Stem Cell Treatment For Autism

About two decades ago, approximately 1 in 10,000 children were estimated to be autistic. Recently people were starting knowing that autism is a neurodegenerative disorder and sometimes even a normal, healthy child can be autistic dependent upon the severity of the disease. Today, the number of autistic children is estimated to be 1 in 68, due to several inborn and environmental reasons. As this number is increasing doctors and other healthcare professionals are developing a much better understanding of what the condition can be? How is it related to other factors and what can be its effects?

Autism is a disorder which can be linked up with the defective functioning of the brain. The effects of it can be lifelong and progressive and manifest itself in areas such as communication, language, social interaction and behavior. It has been also observed from the study conducted that boys are more prone to the disorder than girls. Earlier diagnosis was done only on the basis of behavioral differences, social interaction pattern of the child, which could be observed in birthday parties or school etc. However, the science has potentially advanced to the extent that now the blood test to detect maternal antibodies for the possibility of the autistic baby is on the way to the market. This way, before delivery of the baby only people will get to know that the baby is sooner to autistic. However that will be the case of future development, currently different rehabilitation approach has been identified as possible indications to make these children feel that they are important and are treated as normal children. Although it is rather a supportive therapy than a treatment. So far a medical treatment is not available to identify the cause and alter the condition.

Stem Cell Treatment for Autism can be advantageous as the stem cells are cells which can be differentiated to other cells of the body. The science has exploited this unique ability of stem cells for the treatment of various neurodegenerative disorders. These stem cells are found in all mature organs of the body, most potent among them are Bone Marrow and Adipose Tissue. These are the most abundant and underutilized sources, which can be used in an autologous mode for the treatment purpose. The science and the technology have the advances that stem cells from these sources can be isolated, enriched in the laboratory under a sterile, clean environment and infused back at the site of injury. In case of autism , the brain fails to transfer signals due to the neuronal degeneration in the specific region that mainly controls communication and behavioral pattern. This degeneration is progressive. Stem cells when administered through lumbar puncture directly in the cerebro-spinal fluid can be transferred to the site. These cells then elicit different immune responses and growth factors to make the regeneration process faster.

Stem cell therapy can also be coupled with stimulation therapy to enhance the process of regeneration. With this, professionals are injecting growth factors and other factors to naturally proliferate stem cells present at the targeted area to improve the output.

Thus, children with autism feel love, happiness and pain just like other healthy children. The science is developing faster day by day to bring advanced treatment options! But it is also important to educate people more and more about the current options possible with the maximum benefits to make these children feel comfortable and get them back to the life.

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A Ray Of Hope For Autistic People

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the intrinsic behavior and abilities of a person. It affects the communication abilities, behavioral aspects, cognitive abilities, and social dynamics of an individual. In fact, it also affects the perceptive power of a person; autism is known as a condition in which a child fails to respond to environmental or social conditions.

Autism affects people differently. They tend to see and interact with the world in their own way, but sadly, they are frequently unable to share it with others due to their accessibility to interact with other people. People with autism may experience over or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light, or even colors. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the most common form of autism disorders, covering a whole range of conditions classified as pervasive developmental disorders. Asperger Syndrome is also an autism spectrum disorder. People suffering from Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence and perceive the world in a distinct way. They also experience problems in speaking or communicating and find it highly difficult to adopt or follow aspects of the accepted behavior of any particular community. For this reason, these people and their families often need support and medical intervention to alleviate problematic behavior and conditions.

The very first feature of ASD is impaired social interaction. People suffering from autism often lose control over their activities or areas of interest and find it difficult to interact with peer-groups. Individuals behaving in a variable way and show different types of behavior under different circumstances. In the early stages of childhood, children show little or no response to stimuli. A child with ASD may appear to develop normally in early stages of development, but will slowly withdraw itself from the social atmosphere. These children will even try to avoid eye contact with other people.Many children suffering from ASD engage in repetitive movements, such as head rolling, flipping, etc. It has been reported that children suffering from autism also show symptoms of sleeplessness. They are unable to sleep the whole night, which makes the condition even more devastating. These behavioral characteristics restrict their ability to concentrate on languages, symbols, games, and other social activities, which degrades their performance as well as overall quality of life.

It has been observed that people with ASD may have some other co-occurring conditions, including Fragile X syndrome (which causes mental retardation), tuberous sclerosis, epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, and attention deficit disorder. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of children with an ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. It has been noted that autistic children feel more separated in comparison to non-autistic peasants. It is a developmental disorder that hinders the path of smooth growth and development of an individual.

Numbing figures published in The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) show that on average, 1 in every 88 eight-year old children have been identified with ASD. In fact, ASD is almost five times more common in boys (1 in 54) than in girls (1 in 252), which shows that boys are particularly prone to autism. In reality, the figures for Autism may be even higher since in some instances doctors misinterpret the symptoms of those with Asperger syndrome as well as those on the lower end of the Autistic spectrum.

Neurologists and scientists are still trying to determine the causes of ASD and are exploring the genetic influence on the condition to try to improve our understanding of the disorder.

