Taking Care of an Autistic Child

Autism is a nerve related condition affecting many children. Children struggling with autism have issues with speech and concentration, making it hard for them to learn anything. It is a condition that is just becoming known to many with the increased cases. On realizing that a child sufferers from autism, many parents do not know how to take care of the children. They simply mistake the queer behaviors to naughtiness before they realize that there is a problem somewhere.

However, all is not lost since medical assistance is now available available to the children to help them live more normal lives. The services include occupational therapy which is directed to bringing in concentration to help the children set down and learn common things. The therapy is done at different levels depending on results. At some point speech therapy is introduced to deal with the speech challenges. The professional therapists know just how to deal with the cases until progress is made with the children.

Dietary care

The fact is that children suffering from autism can be hyperactive. They have lots of energy which needs to be directed to some place ending up in lots of repetitive activities such as jumping around, running or spinning each other. The hyperactive nature is made worse by some foods mostly wheat related foods and sugary foods. At the start of a therapy, a parent will be advised to cut out too much starch from the child's diet and too much wheat and sugar as well. It is a way of keeping the child calm enough to concentrate on other things.

When calmness is stuck, the child becomes more alert to his or her surroundings and will even start noticing things he never noticed before leading to learning. Parents find that the kids are now able to play with things they did not before such as arranging play blocks and stacking them up or even arranging play things in their respect colors and shapes. This is always a great achievement and parents thereby need to keep up with the dietary advice that they receive from their care providers to continue with helpful therapy even at home setting.

Helpful tip

It is the wish of every parent to see a child grow up as normal and to do the things he is supposed to do at all developmental stages. Many parents become desperate to see a change in their autistic child. It is important to remember that different children react differently to the therapies that are offered. They can there take different time spans to show positive changes.

It helps to play a proactive role in the development of the child even away from the medical facilities. Fortunately, there are many free books online that can act as guides to proper care giving and assisting. Some of the sites and authors make it possible to download books making it possible for parents to have them within reach at home. It's easy to find the helpful books online to make greater strides with an autistic child.

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Can Hypnosis Be Used As a Treatment For Autism?

Hypnosis in the simplest form, is a state of deep relaxation that allows your subconscious mind to take over while your conscious mind takes a break. Contrary to popular belief, you are not unconscious during hypnosis. You are most likely in an alpha or theta brain wave state. During this state positive suggestions are given and processed through your subconscious mind. Through this process, positive changes can be made. Hypnosis is safe and you are always in control. If a fire alarm was to go off, you would automatically “wake” and proceed to get up. You can not be made to do something you would not normally do during hypnosis. You are ALWAYS in control. Therapeutic hypnosis is nothing like stage hypnosis.

With 1 in 68 children now being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, treatment is needed more than ever. The autism spectrum is just that. A full spectrum where each child is unique and has their own special needs. Most children on the spectrum lack communication as well as meaningful eye contact. They may be awkward in social settings, with no sense of personal space or meaningful communication. Common characteristics are delayed speech, sensitivity to light and sound, arm flapping, repetitive movements and sleeplessness and inability to concentrate. It is frustrating to the parents because they are usually willing to do anything and everything to help their child. What makes it even more frustrating is there is no known cause. Because of that treatment is very limited. There are many theories such as mercury exposure, vaccines, especially the MMR. Others belief metal exposure, lack of vitamins or brainwaves play a part. Some evidence points to genetics.

Autism rates are at an all time high with no credible evidence of a cause. Most parents have tried medication reluctantly to find out that it just does not help that much. Many people are seeking help through alternative means, such as special diets with great results.This is where hypnosis steps in. Hypnosis has successfully been used in the past to treat Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder with great results which leads a person to question if hypnosis can be used to minimize the repetitive behaviors in autism. Hypnosis can also be used to promote greater eye contact as well as alleviate anxiety that autistic children are plagued with. Hypnosis can also promote a better, more relaxed sleep. It can teach relaxation techniques. With so many parents looking for a solution and coming to a dead end it seems to be worth a try. There are not many resources and alternate means of help available to most people. Most parents are willing to do anything for their children.

First a Reiki practitioner, Ms. Wallert went on to get Certified in Hypnosis in 2008. She has successfully helped people with fears and phobias as well as weight loss, smoking cessation and fertility, childbirth, and pregnancy. Her interest in autism stems from having her own child on the spectrum.

