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Is Torticollis Linked To Autism

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Are There Exercises For Torticollis

#3L Neck Stretches for Left-sided Torticollis: Torticollis Treatment in Babies

Below are a few examples of exercises that can help a baby with torticollis. For a full demonstration, watch the video:

  • The cranial draw motion. You slightly tuck the babys chin and then extend the head. Repeat that 5 times and hold for 20 seconds. This exercise is going to stretch out some of those tight neck muscles that can cause torticollis.
  • Holding the babys head gently and stretching it in a side-to-side motion. You can also use the other hand to support the opposite shoulder. Then gently push the opposite sides of the head slowly. Over time, youre going to increase the babys range of motion in their cervical spine and helping with that torticollis.
  • Mirror image types of exercises. If the babys head is stuck over in one position, gently stretch to the opposite direction. And as you pull, you may notice that baby starts to resist a little bit and you just hang out there for a moment. Let the baby resist. And then when the baby starts to relax, you pull again some more. And when you do that over time, youll work on stretching out that muscle.
  • Rotation. So if the babys head is shifted over to the right-hand side, we stretch to the left. And then we turn to the right. Both of those motions are going to be more challenging for baby.

How Is Asd Diagnosed

There is no simple medical test for diagnosing ASD.

To diagnose a child with ASD, a healthcare professional observes the childs levels of:

  • communication

This could include the childs:

  • verbal skills
  • how they relate to others
  • behaviours related to their interests and activities
  • repeated actions related to how they speak, move or use objects

To determine the severity of ASD, the healthcare professional observes the amount of difficulty the child has with:

  • social communication

Medical professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders to evaluate ASD.

If a health care provider thinks that your child may have ASD, get a referral for a diagnosis. A specialist will create a detailed description of your child’s strengths and challenges. A team of health professionals may work together for this assessment.

Testing for ASD will also make sure that this is not a different condition. For instance, sometimes hearing loss can explain your childs unresponsiveness in social situations or when their name is called.

So How Does A Chiropractor Treat Torticollis

Chiropractic management is directed at reducing cervical spine subluxations. Those are misalignments in the upper part of the neck. Treatment includes spinal adjustments, cranial, realignment, and different kinds of soft tissue therapies.

And although infants are different, Torticollis can usually be treated in three to six chiropractic sessions. But regular treatments can also help patients avoid developing conditions like it, and produce a rapid solution.

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Torticollis What Is It And How Can I Help My Child

What is torticollis?

You may have noticed that your baby may prefer to look towards one side, they have difficulty turning their head towards one side, they may keep their head tipped towards a side or maybe they have a flat spot on the back or side of the head. If so, they may have something called torticollis or wryneck. Torticollis is tightness of neck musculature that typically causes them to tilt to one side and look towards the other. It can happen before, during, or after birth and can affect their development. It primarily causes the muscles on one side of the body to become tight with the muscles on the opposite side of the body becoming stretched and weakened. This makes it harder to look from side to side, to use their legs and arms normally, and ultimately affect the way they learn to sit, crawl, and play.

Effect on Head Shape

Sometimes prolonged positioning of the babys head in one direction cause a flat spot . It can affect the shape of the rest of the babys head, with changes in the forehead , changes in ear positioning, and facial asymmetries such as jaw recession. Some babies prefer to be on their backs but do not have a preference for turning their head towards one side, which could lead to the entire back side of the head is flattened , making the head appear wide. Intervention by a physical therapist, education on positioning and supervised tummy time can help improve the shape of your babys head!

Importance of Supervised Tummy Time

Head Lag: Early Sign Of Autism

Physical Therapy, Aquatic Therapy, Torticollis treatment ...

A baby typically should be able to control her neck muscles by around 4 months of age, so that when she is pulled from a lying to sitting position her head should remain in line with her torso and not flop back.

Delays in reaching this developmental milestone have been observed in premature babies and in those with cerebral palsy, but the new research now links the trait to autism.

The researchers studied infants at high risk for autism because they had an older sibling diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

In one study group, about 40 children were tested for head lag at 6, 14, and 24 months, followed by testing for autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 30-36 months.

According to the findings:

  • Ninety percent of the infants later diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder exhibited head lag when they were 6 months old.
  • About half of children with any social or communication delay showed evidence of head lag as infants.
  • Thirty-five percent of children who appeared to be developing normally between 30 and 36 months exhibited head lag at 6 months of age.

In a second study group that compared high-risk babies to those with a low risk for autism, 15 high-risk infants and seven low-risk infants showed evidence of head lag at 6 months of age.

Not all high-risk children in the study with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder experienced head lag as infants, and not all infants with head lag developed autism.

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Parent Tips Part : Torticollis

In one way or another, whether youre a new parent or youve just welcomed your 5th, there are bound to be limitless questions running through your mind. As this little miracle enters your life, you are watching their every move, every smile, and every coo. You begin noticing their normal, and getting a front-row seat to your babys first impressions of this world.

