Sunday, 5 August 2012

What is Autism In Brief

What Is Autism In Brief You may have seen an autistic child or adult and never knew that the person had a diagnosis. Your ignorance about the disorder is not uncommon because most people who are not experienced with the disorder look at autistic people as those who are mentally retarded or have some learning disability. This is not true. Autism is a very complicated disorder that affects children typically from the age of three to conception. The disorder is neurological in nature and primarily affects the areas of the brain where communication and social interaction is developed. To the unsuspecting person, the autistic child or adult would be considered mentally unstable or retarded. The unique thing about autism and the reason it is sometimes hard to detect is that the disorder affects different sufferers in different levels of complexity. A mildly affected child may be able to communicate their wants and needs, but there communication is often stifled and they do not understand the subtleties of the English language. Sometimes humor, irony, and other nuances of the language will present a difficult or impassible barrier to the child’s communication process. Another autistic sufferer may have severe autism where the child or the adult cannot communicate at all. The sad thing is that the autistic person can think about the what they want to say and how to communicate it, but the words do not come out and their silence on appears on the outside. Can you imagine trying to communicate with your teacher or parent and the words won’t come out? You know the answer to the question and you know how to do the task, but the communication and the rest of your body just doesn’t come out. That is why it is difficult for both teachers and parents to understand what autism is and how to deal with it. The child cannot even communicate its wants and needs during play with other children. A simple act of digging with a sand shovel can be an awkward movement or grunt that would be totally misunderstood by the other child. Autistic children act differently to normal situations than other kids. Loud noises, a deviation from a familiar route, or a change in time schedule can set an autistic child off with sometimes violent consequences. The acts of an autistic child could be misinterpreted as a behavior disorder or an emotional disorder. Simple communication is not there. If a autistic child is hot, it has been reported that some will strip naked in public and run around. The communication is there. They are hot. It is cooler when I am naked. Therefore I will be naked and be cool. Again, the communication is there, but the socially accepted communication in which we communicate is not. According to statistics, almost four million children will be born with autism in the next decade. The diagnoses of autistic children are becoming more refined, but think about the number of children misdiagnosed in the past where there learning and life skill accommodations were not met by professionals. Autism is a tragic disorder and many parents should be given kudos for the extra time and energy it takes to raise an autistic child. In this e-book you will learn the characteristics of autism, its symptoms, treatments, and learning strategies that will help both you and your child. Though the definition of autism is still sketchy for health care professionals and psychologists, you will learn more about autism and have a more definitive approach when dealing with autism as a teacher, parent, or someone who works with these special people.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Autistic Children and the Strain on Marriage

Autistic Children and the Strain on Marriage Unfortunately, in modern times, many marriages end in divorce or separation. This statistic rises even higher when you mix in an autistic child. No matter how loving and understanding you both may be towards your child, the truth is that autism is a very difficult matter, and strain on the marriage is not uncommon. By trying to stay positive about your situation, and by working to keep your marriage healthy, you and your spouse can avoid marital problems and hopefully survive the trying times of raising an autistic child. Why did you marry your husband or wife? By asking yourself this question often, you can focus on the good things in your marriage. Raising a child with autism is stressful, and if you are stressed, you have a tendency to snap at another person for the smallest missteps. Instead of focusing on these bad qualities, take some time to enjoy one another the way you did at the beginning of the relationship. This may include spending some time apart from your children. When you find out that your child is autistic, it is beneficial to make sure that you and your spouse are not the only two people with whom your child will respond. A grandparent, aunt or uncle, mature sibling, or nanny are good people to have in your child's life in the most intimate way possible. This way, alone time with your spouse is possible. Work together with your spouse to help you child, instead of fighting with one another. It is very likely that you will have different ideas about what to do in certain situations, so be prepared to compromise and always seek professional consultations before making any medical decisions for your child. By working together, remember that you are giving your child the best opportunities. Try to set apart time every week to spend together as a family, especially if one parent or the other is the primary caregiver. Lastly, seek help when you need it. Part of any successful marriage is spending some time apart to focus on individual needs, and it is no different when you have an autistic child. However, if you find that you and your spouse are not happy unless you are spending time alone, it is time to reevaluate the situation. A family or marriage counselor can help you and your spouse get back on the right track to a happy life together. It might also be beneficial to meet other couples raising autistic children. You are not alone, and it is never easy. By making an effort to keep your marriage happy, even when you are stressed with the task of raising an autistic child, you and your spouse can ensure that your marriage does not end in a messy divorce.