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The Power of Diets – For Curing Autism

A balanced diet is an assorted array of healthy carbohydrates, rich proteins, essential fats and daily doses of vitamins and the wonderful minerals; all in a quantity that is easily assimilated and utilized by the digestive system of the human body.

All of everything in a limited quantity is the mantra. Eating or living your life on the juice of the bitterest vegetables or limiting your carbs and gorging on fruits will take you on a crash diet, crashing your body of its energy and vitality, while helping you look anorexic.

Yoga has taught us that we are what we eat. Our stomach is the most ignored of the body part to an excess that all we do is feed it. While the heart attack, liver jaundice, kidney failure or lung cancer are the most heard of scary diseases that we are familiar with, we go to extra lengths to take care. No one has heard of stomach attack or cancer that we stop and care for the most sensitive of the organs.

Being small in size, the stomach must be nourished with the healthiest and best of everything to keep it running smooth and stress free. A vegetarian diet is the most preferred of all, although non-vegetarian diet is a protein rich diet needed by our living cells. In moderation, even the fats are in high demand by our body.

While the diet we eat determines the health of our bodies, certain diseases force us to avoid this and that. With the right diet and good exercise and ample rest, everything can be cured. The power of foods, naturally organic and pollution free foods have a refreshing quality to our lives.

Disorders as mysterious as autism can to an estimated by cared for and treated with the right amounts of food. Certain foods contain the certain ingredients that stimulate our brains, keep us happy and elevate our moods. These super foods must be ingested with the right amount of water, and in a healthy stress-free environment. The symptoms of the dreaded autism spectrum disorder are weirdly and vaguely brain related and will benefit with the indulgence of brain stimulating foods.

The way we eat inspires and determinates our life to a great extent. Distractions from the television or the sounds of the mobile phone or the chatter of the next person is to be shunned. We must savor each morsel with the awakening of all our senses. Feel the touch of the food, smell the aroma of the flavors, enjoy the sight of the colors and then taste the depth of the spices with every bite. That way, we are able to save every bite of God's blessing and nourish our bodies with its goodness.

Autism in children or adults can be treated with natural food and available medication. One part of the education for autistic children should be about awareness into rich and medicinal foods. Children with autism must be encouraged and advised with healthy eating habits for a better living everyday.

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April Is Autism Month – Celebrate and Support Those With Special Needs

April is Autism Awareness Month, and those who have to live with autism Spectrum Disorder (not to mention those who are caregivers for individuals with autism) are blessed to have such an incredible outpouring of support and media attention currently. Many people through Monmouth County, where I live, participated in “Light It Blue” and put blue-tinted lights on their homes in support of Autism Awareness Month.

Many times, those on the outside looking in will focus on what individuals with special needs CAN NOT do, rather than experience the many talents and gifts these individuals have. I have been blessed to meet individuals with many different diagnoses – from Aspergers and Austism to Down Syndrome and more – and each of them has a truly incredible talent to share. One autistic client wrote poetry that moved me to tears in his parents' kitchen. Another autistic client drew pictures that would make Picasso jealous. A client with Down Syndrome painted incredible works of art.

This past weekend, my children and I participated in the Circle of Special Friends “Spring Fling” where individuals with special needs of all kinds and their caregivers let loose on the dance floor, ate pizza and cake, had their faces painted, and just generally had a great time. It's too bad we could not bottle the energy in that room!

What stuck me most was when my young son and I got in the car, completely exhausted, and he said to me, “Mommy, I thought those kids would need my help, but nobody needed my help.” I had explained to him before we arrived about what it means to have special needs, and that he might need to help one of the partygoers. But he was right: they did not need our help, other than to help celebrate with them. They do not need us to baby them – they need us to just be a friend.

Parents and caregivers of individuals with special needs also need our support. Sometimes it's as simple as a long talk over a cup of coffee, but it can be more complex, like help with legal issues that will arise as they navigate the system. Take the time during this month to get to know an individual with special needs. You will find lots of reasons to celebrate them and the people who love, assist, and support them.

Your heart will be forever changed for the better. I promise.

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Five Autism Resources for Parents

When parents suspect their child may have autism there is an array of resources to help them. Many of these resources and services can be found in five major categories.

