behavior and new levels of achievement.Progress from neurofeedback tends to be across the board spanning: frustration tolerance, habits, sleep, cognitive, social, emotional, behavioral and executive mental functioning.
As technology advances specific neurofeedback strategies and combinations are still being developed. Some neurofeedback practitioners focus on correcting brain wave amplitudes and bringing them in line with norms. Some use EEG brain maps to guide their training of certain frequencies at particular parts of the scalp; others use symptoms to guide placement and frequencies. For example if there are too many fast beta waves in the occipital cortex (corresponding to a busy mind) then sensors would be placed on the back of the head and the client would play computer games that reward reduced activity at 23-38 Hz.
Other professionals train down excess variability of EEG signals across the entire spectrum of brain waves at central locations on the scalp. A few practitioners have clients perform various types of mental processing challenges while training such as reading or listening to stories.
In addition to brain wave amplitudes, inter-site coherence can be a goal of EEG biofeedback training. The idea here is that you don't want too much nor too little correspondence between activity at separate sites within the brain. Specialized brain maps indicate abnormality of co-modulation between each pair of 19 sites. This mapping guides training to normalize this aspect of the EEG. All of these methods and other approaches are integrated into the neurofeedback regimen in several ways depending on the case and the practitioner. A standard of practice has not been defined.
Using any variety of neurofeedback approaches, we see near complete success for 90% of those with migraines in 20 sessions. Garden variety ADD takes 40 sessions to clear up for 80% of clients. Autistic spectrum disorders are more severe and take a larger number of sessions to produce more modest results.
Biofeedback software is now so advanced that it is fairly easy to use. The price of equipment has come down so that it has become practical for some parents to do neurofeedback training in their home under the guidance of a professional.
No one is talking about a complete "cure" for autism. However clinical successes and experimental research are progressing just as it has for the several other disorders that neurofeedback has virtually conquered. For autism, there is promising scientific research of significant improvement and reports of seriously impaired clients like Johnny completing neurofeedback training with no more autistic symptoms whatsoever.
Gary Ames is a licensed psychologist specializing in biofeedback in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Contact him via his web site: http://www.AlertFocus.com or phone 610-668-3223.
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A Look at When ADHD and Autism Strike Simultaneously in Preadolescent Children

Millions of parents have heard about ADHD and autism, and they are aware of some of the signs and symptoms a parent should be on the lookout for. Perhaps their own kids have been diagnosed with one of these disorders, or perhaps they have friends who have an ADHD child. What many people do not realize however is that a child can have both of these disorders simultaneously.
In fact, the number of American children with ADHD and autism has been steadily rising, and it's been rising quickly enough to have warranted further research funding by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Just recently, the NIMH awarded an additional three million dollars to a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in order to conduct further studies regarding treatment for autistic children who also have symptoms of ADHD.
As any psychiatrist or child psychologist will attest to, ADHD symptoms can be extremely similar to the symptoms of autism. Autistic children who also have ADHD are often only treated for one of these disorders. The problem with this type of approach is that kids who have both these disorders rarely respond well to regular ADHD stimulant drugs, and this is actually what often alerts a specialist in the first place, that a child might have both disorders.
In the study mentioned above, researchers recruited 144 children between the ages of five and thirteen in order to carry out a safety assessment of two types of treatment:
* Atomoxetine (non-stimulant norepinephrine uptake inhibitor)
* PMT (Parental Management Training)
The results of the study were quite promising, at least in terms of safety. Prior to 2002 when atomoxetine was first approved by the FDA (Food and Drug administration), stimulant drugs were the order of the day, and used almost exclusively for treating these types of disorders. Unfortunately however, the most commonly prescribed stimulant drug has been linked to several deaths; it's known to be highly addictive (the DEA has it in the same class as cocaine and morphine), and it has a mile long list of possible side effects, many of which are extremely serious, such as suicidal tendencies for example. The biggest downside to atomoxetine is the fact that it alters brainwave activity, as do stimulant drugs, and this is exactly the type of thing many parents are hoping to avoid.
Parental Management Training aims to teach parents how to intervene in undesirable behavior, but in a positive way, rather than in a disciplinary manner. While this is of course the best possible form of treatment, it's simply not suitable in all cases for a number of reasons. To begin, in many households, both parents work, and therefore they aren't able to invest the necessary amount of time. Also, many parents simply don't have the amount of patience this type of treatment calls for. In order to treat a child using this form of treatment, one quite literally needs to have the patience of a saint.
It seems, at least for the time being, that the natural homeopathic remedies are still one of the best choices parents have for treating ADHD and autism. This is especially true if, like millions of others, they don't want their kids taking powerful mind altering stimulant drugs.
If you desire useful information on adhd and autism I invite you to visit my website at: http://www.adhd-treatment-info.com/. Not only can you really tackle the issue of ADHD but you will also discover very effective natural homeopathic remedies to help your child. Brought to you by V K Rajagopalan, strongly advocating Natural Healthy Living.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

How Is Autism Treated

There have been stories and tales of a cure or magical treatment for autism. These claims are not true. They set up the hopes and dreams of both parents and teachers alike only to be disenchanted with the discovery that the claim is false. There has only been one proven treatment for autism and the treatment is not a cure. The treatment is an educational program that individually fits the autistic child's abilities and works around the disabilities to teach the child alternative forms of communication and behavioral skills which will allow them some semblance of a normal adulthood. When an autistic child reaches school age, there will be a meeting of professionals including a psychologist, doctors, parents, speech therapists, and other interested parties who will draw up an individualize education program for the child. The program will look at the abilities of the child and what level of achievement the child has had in the parent's home and outside services. Mainstreaming the child into regular classrooms is the goal of the program, but the child will be pulled out of mainstream classes in order to provide special services which may include a speech instructor or an behavior specialist who works on both the communication process and the behavior associated with autism.
There are advocates that autistic children should be brought out of the mainstream classes and put into a more restrictive environment that will limit the sensory items that might distract or upset the child. The autistic child needs to have a pattern in their lives and in the mainstream classroom; the hustle and bustle of public education settings may lead them to sensory overload. Not only that but the social aspect of being different and not being able to contribute or communicate to the rest of the class can be heartbreaking to both the student and the teachers involved. The self-contained class room will break down tasks into manageable chunks that the child can be successful and maybe eventually learn.
The treatment process goes on both at home and at school. The autistic child must be taught how to appropriately interact with others. A common behavior in autistic children is to take off their clothes. They see no sense of wrong or right by being nude in public. Such behaviors need time and patience to mend and some methods might work for one child and then be completely a failure for others. Parents, teachers, and medical professionals need to keep abreast of new treatments so that they can replace a treatment or method that has been proven a failure for a particular child. Sometimes the behavior cannot be changed at all and the individualize education program must come up with strategies to deal with the behavior.
Parents and teachers must remember that the autism is a life long condition and as the child moves through life the treatments must change to fit the life period of that child.  The changes are not understood by the child, but like Pavlov's dog, a conditioned response may be instilled in the child and the proper behavior may be a learned response.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Coping With Being A Parent To An Autistic Child

