February 19th, 2010  | Tags:

Researchers from the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience in Lyon, France, may have demonstrated that a hormone that bonds mothers and their babies may help improve social interaction in adults with autism.

As published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers discovered that those given the hormone Oxytocin showed improved understanding of social cues in game simulations and were more attentive to facial expressions.

Leading the study was Angela Sirigu, who noted the potential therapeutic benefits of Oxytocin for adults as well as children with autism. These benefits include both eye contact improvement as well as an increased understanding of how others respond to them, fostering an overall improved ability to learn appropriate social responses.

While the study indicated improvements for children and adults, early introduction of Oxytocin may hold particular promise. Said Sirigu, “For instance, if Oxytocin is administered early when the diagnosis is made, we can perhaps change very early the impaired social development of autistic patients.”

Alex Martin, chief of cognitive neuropsychology at the United States National Institute of Mental Health, commented, “I think it’s going to be a very exciting finding for a lot of people.”

The study examined 13 individuals (11 men, 2 women) with higher-functioning ASD and a control group of the same number of men and women without ASD. For two weeks there was no mediation administered and tests run which included social games and facial expression tests; then Oxytocin was inhaled and the tests rerun.

Brian Field is the co-founder of the Autism Support Network

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February 13th, 2010  | Tags:

For those parents seeking information on autism education, autism therapy, diagnostic tools and the latest autism “cures” – there is an overabundance. For many, however, real stories from other parents presented through a lens not of diagnosis or crisis, but of gratitude and perspective can offer just as many rewards. Such is the pilot project and mission of The Comfortable Chaos Project, an initiative begun by Melissa Ferguson and Brienne Hooker.

Ferguson is the mother of two; her five year old daughter, Zoe, has autism and began speaking only six months ago.

Ferguson admittedly has at least one breakdown a day herself. Her life is “highly stressful, unpredictable stinky and sticky.” Hers, like many parents with children on the autism spectrum, is a life filled with judgmental glares, insurance forms, therapies, run-arounds, and advice — both solicited and unsolicited – from every corner of her life. Despite all of this, she loves her life and describes it as one characterized by “comfortable chaos.”

From her personal experiences and needs, Ferguson has started The Comfortable Chaos Project, an effort to put faces to autism – to show that even though those with autism may see the world differently, they nonetheless have feelings, a need to be loved, and have as much worth and value as any human on the planet. She is in the process of collecting stories and interviews from families around the globe with a family member with autism . She recalls that when she initially received Zoe’s diagnosis, she was missing that “family perspective” and wants to share the everyday life stories – the raw, happy, sad, the untold. Says Ferguson, “I simply want to give hope and inspiration (that I so desperately needed) to families living with autism.”

If you wish to participate in Ferguson’s Comfortable Chaos Project you may so do at:

Melissa Ferguson
Comfortable Chaos Project
P.O. Box 246
DeMotte, IN 45310
(219) 798-6459
Or via email at: comfortablechaos@hotmail.com

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January 21st, 2010  | Tags:

In children younger than 3 years, interventions that are appropriate usually take place in a child care center or in the home.

Specific deficits in learning, language, imitation, attention, motivation, compliance, and initiative of interaction are targeted by these interventions. Included are behavioral methods, communication, occupational and physical therapy along with social play interventions.

The day will often begin with a physical activity like children string beads, piece puzzles together, paint, and participate in other motor skills activities: to help develop coordination and body awareness. At snack time the teacher encourages social interaction and models how to use language to ask for more juice.

Read more about Adult Aspergers Syndrome?at Autism Developmental Disorders

The children learn by doing. Students, behavioral therapists, and parents who have received extensive training are working with the children. Positive reinforcement is used in teaching the children. Children older than 3 years usually have school-based, individualized, special education.

The child may be in a segregated class with other autistic children or in an integrated class with children without disabilities for at least part of the day.

Different localities may use differing practices but all should provide a structure that will aid the children with learning social skills and functional communication. In these programs, teachers often involve the parents, giving useful advice in how to help their child use the skills or behaviors learned at school when they are at home.

Read more about Autism Guides at Autism Guides

In elementary school, the child should receive help in any skill area that is delayed and, at the same time, be encouraged to grow in his or her strengths. Ideally, the curriculum should be adapted to the individual child’s needs. Today a lot of schoola have an inclusion program in which the child is in a regular classroom for most of the day, with special instruction for a part of the day.

This instruction should include such skills as learning how to act in social situations and in making friends.