Modern treatment approaches have had a great impact on the symptoms of autism, but changes to behavior and conditions are slow to achieve. These approaches often include applied behavioral analysis (ABA), developmental models, structured teaching, speech and language therapy, social skills therapy, and occupational therapy. These methods of treatment help improve people's conditions, but the treatments have their own limitations and commonly fail to eradicate the problem. People suffering from autism can also receive drug therapy treatment, but very little efficiency has been observed in the conditions. Unfortunately, there is no specific way of striving autism and complete relief from the effects of autism is a rare occurrence; some people recover overtime, but this is not the norm.

Alternative approaches include therapies like various modalities of healing, hypnosis, diet-based remedies, herbal remedies, acupuncture, massage, auditory integration, neuro-feedback therapy, and animal therapy (where autistic individuals are encouraged to build relationships with animals), though many of which are often less supported by medical science. Whilst some of these approaches can be helpful in alleviating parts of the problem, they have as low impact on the symptoms of autism and rarely show strong success rates. In addition, autistic children can be very sensitive and may react, becoming distracted from exposure to anything that is out of their normal routine. This makes the introduction of new things difficult to adopt or practice. However, there is an alternative treatment that has shown inspiring results on children suffering from autism.

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How To Have Compassion – From the Eyes of An Autistic Teen

As a life coach, I work with all sorts of people in their teens and 20s. I learn from all of them. One of my most powerful learning lessons came from a 13-year-old client with Autism, who allowed me to see the dangers of people in power trying to “do the right thing.” I am pleased to share with you now the inner workings of one the most interesting minds I have ever met.

My name is Stephen. I am a creative, charismatic, wise, 13 year old who gets good grades and I'm autistic. Yeah, I said that. No, I'm not some dysfunctional shmoe sitting on a couch with my coach translating all my words. I'm a guy who has something to say, who happens to be autistic.

Let me tell you a story. It's a real story about truth, deception and the school I used to go to ( you know who you are ). One day last March we had an assembly telling us about the “special” basketball game that was going to happen one week from then.

Our principal told us that we would be facing a “pro” basketball team made up of grade sevens, eights and high school kids and that it was supposed to be just for fun.

Our team was mostly grade sixes. Pretty young. Not very experienced. Kind of noobs and it was a fairly small basketball team made up of kids with different levels of Autism. I had not signed up that year because I thought I had enough to do with karate and had done basketball and soccer the year before. The last year we had not faced another school, though.

The team started practicing and my friend found out who the other basketball team was and he was pretty confident that we were going to get divorced. I thought they were going to get divorced too, but as it turns out what happened was even worse!

On the day of the basketball game , we walked into the school. It had massive hallways with lockers on both sides. At least it was massive compared to what I was used to.

We walked down a few flights of stairs and went to one of the three gyms in the school.

This gym was gigantic. The basketball nets were very high with a score board up top and bleachers for us to sit in.

I went to sit down on one of the middle bleachers only to find out that the opposition school basketball team was even bigger than I expected – high schoolers galore and even huge grade sevens and eights.

They started by introducing the teams and all the players. The teams set up and we began the first quarter. On the very first play our team got the ball and went to the other team's net. They were just standing all around shooting the ball over and over. They kept missing and then trying again to the point that it became ridiculous. Me and the teacher beside me made a joke that our team was camping and roasting marshmallows. Game-related chuckles â~º

After that our team periodically scored and the game continued. The same thing kept happening. We scored most of the goals while the opposing team would score the occasional points. It was in the third quarter that I realized what was really happening.

One of their players passed the ball to our player. That was when I got it. I knew why our team was not being demolished. When our players were “camping” the other team was not fighting back because the other team was being easy on us. We were lied to. Deceived. It was then I realized the truth. This was not just for fun. It was to deceive us to make us feel good about ourselves.

It made me feel angry. It made me think I was lied to probably every other time we had played. It made me doubt all the victories I had achieved in the past. It made me feel that it was all for nothing.

I asked the teacher next to me: “why is the other team being easy on us?” The teacher said “I'll talk to you about this afterwards” and the way he said it to me made me feel that he wanted it to be secret. That he did not want it to ever be known.

Now many teachers at my old school may argue that they were not “technically lying”

but it does not even matter. They used a form of deception on students that they knew would never figure it out. As one of those students who did figure it out, I can tell you: I'd rather be told I'm weak in something than to find out later that I had been lied to about it.

The Moral of the Story;

You can have compassion for people without deceiving them.

Try to find teams that are balanced and equal to each other and if that's not possible, then switch the teams around, put some of the monster players on our team and some of the autistic players on their team. Then all the players would learn to cooperate with people that they are not quite used to working with.

Honest and realistic compliments and criticism would be much more effective and tolerable by people like me.

Afterward by Ken.

I was probably the fifth person that Stephen had shared this story with and the typical response Stephen had heard that he should just let it go. My response was; “let's write it down, figure out a moral and share it with everyone”! Now I'm asking you to please share this with parents, teachers, schools and every person who truly wants to help people in need, using respect and honor as their guidelines.

Please share with us your own inspirations and I'll get Stephen to write back â~º

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Autistic Emotions

Difficulty in understanding and expressing emotions does not mean that autistic individuals lack emotions. The most common emotions (because they are most 'visible') in autism seem to be feelings of 'not familiar,' fear, stress, anxiety, depression and anger. The fear of uncertainty is quite common. Many autistic individuals display high levels of anxiety. The causes of this incomplete emotion are manifold – low self-esteem, fear of being misunderstood, rejection, fear of failure, confrontation with the environment that is unpredictable and confusing. Some have severe panic attacks.