Being a parent is never easy. No matter how prepared you feel you are to be a parent, there are always going to be rough patches along the way. There are many mothers who are single mothers working 40 or more hours per week raising one or more children on her own. There are many mothers who are raising her children in a two-parent household. There are many mothers who are raising children with autism.
With autism cases currently peaking at 1 out of 150 children being diagnosed with autism in the United States, many parents are now parents of an autistic child, approximately 85% of those cases being seen in boys. Some cases of autism are very mild and may encompass simpler symptoms of speech disorders, developmental delays, lack of social skills, and poor attention. Some cases are severe where the child shows no social skills, are non-verbal, are extremely aggressive as a way of communicating with others, and are going to be dependent on his or her parents for the rest of their lives.
Knowing the difficulties a child will face with autism is half the battle for any parent raising a child with autism. The other half of the battle is therapeutic treatment intervention techniques to help that child live as normal a life as he or she possibly can, especially those that are diagnosed with more severe cases of autism. Such therapeutic interventions may include medication, behavioral health and community rehabilitation services where the child will receive therapy in the school and or home settings, communication devices if the child is non-verbal, and intensive specialized therapy to assist with aggression, social skills, and verbal communication skills.
Parents who take the time to understand autism and what it looks like in his or her own child brings a sense of self-awareness and a certain passion that comes from deep within. This is the first step in understanding his or her child and will help the child's parents find resources they can draw from to help their child. One of the biggest therapeutic tools for parents to help them deal with this new diagnosis given to their child is support groups. Because autism has become one of the largest diagnoses given in the mental health industry, there are literally hundreds of support groups that are run in every city across the United States organized and run by other parents of a child with autism. This is a great way to obtain resources that will help your child as well as your family cope with the diagnosis. In addition, there are many agencies that provide many different types of services such as music therapy, play therapy, community behavioral health services, and school-based services that cater to children diagnosed with all levels of autism.
Being a parent is difficult in today's world. Being a parent to a child with autism magnifies that by what feels like a million times. The good news is that there is support and services out there that can help parents and their child or children cope and treat the symptoms of autism.
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The Easy Way to Tell A Child They Have Autism

Parents of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder often fret about when to tell their child they have Autism and how.
What if we didn't have to tell our children they have Autism?
Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world without disclosure?
Ah, yes, it would but that might be a bit unrealistic.
But what if I told you there was an easy way to tell your child?
What if I told you that you can create a positive experience for telling your child he or she has Autism?
Do you think this is possible? I say yes and here is why.
Let's face it we are all different. We all relate to the world uniquely and teaching that to our children is the most important thing any parent can begin to do at an early age. When a parent can matter-of-factly point out the similarities and differences among themselves as a family and beyond then being different becomes less of an issue. Honoring and celebrating each of our differences in a valued fashion rather than waiting for it to be pointed out and discussed when it becomes obvious gives any label less emphasis and is more likely to be seen as a positive.
So how does one put a positive spin on telling their child they are on the Autism spectrum? By developing mindsets and environments that not only expect differences but value and respect them as well.
Allow me to paint a picture of how this might occur.
- Be proactive. Begin early on to establish an environment that discusses similarities and differences in a positive light. Identify each person's learning style, temperament, personality, sensory issues and idiosyncrasies and focus on the positive aspects of them. As attention is paid to the benefits of each it is only natural for human beings to gravitate and create more of the same thus minimizing the negative. Don't wait for Autism to become noticeable to your child or others. Doing so risks negatively altering your child's perception of self. Avoid this by developing a positive and authentic self-image of who she is early on, one that does not have to be changed or explained later on.
- Acquire a vocabulary without labels. Be mindful to use language that emphasizes strengths in relation to challenges. When someone does something well, name it as an asset and celebrate it. Point to the fact that everyone is good at something that might be a bit more difficult for someone else in the family or elsewhere to accomplish. This will encourage non-judgmental comparison and can even promote a mentoring atmosphere, where individuals use their strengths to help other family members who are challenged in that same area. The ability to objectively see the strengths each family member, relative, friend and others have normalizes the fact that we are ALL good at something. The trick is to do this uniformly and acknowledge the strengths of everyone in the family, including us adults.
- Balance every challenge with a strength. Discuss ways to use your strengths to compensate for your challenges. Occasionally sit down with everyone and discuss how each of you utilize your strengths to make accommodations for the things that you may struggle with. For example, sitting in class listening to the teacher doesn't work well because you are not an auditory learner. You struggle to take notes because your penmanship is poor. So you augment your note-taking with your talent for art. Over the years you have developed a type of artistic shorthand that you use to take unique notes adding pictures and symbols. This appeals to your visual learning style and helps you remember the lesson better.
- Normalize everyone's challenges. If your child's differences came in the form of diabetes, epilepsy, poor eyesight or food allergies would you wait to address it? No, you would describe it as "this is the way your body works and this is what it needs to function at it's best." Why are we so much more sensitive and touchy when it comes to something that affects the mind? Why can't we be just as matter-of-fact about the way a child's brain or nervous system works? Explaining to a child, "This is how your nervous system works" or "This is how your brain is wired" helps to paint a realistic picture of how their body functions. This is powerful information for children to have in order to self advocate, keep themselves safe and in control of what they need to maximize their potential.
Describing Autism without using the word Autism can definitely be accomplished but only to a point. Following the recommendations above can delay or may even prevent the asking of the awkward question most parents fear, "What is wrong with me?" or "Why am I different?" Unfortunately the day may still come when your child wants to have a name for his differences whether he sees them as positive or negative.
Should the time come when your child really wants to know what her brain style is called then you need to let her know the label society gives it. But if you began early in her life to lay the affirmative groundwork discussed above then the label is apt to be just another piece of factual information rather than a devastating blow to your child's sense of self. Always remember that the most important message will be in the descriptors you use rather than the label itself.
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 http://www.parentcoachingforautism.com 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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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Activities for Autistic Children 2012

