Tech Jobs May Solve the Autism Unemployment Crisis

Ever since he got his first computer game at the age of five, Jacob Rodriguez knew he wanted to work in the gaming industry. But the prospect seemed less likely as the years went by and he grew older. Jacob, an autistic, enrolled in a local college but could not make it more than the first few days. The social environment scared him off, says Jacob, adding that he was just too nervous.

Today, three years later, Jacob is performing well as a junior programmer in a gaming company. His first game is already available on android and iOS and Jacob believes he has a future in the industry. He attributes his success to a non-government institute that hones the skills of people with autism. Jacob says that it was the right kind of environment for him. The institute cave has a career.

There are several such institutions in the US that act as a link between a school and a company. Here, young autistic adults are trained in software development. Many have already graduated to full-time jobs in designing, conceptualizing and coding programs. These non-government organizations train an estimated 1.5 million Americans to demonstrate their talents in the technological field. Companies have now opened up to hire people with autism as software testers and rely on a remote working model that can circumvent the need for a social environment which is often challenging for those on the spectrum. Some nonprofit organizations trains people with autism as interns and software testers, and then place them in full-time jobs. Many of these organizations were founded by people who have autistic persons in their family. In most cases, these persons showed impressive skills in handling computers. Honestly, it would have been a waste to ask these people to do mundane tasks, like carrying the grocery or helping in household chores. The nonprofit organizations vouch by their talent and their capabilities.

Many market research firms believe that a number of Silicon Valley companies are already staffed with plenty of undiagnosed people on the autism spectrum. However, a concentrated effort to hire such people has only begun recently. While there's no hard data regarding how many people with autism are actually finding employment, estimates have disclosed that less than 32 percent of young autistic adults work for a pay, while a staggering 64 percent does not even attend college. People on the autism spectrum face a difficult time to hold on to conventional office jobs and often find themselves engaged in trivial rods that neither judge their intellect nor use their abilities. According to conservative estimates one in every 50 babies born in the US is now diagnosed of autism. At this rate, employment crisis for people with autism in the country is likely to worsen.

Change seems to be happening at least in the tech industry. But that will not be easy. Notwithstanding their skills, autistic people usually struggle to fit in a corporate work environment. It may also lead to stereotypical thoughts that tech is the only domain for people with autism. But it's nonetheless encouraging for such people. Things may be finally looking up.

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People With Autism Make Good Employees

An increasing trend being notified in several major companies these days is their propensity to recruit people with autism in greater numbers. The fact that more companies are striving to have an inclusive and increasingly diverse work is encouraging enough. Hiring people with autism is another indicator of our progress as a society and recognizing that all individuals have something to contribute.

Many experts say that recruiting a person on the autism spectrum not only adds diversity to an organization's work, but is also a good business decision. A company can leverage the strength of a person on the autism spectrum and improve its own business practice as well.

Autistic people can maximize their potential in various roles. They are ideal for positions that call for a superb attention to detail and jobs that are responsive or highly structured. People with autism are very appropriate for gifts that are usually difficult to fill or ones that have a high turnover, like overnight or solo hours. The result could have been a perfect work environment for those on the autism spectrum.

Workers with autism, like all other new recruitments, may require special training and minor adjustments in the workplace. Many autistic people require the assistance of a job coach to break down complicated tasks into smaller steps. They may need additional visual support like written schedules and lists that could be used for reference.

Companies hiring autistic people must be aware of the social difficulties and differences for those on the autism spectrum. A person with autism may not make eye contact during an interview. They may be honest and blunt in their response than other candidates who talk informally. But such honesty in attitude and even the dislike for small talk could have been immensely valuable traits of an employee.

A recent research has claimed that more than 90 percent of Americans have a better opinion of organizations hiring people with disabilities than who do not. Of late, some specialized companies are offering staffing solutions for people with disabilities like autism. Such people can submit their resume on the websites of these companies where experienced recruiters match candidates to appropriate jobs and forward the resumes to hiring managers of various companies. Recruiters from staffing agencies also often meet one-on-one with the hiring managers to help them understand the advantages of recruiting a person with autism.

Automobile major Ford Motor Company recently announced the launch of a new job training program for people with autism. A typical job under the program direct people with autism to a specialized section where they are counseled by specialists.

Many young children with autism, courtesy early detection and applied behavior analysis (ABA), are growing up as superb candidates to be employed. They are eager and ready to donate their bit to the society. Not only Ford Motor, many other big multinational companies have realized that people with autism can be valued addition to their staff. Hiring them would have a positive impact for both businesses and the community as a whole.

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Library and Other Apps for Children With Autism

In the recent months there has been a lot of buzz about apps. Everything from train trains tickets to checking the latest news are mostly done through apps these days. Libraries are no different in this regard. Smart phones and tabs, loaded with pre-installed apps, are available to many public library users, either for circulation or online use. Librarians too, on their part, are looking at the possibility to review apps and put their stamp of approval, Notwithstanding what you think is the best way to incorporate apps into programs and services, libarians extremely agree that these apps are here to stay. The media is full of discussion on the amazing ways by which children with autism have embroidered mobile and portable gadgets. Apps for autistic children have replaced the more cumbersome and expensive traditional technology.

There are several ways in which apps for autistic children can be incorporated in a public library setting.

Apps for special children can be used during a story session. For instance, autistic children have tactile defensiveness and they are not comfortable with glue, scissors, finger paint or other craft equipment. If they are handed a tab running a drawing app or doodle, it will enable them to participate in art and craft activities in an adaptive fashion.

Tabs for use inside the library, or for circulation, can be loaded with appropriate apps for autistic children, so that families who do not own the technology as yet, will have access to it. Librarians, on their part, can introduce tabs and some particular apps to families of autistic children on an experimental basis. In families with higher income, it will help parents preview the apps before they purchase.