What about positive emotions? Do they feel happy? And an even more important question: Can they love their nearest and dearest? I've heard many parents of non-verbal autistic children asking the same question again and again. Does my child love me? Their 'love me, love me not?' quest is heartbreaking and … meaningless. If they expect the autistic child to show love conventionally they will be very disappointed. Autistic children express this feeling differently, but they are capable of loving unconditionally, deeply and truly.

Although both non-autistic and autistic individuals experience exactly the same basic emotions there are some differences as well. Non-autistic emotions often seem to be persistent and develop into a continuous emotional attitude. For example, anger turns into hatred that can last many years, if not lifetime. For many autistic individuals these emotions are situational: as soon as their anger diminishes, the negative emotion disappears without trace. They may often feel different emotions to non-autistic individuals during the same event. For instance, when non-autistic people enjoy certain activities, someone with autism may feel confused or scared and vice versa. Thus, my (autistic) son may laugh at certain sounds or may amuse himself by repeating an action. What he feels is invisible to us. It may be like a private joke that the boy keeps listening in his head, and it makes him giggle. Autistic children can relate situations vividly, be positive or negative, using stored sensory bits in the brain.

Autistic emotions are often deep and intense. (This is not reflected in the common assumption that 'autistic people lack emotions'). They may experience difficulties in expressing their feelings that would easily understand by others. (But it is not their problem, is it?) For example, in their facial expressions autistic children tend to show only the extremes of emotion, in ways that are considered by non-autistic individuals inappropriate for their age and the social situation. Some emotions may be expressed at full volume (especially frustration, anger, rage), and others 'silently.' And if we can not interpret autistic emotions, it's time to learn to do so.

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How Music Therapy Helps Children With Autism

Several researchers have proven, time and again, that music therapy can benefit individuals of all abilities and ages. Such therapy has been used to support cognitive, social and emotional development in people across races, countries and communities. It can also help promote wellness by enhancing memory, improving communication skills and managing stress. Researchers have also shown that children and teenagers, who have been suffering from autism, can benefit a lot with music therapy. It helps improve their social behavior, better their communication attempts in terms of gestures, verbalizations, vocabulary and vocalizations, reduce their anxiety, increase their attention and focus, and even improve their body coordination and awareness. A few studies even show that both adults and children with autism spectrum disorders or ASD respond very well to music. This is why music is considered to be a potential therapeutic tool for treating autism.

Here's how it can help children with autism:

· Music encourages social interaction- Kids, who suffer from autism, show more social engagement and emotional expression during music therapy sessions, as compared to the play sessions, without music. They also respond to the requests of the therapist if there is music in the session. Moreover, a trained and experienced therapist can use music to improve the social skills and increase the social interaction of these kids. Playing different types of movement and music games, passing and sharing instruments, learning to listen, singing greetings songs and gathering around a central instrument are some of the ways that a therapist can use to increase such interactions.

· Music helps improve communication – Almost thirty percent of kids with autism are non-verbal. Again, there are many kids who can not follow verbal commands or understand body languages. Studies have proven that music improves the mapping of sounds to actions. This is done by connecting the motor and auditory sections of the brain. This helps improve the understanding of verbal commands. With the help of repetitive training and by pairing music with actions, the speaking skills of these children can be improved.

· Music helps improve one's behavior – With some studies conducted over a span of ten months, it has been proven that weekly music therapy sessions improve overall behavior of kids with autism, especially when it comes to dealing with inattentive behavior. In a particular study, children were exposed to hour-long sessions of music therapy, once in a week, and their conduct was tracked against a checklist of certain behaviors. The results shown significant improvement in their observable behavior.

Surely, music therapy can be very useful and rewarding for children with autism.

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Interior Design for People With Autism – Helping Autistic Adults Gain Independence

Living with autism is full of challenges that others may not notice or even be aware of. It is commonly believed that an individual's home is the one place to go to find strength, support, comfort, and encouragement. However, this is not always the case as a new culprit has emerged within residences worldwide that is causing havoc. Strangely enough, the agent that is making numerous autistics sick in their living environment. People with autism have heightened sensibilities ranging from acute hearing to tactile aversions to various fabrics and textures. In some instances, the use of certain types of cleaning products may cause skin irritations, rashes, and abrasions. Additionally, some parents report removing tags from new items of clothing for their autistic children prior to wear due to potential harm to skin. While this is a very serious problem for people on the autism spectrum, it is even more confounding for family members and those living in the same quarters. There is no need for despair, as help obviously is on the way.

Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida launched a pilot course focusing on the design issues for people with autism. The first group of students to participate in the class recognized the importance of providing a functional environment specific to those on the autism spectrum. The course emphasizes functionality, as well as having aesthetically pleasing decors aimed to calm and relax. Special attention is given to fabrics and materials used in furnishings, appliances, and bedding accessories. Moreover, careful consideration is given to art and home decorations that are warm and inviting – yet visibly non-threatening. Color selection is critical as many individuals on the autism spectrum find certain colors disturbing and overwhelming.