Autism is one disorder out of the group of Austism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs); the other two are pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)and Asperger syndrome. Autism is a neural development disorder which affects the person's communication and social interaction. It is characterized by repetitive and restrictive behavior. The disorder affects how the person's nerve cells and synapses organize and connect. Autism is usually noticed and diagnosed within the first five years of a child's life.
There are many activities for autistic children that a parent or caregiver can provide. These activities help desensitize the child to things that previously would have been overwhelming: scents, textures, sounds, light, and tastes.
Autistic kids will often tap their ears, snap their fingers, or retreat to a place that is quiet; often they do this to block or hide away from sounds that are hurting or overwhelming them. One activity you can do with an autistic child is to make musical shakers.This works to both help the child become used to loud noises, and can also help with desensitizing the child toward certain textures. These type of play can be used as activities for autistic children.
Collect different containers you can use for shakers: salt and pepper shakers, paper towel rolls, plastic soda containers, and coffee cans. Next, gather materials to place inside the containers: dried beans, dried peas, dried pasta, dried rice, dried popcorn, coins, and other small, hard items. Make sure to supervise children who have a tendency to put things in their mouths. Activities for children with autism help the child to become used to loud sounds, strange textures, and allow them to create artwork or music, all at once.
Wash and dry all of the containers, and then let the child pick out which container to use. Offer construction paper so he or she can decorate the outside. Next, experiment with tactile sensations: have the child reach into each bowl and feel the texture of each item. Ask what he or she thinks it will sound like when the items are placed into the container. Finally, allow the child to pick which item to listen to first and fill the container about a third to half-way with the item (rice, macaroni, pennies, etcetera) and fasten the lid tightly.
Do the same thing for each item; place each group into its own container and allow the child to shake each one in turn. Ask the child which container makes the "best" sound and ask why it's best. In turn, ask which one makes the "worst" sound - this will help you identify which sounds are most irritating and you can work on these in the future with other activities for autistic children.
For further PRICELESS resources to help you better cope and handle child autism and enable your child to feel loved and conquer any obstacles VISIT.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Informative Positive Approaches to Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Dyspraxia

Virtually everyone in our community is somehow connected to Autism Spectrum Disorders. Through a classmate, a family member, friend, or neighbor most of us know at least one individual living "on the spectrum".Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Dyspraxia is a condition, generally present in early childhood, that affects motor skills. Occasionally, dyspraxia can be caused by traumatic brain injury, but in most cases, the cause is unknown. Specific statistics on how many people are affected by dyspraxia are difficult to find because the condition is often undiagnosed. Estimates range from 2% to 10% of the population. Males make up about 70-80% of diagnosed cases.
Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviors which are markedly different from those of typical children. Less severe cases may be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or with Asperger's Syndrome (these children typically have normal speech, but they have many "autistic" social and behavioral problems). Autism affects about 1 in every 150 kids, but no one knows what causes it. Some scientists think that some kids might be more likely to get autism because it or similar disorders run in their families. Knowing the exact cause of autism is hard because the human brain is very complicated.
A person with ASD may have difficulty empathising (understanding the thoughts and feelings of others or seeing the world from someone else's perspective). Because of this, they may sometimes make assumptions or say things which appear strange, rude or insensitive. It is very likely that it is not their intention to cause upset. Always stay positive with ASD children Being reliable is very important. Empathise with the issue that someone with ASD may be easily upset by unpredictable change and take simple steps to avoid this wherever possible (eg a post it note on a door to advise of a room change). If they say something that you would interpret as being rude, over familiar, or intrusive, be aware that they may not realise that their comment is inappropriate. Always get to know the individual first before communicating a certain way with them.
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sibling Rivalry With An Autistic Child - How Autism Affects Siblings

Sibling rivalry is a normal healthy part of any family group, the issue arise when you have a special needs child such as one with autism. We are given more then ample information on helping our child with autism and helping ourselves adjust to parenting them, but what about the siblings? What help is there for them? What is there to teach them how to cope and understand why their brother or sister is different and why the autistic child receives so much attention for things the siblings may feel is improper behaviour. Parents need to take an active role in helping children to cope with having an autistic sibling.
Siblings of the autistic child may feel left out or that their parents love them less as a result of all the attention needed to help the autistic child with daily living. There may arise issues with jealousy if the sibling does not understand why the parents attention and assistance is needed so greatly by the autistic child. Another issue of stress for the non-affected child may be with their peers. Though they are not the ones who have autism they may find themselves at the receiving end of ridicule and schoolyard teasing. This will often cause even further resentment of the autistic child.
Though sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up, a parent with a special needs child needs to take special care with the siblings to ensure resentment and possibly hatred do not arise. Autism affects everyone in the family, and every child or parent associated with autism needs to be taught and helped to adjust to having an autistic loved one.
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Autism Isn't Fair to Me! Promoting Positive Feelings Among Siblings