If youre anything like millions of other new parents, you probably find yourself comparing your child to others and spending plenty of time on Google.. is this normal, what does it mean if, how will I know when. Believe me, youre not the only one!

Lets take posture or your babys positioning for example. Have you ever found yourself becoming concerned with the way your child seems to position their head or neck when they are laying down? Maybe youre at the park, maybe your friend pointed something out, or maybe youre just noticing it while your baby is sleeping in the carrier. Whatever the reason, youre once again left wondering, is there something wrong, or is this normal?. If you are noticing your baby tilting their neck to one side frequently, your baby may be exhibiting the early warning signs of a condition known as Torticollis.

If you or someone you know has concerns about their child, please contact KidSense Therapy Group and schedule an evaluation. Check back for a future blog addressing tips and strategies on Plagiocephaly!


Home Care And Remedies For Torticollis

Torticollis cannot be treated at home, but you can certainly make the condition bearable for your child. Here are a few things you can do at home to ease the pain and discomfort that torticollis causes to your child.

  • Temporary torticollis goes away after a day or two of rest. So, let your child rest as much as possible. But if it persists, go to a doctor for a proper diagnosis, as delayed treatment can make the problem worse.
  • If your child complains of neck pain in the morning, check the place where they have slept. A lumpy, uneven pillow can aggravate neck pain.
  • Give your child pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, in case of acquired torticollis, which can heal any muscular discomfort. Consult a doctor before you do, though.
  • Warm compresses can alleviate the pain caused by a stiff neck. They loosen the neck muscles and make it easier to move the head.
  • A muscle relaxant might help, use it only if your doctor prescribes them.
  • Help your child use a neck brace to keep the head still to prevent further strain.

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What Is Pediatric Congenital Torticollis

Congenital torticollis is tightness of the largest muscle at the front of an infants neck that causes their head to turn or tilt to one side. Usually congenital torticollis is identified in the first few months of life and is the most common type of pediatric torticollis.

Torticollis may be considered congenital or acquired. Under 1 year of age, it is more likely to be diagnosed as congenital torticollis. New onset tightness or spasms noted after 1 year of age should be evaluated by your childs pediatrician to make sure they are referred to the correct specialist. They will rule out other potential underlying causes, such as paroxysmal acquired torticollis, trauma, bony-growth problems or illness.

What Happens If Torticollis Is Not Treated

#3R Neck Stretching for Right-sided Torticollis: Torticollis Treatment in Babies

Once the cause and type of torticollis have been diagnosed by the infants pediatric healthcare team, treatment is vital to ensure the best possible outcome.

Left untreated, torticollis can create long-term health issues for the infant, including:

  • Developmental delays. Several key movement milestones may be delayed, including rolling over, sitting up independently, crawling, standing, and walking.
  • Difficulty eating. This includes challenges or inability to breastfeed, challenges in bottle feeding, and difficulty in mastering eating and swallowing early foods such as infant cereal or pureed baby food.
  • Vision problems. Tracking equally with both eyes may be impacted one eye may become more dominant due to the head tilt, causing weakening of the muscles of the other eye.
  • Balance problems. As a result of vision problems as well as the weight of the head not being correctly centered and balanced by the SCM muscles, children can develop balance issues that put them at risk of falls.

The long-term outlook for infants diagnosed with torticollis is good. However, early intervention and regular physical therapy and/or chiropractic care must be obtained.

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What Parents Need To Know About Infant Torticollis

Im taking a few days off this week, keeping my two-year old granddaughter occupied while her mom and newborn sister try to rest and dads at work. Being with my newborn granddaughter has gotten me to thinking about the babies I see at Kids Creek Therapy, some of whom I treat for infant torticollis. In todays post Im sharing with you some signs to watch for and some tips on preventing and treating infant torticollis.

Hypotonia Feeding And Additional Influences On Motor Postural Control

Hypotonia may involve axial tone including neck muscles and the muscles around the mouth, influencing the infant’s sucking and feeding abilities .

Positioning of the infant for feeding is a particular challenge for parents of hypotonic babies, as the child lacks head and chest control. These infants experience sucking, chewing and swallowing difficulties along with persistent drooling from the mouth. Posture control during feeding or breastfeeding may also influence eye contact and communication with the caregiver. In retrospect, feeding difficulties are common in children subsequently diagnosed with autism and may persist for a long time .

Hypotonia may start prenatally, and the abnormal postures can lead to a neck deformity called torticollis, that develops in some children who hold their head to one side .

Hypotonia may be associated with global developmental delay, either as a cause or a result of delayed milestones .

Since hypotonia, hyperlaxity and motor delay can impair an infant’s ability to explore his or her environment, the infant could ignore critical visual cues resulting in impaired learning and cognitive development .

