Investigating Anxiety And Autism
Anxiety is one of the most common psychiatric disorders affecting people with autism. About 40 percent of youth and up to half of adults meet the clinical criteria of an anxiety disorder, such as social anxiety, phobia, panic disorder, or generalized anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.3-9 By comparison, the anxiety rates in adults and children who do not have autism is 18 and 25 percent, respectively, according to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
A few years ago, a group of researchers working with the Autism Treatment Network wanted to see what science had to say about anxiety treatment for children and teens with autism. The group, led by child psychiatrist Roma A. Vasa, became medical detectives, scouring online libraries to find out. Unfortunately, they could not find a clear answer because little rock-solid research existed. Large, long-term studies the kind that can provide definitive proof of a treatment’s effectiveness were “sorely needed,” they concluded.10
Since that 2014 article, a few more studies have been published, with “promising results” for two school-based behavioral therapies for anxiety in autism. But there is still little research on anxiety in adults with ASD, or in people who have both autism and intellectual disability.11
Plant Extracts Herbal Medicine And The Like
This is hard to list as the number of herbs and supplements that could possibly help are huge and never ending.
Basically anything goes here, there are some supplements with specific effects and I would like to list them here:
DL-Phenylalanine Mild depression out of nowhere? This is your go to supplement. Pop em and watch yourself become less negative. Megadoses on this is worth investigating!
Vitamin D WORTH A TRY, scientific evidence with this one is all over the sky, but doesnt work for everyone. Vitamin D deficiency is common for autism.
Ginkgo Bibloa Helps with cognition, definitely has an effect, could be useful for autism suffers who suffer a lack of focus and need a caffeine alternative. Not a strong stimulant but definitely clears the head and makes you sharper. Effects are not massive though.
Valerian Root Not so much for anxiety but for aspies and autistics who cant sleep, a few of these capsules will put you to bed right away and save you from having to rely on the horrible sleeping drugs.
Fish Oil May reduce symptoms of autism, but may also dull your brain
Finding The Right Autism Medication
It is critical to work with not only your childs pediatrician but any specialists on your childs team to determine which medication are the best fit for your child. Be sure you ask the prescribing doctor for a comprehensive list of possible side effects to look out for as well as identifying and possible interactions between medications your child is taking. You will need to give your child his/her medication on a schedule to avoid over-medicating or under-medicating your child. Also, be aware of the appropriate time frame and dosage to wean your child on and off of medication.
Your childs pediatrician should have a doctor-on-call after hours to answer any questions you have. Once you have found a medication that you and your childs pediatrician agree is a good choice, try not to get discouraged if the first dosage, or even the first prescription, is not the right fit for your child. Finding a medication that works well with your childs unique body and brain chemistry can take time.
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Autism Therapies Worth Paying For
Your child is receiving therapies through school and/or health insurance, but you feel she’s not progressing at a reasonable rate. Or, you’ve watched the school therapists at work and feel that their approach is not right for your child. You may have even asked the school for specific therapies and they haven’t been helpful in providing outside resources.
If any or all of these issues sound familiar, you may want to consider paying out-of-pocket for therapies that can be helpful depending on your child’s interests and learning style.
Assessing Whether A Medication Works
When your child starts taking a new medication, you and the professional need to monitor your child carefully.
It can also help if you understand the targeted behaviour or problem before your child starts the medication. Take a week to write down details like when, how often and how long the behaviour happens, and think about how intense it is. Also pay attention to your childs sleeping habits and appetite. This puts you in a good position to notice whether anything is changing once your child starts the medication.
When your child starts taking a medication, try not to change anything else about their routine or therapy program. Then if you notice any changes, itll be easier to tell whether theyve been caused by the medication. You could also ask a family friend it they notice any differences in your childs behaviour.
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Behavior And Communication Treatments
Applied Behavior Analysis . ABA is often used in schools and clinics to help your child learn positive behaviors and reduce negative ones. This approach can be used to improve a wide range of skills, and there are different types for different situations, including:
- Discrete trial training uses simple lessons and positive reinforcement.
- Pivotal response training helps develop motivation to learn and communicate.
- Early intensive behavioral intervention is best for children under age 5.
- Verbal behavior intervention focuses on language skills.
Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based Approach . This kind of treatment is better known as Floortime. Thatâs because it involves you getting on the floor with your child to play and do the activities they like.
Itâs meant to support emotional and intellectual growth by helping them learn skills around communication and emotions.
Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-handicapped Children . This treatment uses visual cues such as picture cards to help your child learn everyday skills like getting dressed. Information is broken down into small steps so they can learn it more easily.
The Picture Exchange Communication System . This is another visual-based treatment, but it uses symbols instead of picture cards. Your child learns to ask questions and communicate through special symbols.