Neutral colors are generally more acceptable within the autism community, than bold vivid colors that may be more suited for individual tastes. The final piece of the appeals puzzle centers on flooring, including designs and patterns. For some mysterious reason some patterns are offensive to some, not all, people with autism. Viewing certain patterns may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other physical manifestations. Choosing between hard wood and carpet goes beyond personal preference when designing living arrangements for autistics. Tactile tolerance levels and the ability to navigate various textures are factors worthy of serious concern. Not only must interior designers demonstrate excellent taste in aesthetics, but also master the functional element of residential design.

When working with people with autism it is critical to bear in mind the need for routine and familiarity. With that in mind, attempt to design residential units that are user friendly by selecting easy to clean counter surfaces and cook top areas. In addition, devices that can be activated through use of a smart phone are attractive features for all of us, however sometimes even more so for autistics. The reasons for this vararies, but primarily the predictability factor of using technology reiteratedly is comforting for people on the spectrum. Having multiple household items connected to a smart phone supports ease of usage and promotions greater independence.

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Weighted Blankets – The Perfect Solution for Autism

Weighted Blankets are one of the most effective tools for children, teenagers and even adults. They are used to comfort individuals and advance unwinding. For those who are psychologically imbalanced, responsive to touch, twitchy Leg disorder, or state of mind issue, a weighted blanket gives substantial weight and unwinding tangible incitement. They can also help calm down agitated or mentally disturbed people in distress. They might turn out to be a secret weapon of your high energy kid. These blankets are widely used as part of professional therapy for children undergoing through sense related disorders, uneasiness, trauma or issues related to autism. Adults, teens and children, all can benefit from this weighted blanket therapy.
From the doctors' mouth: “These blankets are one of the most powerful tools for helping people who are mentally disturbed, offended, and possibly on the verge of losing control, helping them feel secure, grounded and safe”.

These weighted products help you provide comfort and can assist supplement sensory disorder treatment treatment for the following:

• Anxiety Disorder
• Autism
Insomnia
• Sensory Integration
• Epilepsy
• ADD
• Dementia
• Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
• Brain Trauma Injuries

These blankets are carefully made to apply a particular amount of weight to the body so that it discharges hormones that unwind the body and treat sleeplessness. The key hormones in this procedure are endorphins and serotonin. Endorphins help assuage nervousness and push by smoothing the psyche, appealing suffering, and displaying a more positive outlook. Serotonin has a comparable impact and is known to help with numerous different issues, including dejection, OCD, and weight. Beside, serotonin is characteristically changed over to melatonin by the body during the evening to help the body unwind and fall sleep. These weighted covers can be utilized to help individuals with any kind of injury or infection rest more sound. They are known to support kids who are mentally handicapped, and additionally grown-ups that suffer from menopause, restive leg disorder, tension and pain.

If you're not able to get proper sleep because of problems like uneasiness, workload, anxiety, tension, stress, depression and much more?
If yes, then you must try the weighted blanket therapy! It really helps …

Some benefits of weighed blankets are such as:
• They can help you and your child fall and stay sleep overnight
• Help in decreasing anxiety, stress and depression
• Ease agitation in the mature one's
• Help in improving focus, attention and concentration
• Improve body awareness
• Decrease sensory seeking behaviors

These blankets should be used strictly under the guidance and supervision of a licensed healthcare professional therapist.

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Autism Spectrum Diseases – The Importance of Early Diagnosis – I

The ability of parents to suspect that their baby may have autism is very critical to early diagnosis and intervention. This article is aimed at getting parents to the point where they are able to ask: Is this autism or what? How soon this question is answered in a child's life, goes a long way to determine whether he / she will live a dependent or independent life. A high index of suspicion is so important because having had previous normal children does not exclude the possibility of having an autistic baby.

The risk of having autism is highest (90%) for a concordant twin of a known autistic kid. Other siblings have only 35% risk of being diagnosed with autism. Autism usually presents enough symptoms and signs for accurate diagnosis by the age of two. As such many federal and state government programs for supporting autistic children require that it is diagnosed before his / her second birthday day for them to qualify.

In response to the growth of autism as a source of disability in the US, Congress passed the Children's Health Act in 2000, mandating several activities that included the establishment of a new autism research network. This legislation led to the birth of five NIH institutions charged with the responsibility of researching into the causes, diagnosis, early detection, prevention and treatment of autism.

Yet a CDC autism survey in 2009 showed that 1 in 110 US kids was at risk of developing autism, with boys being four to five times more likely to be affected than girls. A significant number of high-functioning autistic kids diagnosed in 2000 are now in their early twenties and need voluntary employment as people with liability. There are many federal, state and county programs currently available to assist higher functioning autistic adults with independent living, job procurement, community inclusion, speech therapy and mental health care.

Since 2000 a lot has been learned about autism neurobiology, diagnosis, intervention genetics, and services. The number of autism support resources have also grown dramatically. One key knowledge that has emerged from the various research efforts is that autism is a broad spectrum disorder including several members of a group of disorder known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs).

Autism is there before previously classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. (DSMV-IV-TR) as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The DSMV-IV describes ASD as a group of five pervasive brain. Disorders (AD, AS, PDD-NOS, RD, and PCDD) which varies adversely a child's ability to communicate, socialize, behavually normally. and reason at age-appropriate levels. AD is the classic autism disorder. AS is Asperger's Syndrome. PDD-NOS is Pervasive Developmental disorders Not Otherwise Specified. RS IS Rett Syndrome while CDD is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

The classic ASD is a neuro-psychiatric developmental disorder affecting the brain in such a way that an individual's communication, socialization, behavioral, cognitive (reasoning) abilities are compromised to various extents. It is the amount to which these adaptive skills are compromised that differentiates one PDD from the other. It also accounts for the spectral nature of autism. In severe ASD the IQ is substantially reduced adding the fourth component, cognitive (reasoning) disadvantage to the picture.