Read more about Aspergers Characteristics at Aspergers Characteristics

Higher-functioning children too need help to organize tasks and avoid distractions although they may be able to handle academic work.

During middle and high school years, instruction will begin to address such practical matters as work, community living, and recreational activities. Work experience, using public transportation, and learning skills that will be important in community living should be included in this. You will want to be an active participant in his or her education program, all through your child’s school years,. Collaboration between parents and educators is essential in evaluating your child’s progress.

Summary:
There is no single best treatment for all children with ASD. Early intervention is important, and most individuals with ASD respond well to highly structured, specialized programs. Each step in the child’s education building on what he or she has learned before, beginning with communication and social skills, working through strengths and abilities, and progressing to practical matters such as work and community living. Adolescence may be an especially difficult time for teenagers with autism.
So always be sure to give your fullest attention to this important aspect of your child’s life.

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January 20th, 2010  | Tags:

Read more about Autism Guides at Autism Guides

In elementary school, the child should receive help in any skill area that is delayed and, at the same time, be encouraged to grow in his or her strengths. Ideally, the curriculum should be adapted to the individual child’s needs. Today a lot of schoola have an inclusion program in which the child is in a regular classroom for most of the day, with special instruction for a part of the day.

This instruction should include such skills as learning how to act in social situations and in making friends.

Although higher-functioning children may be able to handle academic work, they too need help to organize tasks and avoid distractions.

During middle and high school years, instruction will begin to address such practical matters as work, community living, and recreational activities. Work experience, using public transportation, and learning skills that will be important in community living should be included in this. All through your child’s school years, you will want to be an active participant in his or her education program. Collaboration between parents and educators is essential in evaluating your child’s progress.

Read more about Autism Checklist at Aspergers Characteristics

Summary:
There is no single best treatment for all children with ASD. Early intervention is important, and most individuals with ASD respond well to highly structured, specialized programs. Beginning with communication and social skills, working through strengths and abilities, and progressing to practical matters such as work and community living. Adolescence may be an especially difficult time for teenagers with autism.
So always be sure to give your fullest attention to this important aspect of your child’s life.

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January 6th, 2010  | Tags:

Where to Go to for Information on Autism Child Care

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which is shown through abnormal patterns of behavior, social relationship and other skills. Although there are genes typically present in all autistic children, many scientists speculate that the problem not only originates form the genetic makeup of a child, but also from triggers that can be found in the environment. Physically, autism cannot really be detected. There are no abnormalities in the body that can be associated with autism. But the impairment of the autistic child really lies in his or her inability to interact in a normal way with the world outside.

Signs Of Autism
History of autism spectrum disorders
Families who have autistic children often face severe stress. The amount of care that a child with autism requires dictates the lifestyle of the family. The care for and autistic child often takes up a lot of time and family relations suffer because of this.

What are autism spectrum disorders?

Respite child care for autism can be obtained. However many people are lost in their search to find such services. Here are some places which you may want to check out in order to look for information on autism child care:

1) Hospitals :there are actually specialists in autism child care that can be contacted through hospitals. In going to a hospital for information on caring for children with autism, you may be able to find out the proper method of caring for the health needs of an autistic child.

Hospitals also provide you with connections. You will need help taking care of a child with autism. Information on different specialists who may be able to give you advice and provide you with the materials on autistic child care you might need, can be provided by hospitals. 2) Support groups are groups of people focused on helping other people learn about proper child care for autism or aspergers. You see, you are not alone in taking care of a child with autism. This means that you will be able to find someone to help you, if you only make the effort to search. There is a way to live normally despite autism. That’s what these groups will show you.

There are different ways through which you can contact these support groups:

a) Through your family doctor ?more often than not, your doctor will be able to refer you to different support groups who will help you gain the knowledge necessary in taking care of a child with autism.

b) The phone book : you also need to look in the phonebook for information on how to contact such support groups. They often list their numbers in the phonebook for the sole purpose of making themselves more accessible for those who want information on proper autism child care.

You should not let autism be a hindrance to normal living. People who take care of autistic children often find that they make more progress if they do not treat autism as a disability. No one is saying that you need to ignore autism in order for it to be treated. However, you should not let a child?s autism isolate him or her from the rest of the family.
Symptoms of Asperger’s

Here is a final thought: whenever you feel stressed out while taking care of a child with autism, don?t take it out on the child. Just remember to always count your blessings, because in the end, your blessings will always outweigh your problems.

