Archive for the 'Autism Spectrum Disorders' Category
Autistic teenagers may not act like other people you know or even each other, because the severity and range of symptoms can vary so much from person to person. Autistic teenagers can have issues with verbal and emotional expression and may be more comfortable communicating with hand gestures or seem unemotional. Some may prefer solitude and seem like they may not want to make friends, not reacting to social cues like the body language of others or refraining from group activities. Some autistic teens appear passive and withdrawn, where others seem to be more aggressive and have tantrums when they are frustrated because expressing emotions in more acceptable ways is difficult.
Some autistic teenagers are very sensitive to sensory stimuli and may draw back when hugged or startle when they hear a sudden noise. Many are more comfortable with a regular daily routine because change makes them anxious. In more severe cases, an autistic teen will fixate on objects or ideas or display repetitive motions like rocking. Autistic research shows that the above traits are all part of the disorder, but research also classifies autism as a spectrum disorder because of the different spectrum of ways it can affect each person who has it.
Autism treatment news: Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC have received $3 million from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct a national study of the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children with autism spectrum disorders.
“ADHD symptoms are common in children with autism, but children with autism often do not respond well to stimulant medications, the conventional treatment for ADHD,” said Benjamin Handen, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
In this 10-week clinical trial, which will start enrolling patients in September, Pitt researchers and colleagues from the University of Rochester and Ohio State University will recruit 144 children ranging in ages from 5 to13 who have autism with ADHD symptoms. The researchers will assess the safety and effectiveness of two treatments: atomoxetine, a nonstimulant medication for treating ADHD, and parent management training in which parents learn how to use behavioral interventions as another form of conventional ADHD treatment.
OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s been quite the year in Oklahoma, particularly after a dodgy legislative session that resulted with the Speaker of the House giving insurance companies the opportunity to deny children who suffer from autism. Now a group that helps people with disabilities and special needs will offer therapeutic programs to help treat the symptoms of autism in young children.
Easter Seals of Oklahoma is planning to open the Easter Seals Autism Therapeutic School in Oklahoma City after Labor Day.
The full-day program will feature therapeutic services and interaction with children without autism who attend an onsite day care.
Hopefully, this program will increase autism awareness in the state, as well as around the United States.
MARYLAND – Ginny Russo and her son Tony, 3, will be marching in the nation’s capital today to bring awareness and attention to autism.
Autism spectrum disorders affect about one in 150 children in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s a growing epidemic,” Russo said.
Russo, 33, of Mount Airy became informed about autism even before her son Tony was diagnosed when he was 2½ years old.
The rally Russo will be marching in today is to push Congress to promote cleaning up and re-evaluating the schedule of vaccinations given to children. The event, titled “Green our Vaccines,” claims that children are receiving too many vaccinations too soon.
The cause of autism is unknown, but organizations such as Talk About Curing Autism and Moms Against Mercury, which are sponsoring the rally, support the theory that there is a link between vaccinations and autism.
Russo said she doesn’t know what caused Tony’s disorder, but she has taken her son to receive alternative medical treatment and has placed him on a gluten-free diet. Russo said she has seen results in Tony, and that’s good enough for her.
Russo said autism is the common term for autism spectrum disorders that include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome and other specific diagnoses.
ASDs are defined by the CDC as developmental disabilities that cause substantial impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of unusual behaviors and interests.
People use eye contact in a variety of ways every minute of every day but how often do you find yourself staring into space with concentrating on an issue or problem? Psychologists now know that people who are carrying out a complex task tend to look away from anyone else who is nearby. They refer to it as ‘gaze aversion’.
Now they are finding out how to use changes in a child’s gaze aversion to understand their educational progress. A group led by Dr. Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon at the University of Stirling has looked at gaze aversion in both children and adults.
They found that children aged 4-6 are more likely to avert their gaze when they are carrying out a task that they find difficult, or new to them. They also avert their gaze less if they are being tested by someone they know.
When observing 5-8 year-olds, the researchers found that gaze aversion is related to the complexity of the task being undertaken, rather than to other stimuli. The results were consistent for a variety of settings and for a range of tasks, such as balancing a beam with asymmetrical loads.
Researchers say that, from the point of view of the teacher, gaze aversion is a positive sign. A child who is doing it is likely to be developing their understanding and is what Dr Doherty-Sneddon terms an “improver”. By contrast, children who are not improving their performance, or who are regressing, use gaze aversion less often.
Gaze aversion is an important key in autism awareness and detection in children.
MELVILLE, N.Y. – A psychology researcher has pinpointed regions of the brain that are linked to “ritualistic repetitive behavior” in autistic children – the insatiable desire to rock back and forth for hours or to tirelessly march in place.
Repetitive behavior is one of autism’s core traits. It has driven parents to extremes as they try to distract a child to engage in other activities.
Mapping the brain constitutes a journey into the inner labyrinths of a three-pound cosmos where countless frontiers have yet to be explored.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is becoming a major public policy issue. Federal health officials estimate that it afflicts 1 in every 150 children, which affects not only families but communities.
School systems don’t have enough appropriately trained teachers. Social services departments are overwhelmed by parents who need support and respite care.
For clues to the disorder, some scientists are scanning the human genome for suspect DNA.
Doctors involved in the autism research say that the brain areas associated with repetitious behavior were not associated with another autism problem, self-injury. Some children repeatedly slam their heads against a wall, for instance.
It looks like the UK is making big strides in the recognition, diagnosis and treatment for autism. With an eye to the future the government seems to realize that instances of autism are not decreasing. In fact, quite the opposite seems to be the case worldwide. It’s good to see a government making big gains in the social, economical and health-care impact of such a prevalent disorder.
Conference to give a voice to those affected.
People living with autism will share a conference platform with experts and researchers from the USA, Australia, Belgium to make their voices heard.
The third Wales International Autism Conference, to be held next month, will examine where we have come from in our understanding and management of autism, where we are today, and what lies ahead for everyone involved in the worldwide autism community.
What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs), cause severe and pervasive impairment in thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others. These disorders are usually first diagnosed in early childhood and range from a severe form, called autistic disorder, through pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), to a much milder form, Asperger syndrome. They also include two rare disorders, Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder.
Signs & Symptoms
Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child. In some cases, the baby seemed “different” from birth, unresponsive to people or focusing intently on one item for long periods of time. The first signs of an autism spectrum disorder can also appear in children who had been developing normally. When an affectionate, babbling toddler suddenly becomes silent, withdrawn, self-abusive, or indifferent to social overtures, something is wrong.
There is no single best treatment package for all children with ASD. Decisions about the best treatment, or combination of treatments, should be made by the parents with the assistance of a trusted expert diagnostic team.
* This public service information was reprinted from the National Institute of Mental Health
Non-invasive and non-harmful treatment for autism is available to parents and medical professionals. Nutraceuticals are growing in popularity for their gentle, humane and effective approach.