Breastfeeding When You Have Asd
It is hard to have a lot of advice about breastfeeding children with ASD because you probably wouldnt even know they were autistic yet in most cases. But we also want to think about the parents with specialized needs who want to breastfeed.
- Breastfeeding Mums on the Autism Spectrum is meant for advice about breastfeeding when you have ASD, not when your child has ASD.
- Breastfeeding Advice for Mothers with Disabilities
Observe And Wait For Quiet Mouth Or Appropriate Vocalization
The third step: sit back and watch your child. Reinforce Quiet Mouth . Whenever there is a split second of Quiet Mouth, immediately tag and hand over a treat. Every time the childs mouth is Quiet, tag and treat. Soon there will be much more Quiet Mouth behavior.
When doing this it is important not to react to vocal stims or screaming. Dont look at the child, dont speak to him/her or explain. Stay quiet yourself and immediately tag and treat as soon as there is even a split second of Quiet Mouth.
Please note, the purpose of this is not to mute the child. The purpose is to teach the skill of being quiet in appropriate settings and to increase the range of sounds or words that the child can say. For this reason, be sure to tag and reinforce any Appropriate Vocalizations/Communication . If he/she says a nice word, makes a comment, or emits any sound that could be the basis of a word, then tag and reinforce that. The ultimate goal is to increase social and communication skills.
For all of us, there is a time to speak and a time to be still.
Tink has developed in leaps and bounds because her parents use TAGteach and understand the science of behavior. Tinks parents were told not to expect her to walk or talk and shes starting to do both. to follow Tinks journey with TAGteach.
Are You Babying Your Special Needs Child
This article was hard for me to write. As I outlined the items below, I found myself guilty of many of the behaviors performed with my own child. But at the same time, writing this article gave me the strength to address more of my childs needs in a proactive fashion and move him forward, because that is my job as a parent. My goal is that some day, Jeff wont need me anymore.
First, I need to acknowledge that we all have thoughts and dreams for our children such as Whose eye color will my baby have?, What will his personality be like?, What is she going to be when shes grown up?, and hundreds of other questions and curiosities. No parent plans on having a special needs child. I have found that once a child is diagnosed with a disability many parents, myself included, resort to babying that child out of extreme love, sadness regarding the disability, and continued hope for that child. In addition, many disabilities are so unique and complex that moving a child along developmentally to help them graduate to self-reliance is not always possible. This article is geared toward those families with a child who can developmentally move along and who has no physical or any other limitations from doing so. We, the parents, need to take that first important step, acknowledging that we need to move our child forward in ALL SKILLS, including self-help skills, just as we would for a typical child.
These routines and ruts can include some of the following:
Tips That Improved My Autistic Child’s Behavior
This guest post was written by Chrissy Kelly, a mom of two boys with autism. You can read more about her and her family on her blog, “Life With Greyson + Parker,” and also her page.
Our house has been a revolving door of Behavior Therapists over the past almost four years. Both boys put in about 20 hours a week of intense therapy. I never thought a kidless 20-something year old might be able to teach me something about my own children. The presence of autism in my life has grown my mind a thousand times over. So much of parenting children with autism is counter-intuitive. I say and do things I never thought would work, but they do. Here is a small list of techniques that we use daily that help reduce tantrums, increase understanding, direction following and happiness . There is no one thing that works for all children, and there is no one quick fix, however, many of these techniques will work for many children. Whether or not they have autism.
Use Time To Decrease Transitional Tantrums
Many children have trouble leaving preferred places and activities. This is a BIG one for my 5 year old. There were times I wouldn’t even take him to our neighborhood park because I was so scared of that awful moment when we had to leave. He was unpredictable and erratic. Sometimes he would scream and fall to the ground, or try to run into a busy street to get away from me, or lash out to hit me. It broke my heart and downright scared me. One thing that has been life-changing for us is using Minute Warnings/Timers: Your child may need a 5 minute, 2 minute, or 1 minute warning before there is a change of activity. These warnings help the children prepare for the transition. They will begin to learn that the warning comes and then the change comes. Eventually, the minute warnings become routine, even if the next task is not.
We set a timer on our iphone. “In five minutes you need to take a bath.” “In two minutes we are leaving the park.”This helps a child feel more in control without controlling us. When the timer goes off you have to carry through every single time. We did this continuously for two weeks before we started to see results. Now it’s been years and it still works. Set your boundaries, stick to them, and follow through.
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Screaming Loud Noises Verbal Stimming
These are the sounds we autism parents hear all too frequently in our homes.
