What Research Is Being Conducted To Improve Communication In Children With Asd
The federal governments Autism CARES Act of 2014 brought attention to the need to expand research and improve coordination among all of the components of the National Institutes of Health that fund ASD research. These include the National Institute of Mental Health , along with the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders , the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences , the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , the National Institute of Nursing Research , and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health .
Together, five institutes within the NIH support the Autism Centers of Excellence , a program of research centers and networks at universities across the country. Here, scientists study a broad range of topics, from basic science investigations that explore the molecular and genetic components of ASD to translational research studies that test new types of behavioral therapies. Some of these studies involve children with ASD who have limited speech and language skills, and could lead to testing new treatments or therapies. You can visit the NIH Clinical Trials website and enter the search term autism for information about current trials, their locations, and who may participate.
What An Autism Diagnosis Means For Older Children And Teenagers
You might wonder whether getting and having an autism diagnosis in later childhood or adolescence will make a difference to your child.
The diagnosis itself wont change your child, or the way that you think or feel about your child. But it might help you and your child understand your childs strengths and difficulties.
A diagnosis describes your childs strengths, abilities, difficulties and needs. And it can help to guide therapies and support for your child and help with getting services and funding to support your childs development for example, extra help at school.
Whats The Difference Between Adhd And Autism
While there are several similarities that are shared between ADHD and autism, there are many distinctions. One significant difference is that ASD is more variable than ADHD. There are three different types of ADHD and each person may have their own set of symptoms, but autism is a spectrum that can include a wide variety of different experiences. Even if a symptom looks the same for ADHD and autism on the outside, the causes of that symptom may be different. For instance, inattention is a common trait for children with both disorders. But the child with ADHD may understand a task and why they should complete it and be unable to focus on it. A child with ASD may not be able to understand the task, how to do it, or why they need to do it. They may also be extremely focused on another thought or stimulus.
Here are some other common differences:
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Does Autism Get Better Or Worse During Mid
But autism can get better, right? I mean, weve all heard a story about someone who seemingly shook off the spectrum the boy who went from not being able to speak to suddenly being unable to shut up, or the girl whose obsession with Harry Potter one day magically disappeared.
Well, the truth here is that, in21% of these examples, there is a lot more than meets the eye as what might sound like an overnight success to an outsider, actually comes from a lot of blood, sweat and tears, usually beginning with early diagnosis and followed by years of trial and error.
I say trial and error because, as is always the case with autism, not only does the success of learning coping tactics vary from person to person but, what might work one day, might suddenly stop the next. As such, its crucial to note that learning to manage negative autism traits can often be an uphill marathon where, by the end, you feel drained physically .
Furthermore, in many cases where certain challenging traits are held at bay by some form of a crutch, its not uncommon for them to manifest and mutate in different ways. Take, for example, the boy who found his voice, he will probably now spend extensive hours recharging his batteries after socialising, whilst the girl who abandoned Hogwarts may have moved on to some other fixation, such as work or a hobby.
Diagnosing Autism In Girls
The phenomenon of masking autism symptoms is more pronounced in girls than in boys. Traditionally, girls are more likely to act in very passive ways, to avoid being thought of as troublemakers. What might appear to be quiet and submissive behavior could actually be undiagnosed autism that the girl was born with and did not develop.
Because the symptoms of autism can be as subtle as they are, this means that people who are high-functioning on the autism spectrum can go for years without an appropriate diagnosis, leading to the belief that they developed their autism as they aged.
For example, adults with high-functioning autism can have relatively mild social and communication challenges when compared to people with more recognizable symptoms of autism. This has led many such adults to be mistakenly diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Similarly, many girls with high-functioning autism are also misdiagnosed because their autism does not fit the stereotypes of the disability. No two presentations of autism spectrum disorder are exactly the same, and some presentations are outside the norm.
High-functioning individuals can also be better at hiding the signs of their condition, to better fit in with others or to avoid being bullied or abused.
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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.
The term spectrum refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders. A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.
ASD occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. However, boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls. The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.
