Restricted Or Repetitive Patterns Of Behavior Or Activities
In addition to the communication and social issues mentioned above, autism also includes symptoms related to body movements and behaviors.
These can include:
- repetitive movements, like rocking, flapping their arms, spinning, or running back and forth
- lining objects, like toys, up in strict order and getting upset when that order is disturbed
- attachment to strict routines, like those around bedtime or getting to school
- repeating words or phrases they hear someone say over and over again
- getting upset over minor changes
- focusing intently on parts of objects, like the wheel of a toy truck or the hair of a doll
- unusual reactions to sensory input, like sounds, smells, and tastes
- obsessive interests
- exceptional abilities, like musical talent or memory capabilities
Weighing On Weight Loss
All told, these components factored into my constant average at 230 pounds when I was in high school, which I sort of thought maybe I could be immune to it, but I was always vulnerable. I did go through a few phases of weight loss between then and now, including going to the treadmill at my fathers racquetball club in Maryland, which I stopped because the dynamic shift to an independent living program affected any possible continuum, seeing a dietician after dealing with pneumonia, and getting three types of medication including thyroid, calcium and cholesterol affiliates, as I weighed my heaviest at 260 pounds, and spending a little bit of time before the holidays in 2016 refraining from heavy contents of food. None of them lasted too long, though, and while they worked temporarily they werent able to keep me within any new parameters, and I never went below 200, which brings me to the new plan.
What are some lessons I learned?
What Should I Do If I Want To Lose Weight
A goal of losing 1 pound a week is recommended for most people who wish to lose weight. Losing more weight is not sustainable for most people because it requires more drastic lifestyle changes that you might not be ready for. In general, to lose weight, you need to either eat less or exercise more. For many people this means:
- eating 500 less calories per day, or
- exercising enough to use up an extra 500 calories per day.
You can talk to your doctor more about safe ways for you to lose weight.
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How Does Autism Affect Adults
Families who have autistic loved ones may be concerned about what life with ASD looks like for an adult.
Some autistic adults go on to live or work independently. Others may require continued aid or support throughout their lives. Each autistic person is different.
Sometimes autistic people dont receive a diagnosis until much later in life. This is due, in part, to a previous lack of awareness among medical practitioners.
Key Actions For Improving Blood Sugar Balance
To support blood sugar balance, it is really important to reduce consumption of sugary and processed foods and drinks, and limit caffeine consumption. Consume more whole foods, such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, fish, lean meats, such as turkey and chicken, nuts, seeds and pulses will help to support blood sugar levels.
Side effects: None reported
Contraindications with medication: Diabetes medication should be closely monitored by a doctor.
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Living With Adult Autism Tip : Improve Communication And Relationships
If other people have a hard time reading and understanding youand you themyoull likely have difficulty with relationships. But you can still find ways to nurture a healthy social life.
Consider disclosing your diagnosis. Talking about your diagnosis can be difficult and the social stigma attached to ASD may make you shy away from doing so. While disclosure is entirely up to you and your comfort level, it may help improve some relationships. Letting close friends and family know about your diagnosis can help them understand why you have a hard time interpreting their sarcastic comments, for example, or why youre distressed by sounds that seem normal to everyone else.
Note when youre experiencing sensory overload. Perhaps you find it difficult to keep up with everything thats going on in an intense group conversation. Or maybe something as simple as loud traffic or a barking dog is bothering you. Do what you can to minimize distractions. This might involve switching rooms or leaving a larger group for a one-on-one chat.
Look for common ground with the person youre talking to. Establishing commonalities can lead to more relaxed and enjoyable conversations. If you have similar hobbies, thats, of course, great news. Otherwise, you can look for other things you both like or dislike. This could be anything from a shared interest in cars to a shared dislike for loud noises.
Support groups for adults with autism
Cooking Is Hard For Me What Are Some Ideas To Make It Easier
There are a lot of cooking resources on the Internet. These three are particularly clear with a lot of steps and photographs, and no confusing phrases like “until it looks good to you.”
Step-by-Step Cook offers in-depth, detailed, start-to-finish instructions on a wide variety of recipes. This site assumes that the users have no prior cooking experience, and includes photos of what each step should look like.
Cooking for Engineers breaks recipes down very concretely with tables showing which steps are done in order and which are done at the same time. It also has information on cooking gadgets.
Cooking With Autism has some step-by-step sample recipes, and offers a book for purchase.
If following recipes or cooking a lot of different things just isn’t going to happen for you, here are some ideas:
Food Issues for Independent Autistic Adults is a website created by Patricia E. Clark that includes tips to help with cooking.
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How Much Water Do I Really Need To Drink
It is hard to know how much water people need to drink. Many people have heard that you should drink 8 glasses of water a day. Some people may need more or less though depending on how big they are. Also, the food you eat gives you some water, so how much extra you need to drink depends on what you are eating. The Institute of Medicine estimates that adult men need to drink an average of 3.7 liters daily and adult women need to drink about 2.7 liters of water daily. A different way to figure out how much water you might need is to take your body weight in pounds, divide it half, and that’s the number of ounces you should drink .
Exercise, hot weather, or illness: There are a number of things that can cause you to need more fluids. One is exercising. Another is being in hot weather conditions. Illnesses can also make you lose fluids if you have diarrhea, vomiting, or a high fever with sweats. In those situations, you need to drink more fluids and replace your electrolytes . Some examples of drinks with electrolytes are Gatorade or Powerade.
One way to know if you are drinking enough water is to check your urine. It should be a clear or pale/light yellow. If it is darker you may need to drink more water. Certain medications and medical conditions can also make your urine look darker.
Why Are Dietitians Recommended For People With Autism
As some people on the autism spectrum can have difficulty with eating, or can be fastidious eaters, there are a number of professional registered dietitians who have a particular interest in the nutritional needs of children and adults with autism.
Behavioural challenges as well as sensitivities to certain foods, particularly among some children with autism, can make it difficult for parents and carers to ensure they are providing them with a nutritious diet.
For example, people with autism may refuse to eat unless they sit in the same place at the table, eat on the same dishes, use the same tablecloth, and eat the same foods every single day. Just a small change in routine can cause an enormous amount of anxiety or fear in a child or person with autism, and can often result in the refusal to eat.
Researchers at Marcus Autism Center at Emory University School of Medicine found that children on the autism spectrum are five times more likely to have mealtime outbursts, be more selective about their food, or have ritualistic eating behaviours.
The study also found lower intakes of calcium and protein in children with autism. Calcium is crucial for building strong bones, while adequate protein is important for growth, mental development and health.
This can be why people with autism, or with a child who has autism, find it useful to seek advice from a dietitian, as they can provide solutions for evading some of these common issues.
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Autism And Obesity: When Exercise And Healthy Diet Arent Enough
Our 8-year-old has autism and is minimally verbal. His problem is knowing when to stop eating. Hes 4 foot 4 and 125 pounds with a 35-inch waist. We tried giving him smaller portions on a smaller plate. Doesnt work. Hes very active and exercises playing basketball, running, swimming and just playing. But hes still gaining weight. We eat a very healthy diet, no junk food. I dont know what to do. Im afraid hes going to drop dead of a heart attack.
Editors note: The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as appropriate, with a qualified healthcare professional and/or behavioral therapist.
This weeks Food for Thought answer is by pediatric psychologists Wendy Ward and Elizabeth Pulliam. Both practice at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The university and medical center are part of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network . Dr. Pulliam co-authored the Autism Speaks ATN/AIR-P tool kit: Exploring Feeding Behavior in in Autism: A Guide for Parents.
Research has found several factors that contribute to the problem. They include a tendency for reduced physical activity and poor nutrition. In addition, weight gain can result as a side effect of certain behavioral medicines. We know that parents and other caregivers need guidance to understand and respond to these complex issues.
Healthy Weight Management For Youth On The Autism Spectrum: What We Know And How To Help
With obesity a growing epidemic in the United States, much attention has been placed on weight loss and healthy weight management. Unfortunately, research has shown that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder are at an increased risk of struggling to maintain a healthy weight . As a result, such individuals are at an increased risk of developing serious health problems including diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma, and heart disease, in addition to social difficulties such as isolation, discrimination, and low self-esteem.
Shana Nichols, PhD
Danielle Zito, PsyD
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Tip : Manage Anxiety And Depression
Some people find that anxiety and depression go hand in hand with symptoms of ASD. For example, difficulty relating to others can lead to feelings of anxiety. Increased anxiety can, in turn, make it even harder to communicate. You might even feel so flustered that you cant form sentences.
Feelings of isolation can also trigger depression. But there are steps you can take to manage your mood and improve how you feel.
Stay active. Exercise is good for the mind and eases stress. Some studies show that vigorous exercise can be especially useful for helping adults with ASD manage aggression. Find an aerobic exercise that fits neatly into your routine and wont potentially throw your schedule into chaos. It may be something as simple as going for daily walks or runs. Make sure its something you enjoy, so youre more likely to stick to it.
Rely on close friends. Socializing can also be good for your mood, as long as the people youre with dont stress you out. Find people who share your interests. Thanks to the Internet, its easy to find people in your local area who share your interests. If possible, look for conventions or other gatherings where people who share your hobby come together and interact in person.
Affordable Online Therapy
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What Is A Gluten
A gluten-free/casein-free diet is also known as the GFCF diet. It is one of several alternative treatments for children with autism. When following this strict elimination diet, all foods containing gluten and casein are removed from the child’s daily food intake.
Some parents of children with autism believe their children are allergic or sensitive to the components found in these foods. Some seek allergy testing for confirmation. Yet, even when no allergy is confirmed, many parents of autistic children still choose to offer the GFCF diet. Among the benefits they report are changes in speech and behavior.
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Vitamin B6 Vitamin C And Magnesium
We have known since the 1970s that a nutritional approach can help autism, thanks to the pioneering research by Dr Bernard Rimland of the Institute for individual Behaviour Research in San Diego, California. He showed that vitamin B6, C and magnesium supplements significantly improved symptoms in autistic individuals. In one of his early studies back in 1978, 12 out of 16 autistic individuals improved, then regressed when the vitamins were swapped for placebos 14. Other studies, however, have failed to confirm conclusively positive outcomes with certain nutrients. For example, a French study of 60 autistic individuals found they improved significantly on a combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium, but not when either nutrient was supplemented alone16.
Key Actions For Increasing Omega 3 Fats
Eat oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, at least twice a week, and seeds, such as flaxseeds and chia seeds, on most days. Furthermore, supplement omega 3 through fish oil or a vegan alternative. Look for a supplement that contains both EPA and DHA.
The best fish for EPA, the type of omega 3 fat thats been most thoroughly researched are: mackerel , herring/kipper , sardines , fresh tuna , anchovy , salmon, trout . Tuna, being high in mercury, is best avoided in autism due to heavy metal considerations.
The best seeds are flax seeds and chia seeds. Flax seeds are so small they are best ground and sprinkled on cereal. Alternatively, use flaxseed oil, for example in salad dressings. While technically providing omega 3 only about 5% of the type of omega 3 in these seeds is converted in your body into EPA. Therefore individuals who are following a plant based diet may benefit from supplementing with vegan omega 3 supplements.
Side effects: Causes loose stools in sensitive individuals if they are started on too high a dose.
Contraindications with medication: Essential fats may have a blood-thinning effect and should not be mixed with blood thinning medication, such as warfarin or heparin. Always consult your doctor before commencing a new supplement.
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How Much Calories To Loss Weight
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Focus On Getting Good Sleep
A proper nights sleep with enough time in the rapid eye movement stage can be the difference between a good day and one youd rather forget.
This isnt as simple as it sounds, if youre among the 79% of autistic people who experience disrupted sleep.
Sleep is important enough to be a priority. Sleep improvement strategies to try include:
- keeping a consistent sleep routine
- having an earlier cut off time for screens
- exercising during the day
- avoiding caffeine past noon
- having calming sensory input, like a weighted blanket
If none of these strategies work, your doctor might be able to recommend an appropriate dose for a sleep aid, like melatonin.
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