Life Skills And Autism
For people with autism, learning life skills is essential to increase independence at home, at school and in the community.;By introducing these skills early and building block by block, people with;autism gain the tools that will allow him or her to increase self esteem and lead to more happiness in all areas of life.;
Our life skills strategies;and ideas will;help our community get started;and provide tools to support continued learning through the transition from school to adult life.;;
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How Is Autism Spectrum Disorder Treated
There is no cure for autism, but treatment can make a big difference. The sooner treatment starts, the better. With therapy, people with autism learn language, improve in school, and build social skills. Many kids with ASD are in special education classes or get special education services.
A treatment program might include:
- speech therapy to help with talking and language skills
- occupational therapy to help with everyday tasks, like dressing and playing
- behavioral therapy to help improve behavior
- social skills training to help with relating to others
- special education to help learning
- medicine to help with things like sleep, paying attention, and hyperactivity
Social Behavior And Social Understanding
Basic social interaction can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms may include:
- Unusual or inappropriate body language, gestures, and facial expressions .
- Lack of interest in other people or in sharing interests or achievements .
- Unlikely to approach others or to pursue social interaction; comes across as aloof and detached; prefers to be alone.
- Difficulty understanding other peoples feelings, reactions, and nonverbal cues.
- Resistance to being touched.
- Difficulty or failure to make friends with children the same age.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
Early intervention is very important in children with autism spectrum disorder. Services such as speech therapy and behavioral and skills training are more effective if begun when a child is young.
For this reason, it is helpful to receive a diagnosis as early as possible. However, many children remain undiagnosed until they are in school. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adults.
If you suspect someone has autism, including yourself, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder
In order to determine whether your child has autism spectrum disorder or another developmental condition, clinicians look carefully at the way your child interacts with others, communicates, and behaves. Diagnosis is based on the patterns of behavior that are revealed.
If you are concerned that your child has autism spectrum disorder and developmental screening confirms the risk, ask your family doctor or pediatrician to refer you immediately to an autism specialist or team of specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. Since the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is complicated, it is essential that you meet with experts who have training and experience in this highly specialized area.
The team of specialists involved in diagnosing your child may include:
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a brief process. There is no single medical test that can diagnose it definitively; instead, in order to accurately pinpoint your childs problem, multiple evaluations and tests may be necessary.
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Getting Evaluated For Autism Spectrum Disorder
Parent interview In the first phase of the diagnostic evaluation, you will give your doctor background information about your childs medical, developmental, and behavioral history. If you have been keeping a journal or taking notes on anything thats concerned you, share that information. The doctor will also want to know about your familys medical and mental health history.
Medical exam The medical evaluation includes a general physical, a neurological exam, lab tests, and genetic testing. Your child will undergo this full screening to determine the cause of their developmental problems and to identify any co-existing conditions.
Hearing test Since hearing problems can result in social and language delays, they need to be excluded before an Autism Spectrum Disorder can be diagnosed. Your child will undergo a formal audiological assessment where they are tested for any hearing impairments, as well as any other hearing issues or sound sensitivities that sometimes co-occur with autism.
Observation Developmental specialists will observe your child in a variety of settings to look for unusual behavior associated with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. They may watch your child playing or interacting with other people.
Lead screening Because lead poisoning can cause autistic-like symptoms, the National Center for Environmental Health recommends that all children with developmental delays be screened for lead poisoning.
As A Neurotypical Dating Someone With Autism You May Need To Play The Role Of An Interpreter
Does this mean people with autism cant become better partners? No, thats not the case, they can grow a lot. But, as a neurotypical partner, its important to acknowledge you can grow, too. Your autistic partner is spending most of their waking hours in a world biased for neurotypical people and trying to interpret your neurotypical messages. However, their brain was not wired to process neurotypical messages easily. So as a neurotypical partner, you can help by playing the role of interpreter and explain what youre trying to tell them by saying what you mean.
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Brain Chemistry And Asd
The neurochemistry of autism is far from clear and very likely involves several different chemical systems of the brain. This information provides the basis for medication trials to impact the way the brain works in order to elicit a change in behavior.
An analysis of neurochemistry in children with ASD alone has consistently identified involvement of at least two systems.
Additionally, opiates, which regulate mood, reward, responses to stress, and perception of pain, may also be involved in some children.
Detailed studies of brain chemistry in children with DS-ASD have not yet been done. However, our clinical experience in using medications that modulate dopamine, serotonin or both systems has been favorable in some children with DS-ASD.
