Applied Behavioral Analysis and Autism

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is the leading scientific method that helps patients with autism to overcome their condition. In order to improve their condition, ABA specialists focus on a system of reward, which guarantees positive actions like speech, social activity and life skill improvements. This works mostly with children as they are more likely to absorb and accept new challenges; This is commonly referred to as “positive reinforcement” in the literature and has become one of the leading directions for treatment. ABA therapy was devised and implemented by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas at UCLA in 1987. Since then, ABA therapy has become a leading branch of psychology – behaviorism.

How does ABA work?

Since autistic children have low capacity of absorption, tasks are broken down into different areas, and then children focus on each of them separately through an approach known as discrete trial training (DTT). This method allows autistic children to learn tasks like persistent eye contact, fine and gross motor skills, academies, conversation ability, self help and others. The process usually starts with the most basic skills and moves on towards more complicated ones as the child developments.

New Advances

In recent years, there has been a new approach to DTT, which focuses on a reward system. Basically, the child is always awarded, no matter how small a progress he / she made. If a child does not complete a task, the therapist will then guide him / her towards the correct answer. After a while, this makes the child learn on his / her own, without the help from a therapist. This is referred to as “errorless learning” in the literature and is widely accepted as one of the best methods for teaching autistic children.

Applied Verbal Behavior (VB) is a recent development within applied behavioral science. As the name implies, it focuses primarily of speech reinforcement, but some other skills are involved as well. This branch of behavioral science bases its efforts on the work of Dr. F. Skinner, who devised a division of speech in 1957. According to Dr. F. Skinner, there are several forms of verbal behavior – mands (requests), echoes (verbal imitations), tacts (labels) and intraverbals (conversational responses). Each of these forms has a specific nature, and VB tries to convey this to autistic children. The aim of VB is to teach autistic children the value of speech, and instruct them how to use it properly. Instead of simply labeling things (“this is a car”) they are taught how to integrate their knowledge into everyday communication and social interaction. This type of therapy allows them integrate into society.

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Autism Spectrum Disorders: Overview

Autism spectrum disorder is a term used to describe several developmental disabilities. Such conditions include autism, Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder. The latter is used to describe atypical cases of autism and is believed to be the most common Autism Spectrum Disorders. Symptoms of these conditions tend to surface during the first two years of life and are usually diagnosed at around three to four years of age.

Autism is the most well known disorder of the autistic spectrum. The most dominant symptoms of autism are extreme difficulty with social interactions and communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Children with autism also may participate in repetitive behavior such as flapping of the hands or head rolling. Severity of the symptoms vary greatly, and with proper therapy and medication a child who lives with a high functioning type of autism can integrate seamlessly into society.

Asperger syndrome is also characterized by difficulty with social interaction and communication, however there is generally no delay in the acquisition of language skills. People with Asperger's often have a large vocabulary at an early age and may be of above average intelligence. However it is often difficult for them to make friends and maintain relationships, as they are often perceived as having a lack of empathy, or even being downright rude. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be very helpful in teaching someone afflicted with Asperger syndrome how to function properly in social situations.

Childhood disintergrative disorder is different in that it's symptoms usually does not begin to appear until after three years of age. After developing normally the child in question rapidly regresses, losing language, social function and motor skills. This disorder is rare and is considered a low functioning autistic spectrum disorder.

Rett Syndrome is also known as “cerebroatrophic hyperammonamea”. It effects mostly females and the symptoms can be quite severe. Physical symptoms such as small hands and feet are often present, and about half of the individuals who suffer from Rett syndrome can not walk. People with Rett syndrome usually have no verbal skills and also suffer from other problems such as gastrointestinal disorders.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder-not otherwise specified or PDD-NOS, is a term used for conditions in which the subject exhibits difficulty in social development and communication but does not meet enough criteria to warrant a diagnosis of one of the other autism spectrum disorders. People who are classified in this manner generally experience milder symptoms than with the other disorders, with the exception of Asperger syndrome. The symptoms of Asperger's large overlap of PDD-NOS, the key difference being that in cases of Asperger syndrome there is generally no speech delay.

The five disorders on the Autism spectrum have varying degrees of severity and prognosis. They can also be difficult to diagnoseose due to a high degree of commorbity with other disorders such as learning disabilities or epilepsy.

Regardless of the condition proper therapy and medication is imperative in ensuring that anyone suffering from these conditions receives the highest quality of life possible.

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Combined Effect Of Ketogenic Diet And Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy On Metastatic Cancer

Gone are the days when cancer meant the end of your world. With science and medical technology booming like never before it is time to bid goodbye to cancer and breathe life in a new way afresh. Well, it is important for us to know that cancer in its various forms can be treated as per the diagnosis. And if you want to find out the perfect balance between a couple of treatments to cure cancer then you have come to the right spot. This article will focus on fighting metastatic cancer and this is going to be your one stop spot for the solution that you have been looking for across the web.

Metastatic Cancer?

Metastatic cancer is any form of cancer that spreads in various parts of the body. For a clearer understanding of this type of cancer let us take the help of an example, if a person is diagnosed with breast cancer but it spreads to the lungs as well so it takes the form of metastatic breast cancer and not lung cancer as is the most common confusion among people. The good news is metastatic cancer can be treated with the help of medical progress but the unfortunate part is not all types of metastatic cancer can be treated. Without any further ado let us now find out the treatment that medical science has been able to provide to us.