A program or brochure can describe the features one should look for while previewing apps for autistic children. Such an approach will empower parents and help them to assess new apps when they are introduced in the market. Beside the features that make apps for autistic children useful in libraries, parents should check whether it can be customized with the child's name and other personal information. Most importantly, the apps should keep track of the child's progress.

School libraries can tailor their tents and apps for autistic children because many children with autism are already using these devices in classes and therapy sessions. The child's instructors, classroom teachers, and occupational and speech therapists can provide guidance on the applications for autistic children that could be helpful during library time.

What to check?

Before installing a library app, check out whether it supports both images and text. The images must be as realistic as possible. Some apps include video modeling ie the lessons are demonstrated with the help of a video. It should provide rewards in the form of points. You should also be able to set the difficulty level. Not every child's aptitude is the same and it particularly varies widely among autistic children. The number of pictures on a screen, and the space between them, should be adjustable. The same holds good for speech and audio effects. They can be modified according to the needs of the child.

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Eye Tracking Technology for Autism

It's the numbers that get huge attention while talking about autism spectrum disorder. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 68 children in the US is diagnosed with autism. There are several advocacy groups that do a lot of work to spread awareness about the disorder, and they often support families with autistic children and lobby for services in communities and schools.

Rather than a particular condition, autism is a spectrum disorder and manifests differently among the affected people. Functional impairment in a child's communication mechanism and social interaction, along with repetitive or restrictive behaviors, are the most common problems. Children with autism spectrum disorder usually have trouble concentrating, follow routines, and face difficulty in school, particularly regarding conversation and making friends.

A new study in the US recently carried out research on a typical problem among people with autism: eye contact. It's difficult for most children, and researchers tried to find out on eye tracking and what it means to those with autism spectrum disorder.

Participants in the research included 18 neurotypical children and 17 children with autism spectrum disorder, aged between five and 11 years of age. During the online video conversation, an eye tracker system was used to track what the person was looking at when they were viewing something on the screen, using bounced infrared light off the retina. The researchers recorded the X and Y coordinates of the eyes. At times when the conversation was pretty ordinary, like what they did for work or how was the weather, most children with autism spectrum disorder were able to make proper eye contact. But it was expected lower compared to adults.

When the conversation topic was more emotionally charged, like what they felt sad or scary about, the eye contact of the children shifted to the mouth. More shift to the chin or mouth and less eye contact, mean a higher correlation among children with a greater severity of the disorder, along with poor executive function and intellectual ability.

Experts say that the subject of your conversation really matters to children with autism spectrum disorder. Simply change some words by speaking about what people do, as against how they feel, and it can have a major impact on where the eyes would hunt for information. For the children with autism, an emotional conversation causes a higher load on the working memory. In fact, it overloads the brain's information processing function.

It was for the first time that a study on autism used eye tracking technology to determine the extent of the disorder among children and adults. The team of researchers hopes that their findings would encourage people and concerned quarters to scour for ways to understand people with autism better, and how they see the world.

Understanding people with autism is the first call of action to forge a more inclusive world for them. Such people are usually hesitant to go out and mix with the world. More research is required on what can be done to cede a better and a convenive world to autistic people.

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How To Manage Challenging Behaviours In Childhood Autism

For the first few times I attempted to teach Jonathan how to cross the road, he would often not look. I understand this as a trust issue. That possibly he did not trust his eyes and his subconscious enough to judge whether it was safe to cross.

When older, my husband would every day 'tail' Jon to school to make sure he got there safely. As it was only a couple of empty no through roads to cross from home to school, Nick noticed that Jon would wait until there was a group of pupils crossing the road, before he would cross with them, trusting them to look and check the road for him!

Of course, there was an element of intelligence there. Why judge the road yourself when you can rely on someone else to do it! However, the scary thing was, was Jon was happy to trust strangers to look for him, and that was something we had to address quickly.

Even now, when crossing the road anywhere with Jon, I will say to him 'check to see if it is safe to cross Jon for me.' By using the idea of ​​the remark so that it sounds I am asking for his help, Jon is happy then to look both ways and say, 'safe now Mungie.' With Jon, I learned quickly that he enjoys helping as many ASD kids do.

It gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility. After all, Jon frequently says' all ASD kids want is to be seen as normal by everyone else and be accepted. We do not want to be different or even looked at. We just want to mingle in. ' I think for many, he speaks the truth, but not for all. Jon is now a lot better at crossing the road and even stops his grandmother from walking out in front of traffic!

Up until Jon was around 4 years old, I was still using locks when in a busy town or near places where there was a lot of traffic. The key years for him wanting to escape and run away was from the age of 8 to around 12 years old. After puberty, ASD kids can get a sense of their self and the world. Once he reached a particular age (around fourteen years old) Jon knew he was going to look stupid if he suddenly started shouting or running away. When I bought it to his attention once that there was a crowd forming around him in the middle of the high street, it would be enough for him to calm down. If you feel your child is in particular dangerous from charging out in front of traffic, then, you need to restrain them.

As Jon sufferers with PDA as well as HFA, physically holding him would only make him angry, and it is surprising how strong they can be when they are that fueled up with anger. I would attempt to run in front of him (thankfully Jon is not a good runner, and I am still faster than him) and stop in front of him, putting my arms out to shield him further from causing harm to both of us.

The key thing to remember with any lashing out is that it will burnt itself out quickly. A child having a mobile meltdown will often stop if they think they're not going to get anywhere. As long as you keep shielding them from running further, they will always stop through tiredness.

Talking in a calm and steady manner to him sometimes worked, but if he was particularly angry about something (and it was usually after I said I wanted to stop for a cup of tea), his PDA would kick in with me. In these scenarios, offering a bargain or a deal is a good idea. It focuses their mind to think about something else. Do not even, say you will pay them if they calm down.