When The Mild Autism Term Is Used
So, what does a practitioner, teacher, or parent mean when they say a child has mild autism? Since there is no official definition of the term, every person using it has a slightly different idea of what it means.
Sometimes the term is used when an individual is clearly autistic, but also has significant spoken language and other skills. The term may also be used to help explain treatment decisions.
Furthermore, a person with “mild autism” may have advanced communication skills and academic abilities, but have very delayed social skills, severe sensory issues, and/or extreme difficulties with organizational skills . If and when these manifest may also depend on the specific environment or situation.
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Early Signs Of Autism
Signs of autism in babies
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder, which means that signs become apparent as a child does not develop as expected, for example developing speech or learning to crawl later than expected.
As such, there are few signs of autism that are noticeable in newborns. However, if a baby fails to reach the developmental milestones expected at two months old, four months old, six months old, nine months old and a year old, this could be one of the first signs of autism or another developmental condition.
Good to know: Not all babies reach developmental milestones at the exact same time. It is normal to have some variation in development. If in doubt about a childÃ¢â¬â¢s development, check with a doctor.
Some of the early signs that a baby under one year old may have autism spectrum disorder include:
- Not babbling by four months old
- Not smiling by five months old
- Not laughing by six months old
- No interest in games like pat-a-cake or peek-a-boo by eight months old
- Not responding to their name by 12 months old
- Not looking at objects pointed out by other people by 12 months old
- Being upset by loud noises
- Not looking to a parent for comfort in new situations
- Being happy to play alone for long periods of time
- Not making eye contact
Signs of autism in toddlers
Some of the signs that a toddler, between one year old and two years old, may have autism spectrum disorder include:
Brain Development And Asd
The development of the brain and how it functions is different in some way in children with DS-ASD than their peers with Down syndrome. Characterizing and recording these differences in brain development through detailed evaluation of both groups of children will provide a better understanding of the situation and possible treatments for children with DS-ASD.
A detailed analysis of the brain performed at autopsy or with magnetic resonance imaging in children with autism shows involvement of several different regions of the brain:
- The limbic system, which is important for regulating emotional response, mood and memory,
- The temporal lobes, which are important for hearing and normal processing of sounds,
- The cerebellum, which coordinates motor movements and some cognitive operations, and
- The corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres of the cortex together.
At Kennedy Krieger Institute, we have conducted MRI studies of 25 children with DS-ASD. The preliminary results support the notion that the cerebellum and corpus callosum is different in appearance in these children compared to those with Down syndrome alone. We are presently evaluating other areas of the brain, including the limbic system and all major cortical subregions, to look for additional markers that will distinguish children with DS-ASD from their peers with Down syndrome alone.
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How To Live A Healthier Life With Autism
Special Strong>How to Live a Healthier Life with Autism
An Autism diagnosis is not a death sentence. Plenty of people on the Autism spectrum can live fulfilling, happy, successful lives. Well cover how to live a healthier life with Autism, but first, its likely that you have a few questions. Dont worry; well answer those too.
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They Live In The Moment
How often do typical people fail to notice what’s in front of their eyes because they’re distracted by social cues or random chitchat? People on the autism spectrum truly attend to the sensory input that surrounds them.
Some see the beauty that others miss, though they pass by it every day. Many have achieved the ideal of mindfulness, even if they don’t have the tools to communicate their state of mind to others.
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Signs Of Autism In Adults
Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition and some people with autism spectrum disorder are not diagnosed until they are adults. This could be because they fall into the higher functioning range of the autism spectrum and their symptoms are less severe, or because they were misdiagnosed with a condition such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Although treatment can improve some outward symptoms, people with autism will always process sensations such as sound, sight, touch and smell in different ways.
Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that adults will have different experiences of day-to-day living. An adult with mild symptoms, who is towards the higher functioning range of the autism spectrum, may:
- Have difficulties with social interactions
- Avoid making eye contact
- Not understand nonverbal facial or body gestures, such as frowning or shrugging
- Not understand changes in tone of voice, such as sarcasm
- Be comforted by rules and routine
- Get upset at changes to routines
- Be under- or over-sensitive to loud noises, strong smells or tastes
- Engage in repetitive behaviors, such as pacing or hand flapping
- Have a narrow range of interests
- Have a good memory and recall of facts
An adult who is towards the lower functioning range of the autism spectrum may:
One common sign of autism spectrum disorder in adults is anxiety. Signs of anxiety can include:
While Living With Someone Who Has Autism May Have Plenty Of Challenges Overall The Experience Can Be An Absolute Gift
Growing up with a brother who is on the autism spectrum meant a lot of compromises. My brother is high-functioning, but there were still a lot of things we had to do to adapt. Though we felt like it at times, we werent alone: According to the Autism Society, the disorder occurs in one in every 59 births in the United States. Autism can impact a persons ability to communicate and interact with others, as well as their fine motor skills, coordination, and even their basic senses in some cases.
