Friday, March 30, 2012

Autism Program - Find Summer Camps for Your Child With Autism

It is that time of the year when all schools are closed for the summer and you are left with the unenviable task of conjuring up novel ideas of keeping your children occupied with fun-filled activities that are entertaining and educational as well. Summer holidays can be exciting for parents of typical kids but for parents of children with autism, it is fraught with challenges and unending spell of upsets and meltdowns.

One of the best ways to combat this situation is to find a suitable 'summer camp' that will suit your child's specific needs and leave you to bask in stress free days of summer. In order to narrow your search to find a camp that is supportive, accommodating and fun-filled, you will have to follow these tips;

Begin your research well in advance of the summer holidays. Summer camps are pricey. So you will need time to browse the internet until you find one of your choice after comparing prices, quality of activities, faculty etc. Starting as early as September would be a wise move.

Extended School Year (ESY) is a program allowing your ASD child to avail of services in the summer vacations. A child's regressive behavior in social, behavioral and academic fields would make him eligible for ESY, which qualifies him for free summer program. As the ESY is different in each state and school as well, you will have to find the nature of ESY offered in the camp you choose.

Spread the word around and ask your friends, relatives, acquaintances, colleagues and in your child's school, for information on summer camps. Other parents of autistic children are bound to know of camps and give you references. Alternatively, view the website of ASA (Autism Society of America) for details or post a question to them for specific information.

Scour magazines, newspapers, bulletins, newsletters and camp directories in order to get listings of summer camps for children with autism.

Be a member of 'autism support groups' - There are online autism support groups as well as support groups formed by parents of autistic children going to the same school. You can get useful tips and references from them, about camps around your area or elsewhere.

Find summer camps that allow family involvement and participation in order to get knowledge about different activities that you could later on incorporate in your schedule, when spending time with your child.

YMCA and Variety Club summer camps have schemes with financial subsidies to help families requiring monetary aid. They are also committed about including autistic children in all activities and work hard to fulfill their mission. Make sure the camp you choose follows this policy, when contacting the camp organizers.

Enroll your child in a summer camp to have a good time, enhance his confidence in himself and improve his social and cognitive skills. For a detailed list of summer camps worldwide, visit my blog and learn more about activities for children with autism.

Article Source:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Autism As a Long-Term Disability

Autism and autism spectrum disorders seem like a relatively new phenomenon. Already, doctors and researchers are realizing that this condition is much more widespread than originally thought. Additionally, studies have found that an estimated three to six out of every 1,000 kids have autism or an autism spectrum disorder, and this number is expected to rise. With this problem becoming more and more prevalent, it is important to question whether or not autism is a long-term disability.

The Social Security Administration, or SSA, defines a long-term disability as an illness or injury that will prevent you from working for at least one year, or it will end in death. With long-term disabilities, the SSA realizes that you may be unable to work and pay for your basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Additionally, if you were once the breadwinner in your family, you may be unable to provide for your loved ones after you develop a disability. Because of this, the SSA offers disability coverage to help you attain the quality of life that you deserve.

However, not everyone is given disability benefits. In fact, you must apply to the SSA and answer several important questions. You often have to provide medical testimony from your doctor that your illness or disorder interferes with your daily life and prevents you from working. Because this can be complicated, the SSA has compiled a Listing of Impairments that details many different disorders and ailments that often result in disability. Autism and autistic disorders are on this list.

Many parents notice signs of autism before their children reach three years of age. There are some signs of this disorder, such as delayed language development, resistance to cuddling, repetition of words or particular movements, and the ability to retreat into one's own world and ignore everyone else. Additionally, autistic children often struggle with changes to their routines.

Because of this, working can be very difficult for an adult with autism. This is because the problems listed above can translate into a struggle to fit in with society and carry on normal person-to-person interactions. Thus, the SSA's list of disabilities includes autism if the autistic person meets several requirements. First, an individual with autism must have problems with social interaction, communication skills, imagination, and little interest in new activities. Additionally, the person must display issues such as difficulties with concentration or problems with adapting to changes in daily living.

As simple as the requirements on the Listing of Impairments may sound, applying for long-term disability coverage can be a time-consuming and difficult process. To help you with the application, please visit the website of the long-term disability lawyers from the Charles D. Hankey Law Office, P.C., today.

James Witherspoon

Article Source:

Discover Autism - A Wide Range of Therapy Programs

Sadly, a definitive cure for autism, a disabling neurological disorder, has yet to be found. Affected children can grow up suffering from speech impairment, difficulties in social interaction, abnormal learning and an inability to enjoy many of life's experiences which we all take for granted. It has been shown that early diagnosis and intervention can help to minimize the problem and therapies can give the unfortunate patient a certain measure of independence and show him or her how to cope.

Numerous options are available within a wide variety of therapy programs. Treatment is very much dependent on an individual's needs and most professionals agree that it is best started no later than the age of two. Sometimes a combination of treatments and programs will yield the best results, but it should be known that the condition generally requires treatment for the life of the patient and the caregiver should maintain flexibility of approach.

Generally speaking, treatments and therapy programs can be broken down into four distinct areas - behavioral, supplemental, dietary and medical. Some of these represent established programs, whilst others are experimental and it is important to remember that there are a lot of avenues to explore as the chase for the definitive cure goes on.

Behavioral therapies deal with modification techniques, to assist the patient to gain job skills and to enable them to function in their environment. For example, Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, entails the teaching of skill oriented activities. Patients are rewarded as they learn fun skills and their behavior skills develop. This is a highly structured program, with intensive one-on-one interaction between a child and a therapist. This form of treatment is generally suggested to be the most effective, but many critics think that the approach is somewhat "robotic" and does not encourage the child to be spontaneous in adapting to the real world.

As opposed to applied behavior analysis, pivotal response therapy is considered to be more natural, taking place in a more relaxed environment, and supporters of this method believe that this approach can trigger a ripple effect to other behaviors, achieving a better all round result.

When it comes to supplemental therapies, many people with autism respond favorably to sensory stimulation. Patients are encouraged to hold objects with various textures or listen to music, for example. The Tomatis method entails the playing of a loop of music to a child for several hours a day with the goal of improving attention and concentration.

Language programs are of the utmost importance. Sometimes a program is introduced enabling patients to interact through the use of visual stimulants, such as pictures, enabling the child to communicate wants and needs through image exchange.

When it comes to dietary therapies, some professionals advocate that children with autism should be placed on special diets, basically casein or gluten free. Studies have shown that a high percentage of children with the affliction suffer from chronic gastrointestinal issues. Gluten, found in wheat products, and casein, found in milk products, are the culprits. Whilst this form of treatment calls for significant dietary control, many other experts caution against its' effectiveness.

Medical treatments for autism include the use of vaccines and some more, particularly controversial therapies, including chelation, which involves the injection of a form of acid into the blood to remove or improve metabolic functioning. Others advocate the use of antidepressant drugs such as Prozac to treat certain behavior problems associated with autism, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or to help in controlling tantrums.

Autism is diagnosed in approximately one out of every 150 children. It is generally accepted that early diagnosis and intervention is crucial to enable the child to gain social skills, behavior skills and experience a release from isolation.

"Bonita Darula is widely renown for her insights into the prevention of autism. Her celebrated materials have helped thousands of people from around the World find a new sense of hope. If you'd like to discover the secret truth about autism in its early stages, take a few moments to look here=>

Article Source:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Children with Sensory Needs - The Misunderstood Five Percent of the General Population

Many children, perhaps your own, exhibit difficulty processing sensory information including: touch, taste, smell, vision, and hearing. As many as 5% of the school age population exhibit characteristics of sensory processing disorder (SPD), sometimes known as sensory integration disorder.

Further, many children with autism, ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), learning disabilities have SPD coexisting or underlying these conditions. Research has shown that as many as 40% of children with ADHD display symptoms of SPD.

If you are a parent of a child with special needs, perhaps you are struggling with the added stresses this can have on the family.