Diagnostic Resources

Parents will probably be looking into diagnostic services to verify if the child has autism or possible developmental delays. Diagnostic resources can take many directions. This may include a psychological assessment from a private practice psychologist or neuropsychologist as well as a medical diagnosis of autism from a physician. School districts also provide multi-team evaluations of young children for delays and possible autism. A comprehensive assessment can provide the parents with lots of feedback and information about the child's development.

Parent Resources

Parenting resources and services for autonomy are plentiful for parents in lots of communities. Many autism organizations provide parents with general information about autism as well as how a child with autism can live an enriching life through school and community experiences. Parents can receive information on support groups and people in the community to provide networks of help and encouragement. A good parent resource for many families is called respect care which gives parents a short break to balance family responsibilities and less stress on family members.

Advocacy Resources

Advocacy resources for autism are utilized by some parents and not others. A parent may use a special education advocate to consult with during an eligibility or individualized education program (IEP) meeting. An advocacy may help answer legal questions or be familiar with state codes or guidelines that could impact a child's educational program. However, advocacy may include bolder elements of autism. Young students with autism may be taught self-advocacy skills to speak out for themselves and their needs. Advocacy can also include fundraising, speaking at political rallies or advocating for political or educational changes to inform the community about the needs of individuals with autism.

Therapeutic Resources

There are many descriptive types of resources for families dealing with autism. Some of these therapeutic approaches are covered by insurance and government programs, while other therapeutic resources are not covered and families must pay their own expenses. There are a broad range of therapeutic resources such as behavioral therapy, social skills training, psychiatric medications, individualized intervention programs, private speech, occupational and physical therapy, individual and group therapy sessions, self esteem programs, movement, massage, aquatic and hippo therapy and diet and nutrition based therapies, as well as a number of other programs. The important thing to note is that some therapeutic resources are more established with research to support the approaches and other therapies have limited research and evidence to know the effectiveness of the therapy.

Education Resources

Education resources for families start young and can follow the child through adulthood. Early intervention services in many communities start at birth and go to around three years old. A young child then can make a transition to the public schools for preschool programs that begin several years before Kindergarten.

Individualized education programs can be developed through high school and the early adult years. Some parents choose to home school or go to a specialized private school with individualized types of curriculum.

Parents can also use educational resources from summer camps, after school programs, adaptive sports, training services, vocational training and transition types of programs. Educational resources can be tailor to the unique needs of the individual with autism.

Autism resources can really help direct parents to programs that provide specific services for the particular needs of their children.

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Autism Spectrum Disorders – Is Food Harming Our Children?

The CDC has recently reported that the number of children with autism spectrum disruptions has continued to climb and there is no clear-cut cause for this disorder. In New Jersey, the rate for boys is as high as 1 in 28. In fact, Walter Zahorodny of NJ Autism Study has stated, “It's quite likely there is one boy with autism in every classroom (in New Jersey)”.

What has changed over the past few decades that could cause these numbers to continue to rise? One of the largest changes is the type of food we eat. Think back 30 or 40 years. The majority of our diet consist of home cooked meals and brown bagged lunches. We did not have places to buy burgers, French fries, candy, cookies, donuts, and soda around every corner. When we did indulge, the quality and amount of sugar, salt and fat in these foods were much different then they are today.

What if you take a child who may already have a weakened immune system and you expose them to all the chemicals, preservatives, and poor quality ingredients found in today's food? Could more focus on the quality of our food begin to turn these numbers around? Sometimes it's the most obvious answer that leads you in the right direction.

The Experts May Never Agree On A Cause

While it's always nice to find someone or something to blame, we may never know the true cause of autism. Where parents actually need help is in moving forward and dealing with the daily issues of this disorder. These children have difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communications, social interactions, repetitive behaviors, as well as a long list of co-occurring conditions (eg learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, and sensory integration disorders) .

Specialists have noted that many of these children also suffer from a poorly functioning digestive system, high toxic load (most notably high mercury levels), and a weak immune system. Traditional treatment methods have focused on medication and behavioral therapies. While these methods can minimize improper behavior, they do not address the overall health of the child. Many resourceful parents have found that traditional therapy along with the modification of their child's diet has been delivered in even greater improvements in behavior and wellbeing.

What Should We Focus On?