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What Should Parents Do To Minimize The Likelihood Of Infant Torticollis

Torticollis does not affect the brain, and the skull will become more rounded as baby grows and spends more time on her tummy and starts moving her own head freely. In general, providing lots of tummy time and holding baby on his tummy throughout the day is important. Babies love to be snuggled on top of mom or dad when both are reclined for a much needed rest

For newborns, many car seats are now equipped with head supports at either side to keep his head in midline. Another easy positioning tip is to change the direction you lay baby down for a diaper change. For example, my daughter-in-law is right-handed but my son is left-handed. When they diaper the baby, each lays the baby down differently. One puts her down with her head at the north end of the changing table, while the other lays her on the south end. It used to be a point of contention until they heard me say one time how I tell parents to do that to give baby a chance to turn their head to either side to look up at them often throughout the day

Age Of Initial Diagnosis

Physical Therapy, Aquatic Therapy, Torticollis treatment ...

The ASD cohort of 1,182 children was comprised of 953 males and 229 females diagnosed initially between the age of 10 months and 12 years . The age of ASD diagnosis was significantly different by gender with females being diagnosed at a younger age: males’ mean age of ASD diagnosis was 4.4 years , while the mean age of ASD diagnosis for females was 3.8 years , . The distribution of the ages of ASD diagnosis can be adequately described as a normal 3-mixture .

In order to address age specific comorbidities , we divided the cohort to 3 sub-groups of ages, following the three means described in the 3-mixture distribution:

Category 2.5 years, n = 345, Males = 261, Females = 84

Category 5.4 years, n = 504, Males = 404, Females = 97

Category > 5.4 years, n = 336, Males = 288, Females = 48

Although the mixture proportion for age on the 2.5 years mean was the largest , when we cut the categories by the mean values, the comparison became more strict, as it reduced the range of ages in that group .

Table 1. Comorbidities of the entire cohort by gender.

Table 2 below describes the percentages of co-morbidities within each category of group of means.

Table 2. Comorbidities by age group of diagnosis.

When analyzing frequent occurring CM in the early diagnosis group the most frequent CM were: hypotonia, global delay , sleep disturbances, hypertonus, feeding and eating issues.

When examining GDD, we found that GDD correlated significantly with ASD , and with hypotonia .

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In 54 Boys In Us Has Asd

In the U.S., around 1 in 88 children — including 1 in 54 boys — has autism spectrum disorder.

While most children are not diagnosed until after their third or fourth birthdays, it is now possible to confirm a diagnosis in children as young as 12 months, says autism expert Alycia Halladay, PhD.

Halladay is director of environmental research for the advocacy and research group Autism Speaks.

She calls the new research “intriguing” but cautions that it’s preliminary and must be confirmed.

“The first step is to replicate these outcomes in larger studies in multiple sites,” she tells WebMD.

Since head lag does not appear to be specific to autism, its diagnostic value remains uncertain, Halladay says.

“We don’t want parents to get the message that head lag means their child has autism,” she says. “But this could prove to be a red flag to identify children that might benefit from very early interventions for a number of outcomes.”

These findings will be presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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How Is Torticollis Diagnosed

Torticollis needs to be treated immediately if accompanied by fevers, drooling, high-pitched breathing, vomiting, unsteady gait, or headaches. Our doctors rule out underlying infections or neurologic conditions. Torticollis can be caused by throat infections and viral upper respiratory tract infections.

To determine the cause of torticollis, our doctors may order upper spine X-rays or a CT scan, if there has been an acute fracture. Diagnosis is also based upon the timing of any injuries or contributing events described by parents or caregivers.

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The Relationship Between Plagiocephaly And Neural Development

A study which was undertaken by Robert Miller reported that 25 of the 63 children with persistent deformational plagiocephaly had received additional help during school including special education assistance, occupational therapy and speech therapy and just 7 of the 91 siblings , serving as controls, required similar services . There are limitations which arise in this study, largely due to the very small focus group which is outlined by Miller himself who concludes, there is a need for additional research on the long-term developmental problems in infants with deformational plagiocephaly to establish a more definitive link between deformational plagiocephaly and developmental delay.

Susan Orra reports a similar conclusion to the study in her recent evaluation of The Danger of Posterior Plagiocephaly and advises that regardless of the cause, it is important to screen for posterior plagiocephaly early in infancy so that appropriate treatment can be implemented .

The official journal of the American Nurses Association also stresses the importance of receiving treatment for plagiocephaly in early infancy. Plagiocephaly treatment lessens the risks that are becoming emergent through cumulative research into the cause and effect relationship between deformational plagiocephaly and developmental delay.

Miller, Robert I., and Sterling K. Clarren. Long-term developmental outcomes in patients with deformational plagiocephaly.Pediatrics 105.2 : e26-e26.

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