If you have more than one child, do they compete for your attention? Do you detect jealousy that you would rather not see? Does the amount of bickering among your children and lobbying for No. 1 position concern you as a parent? Welcome to the world of parenting!
In addition to that, if you have a child with special needs that requires extra time, money and attention, you unfortunately increase the risk that normal sibling resentment will impact your household. No matter how secure your other children are their individual temperaments and personalities can make them more susceptible to feelings of envy when their sibling has Autism. Warding off feelings of jealousy or rivalry when one child may need more attention than another can be emotionally draining for parents of autistic children.
Every child, regardless of ability or disability unconsciously competes with their siblings to define who they are as individuals. On their path toward self-discovery, all children want to show they are separate from their brothers and sisters and want to be recognized for their specific talents.
If children feel they are getting unequal amounts of attention or acknowledgement from their parents they often start to compete to prove their worth or withdraw into themselves. Thoughts such as, "What about me?" or "It's not fair!" can rattle around in a child's head to fester and develop into behavior problems. Wondering what you can do to promote more positive feelings?
Here are some tips that will help you promote healthy relationships in your children and reduce jealousy and rivalry among siblings.
1) Promote connection among siblings yet allow for separateness as well: Finding a good balance between having your children spend time together and away from each other is an important challenge for parents to take on.
- Plan family activities that are fun for everyone. When kids have good experiences together, it acts as a buffer when they come into conflict. It's easier to work it out with someone you share warm memories with.
- Help your children find their own space. Make sure each child has enough time and space of their own. Kids need chances to do their own thing, play with their own friends without their sibling, and they need to have their space and property protected.
- Avoid putting your neuro-typical child in a position of responsibility for their sibling on the Autism spectrum. Short time periods and emergency situations aside, asking a young child to watch over their special needs sibling is too much to ask for and can trigger anxieties in addition to feelings of jealousy or hate.
2) Dole out love on many levels: Young children actually believe there is a finite resource of love. Therefore, young children can seem desperate to keep it all for themselves and they don't understand that love can grow exponentially. Make it clear that there's enough love to go around for everybody.
- Label your "alone time" with each child as it occurs. When you spend one-on-one time with any of your children refer to it as "mommy & me time" or "dad time" so they actually realize what is happening. Try to spend at least a few minutes each day. It's amazing how much even just five minutes of uninterrupted time can mean to your child.
- Take some time to create unique and meaningful rituals for connecting with each child - different games or activities that speak to your common interests, special pet names, mystery passwords, or secret handshakes.
3) Explore raw feelings: Remember as children voice their opinions they think abstractly but talk in absolutes. They are usually not very subtle. Being slightly annoyed by their autistic brother becomes "I HATE HER! I WISH SHE WAS DEAD!"
- When in the heat of the moment: DON'T diminish or dismiss such statements with "You don't really want mean that. You love your sister." Instead, breathe deeply and validate her strong feelings with an empathic stance like "Wow. She really made you angry, huh?" Let the steam blow off and don't rush to make 'nice' immediately. Resolving conflicts should wait until later when tempers have eased.
- When things are calm: DO check in during private moments to safely explore how your kids feel about each other. Ask them what they like most and least about each other. Encourage them to say whatever they want, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Just notice, don't judge the negatives and focus on the positive things they hopefully express and affirm their ability to recognize them. This is a great way to help them vent and allows you to keep tabs on their feelings about their relationships.
4) Stay away from direct competition: Don't set siblings up to compete with each other directly. If your children are drawn to the same activities allow them to pursue them but be careful not to set them up to be adversaries with each other very often.
- Set your kids up to cooperate rather than compete. Have them race the clock together to pick up toys, instead of racing each other. How fast can you do this together? Give them a brief amount of time to plan a strategy - this promotes great teamwork.
- When alone OR together with your children, do not use comparisons as compliments to pump up one of your child's egos at the expense of the other (i.e. "Wow, you're so good at math. Joey's nowhere as good at math as you"). This is NEVER a good way to promote bonding among siblings.
Remember that tired, hungry or bored kids are more likely to become overly sensitive and perceive degrees of parental attention as unfair. Treating your children impartially is important but it is not the same as treating them equally. As your children "see" you meeting their needs, they will come to realize that you are doing your best but they also need to "feel" it. This is where listening, genuine listening and connecting to each child is important. If each of your children feels heard then they truly know you care and this has the power to reduce or diffuse any negative emotions towards each other.
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 http://www.parentcoachingforautism.com 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.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Connie_Hammer

Exercise and Autism

Let's discuss exercise in relation to Autism for just a bit. There is information out just recently on how depression can be impacted by exercise. The findings are showing that for people who exercise regularly, which is equivalent to at least 30 minutes per day and between 3 and 5 days per week, they can have a dramatic reduction in their depressive issues, up to 45% reduction as a matter of fact. This finding is very significant, especially given the fact that we primarily treat depression with the use of anti-depressive medications in this country. But, this new data shows how simple exercise, aerobic activity between 3 and 5 days per week for 30 minutes each time can significantly impact depression.
Throughout the years I have also seen children in my practice who function more appropriately when they get exercise on a regular basis. This could impact behavior, attention, focusing, anxiety, etc. And exercise for children can take many, many forms. For example, going to the park and letting them run on the playground equipment, using those muscles to climb and swing. Riding a bike is another great form of exercise for kids, as is swimming, just being physically active. So I like to encourage parents, especially now as we start summer and the days get longer, to let their kids play outside in the natural sunlight and the fresh air. Let your child run and play and explore if that is something that they enjoy.
Nowadays so many children are kept inside all day long, they tend to either be stuck to the computer or stuck to a video game or watching movies. I know that many children on the spectrum are in therapy sessions for much of the day and that when they get out of those therapy sessions they can be agitated, anxious, hyper, and they can have difficulty sleeping. So simply adding in a little more exercise can make a world of difference. Even adding a walk after dinner can help, it is not all about a diet, it is not all about medications or supplements either. Sometimes we all just need good old physical exertion and physical activity to change a person's attitude and put your child on the Autism spectrum in a better mental state.
Autism really is treatable! Biomedical Autism treatments and therapies have resulted in many, many children improving, or even even losing their autism-spectrum disorder diagnosis. For lots more free biomedical autism intervention information and videos from Dr. Woeller, go to http://www.AutismRecoveryTreatment.com.
Dr. Kurt Woeller is an biomedical autism Intervention specialist, with a private practice in Southern California for over 10 years. He has helped children recover from autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders, and has the information you need to help your child. Download his free ebook at http://www.AutismActionPlan.org.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dr._Kurt_Woeller

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation's Tips for Families Affected By Autism