Early Start Denver Model
ESDM is an approach that works best for 12- to 48-month-olds and follows the practices of ABA. The sessions revolve around natural play and joint activities with therapists and parents. Singing could be used to encourage a child with ASD to vocalize, or a mimicry game could be used to teach the child to identify body parts. ESDM focuses on creating positive social interactions, enhancing communication and cognitive skills in the process.
Its important for you to be involved in your childs ESDM sessions. Fortunately, the sessions are flexible enough to take place at a clinic or in your own home. A therapist can guide you through what you need to know. Studies, including brain scan research, suggest that ESDM improves language and communication skills as well as adaptive behavior.
Looking For Treatment Providers
If you suspect an anxiety disorder in yourself, or your child with autism, how do you find treatment? You can start by talking with your primary health care provider, who may refer you to a specialist. Dr. Vasa recommended taking children to a psychiatrist or psychologist, with experience or training in autism, if possible. But she noted that can be difficult due to a shortage of those providers in many parts of the United States. “We need to increase the number of mental health providers trained in working with individuals on the spectrum,” she said. She and others are working to increase training in autism and intellectual disability for physicians.
Similarly, many U.S. communities do not have therapists trained in CBT for children or adults with autism.
Behavior And Communication Approaches
According to reports by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Research Council, behavior and communication approaches that help children with ASD are those that provide structure, direction, and organization for the child in addition to family participation .
Applied Behavior Analysis A notable treatment approach for people with ASD is called applied behavior analysis . ABA has become widely accepted among healthcare professionals and used in many schools and treatment clinics. ABA encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative behaviors to improve a variety of skills. The childs progress is tracked and measured.
There are different types of ABA. Here are some examples:
- Discrete Trial Training DTT is a style of teaching that uses a series of trials to teach each step of a desired behavior or response. Lessons are broken down into their simplest parts, and positive reinforcement is used to reward correct answers and behaviors. Incorrect answers are ignored.
- Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention This is a type of ABA for very young children with ASD, usually younger than 5 and often younger than 3. EIBI uses a highly structured teaching approach to build positive behaviors and reduce unwanted behaviors . EIBI takes place in a one-on-one adult-to-child environment under the supervision of a trained professional.
- Early Start Denver Model
There are other therapies that can be part of a complete treatment program for a child with ASD:
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Understanding Autism Treatment Options
Finding out that your child has autism spectrum disorder can be a shock. You might feel upset and even fearful about their future. But its important to remember that every child has their own strengths and weaknessesand a child with autism is no exception.
There are many treatments that can help children with ASD acquire new skills and overcome a variety of developmental challenges. These treatments dont aim to cure ASD. Instead, they help improve your childs ability to socialize and play, function academically, and move through everyday life with adaptive skills.
Not every ASD treatment approach is effective for every child, though. It may take some time to tailor the treatment options to your childs specific needs. But a little patience and persistence can make a big difference in your childs life. Learning about the many treatments available can help you start to identify which approaches are best for your child and ensure they develop to their full potential.
Finding The Right Medication
Shannon Des Roches Rosa, a co-editor of Thinking Persons Guide to Autism, says she first did absolutely everything to address her autistic son Leos violent behavior, including functional behavioral analysis to try to pinpoint his triggers and modify his environment. But by age 8, with Leo breaking TV screens with his fist and posing a danger to family members and himself, Rosa felt she had no choice but to try medication.
She found that, as is often the case, finding the right drug came down to trial and error. She first tried Abilify, an antipsychotic found to reduce irritability and aggression Abilify and Risperdal, another antipsychotic, are the only medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of ASD children. But when Abilify made Leo more anxious, aggressive and a different child, Rosa stopped the drug. She waited for it to get out of Leos system before trying Risperdal.
At this point I was pretty despondent, Rosa says,but the Risperdal did what it said it would do. Suddenly, Leo could just be himself and be comfortable again. Its not clear what we would have done if it hadnt helped him keep control over his aggressive impulses. And its also not clear what we would have done if the drug also made him act unlike himself if it had zombified him, or zeroed out his emotional responses.
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Benefits Of Medical Marijuana For Autism
According to MAMMA, children who used medical marijuana have found relief from symptoms including seizures, self-injurious behaviors, mood dysregulation, poor sleeping patterns, and anxiety. Families of MAMMA often say that medical marijuana alleviates as many symptoms as antipsychotics and other pharmaceuticals with reduced side effects. Parents who are hesitant to try pharmaceuticals or who have a child who does not tolerate medications well with may be interested in trying a more natural option such as medical marijuana.
Autism Natural Treatment Including The Right Foods & Supplements
May 15, 2018
Autism is a developmental disorder that initially occurs in early childhood. It generally affects a childs language, behavior and social skills in development.
The exact cause of autism is unknown, but some reasons may include medications taken during pregnancy, exposure to toxins, infections, inflammation, leaky gut, nutrient deficiencies, food allergies and inborn errors of metabolism. Unfortunately, an autism cure is yet to exist, which is why learning about treatment for autism is so crucial.