This same compromise accounts for the highly variable levels of disability observed among individuals diagnosed with ASD. Some autism patients are so minimally affected as in Rett disorder that they live independently without supervision. Others are so severely affected, as in classic ASD, that they need 24/7 residential care, as well as assistance with activities of daily living (ADL).

The rest of the PDDs then fit in at various levels between these two extremes. How ASD selectively targets and alters the areas of the brain responsible for emotions, speech, behavior and reasoning is still being actively researched. These target areas include the limbic system (amygdala and nucleus accompbens), and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the frontal lobe.

The understanding of how these areas have been genetically altered by other disorders affecting them, coupled with observations in traumatic or surgical lobotomy, have both provided some insight into the possible risk factors for autism. What is known so far is that ASD is triggered by multiple and random gene alterations (frame shift mutation or gene duplication, or deletion), on chromosomes 15 and 16. Gene deletion or duplication leads to a frame shift mutation, which in turn leads to the production of a neutral protein, a destructive protein, or an enhancing protein in the target areas of the brain.

(See Part II on Article List)

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Autism Spectrum Diseases – The Importance of Early Diagnosis – II

When neutral proteins are produced, mild ASD will occur due to inadequate production of synaptic adhesion proteins (neuroligin, neurexin, MDGA1 and MDGA2) needed for normal mood, speech and behavior. When a toxic protein results it would destroy the target sites, and impaIr their functions.

On rare occasions, a mutant synaptic adhesion protein may have an enhancing protein may lead to a super-functioning ASD patient. Synaptic protein abnormalities have been associated with autism and schizophrenia. In order to easily recognize an abnormal pattern of child development, one needs to have a sense of what is normal.

After having two normal kids a mom might get a sense of what is normal in child development. But a new mom will need help knowing what to expect. She needs to know that at birth, a newborn baby will have a grabbing and reaching behavior or the startle reflex. The newborn is also able to initiate facial grimace, as well as cry and cling for attachment.

As early as 1 week a newborn can distinguish mom's smell from dad's smell. A normal newborn, in the first couple of months is attracted to bright, colorful, moving objects, and can distinguish voice sound from ordinary noise. Prior to the 8th week, the baby exhibits reflex (endogenous) smile. But by week 8, the baby responds to faces with a smile (exogenous or social smile). By week 12, the smile becomes selective for familiar faces only (preferential social smile). The newborn quickly learns to draw attention to personal needs by crying aloud.

The loud cry usually builds up from unhappy face to grunting to sobbing to cry outburst with tear stream. As the child grows older he / she learns to kick off bed covers in protest and roll into ready to crawl position with head lifted up and eyes scanning for parents. In general the manifestations of autism are related to the child's tendency to be disinterested in the environment, to be inflexible with habits and mannerisms, and to be emotionally numb. Two early sign of inflexibility often overlooked in a newborn are the selective feeding on only one breast and selective sleeping in only one position.

The autistic newborn may also only fall asleep when the room is pitch dark or clutching a specific part of his / her body. Some may insist on having their thumb in their mouth before they can fall sleep. One of the earliest obvious suggestions that something may be wrong is the absence social smile between three to four months after birth.

There may also be absence of eye contacts or tracking eye movements. It becomes more obvious that something is wrong between ages 6 and 12, when a child fails to develop normal emotional, speech and play patterns, and makes only repetitive sounds and hand movements.

Synaptic failures between primary cortical sensory areas (visual, auditory, and somatosennsory) and association cortex, advances learning and memory formation that occurs through the association of particular emotions with specific stimuli, place and objects. Normally, the smiley face of a mom breastfeeding her baby stimulates increased dopamine release in the pleasure center (nucleus accumbens), and causes the baby to return a smile whenever a physiologic need is met.

The pleasure of social interaction by itself may directly create a positive memory in a normal child through the hippocampus without nuerotransmitter surge in nucleus accompbens. The script recorded in the hypocampus is played over and over by the autistic kid for every emotional situation, until there occurs a strong intrusive override by way of teaching.

This accounts for the repetitive and non-interactive, domineering style of communication exhibited by autistic individuals. A negative emotion creates a diminished desire for the stimulus, by reducing the level of dopamine, which normally causes a craving for the stimulus. This association of negative emotion with withdrawal occurs in the amygdala, the limbic nucleus for harm avoidance.

Dopamine reduction is produced by a surge of serotonin into the synapses, which creates the feeling of satisfaction and switches off the stimulus. Two other neurotransmitters, mGluR2 and mGluR3, inhibit the opening of dopamine receptors, thereby further reducing its craving effect and increasing the harm avoidance response. The craving response and harm avoidance response are modulated by the ventromedial prefrontal cortical association area, which is the center for problem solving reward with a strong kink to the limbic system.

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Benefits of Autism Schools to Support Your Child’s Education

If your child has autism, schools that specialize in this condition can be extremely beneficial. The earlier this type of education begins, the more benefits your son or daughter will receive.

