|November 28, 2012||Posted by Rachel under Autism|
It’s common for people with autism to have more digestive health problems than average. It’s said that 25% of autistic children have at least one chronic gastrointestinal symptom. Probiotic microorganisms support digestive health in adults and children, so can probiotics help children and adults with autism?
In a study done at the University of Reading, 40 autistic children between 4 and 13 years old were randomly put into a trial group and a control group. The trial group was given a probiotic supplement and children in the other group were given placebos. The probiotics had an extremely positive effect on the children with autism. Comments from parents of participants in the probiotic group included reports on digestive health improvements as well as mental and behavioral improvements.
|October 23, 2012||Posted by Rachel under Autism|
On October 21st, Comedy Central televised The Night of Too Many Stars, which is an event where A-list Hollywood celebrities come together for one night to raise awareness for Autism. The Autism benefit concert includes numerous celebrity appearances, comedy sketches, live auctions and musical performances. This years Night of Too Many Stars was hosted by Jon Stewart and included appearances by Tom Hanks, Tina Fey, Jimmy Kimmel, Katy Perry, and Jerry Seinfeld among many other stars. The event included bidding on unique items donated by your favorite celebrities to benefit Autism programs and education. Some of the things you could bid on were having Oprah record your phone ringtone, a signed script of South Park, having Aziz Anzari take over your Twitter for 15 minutes and a butter costume signed by Kevin Bacon. Yes, some of these items are silly, but these celebrities managed to raise almost $4 million dollars for Autism education in just one night! Click here to bid on an item and benefit Autism awareness!
The moment that stole the show and left the audience and host Jon Stewart in tears was when singer Katy Perry sang a duet with Jodi DiPiazza, a young girl with Autism who is inspired by Katy Perry. When Jodi was 2 years old, doctors told her parents that she might never again be able to communicate with them through speaking – she proved them wrong.
|April 9, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Autism, Diabetes, Obesity|
A new study has been conducted and the results are troubling. According to researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute in California, pregnant women who are obese are 67% more likely to have a child with autism or other developmental disorders.
The study followed 1,004 mothers and their children, some of which had autism and other developmental disorders, and a group of children who were born healthy. The study did not just look at the weight of the mother, but also her health. Many of the mothers participating in the study had hypertension and diabetes, conditions that also proved to affect the cognitive development of the child.
Women with diabetes were two times more likely to have a child with mental disabilities that a mother without diabetes, according to the study.
For several years, researchers and doctors have been trying to pinpoint environmental and genetic factors that could lead to a child developing autism. According to the findings in this study, obesity and diabetes in the mother-to-be appear to be possible factors.
|April 2, 2012||Posted by Ronni under Autism|
Last week, a report was released that 1 in every 88 children were diagnosed with autism – this is up 78% since 2000. These children fit on a growing spectrum of brain development. As we all know, children grow up. Most do not grow out of autism, and thus they become adults living in a world that may be difficult for them to navigate. CNN reports that 1 in every 100 adults have autism, ranging from low to extremely high functioning autism. Some of those adults are just now being diagnosed on the spectrum. Why is this?
Recently, the definition for autism has been edited, shifting early diagnosis’ of mental retardation and other brain related disorders onto the spectrum. As today is World Autism Awareness Day, we thought it prudent to bring to our readers a story of a man diagnosed with autism while in his 30′s. CNN wrote an amazing profile piece about Joseph Sheppard – with an IQ of 130 and a late diagnosis of high functioning Autism. He’s carving deeper awareness for Autism through his amazing program “Authors with Autism,” a journal he is compiling from fiction and non-fiction stories written by people with Autism.
We implore you to read the profile piece and share it today. Do your part to drive awareness for Autism.
|February 23, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Autism|
“3D” is the new must-have feature in televisions, but who would have thought it would be the next must-have in autism development? Luckily for those affected by the condition, “Letters alive,” thought so.
Children with autism learn differently from their peers, but are often exposed to the same teaching styles. An autistic child may struggle to visualize a concept, or be unable to understand or relate to a story or picture on a page. Now, with the help of 3D technologies, children with autism have a new viewpoint from which to learn.
“Letters alive” is an interactive 3D reading curriculum that can benefit the minds of all children, but especially those with autism. The teacher controls cards that display a letter with a coordinating animal. Depending on what the teacher wants to display, that animal can change to a certain color, do a specific task or move in a way that is indicative to that animal. The images are 3D and appear to interact with the user, giving the child an actual life like character to relate to. Because of the functionality of the animal, the image is no longer just a static, lifeless creature, but something a child with autism can remember and understand.
|January 26, 2012||Posted by Elizabeth under Autism, Caregiving|
Adjusting to big changes can be tough for people have autism, especially when talking about how the condition itself is defined.
