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Is Autism A Medical Condition

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Explaining Seizures To Children With Epilepsy And Their Peers

Diets for Medical Conditions : Diet & Autism

Sometimes it can be difficult for children to understand what is happening when they are having a seizure. In addition, it can be very scary for their peers or friends who witness them. Autism Speaks has put together Visual Stories to explain to children how people with epilepsy are just like everyone else!

Visual Story for Peers of Children with EpilepsyIf a family member suffers from seizures, you may want to consider a medical alert bracelet that can inform first responders of the seizure disorder and any medications that the individual may take. There are a variety of options available on the internet.

Diagnosis In Young Children

Diagnosis in young children is often a two-stage process.

Stage 1: General Developmental Screening During Well-Child Checkups

Every child should receive well-child check-ups with a pediatrician or an early childhood health care provider. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays at their 9-, 18-, and 24- or 30-month well-child visits and specifically for autism at their 18- and 24-month well-child visits. Additional screening might be needed if a child is at high risk for ASD or developmental problems. Those at high risk include children who have a family member with ASD, have some ASD behaviors, have older parents, have certain genetic conditions, or who were born at a very low birth weight.

Parents experiences and concerns are very important in the screening process for young children. Sometimes the doctor will ask parents questions about the childs behaviors and combine those answers with information from ASD screening tools, and with his or her observations of the child. Read more about screening instruments on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Children who show developmental problems during this screening process will be referred for a second stage of evaluation.

Stage 2: Additional Evaluation

This second evaluation is with a team of doctors and other health professionals who are experienced in diagnosing ASD.

This team may include:

The evaluation may assess:

  • Blood tests

Mental Health Conditions Of Autism

Depression

Depression can affect 25% of individuals on the autism. Symptoms of depression can involve but are not limited to chronic feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, sudden weight gain or loss, poor sleep, social isolation, moving or talking slowly, and trouble concentrating.

Bipolar Disorder

This disorder affects 27% of individuals who are having an autism disorder. Symptoms can include but are not limited to periods of intense energy and social intrusion, with periods of flat affect and irritability.

All mental health conditions include a cluster of symptoms, not just one symptom. Thus, because your child may experience one symptom, it does not necessarily equate to having a mental health condition.

Anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety in people with autism disorder include :

  • worrying thoughts
  • extreme fear of new people
  • dislike of going to new places or trying new things
  • fear of specific stimuli, and

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is an adult disorder there can be early onset in childhood. Experts indicate that some adults on the autism disorder also have schizophrenia. This is a very difficult condition to diagnosis both autism and schizophrenia have difficulty with processing language and perspective-taking of other peoples thoughts and feelings. If the adult is the nonverbal or limited language it hard to determine if hallucinations are being experienced.

Talk to a hearing professional now to get the best advice & treatment.

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Autism And Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network

The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network is a group of programs funded by CDC to estimate the number of children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities living in different areas of the United States. The ADDM Network sites all collect data using the same methods, which are modeled after CDCs Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program .

ADDM Network goals are to:

  • Describe the population of children with ASD,
  • Compare how common ASD is in different areas of the country,
  • Identify changes in ASD occurrence over time, and
  • Understand the impact of ASD and related conditions in US communities.

Restricted Or Repetitive Behaviors Or Interests

Autism, Concept, A Medical Condition Stock Image

People with ASD have behaviors or interests that can seem unusual. These behaviors or interests set ASD apart from conditions defined by only problems with social communication and interaction.

Examples of restricted or repetitive interests and behaviors related to ASD can include:

  • Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over
  • Plays with toys the same way every time
  • Is focused on parts of objects
  • Gets upset by minor changes
  • Has obsessive interests
  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
  • Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

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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.

What Is The Difference Between Autism And Adhd

Autism and ADHD are sometimes confused with one another.

Children with an ADHD diagnosis consistently have issues with fidgeting, concentrating, and maintaining eye contact with others. These symptoms are also seen in some autistic people.

Despite some similarities, ADHD isnt considered a spectrum disorder. One major difference between the two is that people with ADHD dont tend to lack socio-communicative skills.