  • Your family relationships may be affected.
  • Siblings may be envious of the extra attention provided to the child with special needs.
  • Mothers may feel that fathers are not involved.
  • Fathers may feel unfairly blamed, when in their opinion, they are struggling to support the family.
  • Extended relatives, while intending to provide support, may instead offer conflicting advice, or just not understand the needs of the child and the family.
  • An already tight family budget may be stretched even greater to cover the added expenses associated with providing the best possible care for the child with special needs, and the family as a whole.

Only by sharing information and working together can we have adequate recognition and support for those impacted by SPD. Search the internet. Resources exist on the internet through non-proft foundations, and parent connections groups. It is my hope that all children grow up with the courage and wisdom to share their natural talents for the betterment of the world, understanding and respect for humanity

...appreciate and extend the work done by previous generations of people.

Christopher R. Auer, MA is the author of Parenting a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder: A Family Guide to Understanding and Supporting Your Sensory Sensitive Child (New Harbinger, 2006) Additional information at or email

Article Source:

ADHD or Sensory Needs - Signs and Symptoms to Look for in Your Child Before Seeking an Evaluation

This month, with a new school year starting, I thought it might be an appropriate time to talk about key signs that you might see in a child with Sensory Processing Disorder that would necessitate a more thorough evaluation.

Keep in mind that the following list is in no way exclusive and that your child may have other variations. Also, for a person to actually be shown to have a sensory processing disorder, the symptoms must have a definite impact on activities of daily living such as dressing, grooming, eating, bathing, learning, etc...

- responds to being touched with withdrawal or aggression (hates to be kissed or hugged unless they initiate it)

- irritated by tags, seams or other variations in clothing texture

- is seen as a very "picky" eater; may get stuck on certain foods and/or avoid others

- May be extremely sensitive to smells that do not bother most or may be overly oblivious to smells most cannot stand

- May be uncomfortable in loud or busy environments such as malls or sporting events; May cover ears with hands; Or may seek out loud sounds (i.e. turning up the volume on the radio or television )

- Has significant difficulty with most transitions and/or resists new situations

- May show problems with fine motor (using small muscles for handwriting or buttoning) or gross motor (using large muscles for skipping or jumping ) coordination, muscle tone and motor planning (which basically is figuring out how to make your body do what you want it to).

- May avoid doing schoolwork and/or peer group activities because of motor and/or sensory "differences"

- May show extreme behavioral outbursts, even in public, when confronted with aversive stimuli (such as variations in temperature, loud noises, and smells). Sometimes it may seem as if the person is experiencing extreme pain given the scope of the reaction.

- Often times the child with SPD is seen as having significant behavioral problems, low self-esteem, trouble concentrating, trouble making friends, having frequent temper tantrums, and/or having learning problems. Children with SPD may also be labeled as being "aggressive", "distractible", "impulsive"," withdrawn", "clumsy" etc.

- Often times symptoms of SPD overlap with symptoms of other diagnoses such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder). Research has shown that SPD can exist alone or in combination with other diagnoses.

It is really imperative to seek the support and guidance of knowledgeable professional(s) when you see these types of signs and symptoms in a child you know. It can mean the difference between a lot of suffering for the child and family or a guiding source of help and hope! Take it from me. I've been there and am still working through many daily challenges with my own child with SPD!

Christopher R. Auer, MA is the author of Parenting a Child with Sensory Processing Disorder: A Family Guide to Understanding and Supporting Your Sensory Sensitive Child (New Harbinger, 2006) Additional information at or email

Article Source:

Dyspraxia And Sensory Processing: Are They Related?

Dyspraxia, usually referred to as developmental coordination disorder, is a motor-based difficulty with everyday tasks such as tying shoelaces, eating with a knife and fork, managing buttons and many more. This is typically caused by delayed motor skills and motor planning ability. Despite its name, dyspraxia is more than just a motor coordination disorder. Many children with dyspraxia also have difficulty with certain academic tasks, organisational skills and/or social skills.

Understanding and processing information from our environment is a vital part of everyday living. This skill, known as sensory processing helps us makes sense of the information we get from our senses, including our body and movement senses. We use this important information to determine how to respond and react in the world. Unfortunately, at least 7% of people have a hard time making accurate sense of this information and this can result in a sensory processing disorder (SPD) which can affect everyday activity. Sensory processing disorder is usually treated with sensory integration therapy by a specially trained occupational therapist.

So, is there a link between sensory processing and dyspraxia? Well, due to the historical challenges in assessments and classifications, research in the past has not been able to draw definitive conclusions either way, although newer research is suggesting that there may be a correlation. An increase in awareness of both dyspraxia and sensory processing is likely responsible for this. Now, researchers are often including sensory processing assessments in studies of children with dyspraxia.

Nonetheless, paediatric occupational therapists have argued for a link between these two for some time. This is a logical conclusion to draw. Since processing sensory information affects how we use our body, it's easy to see why difficulty processing sensory information can result in difficult organising and using the body. Examples of tasks which rely on good sensory processing might be something like handwriting: in order to write neatly and accurately, we need to understand how we are holding a pencil, where we are positioning our letters, exactly how far and in which direction to draw our lines, etc. Another example might be doing up buttons: We would need to feel the button in our hands, move the button to be pointing forward and thread the button exactly into the hole, which we are holding with our other hand. Thus, we can easily see how important it is to have good understanding of our sensory systems in order to effectively carry out these tasks.

What are the implications of this? Well, understanding the cause of difficulties can help us address them more effectively. Helping children understand the information they receive from their environment and their body can help them use their body more effectively which can lead to better skills in everyday tasks. Therefore, including sensory integration therapy into a child's intervention programme can be beneficial for a child.

Catherine Milford is an Irish-based occupational therapist and psychologist specialising in dyspraxia. You can learn more about dyspraxia by visiting the dyspraxia information website - [].

Article Source:

Foods for Picky Eaters and Children With Sensory Issues

In preschool, Cole and his classmates were introduced to the story of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. They were excited when their teacher actually cooked up ham and fried eggs with green food coloring. Inspired by the story, all the children took a bite to discover whether they, too, liked green eggs and ham-all, that is, except for Cole. Cole's sensory processing issues made it extra hard for him to tolerate any new food, so while he understood the point of the story, he wasn't going anywhere near that "icky stuff."

We all know kids need to eat a variety of healthy foods, but picky eaters often need more exposure to a "new" food than other kids do before they will take a bite. For children with sensory processing disorder and/or autism, who experience the world as a confusing and inconsistent place, where unpleasant and disorienting sensations can bombard them at any time, familiarity is very comforting. It may take much time and repetition to get a picky eater with sensory issues to try a new food.

To avoid wasting food as you are working on getting your child to try something new, serve him a tiny portion, perhaps even one small bite or spoonful, on his plate. Work toward having him tolerate the unfamiliar food on his plate without fussing. You may have to start by serving him the food on a separate plate, then later, serve it on his plate but make sure it's not touching any other foods. The next step is to insist that he touch it with his finger, then pick it up and touch it to his tongue. After that, the goal should be to have him place it in his mouth and chew it. Allow him to spit it out in a napkin if he finds it very distressing and intolerable. In this way, you can slowly but surely expand his food choices.

Choose one healthy food to try to work into your picky eater's diet. Make it one that is somewhat similar to a food she already will eat. If she will eat peas, try corn kernels, which are similar in size and texture. Often it's the "feel" of the food that matters most to a child with sensory issues. Recipes for toddlers and children that sneak vegetables into sauces may work if there are no lumps or bumps in the sauce, but your child's sense of taste may be so exquisite that she notices something's different about her pizza today.

If your picky eater with sensory issues resists mixed textures, which is a common problem, work on introducing simple foods without condiments and that have simple textures. A slice of tomato that has been deseeded, a piece of roast chicken with the skin removed, or a hardboiled egg yolk or egg white separated from the rest of the egg offer simple textures.

Some parents find some success in getting their child with sensory issues to tolerate two different textures or temperatures by serving a sugary treat such as ice cream with broken cookies mixed into it or hot fudge drizzled over the top. But don't be surprised if her sensory issues cause her to place her need for familiar foods with simple textures over any desire for something sweet! You may actually be better off working on getting her to eat plain celery sticks or cucumbers slices with the seeds and skins removed. What's more, simple, healthy foods are easy to prepare and keep on hand to be introduced again and again.

