How Autism is Treated

Once you find out your child is Autistic you will then want to begin some type of treatment plan. There are many different treatments for Autism. Many worry that they will have to use medications that can be dangerous to their child. This is not the case. While some children need medication not all children do. There are a lot of other treatments available to the Autistic child besides prescription medication.

Some people will go with the standard type of treatment plan, while others will try an alternative, natural plan. We will look at some different types of treatment for Autism.

Medication

There are many types of medications used in treating Autism. These medications can be for different problems associated with Autism. Some are used to help with anxiety that is often found in Autistic children. Autistic children sometimes have problems with falling asleep. Medication can be used to help with this. Antipsychotic drugs are often used in children dealing with behavioral problems. These medications will not cure the Autism. Medications can have terrible side effects. The child needs to be monitored closely while on any medication.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps to teach the Autistic child to be independent. They learn daily skills they need like dressing, or taking a bath. They will work on fine motor skills. They also teach the child to use any devices they may have to help them function in daily life. They will be taught safety measures. This could be safety when outside, or dangers in the house.

Physical Therapy

Many Autistic children require physical therapy. This type of therapy can help children with low muscle tone. They also work with young children on basic motor skills. This can include walking, standing, and rolling. Many Autistic children can have other health problems. These problems can benefit from physical therapy too.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy will concentrate on teaching the Autistic child appropriate behaviors. Usually this will include some form of a reward system. They are taught how to act in social settings. This therapy is often done in the child’s home setting. The parents are taught ways to deal with the child’s unwanted behaviors. Usually an Autistic child will learn they will be rewarded for good behaviors, and they will stop some of the bad behavior.

Speech Therapy

Autistic children often have a hard time communicating. They have problems understanding non verbal cues. Some Autistic children do not speak at all, so they have to be taught ways to communicate with others. Children with Autism need to be taught about body language. Some children with Autism that do not speak are taught to communicate by signing, or with the use of pictures. The speech therapist will work on getting a non verbal child to speak.

These are just a few of the many treatments available to a child with Autism. Not all children will require all of the treatments. The most important factor is to find a treatment plan that works for your child. With proper treatment your Autistic child can thrive.

Traveling With an Autistic Child

Daily life with an Autistic child can be a challenge to say the least. What should you do if you are traveling for vacation, or another purpose? Lets look at some things a parent can do when traveling with their Autistic child.

  1. Plan ahead. If at all possible plan trips far in advance. This gives you time to talk with your child and get them used to the idea of traveling. You can explain to them where they will be going, and some of the things they will be doing while away.
  2. Bring items from home that your Autistic child likes. Bring their favorite toys. Bring along their pillow and blanket they use each night. Try and keep as many items that are familiar to your child with you while traveling. This can help your child to relax in their new environment.
  3. Bring all their necessary medications. You do not want to be away from home and not have their medicine. Get the prescriptions refilled before the trip to make sure you do not run out.
  4. Try and keep a schedule while traveling. If possible keep some of the schedule you use while at home. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Autistic children needs their schedules to feel safe.
  5. Do not overload your child. If your child has a lot of sensory issues do not over load them while traveling. If you see your child getting overwhelmed go back to your hotel for a break. Warn your child if the place you are going has loud noises, or bright lights if these are issues.
  6. Do not force your child to do something they are not comfortable doing. For example do not make them go to a amusement park if they do not like loud noises and lots of people. Consider bringing a qualified person to watch your child while you visit the park. They could do an activity that your child would like instead.
  7. Make sure your child has something with them that has your name, and phone number where you can be reached incase the child gets lost. If your child is verbal make sure they know how to tell someone they are lost. This can be very hard for an Autistic child. They have hard time dealing with people anyway.
  8. If you have to travel for an emergency try to stay calm. If you are stressed about the trip your Autistic child will pick up on this and become stressed their selves.
  9. Take lots of activities the child enjoys to keep them occupied while traveling. This could be hand held games, or a portable DVD player. This can help keep your child from becoming overly bored. It can also give them something to focus on if they start to feel uneasy.
  10. Notify the place where you are staying that your child is Autistic. This is very important if your child likes to wander on their own. The staff at the hotel will know if they see the child and you are not with them to contact you right away.

Traveling with an Autistic child will take some extra planning, but it can be done. Just try and keep as much structure to the trip as possible. It will make the trip more enjoyable for you and your child.

How to Cope as a Parent of an Autistic Child

Having an Autistic child can be very hard, and rewarding at the same time. Some days will go according to plan, and others will make you want to climb back in bed. You will need a way to cope to stay strong for you child. Here are some ways of coping when you have a child with Autism.

Support Group

Find a local support group in your area for parents with Autistic children. They will understand what you are going through. They have been there or are going through the same things you are. Sometimes having someone to talk to that understands can make a huge difference. They may have suggestions that can help in your daily routines. Sometimes it is just nice to have someone to talk to other than a doctor or therapist.

