Learning Disabilities In Writing
Learning disabilities in writing can involve the physical act of writing or the mental activity of comprehending information. Basic writing disorder refers to physical difficulty forming words and letters. Expressive writing disability indicates a struggle to organize thoughts on paper.
Symptoms of a written language learning disability revolve around the act of writing. They include problems with:
- Neatness and consistency of writing.
- Accurately copying letters and words.
- Spelling consistency.
- Writing organization and coherence.
How Autism Really Feels
My own presentation is characterised by several traits Hans Asperger identified in his original paper, and
- I struggle with social interactions and small talk. Eye contact, while not uncomfortable, is pointless because I gives me no information or emotional connection.
- I enjoy fiction but find it almost impossible to follow if it’s about people and relationships.
- Details are far more important, engaging, interesting, and memorable than generalities .
- I can’t read people, not their faces, body language, or intentions. I don’t pick up on hints and tend to take things literally.
- Once I get interested in a topic, you can’t prise me away from it, and, certainly before I had a wife to drag me away from it, I’d be at my computer or my books working and studying, forgetting to eat and sleep.
- I’m blunt to the point of rudeness. I don’t intend to upset people but when I do I can’t see how I have. And when I can, why they’d be upset. Things rarely end well.
- I need my routines. I get pissed off beyond reason when I can’t follow them.
- Making friends is hard work .
There is more such as some failings in executive function, particularly with planning but these traits affect how I tend to feel as I go about my day.
As you can imagine, this all makes relationships with others fraught at times, and so I sum up what it feels like to be autistic in a Neurotypical world like this:
THAT is how autism feels.
To me, at any rate.
So if you want to know something about us…
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.
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How Does Autism Feel
How does autism feel? It’s a common question I get from people, paraphrased in a few different ways (perhaps the most common being “What’s it like being autistic?” or, less politely, “What’s it like to be so different?”.
It’ll probably surprise you to discover I don’t take exception to this kind of question. In fact, as I hope you’ll figure out for yourself as you read the rest of the blog, I don’t take exception to any sincere question. Nor do I ever take offence at anything, because others’ opinions are none of my business and so are nothing to get upset about.
Besides, there are no stupid questions…
… just stupid people asking them.
Anyway, I have two answers to these questions and their ilk a short one and a long one.
What Disorders Are Related To Asd
Certain known genetic disorders are associated with an increased risk for autism, including Fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis each of which results from a mutation in a single, but different, gene. Recently, researchers have discovered other genetic mutations in children diagnosed with autism, including some that have not yet been designated as named syndromes. While each of these disorders is rare, in aggregate, they may account for 20 percent or more of all autism cases.
People with ASD also have a higher than average risk of having epilepsy. Children whose language skills regress early in life before age 3 appear to have a risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. About 20 to 30 percent of children with ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. Additionally, people with both ASD and intellectual disability have the greatest risk of developing seizure disorder.
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What Are The Current Treatments For Asd
Healthcare providers who treat ASD agree that starting supportive therapy as soon as possible is important.
According to Dr. Ashanti W. Woods, MD, a pediatrician at Mercy Medical Center, early intervention is proven to be associated with the best outcomes.
Younger children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder will typically have their needs assessed and met using their states early intervention services, which many states refer to as an Individualized Family Service Plan , explained Woods.
The goal, he said, is to help toddlers communicate better, minimize anxiety in social settings, and lessen challenging behaviors. These services are usually offered up to the age of three years old.
When autism spectrum disorder ranges from mild to severe, Woods said most, if not all, treatment strategies will address and involve some sort of speech therapy, behavior therapy, and occupational therapy.
As children get older and enter school, Woods indicated many of them can benefit from specialized Individualized Education Plans , with the same goals of improving communication, behavior, socializing, and self-care.
Additionally, Woods explained that adolescent psychiatrists may also consider medicines to address conditions that are frequently seen in ASD including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , oppositional defiance disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , or depression.
- sensory integration therapy
- occupational therapy
Bad Parenting Causes Autism
Theres been extensive scientific research into the causes of autism, leading to many theories as to its origins. Years ago, before the condition was properly understood, many people assumed that inadequate parenting skills had something to do with the behavioural difficulties associated with the condition. The latest evidence all points towards autism being a genetically inherited condition whose effects are shaped and influenced by each individual persons life experiences. Its been proven beyond doubt to affect the functions of various parts of the brain, regardless of the way children are parented, leading to the very specific behaviours autistic people exhibit.
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What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorder
There is no clear-cut cause of ASD. Some causes that are supported by research include genetic and some environmental factors. Specific genetic causes can only be identified in 10% to 20% of cases. These cases include specific genetic syndromes associated with ASD and rare changes in the genetic code.
Risk factors include older parental age, low birth weight, prematurity and maternal use of valproic acid or thalidomide during pregnancy, among others. This field of study is an active one for reasearch.
Meaning And Characteristics Of Mental Retardation
Mental Retardation, also known as Intellectual Disability, is a generalized neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by significantly impaired intellectual and adaptive functioning. It is defined by an IQ under 70, in addition to deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors that affect everyday, general living.
Adaptive skills are the skills needed for daily life. These skills include the ability to speak a language and understand words, lack of communication, use of community resources, health, self-care, and social skills, and functional academic skills .
A child is generally diagnosed with mental retardation before the age of 18. Family members suspect intellectual and developmental delays when a child enters milestones at a slower rate. For example, a child may be more reluctant to develop motor skills than other children his age. He may take longer than usual to go over.
According to the slow development of motor skills, a child with mental retardation may be hesitant to develop language and daily living skills. He may be incapable of brushing his teeth or eat by himself. He may also start talking much later than other children his age.
Mental Retardation classifies intofour categories:
Mild Mental Retardation – IQ from 50-55 to 70
Moderate Mental Retardation – IQ from 35-40 to 50-55
Severe Mental Retardation IQ from 20-25 to 35-40
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Why Does Progress With Asd Slow Even When A Program Has Initially Been Successful
Many approaches to autism treatment are based upon one central premise about autism. Typically the people originating and providing those programs are well-meaning and strongly convinced that their view of autism is correct. We refer to these as single approach programs.
For instance, the TEACCH program is based on the idea that people with autism are visual learners and that there is a culture of autism that is predominantly visual. The Son-Rise program is based on the idea that a non-judgmental attitude will create a human environment that will support more communication and social interaction for people on the autism spectrum. Relationship Development Intervention is based on the idea that guided social experiences will help a child develop the dynamic skills necessary to form social bonds. The biomedical approaches are also based on the idea that autism is primarily a condition of poor immune function, the presence of toxins or other biomedical factors.
Each of these programs may be created around certain theories or practices that are, in fact, beneficial for many children with autism. However, none of these programs is sufficient to help all children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
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.
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Auditory And Visual Processing Problems: The Importance Of The Ears And Eyes
The eyes and the ears are the primary means of delivering information to the brain, a process sometimes called input. If either the eyes or the ears arent working properly, learning can suffer.
Auditory processing disorder Professionals may refer to the ability to hear well as auditory processing skills or receptive language. The ability to hear things correctly greatly impacts the ability to read, write, and spell. An inability to distinguish subtle differences in sound make it difficult to sound out words and understand the basic concepts of reading and writing.
Visual processing disorder Problems in visual perception include missing subtle differences in shapes, reversing letters or numbers, skipping words, skipping lines, misperceiving depth or distance, or having problems with eyehand coordination. Professionals may refer to the work of the eyes as visual processing. Visual perception can affect motor skills, reading comprehension, and math.
|Common types of learning disorders
|TYPE OF DISORDER
|Visual Processing Disorder Difficulty interpreting visual information
|Reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures
Getting Help For Children With Learning Disabilities
When it comes to learning disabilities, its not always easy to know what to do and where to find help. Turning to specialists who can pinpoint and diagnose the problem is, of course, important. You will also want to work with your childs school to make accommodations for your child and get specialized academic help. But dont overlook your own role. You know your child better than anyone else, so take the lead in looking into your options, learning about new treatments and services, and overseeing your childs education.
Learn the specifics about your childs learning disability. Learn about your childs type of learning disability. Find out how the disability affects the learning process and what cognitive skills are involved. Its easier to evaluate learning techniques if you understand how the learning disability affects your child.
Research treatments, services, and new theories. Along with knowing about the type of learning disability your child has, educate yourself about the most effective treatment options available. This can help you advocate for your child at school and pursue treatment at home.
Pursue treatment and services at home. Even if the school doesnt have the resources to treat your childs learning disability optimally, you can pursue these options on your own at home or with a therapist or tutor.
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Autism Vs Developmental Delay
Really there isnt a vs. here. Autism IS a developmental delay, of sorts. Developmental delays separate from autism itself are only notable if they delay a childs development by more than six months. Because children grow and develop at their own pace, milestones for development are more of a guideline than an expectation.
For example, lets say a child is supposed to walk between twelve to fifteen months. Early walkers can start as young as nine months while late walkers can start at seventeen or eighteen months. However if your child isnt at least trying to pull up on the furniture and walk around it with one hand on it by the late walker stage, thats a developmental delay worth taking note of.
Does that mean they have autism? No.Does it mean they have some other developmental delay or disorder? Maybe. If everything else about your child seems to be developing normally, you shouldnt be really worried unless they still arent walking by the age of two. If you are taking them to their well baby checkups, the pediatrician will be able to assess the situation to see if there is a problem or not.
Hope For Learning Disabilities: The Brain Can Change
Science has made great strides in understanding the inner workings of the brain, and one important discovery that brings new hope for learning disabilities and disorders is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brains natural, lifelong ability to change.
Throughout life, the brain is able to form new connections and generate new brain cells in response to experience and learning. This knowledge has led to groundbreaking new treatments for learning disabilities that take advantage of the brains ability to change. Innovative programs, such as the Arrowsmith program, use strategic brain exercises to identify and strengthen weak cognitive areas. For example, for children who have difficulty distinguishing between different sounds in a word, there are new computer-based learning programs that slow down the sounds so that children can understand them and gradually increase their speed of comprehension.
These discoveries about neuroplasticity provide hope to all students with learning disorders, and further research may lead to additional new treatments that target the actual causes of learning disabilities, rather than simply offering coping strategies to compensate for weaknesses.
How does understanding the brain help a learning disorder?
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Is Late Speech A Sign Of Autism
Steven Gans, MD, is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Speech delays are very common among children with autism, but they are also common in children without autism. There are, however, very real differences between autistic speech delays and other types of delays. In many cases, these differences are evident even to non-experts.
Significant speech delays are always a cause for some concern, but they are by no means always a sign of autism.
Verywell / Hugo Lin
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.
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