A Nurturing Environment

Autism schools are equipped to handle mental and social development issues associated with the condition. Teachers receive intensive training on how to work with students and help them with social interaction. In many cases, these children feel compelled to perform certain repetitive behaviors such as stacking items into towers or placing them in a straight line. Teachers know how to work with these behaviors and can help students organize their lives in the same manner they organize items such as toys.

Public education is based in large part on a student's ability to interact with others. However, since most autistic children lack this ability, they can often feel lost and discouraged. Many autism schools are set up in a way that lessons are broken up to aid individual learning while also allowing children to remove themselves from a social setting before they become upset. In addition, children will not have to deal with the teasing and ridicule that is often associated with the traditional education model.

Playtime is another area where autism schools are substantially different from their traditional counterparts. These schools design evaluations in a way to determine whether or not there are other developmental issues that need to be addressed. Their tests may be undertaken of tasks such as arranging letters on a magnetic board or sorting blocks by color. These differ significantly from public education tests that require students to take written examinations to prove they've absorbed knowledge mandated by state or federal requirements. These type of tests can be yet another source of frustration for children born with the condition.

A Different Alternative

The main option of autism can be incredibly difficult to bear for children who can not properly interact with their peers. It can be heartbreaking for a parent to see his or her child ostracized because their differences make it hard to fit in. These children may be labeled as “difficult” by their teachers and fall behind in class as a result. Anytime children with this condition have to deal with large groups or over stimulating settings, they can have a very hard time.

Autism schools provide a healthy alternative that can help children thrive through programs tailor to their exact needs. Just as with any important decision, however, you have to choose carefully to make sure you find the facility that will be the best fit for your child. If you have any friends or family members who have gone this route, talk to them and see if they have any recommendations. Check the Internet for reviews of different facilities you're considering to see what others are saying. The more confident you are in your final choice, the more likely your child will have an extremely positive learning experience.

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Teach Autistic Children – Free Teacher’s Guides for Autism

Sensible comprehension of how automatic children understand and learn is essential for teaching them with the exact same strength as we teach other children. This may appear to be a clear-cut notice, when you teach autistic children, that understanding of autism is essential. Instructors and teachers may efficiently figure out how to deal with grownups and autistic children equally out from the schoolroom and inside the class, by getting educated in the disorder we are creating a more understanding world for everyone.

Autistic children in many cases are visible thinkers. Thus, utilizing only verbal teachings may be completely useless. Teachers and teaching assistants should unite images with phrases for the kid to fully understand the lesson.

Nouns might be less disturbing to teach children that are autistic since verbs need physical action and may be in exemplifying less easy. In the case you're teaching autistic children phrases like “sit” or “stay” you bought to use flash cards for these tasks when you introduce the term. Additionally, due to the tendency to be visual thinker, children that are autistic are often unable to decode long phrases. Kids that are autistic can not understand the sentence's sequence and as consequence they are going to do mistakes.

As visible thinkers, children can focus on a specific thing or picture. If that is how it is, attempt to include a picture or that thing into teaching ideas. Try where you may through the session to make use of planes as image guide, when the little one loves planes. When teaching mathematics, generate mathematical problems about aircraft to attract the kid curiosity. Autistic children are generally musical or artistic gifted, revealing above-average skills with voice or instruments and producing exceptionalally authentic images.

Autistic kids might even have issue with handwriting due to the self-control over their fingers as well as movement. That can be irritating for the instructor as well as for a child. To reduce the effect of frustration, let the one to make use of a PC. If you can complete this, be sure the keyboard and monitor are near to each other as a child may have difficulty recalling what he or she has written softly.

Additionally you will become an excellent role model to the other children in the class, even though by being able to teach an autistic kid to the best of your abilities, you are not only giving them the best opportunities in lifestyle but also making a more bias -free bedroom is the best gift you will give to the kid.

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Autism: Minicolumns and Long-Lasting Sensations

A very interesting phenomenon in autism is, sensation lasts too long. Non-autistics 'forget' the sensation very quickly. For example, when you get dressed in the morning you can feel your clothes on your skin, but soon the feeling fades. This fading sensation is called habituation. It is the same with smell and taste, or any other sense. If the senses are exposed to a continuing stimulus, habituation soon occurs. When the stimulus changes, the feeling returns. That is why you do not feel the clothes you are wearing and become aware of them only if you change or adjust them (Bogdashina 2003). For many autistic individuals, however, the habituation process does not work properly and the sensation lasts too long. For some, it takes a few days to stop feeling their clothes on the body. And unfortunately, when this comfortable feeling (or 'no-feeling') has been achieved it is time to wear clean ones, so the process of getting used to the sensation starts again. The most difficult times are when they have to change from winter clothes to summer ones and the other way round. It takes weeks to get used to wearing shorts and short-sleeved tops. But the time they feel comfortable enough to expose the skin, it's autumn and time to start wearing trousers and long-sleeved jumpers again.

Another (quite common) problem caused by their difficulty to stop feeling sensation is when their nails are being cut. For instance, Alex (an autistic boy) hates it as the process of 'cutting' does not stop when his mother puts the scissors away. It's not that the feeling of nails being cut remains, but rather that the surface of the cut nail is bolder and makes it feel like the air is 'pressing on' the nails. The boy keeps feeling the sensation for at least three to four days. He tries to describe how it feels, but because of its differences in using the language, the best he comes up with is, 'My nails are sticky.' He feels better on the fifth or sixth day after the 'traumatic event'. But the comfortable existence lasts only two more days when it's time to have his nails clipped again.

The explanation of this phenomenon can be found in the research of Prof. Casanova. His comparative studies of minicolumns in the brains of non-autistic and autistic individuals reveal that in non-autistic brain information information is transmitted through the core of the minicolumn and is prevented from activating neighboring units by surrounding inhibitory fibers. In autism, because minicolumns are so small and their number is so big, stimuli are no longer contained within them but rather overflow to adjacent units that creating an amplifier effect. Inhibitory fibers just do not cope with this flow. To illustrate this phenomenon, Prof. Casanova compares inhibitory filters with shower curtain. When working properly and fully covering the bathtub, the shower curtain prevails water from spilling to the floor. In autism, 'water is all over the bathroom'.

References

Bogdashina, O. (2003) Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism . London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Casanova, M. (2006) 'Brains of the autistic individuals.' International AWARE On-Line Conference Papers . Available at www.autism2006.org .

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Support for Parents of Children With Autism

Raising a child with autism can be challenging. It takes a toll on everyone, especially the parents. Knowing you're not alone in dealing with the multitude of issues that accompanism autism is important. Help comes in many different forms and knowing where to turn for support helps family members deal with a child with autism.

In-Person Support Groups

Having a child with autism often isolates the child and his or her family members. Attending in-person support groups can allow parents to socialize and connect with other like-minded people. Being around others who understand your look and know about the unique issues associated with autism is a great way to get out and avoid the isolation. Look for local support groups in your area by contacting Autism Society or Autism Speaks.

Online Support Groups

Although it's important to maintain a life outside of autism, it can be difficult sometimes to do so. Between caring for a child with autism, working and other responsibilities, getting out to attend in-person meetings can be hard. When you're in need of support, reach out to others who understand online. Autism Speaks and sites like it have online groups and forums where you can interact with others when it's convenient for you.

Counseling

Counseling is a great way to help a child with autism and the family he or she lives with. It can be overwhelming for parents to care for a child with autism, and finding a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker to talk to about it goes a long way to helping you deal with the situation. It's important to remember that in order to be able to care for someone with special needs, you need to be happy and healthy yourself. Finding someone to talk to will help you take care of yourself so you can care for your child with autism that much better.

Workshops

Many local organizations offer workshops to help parents with autistic children learn how to cope and deal with every day situations. Learning how to prepare your child for public school or how to find a good therapist will help you feel more confident in your decisions and provide better care.

Teachers and Therapists

Special education teachers and therapists use special tricks to help your autistic child adjust and agree at school and in other outside environments. You can learn and use these tricks at home to make things easier. Keeping an open line of communication between your child's teachers, therapists and yourself will help build a strong support system that benefits your child and you.

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You Can’t Be Half Pregnant! Loving or Selfish – Take Your Pick

We do our kids a great disservice when we make them the “special ones.” They need our help and we are the ones who are at fault. Without mentally, emotionally, sexually, and psychically abusive parents our kids would not have any problems. They would be responding to love, not to someone consciously and subconsciously enacting all kinds of destructive patterns.

We all enact negative patterns and make excuses for them. There is no excuse. We are either choosing to love or we are not. It's like being pregnant. You can not be half pregnant. At any given moment a person is choosing to love or not. There are no degrees of love. There are plenty of degrees of selfishness, and plenty of excuses for making wrong unloving choices. We all know our “bad habits” well (I love euphemisms – they are great for clouding reality), yet we continue on and blame our kids for their reactions to how we consciously and subconsciously treat them.

“Autistic children have special abilities that are put here to be our teachers.” Nonsense! Of course autistic children have special abilities. They are abilities acquired from their choice to live in another world. That does not mean that they are not living in a mental and emotional nightmare. Most of them feel alone, angry, isolated, and beyond repair.

I, personally, can read subconscious intentions, thoughts, feelings, and actions. I can see a person's thoughts in the form of pictures the way fetuses and infants do. I can see on this subconscious level because I have lived there my entire lifetime. Fortunately, I have also been able to interact, but not without a struggle.

As I said in my last article (“The Truth about Autism – A Clairvoyant's View,”) parents of autistic children, and all of us have to change our destructive reactive behaviors. As I keep saying, we all know our “dark sides” (another euphemism!) But we keep them in check with our excuses and our refusal to even acknowledge them. Try telling any parent with a problem child, that is, a child with a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder that their child is in severe reaction to them and their conscious and subconscious destructive, wrong choices – good luck! Maybe it is all of our attitudes that have pushed us so far in the other direction – the “It's not your fault” direction.

Mental, emotional, and behavioral dysfunctions = choice. That is the equation. Albeit, most often a subconscious choice. That is, psychological = choice. Physical disabilities = genetics, or any kind of physical cause or circumstance. That is, physical handicaps = a physical cause. Getting the two mixed up is convenient but it is to our great detriment.

An example: Just look at a room filled with physically disabled kids; some are choosing to be nice and some are choosing to be not so nice. Some can be acting destructively, while others are caring about learning or caring about those around them. It is all in the heart, in the soul, if you will. In any given moment you have only one essential choice. That choice is to love or not to love, remember – no degrees. You can not be half pregnant. We make it so complicated, but it is really that simple.