If the child has a favorite junk food, such as French fries or corn chips, introduce healthier versions of these foods and healthier foods that are similar in texture and shape. Steamed red potatoes with the skins removed have a texture similar to that of French fries, for instance, while crunchy foods such as carrots or snap peas give sensory input similar to that of chips. Serve raw vegetables and fruits as snacks and appetizers before meals if it is difficult to get her to eat her broccoli rather than just her macaroni and cheese. Encourage your child to find favorite fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods and serve them to her often.

Keep in mind that children who severely limit their food choices, particularly if they self-limit to foods containing gluten (an ingredient in foods derived from wheat and some other grains) and casein (a protein found in milk and milk-based products), may have a food intolerance or celiac disease. In fact, these children often have digestive or skin problems as a result of their food intolerances, and crave the very foods their bodies can't tolerate well. If you suspect this is the case, consult with a nutritionist who is knowledgeable about sensory issues and eating difficulties in children. In extreme cases, a feeding clinic program can help.

copyright (c) 2012 Nancy Peske

The information contained here is provided as a public service. It is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as personal medical advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that this material is accurate and up-to-date, it is provided for the convenience of the user and should not be considered definitive.

Nancy Peske is the coauthor of the award-winning book Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issuesand an advocate for kids with sensory processing disorder. She writes a blog for parents of children with sensory processing disorder at and offers inspiration and information for parents at

Article Source:

Teenagers and Sensory Processing Disorder: The Special Challenges

Teens with sensory processing disorder have special challenges because of the stage of development they're in and the fact that until now, their sensory issues may have gone unaddressed.

1. Finding the right OT can be difficult. Few occupational therapists are trained or experienced in working with teenagers who have sensory processing disorder. Play-based SI therapy may seem silly and embarrassing to teens.

2. Poor self-esteem. Teenagers who have had sensory issues for years will have learned at least some accommodations to get around them and are less likely to experience the extreme behaviors and responses they did when they were younger. However, years of feeling different and not knowing why, and noticing that they have never been quite as mature and self-controlled as their peers, take their toll. Teens with sensory processing issues usually struggle with self-esteem. They need a lot of encouragement to admit they have sensory issues and need some help.

3. Need for independence. Teenagers need to have their independence respected, so being told, "You need to do X, Y, and Z to manage your sensory issues" usually doesn't go over very well!

4. Desire to fit in. Even teenagers who don't feel the need to have a lot of friends or be conformist want to have some friends they feel they fit in with. Sensory challenges can embarrass them and may make them feel isolated, and different in a negative way.

5. Changing hormones. Teenagers have ever-changing hormones that can exacerbate sensory issues by making them more sensitive to input than they were in the past. The normal changes of adolescence can also make them more moody and emotionally sensitive.

6. New expectations. People are less likely to see your teen as a young, immature person with a hidden disability and more likely to see him or her as a young adult whose behavior is willful.

What's a parent, teacher, or therapist to do?

1. Modify traditional SI therapy techniques to be more teen friendly. As a substitute for playing with a tray of shaving cream or finger-paints, encourage the teen to cook, garden, do art or arts and crafts, and engage in other activities that challenge his tactile issues. Work with a sensory-smart occupational therapist who is willing to alter her approach to helping your teenage son or daughter to reduce any embarrassment or defensiveness.

2. Talk about sensory issues positively. Reassure your teenager that sensory issues are simply a difference in brain wiring that can have advantages but that can also be controlled and addressed to make life a little easier. Explain what SPD is and why in some cases, it's good to be extra sensitive or to crave certain sensations, and that people with sensory issues often have other gifts as well, such as the ability to "think in pictures." Then explain that there are "tricks" you and/or an OT can teach them to "make their lives easier." Everyone wants his life to be a little easier! Acknowledge how hard your teen has to work to be organized or tolerate certain sensations and praise her for her efforts.

3. Offer accommodations and sensory diet ideas for him or her to choose from. Present accommodations and activities to teenagers and let them decide which they would like to use. Honor and respect their choices and encourage them to engage in collaborative problem solving with you. If they don't want to be seen doing a brushing protocol for tactile issues, can they do it discreetly in the bathroom at school? If all the kids are wearing loose clothes and they prefer them tight, can the teen wear tight clothing, such as bicycle shorts, underneath looser clothes that seem more stylish?

4.Help your teen with sensory issues to feel okay as he is and find a group of peers he's comfortable with. Practical solutions for grooming, picky eating, and dressing, and encouraging talks about the upside of being different, can help your teen with sensory issues feel more comfortable among his peers. However, he may also feel better about himself if he expands his group of friends. Encourage your teen to develop hobbies and engage in new activities from individualized sports that don't require high levels of skill and competitiveness to enjoy them to groups that engage in the arts, community service, spiritual growth, etc. Extracurricular activities can help kids find their "tribe" and feel the power to make a difference in the world as well.

5. Accept that your child may be more emotionally sensitive at this stage. Be alert to signs of increased anxiety and depression and consult a medical health professional with any concerns you have. Remember, addressing sensory issues will reduce overall anxiety that can lead to mild or moderate depression (when you feel you can't manage your discomfort, over time, you can develop depression). Don't forget some of the most effective treatments for mild or moderate anxiety and depression include physical exercise, time spent outdoors, meditation, and breathing exercises. Mindfulness practices from yoga and tai chi to tai kwan do and karate can help, too.

6. Focus on self-awareness and accountability for self-regulating. It's very difficult to get others to accept poor self-regulation in a teen, even if you educate them on hidden disabilities. Therefore, the sooner you collaborate with your teen in creating a workable sensory diet that prevents negative behaviors, the better. It will be easier for your teen to develop better self-regulation if she is trained in using specific self-calming and self-alerting techniques that she knows work for her. Hold her accountable for using her alerting music and gum, taking time out to sit in a quiet space and do breathing exercises or use a brushing protocol, etc. Have her participate in creating a sensory diet tailored to her needs to keep her sensory needs met and to prevent fight-or-flight behaviors. Let her experience the natural consequences if she refuses to use her calming, focusing, alerting techniques.

Above all, never forget that kids with sensory issues need a "just right" challenge, a balance of accommodations to make them more comfortable and challenges that take them out of their comfort zone. Sensory diet activities for teenagers help them to develop a higher tolerance for situations and activities they'll encounter in life, and over time, retrain their brains to process sensory information more typically. Be creative and encouraging in setting up a sensory diet for a teenager, and always be collaborative to respect the teen's need for independence.

Finally, if you're a parent frustrated by trying to get your teenager's sensory issues under control, consider joining an in-person or online support group or creating one. Knowing that you aren't alone, and having practical and emotional support from other parents going through the same experiences with their teen, can help you enormously at this stage of your child's development.

Nancy Peske is the coauthor of the book Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues. Learn more about sensory issues at and visit Raising a Sensory Smart Child on Facebook.

Article Source:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Autism: Disease, Disorder, Handicap or Disability?

As the parent of two young children with the Autism Spectrum Disorder, I have learned a lot since the initial diagnosis with my son. Like most people, Autism used to mean that people affected by it lived in their own world. In my mind, I used to associate the picture of "Rain Man" with ASD. Now, I now a lot more, thank God.

Nowadays, when I mention the word "Autism" to others, the main questions that people tend to ask are: "What is Autism? Is it a disease? Will it get better? Isn't it when people rock and are mentally challenged? Aren't they in their own world?" Some of these questions are on the right path while others can be downright offensive and/or plain wrong.

In fact, I even heard of people avoiding being near people with Autism simply because they thought it could be an infectious disease. Well, they could not be more wrong.

A disease is based either on a viral or bacterial infection, on the malfunctioning of body organs or even radiations. Its source is often exterior or eventually appears on its own as for ASD it is quite different. A disorder such as the Autism Spectrum Disorder is in fact a genetic condition that is part of the DNA of the individual as soon as the egg and the sperm cell became one, creating a new life.

You see, the organs such as the brain even developed differently affecting its processing of information and managing all bodily functions. In some cases, like in my son's, the brain also does not make enough Melatonin, which is the hormone that is responsible of both the cycle and quality of sleep. This is why often; individuals with ASD suffer from sleep problems.

