Behavior And Communication Approaches
According to reports by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Research Council, behavior and communication approaches that help children with ASD are those that provide structure, direction, and organization for the child in addition to family participation .
Applied Behavior Analysis A notable treatment approach for people with ASD is called applied behavior analysis . ABA has become widely accepted among healthcare professionals and used in many schools and treatment clinics. ABA encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative behaviors to improve a variety of skills. The childs progress is tracked and measured.
There are different types of ABA. Here are some examples:
- Discrete Trial Training DTT is a style of teaching that uses a series of trials to teach each step of a desired behavior or response. Lessons are broken down into their simplest parts, and positive reinforcement is used to reward correct answers and behaviors. Incorrect answers are ignored.
- Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention This is a type of ABA for very young children with ASD, usually younger than 5 and often younger than 3. EIBI uses a highly structured teaching approach to build positive behaviors and reduce unwanted behaviors . EIBI takes place in a one-on-one adult-to-child environment under the supervision of a trained professional.
- Early Start Denver Model
There are other therapies that can be part of a complete treatment program for a child with ASD:
You Don’t Look Like You Have Aspergers So You Must Not Have Aspergers
Autism is a spectrum for a reason. While there are some common hallmarks, we must be careful about saying “all” or “always” when meeting someone with Aspergers the first time.
Aspergers can be an invisible difference to neurotypicals. Many adults have learned to “hold it together”, acting in ways that “look” neurotypical. However, these same adults struggle with sensory sensitivities, noise sensitivities, and overall stress that you and I would not even consider.
What you can do – Realize that autism is a spectrum. One Aspergian may deal with differences that another one might not. Study autism blogs that help you see Aspergers from Aspergians’ point of view.
Communicate With Your Team
Communicating with the doctor, therapist, teachers, and other healthcare providers can help make your daily tasks a lot easier.
For parents, this can mean asking for suggestions to continue practicing the skills your child is learning in therapy, which makes it easier for them to be more successful.
Treatment Can Radically Improve Symptoms
While children with autism don’t appear to just “get better” over time without intervention, most do improve over time with therapies and maturity. Some improve a great deal.
Practitioners of virtually every major autism therapy can tell stories of a child who started out with severe challenges and, over time, built significant skills. In some cases, children are described as “recovered,” or “indistinguishable from typical peers.” The reality, however, is that most children who appear to be “cured of autism” have either been cured of some physical problem which caused autism-like symptoms or learned coping techniques and behaviors that effectively mask their autism symptoms.
If a person was accurately diagnosed with autism, he will still have the same differences he had as a child. He will almost certainly need at least some support in managing the challenges of modern life. But in some cases, he may be able to “pass” as neurotypical in at least some situations.
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What Are The Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Signs of ASD range from mild to severely disabling, and every person is different. The following signs are considered to be red flags that indicate your young child may be at risk for autism. If your child shows any of the following signs, please get in touch with your childs healthcare provider to discuss a referral for an autism evaluation.
The signs include the following:
- Your child doesnt respond to their name being called at all or responds inconsistently.
- Your child doesnt smile widely or make warm, joyful expressions by the age of 6 months.
- Your child doesnt engage in smiling, making sounds and making faces with you or other people by the age of 9 months.
- Your child doesnt babble by 12 months.
- No back-and-forth gestures such as showing, pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months.
- No words by 16 months.
- No meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months.
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.
Mom Uses Junk Science To Treat Child With Autism Shares It Online
I think that given the complexity and the variability of the causes and the manifestations of autism, trying to come up with a cure is probably not the right approach, said autism researcher and psychologist Len Abbeduto, director of the University of California, Davis, MIND Institute in Sacramento.
An estimated 80 percent of autism cases involve genetic factors, and it tends to run in families, but there is no single autism gene, Abbeduto explained. In fact, research has shown that more than 100 genes, and maybe upwards of 1,000, may play a role. Researchers also suspect that environmental factors such as exposures to infectious agents, pesticides or other toxins in pregnancy may play a role.
Scientists are investing a lot of work into understanding the genes but were also realizing its a lot more complicated than anybody ever thought when they started out, psychologist Ann Wagner, national autism coordinator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said.
Its highly likely that there are different causes for different kinds of ASD.
We do know that its highly genetic, we just havent identified how particular kinds of genes might interact with each other or with other factors to cause autism spectrum disorder, Wagner said. Autism is such a heterogenous disorder, so its highly likely that there are different causes for different kinds of ASD.
Going Forward Achieving Better Outcomes For All
The World Health Organization declares that the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right for all human beings. Leaving aside entirely the idea of a cure for autism, people with autism deserve much better health care and health research than they currently enjoy.
No one should be expected to suffer a lower standard of health simply because of an autism diagnosis, yet diagnostic overshadowingattributing medical symptoms and conditions to the diagnosis of autism and therefore not offering appropriate investigation or treatmentis widespread.
If an individuals experience of autism does not involve health problems that result in suffering, and if the symptoms of autism are not perceived to be an impediment to happiness, independence, success, an enjoyable social and personal life, and to being in control of their lives, then there would no reason to seek intervention. However, for the majority of those diagnosed with autism, there is sufficient suffering and serious disability to rightfully deserve thorough investigation and appropriate intervention.
The imprecise, behaviourally-based and spectrum definition of autism should not reduce a persons options.
In participants over 40 years old, only 54.2 % were independent with eating, 43.0 % were independent with dressing, and 43.1 % were independent with bathing. In this age group, 4.2 % required a cane or walker and 10.7 % required a wheelchair.
Why Are People With Autism At Higher Risk Of Covid
The higher risks of COVID-19 that researchers found in people with autism arent due to the developmental or intellectual disabilities themselves, but rather because people with them are more likely to live in a group setting, be unable to communicate about having symptoms, or have trouble understanding or following safety measures, according to the .
Sometimes it is difficult for people with ASD to wear masks and keep social distancing, themselves and others at increased risk of spreading or acquiring COVID-19, says Robert Hendren, DO, a psychiatrist and the director of the program for research on neurodevelopmental and translational outcomes at the University of California in San Francisco.
Early symptoms may be overlooked because people with ASD may not be able to express their discomforts, such as sore throat. If someone with ASD gets COVID-19, they may have a very difficult time being in the hospital and receiving treatments that are unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and potentially scary, Dr. Hendren explains.
Further, and as noted by the authors of the NEJM Catalyst report, people with intellectual disabilities are more likely to have other health problems at the same time that put them at higher risk for infection and COVID-19 disease, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Banks says this is true of people with ASD as well.
Social Skill Developmental Issues
Therapeutic Pathways offers services to help children, teenagers, and adults with ASD improve their social and interpersonal functioning. In our guided social skills groups, we work with children and teens to manage behaviors that interfere with self-acceptance and self-regulation, necessary skills for productive social interaction.
We use a kids helping kids program to develop social skills of those with ASD by interacting with their peers.
Focusing On Early Diagnosis
Now, researchers have turned much of their attention to identifying autism in children as early as possible in hopes of intervening sooner with therapies to try to alter the developmental trajectory of their young brains. While skilled practitioners can diagnose autism in toddlers at 18 to 24 months of age with some research indicating there are detectable signs in babies as young as 6 months most kids arent diagnosed until age 4.
Katarzyna Chawarska, a professor of child psychiatry who leads Yale Universitys Autism Center of Excellence in New Haven, Connecticut, is studying signs of autism in babies. The reason why we are focusing so much on early diagnosis is that it is our hope that by intervening early, we can capitalize on still tremendous brain plasticity that is present in the first, second, third year of life, she said.
The goal, Chawarska said, is to help alleviate the symptoms and make sure that every child with autism reaches their full potential.
If youre trying to get rid of autism, youre trying to get rid of us.
Doctors, for instance, would like to minimize any intellectual disabilities and help patients communicate better and improve socials skills. They also want to quickly identify and address any medical conditions that often accompany autism, such as seizures, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and anxiety.
About Anxiety In Autistic Children And Teenagers
Autistic children feel many of the same worries and fears as other children.
But autistic children might also worry or feel stressed about things that are less worrying for typically developing children. These include things like:
- small disruptions to their routines or new sensations they feel in their bodies
- unfamiliar or unpredictable social situations
- situations where its hard to know what other people are thinking or feeling
- their own thoughts and feelings, especially unfamiliar or unpleasant physical symptoms that are related to worried thoughts and feelings.
Reducing a childs anxiety might reduce the behaviour associated with the core characteristics of autism, but it wont get rid of the characteristics or behaviour.
Is There A Link Between Covid
No, says Halladay. But an infection of any kind in the mother during pregnancy has been linked to a greater risk of ASD in children another incentive to be vaccinated, she says.
Halladay points to a study of U.S. participants published in Autism Research in October 2019, which found that maternal infection that included fever in the second trimester of pregnancy was associated with a twofold risk of ASD in children. A Swedish longitudinal study published that same year in JAMA Psychiatry found that fetal exposure to maternal infection was linked to a greater risk of an autism diagnosis in children. For many reasons, you do not want to get very sick from COVID-19 or any other type of infection when you are pregnant.
Looking For A Cure Overshadows Genuine Treatment
Its possible that the search for a cure also overlooks good news on the treatment front that is nonetheless short of a full resolution. Over time, about 10 percent of ASD patient will show dramatic improvement by their mid-teens. Although still formally diagnosed with ASD, they are able to improve their verbal and daily living skills considerably.
Its unclear if the Bronx study, or others that have found similar cases of apparently spontaneous resolution to ASD symptoms, hold any clues to developing a directed cure to the disease. So far, no particular patterns have emerged that might show a particular demographic range or treatment technique leading to resolution.
Among the population that improves, however, there is at least some suggestion that responsive therapies lead to better outcomes than directive therapies. ABA techniques such as pivotal response training and other naturalistic approaches fall into this category.
A 1987 paper suggests that the relative success of these models has a lot to do with easing those with ASD into social interactions in such a way that it eliminates the stressors often associated with social contact meeting new people represents a break in pattern and routine and often requires the kind of social sensitivity that those with ASD struggle with. By gradually introducing social skills slowly and in settings where the patient was comfortable, ABAs can eventually reverse adverse behaviors.
Autism As A Natural Variation
I am a Proud Autistic. Tito Mukhopadhyay15
Some adults with ASD have led a neurodiversity movement that celebrates autism as a natural variation of the human condition and opposes efforts to cure it. These advocates prefer supports and accommodations for people with ASD, rather than treatments that would erase harmless autistic behaviors.16
As professor Ralph J. Savarese explained in Disability Studies Quarterly, neurodiversity means “a willingness to make room for difference as difference .”17
Some neurodiversity advocates with milder forms of autism have garnered media attention, but what about those with severe autism? They appear in the mainstream media most often when they have been given the opportunity to demonstrate extraordinary skills or to challenge preconceptions of autism.
The poet Tito Mukhopadhyay was diagnosed with severe, nonverbal autism in India in the 1990s. His mother, Soma Mukhopadhyay, taught him to communicate through writing, by using her own style of teaching. Mother and son have been the subject of television shows, articles and blogs. The author of The Mind Tree and other books, Mr. Mukhopadhyay looks forward to a world beyond stigma. He writes: “One day I dream that we can grow in a matured society where nobody would be ‘normal or abnormal’ but just human beings, accepting any other human being ready to grow together.”18
Which Children Are Most Likely To Radically Improve
Every now and then, a child with relatively severe symptoms improves to the point where he or she is able to function effectively over time in a typical school setting. But this is rare. While inclusion may be appropriate for a period of time, most children with severe or even moderate autism find it difficult or impossible to manage increasingly complex demands in the areas of social communication, executive functioning, and abstract reasoning.
The reality is that the children who are most likely to radically improve are those whose symptoms are already relatively mild and do not include issues such as seizures, speech delay, learning disabilities, or severe anxiety. In general, therefore, the children most likely to apparently “defeat” autism are those with normal or above normal IQ’s, spoken language skills, and other existing strengths.
It’s important to note, though, that leaving behind an autism spectrum diagnosis isn’t the same thing as becoming “normal.” Even very high functioning children who appear to “outgrow” their autism diagnosis still struggle with a variety of issues. They are still likely to have sensory challenges, social communication difficulties, anxiety, and other challenges, and may well wind up with diagnoses such as ADHD, , social anxiety, or the relatively new Social Communication Disorder.
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But Shouldnt We Be Pushing For A Cure On Behalf Of Those Who Do Want One
People keep misunderstanding this critical point, but there is no cure for autism.
It doesnt exist!
No matter how much money is poured into it, it doesnt seem like its going to exist any time soon at least not in the form that people imagine.
Looking at research, its apparent that were more likely to see a preventative measure than a magic cure pill.
The leading candidate is a genetic screening in-utero, in which case, as with Down Syndrome, we could see an option for an autism cure through abortion of fetuses suspected to have autism.
And fundraising for this the only current viable option rather than fundraising to help families, sounds a lot like eugenics to me every person on the spectrums worst nightmare.
The second side of this problem is that there are reasons many autistic people want cures, and those reasons are societal in nature.
Throughout most autistic peoples lives they have been told that they are lesser.
Theyve been taken to fundraisers to raise money to fix them, their parents talk about what a burden they are right in front of them, and when they dare to be themselves in public, theyre greeted with disapproving stares.
If you lived this life, wouldnt you want to be cured of that thing that youve been told all your life that you need to be cured of?
For some autistic people, the answer is yes. But the realistic solution, which already exists, is not an imaginary cure, but helping them love and accept themselves for who they are.
Three Ways Candida Overgrowth Leads To Autism
1. Candida fungi produce and release toxins. Heavy duty toxins including the same toxins you get from alcohol. These toxins inevitably overload the detoxification systems in the liver. Candida produces and releases toxins every day, without letup.
This overwhelms the detoxification systems.
The liver uses a 3 phase process to remove toxins from the body. In Phase 1, toxins are pulled from the blood and changed by enzymatic action to a form where they can then be handled by the Phase 2 detoxification pathways.
This Phase 1 action is necessary, but it makes toxins a little more dangerous for a time.
Next, Phase 2 enzymes process these toxins. Finally, Phase 3 proteins transport them out of the body through the bowels or kidneys.
The production of both Phase 2 enzymes and Phase 3 transport proteins are damaged by Candida toxins.
When this happens, toxins cannot be effectively eliminated. So they build up in the body. To keep the blood clean, they are put in fat cells. With the brain being mostly fat cells, many toxins get stored in it too.
This happens every time there is Candida overgrowth.
These toxins disrupt the function of cells. They cause inflammation and damage in the brain.
2. The immune system cannot develop optimally. Rather than being able to develop normally, right from the start it must fight Candida and in some cases retroviruses from contaminated vaccines. Plus the immune system also removes toxins. The candida toxins overwhelm it.
Autism: ‘they Said Bleach Would Cure My Daughter’
“I’ve had people offer me products to ‘kill the autism’ – bleach, salts, supplements.”
For Yvonne Odukwe, a Nigerian living in Newport, community stigma around her daughter’s autism is a barrier – but it’s only half of a “double whammy”.
She and others say black, Asian and minority ethnic people can also face poor engagement from authorities.
The Welsh Government said its national autism team “regularly engages with BAME communities” among other steps.
“It’s a double layer,” said Yvonne, mother of 19-year-old Jasmine.
“I’m fighting the mainstream and then I’m also fighting my community because they’re not accepting me and, in many cases, blaming and shaming me.”
Autism is a lifelong development disability which affects how people see, hear and interact with the world.
Yvonne, a mother-of-three, said that like many parents of autistic children, she’d had to fight to get Jasmine support, but many parents from backgrounds like hers must also overcome a code of secrecy in the community.
“There’s that fear and unease – something we don’t know, we don’t accept,” she said.
“So because of that, there’s the stigma. You don’t talk about autism, it’s kind of like a shame to even admit that you have a child with autism.”
Yvonne said she had heard stories in relation to different Asian and African communities where autism was attributed to witchcraft, curses or bad parenting.
Support Asperger Loved Ones By Clearing Up These Mythunderstandings
Posted July 27, 2014
The other day, I saw this YouTube video called, What Kind of Asian Are You? It’s funny, but also painful, as it exposes many Caucasian stereotypes of their Asian Americans in the United States.
Rudy Simone, Aspergian author, comedian, and songwriter, exposed some “neurotypical” misunderstandings in an article she wrote. Here’s part of that article –
Imagine a world where Aspergers was the norm, and non-autistics or neurotypicals were the minority. Let’s try it: Those who feel the need to constantly be with a variety of friends are considered fickle. Those with no propensity for computers and science are called geeks. Those with no special interest are thought to be ungrounded and lost. Those without obsessive focus have to take classes to cultivate it.
Those who insist on saying have a nice day’ and other polite exchanges of fairly empty niceties are taught to be honest and say what they think. People who go to shake hands are simply thought unhygienic. And of course, you would never be expected to hug someone just because they shared an ancestor or a common acquaintance.
None of us deliberately create myths about Asperger syndrome, but these stereotypes can come up.
My goal in this article is to move you from MythUnderstandings to more accurate understanding, so that you can better respect and relate to Aspergians in your life. Read and understand these myths, so that you don’t make some of the same mistakes I’ve made along the way.