If you think your child may be hyperactive, talk with their doctor about possible ADHD testing. Getting a clear diagnosis is essential to ensure that your child is receiving the right treatment.

Read Also: Average Life Expectancy Autism

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives others need less.

A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified , and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder.

‘these Attitudes Harm Us’

Medical board to consider medical marijuana for autism treatment

Many people trace the beginning of the neurodiversity movement to an open letter read at the 1993 International Conference on Autism by Jim Sinclair, who was diagnosed with autism as a child. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism, he said, addressing the desire by many parents for a cure and the impact it can have on their child. Therefore, when parents say, I wish my child did not have autism, what theyre really saying is, I wish the autistic child I have did not exist, and I had a different child instead.

At the time, there were escalating calls for an autism cure, as the prevalence of autism in the United States had jumped more than tenfold from the 1980s to the 1990s. This rapid increase was in part because of expanding definitions of the condition. But the media nevertheless portrayed autism as an epidemic, and scores of parents took up advocacy work for their autistic children.

Then those children grew up and they didnt necessarily agree with their parents views of autism, says Ari Neeman, who co-founded the nonprofit Autistic Self Advocacy Network in 2006. When the organization was formed, there was an unprecedented amount of public discussion about autism but no representation of autistic people in that conversation, he says.

Family members can be important allies, Bascom wrote in an email to Spectrum, but its about advocating with, as opposed to advocating for.

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Isoniazid Iproniazid And Imipramine

In 1951, and , working out of on , began clinical trials on two new agents developed by Hoffman-LaRoche, and . Only patients with a poor were initially treated nevertheless, their condition improved dramatically. Selikoff and Robitzek noted “a subtle general stimulation … the patients exhibited renewed vigor and indeed this occasionally served to introduce disciplinary problems.” The promise of a cure for tuberculosis in the Sea View Hospital trials was excitedly discussed in the mainstream press.

In 1952, learning of the stimulating side effects of isoniazid, the Cincinnati psychiatrist tried it on his patients. In the following year, he and reported that isoniazid improved depression in two-thirds of their patients and coined the term antidepressant to refer to its action. A similar incident took place in Paris, where , head of psychiatry at Sainte-Anne Hospital, heard of this effect from his colleagues at Cochin Hospital. In 1952 , Delay, with the resident , reported the positive effect of isoniazid on depressed patients. The mode of antidepressant action of isoniazid is still unclear. It is speculated that its effect is due to the inhibition of , coupled with a weak inhibition of .

How Autism Spectrum Disorder Is Diagnosed And Treated

Diagnosis

Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed based on a childs development and behavior, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.3 It can be detected as early as 18 months, although most children arent diagnosed until after the age of four. The sooner its diagnosed, the better the developmental outcomes.

While theres no cure for ASD, early intervention services available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act can dramatically improve a childs development, including walking, talking, and interacting socially.

Treatment

Treatment for autism spectrum disorder is highly individualized and involves a combination of therapies, services, and support. Although there are no medications that can treat the core symptoms of autism, medication may be used to improve functioning by helping individuals manage issues like seizures, depression, high energy levels, or difficulty focusing.

For the most part, treating ASD involves non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as:

Speech Therapy

Offers emotional support and resources to people with autism and their families

Other interventions may include intensive parent training programs, social skills groups, and play-based skills groups.

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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.

Myth: People With Autism Have Amazing Counting Skills

Autism Health: Conditions that accompany Autism

Truth: Some people who have autism have savant skills, such as being able to recite the phone book or calculate complicated mathematical problems in their head. But most dont, although many people with autism have impressive strengths, such as a good visual memory, that help them get by in the world.

Read Also: Life Expectancy Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Diagnosis In Older Children And Adolescents

ASD symptoms in older children and adolescents who attend school are often first recognized by parents and teachers and then evaluated by the schools special education team. The schools team may perform an initial evaluation and then recommend these children visit their primary health care doctor or doctors who specialize in ASD for additional testing.