Since Autism is also physical, does it become a handicap? Well, first of all, being a disorder which level of severity varies as it is on the spectrum, the effects on people's lives vary as well. For example, my son is considered non-verbal which prevents him from communicating verbally his needs, questions and emotions and may even become a safety issue. In this case, I would say that Autism can be a handicap.

My daughter, on the other hand, is verbal but has difficulty understanding questions. Well, as long as you say it differently, she will be able to give or understand a message. In her case, her problems with communication skills would be more of a disability.

What is the difference between a disability and a handicap? A disability is basically a task that you are unable to do without assistance. A handicap is something that is usually physical, that cannot allow someone to complete a task on their own or without the help of a mechanical device such as: a wheelchair, a special computer or technology, etc.

Since the Autism Spectrum Disorder is not always as obvious as a paraplegic sitting in a wheelchair, how can you identify and even assist someone with ASD? Well, unfortunately people with Autism are often misjudged as eccentric, a hermit or for children, little brats trying to get their way with their parents. And in other cases, when the parents remain calm and loving with a screaming child, they are being judged as bad parents.

Nowadays, some parents will either explain briefly to you or give you an explanatory card about their child's Autism. Unfortunately, unless you know what Autism is because you happen to know someone that is affected by ASD, it can be difficult to identify, most of the time.

So, just in case, never judge others' behavior as you may not be aware of what lies beneath the surface.

As the mother of two young children living with Autism, both my husband and I have learned an impressive amount of information since their diagnosis was made. If you wish to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder, I invite you to visit the following sites: , or

Article Source:

Assist Autistic Children With Technological Gadgets

There are many ways to use technology that lead to benefits. Different technology has been available to help life quality. Children with autism and other developmental disabilities can find assistance when using technology. It can happen, but this is only earning some attention even though many are finding it useful.

Different types of technology are assisting children with autism. An example is augmentative communication systems. Using technology has shown to improve a variety of skills for these children including social interaction, motivation, attention, expressive communication, academic, self help, daily living and academic skills. They are also being assisted because they are earning a better understanding when it comes to their environment.

Another example is assistive technology. This is a product system, item or equipment that maintains, improves or increases function for the child. This modified or customized element is explained by the Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988. This service helps the individual directly. These children usually process information visually better than when using auditory skills. Therefore, assistive technology gives them visual information. It is something that can be used in their daily lives to help them function better.

Then there are the visual representation systems. These include realistic drawings, objects, line drawings, photographs and words that are provided through technology. The child that understands visual presentations will find this helpful. Everyone is different as are autistic children. They will appeal more differently to the various visual representation systems. It could be because they have various dependent factors including organization, motivation and more.

There is also the Picture Communication Symbol (PCS) which are drawings. This includes the 'Picture This' software program presenting photos minus clutter often brought about by the background. This program has 2,700 photos in categories. These categories include: games, following directions, reading activities, academic activities, sequence activities, schedule creating and augmentative communication systems. This technology is used to help teach the child with photographs as well as objects to help them understand various elements. It could be a black and white line drawing or a black and white picture, for examples. The idea is to make the picture bigger until the object is covered up.

Each child has their own way of dealing with their autism. It is important to find treatment to help them cope with their life to live fulfilling life. helping the children with assistance methods shows consistent improvement as they tend to process visual information better. Apart from that medicine, therapy and even physiotherapy helps to reduce the symptoms of autism. At least the twitching, flapping of limbs, repetitive movements are reduced. Some of the medication used includes anti-depressants and behavioral modification therapies to ensure that they can behave as normal as possible. However, there are no standard one-fit results as each child is different and the autism spectrum is wide.

Additionally, visual aids and technological gadgets have helped them get a better understanding of the environs while it helps to enhance social skills, academic learning improves while they develop organizational skills.

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

Article Source:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dyspraxia / Apraxia - So Many Terms - What Do They Mean?



Parents who bring their child to me for Speech Pathology often tell me that they have looked dyspraxia up on the internet, but there are so many different terms that seem to be used it becomes very confusing.

Here are some of the most common terms with their meanings:

Dyspraxia /apraxia

Dyspraxia or apraxia are interchangeable terms which mean that someone is not able to do an action. This is because the brain needs to know how to do an action, plan it, carry it out and make small adjustments, if needed, as the action happens. This is called a motor program or a motor plan. If any disruption happens to this motor planning then the result is a form of dyspraxia (or apraxia).

Developmental dyspraxia / developmental apraxia

The dypraxia is occurring in a child. Children with dyspraxia are born with the condition and it becomes more apparent as a child grows, especially when they have difficulty learning to talk.

Acquired dyspraxia / acquired apraxia

This disorder occurs when there is an interruption to the brain from disease or accident. People who have strokes (CVA) often suffer from dyspraxia. The brain can no longer plan out an action and do it, and this often includes swallowing and speech.

Ideation dyspraxia

Ideation dyspraxia happens when the brain cannot see, or conceptualise, how it is going to start an action or what that action is going to look or feel like. This makes it very difficult for children to learn to do any complex actions like talking, running or climbing.

Ideo-motor dyspraxia

Ideo-motor dyspraxia is when a motor plan cannot be executed (or carried out) properly, even though the person does have the concept of what needs to be done.

Oral dyspraxia / oral apraxia

If a person has dyspraxia that only affects the movements of the face and mouth then this is usually referred to as oral dyspraxia. Oral dyspraxia is often the cause of babies and toddlers drooling and it is hard to make speech sounds. It can also be difficult to blow bubbles, suck through a straw and imitate facial expressions. Babies with oral dyspraxia can find it hard to latch on and establish breastfeeding. When they start to eat food they often resist lumpy food and different textures.

Verbal dyspraxia / verbal apraxia / Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)

Children with verbal dyspraxia find it hard to learn to talk. Babies use only a few sounds when they babble. They have difficulty learning to make all the sounds they need to talk and putting them together. They will then have trouble trying to put all the sounds in words and joining words into longer words and sentences. When very severe, people with dyspraxia may remain non-verbal and need to use a different communication system such as signing or picture exchange, or a high tech AAC device. Most children, however, can be helped to talk by Speech Pathology.

What to do

Most parents are not able to really identify that their child has a difficulty until they realise that the child is not learning to talk easily. Usually children with dyspraxia are able to show that they have good comprehension (understanding) skills.

If you suspect that your child may have any degree of dyspraxia, please find a local Speech Pathologist who can get to know your child and work out why she or he is having difficulty with talking. If your child has dyspraxia the Speech Pathologist can help you understand the terms and how they relate to your child.

The earlier intervention begins the better, according to all the research. So many later developing language skills depend on a child being able to talk and use communication for many different purposes. But whatever stage your child is at, treatment will make sure that they make gains as quickly as possible.

Speech Pathologists often work together with an Occupational Therapist to make sure your child learns all the skills they need for a happy life.

