Help For Parents Of Children With Autism
If you have a child with autism, it is important to get support. The day-to-day care of children with autism can be stressful. Making sure your child get the help they need can also pose a challenge, depending on whether quality support services are available in your area. At the same time, you are likely to have ongoing worries about your child’s prognosis and long-term well being. For all these reasons, you need to take care of yourself, as well as your child. Make an effort to reach out and find the support you need.
Are Siblings At Greater Risk For Autism Spectrum Disorder
The truth is that genetics do play a role in autism. When one child is diagnosed with ASD, the next child to come along has about a 20% greater risk of developing autism than normal. When the first two children in a family have both been diagnosed with ASD, the third child has about a 32% greater risk of developing ASD.
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Increased Stress For People With Autism
Other research has suggested that the general population tends to have better overall health than people with autism.
There are connections between autism spectrum disorder and other medical conditions, like gastrointestinal disorders and heart disease. One of the connections may be stress, resulting from discrimination and bullying because of the autism, distress from sensory overload, and alienation due to the socio-emotional and communication limitations caused by the autism.
Many people who have autism experience being in a chronic state of fight or flight when it comes to situations that would be considered normal for neurotypical individuals. Everything from having a job interview to attending a social engagement can be mentally debilitating, causing a number of physical and medical problems. Some adults struggle with stress and anxiety for the rest of their lives, even as they deal with the realities of living with autism.
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What Is Autistic Spectrum Disorder
It is estimated that 1 in every 100 people in the UK is autistic, with boys being more affected. It is not a disease, and there is no cure. If a person has ASD, he or she has to live their whole life with it. It does not restrict a person from leading a normal life, but certain therapies are needed to make them live a life they want to. Some people with ASD require little or no support, while others need daily support from a carer or parents. ASD can present as early as before three years of age but may be diagnosed after three years. The children need speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, educational support, and other interventions to help them live a normal life.
Four Legs And Fur May Change Your Child’s World And Give You Hope
“We were on an endless search for that one thing that was going to make the difference for our son … and then we adopted Xena, a severely abused and neglected puppy. The moment my son and Xena met, there was an immediate and undeniable bond. He spoke freely to her he sang to her he played with her. They were inseparable. We spent years and thousands of dollars on therapy hoping to accomplish what this dog was able to attain instantly. My son finally had a relationship where there was no judgment or expectations placed on him, but there was a friendship that allowed him to let it all go, open up and be himself. I am not saying that all families living with autism should have a dog, but I will say that miracles do come true, and your miracle may be at your local shelter waiting for you.”
Linda Hickey, Johns Creek, Georgia
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How To Lead A Better Life With Aspergers
People with Aspergers can function very well in some arenas and not well in others.
Some do quite well at work because they are extremely bright and well-suited to the job.
There may be others who cannot function in a work environment, but can maintain one or a few friendships or acquaintances, be successful public speakers, and live independently.
There might be others who can neither maintain employment nor sustain friendships, but can produce beautiful art.
Some of the famous examples of people suffering from Aspergers are Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, and Beethoven with early intervention and the correct behavioural management strategies, most people with Aspergers Syndrome lead independent lives.
Many do manage to adapt to the challenges of daily life, find employment, and even enjoy fulfilling relationships
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Differences With Social And Emotional Reciprocity
Autistic people with differences in social and emotional reciprocity may, for example, struggle to initiate or respond to communication, finding it difficult to participate in its typical back-and-forth nature. They may also face challenges in speaking about non-preferred topics.
People used to think it was an inability to empathize that lead to this. However, newer research has changed how we think about autism and empathy. It is almost the opposite, where autistic people may even be hyper empathetic.
It is just that their experiences and neurotypes are different. There is not a lack of empathy, simply another way of understanding and processing it. For example, autistic people may isolate themselves, but it is not because they prefer to be alone. Instead, it could be because they may feel they are annoying or causing trouble for others.
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Increasing Health Factors For People With Autism
One way that this problem can be addressed is by educating parents, caregivers, and health care professionals to recognize the signs of depression in individuals with autism as early as possible while continuing to improve their social relationships and skills.
Treating social anxiety disorder can also help people manage the limitations they experience with social development and help them control their compulsion to avoid social situations, like scheduling a doctors appointment. This can further teach people with autism how they can cope with the feelings of isolation and frustration that naturally arise from having autism spectrum disorder. If suicidal ideation arises, they have a system in place to process those thoughts in a healthy manner and to get support.