More attention should be focused on improving the health of the digestive system. Digestion, elimination, immunity and even brain health are all inter-related. However, they all start with the proper digestion of food. When the digestive system is not working, we see a domino effect of problems. The body does not absorb nutrients, stops naturally detoxifying itself, and the immune system weakens. In addition, mood, behavior, anxiety, focus, and sleep are affected from a poorly functioning brain and nervous system.

What's Your Child Eating?

Let's look at the typical child on the autism spectrum. They tend to be picky eaters who may only eat certain, favorite foods. These foods tend to be white bread, pasta, rice, pastries, frozen pizza, candy, soda, and fruit juices. What do these foods have in common? They contain no fiber, are high in sugar, and are full of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Specialists believe that cravings for these foods develop because the body is looking for a quick energy source. The damaged digestive system can not properly digest food and absorb nutrients, so instead it looks for fuel in the form of sugar. Unfortunately, these processed, sugary foods continue the domino effect and further weaker and stress the body. Parents also need to be aware that many gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) products which are popular choices for autistic children are loaded with a ton of sugar, chemicals and preservatives which continue to aggravate the body. Some GFCF products are just processed foods in a clever disguise.

What The Body Needs

The first goal should be to reduce the amount of processed and sugary foods in the diet. These foods weaken the body. The body needs vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, high quality carbohydrates, and plenty of water. Dietary changes can be hard to make for people of any age, especially children. The biggest hurdle is getting over the thought that you can not do it. Gradual, long-term dietary changes can be made by anyone and the benefits are worth the effort.

Second, parents may want to discuss the benefits of using a good quality probiotic with their child's doctor. Probiotics increase the number of 'friendly bacteria' in a damaged digestive system. These good bacteria can improve digestion, aid the immune system, prevent diarrhea and constipation, improve elimination, as well as many other functions.

The third goal should be to improve the health of the brain. Most people do not think about feeding the brain, but it also requires a healthy diet. However, the brain has a special requirement since 60% of the brain is composed of fat. It requires a consistent supply of fatty acids to build more brain cells, send messages through the nervous system, and other functions. The body can produce most of the fatty acids that it needs, but can not make and tend to be lacking in omega 3 fatty acids. These must come from food such as salmon, walnuts, flax and chia seeds, and sea vegetables. High quality fish oil supplements can also be used to ensure that the brain is receiving enough omega 3s and functioning at its optimum level.

What's the Solution?

As the number of children on the autism spectrum continues to rise, more and more parents are looking for solutions. Traditional treatment methods for children are more targeted towards 'behaviors', such as aggression, anxiety, focus, depression, and seizures.

Issues related to the 'body', such as the digestive system, immune system and brain health are typically not addressed. However, it's easy to see that the 'behaviors' and 'body' are part of the same puzzle. Many parents and support groups promote the benefits of nutritional therapy. In some cases, very minor changes in diet can have a tremendous effect. More parents need to be made aware of this powerful tool.

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Understanding Autism Educational Placement

Autism educational placement is done after the child has been found with an autism eligibility. In most school districts a multidisciplinary team of school staff members will review the results of the child's testing and evaluation with the parents. The team will often explain to the parents what special education options are available to children in the school district. The staff will then help the parents to see what type of program might be best suited for the child based upon the results of the testing, assessments and observations. Each special education program will vary in regards to class size, the number of staff working with the child, the amount of time provided for support and direct assessment with the child. Some children have significant medical needs as well and may require a home based program so that medical care can be facilitated with the educational needs of the child. Some children with autism may need home support for a while and then are able to make a transition to a school setting. The educational team will work with the parent to make sure support are in place if the school needs to provide medical care, special accommodations, dieting restrictions, allergy alerts or anything else that will help the child succeed in the school setting.

The area of ​​autism educational placement draws many questions from parents in the educational assessment process. I think placement really revolves around both the skills and abilities of the child as well as the shortcomings or delays of the child. Some children have multiple or greater delays and need more intensive intervention in a full day specialized autism program. Other children with autism may be placed in a half day program with children who have developmental delays. Yet other children are placed in a type of half and half program where the child may spend half the day in a specialized autism program and the other half in regular education program with special education support. This is often done to see if the child would be able to make a transition to a least restrictive type of setting. There are also students with autism who can handle a full day regular education program who only need monitoring or consultation from a special education teacher. I think since each child is unique and has individual issues autism placement can be approached from a number of creative angles in diverse school districts and educational programs.

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Cultural Factors That Could Impact an Autism Eligibility

There are many cultural factors that could affect whether a child is delayed, has autism or possibly another condition. These cultural factors could be such things as a family custom, a second language issue or a cultural difference that may affect how a child presents to an educational team. A good example of this would be a team looking at whether a child plays with toys appropriatively. In one instance a child may have just arrived to a new country and has not had many toys. The child is fearful of electronic or musical toys in part because he or she has never been around these types of toys. As a result, the child may withdraw or close down when these types of toys are presented. On the surface, a professional may almost suspect the child has some autism characteristics. However, once the family social and cultural history is taken and the transitions to a new country are noted a different angle is approached. The child then would probably be viewed in the context of the change and playing with the toys inappropriately would be part of a cultural difference and lack of play experiences with certain types of toys rather than an autism characteristic.

Sometimes a cultural factor considered as autism is actually related to a cultural custom. If there is an expectation in one culture that a child should make eye contact and the child does not make eye contact a professional might say the child has a characteristic of autism. Certainly, some children with autism concerns do avoid eye contact or look away from social contacts. However, some cultural groups avoid direct eye contact or use eye contact for only limited periods or a short duration of time. A professional will sometimes notice that a parent displays a similar characteristic of the child. The child may not make eye contact, but other family members may not make a lot of eye contact either or speak with their eyes turned away from a speaker. The professional should strive not to confuse a cultural factor or custom with a child who has significant deficits in social interaction or communication. Observations of the child as well as discussions with the parent related to culture can help professionals have a greater understanding of cultural factors and family customs that sometimes seem to be related to autism, but are actually related to the culture and lifestyle of the family.

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Autism – Obvious Symptoms or Questionable Signs

Children with possible autism may present in two ways. There are some children who have clear cut or obvious signs of autism. This may be a kid that when people are around him or her notice that there is something different or unusual about the child. It could be the parents or a relative having a feeling that the child may have autism. The preschool educator or development specialist specialist may document or start to suspect signs of autism while observing the child in the home setting. A doctor may note characteristics or classes of autism in his or her medical report School district employees may encourage a parent to get a younger sibling of an older child who is attending the local elementary school to be tested for autism. Often these cases of autism are more clear cut because the symptoms of autism are obvious and observed more frequently by different people. There is not a lot of discussion or disaggregation of the characteristics these children present because these children may play be themselves and stay away from other children even when there are many children and activities around them.

There is also a second type of child that presents with more questionable signs of autism. These are much harder cases for professionals to determine if a child has developmental delays or possible autism. Experienced preschool teachers may want to work with the child to see if he or she will start warming up and gaining more skills to participate and interact in the preschool setting. Since children in early childhood programs can make rapid changes related to socialization and communication there is definite a benefit in putting a child in a preschool to look for obvious symptoms and questionable signs related to autism. This can also provide parents with valuable information to see if the child is meeting developmental milestones or has delays.

Professionals may doubt autism because the child does certain things very appropriately and at other times presents with inconsistent or unpredictable types of responses to requests. When there are doubts and questions about whether the child has autism there is a need to delve deeper for more information on the child's reactions, responses, capabilities and skill development related to the communication and socialization areas. Additional consultation with outside specialists related to behavior, sensory, eating or academic issues may be needed to collect more information on the child.

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Autism Therapies – Effective Ways Of Treating Individuals With Autism

It may come as a major shock to parents to find their child being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Most of the times, they are left with an overwhelming query as to what should be the right treatment approaches that would have appropriately improved their development and behaviors. While there are various education programs and treatment procedures that can contribute immensely to the growing and learning of these individuals with special needs, it is extremely important that the treatment courses are started as early as possible to produce the best results.

Apart from medicines and behavioral training, there are various autism therapies that can prove to be very beneficial in the all-round development of an individual on the autism spectrum. Some of the therapies include:

Occupational Therapy: This is very beneficial in developing coordination and motor skills.

Speech Therapy: This helps in improving language and communication skills.

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Training: This is a useful treatment method for autism and associated behavioral problems such as slapping others, head-banging etc.

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) Training: This is a recently invented treatment approach that is used to develop in children the ability to socialize with other people.

Sensory Therapy: Children with autism can have various sensory problems. While some of them are highly sensitive to external stimuli like light, sound and touch, some do not respond at all to these stimuli. Sensory therapies help significantly in improving and stabilizing such sensory problems.

It has been demonstrated in various scientific studies that autistic children who are subjected to early treatments show considerable improvement in communication, learning and social skills. With this aspect in mind, researchers have designed a number of autism therapies that can help individuals immensely. Although the effectiveness of these therapies may vary in each individual, there are certain important aspects that should be present in any good therapeutic program.

  • Any child on the autism spectrum should be subjected to the therapy sessions for a minimum of 25 hours per week.
  • The therapists or teachers conducting the sessions should be highly trained, skilled and qualified. It is also beneficial to have trained paraprofessionals working under the guidance of knowledgeable professionals having expertise in autism therapy, to support the program.
  • The therapy programs should contain clear and accurate learning goals with appropriate techniques to assess, evaluate and record the child's ability to meet the goals.
  • The therapeutic sessions should be designed in a way to focus on the main aspects of the child's personality that have been majorly impacted by autism, including language and communication skills, social skills, motor skills, play skills and the abilities of self-care.
  • The programs should provide a platform for the child, where they can interact with a peer group with the same development issues.
  • The programs should allow parents to take active part in both decision making and implementation of the program.
  • The therapy sessions should integrate an entire team of professionals including a physician, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist.
  • The therapists should exhibit an adequate level of compassion and understanding of the child and their family.

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April Is Autism Awareness Month: Support Caregivers

For several decades, April has been celebrated as Autism Awareness Month – a month to educate people about autism and how they can help. Although it is very important for people to understand what the disorder is, it is also important to understand how it can affect families and caregivers. While we encourage you to learn more about autism spectrum disorder and support those who are affected, we'd also like you to think about and give support to the caregivers as well. Here are some facts relating to the caregivers of people with autism.

  • Parents who have a child with autism have a 2-18% chance of having a second child with autism
  • It is estimated that it costs $ 17,000-21,000 more per year to care for a child with autism spectrum disorder than to care for the average child
  • About 40% of children with autism do not speak, and many caregivers struggle to communicate with them
  • Some people with autism require full time supervision
  • There is currently no cure for autism, but some forms of therapy have helped many people with autism spectrum disorder
  • Studies have shown that parents of autistic children have more trouble sleeping than other parents

Many people with autism are entirely dependent on their caregivers for their everyday needs, sometimes for their own lives. This can put a tremendous strain on parents and caregivers financially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Although there are programs and organizations that can help, it is still a difficult job to care for a person with autism.

Many caregivers are so caught up in the day to day struggles that they do not stop to think about what would happen to their loved one if they could no longer care for them. In many cases, the autistic child would not have access to the resources and care they need if their parent or caregiver was injured, become ill, or passed away. Disability insurance and life insurance can ensure that they get the care they need, even when their current caregiver is gone. It is important that caregivers take time to think about their loved ones future, even if it's difficult while dealing with the day to day challenges.

Caregivers are often the heroes that go without recognition. They dedicate their time and effort to help their loved one, and often do not get the credit they deserve. We hope that you'll do your part as we celebrate Autism Awareness Month to support caregivers and their loved ones and educate others about this disorder.

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Acquire Sufficient Information On The Right Treatment For Autism

For parents, it can be an extremely overwhelming and confusing experience to find their child being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). While in some cases the diagnosis can come as an absolute bolt from the blue, in others it might be an exit of a long time attempt of getting an accurate diagnosis. Whatever the case, the experience can bring with it a great deal of helplessness and confusion regarding the right treatment for autism.

Even a decade ago, it was considered appropriate to place individuals with autism in special institutions. There was a scarcity of adequately trained and qualified professionals, services and organizations that could efficiently assist and support children with special needs. Today, with the advances in the medical field, and considering growth in organizations and services offering effective information and support, there is incentive help available for children with autism. There is a massive scope for these children to grow, learn and prosper at a remarkable rate in order to enable them to successfully make a place for themselves in the society.

Although there is no permanent cure for autism, there are neglectless treatment procedures and education methods that can consider ease the difficulties and challenges involved in the condition. Just like the condition is not characterized by one particular behavior or symptom, the treatment also can not be categorized under the same methods and approaches for all. Specific treatment procedures have to be followed based on individual requirements and abilities. However, it is extremely important that the treatment begins as early as possible in order to provide the best results.

For ages, it has been an overly confusing issue for parents as well as professionals to decide on the appropriate course of treatment for children and adults with autism. Owing to the fact that each individual has their own unique way of responding to treatment approaches, it is almost impossible to decide on the most ideal and accurate education program for people on the autism spectrum. Here, it can be extremely beneficial for parents to obtain adequate knowledge and information on the various ways they can add to the growing and learning experience of their child.

Let us discuss in brief some of the appropriate options available for the treatment of autism.

Specialized Therapies: The various therapies involved in the treatment for autism include physical, speech, music and occupational therapy. These therapies can be used to serve various purposes in the development of an autistic child. While speech therapy can be used to assist in the improvement of language and communication skill of a child, thenby helping them to become more social, physical and occupational therapy can help in developing motor and coordination skills. Music therapy can be very beneficial in improving behavioral patterns and social awareness in autistic children and adults.

Behavioral Training: Behavioral training and management involves identifying specific training to children on the autism spectrum on social skills and self-help in order to progress their communication and behavior.

Medication: Medicines can be used for treating the associated conditions and behavioral issues that develop with autism, such as depression, anxiety, hyperactivity and more.

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Using Sensory Learning Therapy to Help Autistic Children

For children to interact effectively with their world, it is crucial for their sensorial perception mechanisms to promote proper reactions to stimuli. Children with autism have difficulty responding to their environments due to internal barriers that either prevent or limit them from forging tangible connections with people, situations, and other external forces. Medical experts have tapped into the powerful tool of sensory learning therapy – an innovative method that provides stimulation that will encourage the gradual development of positive responses within the child. As a result, the child's brain will subconsciously begin to experience the world through the use of all of his / her senses, thus prompting a solid connection to environment.

A long-time professional in the practice of sensory integration, Lorna Jean King (OTR, FAOTA) provides an in-depth look at the method of this breakthrough therapy in her 1996 interview with Stephen M. Edelson. According to King, the goal of sensory therapy is to encourage normal organization of information in the brain. The better the child's brain is able to organize information, the more effective the response will be. King stresses the importance of properly developed vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile systems within the body, citing autism as the by-product of systems that require targeted sensory therapies.

Applied pressure is of considerable value in the therapy process. King advises therapies that involve massage and the “hug machine” since these activities promote what she has labeled “sustained pressure.” The child is able to create trusting relationships with this positive stimuli, which over time will help his / her brain to automatically process information and provoke a desirable reaction. King firmly believes that by developing these three major sensory systems, all of the senses will benefit. For instance, King describes “shirt chewing” as a way for the autistic child to relieve stress. She encourages caregivers to equip children with “safer” methods of alleviating stress. For example, children can instead use baby toothbrushes and other objects that will prove more socially acceptable. By eliminating stress, all of the child's senses will be positively impacted.

Likewise, AutismSpeaks.org provides even more effective tools for caregivers when it comes to incorporating sensory therapies into everyday routines. The brand Comfort Silkie is home to the “Autism Comfort Therapy” line that includes weighed blankets and pillows specifically designed for evoking strong feelings of safety and security. The site also publishes Autism Movement Therapy, which is a superb learning method that combines music and movement exercises with Positive Behavior Support therapies.

Special Needs Products LLC is home to a line of weighted vests. These vests “hug” the child using gentle stimulation and are an excellent means of relaxing, soothing, and encouraging positive emotional exchange. Perhaps the best method of assisting a child with autism is the tender embrace from a loving caregiver. Lorna King emphasizes the effectiveness of a light back rub, a warm cuddle, and a special story time – all of which are excellent ways of developing a positive, peaceful, and trusting environment that promotes thinking personal growth.

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How Music Therapists Help Children With Autism

Music therapy works on the basis of the concept that any individual irrespective of age and ability has the potential to respond to music and sound, which in turn contributions remarkably to the improvements in their behavior and emotional well-being by managing stress, developing communication and enhancing memory. It makes use of the magic of singing and live music compositions to motivate people to take part in inspiring and natural musical activities. Trained music therapists use various tuned instruments or their voices to conduct creative and interactive musical sessions.

Several studies have shown that music therapy can have tremendous impact on children and teens with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It can contribute immensely in developing social behaviors, developing communication skills, improving focus and attention, easing stress and anxiety and improving body coordination. In many cases it has been found that autistic children and teens respond well to music at times when almost everything else fails to grab their attention. This makes the music an effective therapeutic technique in their treatment.