Is There A ‘cure’ For Autism
There is no known ‘cure’ for autism. We also believe that autism does not need a ‘cure’ and should be seen as a difference, not a disadvantage. We also warn people about fake cures and potentially harmful interventions here.
This does not mean that autistic people do not face challenges, but with the right support in place, they are more than capable of living fulfilling and happy lives. Because autism is a ‘spectrum’ condition it affects different people in different ways. It is therefore very difficult to generalise about how an autistic person will develop over time. Each person is different, and an intervention or coping strategy which works well with one person may not be appropriate or effective with another.The characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations. Two people with the same diagnosis can have a very different profile of needs and skills.
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What Are The Causes Of Autism
Experts donât fully understand all of the causes of autism spectrum disorder. It seems to be genetic, but things such as parental age and prescription medications taken during pregnancy may be involved.
- A person is more likely to be on the spectrum if a brother, sister, or parent is. But it doesnât always run in families.
- About 10% of kids with ASD have a form of genetic disorder such as Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome.
- A large Danish study found a link between ASD and advanced parental age of either parent.
- Women prescribed opioids just before pregnancy are likelier to have a child with ASD.
Some children who are on the spectrum start showing signs as young as a few months old. Others seem to have normal development for the first few months or years of their lives and then they start showing symptoms.
But up to half of parents of children with ASD noticed issues by the time their child reached 12 months, and between 80% and 90% noticed problems by 2 years. Children with ASD will have symptoms throughout their lives, but itâs possible for them to get better as they get older.
The autism spectrum is very wide. Some people might have very noticeable issues, others might not. The common thread is differences in social skills, communication, and behavior compared with people who arenât on the spectrum.
Types Of Autism Spectrum Disorders:
Its important to know that there are three quite different types of autism spectrum disorders: autistic disorder or what is called classic autism, Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified . The most common form of autism spectrum disorder is classic autism. Warning signs commonly associated with autistic disorder include the following: delayed speech, social and communication problems, obsessive and/or odd behaviors such as: hand flapping, rocking and/or spinning in circles and/or learning disabilities.
Someone with Autism may have unexpected reactions to sounds.
If you have autism spectrum disorder, you avoid or have a strong, negative reaction to the touch of others. You react in unexpected ways to sounds, smells, textures, tastes and/or appearance. Questions may elicit unrelated answers. Other peoples emotions are a mystery to you. You do not intend to be cold or unresponsive you just dont understand what others may be feeling.
If you have Asperger syndrome you may have the same symptoms as someone with classic autism or atypical autism, but in milder forms and without the language or intellectual problems. Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified usually causes social and communication challenges.
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How Does Asd Affect Communication
The word autism has its origin in the Greek word autos, which means self. Children with ASD are often self-absorbed and seem to exist in a private world in which they have limited ability to successfully communicate and interact with others. Children with ASD may have difficulty developing language skills and understanding what others say to them. They also often have difficulty communicating nonverbally, such as through hand gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions.
The ability of children with ASD to communicate and use language depends on their intellectual and social development. Some children with ASD may not be able to communicate using speech or language, and some may have very limited speaking skills. Others may have rich vocabularies and be able to talk about specific subjects in great detail. Many have problems with the meaning and rhythm of words and sentences. They also may be unable to understand body language and the meanings of different vocal tones. Taken together, these difficulties affect the ability of children with ASD to interact with others, especially people their own age.
Below are some patterns of language use and behaviors that are often found in children with ASD.
What Is The Prevalence Of Autism
The exact prevalence of autism in Australia and internationally is unknown.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that there were 205,200 Australians with autism in 2018, which is around 1% of the population or 1 in 100.
Internationally this rate varies significantly, from 1 person in every 59 people in the USA, to the average prevalence across Asia, Europe, and North America is between one and two percent.
Statistics also show that:
- the number of Australians diagnosed with autism increased by 42% between 2012 and 2015
- three out of four people diagnosed with autism are young people, aged between 5 and 24 years and
- 1-2 out of 4 Australians diagnosed with autism are female.
While the reported prevalence of autism varies around the world, there has been a clear increase in the number of people diagnosed on the autism spectrum in recent years, but this doesnt necessarily suggest that there are more autistic people in the world than there were ten or twenty years ago.