Journals

Writing in a journal can be a great coping mechanism. It allows you to express your feelings and thoughts. This journal can be a place to let out all of your frustrations as a parent of an autistic child. No one else has to read the journal. It can be a private place to vent. Sometimes just writing can help relieve stress and anxiety you might be feeling. Your journal can also be a place to keep track of behaviors your child has on a day to day basis.

Get away

Everyone needs time to their self. This is true whether you are dealing with an Autistic child, or any other medical problem. Find a qualified care giver for your child and get out. Have a date night with your spouse, or just get away for some alone time. Go watch that movie you wanted to see. Run some errands that are hard to take your child along too. Just give your self some away time. If you cannot leave the house make some time after your child has gone to bed for a relaxing bath. Just give yourself some time to unwind. It will make things better for you and your child.

Ask for help

Every mom tries to be a super mom. They do not want to ask for help because that means they cannot do it alone. Forget this attitude. Having a child with Autism requires help. If you are becoming stressed and overwhelmed it is not good for you or your child. Sometimes we all need help. If you are trying a treatment and it is not improving things with your Autistic child ask the doctor for another way. Ask someone such as your spouse to help with the errands. Sometimes it is too hard to take your Autistic child out without some sort of struggle. Getting someone to do simple tasks for you can save time and frustrations. If you need help ask. No one can read your mind, you have to tell them you need help.

Having an Autistic child is a hard job. Having ways to cope will make your job easier. It will also make things better for your child by having you calm and stress free.

Could My Child Have Autism?

A basic rule for treating autism is the earlier the intervention, the better. Autism is a lifelong spectrum disorder that affects each individual differently and in varying degrees. Getting the right help at the earliest stage of life can help a child gain the skills he or she needs to be successful.

If you’re worried your child may have autism — or feel something just isn’t quite right — you should:

First and foremost, follow your instincts. Don’t assume that your child will catch up.
Share your concerns with your pediatrician. Consider seeing a doctor who is familiar with autism. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers an online pediatrician referral service, searchable by specialty and location.

Get a diagnosis. Autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months old. Many children are diagnosed before age five, although many children get misdiagnosed or not diagnosed until later in life.

You may also want to consider the following. Does your child …

  • Not speak as well as his or her peers?
  • Have poor eye contact?
  • Not respond selectively to his or her name?
  • Act as if he or she is in his or her own world?
  • Seem to “tune others out?”
  • Not have a social smile?
  • Seem unable to tell you what he or she wants, preferring to lead you by the hand or get desired objects on his or her own, even at risk of danger?
  • Have difficulty following simple commands?
  • Not bring things to you simply to “show” you?
  • Not point to interesting objects to direct your attention to objects or events of interest?
  • Have unusually long and severe temper tantrums?
  • Have repetitive, odd, or stereotypic behaviors?
  • Show an unusual attachment to inanimate objects, especially hard ones (e.g., flashlight or a chain vs. teddy bear or blanket)?
  • Prefer to play alone?
  • Demonstrate an inability to play with toys in the typical way?
  • Not engage in pretend play (if older than age 2)?

How can you tell if someone you know has autism? Are there specific signs or
symptoms?

If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve done just that — you’ve met one person with autism. Autism manifests itself differently for every individual, varying in the severity and type of symptoms. While there are strong and consistent commonalities, there is no single behavior that is always typical of autism and no behavior that would automatically exclude an individual from receiving a diagnosis.

That said, generally speaking, children and adults with autism may …

Interact with others differently. They may appear to live a life of isolation or have difficulty understanding and expressing emotions or convey personal attachments in a different manner.

Not effectively use spoken language. Some have echolalia, a parrot-like repeating of what has been said to them. And, people with autism often have difficulty understanding the nonverbal aspect of language such as social cues, body language and vocal qualities (pitch, tone and volume).

Have difficulty relating to objects and events. They may have a great need for “sameness” that can make them upset if objects in their environment or time schedules change. Children with autism may not “play” with toys in the same manner as their peers and may become fixated to specific objects.

Overreact to sensory stimuli that they see, hear, touch, feel or taste; or, conversely, not react at all to various stimuli from the environment.

Have a different rate of development especially in the areas of communication, social and cognitive skills. In contrast, motor development may occur at a typical rate. Sometimes skills will appear in children with autism at the expected rate or time and then disappear.

Warning signs of Autism

Expression

There are Three forms of onset of autism are possible:

Very early form  : first months
Form that begins between one and two years
Form that manifests after the age of two
Autism is a disorder of early childhood that develops and continues until adulthood. And it is characterized mainly by:
Alterations in social interactions,
Alterations in verbal and non-verbal communication,
Restricted, stereotypical and repetitive activities.
These disorders appear before 30 months in at least one of these areas.

