Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Different Kinds of Autism

Contrary to what some people may believe, autism is not a type of mental retardation, but rather a complex neurobehavorial disorder that affects a person's development, language, communication skills and social skills. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there are several classifications of the disorder. It can range from the very mild, allowing a person to lead a very normal life, all the way to very severe cases which necessitate institutional care.
Here's a look at the different types of autism spectrum disorders:
Autistic Disorder- This is what people commonly think of when they hear the term "autism." This diagnosis refers to problems with communication, social interaction and imaginative play in kids younger than three. It's usually diagnosed during a child's toddler years and symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Asperger's Syndrome- People with this type tend to have excellent language skills and average or above-average intelligence and do well on standardized tests. However, they lack social skills and aren't able to interact with their peers in a usual manner. It's a mild form of autism and children are able to do well in school, but have troubles with classmates due to the diagnosed child's awkward, sometimes odd, behaviors. Sometimes people aren't diagnosed with Asperger's until they're teens or adults. With specialized training, these people can lead typical lives and be active members of society.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)- Also called atypical autism, this type is a miscellaneous category for people who don't clearly fit into one of the other, more defined, categories. People who fit this category have one or more traits of a few autistic categories but don't meet the criteria for any one diagnosis.
Rett Syndrome- This is found only in girls, but quite rare. Children with this type of autism develop normally for several years, and then their communication skills and social skills begin to regress. Between the ages of 1 and 4, they discontinue using their hands purposefully, and begin to make repetitive hand movements instead.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)- This is a rare type of autism. Children with this disorder develop normally for the first two years of life and then start to lose most of their motor, language, social, communication and potty skills.
Autism tends to run in families, and is found in people of all nationalities, races and socioeconomic levels. Researchers believe that certain types of genes predispose a child to the disorder. It's very rare that the disorder can be diagnosed at birth, but one is typically made before the child enters school. offers information regarding autism awareness. For more on supporting research for autism, please visit us at
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gluten Free And Autism

Do you have a child or know someone with autism? Does that person eat high amounts of wheat, barley, oats or rye proteins? Did you know that these proteins linked also with casein (the protein found in milk products) can trigger behavioral issues? To someone with autism these proteins can act as an addictive drug. Wow, mind blowing right? Some experts have even referred to gluten as "poison" for someone who is autistic.
Researchers have found that people with autism who eat gluten products regularly have a hard time breaking down the protein and found high levels of peptides with opiate in the urine. Opiates are similar to the drug known as morphine and affect the brain function. The two main problems have been linked as gluten (which is the protein found in wheat, barley, oats and rye) and casein (the protein found in milk.) Would you knowingly give your child morphine? Allowing a child who has autism to eat gluten products could be doing as much harm.
Now that you know the facts, where should you start? How can you possibly remove gluten from the diet? It will not be easy at first but will be beneficial in the end. It will take perseverance and research. At first it will take a lot of time because you will need to read labels and rule out all foods with gluten ingredients. You may even want to consult a dietician to work with you the first few weeks. They can come up with healthy meal plans based on the person's likes and dislikes. There are also many online resources to help. There are even" Gluten Free Bibles" which are guides to a full gluten free life. There are even gluten free cookbooks and foods you can purchase online.
You are probably saying right now, "This seems like too much work, I don't have the time for this." That may be the case first but once you understand and start shopping gluten free it is quite easy. Also, you must look at the long term benefits of the gluten free diet. You must realize that for many who have autism, foods with gluten are toxic to their brain and avoiding them is necessary. It will be challenging at first but with a little effort and a few good gluten free cookbooks your autistic child/friend will see improvements in behavior. I have read reports that after three months of gluten free living autistic children have been able to make eye contact and actually play calmly with other children. Now, doesn't that sound worth giving it a try?
There are so many resources and online products to help you with your new journey. It will require sacrifices and endurance. Remember this adjustment will take time but the results are so valuable. Start today and begin to live free!
For more information or to shop for protein powders go to Gluten free foods and an assortment of organic products.
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Assessment of Autism Symptoms: When to Seek a Professional