They never seem to stop.
They drive us to distraction.
They can destroy the peace and quiet of the family. Sometimes they can destroy the family itself.
When my son was little, he did a lot of screaming and verbal stimming. I discovered that with the positive behavioral method known as TAGteach I was able to reduce these sounds, increase appropriate vocalizations and get some of that precious peace and quiet.
What Are The Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder And Feeding Difficulties
Children with autistic spectrum disorder often show signs early on when solid foods are introduced. Symptoms that may lead to a suspicion of autism spectrum disorder with regards to feeding difficulties are:
- Aversive to solid foods and/or difficulty weaning
- Avoiding particular foods, textures or tastes
- Strong aversion to certain foods and very specific about foods, textures or tastes
- Restrictive with foods
- Eating indigestible objects such as paper, dirt, plaster and/or wood
- Gastrointestinal problems such as wind, bloating, pain, sickness, nausea when eating
If your child has one or more of these symptoms above you should seek further investigation. Sometimes your baby or child may be growing normally and not yet exerting signs of malnutrition so you can not get the help they need. Our team can help your baby with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder or not.
Also Check: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
Can Headbanging Cause Brain Damage
For parents of children with autism, brain damage is a common concern if a child starts headbanging. Children under three years old will rarely cause long-term damage by headbanging. Their heads are designed to handle impact from learning to walk, and headbanging will rarely cause more trauma than a slip and fall accident at this age. However, as children get older, they are at a higher risk of causing lasting damage.
Children who are strong enough to cause injury should receive a functional behavioral intervention to come up with a plan to replace headbanging with healthy coping and communication strategies.
behaviors can be physically dangerous for the individual who is head-banging and self-injurious behavior is very concerning for their caregivers who want to keep these children safe. In order to implement a behavioral treatment plan for self-injurious behaviors, a functional behavioral assessment should be performed to help determine the environmental and/or internal factors that are maintaining the behaviors. This information is then used to inform behavioral interventions in order to preempt the causes or replace the unwanted behaviors with ones that are more acceptable, writes Minshawi.
Establishing An Effective Latch
Twelve infants were described as able to establish a latch and initiate breastfeeding without difficulty. This was detailed by mothers who said, He was able to nurse it seemed like he was able to nurse right away, and He nursed for about 57 minutes on each side. So, okay, he knows what hes doing. And I had no problems with him initially after birth.
However, five infants were unable to establish an effective latch during hospitalization because of anatomical/physiological barriers . For example, one mother noted, He found the nipple he started feeding . . . I was never able to successfully feed with my right breast. Another mother described how her infant had difficulty relearning to breastfeed on a flat nipple after a circumcision:
Initially he latched beautifully . . . but after the circumcision he was a beast . . . kept me another day, and the worked with me and they worked with me . . . but it took me a long time to figure out how to breastfeed this baby . . . I had flat nipples, which was a problem, hed keep sliding off.
One mother recalled breastfeeding her infant before and after a short frenulum was clipped at 3 weeks:
I remember there was one side that he preferred . . . I always dreaded moving him to the other one. And then I had to do it by myself . . . I thought it was going to turn into night and day. And it wasnt.
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What Causes Meltdowns In Autism
There are many potential reasons to explain why a meltdown in autism happens, such as a change in their usual routine, bright light or loud sound. An autistic persons brain is wired differently so many times their brain goes into hyperdrive when they are having a meltdown since they can have sensory overloads.
Tips For Interacting Positively With Children On The Autism Spectrum
As a parent you hope not only that your child will do well in class, but also that they’ll get along well with others and fit in. But imagine if you were the parent of a child with a disability that may not be immediately recognizable. You’d want people to understand and be kind.
Children with autism often attend mainstream schools, but it might be difficult to identify them by sight. You might notice they communicate differently or act differently and wonder how to interact with them and include them.
“Just because children with autism communicate differently doesn’t mean they should be ignored,” says speech-language pathologist Erin McQuivey, MS, CCC-SLP, who works with children with autism as a manager at Primary Children’s Outpatient Rehabilitation at Intermountain Riverton Hospital in Riverton, Utah.
“Children with autism can communicate in a lot of different ways. They may use words, facial expressions, gestures, emotions, and even assistive technology,” she adds. “We should honor all these methods as meaningful communication. It’s their way to build relationships, ake requests, and comment. We should recognize the communication methods they’re comfortable with.”