Bullying also has to be addressed. Physical and verbal attacks prevent autistic children and adolescents from developing socially, and they can lead to depression and suicidal ideation on their own.
Parents concerned about this can seek out school programs that offer integrated classrooms, where students with special needs are part of the general education classrooms. This naturally helps children with autism who have difficulty fitting in. It also gives non-autistic children a chance to know children with autism, so they are less likely to see those children as targets.
Helping Your Child With Autism Thrive Tip : Provide Structure And Safety
Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way toward helping your child. Additionally, the following tips will make daily home life easier for both you and your child with ASD:
Be consistent. Children with ASD have a hard time applying what theyve learned in one setting to others, including the home. For example, your child may use sign language at school to communicate, but never think to do so at home. Creating consistency in your childs environment is the best way to reinforce learning. Find out what your childs therapists are doing and continue their techniques at home. Explore the possibility of having therapy take place in more than one place in order to encourage your child to transfer what he or she has learned from one environment to another. Its also important to be consistent in the way you interact with your child and deal with challenging behaviors.
Stick to a schedule. Children with ASD tend to do best when they have a highly-structured schedule or routine. Again, this goes back to the consistency they both need and crave. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime. Try to keep disruptions to this routine to a minimum. If there is an unavoidable schedule change, prepare your child for it in advance.
Treatment For Children With Autism
Child development experts agree that a child with autism should receive treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible. There is no cure for autism, but early intervention using skills-training and behavior modification can yield excellent results. This type of educational and behavioral treatment tackles autism symptoms — impaired social interaction, communication problems, and repetitive behaviors. It can also boost the chances of a child with child autism being able to go to school and participate in typical activities.
Other treatment options for children with autism include:
- Medication. Doctors sometimes prescribe it for children with autism if they have other symptoms, including depression, anxiety, seizures, or hyperactivity.
- Alternative therapies. These might include vitamin treatments, changes in diet, and a procedure called “chelation” that attempts to remove heavy metals from the blood. Although many parents insist these types of treatment work, researchers have not scientifically proven them effective for children with autism, either for symptoms or long-term outcomes. Chelation, in particular, is dangerous and should be avoided. Deaths have been associated with this type of therapy. You should always discuss the safety and effectiveness of any alternative treatments with your doctor before trying them.
Get Answer Can A Child With Autism Grow Out Of It
The good news is that behavior therapy, speech therapy for autistic children, and specified medication can improve many cognitive and body dysfunctional systems and can make a big difference. Early diagnosis helps the child to recover.
About 13 percent of the children had lost their autism diagnoses after getting treatment.
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Be Grateful For The Strong Connection You And Your Child Will Forge
In reflecting over the last 24 years of our journey, I will say this: My son gives me 100 kisses and hugs every day, he is always happy to see me and he will always be with me. He doesnt lie and he doesnt judge. He is welcoming to anyone that wants to enter his world. On the other hand, my father sees me about twice a year since we live 1,000 miles apart. So which dad is better off? Its not better or worse, its just different. Once you understand that, your road will be smoother.
Scott Sanes, Great Barrington, Massachusetts
What Is The Difference Between Autism And Autism Spectrum Disorder
The term autism was changed to autism spectrum disorder in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association. ASD is now an umbrella term that covers the following conditions:
- Autistic disorder.
- Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified .
- Asperger syndrome.
People with ASD have trouble with social interactions and with interpreting and using non-verbal and verbal communication in social contexts. Individuals with ASD may also have the following difficulties:
- Inflexible interests.
- Insistence on sameness in environment or routine.
- Repetitive motor and sensory behaviors, like flapping arms or rocking.
- Increased or decreased reactions to sensory stimuli.
How well someone with ASD can function in day-to-day life depends on the severity of their symptoms. Given that autism varies widely in severity and everyday impairment, the symptoms of some people arent always easily recognized.
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Autism & Medical Complexities
Scott Wright, a researcher at the University at Utah and editor of a book about autism spectrum disorder in middle age and later life, said that the âmedical complexitiesâ of patients with autism, coupled with their limitations in language and communication, can lead to physicians, hospitals, and the health care system at large not being capable of providing the best level of care. It might be possible that patients with severe forms of autism spectrum disorder donât even seek help for their ailments because they are overwhelmed by the awkwardness of talking with other people about themselves.