Let us discuss some of the aspects that help music therapists treat children with autism.

  • Some recent studies have shown that autistic children are capable of exhibiting a better level of social interaction during music therapy sessions than during play activities that are devoid of music. The children are also found to be more responsive to the therapist and more emotionally expressive during these music therapy gatherings.
  • Studies have shown that music therapy helps remarkably in improving the overall behavior in children with autism. Children suffering from inattentive behavior like aggression, restlessness, etc. has been noticed to spend hours in long music therapy sessions without difficulty. A significant improvement is found in most of the children after these sessions.
  • Around thirty-percent of autistic children are non-verbal, and have trouble understanding verbal instructions. They also lack social awareness, which makes it extremely difficult for them to understand body languages. Expert music therapists combine music with actions to connect the auditory and motor sections of the brain that in turn helps in enhancing the understanding of verbal communication. Also, the combination of music with action along with fictitious and repetitive training helps in improving the brain paths required to speak.
  • Due to the incapability to push out provoking stimuli, autistic children are older to higher levels of anxiety and stress than normal children. Studies have shown that children who are subjected to small music therapy sessions with rhythmic music exhibit reduced stress related behaviors. To ease out the stress and anxiety in children with autism the best is considered classical music or something with a steady rhythm owed to the consistency and predictability of the beat.
  • The most significant way music therapy helps autistic children is by engaging them in activities that they thoroughly enjoy. Autistic children find it extremely easy to engage in musical sessions, which do not seem to be any kind of work to them. They can probably be reached out and stimulated by musical rhythms than anything else.

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Various Essential Therapies Used For Down Syndrome Treatment

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that can lead to various complications and development delays. Although there is no cure for this chromosomal disorder, early therapies and treatments can definitely make a positive impact on the lives of the people with Down syndrome. Down syndrome treatments include various courses of medications and therapies that help these individuals reach their potential, thereby improving the quality of their lives.

As soon as Down syndrome is diagnosed in a new born baby, they are required to undergo several therapies, activities and exercises that are designed to help them improve the standards of their life. Some of the significant therapies used for the treatment of Down syndrome are:

Physical Therapy: Physical therapies help immensely in improving the motor developments in children with Down syndrome. Since these children have poor muscle tone, physical therapies helps in improving the muscle tone by helping them move their bodies in accurate manners.

Speech Therapy: Speech therapy is extremely necessary for children with Down syndrome in order to make them learn how to communicate easily and clearly. Owing to the fact that most of these children have smaller mouths and bigger tongues that makes their articulation difficult and indistinct, it is essential for them to undergo specific speech therapy that can be connected either through talking or by using sign languages.

Occupational Therapy: This kind of therapy is used to enhance children with Down syndrome the ability to become self-dependent. It aims at developing motor skills, self-care abilities and the abilities to play and spend leisure times in these children. It also helps children learn other special skills like printing, cutting, etc. that may enable them to attend normal schools or be eligible to take up jobs in the future.

Music Therapy: Children with Down syndrome suffering form developmental delays and learning disabilities are often found to respond to the magic of music. Music therapy helps these children immensely in expressing themselves and verbalizes their emotions through singing and dancing. Music therapy can also help these children in developing motor skills and social interactions.

Music therapy can help patients with Down syndrome in a number of ways.

Academic Improvement: Music can play the role of a mnemonic device in teaching children various academic information like address, phone numbers, etc. Moreover, when special music therapy kits intended for developing particular skills are combined with visuals, they can prove to be highly stimulating and multi-sensory techniques for learning.

Motor Skill Development: Music therapy can contribute significantly to the development of motor skills, self-help skills and developing upper extremity muscle strength and coordination.

Development of Social Skills: By taking part in musical performances and sessions, these special abilities children can develop the abilities of social interaction and teamwork. These motivating musical sessions help develop a sense of self-awareness and self-confidence, helping these children to feel as part of the society.

Down syndrome treatment requires an entire team of specialists including:

  • A developmental behavioral pediatrician.
  • A primary care pediatrician.
  • A pediatric cardiologist.
  • A pediatric gastroenterologist.
  • A pediatric endocrinologist.
  • A pediatric neurologist.
  • A physical therapist.
  • A speech therapist.
  • An occupational therapist.
  • A music therapist.

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