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things with autism is that there is not one diagnostic test or system which diagnoses this spectrum disorder. Much of the diagnostic process relies first on the parents monitoring and observing the behavior patterns in their children, tracking how they communicate with others and observing their social skills with peers. Since many of these abilities and skills are not evident at birth and develop over time, it is not uncommon for autism to be diagnosed once children become of age where these skills are more evident; usually about toddler age.
Parents may find diagnosing their children with autism very challenging as many of the symptoms closely relate to those seen in non-autistic children as well. For example one of the most notable symptoms is difficulty or lacking the desire to socialize with others. In non-autistic children this is not necessarily something to worry about in the beginning. It could be that your child is simply shy and has caution and fear about mingling with other children or that they prefer to play alone with their active imaginations.
Other symptoms include a delay in learning how to speak or having difficulty in starting conversations with others. Again, all children develop these skills differently. While some children begin speaking and communicating at a very early age, others struggle with them and it is not always an indication that your child is autistic. Various other biological and neurological issues can also contribute to skills slowly developing.
It is also common for autistic children to have difficulty or the inability to make eye contact or have difficulty in understanding directives given to them. While these things could be caused by a child's age and development happening at a slower pace, they also could be indicators that the child has autism.
Diagnosing Autism
Historically this disorder is diagnosed when the child reaches the age of three and a bit older. This is the time when most physicians and parents truly begin to see that their child is not developing normally because by this age socialization, interactive and communication skills should become evident. In some cases a child will be diagnosed at age two particularly if the parents are diligent with the recommended, ongoing check-ups. Still, at that young of an age diagnosing can be challenging because vital skills are not apparent yet.
The diagnosis process begins with watching and observing the child's behaviors and patterns as well as a psychologist or specialist thoroughly interviewing the parents while reviewing the child's developmental history. The interviewing process will investigate both the child's past development as well as current developments.
The therapist will defer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders frequently in order to assess which spectrum your child falls into with Autism and go through the symptoms and characteristics with a fine tooth comb as understanding which spectrum your child falls into is important when it comes to treatment, therapies and supportive services.
Diagnostic Tools
Because there is not one sure way to diagnose this disorder, once a parent or physician feels that the child could be a candidate for the disorder, they may use one or several diagnostic tools to diagnose. These include but are not limited to:
• Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
• Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI)
• Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)
• Developmental Behavior Checklist (DBC)
• Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)
When Is the Right Time to Assess?
It is important that parents get their children assessed and tested as early as possible as this greatly increases the chances of their child receiving the therapies they need and bettering their quality of life sooner.
If you notice that your child is not developing at a normal pace when they are younger than two you can and should certainly have them examined by a physician. However, it is likely that since not all of the skills have yet to develop, that your child may not be diagnosed until they are of toddler age (between 3-6) and in some cases even later in life based on their future development and progression.
If relevant skills such as socialization, communication, eye contact and comprehension are seen as aptly lacking in younger years, it can only help in future diagnosing to have your child examined and tested. At the very least, you will have a record of the testing to utilize later when they are at a more appropriate age to be concretely diagnosed.
Working With Autism provides treatment and therapy services for autism and other spectrum disorders. They have a team of licensed professionals that can assist you in conventional treatment, including speech therapy and behavioral services. For more information on their services, please visit their website:
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Autism Awareness Month

As Autism Awareness month approaches, it is important for American parents and families to be aware of some basic autism facts. From early signs of autism to safety precautions and statistics, I am going to cover a range of topics to inform you about aspects of autism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a bio-neurological developmental disability that is typically detected in children before the age of 3. A 2012 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 1 in 88 U.S children is diagnosed with autism by age 8. This rate has risen significantly since the 2006 study that estimated 1 in 110 children had autism.
Additionally, boys are nearly five times (4. 7 percent) more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls, averaging 1 in 54 versus 1 in 252 for girls. With the percentage of people affected by autism rising, funding is still low, and an effective treatment or cure still has not been discovered.
Although autism does not generally lead to death in itself, the mortality risk for those with autism is nearly double that of the general population due to accidents and eloping. Because autism affects communication skills and cognitive functions, children with autism who elope often have trouble speaking and communicating when found, according to the National Autism Association. Autism is typically accompanied by other health conditions like allergies, asthma, epilepsy, bowel disease, digestive and gastrointestinal disorders, persistent viral infections, feeding disorders, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and a list of other conditions.
Because of the risks associated with having autism, it's important to adhere to safety precautions encouraged for caretakers of the autistic to follow. These precautions include things like keeping a close eye on your autistic child, as approximately 48 percent of children with autism attempt to elope from safe environments, in turn, leading to drowning, kidnapping, assault and other dangers.
Other things to consider when caring for a child with autism is life insurance for you and your spouse, and also life insurance for your child with autism. Life insurance coverage for you and your spouse will ensure that your child will always have access to food, shelter, a caretaker and medical care in the event of you or your spouse's death. Without that coverage, your autistic child could be left without necessary care and provisions. Additionally, having life insurance on your child with autism will ensure that, should the unthinkable happen and something happens to your child, you and your family would be able to afford final expenses including funeral and burial costs and outstanding medical bills.
Learning to care for your child with autism is an important part of ensuring your child's safety and access to a bright future. By researching and being prepared for the future and its possibilities, you are caring for your child in the best way possible. Take time to learn more about autism and its risks, how you can encourage, treat and help your child progress, and also how you can plan ahead to guarantee that your child will always be taken care of.
Participate in Autism Awareness month my learning more about autism and how you can protect your child today. Join in the cause for raising awareness to care and treatment for people with autism.
For more information about how you can plan ahead for your autistic child's future, visit Mortgage Protection Center's Autistic Life Insurance page. It's never too early to plan ahead and secure a bright future for your child, making sure the necessary care is always accessible. Don't leave your child without access to a bright future, and don't leave your family financially unprepared for the financial effects of an accident that could occur without warning. Learn more, get your free quote and protect your family today through Mortgage Protection Center.
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