The autism rate in the U.S. is at an all-time high, now affecting 1 in 88 children according to the Centers for Disease Control. That's a 78 percent increase since 2002 when 1 in 156 children were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
This increase has impacted more than just the children living with autism. The entire family is affected by the physical, emotional, social, and financial challenges of raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder. Parenting is stressful and often becomes even more taxing when caring for a child with special needs.
As a parent of a child with autism, you should remember that you're not alone and that there are many resources like the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation available to help provide assistance in your community. But first and foremost, you need to take care of yourself. After all, how can you be an effective caregiver for others if you don't look after yourself as well?
You can't. And you shouldn't feel guilty about it! If you're a parent facing the challenges of autism in your family, take a few moments to reflect on the following tips which will hopefully help recharge your batteries and provide some perspective that you may need right now:
• Don't ignore your feelings. Talk about them with your spouse and other parents facing similar challenges. It's okay to have conflicting emotions-from feeling helpless to anger to guilt to depression to confusion to relief to gratefulness and a thousand other emotions-you are entitled to experience and accept all of your feelings.
• Take time out for one-on-one time with your spouse. Whether it's going for a walk, sharing a bottle of wine, or watching a movie, be careful not to let autism consume every waking moment of your life.
• Get involved with the autism community. Organizations like the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation and other support groups can help be a lifeline. Make friends with other parents who have children with autism. You may be surprised by the shared challenges, emotions, and gratitude you share with them. Getting involved with autism activism is also empowering, so you will be doing something productive and proactive for yourself and your child with autism.
• Acknowledge and appreciate the small victories your child achieves. It's easy to focus on the problems, but far more rewarding to celebrate developmental milestones.
• Be the best advocate of autism that you can be. Stay informed on all of the latest news, education, treatment, and services in your community. Visit the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation's website to stay in touch with the ongoing developments and support within the growing autism community.
Above all, remember that contact with other parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder will decrease feelings of isolation, improve your mood and overall outlook, and increase understanding and acceptance of autism. Both you and your child deserve nothing but the best and the autism community has welcoming arms.
Learn more about autism and support by visiting Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation's website at http://www.AutismSpectrumDisorderFoundation.org or calling 877.806.0635.
The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation (myASDF) is a charity that supports children with autism spectrum disorders by providing education, information, and financial assistance to their families and relevant community service organizations. Funds donated to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation are used to address any and all kinds of issues in assisting children with autism and their families. Visit http://www.autismspectrumdisorderfoundation.org, email myASDF@yahoo.com, or call 877.806.0635 for more information and to see how you can help.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Slutsky

Linking Diet and Autism

It's no surprise that the numbers on obesity are exploding in this country with nearly 60% of the country heading that direction, and half of those people already being considered obese.
There is one other number that is also on the rise in this country as well, and that is Autism.
Autism is a disorder that affects the development of social and communication skills in children younger than 3. The causes are linked to biology, but not experts are unable to pinpoint the exact cause of this growing problem.
They speculate that the causes might be diet, digestive tract changes, mercury poisoning, the body's inability to use vitamins correctly, and vaccine sensitivity are all possibilities when it comes to this disease.
It has always been a problem, but in recent years that problem is starting to grow. Today, it is estimated that 1 out of every 88 people has Autism, that number up from the 1 in 252 people only a few years ago.
Autism much like obesity is a growing problem, and at the rate that each of them seem to grow it would appear that they are tied together, and the experts have already begun trying to directly link the two of them together.
Is there a link between diet and Autism?
If we take a step back and look at some foods that create other problems in the digestive tract we might be able to narrow the gap on the research.
One food group that already creates problems in the digestive tract is breads and grains. Breads and grains, more commonly gluten, is difficult to digest for those with Celiac disease- a disease that destroys the hair-like follicles in the small intestine that interfere with the absorption of nutrients.
Breads and grains are also very highly inflammatory causing joint pain throughout the body, but that inflammation starts in the digestive tract. That inflammation can also happen in the brain decreasing brain function opening you up to potentially larger problems.
One other food group that some people have a difficult time digesting is dairy. Lactose intolerance is also not uncommon today as well. Lactose is a sugar that is commonly found in dairy products, and those suffering from lactose intolerance don't create an enzyme in the digestive tract that helps break down that sugar. Symptoms of this usually shows itself with abdominal cramps, gas, and bloating.
The case can still be made that there is a direct link between autism and diet. All three of those diseases have ties to the abdominal tract and what flows through there.
Whatever the cause may be, it seems that everything can be tied directly to the diet no matter how poor or how good it may be. It all just proves the line "you are what you eat."
If you found this article inspiring then head over to Eating To Lose and check out the free information on dieting, nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle as it relates to your weight loss goals.
Check out http://www.eatingtolose.com for more free information daily about the foods you should be eating to lose weight, new workouts to try, and some lifestyle changes you can make to help promote your weight loss
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Erik_D_Walker

Benefits of Beginning or Upgrading Your Child's Diet for Autism and ADHD in Summer

In my last article, I wrote about why it's important to stay consistent with your child's diet for Autism or ADHD during the summer months, even though the pressure to conform to school standards is not there.
This time, I'd like to talk about the benefits of starting or upgrading your child's new diet during summer. This truly is the absolute ideal time to work healthy foods into your child's diet!
These are my top reasons why NOW is the time to take action:
  1. Time of Plenty: There is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables this time of year. The variety of colorful fruits and veggies just draws you in when you see it. Explore your many options by trying a new produce item every week. Let your children choose what's next and have great fun with it!

  2. It is hot out: Cool, simple meals and snacks are easy and fun this time of year. Turn off that hot oven and experiment with what you can eat without cooking your food. Salads, fresh veggies with a yummy dip, sweet fresh fruits are all enjoyable when the weather is warm. You can also hide all kinds of superfoods, greens, and supplements in blended fruit smoothies - a super healthy fast food! If your kids don't want drinkable smoothies, freeze them into homemade Popsicle molds and make other non-dairy ice creams that are so healthy you don't have to feel bad about giving your kids sweet treats!

  3. No school means more control over what your child eats: It's more difficult to change your child's diet when they are around other kids eating "regular" foods and all the things you are trying to move away from. Use this opportunity to form new healthy habits. It's easier on your child while they are at home more and away from the influence of others.

  4. Fewer Activities: With no school parties and extra-curricular activities is to plan for and no school lunch to work around, its not only easier on your child, but it's easier on YOU! Get grounded in your new lifestyle at home and you can worry about school lunches and activities later!

  5. Fewer Holidays: With the exception of 4th of July in the US, (please forgive me if I'm unaware of your country's holiday!) there are no other large holidays revolving around food. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine's Day, etc. can be a cause of stress and overwhelm for those new to the Autism and ADHD diet and who aren't prepared for it.