Discover more about how to deal with this issue at

Article Source:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnosis

As a Speech Pathologist, I often see children who are not learning to talk as well as they should. Sometimes it quickly becomes apparent that these children can be diagnosed to be somewhere on the "autism spectrum". A specific definition could be Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
At some point, as I get to know a child, the idea needs to be raised. Sometimes parents come to therapy and ask, "Do you think my child has autism?" Other parents may have never considered the possibility and find it extremely difficult to begin to talk about this issue.
Parents may have developed their understanding of autism from the media. Very often, movies and books depict people with autism as having ALL the possible autistic symptoms. These symptoms have become a stereotype of autism. This can be very misleading. When parents look at their child, they say, "That doesn't look like my child!"
As a Speech Pathologist I work with many children with autism or who are "on the autism spectrum" somewhere. They are all different. They have different symptoms and learn differently and at different rates. Many clinicians working with children "on the spectrum" find that they can quickly identify that this is the case by seeing a pattern of symptoms, rather than seeing a child exhibiting all of the 'classic' signs of autism.
Usually children arrive at Speech Pathology because they are not talking like their peers. A child may not be talking at all, or may be talking in a limited way. Children with autism often repeat exactly what they have heard, a kind of speech called echolalia. It may be what you have just said to them (like, "hello Olly") or lines repeated verbatim from a movie. Sometimes the children may sound like they are talking in sentences but it may be their own language or the tune of speech without clear words.
From a Speech Pathologist's perspective, there will be differences to normal development in the way a child communicates, not just talking. Eye contact is usually limited, and your child may not automatically turn to you when you try to attract his attention.
When children are learning to talk following the usual pattern, they learn to copy most of the adult purposes for communicating. So they will ask for things, protest and refuse, use polite language, make comments about things they see or hear, and ask and answer questions. They want to communicate because they want to interact with others. If a child is having difficulty getting their message across they can work out a range of strategies to get what they want.
Usually children with autism communicate only for a limited range of purposes and don't tend to seek interaction just for the sake of communicating. They can become very upset when they are unable to have their needs met or when something upsets them. It is not always easy to work out why they are upset. Children with autism can be upset more easily than other children if they have sensory difficulties, also, such as being too sensitive to sound or touch.
They can also be less sensitive to senses such as sound and touch and seek out stimulation, by pushing against people or mirrors, for example, or spinning around or flapping their hands.
Children tend to want to socialise with others, and learn to take turns in conversations and with toys (although this part can take a long time!). Children with autism usually don't seek to play with peers and are happier left to do their own thing. Often they even limit physical contact, such as hugging, with parents and brothers and sisters.
A diagnosis can be a very difficult thing for parents to accept, particularly if their understanding of a disorder is influenced by media. The media has certainly picked up on autism in the last decade or so, and there are almost limitless books and films depicting people with autism.
Please do not be daunted by these portrayals. Children are all individuals with their own personalities and skills. If a child has autism, it is probably better to know than not to know, for a number of reasons. Other people are likely to be more understanding of the difficulties you are facing and treatment can be planned and managed.
Most children with autism can be shown how to communicate with others. They participate in school and lots of other activities in which they show an interest. Some children with autism are exceptionally clever with things that interest them. They learn social skills and how to interact successfully with other people.
If you have concerns, find a Speech Pathologist who works with children with autism, to support you and guide you through the issues, and set your child off on a lifetime of communicating.
Discover more about how to deal with this issue at
Article Source:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Could Food Be Causing Your Learning Difficulties' Nightmare?

Research You May Not Be Aware Of....

Concerns have existed for approximately 40 years about the impact of modern processing of food on our children. In the early 1970's leading pediatricians, allergists and doctors began to question the safety of processed foods. One allergist/pediatrician in particular, Dr Feingold, was extremely concerned. Over the space of a decade, he had seen an exponential rise in children being brought to him with behavioural and learning issues. His research lead him to the conclusion that the processes, additives, flavourings and preservatives being used to grow, manufacture and store food were behind this exponential rise. He was seeing children with migraines, irritability, mood swings, depression, aggression, the inability to read, conditions that mimicked dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia as well as all those behaviours and symptoms we associate with ADD/ADHD.

He was not alone with his concerns. Researchers across the globe began to look at the effects of food on behaviour and the ability to learn. Their findings may surprise you.

According to Dr Feingold, up to 90% of cases that were presented to him with the newly coined "disease" of ADD/ADHD were caused by food alone. Since then, numerous studies have been done. Those that claim that food has no relation are the ones who get media coverage and are widely quoted. Those that show food to be the culprit are swept under the carpet and actively discredited - interesting isn't it? Yet research is still happening that shows the connection between food and behaviour - some researchers have shown through double-blind placebo tests a 100% reaction to certain foods...

For my part, I do believe that diet can and does play a significant role in behavioural problems. From personal observation with my own children and myself I can see how their behaviour, ability to learn and their general well being is impacted when eating certain foods.

Does Your Child Have Any Of These Common Reactions To Food?

  • Irritability
  • Inability to focus
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Aggression
  • Distractibility
  • Hyperactivity
  • Confusion between symbols (letters, numbers etc)
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in focusing eyes
  • Poor memory function
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • General feeling of unwellness
  • Words blurring on the page
  • Words fading in and out
  • Losing their place when reading or moving between work book and whiteboard

Why It Is Important To Consider Food As The Culprit

Many of the above symptoms can be confused for other "disorders". When we see a child that is hyperactive, we are led to believe that there is a malfunction in the brain (chemical imbalance) that can only be fixed by using drugs. However, what if the imbalance is caused by a food that suppresses the natural creation or absorption of that chemical (neurotransmitter) in the first place? Remove the offending food, remove the problem behaviour...

Or the child who has difficulty reading? Could their problem be caused by the food they eat? Dr Feingold believed so. He and his team saw many children who had difficulty reading become proficient readers just by changing the food they did or didn't eat...

Nowadays, it is very easy to become trapped in the convenience food cycle. Supermarket aisles are jam packed with food that is either wholly or partially man-made. They are not naturally occurring foods, some don't even contain a natural food. The glossy packaging and the seductive advertising convince us that feeding our children and ourselves these foods will enhance our lives. But what if they don't?

What They Are Legally Allowed To Put In Your Food And Not Tell You...

Take Vanillin for example. It is an artificial vanilla flavouring made from paper mill by-products, from petroleum, and even from animal waste. Yet we find it in many everyday foods.

What about the colourings that create the blue, pink, green, red, purple and yellow foods like ice cream, lollies, jellies, cakes, cereals, canned fruit and vegetables etc? Where do they come from? Many come from petroleum based items, industrial waste, animal waste and the by-products of the manufacturing process. Many have high levels of arsenic, lead, mercury and other nasties...

Is it any wonder that food could cause adverse reactions in children and adults?

Then there are the natural foods that can cause problems. Many people are sensitive to foods that contain salicylates. Foods such as apples,almonds, apricots, berries (all), cherries, chilli powder, cider and cider vinegar (apples), cloves, coffee, cucumbers and cucumber pickles, currants, grapes & raisins, nectarines, oranges, paprika, peaches, capsicum, plums, prunes, tangerines, tea, tomatoes, wine and wine vinegar (grapes)...

These foods are good for us - IF we aren't sensitive to the salicylate in them. Many people over consume these foods and that is where the problem begins. Most can tolerate small amounts - it is when we eat too much that problems show up.

I'm not a nutritionist, however, when the research starts to stack up and I trust the source (not research sponsored by the very food companies that produce these toxic substances) then I'm curious enough to look at how food affects my family.

As they say in the computer world - junk in, junk out...

When food is the building block for all of the neurotransmitters, nerve cells, brain cells, every cell in my body actually, why would I want to put substances in that can and do cause harm? Very little of the human body doesn't require food in order to be made. The neurotransmitters that regulate brain function, memory, cognitive ability, moods, appetite etc all derive their basic building blocks from the amino acids found in the food we eat.

Without the correct food inputs the output isn't there...

Diana Vogel

Diana Vogel is a sought after tutor, parent educator and author who is passionate about teaching parents and their dyslexic children the life skills that they need to maximise their chances of success. The mother of 2 wonderful boys, one of which is dyslexic, Diana has seen both the positive and negative sides of the dyslexia coin.

To learn more about Diana and the work that she does go to

Article Source:

Article Source:

Educational Technology for Students With Special Needs

As many of you know, my journey down the organizing road started with my son. My constant search to find ways to untangle his school world led me to uncover many tools available on the technology systems he uses every day. Who knew that his iPad and iTouch would become his constant companions!

iPad Apps

More and more schools are allowing students to use their iPads and iPod Touches in the classrooms, and therefore these types of educational applications are growing by leaps and bounds. For students with special needs specifically, check out iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Apps for Special Education, a list compiled by assistive technology specialists and broken down by category such as math, writing, art, etc. These apps are truly life changing for the special needs student.

Also be sure to check out "The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son with Autism". Written from a mother's perspective about her autistic son's use of assistive technology and educational apps. She offers great suggestions and even videos of her son using various apps.

There are also many apps available to middle and high school students on their iPads that help make learning interactive and engaging. The Elements(exploring the Periodic Table), and Alien Equation(games that teach math skills), are just some of the apps that students might enjoy.