I know it is always tempting but do not do it. You're teaching your child that they can bully their way out of any situation and expect to get cash for it. That's not going to stand very well when they are an adult and assuming that anyone will pay them to stop being angry.

Stopping them from doing something they think is playful (they are not in a temper) by jumping out of a window, can often be discouraged using role play or story telling. Using a favorite cartoon character is often effective. Making up a simple story about how this character can hurt themselves when jumping out of a window can certainly work. The key here is to ensure the child can identify the character. They need to make a connection with it. This will help them visualize the action. If they can focus on this favorite character not doing something because it is dangerous, then they are more likely to follow this 'new code' of learning.

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The Great Transition

The world is witnessing an incredible social phenomenon of historical significance taking place right before our eyes. While the events surrounding this massive change may not garner international attention, the impact will have lasting consequences. Thousand of teens on the autism spectrum are moving rapidly towards adulthood, with a great deal of anticipation combined equally with uncertainty. Institutions such as colleges, financial services, governmental agencies, and assisted living are beginning to take notice. In view of the fact that millions of young people around the world are living with autism, addressing their long term needs will take center stage in the years ahead. While transitioning to adulthood is not unique in and of itself, the sheer number of people on the autism spectrum, at this point in history, is conspicuously distinct. Unlike past generations, our world today is more accepting, open, and tolerant of people with disabilities of all kinds. Moreover, due to the broad spectrum of abilities found within the autism community, unique talents are often viewed as complementary in educational and employment settings.

The maturation of the autistic community will significantly impact key areas of society as we advance towards the middle of the 21ST century. Namely, sectors such as health care, financial services, technology, and housing are chief among the industries that will experience myriad changes. Employment is a major concern for adults on the spectrum seeking to live, but future hiring trends will be tied to changes in technology more than we realize. Subsequently, technology is the central focal point for autistic people entering adulthood and the implications for future living are intense. The link between the tech industry and the autism community is strong indeed, as evidenced by support from some leaders in the industry. Research is currently underway to find solutions to improve the quality of life for people living with autism.
Tech giants Microsoft and Google are spearheading initiatives to identify ways to improve eye contact and socialization among autistics – so changing their life experience in dramatic fashion. The delivery of health care will also undergo substantive changes as autistic adults enter the system without the protective umbrella of parental care. In addition, the need for community based health care will soon become a hot topic as individuals on the spectrum seek independent living options in assisted living, group homes, and supported housing. Surely there must be changes in how health care is delivered to members of the autism community as issues such as communication barriers, transportation, sensory deficits, and situational anxiety must be addressed.

The remaining quadrants of the autism transition involve areas that are interrelated, but will be addressed as separate issues. The first involves the complex matter of financial planning for special needs adults. As members of the autism population age, some will inherit the claims from trusts and retirement accounts established by parents. The future for many others, however, is much more uncertain as the funds allocated to long term financial security are simply unavailable. This is a remarkable opportunity for the financial services industry to provide education for autistic families regarding the intricacies of money management.

The final piece of the puzzle involves housing for millions of adults on the autism spectrum as parents grow old and are no longer able to provide in home care. Siblings and other family members will assume the role of caretaker in many instances – but not always. As mentioned earlier, the assisted living industry is starting to realize the potential of providing long term housing to autistic adults from a business standpoint. The industry collectively must embrace technology and create an environment that enhances the quality of life for autistic residents. Further, independent living choices must address sensory and perceptual concerns in order to maximize the benefits of living life to its full potential.

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How to Win a Food Fight Battle Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

For the first time in the history, overweight and obesity are increasingly progressive in the general pediatric population. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, evidence suggests that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) may be at even higher elevated risk for unhealthy weight gain, with differences present as early as ages 2 to 5 years. To make matters worse, these results clearly indicated that the prevalence of unhealthy weight is significantly greater among children with ASD compared with the general population.

A study published in 2008, by The US Library of Medicine's National Institution on Health, listed childhood obesity as a culprit- affecting almost one-third of the US children, and the prevalence of these conditions has increased at least four-fold since the 1970s .

Obesity in ASD may be particularly problematic for a variety of reasons. First, core symptoms of ASD may be naturally related to weight problems: for instance, children with ASD may lack social motivation to participate in family meals or in structured physical activities with other children and those parents may be more likely to use food as a reward in children with ASD due to lack of social motivation. The severity or type of a child's symptoms may also affect his or her ability to participate in physical activities that may mitigate weight gain. Still, little is known about the prevalence that correlates to overweight youth and among children with autism Spectrum Disorder. Today, it is still unclear whether risk factors for obesity in ASD are the same or different from risk factors for children generally.

Living in a world of processed and high caloric food choices- today, more than ever, it is important that we all start to pay closer attention to what our children are eating and when. Easier said than done. Right?

Good nutrition and children with autism rarely go hand in hand easily. Often, parents who are responsible for mealtimes within a ASD family- concentrate what the neuro-normality world does not. ASD Parents live with higher demonstrations of restricted eating, and repetitive behavior patterns with food. ASD parents are also faced with a higher intake of low-nutrition, energy-dense foods. Parents usually give in, and pick their battles elsewhere. Can not say that I blame them. I've done it myself.

But to make things more stressful, we all know it all stops here, with us – the parents.

As if our jobs are not hard enough, we add a picky or selective eater to our daunting- ever-growing line-up of duties. Somedays it looks as though we will never win the food fight battle, let alone score a few points in our favor.

For many parents, loading healthy nutrition into your picky or selective eaters diet will always be a source of a meal time battle. Because Autism affects each child exclusively, we all need to run our own battery of food testing on our own child. For some children it's all about sensory issues -which can make introducing new and nutritious foods extremely hard for parents. If that is not complicated enough, dealing with children who like repetition and routines each day, provides another interesting challenge. Oral sensitivity issues can also make this difficult situation worse.

