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What Does Being Autistic Mean

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Terminology And Distinction From Schizophrenia

What does autism mean to you?

As late as the mid-1970s there was little evidence of a genetic role in autism while in 2007 it was believed to be one of the most heritable psychiatric conditions. Although the rise of parent organizations and the destigmatization of childhood ASD have affected how ASD is viewed, parents continue to feel social stigma in situations where their child’s autistic behavior is perceived negatively, and many primary care physicians and medical specialists express some beliefs consistent with outdated autism research.

It took until 1980 for the DSM-III to differentiate autism from childhood schizophrenia. In 1987, the DSM-III-R provided a checklist for diagnosing autism. In May 2013, the DSM-5 was released, updating the classification for pervasive developmental disorders. The grouping of disorders, including PDD-NOS, autism, Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, and CDD, has been removed and replaced with the general term of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The two categories that exist are impaired social communication and/or interaction, and restricted and/or repetitive behaviors.

The Internet has helped autistic individuals bypass nonverbal cues and emotional sharing that they find difficult to deal with, and has given them a way to form online communities and work remotely.Societal and cultural aspects of autism have developed: some in the community seek a cure, while others believe that autism is simply another way of being.

Were Too Honest For Our Own Good

You would think that being truthful was something you would want to promote but, in the interest of sparing someones feelings, apparently, were expected to lie from time to time and, whats more, if you dont then youre the jerk!

Known as a white lie, this is something many autistic people have struggled with, due to our literal way of thinking. However, recent studies into autistic people and lying have suggested that its not quite as simple as we wont lie because we cant. Instead, reports fromQueens University have found that, when autistic people do speak out of turn, its because we see the make-believe as mean and often believe that it will be less upsetting, to tell the truth .

Given the reasoning behind this, I think it would do more harm than good to try and change this behaviour in autistic people. So, if you ask us a question you dont like the answer to, just remember that this is an opinion an opinion which, though indisputable in our eyes, is not necessarily fact.

Differences In Citing A Dsm

The main difference between the 7th and 6theditions in APA is the use of initials and versions. For the APA 7th edition, parenthetical in-text citations should include the version of the manual and initials. In this case, the actual in-text citation should appear . Also, these details should appear inside the rounded parenthesis. Then, the narrative in-text citation should appear as Author Title of the DSM-5, . In particular, one must include the publication date, and the manuals version and initials inside the brackets.

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You Have A Tendency To Monologue

People with autism have a tough time interacting with others. It goes to follow that having a conversation is difficult for them at times, usually because they don’t know when to speak, when to ask questions, and do other things that people often take for granted.

“You can lecture at length on topics of interest to you, but you freeze up when confronted with making ‘small talk’ or responding to another persons questions,” says Dr. Marsh.

Can Diet Have An Impact On Autism

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Theres no specific diet designed for autistic people. Nevertheless, some autism advocates are exploring dietary changes as a way to help minimize behavioral issues and increase overall quality of life.

A foundation of the autism diet is the avoidance of artificial additives. These include preservatives, colors, and sweeteners.

An autism diet may instead focus on whole foods, such as:

Some autism advocates also endorse a gluten-free diet. The protein gluten is found in wheat, barley, and other grains.

Those advocates believe that gluten creates inflammation and adverse bodily reactions in certain autistic people. However, scientific research is inconclusive on the relationship between autism, gluten, and another protein known as casein.

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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.

How Common Is Autism Spectrum Disorder

Based on most recent CDC report, ASD is estimated to affect about 1 in 54 children, with boys being more likely to have ASD than girls. There were more than 5 million adults in the US, or 2.21% of the population, with ASD as of 2017. Government statistics suggest that the prevalence of ASD has risen 10% to 17% in recent years.

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What To Do About The Adhd

My angry outburst at my daughters action is a good reminder that I, too, often struggle with an impulsive reaction to things. I would like to be able to react calmly and rationally, but it isnt easy with a toddler hanging off you, another child vying for your attention, and your own shock at your pristine new chair lasting all of five minutes! However, when calm, I try to heed the following:

Dressing Skills & Hyperlexia: 30 Tips & Strategies To Try

What Does AUTISM Mean

1. Label bins and drawers so your child knows where to find socks, underwear, etc. You can use just words, just pictures, or pictures paired with words. You could also include notes about when to wear certain clothing right on the labels.

2. Use a visual schedule, chart, or checklist that outlines what clothing your child needs to wear. You can always just write this down on a whiteboard each morning or use this blank routine chart.

3. Explicitly teach them how to pick clothing thats appropriate for the weather, season, and/or occasion. This free choosing what to wear social story can help.

4. Opt for loose clothing that is easy to put on. That means skip the skinny jeans, anything with snaps or buttons, or things with zippers or belts. Instead, focus on clothing that will build your childs confidence because theyre easy to put on. Basically, pick less complicated clothing options and consider outdoor gear too .

5. Use socks that have colored heels so your child can easily tell which way the socks go. The colored heel acts as a visual cue.

6. Explicitly teach them how to find the tag so they know which is the front or back and which is the inside or outside.

7. Label clothing and shoes with words like front, back, left, or right so they know which way the clothing should be worn.

9. Have them get dressed in front of a mirror so they can see what is happening. This tip works great for buttoning up shirts too.

10. Start by teaching them how to undress first.

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He Did It Deliberately Consciously Purposefully Willfully

Most parents have heard their childs behavior described as being deliberate and may themselves wonder whether behavior is done on purpose or not. Often it is a disruptive behavior, such as hitting or throwing. We asked Seattle Childrens psychologist, Emily Rastall for her thoughts on the topic of intentional behavior and what tips she has to offer to parents and others seeking to better understand our kids. Heres what she had to say:

Lynn: Why do you think there is a tendency to describe behavior as being deliberately disobedient or willfully disruptive?

Dr. Rastall: For several reasons: One, the behavior tends to cause a strong emotional reaction to the person or people on the receiving end of it. Two: It is in our human nature to want to know WHY something happens. Three: When the WHY of a behavior isnt clear, our default is to think, It must have been on purpose.

Lynn: What are some typical scenarios where this might play out?

Dr. Rastall: It often happens when kids hit, kick, bite, throw things, or run away. It may also happen when kids are perceived as ignoring us or are non-compliant with a task . Also, if a child takes items that dont belong to him or gives inaccurate information , these behaviors often elicit strong emotional reactions from those who have been victimized. This strong reaction is amplified further when the behavior is something that has happened repeatedly .

Dr. Rastall: Here is what I suggest:

Variability In Adults With Autism

Not all adults with autism are alike.

  • Some adults with autism have successful careers in demanding fields such as information technology, robotics, and video game production.
  • Some work part-time while also taking advantage of day programs and resources.
  • Some are unable to function in the workplace and spend their days in sheltered settings.
  • Some adults on the spectrum are happily married or partnered.
  • Others have romantic friendships.
  • A significant number are unable to form meaningful, reciprocal relationships with peers.

These vast differences make it just as tough to define or provide services for adults with autism as for children on the spectrum.

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Unfortunate Consequences Of Social Difficulties

They can appear to be very insensitive and unsympathetic.

They can seem stand-offish as they seek out time alone when overloaded by other people.

They dont seek or find comfort from other people.

They can appear to behave strangely or in a socially inappropriate manner.

They may be very lonely and feel isolated as they dont know how to go about forming friendships.

Because of all the above they can often be targets for teasing or bullying.

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How Autistic Symptoms Relate To Meltdowns

Does Being On The Spectrum Mean Your Autistic

If rumblings are warning signals of an autistic meltdown, then intense stimming or another behavioral response known as “bolting” can be seen as emergency signs.

Intense stimming, such as high energy rocking, slamming the hand into the forehead, or other obvious signs of agitation, mean a meltdown is imminent.

Bolting is a term used to describe running away and is more common among very young children or older people with severe autism. A person with autism, faced with overwhelming sensory input, anxiety, or stress, may simply run from the room to escape the stimulus. While this is a great coping mechanism, bolting can become dangerous when the child or adult is unaware of issues such as oncoming traffic.

It’s important to be aware that rumblings are a response to stress and/or sensory overload and not a form of manipulation.

While a typical child might throw a tantrum to embarrass or upset a parent , children with autism rarely have the “mind-reading” tools to intentionally manipulate another person’s emotions.

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Study Links Autism To New Set Of Rare Gene Variants

The effects of these newly identified genes are unknown, but some are associated with protein networks known to play a role in autism.

Researchers today report the finding of a new set of ultra-rare gene variants that increase a childs risk of developing autism.

These ultra-rare variants involve a set of genes that have not been associated with autism before, said Amy B. Wilfert, a senior research fellow in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She was the lead author of the report published July 26 in the journal Nature Genetics. Evan Eichler, UW professor of genome sciences, led the team that conducted the study.

The findings should help researchers better understand how the genetic risk of developing autism is inherited and how mutations in these variants might contribute to the disorder.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder , affects about 1 in 59 children in the United States. The exact cause is unknown, but certain genes with deleterious mutation are known to increase the risk of developing the disorder.

To date, most research has focused on genes with mutations not found in the parents genomes but which originate in the sperm, the egg, or very early in the development of the fertilized egg. Such de novo variants have been shown to greatly increase a childs risk of developing ASD, but account for a relatively small percentage of cases.

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Dan Ariely Answers Readers Questions On White Lies Versatile Tools And Modest Expectations

People with Aspergers often dont develop the habit of white lies.

Dear Dan,

My 19-year-old son has Aspergers syndrome and is incapable of lying. He tends to see the world in absolutes and struggles with white lies. We have urged him to sometimes compliment people to spare their feelings, but he thinks its important to be brutally honest. He says, What if you praise somebodys ugly drawing and they then try a career as an artist? Why tell somebody that their new haircut looks great when you could warn them that they will be teased about it? Have you looked into the ways that dishonesty may be different for those on the autism spectrum?

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What Is The History Of Autism

The understanding of autism has developed over a number of decades. While the term autism was defined by Kanner, there is varying evidence that other professionals, including Grunya Efimovna Sukhareva and Paul Bleuler, had recognised the unique presentation of symptoms much earlier than this. Since the 1940s the diagnostic criteria has evolved and shifted as we learn more but now autism is widely understood as a spectrum of conditions with wide-ranging degrees of impairment

When Can We Expect An Autism Cure

Diagnosed with Autism: What Does it Mean?

If cures were available, families wouldnt search social media for DIY solutions. Unfortunately, its not clear when an autism cure, verified by medical experts, will become clear.

When researchers kick off studies, they disclose when the work will be done. Often, they miss deadlines. Experts say just 20% of autism studies have on-time results published.

Its hard to wait for answers to autism questions. For now, thats exactly what we must do. Invest in therapies proven to help, like applied behavior analysis . Support your loved one as best you can. And hope that the cure were looking for emerges soon.

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Plenty Of Genes Involved

Some genetic conditions are simple, and they stem from one unusual item found in one strand of DNA. Autism is much different, and that complexity makes the condition a lot harder to spot.

In January 2020, researchers published the results of a massive study that included:

  • A large study group. More than 35,000 people sent in samples for analysis.
  • ASD data. Of the 35,000 participants, almost 12,000 had autism spectrum disorder.
  • Gene sequencing. Testing methods picked up rare mutations that might stay masked with other methods.

Per the results, more than 102 genes were attached to autism risk. This is a huge number, and researchers suspect that the genes intertwine and intermingle.

Some of them are associated with other developmental delays. Others seem to increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders.

The researchers dont yet know how the genes work, so parents cant walk into a laboratory and ask for an autism gene screening. There is too much data to look for and a lot we dont know.

But this study suggests that many genes, working together, could raise autism risks. That data could be helpful as researchers look for ways to treat, and perhaps even cure, ASD.

You Don’t Seem To Understand Feelings

A person on the autism spectrum can understand what emotions are in theory but have a hard time putting that knowledge to work in real time. This can lead to awkward or upsetting interactions.

Dr. Marsh says, “You have successfully learned to imitate and engage in ‘small talk’ through observation, but you find yourself unable to converse about anything personal, emotional, or in-depth.”

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Doesnt Respond To Your Call

Your child interacts with you and others and has normal play habits and sensory responses, but doesnt respond to your voice when they have their back turned away from you. This may occur in children with autism along with many other symptoms that point to autism.

You may notice patterns of behavior such as those that involve a sensory processing disorder or a lasting and intense focus on objects or topics along with a lack of:

  • babbling or use of words
  • eye contact
  • engagement

If your child is simply not hearing you, theres a good chance they are either very engaged in play or have some level of hearing loss. If you find that this is an ongoing issue, it is vital to bring up the issue with your childs health care provider.

There may be no need to worry just yet that your child has autism.

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