Wright suggests that a parent or a caregiver should find a specialist or a primary care physician who has training in working with autistic patients or otherwise demonstrates the necessary awareness and empathy for what the experience must be like for an autistic person. Beyond that, Wright recommended that there be more training for health care professionals so that autism can be recognized and appropriately responded to in a clinical setting.
The Stress Of Living With Autism Is Exhausting
You cant entirely separate my incredibly privileged and lucky autistic ass from these devastating statistics. Autistic adults who dont have a learning disability, like me, are still nine times more likely to die from suicide than our non-autistic peers. Autistica, a UK charity, explores some of the complex reasons that might be behind this alarmingly high suicide rate in a report on the urgent need for a national response to early death in autism. Or you can just take a look at my own laundry list of issues to get the general idea:
Im tired all the time. The coping mechanisms that I developed as a bullied and undiagnosed child from learning to mimic the behaviors of people who are more naturally likable than me to holding entire conversations where I reveal nothing about myself for fear of being too enthusiastic, too annoying, too overbearing, or simply too much are not great for managing a remotely healthy life or building self-esteem. The effort it takes to fit in is increasingly exhausting as I get older.
All that hard work to make other people more comfortable around me feels more and more pointless. I appreciate that I have people in my life who have assured me that I can just be myself, but unlearning almost 36 years of shitty coping mechanisms and performances also takes a buttload of work. My sleeping patterns, due to anxiety and possibly to autism itself, are erratic at best.
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Autism Can Be Cured With The Right Diet
Parents of children with autism are often willing to try almost anything to help their child thrive, including special diets. Some have even claimed that eliminating foods containing certain proteins or carbohydrates, such as casein or gluten, has cured their childs autism. However, research has found no significant differences between children with autism who followed a special diet and their peers who did not. While a healthy diet is essential for any childs growth and development, there is no known cure for autism.
Prioritize Independence And Communication
After baseline medical needs are met and you figure out how to deal with the everyday, I recommend that parents pay particular attention to the areas of communication, self-help and socially appropriate skills. A child who has a high academic ability, but poor communication skills, hygiene or a proclivity to hurt others will greatly limit their opportunities.
Nicole Sugrue, Port Washington, New York
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Group Homes Create Families
Barbara Fischkin also helped create a home for her son Dan. She first shared the story of his miracle group homefunded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and run by the Nassau County Chapter of AHRC, a nonprofit grouptwo years ago. Then, she described it as a newly renovated house on Long Islanda place I call the frat house. Actually, it is a beautiful and smartly designed home that could be a model for such endeavors nationwide. And the guys, who are in their 20s and 30s, are all at the age when leaving home and family and striking out on your owneven if you need lots of staff to helpis something one yearns to do.
Two years later, she reports that Dan, now 24, and his three housemates become more like a family all the time. The guys look out for one another. Dan is still not verbal and has an aide most of the time but is making great progress with independent typing.
My Story Being Diagnosed With Autism As An Adult
My whole life I thought there was something wrong with me. My diagnosis changed those thoughts. When I learned about my diagnosis I knew nothing was wrong with meI knew that I had something very special about me and my life was about to change.
It was April 3, 2013, two weeks after my 34th birthday, when I heard the words: youre on the spectrum. As soon as I heard those four words, my body collapsed into my moms arms. My mom and my stepdad were both in the room with me and you could feel the relief that went out the window.
I remember walking out of work two days after my official diagnosis after a long day and stopping in my steps in the middle of the parking lot thinking to myself I feel normal. Why, after all these years, did I finally feel normal?
Im still trying to figure out what this all means. All I know for sure is that I finally feel whole and as strange as this might sound, my life makes sense now. I dont feel out of place and awkward. I guess the greatest thing that came out of this is how Ive been feeling my whole life has finally been validated.
I think I had two things working against me growing up. The first was that autism wasnt as known as it is today. Second, it was and still is in a small way considered to be a boys thing.
While boys on the spectrum tend to become rowdy, girls on the spectrum tend to introvert and are labeled shy and quiet. Thats all I heard growing upthat I was shy and quiet. It annoyed the heck out of me.
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