If you are a new parent of an ASD child, or a seasoned ASD parent, but need to make a nutritional change- please ask your doctor before starting any new food regiments. Most ASD families find going gluten and casein free really helps. Lose fast-food as quickly as you can. Try to stay dye-free and offer organic, minimally processed food replacements. Make this part of the whole families repertoire. Read labels. Cook at home any chance you have. Avoid highly processed foods at all costs.

Identifying food allergies. If children are reacting certain foods, pay close attention to this. Usually, if a child reject a certain food- it's because the body is speaking. Your child's body will naturally reject certain foods for a myriad of reasons. Pay close attention to those cues. Maybe your child is pressing his belly against the dinner table. This may signal a belly-ache. Whatever is causing these reactions, – these food should stay off the menu forever. Your child's body will naturally attacks a food it identifies as harmful, causing symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, intestinal integrity, shortness of breath, hives. With food intolerance, the digestive system alone rejects the food, finding it difficult to digest properly. Follow the food cues.

Think back on what your child repetitively eats. Maybe it's a fast food item. Something before you realized it's time for a change. Identify that item. Begin to build other foods to look like it. The shape, as well as the color. Example: Making homemade organic baked chicken tenderloins shorter and breaded in GF breadcrumbs to look like the fast food chicken nuggets you are trying to wean him off. Take all the time you need. Make sure this process is moving at the speed your child is absorbing the solution. Take each step a day at a time or once a week- on the same day each week. Always prepare your child and NEVER lie or be deceitful and sneaky about food- this approach can create more challenges for you down the road and not only about food, but trust issues. If you are hiding food within the recipe – tell them, just select the right time-and that sure is not before they eat it.

How to Introduce a New Food to a Selective Eater.

  1. Start a food journal. Inside the food journal, build a list containing two columns. In the first column list the foods that your child enjoys eating. Use the other column, to list a healthier alternative for each food listed in the first column. Keep another list on the dates the foods where offered.
  2. Remember, children are always watching and listening, even if you think they are not. Your families words and actions can make or break just about anything. Spread the message among the family members regarding your new food-fight strategy.
  3. Eat the desired new food while sitting next to your child and comment, how delicious the food tastes while you have your child's attention, and the child is observing you eating and enjoying the new food. Remember- if you are not eating it, do not expect your child to.
  4. Inflict Peer Pressure. Have a friend of the child, or a highly reinforcing person eat the food next to the child and make positive comments. Again, make sure your child is actually paying close attention.
  5. During therapy, downtime or homework hour. Place a photo of the desired food into the mix of whatever the child is working on. Make the food photo like a visual, tactile flashcard. Not a photo from your phone. One photo flashcard for each new food. Use one at a time or a few depending on your child. You know your child's tolerance levels best. Play a flashcard game. Look at the food picture, and talk about the new food. The foods name, what it tastes like, and how delicious it is. Where it comes from, and who else eats it.
  6. When you have cycled through a few flashcard activities, add the actual real food to the flashcard line up. Just touch it, look at it, feel it and discuss how delicious it tastes. Including discussing ways of how people cook and eat the new food. Describe and identify textures.
  7. Once you have cycled through the flashcard game enough times, and the child has actually seen the new food, now is the time to place a small amount of the new food on a plate close by to the child's plate during family meal times. Point to the new food and discuss it. Talk about how delicious it is, and allow the child to see you eat it, and enjoy it. Do not make the child touch or eat the food.
  8. Place a small amount of the new food on the child's plate with his regular meal. Make sure this is a not a surprise and create a no pressure zone. Tell the child ahead you are putting the new food on the plate-using the name of the food, and telling the child they do not have to eat the new food, but they need to tolerate the food sitting on his plate during the course of the mealtime.
  9. Place the same food item on the child's plate and during mealtimes, tell the child he needs to touch the food. Tell the child they do not have to eat the food, it just needs to be touched with a finger once during the mealtime.
  10. Continue the process until the food is tasted. Remain patience.The process of adding a new repertoire of foods will not happen over night, but it will happen.

By the end of a four, to eight month period, depending on your child -you might have them eating many foods from the new, healthy food list column you originally designed- including organic a grass fed, nitrate free hamburger meats, new, healthier variations of chicken or fresh fish nuggets, and lots of real fruits and vegetables in their natural form.

Each child is different. Be patient- in the long run, you and your family will find peace of mind that you will always be free from all the additional health issues associated with the negative aspects of eating highly processed foods.

Peaceful Parenting,

Chef Gigi

Little Lulu's Lemon Basil Meatballs

These lemony, basil meatballs instantly became such a big hit with eaters that have slow-acting taste receptors. If your child is a fast-food chicken nugget eater. Try shaping these into the same chicken nugget shape.

Ingredients

1/3 cup GF soft, breadcrumbs

Zest from one lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 lb. freshly ground chicken (light and dark meat) or ground turkey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne chili

1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

12 large fresh basil leaves

1 small white onion, diced

1 egg

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Lemon garlic sauce (recipe below)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350'F. In mini food processor add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, parsley, basil, and onion. Process to a paste.

In a large bowl, add ground chicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Add ingredients from food processor, add the egg and the GF breadcrumbs. Mix thoroughly with clean hands. Shape into 20, 1-1 / 2-inch meatballs.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the meatballs. Do not crowd the pan of they will steam and not brown well. Allow to brown, turning gently, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a lined non-stick surface on a baking sheet. Place in preheated oven for an additional 10-minutes until cooked though. While meatballs are cooking hough in the oven make the Lemon Garlic sauce (see recipe below). Remove from oven with temperature reaches internal temp of 140'F and juices from the meatballs run clear. top with Lemon Garlic sauce. Serve with GF pasta or eat alone.

