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Autism, Hope and Positive Intervention
Autism is a neurological disorder characterized by impaired social, communication and behavioral development. It is three times more common in boys than ADHD. Severity varies, and the scope of the autism problem is international. It has been described as a “public health concern”.
In 1943, Dr. Leo Kanner of the Johns Hopkins Hospital studied a group of 11 children and introduced the label early infant autism. Around the same time, a German scientist named a milder form of the disorder Asperger’s syndrome. These are the two most common disorders known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) or autism spectrum disorders.
The five PDD disorders are autism, Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder (the latter two being less common than the first two). In addition, a fifth is labeled PDD-NOS, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, a disorder that does not meet specific criteria for other commonly diagnosed disorders.
Sometimes it takes the insight of parents and treatment teams, psychologists, and professionals to determine whether a child has ADHD, autism, or another disorder.
Recently, Jenny McCarthy, girlfriend of actor Jim Carrey, published the book “Speaking Loud: A Mother’s Journey to Healing Autism”, which tells about her son Evan and his progress from autism, And Kelly’s focus on autism. He and she believed to have played a role in his partial recovery. Evan aged 5 (November 2007) Evan’s experience here.
Stories like these do offer a silver lining for parents of children with autism who should be encouraged to take every positive step possible to work with their child to see what helps. For some children, full recovery may not be possible, while for others it may be the hope of a better life through treatment and lifestyle adjustments.
A boy named Eric was diagnosed with autism. He was unable to make eye contact, and his parents were faced with the choice of using medication or behavioral therapy. After a brief but ineffective drug treatment, they discovered that behavioral therapy was effective in helping Eric open up. In a short amount of time, he can make eye contact and engage in productive educational activities.
His therapist Eve Band and the Owning Mills psychologist on autism said that many autistic children have “very good eyesight”. When teaching or working with children with autism, she says, “when you support his language with visual things he creates, it helps him reprocess, process and remember that information.”
There are specialized schools for children with autism within the public school system. These classes have a small number of students and a high teacher-student ratio.
While it is generally agreed by many authorities that autism is not being helped significantly, or at all, through the use of medications, psychiatric medications are routinely prescribed to manage symptoms associated with autism.
Sometimes children with autism may also have difficulties such as depression or seizures, and it is said that 1 in 4 children has some form of autism. Antidepressants have been prescribed for such depressed children and, in the case of seizures, anticonvulsants. However, various psychiatric medications are also being tested in the treatment of autism symptoms.
Every professional may hold a different opinion. Parents should be aware, though, that autism medications can only help improve some symptoms for a limited time at best, and that, in general, psychiatric medications also have many difficulties and side effects associated with them, as described elsewhere on this site of. This is especially true for children.
The idea, then, expressed here, and in many other professionals and professional organizations, is to use drugs sparingly, or not at all. For autism and related disorders, active therapy, educational remediation, and lifestyle changes or adjustments may be just as effective, if not much better, than medication. Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, believes that about 10 percent of children with autism recover fully or partially with treatment.
Another authoritative source states that about 1/3 of people who receive intensive treatment, especially preschoolers, can make significant improvements, another 1/3 can help, and another third may make great progress overnight. Children who are most affected by symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are the least likely to experience any significant improvement, although there are always exceptions.
Its treatment is accompanied by a focus on positive lifestyle changes in the family, which has helped to increase the percentage of children who recover from autism and similar disorders. (Explained below.)
These are some symptoms in babies:
* No big smiles or other happy expressions after six months.
* By 9 months, does not share, smile or react to parent.
* Does not gesture to parent by 12 months: pointing, reaching, waving.
* No chattering by 12 months, no talking by 16 months.
* 24 meaningful phrases about moths having no will of their own.
* Loss of speech or social skills at any age.
* Repeated behavior
* Some other symptoms of autism are a child or toddler becoming silent, withdrawn, self-abusing, or indifferent to social proposals.
Children may have a tendency to “lose control,” especially when they are in unfamiliar or overwhelming situations, or when they are angry or frustrated. They may peck, attack others, or injure themselves. Some banged their heads in frustration, or pulled their hair and bit their arms.
Some autistic children remain silent for life. Others may delay learning to speak until they are 5-9 years old. Some may use only sign language later in their development.
Imitate some children with ASD parroting what they hear, repeating what was just said to them.
Speech Some children sing in high-pitched voices or make dull mechanical sounds when they speak.
Adolescence As children with autism become adolescents, they deal with the same developing physical and sexual issues that other children deal with. Some children also have a growing awareness that they are different from other children, which can lead to depression.
Mercury and Vaccinations Much research has been done on the causes of autism, but as of now, there are no clear answers. There is controversy about the effectiveness of childhood vaccines, and the presence of a mercury-rich preservative called thimerosal, which some parents believe is a cause of autism. Today, preservatives are no longer used in regular childhood vaccines but in some flu shots.
Scientific studies have yet to find a causal link between childhood vaccines and autism, although some parents still feel strongly that this is the case. So it has become an emotional issue in the autism field.
So, while a lot of research has been done, special education and active parental involvement, some lifestyle changes, and some therapy are the most definitive answers for parents of children with autism.
TV and children’s cartoons, movies Some of the other principles on this site may be helpful to parents of children with autism. Many children with autism have strong visual abilities. Their brains may process information differently than other children and may be more prone to sensory overload than children without the disorder. The stimulation of TV and TV cartoons may affect the thinking of some children, and parents may consider the absence of TV and movies as a form of entertainment for children with autism.
To some extent, video games reflect the characteristics of autism, repetition, sudden stops and starts, for some children. In general, children are easily addicted to video games and become addicted, and some experiences of children with autism show how the minds of autistic people are as addicted to video games as other children.
Some children with autism may become obsessed with numbers, certain science subjects, and the function of certain mechanical devices such as vacuum cleaners. In some cases, children with autism need help to “break out of their shells,” as autism is associated with social withdrawal in some cases.
There is even a tendency in the electronic world to crawl into their shells even without disabilities, so this is especially true for children with autism. Children with autism may also overreact to loud or sudden noises, which is intolerable to them. Television and movies are filled with such voices, along with cartoon violence. This can lead to sensory overload and make it harder for children with one of the autism spectrum disorders to make progress.
This has been especially true in the past 28 years since Sesame Street launched its first children’s show. It’s designed to “grab attention” with rapidly changing “sound clip” type visuals. The same is true of today’s children’s cartoons, many of which are also overtly or potentially violent. Like Bugs Bunny, with a fast pace or potentially violent action. In a 1994 survey, 8 out of 10 Saturday cartoon characters were said to be violent.
And the children’s shows in recent years have become too violent. The things that children are exposed to through their parents and older brothers and sisters, the shows are not necessarily designed for children.
A child with some form of autism especially likes Monsters Inc., and while these kinds of kids’ movies can keep kids busy for an hour or two, it can also lead to confusion in a child with autism, who may have More difficult to distinguish reality from fantasy. Focusing on this, therefore, may be an area where children could benefit from sensory stimulation that is more positive and gentler in nature.
Art and light music Some educational institutions hold art summer camps, and some teachers involved in special education for children with special needs believe that it is valuable for helping autistic children to open their hearts and learn to focus. One such teacher told the story of an autistic boy he taught who he felt had benefited from art therapy and continued to work full-time as he grew up. Teachers feel that this art helps boys learn to focus. (Patterson, NJ).
Also, playing soft music at home or in the car is more valuable than highly stimulating music, which may also be more than the autistic child’s brain can handle. Some special education classes only play soft classical music, which seems to make children feel more at ease.
* Diagnosis of autism in children should be made by a neurologist or developmental specialist (such as a child psychologist).
Spirituality is also an area of consideration for autism. Attention to the spiritual needs of parents and children is important, as is psychological and mental hygiene. This can help parents be able to cope with the many stresses that a child with autism brings, to cope positively, and to help some children with autism. Reading positive, loving, compassionate stories can help some children.
Exercise: Regular exercise is also valuable for children with autism, along with a healthy diet. At a school for children with disabilities in Newark, New Jersey, a swimming pool is part of the program and is located within the school building to provide healthy and gentle stimulation and recreation for children with autism. If it is possible to take a child with autism for regular walks in the park, this is also valuable and calming for the mind.
1. Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse
Behavior Modification and Medicine
2. Talk about curing autism.
behavior and teaching methods.
Talk About Curing Autism is a one-stop portal for issues related to autism.
3. Talk about curing autism
Autistic child spends day in court
By Andrew Bridges for The Associated Press
4. Autism Spectrum Disorder Pervasive Developmental Disabilities National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services. Nimes. (2004) nimh.nih.gov
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