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November 1st, 2009  | Tags:

Unfortunately, an actual cure for autism, a disabling neurological disorder, has yet to be discovered. Children who are effected by this disorder usually grow up with a speech impairment, they have difficulties in social interactions, abnormal learning abilities and for the most part they’re simply unable to enjoy their lives, an experience which most of us take for granted. Many studies have indicated that early diagnosis and skilled intervention can actually minimize the issue, and additional therapies can provide the unfortunate patient with a degree of independence through teaching him or her how to cope with their life from a new perspective.

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 primarily utilize modification techniques, to help the patient to acquire specific job skills and to give them the ability to function in their environment. For example, Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, entails the teaching of skill oriented activities. In this practice, patients are rewarded as they learn enjoyable skills, and as their behavioral skills continue to develop. This is a well structured system, with intensive one-to-one interaction between a child with autism and their therapist. This particular type of treatment is usually considered to be the most effective by experts, but many critics still feel that the approach is overly “robotic”, and that it doesn’t really encourage the child to be spontaneous while they’re trying to adapt to the world around them.

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.

With supplemental therapies, it seems that many individuals with autism respond quite favorably to sensory stimulation. For instance, patients are often encouraged to grasp objects with a variety of textures, and occasionally, listen to music too. The Tomatis approach utilizes the playing of a loop of music, for several hours each and every day, in the hope of improving the child’s 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 know internationally for her extraordinary insights into the prevention of autism, and due to this tireless dedication, her highly acclaimed materials have been able to bring a brilliant ray of light into the lives of thousands of people from around the World. If you’d like to explore some of the secret truths about autism in its early stages, take a few minutes to visit – and learn more today!

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October 31st, 2009  | Tags:

While quite a few children have delays in one developmental area or another, there are several specific signs that parents can attempt to identify as their child nears certain predetermined age milestones, as a fairly accurate means of correctly diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some areas to watch closely include motor skills, speech, spatial memory and repetitive behavior.

Around the first year of development – usually before, a baby should be showing some significant signs of activity, such as crawling and occasionally standing with a bit of support. At this point there is almost always some communication, although usually just unclear single words mixed in with baby babble. In the vast majority of instances, one-year old children do interact with others by occasionally waving goodbye, grabbing for something they’d like to have and other little gestures as well. Not all babies progress on the same time schedule, but some of the first signs of autism begin appearing at the end of the first year. These symptoms include a complete lack of eye contact or a blank look while staring into space, as well as certain well known repetitive behaviors, like rocking intensively.

Autism is often diagnosed around age two because that’s when most signs of the disorder become prevalent. Lack of eye contact and a lack of interest in others become more obvious. Any words which the toddler said previously are lost, and they stop pointing or using other forms of communication to indicate the things which they want. Other symptoms of autism include no interest in creative or pretend play and walking on tip toes. Some other unusual behaviors also start to appear, such as outbursts of hitting things and banging their heads repeatedly. There could also be some difficulty in the toddler accepting potty training.

There are situations where a baby is progressing normally and then begins showing signs of autism. For instance, a child could suddenly stop talking or begin exhibiting unusual or repetitive behaviors. Evidence of autism characteristics can begin occurring between the ages of 2 and 4. During this time, any progress in development is generally lost and signs of autism become prevalent.

Between ages 2 and 5, a number of signs of autism develop, which enable parents and physicians to better diagnose autism spectrum disorder. For instance, the child has no interest in other children or people and instead becomes fixated with certain toys, games, or objects. They are not responding to vocabulary or any language skills and they work better when there is a routine or set order. When this routine is disturbed, anger often develops. At this age, an autistic child begins developing sensitivity to sounds, touch, and certain textures. As a result of sensitivity to smell and taste, they develop fussy eating habits. Children with early signs of autism are also unable to carry on a conversation, have a poor attention span and rarely make eye contact.

Often times, a child could show mild signs of autism that become more prevalent in pre-teen years. Young teens with autism sometimes have outbursts of laughter for no reason, or outbursts of crying without cause. These are referred to as self-stimulating outbursts.

Although there is no one test to diagnose autism, doctors rely on observing the child, developmental history and conversations with the parents. With early diagnosis and intervention, children showing signs of autism can get the therapy and treatment they need to ensure a better outcome as they grow older and enter adulthood.

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 visit this site – and find out more today!