Read Also: How To Make A Visual Schedule For Autism
Reward Drinking From The New Cup
Just like teaching any other new skill, you can reward your son for using his cup by giving a treat, affection, praise, toy, or whatever it may be that motivates him. Start with a small expectation like just putting his lips to the cup. If he doesnt actually drink, thats okay, reward him anyways. Immediately give him whatever it is youve decided on. Once hes okay with that you can make it a little harder such as trying to take at least five sips.
Again, if he doesnt actually drink, thats OK. Reward him anyways. Eventually, the goal would be to get him to take a real sip and earn a mega, massive, huge reward from you. Maybe its his favorite candy. Maybe its the iPhone. Whatever the reward, make it something special that he doesnt get regularly and give it to him right away.
Caring For Yourself While You Stop Breastfeeding Your Toddler
Its easy to worry about your little one when youre weaning, but dont forget about yourself. A gradual approach is also easier on Mom physically to prevent engorgement. If you do experience engorgement, heating pads or compresses can help to reduce some of the discomfort.
Emotionally, weaning can be especially difficult when youve been doing it for a few years. Its okay to bemoan the fact that this special bonding time is coming to an end, even if part of you is ready to say goodbye. Acknowledge that this is a major life change and give yourself a break during the transition.
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What Are The Potential Underlying Causes In Children With Autism
There may be several underlying causes for refusing certain foods. Causes are often linked to motor control problems, behavioral changes, and digestive issues.
Here are some of the most common causes of food refusal in children with autism:
It is important for children with autism to maintain a balanced diet because malnutrition can increase developmental challenges in the brain and body. Weak muscles and bones can increase poor posture and balance, and slowed brain development will increase the risk of cognitive difficulties.
Managing food refusal and other feeding problems requires a multifaceted approach from parents and the childs treatment team.
Why Children With Autism Bite Themselves
If youre struggling with your child with Autism biting themselves, it may be due to something called stimming. Stimming is a term that refers to self-stimulatory behaviors. You may notice your own stimming behaviors when you think about how you tap your fingers on your desk at work when youre thinking, or how you hum when you walk down a long hall by yourself. You do these things almost unconsciously as a result of how youre feeling. In a way, they may improve emotions you dislike, they may help you focus, or they may help you tune out of an uncomfortable situation.
When a child bites themselves as a stim, they are reacting to something they are feeling or experiencing. They may be overwhelmed, overstimulated, tired, uncomfortable, etc. It may also be an unwanted response to boredom.
The CDC reports that almost one third of children with Autism exhibit behaviors that lead to self-harm. If your child seems to have a stim that causes them to bite themselves, try to find comfort in knowing that its a common behavior. We will discuss strategies that can help your child move on toward safer, healthier stims later on in this post as well.
Also Check: Do Autistic Toddlers Dance To Music
Is Screaming An Early Sign Of Autism
Screaming is not universally defined as an early sign of autism. However, some researchers have found that as early as the first months of age of babies who are later diagnosed with autism produce a different pattern of cry than those with other developmental disabilities and those from typically developing infants.
S Of Dealing With Food Refusal In Autistic Children
Many children are picky eaters, developing strong preferences for some foods and strong rejections of other foods. However, children with autism are even more likely than their neurotypical peers to develop feeding problems, including food refusal.
Understanding food refusal can help you manage this condition, introduce new foods to your childs diet, and ensure they get balanced nutrition.
The best methods to deal with food refusal in autistic children involve working with doctors to eliminate medical causes, a nutritionist to develop a meal plan, and behavior therapists to promote positive behaviors around eating.
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Common Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder:
- Difficulty socializing with others, responding to social cues, and understanding feelings
- Difficulty communicating, including speaking and understanding
- Unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
- Avoiding or resisting physical contact
- Discomfort when regular routines are disrupted
- Repetitive physical behaviors
“It’s important for parents to help their child understand there are children who are different than they are. Parents can teach their child some simple tools and tips for communicating with children with autism,” says McQuivey.
Talk About What They Want To Talk About
One approach that will never get you far with an autistic kid is to try to force the conversation in a direction you want it to go. At best youll get ignored at worst, theyll shut down or have an outburst.
Obsessions are part of the syndrome and an obsession means a lot of discussion about one particular thing. You might find it boring or simple but youll find far more engagement by sticking to the topic that the child wants to discuss.
Put Your Childs Favorite Drink Into The Sippy Cup And Put A Non
For your son this may look like putting milk into the cup and water or a bitter juice into the bottle. Doing this will help pair the new cup with an old, familiar favorite. At the same time, it will make his bottle-less appealing to him. This technique helps make the sippy cup more interesting and attractive while making the bottle less enticing.