Autism Information Guide


Importance of Keeping a Check on the Signs and Symptoms

Importance of Keeping a Check on the Signs and Symptoms of Autism

Autism a neurological brain disorder begins in the early stages of the child and continues till adulthood impairing their behaviors. It impairs the development in the child both socially and also in communication level. Some children have mild autism while some are severely autistic.

This brain disorder affects their perception, feeling towards others and also the difficulty to adapt o new surroundings. When noticed autistic people look normal except for their abnormal behavior. A high functioning autistic person has high IQ and is very good at arts, music and mathematics. They can never express their intelligence and have self stimulating behaviors.

An early intervention on spotting autism helps the parents to modify the behavior to a great extent. Children who undergo proper treatment and therapies keep away from severe conditions of this disorder. It is important on the part of the parents to identify this autism and keep a regular check on it. With the symptom checklist maintained it is easier to modify the behavior problem with appropriate development program.

Few symptoms to identify autism in children

Lack of proper verbal and non-verbal communication skills

They find it difficult to accept any change in the surroundings and behavior. They cannot adjust to a new circumstance, have repetitive and typecast behavior.

Autistic children are either calm and passive or very hyperactive.

They have no fear and are unable to handle dangerous situations

Lack of imitational skills like facial expressions or signs are seen in autistic children

They do not respond to their own name.

They have poor eye contact and social interaction.

They are absorbed in self wounding activities like scratching their skin and head banging.

They find it difficult to relate to people and also cannot express their feeling for people in trouble.

All the above mentioned signs and symptoms are obvious by the time the child is three years old which denotes that the child is abnormal and needs treatment. Therapies and treatment at the early stage gives positive results.





Identify Autism Signs and Symptoms

Autism is a neurological disorder of the brain which develops in infancy and endured till adulthood which is a matter of concern among all disorders. It causes impairment in behavior of the child resulting in poor communicative and social interactive skills. Though autistic people do not look different from normal people their body language and behavior make them distinct in a crowd.

The signs of autism are usually spotted in the early years of a child and become obvious by three years of age. All autistic children are unique in their behavior and traits. The learning also differs from one child to another. Some autistic people have high functioning while some have very low functions. The high functioning autistic people have good IQ and can excel in math, music and arts. But the low functioning people are the unfortunate as they cannot live on their own and always need the help of an caregiver or escort.

Autistic people have behavioral problem due to insensitivity and are often unhappy. They maintain routine for themselves and never accept any changes in it. They also have repetitive behavior like rocking of the body. They do not have a well coordinated life style. They do not respond impulsively as they find it difficult to adapt to new environments.

The following indications and symptoms determine autism in a child according to The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

1. Lack of definite skills, lack of compassion, inability to handle the suffering.

2. Indifferent to people and so cannot relate to them. All behavior of autistic people relate only to themselves.

3. No eye contact, poor social interactions and so stays aloof.

4. They are not aware of others emotions and do not communicate their feelings.

5. Lack of response when addressed by name and poor attention towards other people.

6. Struggle to convey their requirements.

7. They repeat words in a conversation and have unclear speech.

8. Strange response to sounds, smells and taste.

9. Impairment of the skills they once had.





How to Keep the Autistic Child Bright and Happy

Parenting is one of the most demanding jobs on earth yet very gratifying. On the other hand bringing up an autistic child is demanding but when you look after them with love like you do to an ordinary child the result is rewarding.

The parents are dejected and scared when they detect that their child is autistic. To get over this feeling you may have go for a counseling yourself. You will try to learn more about autism and their treatments to cope up with the child and its needs and behavior problems.

Consult your pediatrician first who can guide you to the right therapist. Contact the rehabilitation centre in your area and the parents who visit it with autistic children who can give you more information about autism and its needs.

Take the help of a qualified therapist to choose the right program for your child. Make sure the program suits your child according to his/her skill level.
The parents should provide a safe and relaxed environment at home for the autistic child. For example if your child has the habit of creeping out of the house you may need to fix security locks for the doors but one such which can be easily operated during emergency. Fence the courtyard where you child plays for its safety.

Autistic children very sensitive to touch find it very difficult to bath. Such children when made to use sprinklers or spray guns in the lawn will have fun and their touch with water becomes easier which in turn helps you have a daily bath with fun.

Keep your autistic child engaged both indoors and outdoors. Treat them the way like any other member is treated. Take them along when you go for dinner. Prefer a family type eatery so that even if your child does not behave well it does not matter much. When indoors give the child variety of colors and different type of textures which can keep them preoccupied. Later such programs are of great help later when you child may have to interact socially.