Parents may talk with these specialists about their childs social difficulties including problems with subtle communication. These subtle communication issues may include problems understanding tone of voice, facial expressions, or body language. Older children and adolescents may have trouble understanding figures of speech, humor, or sarcasm. Parents may also find that their child has trouble forming friendships with peers.

How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosed

There are no laboratory tests to determine ASD. However, certain healthcare providers receive specific training and can do screenings and evaluations if needed and who might ask parents or teachers to record observations. These providers might include specialized physicians, psychologists and speech-language pathologists.

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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.

Causes And Risk Factors

Autism Review: Co-occurring Physical, Medical, & Mental Health Conditions in Young Children with ASD

We do not know all of the causes of ASD. However, we have learned that there are likely many causes for multiple types of ASD. There may be many different factors that make a child more likely to have an ASD, including environmental, biologic and genetic factors.

  • Most scientists agree that genes are one of the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD.4, 19
  • Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD. 5-10
  • Individuals with certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis, can have a greater chance of having ASD. 11-14, 20
  • When taken during pregnancy, the prescription drugs valproic acid and thalidomide have been linked with a higher risk of ASD.15-16
  • There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASD occurs before, during, and immediately after birth. 17
  • Children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD. 18

ASD continues to be an important public health concern. Like the many families living with ASD, CDC wants to find out what causes the disorder. Understanding the factors that make a person more likely to develop ASD will help us learn more about the causes. We are currently working on one of the largest U.S. studies to date, called Study to Explore Early Development . SEED is looking at many possible risk factors for ASD, including genetic, environmental, pregnancy, and behavioral factors.

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Myths & Misconceptions About Autism

Researchers are learning more and more about autism every year. While it was virtually unheard of just a few decades ago, autism is now a well-known disorder. Its prevalence has risen from one in 1,500 children in 1975 to one in 59 children today, according to the CDC, making autism a very common disorder.4 Still, myths and misconceptions about autism spectrum disorder abound. Here, we debunk the most common of these.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism is not a single disorder, but a spectrum of closely related disorders with a shared core of symptoms. Every individual on the autism spectrum has problems to some degree with social interaction, empathy, communication, and flexible behavior. But the level of disability and the combination of symptoms varies tremendously from person to person. In fact, two kids with the same diagnosis may look very different when it comes to their behaviors and abilities.

If youre a parent dealing with a child on the autism spectrum, you may hear many different terms including high-functioning autism, atypical autism, autism spectrum disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder. These terms can be confusing, not only because there are so many, but because doctors, therapists, and other parents may use them in dissimilar ways.

But no matter what doctors, teachers, and other specialists call the autism spectrum disorder, its your childs unique needs that are truly important. No diagnostic label can tell you exactly what challenges your child will have. Finding treatment that addresses your childs needs, rather than focusing on what to call the problem, is the most helpful thing you can do. You dont need a diagnosis to start getting help for your childs symptoms.

Whats in a name?

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Development Into A Health Profession

The health profession of occupational therapy was conceived in the early 1910s as a reflection of the . Early professionals merged highly valued ideals, such as having a strong work ethic and the importance of crafting with one’s own hands with scientific and medical principles. The National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy , now called the , was founded in 1917 and the profession of Occupational Therapy was officially named in 1921., one of the founders of NSPOT and visionary figure in the first decades of the profession struggled with “the cumbersomeness of the term occupational therapy”, as it lacked the “exactness of meaning which is possessed by scientific terms”. Other titles such as “work-cure”, “ergo therapy” , and “creative occupations” were discussed as substitutes, but ultimately, none possessed the broad meaning that the practice of occupational therapy demanded in order to capture the many forms of treatment that existed from the beginning.

The profession has continued to grow and expand its scope and settings of practice. , the study of occupation, was created in 1989 as a tool for providing evidence-based research to support and advance the practice of occupational therapy, as well as offer a basic science to study topics surrounding “occupation”. That said, occupational science continues to be largely theory driven to the present day, and its application to clinical practice is frequently questioned.

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