Makes approximately 20 meatballs

Lemon Garlic Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 stick of unsalted butter

Zest from 1/2 a lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced to paste

Pinch of garlic salt

4 large basil leaves (chopped at the last minute before serving)

2 springs flat leaf Italian parsley, leaves only

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

In a small skillet over low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant. Add parsley, lemon juice, garlic salt and continue to cook over medium heat until warmed through. Mince the basil and parsley together at the last minute, add to the sauce, swirl to release flavor. Adjust seasoning to your preference with additional salt and pepper. Spoon the topping over the meatballs. Serve immediately.

Makes approximately 1/2 cup

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Zika Virus Studies Can Lead to a Better Understanding of the Cause and Treatment of Autism

Public Health authorities have traditionally been slow in responding to the threats posed by new infections. The most glaring example over the last several decades has been HIV; an infection that still infects millions of individuals worldwide. Minimal efforts were made to contain highly pathogenic methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria when first identified. After a longer long delay, authorities mounted a cooperative response to Ebola virus, but the disease subscribed before medical therapies could have been developed and effectively evaluated. The world is now challenged with horrendous examples of children born without normal brains due to the transmission of Zika virus during pregnancy. Zika virus infected pregnant women are not currently being treated. Rather the emphasis within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is on the future development of vaccines and anti-viral drugs. Rudimentary anti-mosquito measures are also envisioned to help minimize further infections.

Markedly reduced head circumference (microcephaly) is being reported in some of the infants born to Zika infected mothers. While other infants from infected mothers may not show the reduced head size, there are many indications that they too will be neurologically impaired. Within a year or two, some of these less affected children will likely show features of autism. This will be a painful reminder of the disregard by public health authorities of evidence showing the presence of active virus infections in children with autism. The viruses were characterized as being stealth adapted since they did not evoke an inflammatory response, the normal hallmark of an infectious disease. Stealth adaptation is a generic process that can potentially occur with all viruses by the loss or mutation of the relatively few viral genes that code components targeted by the cellular immune system. Stealth adapted viruses have been implicated in many illnesses, but especially those with neuropsychiatric symptoms, including children with autism.

Public Health authorities chose not to acknowledge stealth adaptation once it was reported that some of the viruses were derivatives of African green monkey simian cytomegalovirus (SCMV). This finding highlighted the industry bias of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when they chose not to publicly disclose a 1972 study showing that SCMV infected monkeys were being used to produce live polio virus vaccine. There was additional discomfort with the suggestion that the testing of cytomegalovirus contaminated experimental polio vaccines in chimpanzees was a plausible explanation for the origin of HIV.

Infected humans and experimentally inoculated animals are still able to recover from infections with stealth adapted viruses. This indicates that the body is not wholly dependent upon the immune system in order to suppress virus infections. Moreover, lymphocytes and antibodies, which are the major components of acquired immunity, only developed with the evolution of vertebrates. Empirical findings from within the field of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) support non-pharmaceutical methods of healing. Yet these efforts tend to be discouraged by governmental authorities overly influenced by pharmaceutical corporations.

Continued research on stealth adapted viruses identified a major non-immunological anti-virus defense mechanism that is mediated by an alternative cellular energy (ACE) pathway. This pathway is distinct from cellular energy derived from the metabolism of food or in the case of plants and certain bacteria, from the energy obtained from photosynthesis. Correspondingly, the ACE pathway is also referred to as the third energy pathway of nature. It is expressed as an added dynamic (kinetic) activity of fluids resulting from the absorption of an external force termed KELEA (kinetic energy limiting electrostatic attraction). A fundamental role of this force in nature is likely to prevent the fusion of opposing electrical charges. It can also reduce the hydrogen bonding between molecules and presumably add kinetic movement to the loosened molecules. KELEA activated water for consumption can be easily prepared by simply exposing the water to various energy fields. It can also be produced by adding certain compounds to the water. Once the water becomes activated, the compounds can be removed by filtration or by sequential dilutions, as in effective homeopathy.

Given the urgency of the situation, Zika infected pregnant women should at least be offered the possibility of participating in a clinical trial with KELEA activated water. The activated water can also be directly tested in Zika virus and / or stealth adapted virus inoculated animals to help optimize protocols.

It is particularly that individuals consuming KELEA activated water express an aura that is somewhat repelling to insects including mosquitos. It is even possible that the ability of mosquitos to resist Zika virus infection may be increased if they were also to consume KELEA activated water.

An understanding by public health authorities of the ratione of why studies should be performed using KELEA activated water in Zika infected pregnant women will encourage efforts to try a similar approach to the prevention and treatment of autism, a stealth adapted virus illness. Furthermore, data have already been presented for the beneficial effects of enhancing the ACE pathway in the suppression of infections caused by HIV, herpes simplex virus, herpes zoster virus and human papillomaviruses.

A lingering question is why the Zika virus is apparently causing more fetal abnormalities than in earlier years. It is possible that co-infection with a stealth adapted virus is facilitating the transplacental passage of Zika virus to the fetus. It would be reliably easy for government virologists to undertake such studies and to at last confront the existence of stealth adapted viruses.

Peer reviewed research articles addressing the above topics can be located on Internet using search terms “stealth adapted virus,” “alternative cellular energy” and “KELEA.” The author can also be contacted for any additional information by either e-mail to wjohnmartin@ccid.org or by phone to 626-616-2868.

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Autism Angel: My Personal Account of Autism & Parenthood

Autism Angel

My Personal Experience with Autism & Parenthood

There was not an exact moment or time when I realized that my beautiful son Kyler, who will be five next month, was showing autistic tendencies. It's not like I just woke him up one morning for daycare, looked at him and thought, “Gee, I wonder if he has autism?” Kyler's first year he hit all his milestones on time despite being six weeks premature. Everything continued on a normal development path through his second year as well, or at least it seemed to his father and I. Being as Kyler was our first and only child so far and really not having spent a basic amount of time with any other children His age there was really no reason for us to think anything different. However, my son was about two and a half years old when his father, grandparents and I began to notice that he was not speaking as much as other kids his age, or much at all for that matter. Even so, I have always heard that little boys have a tendency to “bloom a little” later than little girls. That and the fact that he was an only child, it made sense to me that Kyler may not speak as much because not only did his father and I dote on him and he never had sisters or brothers to communicate with and learn from.