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How to Handle All Behaviors of Children With Autism by Knowing a Few Easy Steps

Very often, I am faced with question from parents and teachers, asking what to do if you are faced with a certain scenario or behavior. It is not easy to answer such question until I know more about the child like his obsessions if any, is he highly sensory, what motivates him, has he got fear or failure etc.

It is always hard to tell me everything about your child within the brief moment we have. I decided that is it best to teach you how to work out your own behavioral management strategy.

In behaviorism, when we talk about behaviors, we always often talk about the ABC of behaviors.

A BB ⇒C
Antecedents Behavior Consequence

A – Antecedents (which means the trigger or what happy before the behavior)
B – Behavior (usually the negative behavior that you want to change)
C – Consequence (what follows the behavior, did you reinforce it or did you give a negative consequence to it)

An Illustration of ABC of behaviors

Boy sees blocks Boy pushes block Boy walks away
being stacked up
(Antecedent) (Behavior) (Consequence)

To tackle a behavior, we either tackle the A or the C. For example a behavior of the child pushing down the blocks when it is stacked up.

2 ways to change this behavior of boy pushes block

Solution 1: Remove the Antecedent

Blocks not stacked up Boy does not push

So a way to tackle this behavior is to remove the antecedent, which in this case is to not have any blocks stacked up when the child is around. When the child does not see any blocks stacked up in front of him, then he will not push the blocks.

Solution 2: Tackle the consequence

Behavior PPOSITIVE consequence ChChances of the behavior happening again INCREASES

Behavior NNEGATIVE consequenceChurch of life happening again DECREASES

In the theory of behaviorism, the chances of the behavior happening again is lower if we pair the behavior up with a negative consequence and vice versa for pairing up with a positive consequence. Below is an illustration:

When the child SEES A PLAYROUND (Antecedent), he CHOOSES THE SWING (Behavior). However there were 2 outcomes.

Outcome 1: He played happily and enjoyed it very much (POSITIVE)

Outcome 2: He fell and hurt himself (NEGATIVE)

Again under the theory of behaviorism, the boy is more likely to choose to play with the swing the next time for income 1 and less likely to play with the swing again for outcome 2.

Back to the behavior of boy pushing blocks that are stacked up. In this case, we can simply give a natural consensus of the child having to pick up the items that he swept off back up to where it was. If the child does not enjoy picking up items (negative consequence), he is more likely to not do it again.

Boy sees blocks – Boy pushes block – Boy is told to pick up being stacked up
(Antecedent) – (Behavior) – (Consequence)

It is very important that you know if the consequence that is given is positive, negative or neutral TO THE CHILD. It does not matter what you think. It is what the child thinks. You may think that having to pick things up may be something that the child does not enjoy. From my years of experience, there are children that do not mind picking things up so it may be a neutral consequence to these kids and the behavior is paired with a neutral consequence instead of a negative consequence. That is why it is hard to tell you exactly what is the strategy you should adopt until I know the child myself.

Which method will you choose?

Removing A is an easy way to prevent the behavior from happening however this does not solve the root of the problem. We do not have full control of the environment and is very likely that the child is bound to see some blocks stacked up when he or she goes to school, a toy shop etc.

At this point, it may seem that we should always change the C, Consequence instead of A, Antecedent. Let me give you an example of when do I usually change the A instead of C.

I usually will change the A instead of C when the Antecedent is stress. Imagine a 3 year old child is given a 15 piece block design task. Each time he sees such a task, he gets stressed up and start exhibiting self-hitting behaviors. And then we tried to manage this behavior with a negative consequence.

I have given the child a task that is beyond him and set him up for failure and yet I penalized him for not being able to do something that is extremely unreasonably for a 3 year old to comprehend. For such, I will change the A by maybe giving him a 5 piece block designs and slowly build it up.
Things to note:

A very important thing to note is that the chances of changing any behavior will be much higher if you reward the positive behavior as well. Although we need to let the child know when he or she is exhibiting a behavior that is inappropriate by giving a negative differentiation but at the same time, we need to give the child a positive reinforcement when he or she is NOT exhibiting the undesirable behavior.

Boy sees blocks – Boy did not push block – Boy being praised being stacked up
(Antecedent) – (Behavior) – (Consequence)

Ultimately, we want a child to have well because he or she is working towards a positive reward or the desire to please you and not because he or she is not looking forward for the negative consensus.

This is not the end. Many times we conveniently work on the A and the C, not knowing why has A caused the behavior. It is not easy but we should always attempt to do the functional analysis of behavior, in another words, we should look into why has A caused B. I remembered many years ago, I came across a case where this child is very resistant towards reception task. The team thought that it is a form of task avoidance and brave negative consequence to the child each time he avoids doing it. I requested for a hearing check and we realized that the child is strictly deaf. That is why he was so frustrated each time receptive tasks were being done. Learn from this mistake and not let your child having to go through this.

For children with desire to please and higher cognitive capacity, we may choose to use the cognitive approach instead while we try to talk to the child and analyze what he should or should not do.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have gotten more to contribute and I can help to spread these words around so that more parents can benefit from this information.

Written by: Clinical Director of Autismstep

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