  6. Less Stress: Use these months to go through the diet transitioning process outside the stress of school, teachers, homework, tests, expectations and conformity. Your child is under less pressure so your home is likely to be more peaceful and it's just an easier time to make changes.
I recommend that we use this time of ease in many aspects of our lives as the opportunity to begin a new diet or revamp your family's current one.
Do some evaluation: Determine what it is you want to see improve or change, evaluate your current diet, decide how you want to upgrade it, and go for it! Take it one step at a time and focus on one change only. It will be easier to make progress this way.
Do you still feel overwhelmed or just need a bit of help to work through the whole process? I also offer private coaching to help you reach your goals.
As a final thought, some parents attempt to use the summer months to lower or eliminate medication doses**, which is a great idea. If that is the case for you, and you have been toying with the idea of trying dietary changes, this is your perfect opportunity to begin an elimination diet. You can go without or reduce your child's medications** for a couple of weeks to get an idea what your child is like without them in case you've lost touch with that. (**Always work under the supervision of your child's doctor when reducing or eliminating medications!)
After your child's system has had a chance to re-adjust, simply begin eliminating the big offenders (artificial ingredients like preservatives, flavorings, colorings, MSG, artificial sweeteners, etc.) and possible allergens like gluten, casein and soy. Use this less stressful time to go through the trial elimination process and keep a journal to record all your results. Who knows? You may just decide that this is the route for you!
Whatever your choices are for your child, I wish you a very happy and healthy summer with lots of family fun!
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

6 Benefits of Exercise for Children With ADHD and Autism

A special diet is critically important for children with autism and ADHD to promote a healthy digestive system and heal the gut. But it is only one part of the puzzle.
Exercise is just as important and the following reasons explain how it can help your child:
1. Immune System - The more active children are, the stronger their immune system. They will have fewer colds, allergies, and other diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. A stronger immune system will help our children with autism and ADHD recover more quickly from leaky gut issues and strengthen the effects of a healthy diet.
2. Stress Reduction - Regular exercise reduces the amount of stress hormones in the body. Children with autism and ADHD live with a greater amount of stress because they must constantly adapt and fit into a world not set up for their needs. Exercise will help decrease the buildup of stress hormones and their negative effects on the body.
3. Hyperactivity and Energy Release - When kids are wound up and have difficulty staying calm, a round of exercise is often the perfect solution. Before sitting to do homework or study, have your child do something physical to release any pent up energy. Request exercise or movement breaks for your child during school if your child struggles with sitting still in class. Be sure that the teacher does not take away recess time as a classroom consequence!
4. Brainpower - Exercise increases the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the brain due to increased blood flow throughout the body. This literally means you can think quicker, with increased focus and concentration. The brain functions optimally with regular exercise.
5. Sleep - The more active children are during the day, the more energy they use and the better they will sleep. It will be easier to fall asleep when they are tired out from plenty of exercise.
6. Mood - Hormones called endorphins give us a "feel good" feeling and are associated with happy, positive emotions. Exercise is known to increase the amount of endorphins in the body and contribute to better moods and emotions.
Neurotransmitters like serotonin are also increased due to exercise. These chemicals act as messengers that transmit signals between brain cells. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression and increased levels maintain calm moods and are known to aid in sleep and learning.
Interestingly, only a very small amount of serotonin is present in the brain. 90% of the serotonin in our bodies is found within the intestines! This is part of what is known as the gut-brain connection and a key to why a healthy digestive system is so important for a properly functioning neurological condition.
While diet is key for children with autism and ADHD, exercise is an important boost to your efforts and should not be overlooked.
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, July 16, 2012

Einstein's Learning Disability

Many organizations that promote the interests of individuals with learning disabilities claim that Albert Einstein had a learning disability, and this claim has become widely accepted.
It is interesting to note that a review of biographical sources, however, provides little or no evidence to support this assertion.
According to LD lore Einstein failed to talk until the age of four, the result of a language disability. It is also claimed that Einstein could not read until the age of nine. To strengthen their case LD proponents point to such facts that Einstein failed his first attempt at entrance into college and lost three teaching positions in two years.
While this makes a nice story, this widely believed notion is false, according to Ronald W. Clark's comprehensive biography of Einstein, and according to "Subtle is the Lord: The Science and Life of Albert Einstein," a biography by Abraham Pais (Oxford University Press, 1982).
Pais states that although his family had initial apprehensions that he might be backward because of the unusually long time before he began to talk, Einstein was speaking in whole sentences by some point between age two and three years. According to Clark, a far more plausible reason for his relatively late speech development is "the simpler situation suggested by Einstein's son Hans Albert, who says that his father was withdrawn from the world even as a boy." Whether one accepts this interpretation, other information helps us to judge Einstein's language abilities after he began to speak.
Einstein entered school at the age of six, and against popular belief did very well. When he was seven his mother wrote, "Yesterday Albert received his grades, he was again number one, his report card was brilliant." At the age of twelve Einstein was reading physics books. At thirteen, after reading the "Critique of Pure Reason" and the work of other philosophers, Einstein adopted Kant as his favorite author. About this time he also read Darwin. Pais states, "the widespread belief that he was a poor student is unfounded."
True, Einstein did not pass the college exam the first time he took it. However, aside from being only sixteen, two years below the usual age, the plain fact was he did not study for it. His father wanted his son to follow a technical occupation, a decision Einstein found difficult to confront directly. Consequently, as he later admitted, he avoided following the "unbearable" path of a "practical profession" by not preparing himself for the test.
It is also true that, after graduating from the university, Einstein had difficulty finding a post. This was mainly because his independent, intellectually rebellious nature made him, in his own words, "a pariah" in the academic community. One professor told him, "You have one fault; one can't tell you anything."
Also true is that Einstein went through three jobs in a short time, but not because of a learning disability. His first job was as a temporary research assistant, the second as temporary replacement for a professor who had to serve a two-month term in the army. Clark remarks that it is "difficult to discover but easy to imagine" why Einstein held his third job, as a teacher in a boarding school, for only a few months: "Einstein's ideas of minimum routine and minimum discipline were very different from those of his employer."
In his article "Was Einstein learning disabled? Anatomy of a myth," (published in 2004 in the "Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine," a revised version of an article that originally appeared in the March/April 2000 issue of the "Journal of Learning Disabilities") Marlin Thomas concludes: "Given the meager basis for the claim that Einstein was learning disabled, one has to wonder why it has become so accepted. Part of the reason is the encouragement it gives all of us to know that even geniuses have shortcomings. The claim also enhances the prestige of learning disabled individuals. Any marginalized group benefits from having one of its members be a stellar figure in cultural history. These may be salutary, but the consequence of claiming that Einstein was learning disabled without historical evidence is harmful. It distorts the historical record and it questions the credibility of other claims regarding the learning disabilities of prominent persons."
Visit Susan's website Audiblox for more information on learning and learning disabilities. *** This article can be freely used as long as a link to http://www.learninginfo.org is provided.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_Du_Plessis

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Temple Grandin She Is the Definition of Good in the World!