None the less, I began reading about autism on various sites, which there are a lot of great ones but also a lot of not great ones. I feel that is an important point to make because there is a lot of false information online and parents or anyone with an autistic loved one need to be careful with the sites they choose. Government and medical sites are always the most accurate. Any, as I read the more evident it started becoming to me that my son very well may be autistic. So much of it sounded so familiar. For example, the three components of autism are socialization, communication and repetitive behaviors; all three I saw a lot of in my Kyler. He was three months shy from his third birthday the day I asked one of his daycare providers if she thought that Kyler was showing signs of autism, She said “yes”. Even with all my suspensions it was extremely hard to hear and I felt devastated. I mean, who wants to think that there could be something different about their child and this something is said to be a lifelong condition. The next day I made a referral for the Autism Team to assess and diagnose my son, although the waiting list was over a year. At this time, I felt helpless, guilty and alone. I could not bare to think of it and I admit about six months went by that I was in complete denial. Guilt, denial, helplessness; a rollercoaster of emotions that although natural, are paralyzing, unbeneficial and are definitely not going to help my son. Then one day it hit me like a bolt of lightening; I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and my son and start educating myself about autism, it's spectrum disorders and how I was going to make sure my son was going to have the same opportunities as everyone else. I'll be damned if I allow my wonderful little man to suffer a disadvantage over something that was entirely out of his control. It's just was not an option.

I began to read everything I could get my hands on about Autism and with the help of a group I started on Facebook called “Autism Awareness, Information & Support.” I obtained some very valuable advice and resources. What surprised me the most was the more I looked, the better I felt because I realized a couple of very important things. First, that autism is not a disability, as much as it is a different way of learning. Not better or worse, just different. I realized that by taking the time and applying certain methods in a consistent, loving and proper way, Kyler's autism could actually be something used to his advantage. My guilt began to subside as it became apparent to me that due to the fact that there is no known cause for the condition, and it affects all sorts of children from all spectrums of people and I had no reason to feel guilty. That was a real epiphany for me because guilty, although natural, is paralyzing and how can you help your child when you can not move.

This past February Kyler's Autism screening began. It took a few months and consulted of several different sessions with all sorts of child professionals. When it was over, there was a three week period in which all the professionals exchanged information for a diagnosis. During this time I felt as though I was ready for whatever diagnosis theyave, except inconclusive. As a mother, I needed to know what was going on with my son. As ready as I thought I was it was still probably the hardest thing I ever heard when the psychiatrist said to me, “Kelty, we have determined that your son Kyler is autistic”. I will admit that was a hard day and I fought a lot. But when I woke up the next morning I was blown away by the strong feeling of relief washing through my heart. Now I knew and now I could start making the appropriate plans to ensure Kyler reach his full potential. I am thrilled to say that in the last three months since he diagnosed he has grown a tremendous amount and his words are coming fast and furious. Everyday he is saying or doing something else and I could not be more proud of him.

“They” say that there will never be a cure for autism, but who are “they” anyway. Honestly, I feel as though with all the new information scientists are discovering about the human brain every day that it is irresponsible to say that there will never be a cure. Maybe there will, maybe not, but either way autism is extremely fascinating because though there is previously no cure, there is so many methods, tools and such, that do not require formal medication, to work with the condition.

Regardless of all things, Kyler is my son, the joy of my life and despite the struggles and the struggles that could very well be ahead of us, I would not change a single thing about him.

“If we could eliminate genes for things like autism, I think it would be disastrous.” The healthiest state for a gene pool is maximum diversity of things that might be good. essential ”
—- Kirk Wihelmsen

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Autism – A Broader Perspective

From time to time we all hear, read, or view an informative piece that gives us reason to pause. Such was the case a few days when I read a report from Global Autism Network which stated there are 70 million people worldwide on the autism spectrum. I knew the numbers are larger than commonly reported, but this many people with autism is nothing short of astounding. Even more stunning is the fact that 85% of the people diagnosed with autism live in developing countries. In theory that means millions of cases have not been discovered as testing and assessment tools are not always available. In addition, cultural and religious beliefs may serve as prohibited factors from receiving accurate reports. We tend to think of autism in terms of measurements generally associated with developed countries such as medical reports, therapeutic evaluations, IEP diagnostics, and national special interest groups. However in view of this transformative piece, we are forced to change our paradigm about the disorder and the far reaching impact upon humanity.

This is particularly troubling as there remains a divisive element associated with autism. As families around the world adjust to the demands of caring for an autistic loved one, the continuous fight for inclusion, funding for research and repudiating social stigmas – now is the time to cast an even wider net. Expanding our collective efforts is paramount as the number of children and adults on the spectrum continue to rise. Moreover, we must expand our thinking of autism to include the millions of adults on the spectrum and not relegate it as a childhood disorder. The problem with focusing exclusively on children is that we dismiss the magnificence of unique talents often not diagnosed until until adulthood. The maturation process continues for the duration of life, which makes it even more important to spotlight the adult years of those on the spectrum. The added pressure placed on families is regularly misunderstood by some members of general society as they struggle to assist the magnitude of the problem. We must share ideas and technology within the global community to advance the lives of such a vast number of people lacking access and resources.