Thursday, 19 July 2012

A Gift of Sight: Visual Perception Treatment for Autistic Children

A Gift of Sight: Visual Perception Treatment for Autistic Children Autism effects every child differently, so it is difficult to find the exact treatments your child needs to cope with his or her symptoms. One thing that effects some autistic children (though, not all) is problems with visual perception. By using some standardized methods to help improve visual perception, you can give your child the ability to see the world more clearly, making learning and comprehension easier and possibly curbing some behavior problems as well. Autistic children mainly have problems with sensory overload and distortion. These are some of the same problems many people not suffering from the disorder develop, and so many treatment options have become available. Individuals with autism often find, however, that the sensory overload of the world due to light, colors, contrast, shapes, and patterns, is too much to handle, causing them to act out or shut down in general. This is sometimes a genetic condition that is simply enhanced by the autism, so if the child's parents have trouble with reading or have been otherwise treated for visual perceptive problems, there is a good chance that the child needs help as well. The Irene Method is one effective way to treat visual perception disorders. This method uses color to create a more harmonized world. You may have heard of these methods if anyone has ever suggested using a color filter over the page when reading to be able to read better and more quickly. This method is proven to work, and if your autistic child is at the maturity level of reading, you may want to try these color filters to see if there is a difference in speed and comprehension. However, it is more likely that your autistic child will benefit from color filters during the entire day, not just when reading. Special glasses have been made using colored lenses to conquer this problem. Not every child responds the same way to every color, so it is a process of trial and error to find out which color is the one blocking the harmful light. You can also choose to use colored light bulbs in your home to help autistic individuals with their visual perception problems. This method mainly helps children in 4 areas: depth perception, social interaction, learning, and physical well being. The colors help the child determine how far he or she is from an object, and the world becomes more three-dimensional, helping depth perception. Social interaction also improves because the child feels as though he or she is in a calmer world and can more clearly see and interpret facial expressions. The colors make it possible to learn, especially when reading, and overall, the child will feel better, because it helps reduce headaches and dizziness. By testing this technique and others to help visual perception problems, you can help your child better cope with the world and his or her autism.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Autism Understanding Furthered by International Genetic Study

Autism Understanding Furthered by International Genetic Study Autism understanding begins when a person realizes that autism is a disorder that affects people differently. Although autism affects the normal functioning of a person's perception, attention and thoughts, autism is not characterized by one type of perception, attention and thought. Instead, it covers a broad spectrum of disorders that may be mild or severe. Due to the fact that autism is such a complex disorder, medical research is still in the process of understanding how it develops and why it affects certain individuals. One particular medical project with the aim to find better autism understanding by identifying the gene that causes autism, is the 5 year Autism Genome Project (AGP). So far, phase I of the AGP has identified a gene and parts of a chromosome to be linked with the occurrence of autism. The findings of this particular autism study was published online in the Nature Genetics February 18, 2007 issue. The Autism Genome Project is a global research consortium that is funded by Autism Speaks and the National Institute of Health. Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising the awareness of autism and raising funds to help research it. Autism Understanding Furthered by International Genetic Study By Rachel Evans Ads by Google Belgravia Hairloss Centre Superior Hair Loss Treatments. Call Us Today For Free Assistance! Clinical Trials Healthy, aged 18-45? Be a paid clinical trial volunteer. Looking for Home Study? Top UK University Qualifications. Browse and Apply Easily Online Now! Autism understanding begins when a person realizes that autism is a disorder that affects people differently. Although autism affects the normal functioning of a person's perception, attention and thoughts, autism is not characterized by one type of perception, attention and thought. Instead, it covers a broad spectrum of disorders that may be mild or severe. Due to the fact that autism is such a complex disorder, medical research is still in the process of understanding how it develops and why it affects certain individuals. One particular medical project with the aim to find better autism understanding by identifying the gene that causes autism, is the 5 year Autism Genome Project (AGP). So far, phase I of the AGP has identified a gene and parts of a chromosome to be linked with the occurrence of autism. The findings of this particular autism study was published online in the Nature Genetics February 18, 2007 issue. The Autism Genome Project is a global research consortium that is funded by Autism Speaks and the National Institute of Health. Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to raising the awareness of autism and raising funds to help research it. The AGP involves more than 120 scientists from 50 institutions in 19 countries around the world. The researchers who have collaborated on the project combined their autism expertise, and shared all of the data and samples they had to help identify autism-related genes. As was mentioned, phase I of this project began 5 years ago in 2002, and it allowed the team of medical experts to gain autism understanding by identifying a single specific gene known as neurexil 1, and part of chromosome 11 which could likely be the cause of autism in children. These findings are based on the largest autism genome scan that has ever been done. Scientists have known for many years that autism is a genetic disorder, but only until the AGP have they been able to use special "gene chip" technology to search for genetic similarities in autistics. Genetic similarities were found in practically all of the autistic individuals within each of the twelve hundred families that that were made part of the project. The scientists also checked the DNA of each family to look for copy number variations that are believed might be connected to autism and similar disorders. What the researches discovered in their study was that one particular gene known as neurexin 1 plays a significant role with glutamate; a neurotransmitter that has been formerly linked to autism. Researchers also uncovered an area of chromosome 11 that is suspected to contain a gene that may be involved in the occurrence of autism. However, this particular gene in chromosome 11 has yet to be identified which is required for further autism understanding. Based on previous research, and the research that has been uncovered by the study so far, scientists speculate that there may be as many as 6 main genes and 30 additional genes linked to autism. However, these numbers are only theories, as scientists point out that the actual number of genes could exceed their theory. Nevertheless, despite the number of genes that may be involved, researchers admit that it is still far too early to dictate how these genes may be responsible for autism. Currently, phase II of the Autism Genome Project has been announced. The promising discoveries found in phase I makes scientists hopeful that discovering the genes that cause autism will provide new steps toward autism understanding. With greater understanding, more effective methods of diagnosis, preventing and treating the disorder can be taken. By Rachel Evans. Sign up for a free newsletter and discover more about understanding autism. On the site you'll find more information about high functioning autism and autism research. Article Source:

Sunday, 24 June 2012

How to Create an Optimal Learning Environment for Your Child with Autism

How to Create an Optimal Learning Environment for Your Child with Autism Understanding the way your child's brain works is crucial to being able to provide an optimal learning environment. Below is a brief overview of some of the research about the brains of people with autism. Then you'll find easy, practical ways to implement this knowledge and create an optimal learning environment at home. The Science Autism is referred to as a "spectrum disorder" because there is such a wide variation among people with the diagnosis. Researchers using technology that allows them to be able to see how our brains are structured also see that the brains of people with the label 'Autism' are vastly different from one another. Because of this, some scientists have suggested we need to look below the level of the brain's structure to the way individual neurons (brain cells) are wired to find the "miss-wiring" that affects all people with autism. Researchers have found evidence that the way some neurons are connected in the brain of people with autism may lead to a low signal-to-noise ratio. This means that many of the signals brain cells are sending to each other may be accompanied by "noise", like static in a radio signal. This is one explanation for why children with autism become hyper-aroused (overwhelmed) by sensory information and why they may find it more challenging to choose between two different sources of information. For example, it is often more difficult for a child with autism to be able to listen to the teacher when other children in the class are making noise. Studies recording brain electricity in autistic people have shown that even when they are trying to ignore certain aspects of their environment (such as noise in the classroom) their brains respond to this information in the same way they respond to the information the child is trying to attend to (the teachers voice). The problem for many children with autism seems to be one of "filtering", that is, they are less able than typical children to filter out sensory information that is irrelevant to what they are trying to focus on. The result of this is that all stimuli are given equal priority by the brains of those with autism, causing an overwhelming flood of sensory information that the child must handle. The brains of typical children learn to filter out irrelevant stimuli early on in life, so by the time that they go to school, children are able to focus their attention on what they are asked to focus on. It is very hard for many children with autism to learn in environments where there is a lot of competing sensory information (including noises, sights, touches, smells, etc.) such as a classroom. Children with autism are taking in a lot of information all the time; this means that at some stage, they have to sort through this information to see what they really need. Studies have seen that people with autism tend to do the sorting through at a much later stage in processing than neurologically typical people. This is like going down the aisles in the supermarket and putting one of everything into your cart, then arriving at the checkout and discarding what you do not want to buy. This causes a "processing bottleneck". Studies using technology that allows us to see which parts of the brain are being used in particular tasks help us to see that this is what is happening inside the brains of people with autism. There is more activity in the brain regions designed for lower-order processing (going through the supermarket aisles) than in brain regions for high-order processing (moving through the checkout and going home with the items on your list). This may explain why children with autism often show significant challenges in areas of high-order processing (e.g. memory, attention, organization, language, etc.), because they spend so much time trying to deal with the basic incoming sensory information that they don't get time to practice the high-order thinking processing other children their age are practicing. Thus the brain of the child with autism starts to develop differently than the brain of his typical brother. There is some evidence that this processing style is already present when children with autism are born, even though the concurrent behaviors may not be recognized until 18-24 months later. Psychologists call this style of processing (over-relying on lower-order processing) "weak central coherence." Central coherence describes the ability to process incoming information in context, pulling information together for higher-level meaning often at the expense of memory for detail. Weak central coherence