Every once in awhile someone comes along and makes a lasting contribution to society and you don't have to look any farther than Dr. Temple Grandin, as she is one of the worlds most well known adults with Autism and gives hope to families that have been affected by it. Keep in mind that not everyone with Autism will be able to achieve what she has been able to do in her life, which is pretty remarkable. She has authored several books and has had a movie made about her life called "Temple Grandin" and is a 100% must see! After watching it, you will come away with a new out look on life and will want to run out and start reading all her books, and you should as she offers so much insight for people with Autism. I would like to make a pitch that her books should be required reading for all educators and health care professionals who work with people with mental disabilities.
Temple is also the inventor of the "Squeeze Machine" a device she devised herself to help calm hypersensitive people and is in the movie and I do not want to ruin it for people who have not seen it yet, so I will leave it at that. Her work in the Animal world is just as impressive as her work in the Autism field and her efforts basically changed the Livestock Industry and how they operate. I would like to personally say thank you Temple for that as I am a big time Animal lover and know it was a hard thing to get accomplished, but the world is a better place because of it.
My wife once met Temple at an Autism Conference and when she came home, she said that Temple came up to her and was so attracted to the Border Collie purse that she had with her that day and that Temple gave her such a wonderful compliment on it. I only bring this up because the purse was a Christmas present for my wife and I still remember the day I bought it, I was at the purse store and said it to myself "it has a pretty wild pattern on it" but it also has Border Collies on it and we had two of them at the time, so it came home and went under the tree. Now when ever the purse comes out of the closet, my wife has a great memory of the day she got to have a very special moment with a very special person.
I encourage everyone to watch the movie and also visit the Temple Grandin website at http://www.templegrandin.com/ for her upcoming speaking engagements and the latest news on what she is doing to make our lives better. Temple you are a true "American Hero" If ever there was one!
The author of the story is the founder of Good Time Therapy a website that promotes ideas and stories about how to have a good time and enjoy life. http://GoodTimeTherapy.com because my belief is "A Good Time Cures All" The world needs to start having a good time or at least take a second and smell the roses as life is short and can be taken from you at anytime.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rodney_Liptak

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sensory Activities for Autistic Children

Autism, a disorder that creates behavioral, social, and communication challenges, exists within the Autism Spectrum group of disorders. Autism can affect the child's ability to integrate input coming from different senses. Sensory integration therapy can help a child by stimulating and challenging all of his or her senses. Some sensory activities for autistic children can also help a child learn to tolerate different tactile experiences. In addition, the children can learn to have fun while being creative.
Some autistic kids are overly sensitive to touch; some prefer touching and stroking soft, smooth items for hours. Many children with ASD cannot tolerate the feel of new clothes, or scratchy textiles. Still others pat and explore the faces of their caregivers.
Some sensory activities for autistic children include rubbing or stroking their skin with different textures. Use firm pressure to stimulate the deep pressure receptors and to avoid exciting the nervous system. Other ways of encouraging building tolerance to rough or scratchy textiles can include play with sandpaper shapes and letters, or plastic or wooden blocks with raised letters. Create a sensory board with clippings of all different types of fabric and other materials that are made up of different textures: sandpaper, string, smooth glass, corduroy, aluminum foil that's been crinkled up and then straightened out, and cardboard.
Another sensory activity to have the child perform is to play with colored rice. This project is both tactile and artistic; the goal is to help build tolerance to different textures while creating a work of art, which makes it a favorite of many sensory activities for autistic children. Take one cup of dry white rice, one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol, a medium-sized bowl and a spoon, aluminum foil or waxed paper, and three to four drops of food coloring. Use the rice:rubbing alcohol:food coloring ratio for each color you'd like. Put the rice in the bowl, add the rubbing alcohol, and drip on the food coloring, making sure to stir well between each drop. When the rice is the intensity you like, spread it onto the foil or waxed paper and allow it to dry. Repeat it with the other colors. To make art with the rice, have the child draw a picture or word onto card stock or bristol board, then trace the image or word with white glue, one section at a time. The child can drizzle the colored rice onto the glue. As with many sensory activities for autistic children, some kids may become overwhelmed if they have too much colored rice at once. Try placing a small amount of rice into a small paper cup and refill as necessary.
Register for your FREE webinar training with a child autistic behavioural specalist now and discover the key to unlocking childhood Autism VISIT.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Susan_P_Parker

Monday, July 9, 2012

History of Autism - The Complex History of Autism Spectrum Disorder

When my two boys were first diagnosed with Autism. I read
everything I could possibly find on Autism. One story I read
has always haunted me a little.
It was the story about the first account of a young autistic boy.
A Frenchman by the name of Itard writes about a young boy
around the age of 12 who had been living in a Forest until he
was captured in January 1800. Itard named the boy Victor
who seemed to be very self-absorbed and could not verbally
It wasn't until over a century later that the word Autism was
first used by the Swiss psychiatrist Eugene Bleuler in 1911 to
describe individuals who withdrew from social interaction with
others. Bleuler derived the word Autism from the Greek word
"Autos," which means "self."
Then not again until 1943, when Autism came to the forefront.
That is when a psychiatrist by the name of Leo Kanner observed
the behaviour of 11 children at the John Hopkins Hospital in
Baltimore, USA.
Kanner at this time invented a new category, which he called
"Early Infantile Autism", which sometimes is referred as Kanner
At about the same time as Kanner was doing his study at John
Hopkins Hospital. There was a Doctor in Vienna, Austria by the
name of Dr. Hans Asperger who published a paper in 1944 who
described a disorder very much like Kanner's "early infantile autism."
This condition was later termed Asperger Syndrome.
Because of World War II Dr. Asperger's work was not available to
the public and it was not until 1997 that his findings were given
official recognition.
The 1950s and 1960s were a very dark period for parents and
(especially mothers) of children with Autism. At that time the
popular thought was that Autism was caused due to the coldness
of their mothers. This was the time that the term "refrigerator mother"
was coined.
Thankfully, in the early part of the 1960s, members of the medical
community like Dr. Bernard Rimland and Dr. Eric Schopler were
doing their own research. During this time Dr. Rimland presented
his own study showing evidence that Autism was a biological condition
rather than a psychological one.
By the 1990s, researchers were focusing on the genetic component of
Autism, focusing specifically on chromosome 15. These studies have
revealed a connection between Autism and people with irregularities
on chromosome 15.
Now and in the future there will be more and more studies focusing
on the genetic component of Autism. Right now in the beginning of
2007, there are many advancements in Autism and I predict we will
be seeing quite abit of progress in the next 10 years.
The History of Autism has been both complex and controversial.
Many people think that Autism is a modern disorder but as you
have read it has dated back to the early 1800s. In some ways it
seems that there has not been very much progress in those 200 years
but I feel that we are on the verge of a breakthrough with Autism.
To Discover Effective Actions You Can Take For Managing Autism Successfully, Go Here Now: [http://www.bz9.com/Autism] Nancy K Clyne is the mother of 2 sons with Autism. She writes on her experiences with Autism. Feel free to distribute this article in any form as long as you include this resource box.
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Friday, July 6, 2012