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October 28th, 2009  | Tags:

There aren’t any parents who want to consider that their children might be suffering from autism, a life-shattering developmental disorder that’s anticipated to effect more than one in 150 children in the United States alone. Autism is generally believed to effect children from birth, or even perhaps from the very first few months of life, and usually results in an abnormal development in language skills and communication, activities, and social interaction. Whilst there is no cure for autism, there are very many different therapies and procedures available to help mitigate its effects; early diagnosis is very important.

As it is often very difficult for parents to analyze the intricate behaviors of their newborn child, it is also extremely difficult to determine whether the child is autistic or not. As all elements of behavior are immature in young babies, including the ability to communicate, to form relationships and to participate in general day-to-day activities, it can take time to identify deviations from the norm. Also, it’s important to remember that there are a variety of symptoms, other factors and potentially other illnesses present as well, further complicating an accurate diagnosis. Sadly, if autism is present in children with above-average mental ability, unusual behavior or related abnormalities may be dismissed.

While there still isn’t any absolute cure for autism, its cause also remains completely unknown. Most experts believe that prenatal damage to the brain is the most likely culprit. Some believe that the condition is not present at birth, whilst others believe that it can be caused by external factors, such as the introduction of chemicals during routine vaccinations, for example.

The incredible importance of the early identification of autism can’t be over-stressed. If a child’s behavior deviates significantly from the general pattern of development, treatment and adjustment might become complicated. Often, the child may resist any efforts to change their behavior. In most cases, it’s quite unusual to reach an accurate diagnosis of autism before two years of age. Therefore, many experts are formally requesting specialist training to be provided to primary care workers and family doctors, to give them the ability to recognize early warning signs. Most parents, particularly those who don’t have any other children, don’t have any idea what to expect, and because of this they’re not in a position to judge whether or not the baby is developing “normally”.

Studies have shown that there are likely two distinct types of autistic infant. On the one hand, there is a very quiet and undemanding child and on the other hand a very troubled baby who cannot be pacified and exhibits tantrums and behavior outbursts. The child may show aggression, anger, or may kick or hit others or animals. Other behaviors may be displayed, such as banging heads, constantly rocking back and forth, or scratching at blankets. The child may be fascinated by shiny objects yet appear to be disinterested in the majority of regular stimulants – objects or people.

During a clinical study of 28 cases dealing with autistic symptoms in very young children, a 1990 study suggested that it is possible to recognize autism in infancy. In particular, three areas should be observed.

Gaze: the study suggests that the infant will exhibit an unusual quality of gaze with this condition. The autistic baby will gaze only briefly and out of the corner of its eye.

Hearing: the autistic child will very likely not be deaf, but will exhibit symptoms as if it were. Very loud noises usually cause no reaction, but repetitive or unusual, brief sounds may invoke a lot of interest. This is potentially tied to perception abnormalities.

Social Relationships: in general, young babies tend to exhibit a particular interest in play, whilst babies with autism may show a complete lack of interest in this area and may shy away from social interaction with others. The autistic infant will likely not be easily stimulated, have a short attention span or may not show an interest in playing baby games, enjoy interaction with others or engage in communication with peers; this may be the primary pointer for parents to consider.

Early intervention remains the key to help improve the long-term prospects for the suffering child. It is important that health professionals who specialize in pediatrics understand and observe the potential characteristics and help parents to accurately diagnose and plan for the future.

Bonita Darula has attained international fame for her dedicated exploration into the prevention of autism. Her inspiring materials have brought real hope to thousands of people from around the World. If you’re curious, take a few moments right now to learn some of the secret truths about autism in its early stages.

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October 26th, 2009  | Tags:

At this point, many experts still disagree about a clear definition – the actual difference between autism and Asperger’s syndrome, which seems to be a matter of degree, mostly dealing with communication issues. Autism is widely known as a “spectrum” illness, as it has a rather broad range of symptoms and associated conditions, which usually involve very limited or impaired social skills, an incredibly narrow scope of interest and a variety of sensory problems.

The majority of autistic patients display very rigid behavior with fairly limited imagination. Generally, autism is characterized by extremely limited verbal and non-verbal communication skills, along with a difficulty in understanding or comprehending normal social relationships. When presented with a social interaction situation, for instance, they might seem to be indifferent or they may utilize repetitive functions or comments as a way of dealing with the issue. Also, the listening skills of children with autism are usually quite poor.