Evidence suggests that the increase is the result of a number of cultural and clinical factors, including social influences driving greater awareness of autism, and improved diagnostic procedures and changes in diagnostic criteria allowing more people to access a diagnosis.
According to Professor Whitehouse, from Australias Autism CRC, research shows the majority of the increase in autism prevalence over this period was due to an increase in diagnosing children with less severe behaviours.
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Screen Time Before Bed Hurts Sleep
Does your child use screens before bed, or have access to screens in their own bedroom? If so, you may want to eliminate those.
One study found that if children watch television within a couple of hours of going to bed, their sleep will suffer. If what they watch is violent, then its even worse.
Another study, which looked at if children had access to media in their bedrooms found that children with ASD, ADHD, and neurotypical children all suffered from worse sleep. However, the study pointed out that children with autism had a worse effect from having access to media in their bedrooms.
So not only does problematic screen time worsen autistic symptoms and affect the nervous system, it can hurt your childs sleep as well. And we dont really need any science to tell us that poor sleep can lead to problems, health-wise and behavior-wise.
Autistic People May Act In A Different Way To Other People
Autistic people may:
- find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
- find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
- find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
- get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
- take longer to understand information
- do or think the same things over and over
If you think you or your child may be autistic, get advice about the signs of autism.
Is There Really A Link Between Autism And Screen Time
by Casey AmesDecember 23, 2016
The amount of time children spend in front of screens is a growing concern for parents. In 2012, it was found that children are using screens 4 to 5 times more than the 2-hour recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In this article, we take a look at what science has to say particularly about the relationship between autism and screen time.
NOTE: While there are possible correlations between screen time and ASD, correlation does not equal causation. And because the studies find correlations and not causations, it’s also important to note that screentime could have an effect on already existing autism symptoms, rather than being a cause.
I want to let you know that this article is a part of a series of related articles about things you can do to improve your childs autistic symptoms. These articles are a mixture of diet changes, supplements, and activities that are backed by science to help alleviate some of the harsh symptoms that come with being on the spectrum.
Starting Aba Therapy To Prevent Your Childs Autism From Getting Worse
Can the symptoms that define an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis get worse? The answer is yes, but, with the right ABA therapy provider, the symptoms can get better.
For families that are just now starting their ABA-based therapy services at home and/or in a school setting, it is crucial to identify what these symptoms or difficulties are exactly. Upon identifying, assessing, planning and implementing proper treatment programs, these symptoms can be either directly or indirectly addressed by the ABA services. With proper guidance of a BCBA, a sound comprehensive treatment plan may facilitate gains over a targeted amount of time.
A child or adult with autism spectrum disorder may have limited, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities, including any of these symptoms:
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Not Classic Autism Symptoms
The biggest problem with high functioning autism is that many parents and even some doctors are not sure what to look for. This is mostly because high functioning autistics can often blend in and adapt to situations.
As I said, when you think of Autism you often picture a child who is nonverbal and rocking back and forth in a corner. However, there are definitely clear signs of high functioning autism. They are just not necessarily the classic autism symptoms that you hear about.
Does Screen Time Cause Autism
This is a tough question to answer. To start out the conversion, Id like to say that there is most likely not one sole cause of autism. We do know that autism is part genetic and part environmental. One study in 2014 in Sweden estimated it to be split 50/50 between environmental and genetic causes.
Not only is it split between environmental and genetic, but there are multiple environmental factors and multiple genes that can cause it. Its a very complex disorder.
So how much of a factor is screen time for causing autism? There is differing research on this, but it does seem to be piling up towards the side that yes, screen time can have an effect on autism.
Another study, which looked at screen time and autism correlation found that in places in the U.S. where people watch more television and the rise of cable television in the 1980s found that the rise of autism correlated with the rise of television and places where television is watched more often.
Another study, that looked back on children with ASD and children without ASD found that children with ASD had started watching television six months earlier than those that didnt develop ASD. The average age for those who developed ASD was 6 months old when they started watching television.
These are very interesting studies. However, I would like to point out that correlation does not equal causation. Just because they look related when looking at the data, doesnt mean that one caused the other.
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