As a child, I had to make concessions for my brothers condition, and there were more than a few situations that led me to say thats not fair! or you would never let me get away with that. But, as we all grew and evolved, I realized I had to help the family work as a cohesive unitand this continues to be the main priority for everyone in my family. Learn about the 18 autism myths that doctors wish you would stop believing.
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Lack Of Acceptance By Professionals
Problem:;There is sometimes a lack of acceptance by professionals that ASD can coexist in a child with Down syndrome who has cognitive impairment. They may feel an additional label is not necessary or accurate. Parents may be told, This is part of low functioning Down syndrome. We now know this is incorrect. Children with DS-ASD are clearly distinguishable from children with Down syndrome alone or those who have Down syndrome and severe cognitive impairment when standardized diagnostic assessment tools such as the ABC are used.
Result:;Parents become frustrated and may give up trying to obtain more specific medical treatment or behavioral intervention.
They Are Less Materialistic
Of course, this is not universally truebut in general, people with autism are far less concerned with prestige and status than their neurotypical peers.
As a result, they worry less about brand names, high-end restaurants, and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do. They are also less inclined to see salary or title as desirable for their own sake.
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What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disability that causes social, behavioral and communication challenges. Autism affects approximately one in every fifty-nine children in the United States. Symptoms vary widely from patient to patient.
Importance of Autism Awareness and Support
If you are looking for support services for children with Autism in Little Rock, knowing where in the Spectrum your child falls is important to finding appropriate care. Children with HFA tend to have very few intellectual challenges, and their IQ is usually above 70. Your child may score normally or above average on an IQ test and perform well in school, but she could still be autistic. Because children with HFA can have an above-average IQ and no intellectual challenges, High Functioning Autism awareness tends to be low. With little to no support for these children, they often become emotionally distressed.
Causes of Autism
The causes of autism have not been discovered, but doctors suggest the condition originates from structural underdevelopment of specific regions of the brain. There is no cure for ASD, but with therapeutic;treatment for autism, your child can live a normal and fulfilling life. Knowing what to look for goes a long way in helping a child with autism receive the support they need.
Signs Of Autism In Older Children And Teens
Although autism spectrum disorder can reliably be diagnosed from the age of two or three years old, many children do not receive a diagnosis until they are older. Milder symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder who are higher functioning may not be recognized until they are in school.
Autism is a spectrum condition, which means that children will have different experiences of day-to-day living. Children who are more than five years old and on into their teenage years, who have mild symptoms and are towards the higher functioning range of the autism spectrum, may:
- Develop a narrow range of interests or obsessions with certain topics
- Engage in repetitive behavior such as hand flapping, twirling or snapping a rubber band
- Not make eye contact
- Use formal language rather than the slang of their peers
- Place great importance on routines and rules
- Develop strong preferences for certain foods, clothes or objects
Children who have more severe symptoms and are towards the lower functioning range of the autism spectrum may:
- Not use speech at all
- Become extremely distressed at changes to routine
- Exhibit challenging behavior, such as being aggressive or banging head on wall
- Need assistance with everyday living, such as bathing and dressing
- Engage in repetitive behaviors, such as rocking
- Insist on rules and routine
- Develop rigid preferences for certain foods, clothes or objects
- Need specialized diets
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People With Autism Are Passionate
Many people on the spectrum are truly passionate about the things, ideas, and people in their lives. They spend the time, energy, and imagination necessary to truly master their area of interest, and they stick with it even when it’s difficult, frustrating, or “uncool.”;How many “typical” people can say the same?
We Leave Conversations Abruptly
Like modern-day Houdinis, autistic people are prone to a disappearing act or two. However, unlike the magicians of the past, were not exactly subtle about it. This can sometimes be observed when we are smack bang in the middle of a conversation and then, once weve said our piece, abracadabra, were as good as gone.
In truth, conversations can be hard work for autistic people, as finding the meaning behind the amalgamation of expressions, words and tone is a long and tiring process. Conversely, Were the ones that can get left behind in discussions and, with so much new information bombarding us, our automatic fight or flight kicks in and were outta there.
If you want to help an autistic person in these circumstances and ensure that we dont prematurely vamoose, give us plenty of opportunities to ask for more information and, maybe, consider speaking more slowly .;