The treatment

The treatment for metastatic cancer is a careful balance between the ketogenic diet and the hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The ability to be able to strike the right balance between these two treatments is the key to successfully fighting metastatic cancer. This article will provide you with facts as to how both ketogenic diet and oxygen hyperbaric therapy works following that will be the case histories that have proved time and again with desired results.

The Ketogenic Diet

This diet has been a monster hit to fight the advanced stages of metastatic cancer when the cancer bug has spread beyond the original point to other parts. How does it work? This diet is high on fat so much so that the ratio is something as four grams of fat to one gram of carbohydrates or protein. Usually a person's diet is high on carbs and proteins and carbohydrates are burnt into glucose which the cancer cells engulf. Thus following a ketogenic diet helps the person have food high on fat which makes the cancer cells starve to death eventually leading to their death.

Let us now study a few case histories to see the silver lining behind the dark clouds of metastatic cancer. The first metastatic cancer case popped up in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition way back in 1995. This form of diet was experienced upon two children suffering from brain cancer. As luck would have it, they were part of several life threatening chemo and radiation until they were given the ketogenic diet only to see remarkable results. The ketogenic diet is believed to be one of the most conspicuous treatments for metastatic cancer of today.

The Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

A piece of news doing the rounds last year stated that hyperbaric oxygen might be the cause for increasing chances of cancer. The apprehension of many was that the cancer tissue might expand and the heavy flow of hyperbaric oxygen might increase the recurrence of cancer. Extensive studies and experiments have proven that hyperbaric oxygen therapies is an aggressively good treatment in curbing down metastatic cancer and has developed rapidly in the 21st century in the field of nursing and medicine. Much to the surprise of everyone, systematic studies on hyperbaric oxygen therapy has brought to light the fact that it definitely does not enhance cancer but it destroys certain cancer cells from the various subtypes of cancer that prevails. This form of therapy reverses the effects of cancer leading to the death of the cancer cells in case of few of the subtypes.

The right balance

The balance of these two treatments combined in the right proportion helps in curing cancer to the extent of even destroying the injuries in the form of cancer cells. If you are still wondering the trick of these two treatments combined together then let me tell you that these two treatments are non-toxic protecting the healthy tissues and in its due course destroying the cancer cells. This statement has been put to experiment with successful results.

So it is time to stop cribbing about cancer and to fight back!

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Time For Californians To Fight Autism

Celebrity kids are born lucky! People often say that star kids are born with a silver spoon in their mouth and the word 'struggle' does not even exist in their dictionary. But such a statement is not always true because some star children suffer from some problem or the other. One of the most common problem that many star kids suffer from is autism. If you think of your favorite action hero then the first name that flashes your mind is Rocky star Sylvester Stallone. If the boys drool over his body then the girls swoon away by his charm. But what comes as a shock is that his youngest son Seargeoh has been diagnosed with autism as early as when he was 3 years old. Stallone was heard telling a famous magazine, “To have a child in this predicament is extremely sad.” John Travolta always won hearts through his movies like Pulp Fiction and Face / Off but what is indeed disheartening to know is that his son Jett suffered from autism. So star kids have everything easy in life is absolutely not true in all cases.

With the growing awareness about autism, people seem to have taken autism seriously. Several autism centers have opened up with researchers taking place every day to find out new and better ways of fighting autism. In the mid of medical progress California is not far behind and seems to be catching up pretty quick with the rest of the world in contributing to the study of how to fight back autism.

The Treatment that bids Autism its final Goodbye

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is commonly known as HBOT is one of the most recent alternative methods that is used to fight autism with very successful results. It is important that HBOT is used extensively to fight the cause of autism with greater effect. Wondering how HBOT works? Researches told us that the basic reason for autism could have been the inability of oxygen in the body to reach several areas of the brain. What could sound like a possible remedy to this could be to infuse oxygen to these ares through the method of HBOT. What an autistic patient needs to do is breathe oxygen in a highly pressurized chamber. The effective result that this therapy has shown reflects that HBOT is indeed an effective treatment. The world is catching up quickly to this. Let's check out where California stands in incorporating this therapy to treat autism.

HBOT centers in California

Several hyperbaric oxygen therapy institutes have opened up in and around California. A quick look at the list will help you rationalize which institute suits your needs the best.

  • Hyperbaric Centers of California – HBOT is a theory proven by medical science that is indeed very effective. Their mission is not just to provide good health to people but also to instill among patients and their family with hope and faith that they have potential to heal patients with maximum effective. That's not all, they are open to people visiting their institute to know the kinds of facility that they provide to their patients. But care must be taken to take a prior appointment.
  • TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) – this is one such institute that was started by a man who own son was diagnosed with autism at age 2. Refusing to spoil his son's future he decides to research as much as he can to explore a possible remedy . Throughout this research institute was born and they are still open to finding out new ways to fight against autism along with the medical treatments that already exists.
  • USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber – this hospital focusses on hyperbaric oxygen therapy a lot. They have treatment chambers categorized to provide exclusivity to their patients because HBOT treatment differs depending on their type of health problem. HBOT is a common treatment not just for autism but for several other problems as well. The relevance of the HBOT chambers is important for different patients having different problems.
  • San Diego Center for Hyperbaric Therapy – this hyperbaric center focuses on providing quality service to its patients by increasing their efficiency levels almost everyday by providing the best possible hyperbaric oxygen therapy. They aim to push their envelope a little further by providing nothing but the best for their patients.