then is the tendency of those with autism to rely on local feature processing (the details) rather than taking in the global nature of the situation. For instance after viewing identical pictures and then being asked to remember what was in the picture a typical person might describe the scene as "a forest at sunset" while a person with autism might remember "shiny leaves, orange light and a branch you could hang a swing from". This processing style is the reason people with autism outperform people without autism on specific tasks. One of these tasks is The Embedded Figures task. In this task, people might be shown a line drawing of a car which everyone can identify as such. When asked to point out the three triangles in the picture, people without autism are much slower than those with autism. This is because the typical people can not see "past" the car to label all it's constituent parts. The people with autism will identify the three triangles quickly because this is how they are practiced at seeing the world. Research involving people with autism ranging from studies of how individual brain cells are connected to how people perform in psychological tests paints a picture of the world occupied by those with autism as fragmented, overwhelming and filled with "noise". This is corroborated by autobiographical reports from people with autism. Understanding the autistic child's fragmented and overwhelming world shows how important a child's external environment is when designing treatment and education for children with autism. It also explains why children with autism crave order and predictability in their physical environments. Physical environments with higher amounts of sensory stimulation (e.g. bright visual displays, background noise, etc.) will add to the "noise" in an already overloaded sensory system making any new learning extremely challenging--like trying to learn Japanese in a shopping mall. The extent to which rooms can be tailored to meet the needs of these children is highly limited in a typical classroom setting, mainly due to the presence of other children and the subsequent size of the room. Even fluorescent lighting has been shown to affect the behavior of children with autism. These environmental considerations are either overlooked and their importance underestimated when placements are suggested for children with autism or it is beyond the scope of the school district to provide any other type of physical environment. The Easy Part The FIRST STEP along the road to building a comprehensive treatment program for your child is providing him or her with an appropriate environment in which to learn. Usually this means SIMPLIFY! Here's what to do: 1. Dedicate one room in your house to you child with autism. It could be your child's bedroom or another room (not too big, 12' x 12' is plenty, and smaller is fine depending on the age of your child). The room might even only be dedicated to your child with autism for part of the day (for instance if he or she shares a bedroom with a sibling) this is OK too. Do the best you can with the situation you have. 2. Remove all electronic toys from the dedicated room. This includes televisions, video-games, and anything battery powered (including singing / talking books and things that flash!) These toys can be over-stimulating for a child with autism and do not encourage social interaction. 3. Make sure you have incandescent light bulbs not fluorescent one. Fluorescent light bulbs flicker at a rate most of use tune out but that can be highly over-stimulating for people with autism. 4. Clear some space. Ideally you want the floor to be a free, clear open space on which you can play with your child. Have the minimal amount of furniture you can in the special room. Also simplify the amount of toys you have in the room and if possible put them all on shelves or in a closet. These are the first step towards creating an optimal learning environment in which to work with your child. Parents running a home-based Son-Rise Programs are coached further on how to create a customized learning environment and Son-Rise Program playroom. The simple measures described here will aid in soothing your autistic child's over-active nervous system by making the world digestible and manageable and set the stage for social interaction and subsequent learning. Kat Houghton is an autism treatment consultant specializing in The Son-Rise Program, a relationship-enhancement method of approaching autism. She is the founder and director of Inspired by Autism Consulting, director of research at The Autism Treatment Center of America and completing a PhD in Psychology at Lancaster University in the UK. Article Source: Article Source:

Autism Signs and Symptoms - How to Know If Your Child Has Autism

Autism Signs and Symptoms - How to Know If Your Child Has Autism What is autism? Autism is a neurological disorder, meaning you are born with it. It affects the way the brain develops. Autism has a few other name--sometimes called infantile autism or autistic disorder. But regardless of what you call it, autism is something you are born with and something that you will live with for the rest of your life. Autism is one of five pervasive development disorders (PDDs) that are categorized as either... •autism •Asperger's syndrome •childhood disintegrative disorder •Rett disorder, and •pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) Basically, these are categories that psychologists and therapists will use to try to categorize your child in order to begin a treatment regimen. While a child is born with autism, it is typically not officially diagnosed until the child shows clear outward signs, usually around age 3 or so. But everyone is different and generalizations should be viewed cautiously. Early intervention is very important. It has been shown that early and proper treatment and therapy can allow many of those with autism to learn and prosper in life and carry on a normal and productive life. While this is true for many autistic patients, others may require lifelong help with daily living activities. What are the symptoms of autism? While every person with autism is a unique individual in his or her own way, there are some common traits of autism. These include: •Poor social skills and difficulties interacting with others •Difficulties with communication •Repetitive actions or restricted interests •Abnormal response to sensory issues such as sound, touch, light even smell •Some show aggressive or self-injurious behavior such as head banging or biting themselves What is the intelligence level of someone with autism? Many individuals with autism have moderate mental retardation while roughly one-third have normal intelligence levels (IQs). In addition, those with autism will have a higher likelihood of developing epilepsy than the general population. Those with Asperger's syndrome (which is often referred to as high-functioning autism) will typically have higher-than-average IQs and function similarly to those who do not have autism. More about that later. Are all autistic people alike? Children and adults with autism can vary quite a bit in their skills and the extent to which they exhibit the symptoms of autism. Many show affection and emotions and are respond to friends, family and situations similarly to non-autistic people. Some may be bright and have good communication skills while others may be mentally retarded and nonverbal. Because autism varies so much from person to person, there are varying labels often used to explain the degree along the "spectrum" where a person falls (this is why autism is described as a spectrum disorder). These descriptions include having autistic tendencies, autistic-like, being on the autism spectrum, high-functioning autism and low-functioning autism. Regardless of where a child falls along spectrum, they are likely to exhibit problems with social communication such as lack of eye contact, difficulty carrying on a conversation, and trouble taking another person's perspective. Some who have seen the movie Rainman or a TV show about autism have a vision in their mind of the "typical" autistic person. But autism can vary greatly from person to person. Some will talk your ear off, while others are nearly silent. Some cannot deal with loud music and noisy environments while chaotic environments do not affect others. Avoid pigeon-holing someone with autism-each person is very different in their own unique way. What is high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome? Those individuals who can be described as high-functioning (Asperger's syndrome falls here) may have the symptoms of autism to a much lesser degree. They may be only somewhat slower to develop language skills but still typically have difficulty interacting with others socially (they cannot get along with their peers on the playground, for example). They may have difficulty carrying on conversations with others and they often will focus on one or two topics to the exclusion of any other subject. Because of this they may be viewed as "talking at" rather than "talking to" others because they talk endlessly about their favorite topic irrespective of attempts by others to change the subject. The main difference between high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome is that those with Asperger's usually develop verbal speech skills right on time while people with high-functioning autism usually have speech delays. People with Asperger's are generally seen as bright and verbal but with problems in social communication skills. Some with Asperger's earn the nickname "geek." Are people with autism cold and unfeeling? Myths and generalities abound about people with autism. Resist believing any of them! Autistic children and adults are unique individuals. Some are outgoing, others are aloof. Some do well in school, others don't. Some will get a steady paying job while some will never be able to hold down a typical job. Some will marry, others won't. If you want to understand a person with autism, you have to spend some time with them and get to know them, just like any other person. Some see the term autism as entirely negative. But everyone on the autistic spectrum has something to offer the world. Children and adults with autism are among the most honest, non-judgmental, passionate people you are ever likely to meet. And they are also ideal candidates for certain types of careers, as we will discuss later. The world is a better place because of them. Once we understand how a child or adult with autism behaves, and understand that sensory issues as well as the need for routine motivate their actions, we can devise treatments and training to help them cope with an ever-changing world. Many treatments allow those with autism to succeed and thrive. Hopefully treatments can make life a little easier especially for those with autism and the people who love them. There are many tips and suggestions that can help your loved one live a fulfilling and happy life. A great site to find additional information is the web site There you will be able to sign up for the FREE Autism Newsletter as well as get additional information to help your loved one be happy and succeed in life. Article Source: Article Source: