Saturday, November 24, 2012

Autism Finding Could Lead to Simple Urine Test for the Condition

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

Getting Children With AUTISM Moving!

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

Music Therapy for Autism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Little Known Secrets To Effectively Hugging An Autistic Child

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those are ideas we can *all* get behind.

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

Bean Bag Chairs Help Kids With Autism Spectrum Disorder

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

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

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

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

With the many features and benefits of a beanbag chair, buying one which provides the comfort and affordability necessary to meet your needs is crucial.  Comfy Sacks has bean bag chairs in a wide variety of sizes and colors.  Instead of being filled with beans, they are filled with a proprietary blend of shredded polyurethane foam.  This guarantees that it will be soft, and durable for years to come.

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

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Early Intervention Makes a Huge Difference for Autistic Children

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

Potty Training A Child With Autism

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

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