The recently proposed change to the current definition of autism has its pros and cons. There is no blood test or brain scan that can easily pinpoint autism. This could lead to the re-diagnosis of thousands who have been identified initially with autism based on its current characterization.
The problem, for some, is that this re-diagnosis could be accompanied by a lack of state benefits for their newly defined condition. The proposed changes would adjust how someone would qualify for an autism diagnosis, having to match up with more specific behavioral criteria than before. Currently a person would have to match up with 6 out of 12 behaviors on the given list. With the new proposed definition, they would have to fit into a narrower category of showing three deficits in social interaction and a minimum of two receptive behaviors (As shown on CBSNews.com)
Parents and caregivers are concerned because their loved ones who once qualified for state services like housing or treatment programs, may no longer fit the mold. The goal of the American Psychological Association (APA) is to give autism a more standard definition to help stop over diagnosis.
|December 21, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Autism, Caregiving|
This time of year can be filled with joy and excitement, but also stresses as we try to trim trees, turkeys and waistlines, all while working and managing a family. But the chaos of the season can take an even bigger toll on children; especially those with autism.
For a child living with autism, the hectic shopping trips, holiday parties and swarms of people can be very upsetting and overwhelming. Being conscious of this possibility and taking the right steps to make the holidays less stressful will help both you and your child.
Stay on track: Making schedules and sticking to them will help keep a routine. Keep the same wake-up, eating and bedtimes.
Keep your child informed: One helpful thing that you can do for your child is to continually tell them what is going on. Preparing them for their surroundings will eliminate some of the stress that may be caused by the unknown. If you are going to a friend’s or family’s home, be sure to tell them who will be there, what they should do while they are there, and when you will be leaving. Make sure to have familiar things on hand, like different foods or drinks that you know your child will like.
Going out: During the holidays, you are probably out and about more than usual, which may mean your child is out as well. To help avoid meltdowns or confusion, try to arrive to places early to avoid large crowds. When shopping, have a list prepared and know they stores you will be going to so roaming around is limited. Don’t forget to continue to explain things to your child, like what you are doing there and the surroundings they may encounter. Every child is different. Keep in mind your child’s hot buttons or things that will be unsettling, and try to avoid them or guide them through certain situations.
Prepare others: Don’t be afraid to fill other people in on how to help make your child’s life less stressful. If you’re visiting family or friends, tell them the things that may make your child uncomfortable. Ask them to help explain things to your child or to help keep things calm around them.
|December 14, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Autism, Medications|
One of the more common traits in those with autism is their obsessive or repetitive behavior used as a calming mechanism to a stressful situation. This reaction can make life with autism more challenging, as it is harder to focus on everyday tasks or blend in with the rest of society.
As a caregiver, it’s can be difficult to work with your loved one with autism to help overcome these symptoms. Recently, the antidepressant drug, Prozac, has been recycled to treat a new category of people; adults with autism.
Prozac has been a controversial antidepressant on the market, as it has been known to increase suicidal thoughts or ideas in people with depression. In a new research study looking to help treat the symptoms of autism, Prozac has been found to significantly reduce the obsessive or repetitive behaviors in adults with the condition. The study worked with 37 high functioning autistic adults over the course of 12 weeks. The half of the participants that were treated with Prozac showed significant reductions in their obsessive behaviors. (As shown on TIME.com).
Patients taking the drug said they experienced less discomfort in situations that would typically lead them to their behaviors used to manage their stress. It was also acknowledged that those who participated did not have heightened thoughts of suicide or harming themselves.
Prozac has many known side effects. Some are mild, such as dry mouth, fatigue, or nausea. Other side effects have been known to be more severe, such as seizures, muscle stiffness, or heightened depression or suicidal thoughts.
|November 30, 2011||Posted by Elizabeth under Autism, Health|
Every child is unique, along with their language development. Children with autism often mature differently than children without it. Just like all kids, autistic children are unique as well.
It is important to remember that every child’s needs and abilities are different and pin pointing those individual needs is what will allow your child to develop their language skills.
According to the National Autism Resources website, one of the most crucial parts of learning a language for any child is imitation. By both imitating back what the child is saying, and allowing them to mimic what you are saying, your child will be able to strengthen their language skills. Repeating back sounds or words as your child says them can help to guide them in the right direction and reinforce their language growth.
Another key to language development for children with autism is building receptive vocabulary. This refers to the whole thought process of hearing and understanding spoken words.
There are several ways to help guide your child through this process and help them to improve their receptive vocabulary. Photo cards or matching games are fun and effective ways to help your child develop.
Remembering that your youngster’s abilities are unique and getting to know their specific needs will help you guide them in developing their language.