Basically, Asperger’s syndrome can be thought of as a less extreme form of autism. While the primary characteristics of autism still remain, people with Asperger’s syndrome appear to be relatively good at expressing themselves most of the time, occasionally they can have average or above-average IQ, and sometimes they won’t experience or display any obvious learning difficulties. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis of the syndrome isn’t really possible until the child is at least five years of age. You may notice subtle signs, however, such as the tantrums daily routine, which is often a way for the Asperger’s child to exhibit serious frustration and can be far more noticeable and severe than if it were exhibited by a healthy child.

Whereas children with autism suffer from intense communication difficulties, those with Asperger’s syndrome are much better at speaking, but will find it difficult to skillfully exhibit their abilities in a social situation, play and physical activity.

Some experts define Asperger’s syndrome as simply autism with a functioning language, whilst others believe that they are two distinct issues. Autism, they say, is a left brain illness, whilst Aspergers is an affliction of the right brain. It may be possible to help differentiate between the two by observing early communication skills. For example, monitor your child’s development each year and see whether he or she has the correct range of language at that age.

An Asperger child often becomes obsessed with things, and this can range from statistics to obscure or little known facts. As this obsessive behavior can sometimes take over control, it can lead to impaired development within the social arena. Many experts believe that children with autism can improve and take on the characteristics of children with Asperger’s syndrome and become virtually indistinguishable in comparison.

It is very important to conduct individual assessments and correctly diagnose your toddler, as there’s a very wide range of individual disorders within the overall spectrum. Some children might require very specialist care for extended periods of time, whilst others may successfully be integrated within a mainstream school. The debate will no doubt continue as experts try to more fully define the difference between autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

Bonita Darula has attained international fame for her dedicated exploration into the prevention of autism. Her inspiring materials have brought real hope to thousands of people from around the World. If you’re curious, take a few moments right now to learn some of the secret truths about autism in its early stages.

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October 20th, 2009  | Tags:

Communication skills for autistic children differ from the norm, including their thinking process. The majority of children with autism find words to be “too busy”, so they usually find it much easier to remember information with pictures. Through remembering specific pictures, autistic children can learn to understand other people and express themselves to a certain extent.

Autistic children generally learn verbal language by converting any text into much more easily understandable pictures. While most people have a tendency to do tasks in order, individuals with autism have a radically different visual style of thinking. Therefore, the actual shapes of the pictures and the color of the pictures plays a crucial role in the way they’ll think and feel. Pictures help autistic children discover a vocabulary that’s much easier to express.

According to several studies, people with autism usually think visually because the section of the brain which deals with visual tasks is far more active. In addition, the language and spatial centers in the cortical regions of the brain are not as synchronized as those without the disorder.

Visual thinking allows children with autism to compensate for spoken and written words. Because their brains function differently, they can better comprehend things by building visuals and memorizing them. An autistic child takes concepts, which are sensory instead of being word based, and compartmentalizes them into small details to construct a complete picture.

In time, autistic children can learn abstract words and ideas through visual concepts, like pictures and objects. For instance, if a certain stuffed animal makes a child excited, it would become their chosen visual symbol for the word exciting. Really bright colors in pictures can intensively stimulate the brain activity in the thinking processes of most autistic children.

Autistic children usually find it much easier to express themselves within a highly structured environment. Because people with autism think visually, it’s important that they are taught using visuals, such as pictures, objects, line drawings, or symbols. Through spatial memory to pictures or objects, people with autism are able to associate the appropriate words and develop communication skills that allow them to function in society.

For children with autism, a string of words or verbal instructions are learned through visual demonstration. For instance, the word “up” is easier to express in a picture of balloons in soft colors being lifted upward. Concrete visual methods, like flashcards and blocks in soft colors, are easier to retain among autistic children and help in teaching numbers and other concepts. Long verbal phrases need to be avoided or written down because autistic children have difficulty remembering a lot of steps or word sequences.

Research that compared the brain regions of people with autism to those without found that most people with autism excel in art and drawing. As such, autistic children do well with a color coded system that allows them to think through a remembrance of pictures. For example, an autistic child learns about what to do at an intersection by thinking of its concept. These thoughts are tiny color coded pictures of various types of intersections. When the situation arises, the mind gathers this information and presents it visually so the autistic child remembers what to do at an intersection.

Autistic children generally think in detailed pictures instead of words because it’s much easier for them to categorize and remember the information. By associating a noun to the color and shape of pictures or objects, the autistic child creates a spatial way of thinking that makes it easier for them to comprehend and communicate.

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 visit this site – and find out more today!

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