There are so many new educational apps appearing every day that it would be prudent to check out reviews first, particularly ones that teachers have put their stamp of approval on. I Education Apps Review has a collection that should help you get started.

Cell Phone Apps For Students with ADHD

I spend a lot of my time working with high school students to assist them with paper and time management skills. The learning has really been a two-way process as my students are always sharing with me their favorite cell phone features that benefit their learning, time management, and study skills. Other than the basics, such as calendars and alarms, here are some of their favorites:


Do I need to say more? If they are allowed to carry their phone to class, then using the camera feature to snap photos of the blackboard or SMART Board after class will ensure that they don't miss important class notes or assignments. In addition, photos can also serve as a useful visual reminder of what a student needs to get done. For instance, a photo of the student's soccer gear laid out will act as a reminder of what needs to be packed up before heading off to practice.

Text Messaging

Yes, you heard me correctly. Students can use Google SMS to get definitions, facts, and conversations sent directly to their phones. Online to-do lists such as Remember the Milk (Love!) can send alerts or an instant message reminding students of an upcoming project, deadline, test or appointment. Students can even receive flashcards and study materials directly to their phone allowing them to study wherever they are.

Although many of theses technologies are used to assist students with special needs, they are truly useful for any student looking for tech savvy techniques to streamline their educational world.

Leslie Josel is the Principal of Order Out of Chaos, an organizing consulting/relocation specialist firm based in Larchmont, New York. For more information, please visit or contact Leslie at

Article Source:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Learn How to Cope With Autism Symptoms

This article will define in detail, the now widely observed disease autism. To cure any disease, you need to know in the first place what it is. Hence this article will begin by defining what is autism? Autism is a disorder, of the neurons and is identified by deteriorating and impaired communication skills and interaction in the social environment. People suffering from autism show repetitive behavior that restricts their ability to learn new behavioral characteristics. The signs of autism can start showing as early as three years old, so autism is not a disease of the elderly or of the infants since it can develop even in the earliest or the latest stages of life. How does this particular neural disease develop? Autism is caused by dysfunctional information gathering, processing and organizing of information by synapses and nerve cells in the brain. In medical terms there are three types of autism disorders that fall under the spectrum of autistic diseases. These include autism, Asperger syndrome and lastly pervasive development disorder. In the Asperger syndrome, the patient shows stunted cognitive and language development and the Pervasive development disorder is diagnosed when the signs and symptoms of autism and Asperger are not met.

The basis of autism isn't clear, however, it is mostly considered to be a disease of the genes. Some believe that it is caused by rare mutations while others believe it to be a cause of irregular combinations of genetic variants. In other conditions, autism is also caused by birth defects. Coming onto the signs of autism, there are numerous characteristics which depict this particular neural disease. These include stunted social development, communication problems, repetitive and restricted behavior, prohibited motor skills and odd eating behaviors.

Now before providing treatment for autism and diagnosis, any particular disease needs to be screened first. In the case of autism, most people notice odd behavior as early as 16 months to 24 months. There are certain signs that can be most commonly used to diagnose this particular problem. These include the inability to speak or babble up till twelve months, no pointing or motor skills up till twelve months, no language usage and loss of communication and language skills. There are numerous checklists present to further help screen this particular disease which include Checklist for Autism, First Year Inventory and Early screening of Autism. These different checklists are used for prognosis and screening, where different variables are checked and tested against a patient.

Now coming on to the prognosis and treatment of autism, talking about a full-recovery treatment, there is no such thing. So autism cannot be cured permanently since it is a disease of the neurons; medical specialists seldom finds cures to diseases related to the brain. Recovery has said to happen itself, in rare cases as developments are seen as the child grows up and is given special attention regarding development of motor and language skills. Furthermore, such children are usually provided special social interaction training where they are made to feel more comfortable in external environment. Intensive help and care can aid a child to cope up with this particular neural disease.

Article Source:

Reducing Bathroom Battles When Potty Training Your ASD Child

Potty training a normal, healthy child can propel any parent into a state of anxiety, overwhelm and exhaustion. Now let's consider what potty training is like for a parent when their child is on the Autism spectrum? A child with Autism may have sensory issues that get in the way or they may not even understand what it means to use the potty.

Here are some things to consider when potty training a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to reduce the number of bathroom battles you encounter.

• Determine if your child is ready to be potty trained. Just because all the books say readiness occurs between the ages of 18 months to 4 years for a neuro-typical child it does not mean your child with Autism has the ability to do so. A developmental delay can carry over into many areas and postpone readiness. Does your child know when he is wet or has a dirty diaper? Does your daughter have a dry diaper all night?

• Find out what your child's elimination schedule is. It does not take long to do this. Keep notes on when your child's diaper is soiled or wet? Notice the time it takes your child to eliminate after he eats or drinks. Keeping a journal for three to five days will determine a pattern. Then you will know the times to focus on potty training the most.

• Do not punish the child for accidents. If your child has an accident remind them that is what the potty is for. Calmly clean up the mess with your child's assistance, even if on a limited basis. Make sure everyone caring for your child uses the same approach as well. Mixed messages will not help.

• Does your child have the skills to undress and redress? If not this can make potty training more challenging unless you have the luxury to let your child run around naked for the next month or two. You will also need to make time for wiping up puddles and scrubbing carpets and upholstery.

• Do not give up - remain consistent. If your child does not catch on right away do not give up. It takes a few weeks for a new skill to be learned. If you keep switching from diapers to the potty this will just confuse your child even more. Consistency is the key factor when potty training. This goes for any child not just children with Autism.

• Make the potty and your bathroom user friendly. Eliminating any source of stress or anxiety will help your child relax about potty training. Let your child see the potty and get familiar with it before they are made to sit there. Consider writing a social story about the potty chair and what it is used for. This will help them become comfortable with the idea.

Remember children with Autism are more likely to take longer to learn a new skill so be patient and stay relaxed. If your child senses tension you may be in for more battles than you bargain for. To increase you chances for potty training success you want to make sure you eliminate as much of your child's anxiety as possible.

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.

Article Source:

Children With Autism - Proper Tips For Helping Kids With Autism

Before my son was diagnosed with autism we knew he had developmental issues, we began different therapy's very early in his life.

The first was physical therapy (PT) the doctors told us when he was born that he might not walk, so physical therapy was recommended to us to help with this issue. The therapist worked with him to stand holding on to things and then eventually we were watching him take his first steps. I was surprised at how much determination was shown by the therapist and my son, it seemed that the right combination of attitudes had him walking in no time. This was late he was about two and a half by the time we got him steady enough to not hold on and comfortable with taking a few steps on his own.

The next therapy that was helpful for us was occupational therapy, (OT) which seemed very similar to PT to me as a mother because I had never experienced therapy before. The OT would work with him on other areas like his oral fixation with both edible and un edible items. I later found out this is called pica,"a tendency or craving to eat substances other than normal food (such as clay, plaster, or ashes), occurring during childhood or pregnancy, or as a symptom of disease." This definition came from the dictionary. The therapist gave me many suggestions on tools like chewy tubes for him. When he put something like a pencil in his mouth I would replace it with his chewy tube, that way he was getting the input that he needed with a safe item in his mouth. As the years past we had a lot of issues with PICA he would get into our cupboards and find cleaning agents, or in the car he would find the oil for the car, it became very important for us to keep a close eye on his every move to keep him from getting hurt or ill from his actions. For a young child who was not supposed be able to open containers he became very good at taking covers off just about any package he got his hand on.

As he got older we ended up taking him to many different doctors one of which was able to give him the diagnosis of autism. We had been going to therapist before this but when this diagnosis was added speech therapy (ST) was stressed as very important because he is a very non verbal child. ST was a great help for us early in his life because he was not able to let us know his needs, there was a therapist that taught him some sign language, he caught on to it right away. He could tell us he wanted to eat or, when was thirsty, he even learned to tell us when he needed to got potty. As time went on his language developed more and with much work we were able to get him to verbalize his needs which eliminated the use of signs. I still use signs to get him to say what ne wants today. He still understands them and it keeps his speech more on topic and less echolalia.