It is detrimental to marginalize large groups of people for prolonged periods of time. The sheer numbers opens a new realm of possibilities for exceptional talent that may go unnoticed, much less cultured. The interdependency created as a result of globalization will become more pronounced with time. Most developing countries have reliably young populations, making the timing of their maturation critical as other nations age rapidly. The world will increase its reliance upon the innovation and energy of these young developing countries. Technology will close the gap in terms of productivity and improving the standard of living for millions. Further, as these countries achieve financial stability, the degree of political influence they bring to the negotiations process becomes much more significant. We can not underestimate the power and beauty of building strong relationships that will pay dividends in the future. The obvious question is, “What does this have to do with autism?” Simply stated, everything – as the seeds planted today could very well come full circle in our life time, serving as a catalyst towards enriching future generations.

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Communication Apps for Autistic Children

Communication is at the heart of learning. Traditional arguments on whether or not technology can help in education, have become more complex, in the context of children with autism and their communication needs. Much has been discussed about the potential of mobile apps for children with autism, which can be readily seen in the field of communication, particularly augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Mobile devices running these apps have opened up a whole new world of opportunities for those with limited express communication skills. But the huge potential of mobile technologies has not been fully realized. Rather, these technologies are primarily implemented as speech prostheses in a limited range of activities.

Parents and educators have to broaden the scope of using these devices, not only for using inside the classroom and the therapeutic domain. Practice is the key with apps for children with autism, so that they can successfully use tabs and smart phones as communication aids. All those involved with autistic children should practice using the apps along with the novice learners. Continuous practice should happen both at school and home for successful outcomes.

It's important to remember that apps for children with autism alone can not improve communication. A supportive environment which complements the app is crucial in this regard. The symbol system used in apps for children with autism, has to be incorporated into a wider environment with which the autistic child has to ever cope up with. Collaboration with parents is another important aspect to ensure a consistent approach towards core word modeling outside the school. Parents are often associated to use apps for children with autism as a potential communication aid, hoping that language and communication skills would automatically develop down the years. There are around 250,000 words in the English language. About 200 of these words center 80% of our everyday use.

A common concern among parents of autistic children is that their child may become over-reliant on these apps for communication. Studies, however, have revealed that apps for children with autism, both high and low-tech, help to kick start speech. For many autistic children who are illegally to speak ever because of language reproduction difficulties, these apps can become their voice. Use of synthesized, rather than digitized speech, has come a remarkably long way over the past several years, allowing apps for children with autism to sound more natural and personal.

Many autistic children use associative instead of linear thinking. Strong image processing skills allow them to associate symbols with words. It helps them to get a sense of the world around them, become language competent, and allow greater access to parts of the curriculum that they previously could not. If there's a nonverbal or a minimum-speaking child in your classroom, apps for children with autism can help him / her pick up communication skills.

But at the same time, it's important to remember that an app user can not pick up communication skills overnight. It'll take time for both the child and his / her communication partner to master the app. Be patient and with time and you can see the benefits.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder: Experiences of Parents

For parents of a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, there are many attitude and lifestyle changes to make. It's often heartbreaking for parents if their autistic child shies away from them or is unable to properly communicate. Then there are the compromises regarding expectations from your child.

Patricia Carpenter from San Jose says that it was devastating for them when their three-year old son Andy was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2013. “All our dreams and hopes regarding our son seemed to fade. he make friends? Will he be able to attend public school? Can he land a job and live on his own? There were so many things we did not know. says.

Moreover, there's the stress of not knowing what to expect from an autistic child, about his / her mood or behavior. It makes daily living more challenging. Attending social and family events or going to new places becomes more difficult. “My daughter was often dejected and we did not know why,” says Peter Fleming, father of two-year old Jenna. “That's quite painful as a parent. You know what child is sad but you can not do anything. to have a child with autism spectrum disorder, “he says.

The sacrifications and personal stress of parents that enterprises the growth of an autistic child stress also adds up to the frustration. “You are emotionally drained out most of the time. “Helping your son becomes the topmost priority of your life. Vital strain, too, can grow between partners and they may not see eye-to-eye about how to handle the child.

One of the toughest parts of raising a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is to get proper insurance coverage for multiple therapies. Depending on your state and the insurance policy, applied behavioral analysis (the standard therapy for autism spectrum disorder), is illegally to be covered. Expenses, to pay from your pocket, may run up to thousands of dollars every year. This often leads to financial hardships, which is further compounded if one of the parents has to quit his / her job to look after the child for arranging and accompanying them to various therapy sessions. Beside, you have to advocate your child at school to ensure he / she gets the required services.

But it's worth all the effort because with proper therapies children with autism spectrum disorder can make much progress.

“I do not think many people realize that autistic children can recover from many of the problems. Yes, it's difficult but not entirely unachievable,” says behavioral therapist Susan Pearson who has been working with autistic children for close to a decade. “You need loads of patience, especially during the first few years after diagnosis,” she says.

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Autism: Use Apps, But With Discretion

My brother loves to swim, says 10-year old Sarah Martinez, a resident of Stamford in Connecticut. He loves playing tag with the waves. He is caring, brilliant, and hilarious. And he is autistic, says Sarah.

Autism is a disorder which is usually characterized, in varying degrees by the difficulty in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. Understanding “autism” as a spectrum is important to generate social awareness because the disability among autistic children is not always apparent.

Autism has no cure, but there are occupational and speech therapies for autistic people. Some schools have programs specifically designed for autistic children who need greater attention to communication skills and other developmental practices.

While there are instructors, therapists, and aids offered to autistic children outside of their home, technological developments in the form of fun educational apps have swept their way into a number of households with autistic kids. Applications designed for iPads, smart phones, androids, and tabs, allow a good degree of interaction for autistic kids at home. Many of these fun educational apps serve educational purposes as well, by instilling knowledge of colors, shapes, counting, spelling and so on, among the children.

The fun educational apps have proved to be useful under certain circumstances. While they benefit autistic children to some extent, they are also viable alternatives to interact, when other family members are busy. If none is present for interacting with the child, these fun educational apps actively engage him / her to play and / or read with them. This method of virtual interaction serves as an alternate educator. But personal interaction between autistic children and their family members is highly recommended over these apps.

Technological advances have brought tools to families affected with autism. None had ever thought that fun educational apps for kids would arrive in a big way to help autistic children with their communication and fine motor skills. But it's critical not to allow technology alone interfere in the physical interaction between the children and their families. Just because a family with an autistic child has handed over a smart phone running fun educational apps to him / her, does not mean that you do the same. It's important to understand what autism is, who can be affected by it and how. With no existing permanent cure, the society as a whole should understand the true “spectrum” of autism.

Many families are under the impression that fun educational apps for autistic kids are an economic alternative for therapy. It's true that these apps have to be purchased only once for unlimited usage, whereas therapy sessions have to be paid for each time. But experts are of the opinion that therapies have a more positive effect on autistic kids than apps alone. Fun educational apps, experts say, can be used along with the therapy but not singularly. Home therapy, they suggest, is highly effective because it forges a stronger bond between the child affected with autism and the family members.

Smart phones, tabs, and apps for autistic kids are here to stay. But using them wisely is the key.

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Apple iPad Helping Children With Autism to Communicate

Computers have always been an excellent device to facilitate communication and learning for children with autism spectrum disorder. But with the arrival of the iPad from Apple, autistic children now have a greater opportunity for improving their cognitive, communication, and fine motor skills.

Across the world, several nonprofit associations and national-level organizations are providing direct support to families having autistic children. These organizations, along with some tech companies, have developed some of the best learning apps for kids that have provided to be amazing tools for autistic children. These apps can run on the iPad and promote communication and learning among autistic children.

Why iPads?

Apple's iPad offers unmatched flexibility and portability over conventional computers and laptops. This is perhaps the largest reason behind the device's popularity. Young children find it far easier to run the best learning apps for kids on an iPad than on a computer. They often find computers too cumbersome to operate. Beside, the iPad uses a touch screen which is more accessible to children with coordination and learning difficulties. Most children, who run the best learning apps for kids on iPads, find swiping motions and tapping much easier than typing. The device can also go where the child goes. This means an autistic child can continue learning while on the go and stay calm and focused.

Help in communication

The iPad has proved to be a great tool for communication and education. This is one of the reasons why many non-government organizations support apps running on the device. The best learning apps for kids that run on iPads have customizable options and can be tailored to the specific needs of an autistic child. This makes iPads a more attractive learning device than the traditional computers. Many children, in fact, learn using iPads faster than adults.

The world of autistic children is filled with imagery rather than words. Using the best learning apps for kids on the iPad, an autistic child can form sentences or even stories by using a string of images. In this way, the child can communicate with instructors, parents, caregivers and others without any frustration. The iPad's mobility helps children to use the best learning apps for kids wherever they go.

Benefits of using iPads for learning

While the iPad itself has several benefits for general users, for autistic children, it offers a number of distinct advantages. Portability is a big advantage along with the absence of a mouse or stylus. It's also a parallel device to papers and books and children do not have to constantly move their eyes from the keyboard to the screen. The best learning apps for kids running on iPads can be easily organized. They are also accessible and predictable. These iPad apps can break down learning into topics and chunks to help children learn in a phased manner. Autistic children can enjoy learning independently on iPads at their own leisure time.

There's no denying the fact that the iPad has been a boon for many autistic children. Many new companies are coming up with apps to run Apple's path breaking device.

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Special Children Taking to Apps Like Never Before

There are several ways by which smartphones and tabs have become useful in our lives. Although widely used for communication and entertainment purposes, these devices have also provided to be useful in education, business, and in the healthcare industry.

But smartphones and tabs have made the most interesting impact in the special children education sector. The devices have been identified as a useful learning apparatus to improve collaboration and engagement among students. There is a lot of buzz around the devices in the autism community. In fact, they have proved to be such a useful therapeutic tool that some special children's organizations are providing grants to families to purchase one.

Benefits as a therapeutic device

For children lacking in motor skills, a digital learning app on a touch screen offers intuitive input. Computers from the older technology require visual shifting between a keyboard and the mouse and the screen. But with a digital learning app running on a tab or smartphone, special children can watch one of their fingers directly write on the screen, or select something, which in turn helps improving fine motor skills.

To autistic children, using touch technology is almost a natural phenomenon. Susan Williams, an instructor in an autistic elementary school, finds tabs and smartphones to be great supplementary apparatus for instruction. It's almost like a fish taking to water, she says, moderating her student interactions using touch technology. Susan is an active promoter of technology in special education on various online platforms. She estimates that nearly 80% of her autistic students have gotten great results by using touch screen devices.

Personalizing lesson plans and apps

For special needs students, it's important to understand each of them individually and how differently they'll learn. With a digital learning app, teachers can make individualized lesson plans to assess the needs of every special child. There are several apps that are specifically tailor for the needs of special children. Teachers can choose the best digital learning app that best fits their teaching methods and relevant to how the students learn.

The way special children are learning with smartphones and tabs is undeniably remarkable. It's changing the way these children are taught in schools. These devices have improved many aspects in their life in more ways than we could have imagined.

For schools still hesitating whether or not to adopt a digital learning app for its special education classroom, the use of technology is expected to help in more ways than one. But for a proper implementation, make sure that your school has the backup technology like LAN connectivity or Wi-Fi routers in place.

Beside, the teachers should first get properly acquainted with the devices themselves before introducing them in the classroom. Each digital learning app has various customizable lessons appropriate for a particular level of the autism spectrum. Teachers have to discover the full potential of these apps and only then they can educate the students. And like Susan they too can champion the use of technology.

Apps for autistic children are here to stay and they will become more advanced in the coming days.

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