Finally it is the love you give your child helps the child to respond better than any other activity. Even if they do not like to be touched talking can do a great deal. Some autistic children do not respond when you speak to them but it does not matter, they will surely understand the language of love even if they are autistic.





How to Identify an Autistic Child

When a child is born the parents wish that their child should have good health with a positive future and a happy life. But when they find that their child does not act normal like the other children and give proper response even by three of old they are alarmed and start wondering if their child is autistic.

Autism is a common household name you would have heard but it is not an infectious ailment. It is a brain disorder caused by chemical imbalances which results in affecting the communication and social skills of the child

It is very important to keep a regular check on the childs behavior as signs and indications surface in the early stages of a child. Baby boys are more prone to this disorder and 1 out of every 700 people is autistic.

How to identify autism?

A child between 18 months to 3 years shows signs and symptoms of autism

The following behavior problems in a child indicate autism in the child and a professional help at the earliest is good.

Eye contact When the child fails to have eye contact when communicating.

Stays aloof The child not play with other kids and always stays aloof avoiding groups.

Creativity When the child is not imaginative or creative with games and toys.

Communication Problem with uttering some words or has to be repeated again and again.

Duplication When the child have repetitive behavior for no reason.

Alteration Does the child respond normally to any changed routine or action?

Autism in infants

Infants lacking eye contact instead gaze at motored things.

Babies who lie calm without crying for a long time should be taken into consideration for their abnormal behavior.

When the kids stay aloof and do not play or communicate with other babies.
The cause of autism is still a mystery and the parents need not blame themselves for it. Similarly there is no permanent solution and treratment to this problem.

The best the parent can do for an autistic child is to rehabilitate the behavior skills with the help of a professional therapist. It is best of send the child to a special school where the principal and the teacher are informed about the childs autistic condition. Last but not the least love the child like any other normal child and make her/him feel at home as he/she is a special child.





How to Handle Autism in Family with Autism Support Groups

How to Handle Autism in Family with Autism Support Groups

There has been a drastic rise in the autistic children in U.S. and information from the Autism Society of America says that the increase is almost fifty times than before. The number of students served by IDEA has augmented from 5,415 students to 78,749.

Estimation from the Center for Disease Control says that 2 to 6 per 1000 people are autistic. Autism Society of America says that one or the other type of autism has affected around 1.5 million Americans irrespective of status, cultures, races and educational background. So awareness among the families of autistic children is the rule of the day and more therapists and experts need to be trained to train the people through which the family can cope up with the stress of handling these children effectively.

Once the parents detect autism in their child it is necessary that they take proper intervention and appropriate program for their child taking into consideration the learning skill of the autistic child. The parents should have the knowledge and know how to be effective teachers at home. They should educate themselves of the latest different therapies and programs and also know the special education law and other services that the child can avail. Although the multiple roles of teacher, parent, advocate is difficult for the parents, it is their duty to provide needful for the enhancement of the autistic child.

In the year 2000 Nissenbaum, Tollefson, and Reese from The National Autistic Society investigated the influence of autism in the families. Although the parents with autistic children express trauma like any other parent of a disabled child, they still use autism as an excuse for the strange behavior of their child. The National Autistic Society do not approve of this.

Research says that educating an autistic child gives too much of pressure and tension for the parent. Researchers like Holroyd, McArthur and Donovan say that parents of autistic children undergo more stress and strain than the parents of mentally retarded children and Down syndrome. The stress could be due to many factors such as the dysfunctional behavior problem of the child, inability to understand the needs of the autistic child due to the poor expression of wants and needs, the sudden outburst, self-injurious behavior and tantrums which scare others. Their repetitive behavior, poor social and communication skill also creates a pressure on the parents.

Some parents get deprived sleep due to the improper sleeping pattern of the child. These children are also choosy about food and so make the parents to take extra effort to feed them. The parents do not find time for the others in the family and also has to avoid family functions and outing due to the poor social interaction of the child. The parents are also uncomfortable when dealing with the child and other extended family people as their child cannot relate to people.

The next pressure upon the parents with autistic children is in educating the child, finding out proper therapies and methods to teach the child. By being a member of the IEP the parents can find out suitable educational arrangements for their child. The latest approach and methods to teach autistic children are Picture Exchange Communication System, TEACCH, Floortime, RDI, Applied Behavior Analysis, Discrete Trial instruction, Sensory Integration and Social stories. Choose the program according to the childs learning skill and enhance the life of the child and also of the family. The same technique and skill maintained and practiced both in the school and at home can give good results as parents can be excellent teachers for their children.