Echolalia is when he just repeats what we tell him or what was said by some one else. Most of his speech is in this manner or just random things like " want pizza" right after we just ate dinner. With all this going on for all these years he keeps our life interesting. Everyday brings opportunity for advancement, he is now 12 years old, despite the grimm out look we got from doctors at the time of his birth he can walk, talk, and say I LOVE YOU which they said he would never do. Thanks to therapy, mile stones were reached, and when this happens as a mother I always feel, "better late than never". The one last thing that I feel is very important is doing the "homework" the therapist give. In my case they would tell me to work on certain stretches, or certain words with him when at home between therapy sessions. When we returned the next week they could tell we had been working on things at home. As a mother I was doing a good job. I hope this information is helpful for other parents out there who, like me, in the beginning are looking for helpful hints on helping our children who experience autism or special needs.

Check out the web site I created it has many items parents can use to do therapy for autism in your home. These items have been hand picked by me personally as things that I wished I had in the past, or need now for my son. The web site is it is a small selection as of now. I will be adding more inventory as I find items that I personally feel will benefit family's like mine who are living with autism and special needs.

Article Source:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Children's Health - How to Treat Autism in a Conventional Perspective

I. Definition

Conventional medicine is also known as Western medicine. It is a system of medical approach in which medical doctor and other health professionals such as nurses, medical technician and specialists and therapists, etc. use medication, radiation, medical equipments or surgery to treat symptoms of disease and diseases.

II. How conventional medicine effects autism

A. Diagnosis
For the disease to be treated effectively, the conventional doctor first has to diagnose what causes the symptoms of the disease or diseases. It is helped by blood test, logical screen, psychological and physical examination, etc. The diagnosis of children with development disorder is always a stressful and time consuming road for both parent and children, because each doctor in conventional medicine mostly specializes in one field and can not make any suggestion outside of his or her professional judgement. You may be recommended to see other specialists if one found to be necessary. Since autism is complex disease, it requires a team of doctor before it can be diagnosed correctly and many wrong diagnosis have been done, leading to overwhelming pressure and time wasting to the parent and their children. Fortunately, many cases of autism have been correctly diagnosed and are treated accordingly.

To avoid wasting your time, here is the basic list of doctors and specialists who have been required for all children with development disorder to be diagnosed correctly:

a. Development and behaviour pediatrician
b. Paediatric neurologist
c. Children psychiatrist
d. Children psychologist
e. Speech and language pathologist
f. Occupational therapist
g. Physical therapist
h. Play therapist
i. Social worker

Some children may require more or less specialists than the list above in their road to find a cure, but we believe the list is a basic team for fast and corrected diagnosis.

B. Types of conventional treatment

1. Animal therapy
Animal therapy focus to improve in the inter action between the child and animal, thereby increasing the child confident in building relation ship as well as sensory and motor issues.

2. Auditory integration therapy
The program uses modified music and sound with an aim to correct the problems of child's in processing and understanding speech and sound.

3. Augmentative communication
Augmentative communication helps to support the child's communication output by acting as a bridge until speech develops or by providing an alternative if speech fails to develop. It includes picture exchange communication, picture and symbol displays, technological support for communication, sign language and body language.

4. Behaviour treatments
The aims of behaviour treatment is to help the autistic children to overcome the emotional , behavioural and cognitive dysfunction through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. It is said that this types of treatment have proven to be successful in treating mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders in some degrees.

5. Chelation
Since children with autism have a weakened secretion system, Cchelation helps to remove heavy metals accumulated in the brain through medication taken by IV or by mouth or rubbed on the skin. Although, it is a new treatment, but in theory, it decreases physical and behaviour problems.

6. Diet
Daily diet is always important for autistic or non autistic children. Since most autistic children have problem of weakened immune system and problem with toxic elimination, intake of foods which help to strengthen immune and improve toxin secretion will do no harm while avoiding intake of foods which may elevate the allergic and gastrointestinal problem are always essential. Choosing fresh and organic foods carefully will always help to reduce metabolic conditions for autistic children.

7. Discrete trial training
Discrete trial training is a program which helps to improve the basic skills for autistic children
a) Pre learning skills such as sit, attending, look at your class mate and teacher, etc.
b) Safe skills such as know their name, address, parent phone number, etc
Before the children can proceed the more complex language, academic and social skills by beginning of with a breaking off the skills into small part and taught in repetitive drills. The process of the children is record and rewarded if the response is appropriate.

8. Facilitated communication
The program helps the non verbal students to communicate with others while someone helps to support their hands and arm.

9. Immunological treatments
The types of therapy helps to alter immune system deficit for children with autism, including steroid, infusion and intravenous munoglobulin, depending to the child's diagnosis. These treatments may carry long term health risk. There are many herbs which can help such as ginko boliba if you want to use herb or other alternative treatment for this type of disorder, please consult with your doctor before applying.

10. Medication
Medicine used by conventional medicine to treat some symptoms of autism such as hyperactive, anxiety, moodswing, seizure, gastrointestinal disorder have been proven very effective, but with some side effects, therefore it is for the child benefit to keep the dose as low as possible:

a ) Tranquilizers
i) Effects
Tranquilizers include thioridazine (Mellaril), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol) and risperidol (Risperdal) which help to treat symptoms of behaviour problem by regulating the production of dopamine, thereby increasing their attention and concentration in school and at home thus making them more able to learn.
ii) Side effect of tranquilizers include
*Sedation or sleepiness.
** Less common side effects include changes in the function of the liver, effects on blood cells, restlessness or agitation, sensitivity of the skin to the sun, and true allergic reactions
*** Re occurrence of the symptoms if the medication is stopped

b) Serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor
i) Effects
It works well for children with depression and anxiety disorders, by regulating the production of serotonin which is vital for responsible and controlling the fundamental physiological aspects of the body
ii) Side effects
*Urinary retention
** Easily agitated or upset.
*** Dizziness and Fatigue
**** Change in appetite and sleep and etc.

11. Musical therapy
Musical therapy focus in using music through singing, movement and musical instruments to assist learning of language, communication and social skills.

12. Occupational therapy
Occupational therapy is a type of program, helping to compromise physically, intellectually or emotionally to integrate coping skills into their lives in order to perform necessary tasks. but for children with autism, the main goal of occupational therapy is to integrate sensory perception through recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli based chiefly on memory, therefore it helps the child to gain a more peaceful frame of mind and concentrate on certain tasks.

13. Play therapy
Play therapy is focus in using plays to improve the language, speech, communication, emotional and social skills.

14. Physical therapy
Physical therapy is also known as physiotherapy. The main goal of this program is to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability for the children with autism, such as walking, jumping, running, etc. so that the children can increase their physical strength, balance and motility as well as better sensory integration.

15. Rapid-prompting method
Soma Mukhopadhyay is the founder of rapid-prompting method. The method involves constant, fast-paced questioning and combined with the use of a low-tech alphabet board for spelled communication to keep the students attention and prompt rapid response from the students.

16. Recreational therapy
Encouraging the child to participate in some types of sport such as swimming, gymnastic, dance etc., thereby increasing the child awareness of social interaction.

17. Relationship development intervention
Relationship development intervention believes autism children can adapt to authentic emotional relationships with others and different environments if they are given opportunity to learn them in a gradual, systematic way by using highly structured games, exercises, back and forth focused communication, share experience and plays with others of that help to build up the experience of interacting in social relationships.

18. Social skill group
Children plays together under supervision of parents and specialist such as psychologist, this helps to improve the social interaction and social skills, thereby increasing the child awareness of inappropriate behaviours and interest in playing with other children.

19. Social story
By telling simple story with lots of pictures and sometimes words, the program improves the autistic children self help and social skills and prepare the child for the change of routine and in new environment.

20. Son-rise
Son-rise is one of the method has been taught to parent with autistic children in the 70s, unfortunately there are no published independent study has tested the efficacy of the program. The program believes by accepting autistic children as they are, with no prejudgement and interacting with them with positive, enthusiastic way as well as encouraging the children in more meaningful communication of that can help the children overcome verbal and social interactive deficit.

21. Speech and language therapy
It is a program designed to improve the autistic children ability in speech production, vocal production, swallowing difficulties and language needs and the use of language. The program can be run through different contexts including schools, hospitals, and private clinic or therapist's office.