This quick list will help people before they take the call as to which hospital or HBOT center they wish to be part of to get rid of autism.

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Best Autism Treatment In Wisconsin

Autism gets its due yet again in Hollywood post the release of 'Story of Luke'. This light-hearted comedy has hit the theaters in April and this movie takes you through Luke's journey who is in search of a girlfriend and a job in spite of being autistic. This movie makes us realize yet again that every autistic person describes to be treated equally and describes equal opportunities in life. It is important to throw some more light on what exactly is autism. Autism can be classified as a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain hampering the person's communication skills and their ability to form social relations with people. But the good news in the offering is that this disorder can be treated with effective results. Excited to know how? Well, let's put an end to your excitement and read on.

Know the symptoms of autism
Judging that people have autism is very but finding out the immediate symptoms before being judgmental is important. So let's get started and zero in on the symptoms that concludes a person to be autistic.

  • Does not like socially interacting with people and that includes parents as well. Parents often categorize their autistic kids as “unaffectionate”.
  • Autistic people avoid eye contacts with people even while interacting with them.
  • They suffer from communication problems and fail to have friends.
  • They hate loud noise and prefers to be a part of a regular routine.

Now these symptoms are not all that bad and these can be worked up with the right kind of socialization and constant help and support from friends. Parental guidance is one of the basic foundation based on which the child develops the confidence and the zeal to improve their condition. Following this comes the medical aid.

Autism Treatment
Little do people know that best autism treatment doing the rounds in the global market is in Wisconsin. According to recent reports, Wisconsin has gone a step ahead with a mandate that states all insurance companies must cover autism treatment of children as well. This helped parents heave a sigh of relief along with the confidence that this would strengthen their child's development with an aim for a better treatment.

Here is a quick guide to some of the autism treatment centers around Wisconsin :

  • Modern Practices – It is a private practice providing psychiatric treatment and also therapy to fight against autism. The basic philosophy of this institute would be to involve patients and their families in order to form a treatment plan.
  • Family Service at Waukesha – The services they provide are custom-made to suit the needs of the requirements of the patients because they feel that each patient has their individual problem which can not be generalized. It is important to make a prior appointment before you decide to drop in. Their experience in this field is as long as thirty years.
  • Northshore Clinic and Consultants – Psychiatric treatment is something that they specialize in. They feel that family plays a crucial role in molding the child's personality so their set of training and therapy also involves the child's parents. This institute has been in the industry for the past twenty years and counting.
  • Cost – an average cost per session is somewhere between $ 50 to $ 110
  • Awareness Counseling Services, Inc. – They value patience as the largest treasure when dealing with autistic people. They feel patience and time is the largest treatment that can be given to them for their development. This institute focuses more on reminding their patients to take care of their body, mind and spirit encouraging them to laugh and feel positive. They boast their treatment plans with thirty years of experience.
  • Cost – An average cost per session is between $ 150 to $ 200.
  • Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau – This institute boasts of staff where almost the major of them are PhD bearers. Everyone in this institute work together in a collective way so that care towards their patients do not get compromised in any way. They focus on keeping their environment relaxed so that patients feel at home. With skilled staff members and nine years of experience, this institute is fresh and overflowing with new techniques to fight autism.

This list boasts of some of the best places in Wisconsin that provides the best autism treatment, is your one stop spot to know where to go to fight the battle against autism. Make the most of this list today.

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Cause, Prevention and Treatment of Autism and Related Disorders

Definition : Autism is an illness defined by symptoms recognizable in infants prior to three years of age, which indicate severe difficulties with social interactions. Autism defining symptoms complicate impaired verbal and non-verbal communications, accompanied by socially inappropriate mannerisms. Affected children commonly display other abnormalities, including epileptic seizures; repetitive movements, such as hand flapping; emotional intolerance to unexpected changes in routine activities; sleeping problems; allergies; and gastrointestinal disorders. There is a wide spectrum of disease severity and children also differ in the age at which symptoms are initially recognized. Significant improvements occur over time in some children, such that their earlier diagnosis of autism ceases to be warranted.

Primary Cause : Brain damage due to stealth adapted virus infection acquired during pregnancy. Stealth adapted viruses are not readily recognized by the immune system and, therefore, do not evoke an inflammatory reaction. The best studied of these viruses areose from African green monkey simian cytomegalovirus (SCMV), a type of herpes virus.

Potentially, any virus can become stealth adapted by losing or mutating the relatively few genes of most viruses, which actually code for antigens is typically targeted by the cellular immune system. Infections with stealth adapted viruses also explain many mental illnesses and such common conditions as the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Dynamics : Various factors contribute to the wide variable seen among children diagnosed as having an autism spectrum disorder. These include: i) Severity and timing of infection of the developing embryo during pregnancy, as will be reflected by the extent of brain damage present at birth. ii) Whether the virus infection progresses or regresses during infancy. iii) The amount of social training the child receives in preparation for the challenge of initiating and maintaining socialization. These variables can account for why some infants never learn to engage in personal interactions, while other infants regress from previously gained social achievements. Marked regressive autism has been observed in some infants following vaccination and this may be attributed to activation of the underlying stealth adapted virus infection or to the triggering of a low-level anti-stealth adapted virus inflammatory response. Even if autism is avoided, the persistently infected child remains at risk for other stealth adapted virus associated illnesses, including learning and behavioral disorders, impaired social attachments and acute psychotic episodes. Life long infection may not become clinically manifest until adult life, with illnesses such as CFS, depression, anxiety disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Perspective of the Child with Autism: It is unduly very difficult and confusing for an autistic child to understand his or her predicament. The child likely suffers from an impaired sense of personal identity. Difficulties seemingly exist in recognizing and responding to others as comparable, yet distinguishing individuals. In spite of struggling efforts, the child is unable to readily express thoughts and feelings, especially by using spoken language. There is very limited recall of emotionally driven learning experiences, which would easily be remembered by normal children. This limitation leads to obvious confusion and social errors (eg laughing in response to another child's crying). Autistic children can seemly experience some gratification from repetitive actions and from following predictable routines. The affected children are also likely to have many related symptoms, including headaches, muscle pains, seizures, delusions, non-restorative sleep, gut-related problems, hypersensitivity to sensory stimulations, impaired auto neural responses, etc.