Some children with autism have been known to improve with natural interventions such as a gluten-free and casein-free diet. These types of diet changes are just some of the many forms of autism natural treatment that are making parents of autistic children more hopeful these days while autism rates continue to ominously climb.
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Tics And Tourette Syndrome
Clonidine is the first-line treatment for tics and Tourette syndrome. There is evidence that atypical antipsychotics such as aripiprazole can also be used for treatment. Aripiprazole reduces the symptoms of Tourette syndrome, and can be used when there is little response to psychological interventions or when there is a contraindication or no response to clonidine.22 Aripiprazole may be better tolerated than clonidine.23
Physical Therapy And Occupational Therapy
Some children with ASD experience difficulties with controlling physical actions. For example, they may have an unusual gait or trouble with handwriting. Physical therapy can build your childs motor skills. A focus on posture, coordination, balance, and muscle control can improve a childs social life and sense of well-being.
Occupational therapy helps children with autism build everyday skills that are useful at school or around the home, such as feeding, grooming, and dressing themselves. Similar to physical therapy, occupational therapy can enhance motor skills.
Sessions focus on an individuals unique needs, so your child may also learn to use assistive devices to adapt to situations and complete tasks. Examples of such devices include a speech-to-text app for a child who struggles with handwriting and a dry-erase board for a child who has difficulty with verbal communication.
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Medicine With Best Results For Autism
The best medications for autistic disorders are likely to be ones that address emotional problems or behavioral issues. Autism is a neurological condition that affects brain function and information processing. Drugs that affect brain functioning may benefit some people on the spectrum.
That National Institutes of Health lists problems that medication for autism can address, including:
- Mood swings
- Extreme compulsions or excessive repetitive movements
Learning How To Use Cbd Oil For Autism And Cbd Extract Can Ease Your Symptoms
Learning how to use CBD oil as a treatment for autism has been made possible with the development of new, powerful extraction methods for this therapeutic substance. This article will explain how to use CBD oil for autism. We will discuss the medicinal benefits of this product as well as the therapeutic use of this oil for a variety of symptoms experienced by people with autism.
While looking at how to use CBD for autism, many people are surprised to learn that CBD is actually an effective treatment on its own for autism and that CBD oil is being used as a supplement provided as an additional benefit as well. This is a positive perspective, as it demonstrates that the medicinal properties of CBD have some merit when taken separately from other drugs. For instance, many of the pharmaceutical-grade medications used to treat autism use standard ingredients that may have serious side effects. The addition of CBD extract to the treatment though provides a safe, gentle alternative that allows patients to utilize this medication without fear of their adverse reactions increasing over time.
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Can Autism Be Treated With Medication
Specific symptoms that affect an individuals ability to function optimally can sometimes be treated with medication. The Interactive Autism Network and Kennedy Krieger Institute states No medication is currently approved to treat the core symptoms of autism. However, a number of medications are prescribed to treat other conditions and symptoms often found in children and adults with autism, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder, self-injury, aggression, and seizure disorders. .
Medications used to treat symptoms of autism are sometimes used off-label meaning that the medications were not originally developed to be used to treat symptoms of autism, but enough tests and research make them an appropriate option to try. Other medications are developed to treat symptoms that might co-occur with a variety of disorders such as anxiety or mood fluctuations.
Associated Medical Concerns For Autism
People with ASD are often diagnosed with co-occurring conditions. These conditions are separate issues from ASD, but often present similarly making them hard to diagnose. If you suspect your child may be struggling to manage an additional condition, it is vital to seek a diagnosis. Once the co-occurring condition is identified, doctors, therapists, and your childs school can begin offering services to help your child manage symptoms.
Some of the most common co-occurring conditions people with autism experience are anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, seizure disorders, bipolar disorder, and gastrointestinal disease. A combination of therapy and medicine is typically used to treat these conditions.
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Medicines For Treating Autism’s Core Symptoms
Please use independent judgment and request references when considering any resource associated with diagnosis or treatment of autism or its associated medical conditions. The following information is solely for educational purposes, not medical advice. It is not a substitute for care by trained medical providers. Autism Speaks is not engaged in the practice of health care or the provision of health care advice or services. For specific advice about care and treatment, please consult your physician.
Medicines for treating autism are most effective when used in conjunction with behavioral therapies. Ideally, medicines are a complement to other treatment strategies.
Medicines for treating the three core symptoms of autism communication difficulties, social challenges and repetitive behavior have long represented a huge area of unmet need. Unfortunately, few drugs on the market today effectively relieve these symptoms and none of the options most often prescribed by practitioners work well for every individual.
In fact, while the Food and Drug Administration has approved two drugs for treating irritability associated with the autism , it has yet to approve a medicine for treating autisms three core characteristics. Nonetheless, medicines such as risperidone and aripiprazole can be beneficial in ways that can ease these core symptoms, because relieving irritability often improves sociability while reducing tantrums, aggressive outbursts and self-injurious behaviors.