22. Treatment and education of autism and related communication-handicap
It is a class program with the aim to teach autistic children independent work, life by communication and social skills by focusing in repetitive routines, picture schedules and structural settings.

23. Verbal behaviour
It is first discovered by Skinner, a psychologist. It helps the children to language and speech by breaking off the sentence into small part and taught in systematic way by assessing the minute details of initial and progress communication skills through gaps filling. Parent are requested to response and reward their child as well. As the communicative skills progress, the children are taught to make request, ask question and engage in more complex conversation. The program is only a theory with little experimental research until recently.

24. Vision therapy
Vision therapy may be necessary, if the child is suspected to have problem of seeing or understanding and learning for what he or she see.

25. Vitamins and supplements
Since children with autism is lack of vitamin B6, vitamin E and other trace minerals, it is no harm if they are taken in small dose. If you want to use them or high doses, please consult with your child's doctor before applying.

In fact, there are no single type of treatment which is likely to be effective for all children and all families. Instead, intervention will need to be adapted to individual needs and the value of approaches.

To read more of he above subject, please visit

For other children health articles, visit

All articles By Kyle J. Norton Are For Information and Education Only, Please Consult With Your Doctor or Related Field Specialist Before Applying.

All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.
"Let You Be With Your Health, Let Your Health Be With You" Kyle J. Norton
I have been studying natural remedies for disease prevention for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since 1990. Master degree in Mathematics, teaching and tutoring math at colleges and universities before joining insurance industries. Part time Health, Insurance and Entertainment Article Writer.

Article Source:

Autism Child Care Training

Families struggle a lot if their child is suffering from autism. This creates a hectic environment for all the members, including relatives and friends. Parents of these children will have to go through really tough time and it will become too problematic for them to adjust. Respite care for autism children can help a lot to their family members and mostly the parents. These cares provide a smooth and steady surrounding. Here they help the child to get involved in special activities. Autism care training is really good for those persons, those who want their child to be treated well.

Autism Child Care Training for Special Health Care Providers

In those childcare training, the providers are trained with specify knowledge about symptoms of autism. The providers must qualify few specific educational therapeutic services. The childcare trainer must be capable of handling autism children well. Their basic steps to understand those children better are to have good interaction skills, polite behavior and social activities.

The respite childcare providers like to discuss with the parents before they take the responsibility of the child, regarding their daily activities. These types of steps are really important for the provider to create stability in his care procedure. The providers must maintain their systematic and periodic care as same as the parents provide their child.

The respite care centers try their best, in creating a homely environment for the child, which makes a great difference in development in the care process. It also helps the child especially in the mental development aspect and makes him more comfortable. The providers are taught to establish a trust relationship with children suffering from autism.

The respite care providers should have the skills to control the child in conditions like self injury, more aggressive behavior, behavioral deflects and repeating same behavior again and again times. They try their best; the autism child should act positively.

These providers should be cooperative in teaching you the simple and definite steps to cope easily with the daily activities of your autism child. That helps a lot the families to understand the behavior of their child more widely. The providers try to make the steps simpler for the autism child so that he can easily complete the activity. This also helps a lot the autism child participation in new tasks.

The autism child care trainers are educated well with proper guidance about autism care procedure. The providers always need the support and care of the family members to improve the autism child.

Are you having problems with your autism child? Then find out more information on how you can cure child autism by visiting, the premier resource portal for helping child autism

Article Source:

Different Methods Of Autism Care

Autism is a complex developmental disorder that has no cure. Though children are not cured from autism, early intervention and treatment allows those with autism to develop, learn and interact with others. Parents have several care options available to help them through the challenge of raising a child with autism.

Behaviour Modification:

Behaviour modification is a method of autism care that helps the autistic child and their parents promote appropriate behaviour while minimising unwanted behaviour. It is often broken into a few areas.

Applied behaviour analysis is the basic behaviour modification which works through a reward's system. This method of behaviour modification encourages an autistic child to start acting more appropriately by giving a treat or reward for doing the tasks or acting in a way that parents want.

Sensory integration therapy is another type of behaviour modification that works on helping an autistic child cope with the sensory information they encounter every day. Since many autistic children react to sensory information differently, such as getting upset over certain noises or colours, this type of behaviour modification works on improving the reaction to the stimulation.

Play therapy is another option among the behaviour modification treatment options parents might make use of. Play therapy focuses on the social interactions of autistic children and helps them learn appropriate ways to handle different social situations. Since autistic individuals often have difficulties with social situations, this type of treatment teaches how to interact and what is not appropriate.

Communication Treatment:

Communicating is a challenge for most autistic individuals, even those who are considered high functioning. Caring for an autistic child often requires incorporating some communication treatment.

Speech therapy is perhaps the most obvious communication therapy option available. Speech therapy focuses on teaching someone with autism how to speak. Unfortunately, some autistic individuals never begin speaking, even with therapy.

Fortunately, another type of communication treatment helps parents and autistic children communicate without using words. A picture exchange communication system, or PECS, is a method of communicating through pictures. Parents draw pictures to represent what they are asking or telling the child about and the autistic child draws pictures to show what they want or need.

Alternative Treatment:

Alternative care for those with autism varies depending on the parents and doctors. The methods are not necessarily backed by science, but doctors note that no one therapy is effective for every autistic individual so adding an option or two that is not medical might help some autistic children.

Dietary changes combined with vitamin supplements are not scientifically studied. Though studies are lacking, a healthy diet is always beneficial to childhood growth and development, so combined with therapy might help some autistic children.

Music therapy or vision therapy is sometimes helpful, particularly for sensory stimulation.

Some parents might consider adding yoga or similar lessons to a child's regimen to help develop fine motor skills.

The appropriate care and treatment for any autistic child varies. Each autistic child will react differently to different treatments, so no one treatment is effective for every child's needs.

For more information on Autism Care.

Article Source:

Babies Suffering From Autism

Being a baby involves rapid development in basic fields of feeling, seeing, eating, talking and walking. From a social point of view, attachment is a central feature. This means that the baby will try to attach to people in its surrounding; that means trying to bond with these people. It uses everything it has to bond: babbling, smiling, grabbing, and crying. Many autistic children resist or ignore contact with their parents as a baby.

They often cry, they hold their arms limp along their body when they are picked up, they hardly if ever smile, and sometimes they push the other away. The toddler too is actively involved in keeping his caretakers near to ensure help is there when it is needed. Kids with autism are not able to do much bonding. This makes it more difficult not only for themselves but also for their surroundings. The caretaker, usually the mother, will try to make contact with the child. A parent may feel rejected when the baby doesn't make contact or even does not seem to be interested in making contact. The young child with autism seeks even less consolation or help and seems deeply involved within himself. Some parents will feel rejected. Others, however, will feel very close to their child because it will not break the symbiotic relationship with the caring parent. So it is not a first example of the stubbornness phase, which is part of healthy development and is an illustration of the first separation from the parents, while the child keeps depending on the parent or caretaker at the same time.

The parent will keep supplying the help that is needed. As said before, some parents will feel rejected and others won't. The child will keep using the parent as if the parent was an instrumental part of itself. For instance it will grab its parent's arm and point to an object it would like to have. It doesn't reach the point of being able to function autonomously on its own. This is another illustration of the fact that the child has difficulty in bonding in a safe manner, because this child is not able to let loose. It hardly makes eye contact, and the gaze is often seen as empty, gazing past another person or fixating on the tip of somebody's nose.

This gaze is perceived as 'penetrating.' Bonding is a complicated social activity and requires development of social insights. It means actively working on the 'theory-of-mind,' which implies the development of a theory over one's own thoughts and feelings and those of others. In this phase, children are not at all occupied with bonding. Sometimes they are still busy with subjects that ripen quicker with the average child. For instance the body still has to learn how to digest food, the immune system needs to be activated, their senses still need to develop further, their motoric senses need more development too, language needs to be formed and the child needs to be toilet trained.

By Raymond Le Blanc. If you want to know more about Autism Spectrum Disorders please visit Asperger's Syndrome in Laymen's Terms

Article Source: