Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How Can Autism Be Prevented

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Treatment For The Second Child After The First Autistic Child Being Born

Can Parents Do Anything to Prevent Autism?

The latest research indicates that one out of 20 infants having an elder autistic sibling is more likely to have this disorder. The treatment focuses on to identify autism as early as possible before the more symptoms show up. In this treatment, the healthcare professional gets involved in treating the child in the womb when the fetus brain is still responsive enough.

Early Diagnosis Of Autism Is Still The Key

For many years, specialists were reluctant to diagnose or even suggest the possibility of an ASD before the age of two or three. But new research has found that children start showing identifiable signs of an ASD well before 12 months of age and these are often picked up by parents and child health nurses.

Anthony Warren, developmental psychologist and senior ASD consultant with Autism Spectrum Australia , urges parents who are concerned about their child to trust their instincts and seek further assessment because early intervention is critical.

Research shows that about 50 percent of parents whose children later received a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder had raised concerns about their childs development during the first year, Warren says.

Early signs that all is not right include lack of smiling and of social engagement, including not turning when their name is called, lack of eye contact and limited conversational babble. There can also be subtle unusual movements and even an aversion to being touched or held.

When Should You Call A Doctor For Autism In Infants And Toddlers

If an infant or toddler exhibits any unusual behaviors for a day or two after behaving completely normally, it probably means that he or she is coming down with a minor illness, doesn’t feel well, or is tired or under some other form of stress. However, if the child has always had any of these characteristics, or the characteristic continues over a period of time, a visit to the pediatrician or other health care provider is warranted. The average age for the diagnosis of autism is 4 to 6 years, although most parents suspected something was wrong by 18 months and voiced their concerns by age 2 years.

Some examples of behaviors that warrant seeking medical care include:

  • seems distant or oblivious to surroundings
  • doesn’t play or interact well with others
  • is uncommunicative
  • insists on sameness and routine
  • engages in repetitive or compulsive actions.

Based on an understanding of potential early autism symptoms, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and experts recommend that babies or children be evaluated for autism who have not met the following developmental milestones:

  • Not babbled or cooed by age 1 year
  • Not gestured, pointed, or waved as an infant, by age 1 year
  • Not spoken a single word by age 16 months
  • Not spoken a 2-word phrase by age 2 years
  • Experiences any loss of language or social skills at any age

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Children With Autism Are Vulnerable To The Negative Effects Of Screen Time

Children with autism spectrum disorders are uniquely vulnerable to various brain-related impacts of screen time. These electronic side effects include hyperarousal and dysregulationwhat I call Electronic Screen Syndromeas well as technology addiction, to video games, internet, smartphones, social media, and so on.

Why? Because a brain with autism has inherent characteristics that screen time exacerbates. In truth, these impacts in occur in all of us, but children with autism will be both more prone to experiencing negative effects and less able to recover from them their brains are more sensitive and less resilient.

As a framework for understanding these vulnerabilities, its helpful to know that screen timeparticularly the interactive kindacts like a stimulant, not unlike caffeine, amphetamines, or cocaine. Also know that children with autism are often sensitive to stimulants of all kinds, whether pharmaceutical or electronic. For example, children with autism and attention issues often cant tolerate prescribed stimulants, a standard treatment for ADD/ADHD. Stimulants tend to make children with autism irritable, weepy, over-focused, more obsessive-compulsive, and unable to sleep. Stimulants can also exacerbate tics, self-injurious behaviors, aggression, and sensory issues.

Needless to say, education in this arena is sorely needed.

11 reasons children with autism are extra vulnerable to screen time effects and tech addiction

Check For Physical Issues

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Few people with severe autism have the ability to describe physical symptoms or problems. Thus, it’s a good idea to start by checking whether a child with severe autism has physical symptoms that may be exacerbating problem behaviors.

It’s not uncommon, for example, to discover that a child’s apparently aggressive behavior is actually a response to severe gastrointestinal painpain which can be treated through dietary changes. Once the pain is gone, the person finds it much easier to relax, engage, learn, and behave appropriately.

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Nass Participating Provinces And Territory

Collection of PT data was initiated in 2015. As of 2017, seven PTs have contributed 2015 data to NASS, they are: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia and the Yukon. Retrospective data have also been collected from Newfoundland and Labrador , Prince Edward Island , and Quebec which support analysis of trends over time within these regions. As full implementation is a phased process the remaining PTs will be brought into NASS as their data are assessed, and feasibility and validation projects are completed.

The population coverage varies amongst participating PTs. Nova Scotias data for 2015, included 40 percent of the population under surveillance as two of the largest school boards did not participate. In New Brunswick, 68 percent of the population 617 year olds is represented in NASS since presently only those who attend the Anglophone schools are included. The remaining PTs have representation of between 91 and 100 percent of the total school-aged population reflected in their 2015 NASS reporting.

Corresponding data for all participating PTs are given in Table 3: Provincial and territorial comparisons by prevalence, population representativeness, data sectors and data sources.

Table 3 – Provincial and territorial comparisons by prevalence, population coverage, data sectors and sources, 2015

Geographic Location

What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Autism

  • There is no lab test or X-ray that can confirm the diagnosis of autism. The diagnosis of autism is based on clinical judgment regarding observations of the individual’s behavior. Information from family members and other observers is of primary importance in making the diagnosis however, the pediatrician may order tests to rule out other conditions that might be confused with autism, such as mental retardation, metabolic or genetic diseases, or deafness.
  • A single visit with the pediatrician is not enough to establish the diagnosis of autism.
  • The pediatrician observes the child and may do a simple screening test to see if a developmental problem may be present.

Screening tests do not diagnose autism. Done in the office, they are simple tests that indicate a problem may exist. They usually involve simply observing specific behaviors or how a child responds to simple commands or questions . Some widely used screening tests include the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers for children aged 18 months to 4 years of age and the Autism Screening Questionnaire for children aged 4 years and older.

The comprehensive evaluation of a child with autism might include:

  • obtaining complete medical and family history
  • physical exam
  • formal audiology evaluation
  • selected medical/lab tests on an individual basis
  • speech, language, and communication assessment
  • cognitive and behavioral assessments and
  • academic assessment .

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Staying In Good Health

Regular check-ups with a family physician and obstetrician are important. Maternal health throughout pregnancy has a significant impact on unborn children. Mothers should be immunized against German measles and get an influenza shot. Research at the MIND Institute found that viral infections can interfere with the babys brain cells and alter neural connections. Taking all precautions to avoid gestational diabetes can help lower the risk for autism. If possible, pregnant women should avoid prescriptions, especially antidepressants, with medical supervision. Having a dentist remove mercury-based amalgam fillings before conception could be beneficial. Babies neurological function is naturally enhanced by passing through the birth canal, so avoiding unnecessary Cesarean sections can help.

Autism is a complex disorder without a single known cause or trigger. Scientists agree that genetics is responsible for up to 90 percent of the autism risk. Whether a child develops ASD is usually out of the parents control. However, a study in the Molecular Psychiatry journal found that autism rates are 15 percent higher in children born to mothers in their 40s and 66 percent higher for fathers over 50. Births spaced two to five years apart are typically healthiest. Good pregnancy planning and the above health-conscious steps can effectively help expecting women prevent autism.

There Are Likely To Be Many Types Of Autism Or Autisms

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There is growing scientific evidence that autism is a highly complex and highly heterogeneous disorder, and that we should be speaking of autisms rather than one single autism. This means that the causes, the underlying biology that results in the surface symptoms of autism, will differ from individual to individual.

Just as there will never be ONE cure for all types of cancer, there will almost certainly never be ONE cure, or treatment, for all types of autism.

A good example of this is that there are now several known congenital disorders with extremely high prevalence of autism children with Congenital Heart Disease , Tuberous Sclerosis Complex , Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy , Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome all suffer much higher rates of autism than healthy children.

The underlying biological pathways that lead to the emergence of autism in those disorders are likely very different, and so one would not expect ONE single treatment to lead to a reduction in autism symptoms across all those disorders.

For example, while everolimus treatment has been observed to ameliorate core autism symptoms in children with TSC , it would not be expected to have the same effect on autism symptoms in children with the other congenital disorders.

When it comes to idiopathic autism, meaning all individual cases of autism for whom there has been no investigation of underlying causes, it is to be expected that once those causes are uncovered they will likely be very different and varied.

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Componential Nature Of Reading

Understanding the component skills and processes involved in reading for understanding, apart from decoding, has important implications for designing instruction in reading comprehension for all children as well as for designing interventions to strengthen reading comprehension skills in children with ASD and other developmental disorders.

In short, the development of phonological and orthographic knowledge about single words is an important foundation for reading, but word recognition alone is not sufficient for reading comprehension . Skilled text comprehension is a complex process that depends on knowing the meanings of words, in addition to such skills as analyzing the syntactic and semantic structures of word combinations, drawing upon ones background knowledge to interact with the topic of discourse, applying logical inferential abilities, and relying on metacognitive structures, such as self-monitoring.

Where Can I Get Information About Support Groups And Counseling For Autism

Having a child diagnosed with autism can be a devastating experience for many parents and families. They may feel frustrated, confused, and afraid-they may even “grieve” for their “normal child.”

Living with autism presents many new challenges for the person with autism and for his or her family and friends.

Parents of autistic children certainly have many worries. They wonder if their children will be able to achieve, if they will be able to be independent, and if they will be able to be happy and enjoy life. Parents also probably have many worries about how the autism will affect them and their ability to live a normal life, that is, to care for their family and home, to hold a job, and to continue the friendships and activities they enjoy. Many people feel anxious and depressed. Some people feel angry and resentful others feel helpless and defeated.

For most people who have a child with autism, and even for some with autism themselves, talking about their feelings and concerns helps.

Friends and family members can be very supportive. They may be hesitant to offer support until they see how you are coping. Don’t wait for them to bring it up. If you want to talk about your concerns, let them know.

For information about support groups in the area for families with an autistic child, contact the following organizations:

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How Many Children And Youth Were Identified With Asd In 2015

A combined prevalence of 1 in 66 children and youth 517 years of age were diagnosed with ASD in 2015 across the seven participating PTs . The number of children and youth with ASD varied between PTs, from 1 in 126 in the Yukon to 1 in 57 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Figure 3 – ASD prevalence among 517 year olds, 2015

Figure 3 – Text description

This figure visually represents the number of children identified with ASD. By including 66 stick figures of males and females and having one figure uniquely coloured, it visualizes that one in every 66 children, 5-17 years old, was identified with ASD in 2015.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

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  • My child has autism. Should I consider not having another child?
  • What can I do to help my child develop language skills?
  • It is hard to feel close to my child when they dont look at or talk to me. Are there support groups I can join?
  • What is the best way to interact with my child?
  • My child doesnt sleep well. What can I do to help?
  • Will my child be able to attend a regular school?
  • What are other autism spectrum disorders?
  • Do you have any material I can read to help family, friends, teachers, and other caregivers deal with my childs autism?
  • Sometimes my child becomes violent. What is the best way to deal with this?

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Can Autism Spectrum Disorders Be Prevented

The cause of autism spectrum disorders is not clearly understood, so there is no way, at this time, to prevent these disorders. However, early diagnosis may lead to a more effective treatment plan. Many children who are diagnosed with ASDs can have their symptoms improve remarkably with treatment.

There is no way to prevent autism as there is not one specific cause that is known yet to cause it. Autism is a broad spectrum of disorders and every child exhibits different severity and symptoms. Early treatment is the key treatment that should be started right away.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

How Are The Speech And Language Problems Of Asd Treated

If a doctor suspects a child has ASD or another developmental disability, he or she usually will refer the child to a variety of specialists, including a speech-language pathologist. This is a health professional trained to treat individuals with voice, speech, and language disorders. The speech-language pathologist will perform a comprehensive evaluation of the childs ability to communicate, and will design an appropriate treatment program. In addition, the speech-language pathologist might make a referral for a hearing test to make sure the childs hearing is normal.

Teaching children with ASD to improve their communication skills is essential for helping them reach their full potential. There are many different approaches, but the best treatment program begins early, during the preschool years, and is tailored to the childs age and interests. It should address both the childs behavior and communication skills and offer regular reinforcement of positive actions. Most children with ASD respond well to highly structured, specialized programs. Parents or primary caregivers, as well as other family members, should be involved in the treatment program so that it becomes part of the childs daily life.

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Theories Of Causes Lead To Interventions

Over the years there have been many theories about the causes of autism. In the 1950s and 60s, it was believed that autism was caused by cold parenting. This led to the promotion of Holding Therapy, an approach where the mother holds their child for a prolonged time and forces eye-contact in order to remediate a presumed attachment disorder. Whilst children on the receiving end have reported terrible suffering as a result, the professionals involved overlooked the fact that the parents also had children who did not have autism.

Although this theory and intervention have long been debunked, Research Autism currently lists 123 different interventions for autism and nearly all of them are the result of a theory about a possible cause.

Over the years many theories have come and gone. One notable exception is EIBI . This approach applies ABA techniques to help children with autism. This treatment has the highest evidence base and is one of the few that was not developed from a theory of a cause. Find out more about ABA and autism.

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Behavioral therapies

Behavioral therapy is the foundation for most treatment programs for children with autism. More than 30 years of research has shown the benefit of applied behavioral methods in improving communication, learning, adaptive behavior, and appropriate social behavior while reducing inappropriate behavior in children with autism. There is strong evidence that these interventions are most effective when started early, typically in the preschool years. A range of scientifically supported behavioral treatment has been developed that may be helpful for some children with autism. These are mainly based on the principles of applied behavior analysis.

Applied behavior analysis is designed to both correct behavior and teach skills for dealing with specific situations. It is based on the principle of reinforcement: that behavior can be changed by rewarding desired behavior and removing reinforcement for unwanted behavior. The person will naturally repeat behaviors for which he or she is rewarded. This principle is applied in many different ways, such as discrete trial training, incidental teaching, errorless learning, and shaping and fading. Most treatment programs include a number of ABA therapies.

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