Prevention of Autism: A social obligation is to inform women of childbearing age with overt signs and symptoms indicative of an active stealth adapted virus infection that they are at an increased risk for having an autistic child. Prevention of autism can, thereby, occurred by the decision of such women to refrain from becoming pregnant. Treatment guidelines, discussed below, can be crafted for adults with illnesses, such as CFS, and pregnancy delayed till recovery is achieved. Therapeutic support is simply indicated if pregnancy is already underway in symptomatic women, as it should probably be for all pregnant women. Following birth, the focus on prevention extends to the infant. The two major goals are: i) Suppress virus activity and ii) expand capacity for interpersonal relationships. The former refers to treatment guidelines designed to enhance the alternative cellular energy (ACE) pathway, while the later leads determined efforts at developing the child's brain through effective mother-infant engagement.

Alternative Cellular Energy (ACE) Pathway: A Mechanism for Suppressing Stealth Adapted Viruses. Culturing of stealth adapted viruses led to identification of the ACE pathway. Essentially, the ACE pathway involves a capturing and utilization of physical energies to effectively reverse the cell damage, energy-draining effects caused by viruses. The energy transfer involves mineral containing complex organic macromolecules termed ACE pigments, which can be likened to miniature batteries. ACE pigments can be sampled from saliva, urine and dried perspiration and their energy status assessed by testing for ultraviolet (UV) light inducible fluorescence in the presence and absence of neutral red dye. Fluorescence occurs when the dye interfaces with uncharged ACE pigments, whereas partially charged pigments will even directly fluoresce with UV illumination. The preferred situation is when no fluorescence is seen and is taken as a presumptive indicator of an appropriately charged ACE pathway. Guided by monitoring of the ACE pathway, parents can institute various simple approaches to ensure adequacy of their child's ACE pathway. These approaches include regular consuming of enerutical ™ foods; drinking ACE Water ™; avoidance of toxic, energy-inhibiting chemical; elimination of emotional stressors; and reinforcement of joyful playtime. This latter factor is based on growing evidence that an individual's joyful mindset may allow the body to become a direct receiver of ACE pathway enhancing environmental energies. Conversely, stress inducing fear and hostility can limit this capacity. If needed, a variety of more direct methods can be undertaken to enhance the ACE pathway. An ACE Phototherapy method based on UV illumination of a solution of activated neutral red dye has the most supportive data, not only in autism, but also in the therapy of more conventional virus infections, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) and human papillomavirus ( HPV).

ACE Phototherapy: In this procedure, a plastic bag containing an energized solution plus neutral red dye is placed on the soles of the child and illuminated using a 13 watt UV light for 30 minutes. Successful activation of the ACE pathway is shown by the appearance of direct UV inducible fluorescence in various areas of the skin and / or either the fresh development of UV intraoral fluorescence or significant enhancement of preexisting intraoral fluorescence.

Examples: An autistic teenage girl received the above therapy by her mother. Soon, thereafter, the girl was noted to be looking intentionally at herself in a mirror. It appeared as if, she had previously not fully aware of herself. The mother further observed that her daughter became better able to cope with situations, which would have ordinarily caused emotional distress. Upon inquiry the child said she had simply recalculated her mother's prior advice and had no reason to be upset. More exciting for the mother was that her daughter now enjoyed joking with her, demonstrating the capacity for empathy and interpersonal communication.

A similar neutral red dye light therapy protocol was also strikingly effective in suppressing epileptic seizures in a 4-year-old autistic child. From essentially one hospital admission for epilepsy per month over the prior 6 months, the child became seizure-free even with the consequent discontinuation of anti-seizure medication. Many other autistic children improved using the protocol, but not when the solution being used lost its ability to effectively activate the neutral red dye.

Social Education in the Prevention and Therapy of Autism: Preschool educators are beginning to differentiate between a child's analytical capacity of recall simple facts and the more comprehensive social mindfulness of being able to appreciate one's individuality and yet connectivity with others. Various approaches at further developing this latter talent have come to be realized in advanced training classes of so-called “gifted” children. As these teaching programs are becoming more refined, they offer important clues to better educating children either at risk for or already diagnosed with autism. Examples of beneficial training include: improvised playacting and role reversals, eg, the child becoming the teacher; integrating music with language; self-drawing and photography; etc. As the symptoms of autism subside, major emphasis needs also to be placed on providing “catch-up” analytical educational input to cover the period during which the child was not learning. Without unable to do so, the fulltime teaching role should fall to the parents with government provided direct reimbursements, comparable to the money currently being provided to more questionable governmental and commercial endeavors.

Barriers to Progress: A major barrier is the referral of public health officials to acknowledge the existence of stealth adapted viruses. This is partly due to lack of innovative thinking within the scientific community but can also be attributed to some officials actively antagonistic to disclosing prior vaccine errors or acknowledging susceptibility of autism-prone children to custody. Other barriers are from health practitioners specializing in autism, but with no special expertise in virology; and from pharmaceutical companies focused on identifiable targets for specific drug therapies. There is also a lack of enthusiasm for an infectious cause of autism among the leadership in autism support community. First, it attributes a role of the mother in transmitting an illness and possibly remaining something impaired in her current capacities. It also raises the prospect that children with autism might be shunned as being potentially a source of infection to others. It is far more attractive to focus blame on current vaccine manufacturers with the prospect of large financial settlements. Another barrier is simply the logistics of conveying useful information and having translated into Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved clinical trials and subsequential publication and acceptance of positive findings.

Ten-Point Autism Prevention and Therapy Program:
1) Culture of stealth adapted viruses from children with autism and from infants presumptively at risk for becoming autistic.
2) Animal inoculations to better define the in vivo cellular pathology and modes of transmission of illness caused by stealth adapted viruses.
3) Characterize the production, composition and mode of action of ACE pigments generated in virus cultures, patients and inoculated animals.
4) Analyze the relative roles of the ACE pathway and the mitochondria oxidative metabolic pathway in various cellular functions, including biosynthesis, proliferation, differentiation and longevity.
5) Institute an available screening program for assessing the ACE pathway in humans, with a special emphasis on its use in pregnant women and infants.
6) Evaluate various corrective actions to be taken when a deficiency in the ACE pathway is identified; including assessing the benefits of regularly consuming consumable foods and ACE Water ™, as enhancers of the ACE pathway and, if necessary, employing the phototherapy method as previously described.
7) Conversely, identify possible adverse effects of environmental and food toxins on the ACE pathway.
8) Explore the role of brain activity as a stimulus and as an inhibitor of the ACE pathway.
9) Create educational programs geared towards children with autism and related disorders; based on improving self-awareness and empathy and on achieving better integration between analytical and emotional knowledge.
10) Extend studies on the ACE pathway to other infectious diseases, wound healing, aging and in the therapy of illnesses due to impaired metabolism resulting from deficiencies in the supply of oxygen and / or other metabolites to cells.

Public Support: A major responsibility of adults is to care for the health and welfare of the coming generations. Between 1-2% of children are autistic with 20% of all children having a diagnosable mental illness. The problem is severve and its correction is urgent. I can assure the readers that the precedent listed endeavors offer a real opportunity to see a major decline in the incidence of autism and related disorders. Financial support along with collaborative scientific efforts can greatly facilitate progress. Interested contributors and collaborators should contact the author at the Institute of Progressive Medicine. This is the major component of MI Hope Inc., a non-profit public charity founded in 1988. The author can be reached at 626-616-2868 or by email to wjohnmartin@hotmail.com

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Teaching Art to Autistic Children

Not long ago, I met a very interesting Christian Lady who'd spend a tremendous amount of time teaching art and music to mentally disabled people and autistic children. God Bless her volunteerism in our community. Needless to say, to do this type of work well you really have to get into it, and love what you're doing. Those without much patience, or sometimes do not really want to be there could never handle the challenge, so, it takes a special type of person to do this sort of educational work. Okay so let's talk about this shall we?

My acquaintance not only loves it, but she excelled at it, and she made an incredible amount of progress. Each time these individuals learned a new skill, they seem to reactivate other parts of their brain and got better at all the other things they were doing. It turns out that teaching mentally disabled or autistic folks art and music does wonders for their mental development, and these new skills transfer into all areas of their life. Best of all, it is amazing to see how good some of them are with their music and art. In fact many of them at some point after hours of training could teach us a thing or two about our own abilities, patience, and areas we need to improve.

My acquaintance went out of her way to buy musical instruments. Some of them she picked up at garage sales, swap meets, and thrift stores. She cleaned them all up, bought music stands and anything she could find to help those she taught. She explained to me that teaching art and helping them with our projects was equally rewarding. In fact, now she'd like to start her own storefront location just to help those that have a tough time helping themselves, at least in the beginning.

Of course, once they pick up a musical instrument and learn how to play, or a writing utensil or paintbrush, and if they are willing to practice, it is amazing how good they get. Some of their work is so good it puts the rest of us to shame. Far too many people I believe have misconceptions about the developmentally disabled, mentally disabled, or those who have autism.

They may think they know what they're talking about, but “It's just not like that,” as my acquaintance explained. It's too bad more people do not understand this truth, or do not have the experiences that this wonderful lady has after teaching these classes. I bet if you do your own research locally and talk to a few folks, you would see that this is not an unusual circumstance at all, in fact it is probably more of the rule than the exception. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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Great Tools for An Asperger’s Sensory Kit

Living with Asperger's Syndrome can be a difficult and isolating experience, and while the symptoms may vary from person to person, sensory overload may be one of the most unnerving aspects of it. Some sufferers find that it helps to use a sensory tool kit, with objects or instruments that help provide relief for each of their senses. Read along and consider adding some of these objects to your own toolkit to find relief.

Sight

A lack of sleep drains one's energy like nothing else, but as any insomnia sufferer knows, solving it is easier said than done. People suffering from Asperger's understand this pain all too well. A hypersensitivity to light is one of many Asperger's sensory issues faced, but it may be one of the easiest to solve. A simple eye mask can provide relief as an blackout curtains. If you get a mask, ensure that it is heavy and well-fitting, but using this old and time-tested method can help facilitate a restful night's sleep.

Hearing

Aural overload can also affect your ability to focus or sleep, and several tools can be helpful in alleviating this problem. Simple earplugs can help filter the loudest and most intrusive sounds, especially if you are dealing with them for an extended period. They can also help you get to sleep, and if they are not enough, a white noise machine might offer more relief. During the day, when neither of these are really practical options, noise-canceling headhphones may provide some help, as some people may prefer not to walk around with earplugs in.

Touch

Some people with autism spectrum disorder , another name for Asperger's, may experience severe anxiety and a strong desire to touch everything they can, and several tools exist to address this, depending on the level of anxiety. Simple tactile items such as stress balls or other soft objects may offer relief, but for those experiencing even stronger symptoms, more potent options are available. Compression vests, similar to the devices used to measure blood pressure, are inflated by air and can provide that “big hug” sensation that relieves stress and causes the brain to release calming chemicals and endorphines, and they are discrete enough to be worn under clothing . Weighted blankets are another option, but people are advised to consult with a professional to determine the proper weight.

While Asperger's Syndrome poses many challenges, relief is available. Some basic tools can help alleviate the worst of the sensational afflictions and drastically improve one's quality of life.

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Dating and Asperger’s: Advice for Navigating Relationships

Love and relationships take work and compromise, but for an Aspie – the affectionate name given for sufferers of autism spectrum disorder , or Asperger's syndrome – the effort required reaches a whole new level. Aspies may feel disconnected on some level from normal social interactions, showing rather awkward and even off-putting behavior which can certainly strain efforts to experience dating and relationships. However, one can still find fulfillment if he or she embraces the universal principals of openness and honesty and movements to overcome their limits.

Be Honest with Your Partner

The best relationships are based in honesty, and the symptoms experienced by Asperger's sufferers may come across as rude, careless, and cold. It is in the interest of both partners then for the Aspie to make it clear that he has Asperger's syndrome before getting too deep into the relationship. Some people may be uncomfortable with this, it's true, but a caring partner will understand. Fortunately, honesty comes easily for Aspies.

Listen to Your Partner

While Aspies possess a unique and special perspective, their outward behavior and tendency to be super-focused on things can come across as, well, boring. Few people enjoy rambling monologues, and in Asperger's dating , this challenge that must be deal with head on. This social weakness, however, can be transformed into a potent advantage. Aspies, as everyone, are encouraged to listen to their partner, letting him or her talk about themselves and their interests, but they can channel their unique capacity for focus into, say, learning about their partner's interests, and in this way they can genuinely find commonality.

Give up Control

Aspies are a prelude to a variety of seemingly abnormal behaviors, but one of the most disturbing manifestations of the condition in Asperger's relationships is “control freak” behavior. Extreme obsession, which apparently ignores the cares of people around, may contribute to this perception, but it is important to note that Aspies also experience a heightened sense of anxiety, and controlling behavior may be a way of simply coping with a chaotic world. Giving up control of the so-called NT partner may be easier said than done, but it is worth a try. The partner will certainly appreciate it, and there are tools available for alleviating the physical aspects of anxiety.

Prepare for the Unexpected

While Aspies are straightforward, logical, and organized in a way that makes perfect sense to them, their ability to control their symptoms and function in a normal way can be very fragily built. Change can rattle them severely, and when facing unexpected situations, this control can collapse and the worst of their symptoms return in full force. Preparing for unexpected social scenarios and having a plan in place is so critical. Relaxation therapy can help provide a set of steps for calming down, and of course engaging the help of a caring partner may help alleviate the very stress one experiences.

Life with Asperger's can be difficult and participating in dating and fulfilling relationships even more so, but by taking advantage of some common sense approaches, one can put himself on the path to love and happiness and achieving a mutually satisfying romantic relationship.

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What Is an Asperger’s Meltdown?

It's a very good question: what is an Asperger's meltdown? Just like meltdowns will not appear the same for all individuals, coping with them will be just as diverse. First, we need to look at what causes a meltdown and what exactly one is. Next, we will look at how to cope with a meltdown. And Finally, we'll look at ways to defuse or minimize their effects and how to recognize cues that there is a meltdown coming on.

Meltdowns happen whenever an individual with Asperger's Syndrome feels overwhelmed and feels the need to mentally reset themselves. The process of doing so, and the amount of time this takes, varies for each individual and each meltdown. Various environmental factors can act as triggers. Lighting, smells, crowds, textures, and noises can all contribute to a meltdown. Whenever someone with Asperger's Syndrome experiences their triggers, the emotional response they have can leave them with a sense of overwhelming feelings that require them to reset themselves. How they accomplish this, is the key to contending with difficulties associated with their current emotional state.

Once a meltdown has occurred, it's important for the Asperger's individual to be in an environment that allows them to reset their brains. Sometimes, that can mean a quiet room where they can be alone. Listening to music, reading, or repetitive behaviors can also be helpful. Typically, the individual with Asperger's Syndrome needs to be by themselves while they are going through their meltdown. It's vital to remember that their brain is feeling overwhelmed by things happening around them and not because they are angry or “acting out.”

Meltdowns are going to happen, but that does not mean that there are not ways to minimize or defuse their effects. Keeping a journal of environmental factors or triggers and the feelings happening before and during them is a great way to determine the cues that a meltdown is coming on. Using this information, a meltdown prevention plan can be implemented. This may include learning breathing exercises, carrying items that help with repetitive behaviors (like stress balls), and finding places where you go that can be used as a place to retreat and be alone.

Knowing what a meltdown is, what can cause them, and how to cope with those triggers is a great step forward in living with an autism spectrum disorder. They are going to happen, but knowing why they happen helps everyone involved. The Asperger's individual and their friends and family can fully understand why a meltdown happened and that that individual needs to do to ensure their mental well-being.

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Common Medications Used for Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger's Syndrome, a disorder on the autism spectrum, is often comorbid with other conditions. Asperger's is not directly mediated, but rather, the concurrent symptoms are. These can be anxiety and repetitive behaviors, aggression, and the inability to pay attention. Depending on which symptoms someone with Asperger's Syndrome experiences will help their doctor determine which medications would be the most beneficial to that individual.

There are different kinds of anxiety associated with Asperger's Syndrome. Those diagnosed with Asperger's may also show symptoms of Social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or General Anxiety Disorder. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) can not only help with depression and anxiety, but can help patients control repetitive behaviors. Fluvoxamine, Olanzapine, and Naltrexone have all been shown to help people OCD and repetitive behaviors. Common side effects include restlessness, weight gain, and an increase in blood sugar levels.

Often a person with Asperger's Syndrome can not express how they are feeling and instead may come across as having irritability and aggression. One medication that has been found to help with this is Risperidone. Although it is considered an atypical antipsychotic, some patients with Asperger's Syndrome have found that it is helpful for irritability and aggression, especially when these symptoms are caused by difficulties socializing. Side effects include to these are similar to SSRIs but can also include drowsiness and an increase in appetite.

There are many different kinds of medications used to help those with attention problems. Guanfacine has been used to help children with hyperactivity and other attention problems. Guanfacine has also been shown to affect behavioral inhibition allowing the child to become less impulsive. Lisdexamfetamine is a stimulant commonly prescribe for ADHD. It affects the central nervous system which can contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Atomoxetine, which is not a stimulant, has also been used as an effective therapy for ADHD. Once again, there are similar side effects to these medications but may also include bed wetting and constipation.

It seems that no matter which symptoms someone with Asperger's Syndrome may have, there is a medication that has been shown to be successful. Along with nutrition and therapy, medications can be essential in living a happy and healthy life. It is important to remember that, while there may be positive effects from these medications, they all run the risk of potential and unwanted side effects. Like always, discuss with you doctor any and all changes in your physical and emotional well-being.

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Asperger’s Syndrome – The Difference Between Tantrums and Meltdowns

You can see it anywhere that you go. The screaming child, the person rocking back and forth, arms and legs could be flailing. You see it, but do you actually know what it is you are witnessing? Maybe it is just a kid, upset that their parent will not buy them a candy bar, but maybe there is a deer, more neurological response happening. They can look the same on the outside, but are you witnessing a tantrum, or is it a meltdown?

While the behaviors exhibited by someone with autism spectrum disorder like Asperger's Syndrome having a tantrum and those having a meltdown might appear the same at first glance, the undering causes are completely different. Tantrums happen when an individual does not get their way with something. This could be not getting that candy bar, or, it could be not getting the attention they seek. Someone who is having a tantrum is acting out to get a response from those around them, and they do not care if that response is negative or not. They are not feeling overwhelmed, they are not feeling anxious, they are just expressing themselves in a way that they believe will get them whatever it is that they may be seeking.

Meltdowns, unlike tantrums, are triggered by anxiety, not anger. That individual is in an overwhelming emotional state that is cause by the things going on in the environment around them. These results in a heightened state of fight or flight where being removed from the situation (flight) is often the best, and most common, response. In the same situation, it may not be because the child wants a candy bar, but rather, the crowds, the lighting in the store, or even smelling someone's perfume may have caused this neurological response. They want to get away and be alone, not yell and get attention. Their brain is overstimulated and it needs to reset. Often, the best way to accomplish this is for the individual to go to a quiet space, alone, and just let their brain do the rest.

Now that you are clear on the differences between tantrums and meltdowns, you will be better equipped to handle the situation. The next time you, or someone you are with experiences an episode like this, you can ask yourself if this is because the person is angry at not getting their way? Are they just acting out to get attention? If yes, then it is a tantrum. However, if they appear angry, overwhelmed, and like they want to be alone, it is a meltdown and they just need to do whatever it is to help their brain reset.

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Anxiety and Asperger’s Syndrome

Asperger's Syndrome and anxiety disorders are not the same thing, but, an individual with Asperger's can experience Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well. Due to the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome, they may even experience increased levels of anxiety. A lack of social intelligence, part of Asperger's Syndrome, commonly contributates to that individual becoming overwhelmed by anxiety and experiencing meltdowns. Fortunately, anxiety in the Asperger's individual can not only be pointed out as a symptom of anxiety, but managed as well.

Anxiety can appear in many forms. Someone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, like Asperger's, may avoid new situations and insist more and more on routines and familiarity. They may also withdraw from social situations altogether, even ones that they typically participated in. Other times, they may insist on following a strict routine and schedule including social situations that they are familiar with. An increase in repetitive behaviors can also occur, especially during meltdowns triggered by anxiety. During a meltdown, the Asperger's individual is experiencing a heightened sense of the fight or flight state and, while normally focused and mild tempered, inattention and irritability are common responses as well. Along with behavioral responses, someone with Asperger's Syndrome may also experience somatic symptoms. These can include, but are limited to, tightness in the chest, stomach pains, headaches, and insomnia.

An individual with Asperger's Syndrome does not always understand what they are feeling and as a result, they might not know that they are experiencing anxiety, Therefore, unsure what their emotions actually are, they do not understand how to cope with them. This could mean that when they say they wish not going somewhere that they normally would enjoy or a task they usually find interesting, it could be related to the unconscious anxiety that they are not able to identify and nothing to do with the task at hand. Helping that individual understand and identify their symptoms is the first step in enabling them to better cope with what is causing the anxiety and the effects that the anxiety is having on them.

If not established as anxiety, it can not be appreciated as such and can result in extended periods of distress. These extended periods of anxiety can result in exhaustion and the development of allergies or illnesses. Helping to individualize the causes and effects that anxiety has on someone with Asperger's Syndrome will be a huge asset in a fulfilling life. Feelings dictionaries, behavioral management, and group therapy sessions might be beneficial as well.

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ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome

ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome are both disorders considered part of the autism spectrum. While they can be exclusive of one another, both can occur in the same individual. When they both are present, this is referred to as comorbidity. Although someone may experience both, they are usually diagnosed with one or the other, usually ADHD. This is due to the fact that they have many similarities, but, they also have differences. Here, we will look at what they have in common and how they differ.

The similarities between ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome include, but are not limited to:

• both tend to have problems with attention

• both may appear to be ignoring someone or to be not paying attention during conversations

• both may experience learning problems

• both tend to express behavior that can be viewed as irrationally energetic by some

• both can have impulsive behavior

• both may have difficulties following directions

• both may experience tantrums and / or meltdowns

• both may experience difficulties with figuring out the correct response to some situations and may say inappropriate things

• when they are youngger, both may experience problems with soothing or holding

• both tend to respond positively to structure and routine

While both of those with ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome may experience similar behaviors, the reason may be different. One example of this can be in difficulty following directions. An individual with AS might not understand the directions or find them stupid so they do not follow them. Someone with ADHD might understand them but does not follow them because they get distracted and lose their focus. Also, someone with AS can easily focus on tasks that they are interested in and can intensely focus on that task for an extended period of time whereas someone with ADHD can not focus, even if they are interested, for more than a couple of minutes and will often switch their focus on multiple topics all at once. Another difference is when they are in social situations. The individual with Asperger's Syndrome will generally not express their emotions and they will avoid situations that make them anxious. Someone with ADHD are more apt to express their emotions clearly and their behavior can be oppositional as a way for them to seek attention.

Those with Asperger's Syndrome and those with ADHD can have many similarities for different reasons and differences for similar reasons. Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome generally have difficulties due to a lack of social intelligence while those with ADHD have difficulties due to impulsivity and an inability to focus. No matter what the causes, the most important thing to remember that the behavior is not because the individual with AS is a “weirdo” and those with ADHD are not “hooligans.” Rather, these are individuals that are simply expressing themselves the only way they know how.

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Knowing When You Should Have Your Child Treated For Autism

Autism can be very difficult to recognize, and diagnose, due to the fact that disease has such a broad spectrum. As a result, some symptoms can go unnoticed for long periods of time. Every child with autism has unique abilities, symptoms, and challenges, and understanding those can enable you as a parent to better work with teachers, therapists and doctors to help your child.

As mentioned above, autism is a spectrum disorder, and so the symptoms can vary widely by child. However, with that being said, every child on the autism spectrum has some degree of problem with the following:

– Communicating verbally and non-verbally
– Relating to others and the world around them
– Thinking and behaving flexibly

There is still great debate on what causes autism, and therefore on what is the best course of action to treat it. But one thing that doctors and therapists can all agree on is the sooner it is treated, the better.

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone in the world, and are there before in the best position to spot any potential problems your child may have, including any symptoms of autism. The key is to educate yourself about what to expect in the development of your child, so you can recognize what is normal, and what is not. If you think something is wrong, trust your instincts, and speak to your child's pediatrician immediately. Do not accept a wait and see approach.

Signs and symptoms of autism in infants and toddlers

Autism can be difficult to diagnoseose before 24 months, however symptoms will often surface between the ages of 12 to 18 months.While not a comprehensive list, some symptoms to look out for include:

• A lack of eye contact
• Does not smile when smiled at
• Does not follow objects or gestures visually
• Does not imitate the facial expressions of others
• Does not play with other people, or share interest or enjoyment

Signs and symptoms of autism in older children

As your child grows older, the signs of autism become more diverse. While there are many warning signs, they all revolve around impaired social skills, speech and language difficulties, non-verbal communication difficulties, and inflexible behavior.

• Impaired social skills: social interaction of any kind can be very difficult for children with autism. Instead of spending time with others, they will often prefer to retreat into their own world, and spend time on their own. They will also seem deterred from others.

• Speech and language difficulties: children with autism will have difficulty with speech and language, and its patterns. They will also often begin speaking later in life.

• Non-verbal communication difficulties: children with autism will have difficulty picking up on non-verbal cues, or the body language of others. They will not be able to recognize these cues in others, but will also use them themselves.

• Inflexible behavior: children with autism are often restricted, inflexible, and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests.

If you suspect your child may have the above symptoms, it is time to see their doctor or therapist to discuss your options.

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