Parents who learn useful behavioral intervention programs to manage behavior problem, learn to assess the functional level of the child and also get trained in providing functional communication both verbal and non verbal can handle an autistic child successfully at home. Behavior modification programs are more effective when the familys goal, beliefs and values are borne in mind.

An autistic child is benefited with family oriented educational program although there are the other external supports like that of the therapists, support group, doctors and teachers. Bristol says that parents of autistic children who joined the TEACCH program had an optimistic relationship between the behavior of child, their families and also from the social support which was available in plenty.

Despite the fact that managing an autistic child is stress and strain for the family, proper team work with expert therapists and knowledge of specialized skills and efficient teaching methods can enhance the communication, social, adaptive skill and also reduces the other aggressive behavior in child which in turn lessens the stress of the family. Qualified and skilled therapists when working with autistic children should also include their parents in the IEP process, functional behavior evaluation and also in the intervention programs.

The expert therapists must give opportunities to parents in the teaching methods of the school. The qualified professional should have knowledge about the special education law, scientific inventions and methods of therapy and should support the family with this knowledge. When parents are included in the training and support groups it is very useful for them to handle the autistic children through the acquired knowledge from the professionals and also a chance to share the ideas with other parents of autistic children.





How to Evaluate Special Education for Autistic Children

A complete assessment is necessary every three years for students in special education to decide their eligibility for special education. The case study of a seven year old autistic child named Adam gives a detailed educational assessment.

Adam the seven year old autistic child is the student in Special Day class for severely handicapped children. This child has an advocate and parents who are involved in his education. With the evaluation decided the parents desired for additional evaluations like the functional analysis, occupational therapy and also for helpful technology assessment. The signed evaluation plan copy was given to the particular specialists. They were the occupational therapist, speech therapist, nurse, psychologist and the special education teacher.

Adam had a psycho-educational profile revised with simple and clear instructions for which the response expected was non verbal. This test provides details on perception, fine motor, gross motor, eye hand combination, cognitive verbal and performance and also imitating activity. A set of toys and play activity helped in the determination of the skills. The result spread to seven developmental and four behavioral areas. This showed the child ability and weakness in the different areas

The evaluation tools for Adams portfolio were behavior reports, progress reports, work samples, daily reports and comments from parents. The daily report sent by the teacher and returned by the parents duly singed aided in the evaluation.

The functional analysis of Adam done by the psychologist showed unruly behavior like screaming and biting. The school sent a feed back form to the parents to be completed. The teacher in the class also collected the information for the repeated troublesome behavior. The assessment report made consisted of the data given by the psychologist, teacher and the parents.

The occupational therapist and the speech therapist evaluated Adam after working with him for one year and created a report. The nurse tested him with special equipment and said him to be normal in hearing. Adams parents said he had no problems with hearing and sight.

There are other tests used to assess an autistic child which rely on the information given by the parents or directly evaluated by an expert therapist. The other tests along with the parents and specialists provided are Pre-Linguistic Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (PL-ADOS), Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC), Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R),

Adams wide and complete assessment provided information about his behavior, development, health, coordination, communication and other cognitive skills. This information provided for the IEP Individualized Education Plan helped them to decide that the position for Adam was appropriate. The Occupational therapist set some goals for Adam. The functional therapist wrote that the unruly behavior occurred during a change. The assistive technology revealed that Adam was very good in that area. The team work help in the correct assessment and showed that Adam was improving excellently in his special day class.





How to Evaluate Autism in Children

Autism is a brain disorder which starts from infancy and continues till adulthood. It hampers the development of speak skills, social interaction and creativity. The reason for autism is yet to be investigated but it is believed this disorder is caused due to chemical imbalance or genetically.

Research says that 1 out of 166 children in US are autistic in different variations. The national health institute gives a data that 1 out of 1000 children are autistic. Both facts say that autistic is prevalent in US in many children. It is assumed that autism is also hereditary one child in a family runs in generations. Diagnose autism with the help of several psychoanalytical tests and other general tests. A complete physical and neurological assessment reveals autism in a child.

The signs and symptoms of Autism are apparent by the time the child is three years of old and persists till adulthood which is clinically tested both physically and neurologically with the help of ICD-10. The clinical definition defines that ‘autism must manifest delays in “social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play,” with “onset prior to age 3 years”, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder

When detected early we can modify this brain disorder with the help of therapies where their social skill and the communication skill is developed to a great extent which enhances their personality. But some autistic people do not respond to the therapies and would wish to remain as they are because autistic people never accept change easily and so it becomes difficult to modify them.





How to Cope up with Autistic Children Behaviors

There are two different factors that result in autism. Autism is either due to a psychological chaos or due to a bio-chemical disproportion. Children affected with autism rarely speak and only commune when necessary. So they hardy socialize.

Autism disorder ranges into three – they are Classic autism, Aspergers syndrome and the Pervasive Development Disorder or the PDD. These types differ from person to person according to the magnitude and symptoms shown by each individual. The damage caused by autism affects three main areas. They have limited types of behavior, disability in communication and socializing. Again person differ according to their intellectual levels, their independent level and the severely affected ones.

Autistic children emote very less and prefer to stay alone. They react very less to their surroundings and never get aroused by the social actions. Children suffering from autism have the problem of absorbing the necessary nutrients from the digestive system. The formation their digestive is such that they suffer from chronic gastric irritation which leads to slow absorption of the nutrients. This makes them have limited diet which in turn causes deficit in the body of important and balanced food. So due to their restricted diet they lack in copper zinc ratio and also in inadequate supply of calcium, B12, vitamin-A and Sulphate.

These deficiencies are supplemented with vitamin B-12 and the behavior problem can be checked with the help of therapies wherein the child is behavior modification program to respond better to their surroundings and society. The success of the therapies depend on how much the autistic child is able to learn as autistic children do not respond well to new tasks and lessons.

The deficiency of magnesium when supplemented with magnesium injections can improve the behavior of autistic children. A change in the behavior problem is seen when vitamin B-12 is given for two to four weeks although it takes three months to respond to the vitamin well. Dimethylglycine (DMG) improves speech skills and also perks up the immune system of the autistic child. It also improves patience in the child and also gives better eye contact.

It is better to ignore the negative behaviors and give more attention to the positive behavior of the child which will be beneficial in the long run.





How Autistic Children Can Be Taught Self Control

Autistic children have violent behavior of banging their heads or being aggressive towards others. Control these outbursts with the help of self discipline. This when induced slowly but effectively will help to get a control over these disturbing behaviors. Self management helps the child to keep a control over himself during such outbursts which in turn can help the child learn other good behavior.

Start teaching the child self control for ten to fifteen minutes daily and keep a check on it. They can practice it whether at school or at home during particular time of the day and as the autistic children have the habit of repeating things this can be very effective as they keep on repeating it. This way they can keep a check on their negative behavior themselves. As the child no longer needs restriction by others it shows a tremendous improvement in the violent of the child.

Set goals according to the response of the child and should also be very clear like if he/she has been polite with others or has not had any physical injury. Monitor the child regularly and evaluate whether the child is able to maintain the self control. If the child is able to cope with the limit given by you them all is fine if not it means the child is able to keep up with the limit set by you. So begin with goals easily reachable by the child and then advance little by little according to the response given by the child. The child gains a more positive attitude when he/she can reach the self control set by you.

The best way to make the child reach the goal is to reward the child whenever he/she does it. Reward the child with something of his/her preference. This sort of gesture will create a positive attitude in the mind of the child and enhance the good behavior. The reward can be simple ones in the beginning and later to better ones depending on how the child attains the goal. Start with smiley faces for self control maintained and sad faces for every bad behavior. This smiley faces when reaches a considerable amount due to the more number of goal achieved can be replaced with a favorite toy of the child.

All the above said management program can not be done overnight and needs enough time and dedication. The parent or the caregiver should chalk out the plan taking the childs ability into consideration. An autistic adult can respond to the program better than a child without a reward. An autistic child can also attain the goals set by you for self management program provided he/she is mature enough to understand skill you want to reinforce.





How Autism can be Detected from Childhood

Autism begins in the early stages of childhood and detected by three years of age. It differs from person to person from mild disorder to severe ones.
When a child reacts peculiarly to light or sound it means they are the indications of autism. Any normal sound hurts the child, normal odor makes them feel very strong and a hug or touch to the baby may be agonizing for them. Their reaction is termed “meltdown” when they hear loud sound and see bright lights.

An autistic child is happy when alone and is unresponsive to the environment they are in. They stay aloof when in a group and have no curiosity for toys and playthings.

Some high functioning persons have communication skills but they are devoid of modulations and sometimes repeat words and sentences over and over again. These form a part of their daily activities and refuse to accept any change in their regular habit. In some circumstances the activity becomes serious like banging their head, self wounding, scratching or biting.

An autistic infant refuses to be touched or cuddled and shows an extraordinary liking to some objects. At times they may even have bouts of violent behavior. They do not have much pain sensation. They do not know risk in any action and their eye to eye contact is also very poor.

Training in autistic children is difficult as they do not react to normal teaching techniques. Although they have normal hearing skill they act deaf during such sessions. The indications of autism are most severe during teenage but tend to decline in adulthood. But with more and more training and rehabilitation one can bring a good change in the life of autistic children and adults.





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