Benefits of Small Class Size for Students With Disabilities

One of the students referred to us spent a whole year sitting and staring before he was even referred. Another used to scream at a high pitch for hours before he was referred. Still another used to run around the room an not focus on anything. Another used to beat up his mother and get away with it before he was referred. Because we had a small classroom size and support we were able to deal with the behavioral challenges these children have with learning. It is extremely important to have a child's attention and focus to learn. Also, distractions should be kept to a minimum. This simply does not happen in the average American classroom, which is busy, noisy, bright and overwhelming to a lot of children with learning challenges.
The importance of relationship building for children with autism can not be overstressed. Social skills building needs to be a priority and children need much help in learning proper social skills and behavior. Because the behavior is challenging and difficult and learning and change does not happen rapidly, teachers without the understanding, experience and training just often give up. Believing the child can learn and will learn if one is persistent and does not give up is a necessity. The individual child has to be a priority. This simply does not happen in the mass production concept of American education.
Another difficulty in American education is that children with the same problems are dumped together but not given anymore help than if they were in the average American classroom. Thus, inappropriate behaviors are reinforced by children seeing other inappropriate behaviors. The Lord of the Flies concept happens with children leading the classroom rather than a strong adult leader. This is not a teacher's fault. If a teacher has to spend all of their day correcting behavior, it leads to very little time for learning. That is why I am against classroom sizes of fifteen to twenty for children with autism. Even eight students is too many. I as a teacher have had my greatest success with children with autism in a classroom with no more than four students and one aide.
As you can imagine, education can get very expensive when one does the right thing by a child. I have not even included the therapy and other services that autistic children can benefit from. Moreover, the special schools that autistic children need are often denied as school districts often refuse to pay for the private non-public schools that autistic children benefit most from. Thus, policy has to change and doors have to be opened for parents to be able to pick what works best for their child. Small class size is a start. And parents being allowed to pick non-public schools that work well is also a great start.
Give children a chance to learn and enroll them in a school that insists on a small student to teacher ratio.
The way you learned is not the way your child with autism will learn. They will be lost in the shuffle in most classrooms and then be blamed for not learning or their behavior. I have seen what children can accomplish when given what they need and I hope you will veto the mass education high number classroom that is usually the American way.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Diane_M_Gorman

Understanding and Dealing With Angry Behavior in Young Children With Autism

If your child hits, bites, screams, pushes and destroys things and you are at a loss for what to do, don't dismay. Negative behaviors such as these are learned and they can be unlearned as well.
Keep in mind that misbehavior is simply an expression of an unmet need or an inability to cope with the circumstances in the current environment.
A child's behavior is always a signal of how he or she feels inside and a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who has trouble communicating can become very frustrated with their environment very quickly. Just picture yourself not being able to communicate your very basic needs to the people who care for you? Close your eyes and visualize trying to tell someone you are very thirsty, or the light is hurting your eyes or the music is too loud and not being able to get them to understand. Wouldn't you be a candidate for an emotional meltdown if this were what your world was like on a daily basis?
When you think of a child's misbehavior as a need that is out of balance, your perspective can more easily shift to "my child has a problem instead of my child is being a problem". Then you can focus on discovering what the issue is and alleviate the potential for inappropriate behavior.
Also, we as adults are able to monitor our emotional state and manage the way we express our feelings but young children do not have these skills and need to be taught. This is where we need to step into our role as teacher - giving our sons and daughters words or pictures for their feelings or providing them with additional means to express them appropriately.
Here are some other strategies that will help you prevent and deal with angry behavior:
- Play detective and look for clues in determining underlying unmet needs. The need for attention and control are often the first ones that come to mind. Others might be boundaries, trust, structure, respect, and belonging. For a child with Autism, the unmet need is often the ability to clearly communicate to others what he or she wants. Providing visuals and other alternative means of communication will help keep frustration levels low and therefore avoid the potential for an angry outburst.
- Be on the lookout for stress. Acting inappropriately is often an indicator of stress. Bonnie Harris, author of Confident Parents, Remarkable Kids, states that all children want to be successful. Most children want to please and no child deliberately plans to have an outburst. Is something blocking your child from being successful in his play? Is she stressed due to insufficient sleep? Is his sensitivity to noise on overload in a chaotic environment? Has her dislike for transition been set off due to a sudden change in schedule? These and other triggers for stress can often be avoided.
- Give your child a feelings vocabulary that goes beyond happy, sad, and mad. Acknowledge your child's emotions by identifying what you see and giving the feeling a name. "I see an angry boy who wants something he can't have." or "You look frustrated with that toy because you can't get it to work." or "Are you disappointed because mommy can't play with you right now?" By labeling what you are observing and naming it, your child is learning what it means to be angry, frustrated or disappointed and the word for it.
- Remember to role model. Get in the habit of stating what you are feeling and what you can do about it. Making statements such as, "I am upset because I burnt the toast, I will have to watch the toaster more carefully next time". "Daddy is frustrated because he lost his book again, can you help him find it?" not only normalizes feelings of all sorts but it also introduces the concept of problem solving.
- Make a house rule that has no tolerance for hurtful behaviors. "Being angry is OK but hitting hurts, it is not OK to hit." Hands are for helping not hurting is also a good statement to use when hitting is involved. Focus on recognizing the times when your child uses his hands appropriately and give him specific praise for doing so. "I like the way you use your hands to pat the dog softly. He likes it too. See how happy it makes him."
- Create a "yes" environment where exploration will be safe and acceptable so you do not have to constantly use the word no. When children hear that term at every turn it can be a very frustrating experience for both of you.
As parents, it is always important to address concerning behaviors such as these as soon as they surface. First, spend time exploring your child's world from their point of view in order to help you understand what need is not being met. Second, find constructive ways to deal with behavioral issues up front before they become ingrained so they won't be even more difficult to break later on.
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 http://www.parentcoachingforautism.com 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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