Signs

Warning ! Only specialists (psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.) will be authorized to make a diagnosis of autism. This list is not exhaustive. It aims to enlighten you so that you can then be guided towards a thorough clinical examination which may or may not validate your suspicions about possible autistic disorders. Do not hesitate to contact a specialist quickly.

We can recognize autism more and more early thanks to diagnostic tools used by professionals, which is less obvious when we are a parent. But certain signs can alert, in particular through the behaviors of the young child:

* A lack of interest in the members of his entourage,
* Few eye contacts exchanged or even an avoidance of the gaze,
* An impression of deafness: the child reacts little to his first name,
* The lack of initiation of contact: does not seek the adult,
* Unusual cries,
* Discomfort when touching and / or caressing,
* Extreme tranquility or, on the contrary, irritability,
* A rarity of smiles,
* Few facial expressions ,
* He resists the change of routine, shows dissatisfaction,
* He can put himself in danger (is not aware of the risks).
* We also observe a notable delay in language acquisition or even its absence:
* A poverty of vocalizations and babbling,
* Words that lack meaning,
* A restricted vocabulary,
* The repetition of sentences heard,
* The use of meaningless words,
* A bizarre rhythm and tone,
* Some take the adult hand to guide it to the desired object or repeatedly ask for things.
* In terms of symbolic activity, play, it is rather rare and we especially observe:
* Repetitive motor movements,
* A lack of curiosity and exploration of the environment,
* Objects are used in an unusual way, carried to the mouth, aligned,
* There is a particular attraction for all rotating objects,
* Later we see children who can not play alone to tell stories, nor can not play with their friends,
* A lack of imitation.

Causes of autism

Since Kanner’s first autism report in 1943, there have been several theories as to what causes autism, some causing a fair amount of controversy.

For a long time it was said that autism was caused by “refrigerator mothers” who did not give their children enough love and attention. This theory is false, parents of children with autism or with pervasive developmental disorder are in all respects similar to those of normal children.

The exact cause of autism is still not known, but research on this topic is currently focusing on two possibilities: the genetic origin of autism and autism triggered by toxins in the environment.

Much progress has been made in the last ten years on the genetics side. However, there is no longer any talk of a direct link between autism and genetics. Researchers have identified certain chromosomal regions that may make children more likely to develop autism.

We have also been talking for about ten years about environmental causes of autism, that is to say that the child would be normal at birth but one or more elements would trigger autism in him. Among the elements accused are certain viral infections, metabolic imbalance and vaccines. There is a growing body of evidence against thimerosal, a preservative that is used in vaccines. This product is made largely from mercury, an element known for its neurotoxicity. Autistic people would have been exposed to doses of mercury well above the norms allowed for children of their age. Their bodies cannot excrete this mercury, which causes developmental problems.

If the history of autism has taught us anything, it is that there are no easy answers. Every autistic child is different, he is born or becomes autistic because of a conjunction of genetic and environmental factors.

The first signs of autism in a baby

Do you find your child’s behavior unusual? He may be autistic … Here are the main signs of autism that should alert you:

  1. Your child does not answer his first name (which he usually does around 9 months) and you have ever wondered if he is deaf.
  2. Eye contact is difficult, your baby does not look you in the eye. He doesn’t extend his arms to you, doesn’t smile, doesn’t like physical contact. You get the impression that there are no exchanges and no fun.
  3. Your child’s communication gestures are rare: he does not wave goodbye with his hand, does not send a kiss, does not react when you are playing hide and seek.
  4. He does not point his finger at the objects he covets (around 18 months).
  5. He doesn’t seem interested in other babies and children, but he is fascinated by objects. He spins them around, tirelessly fills them …
  6. He does not imitate you (2nd grade). For example, he doesn’t roll a toy car like mum showed him – but watches its wheels carefully and turns them with his finger; he doesn’t pretend he’s on the phone like daddy either.

If you have any doubts, contact a pediatrician if you do not go to an autism center. We don’t really have any in Cameroon yet.

Autism, Why are men more affected than women?

Gender influences the risk of disease: this is true for hypertension, diabetes, but also for nervous disorders. Thus, after puberty, women are more affected than men by depression and anxiety. In contrast, boys more often suffer from neurodevelopmental disorders: autism, schizophrenia or attention deficit disorder.

Did you know ?
For the latter, the cause may lie in development in utero. Male embryos are more sensitive to prenatal maternal stress. During embryonic life, the placenta provides the nutrients and growth factors necessary for the development of the fetus. The placenta consists of cells that come from the embryo, which means that genes on the X and Y chromosomes can lead to differences in how the placenta works.

The authors’ approach is rather original since it is oriented towards the placenta. This ephemeral organ is sensitive to changes in the maternal environment: the expression of genes, the morphology of the placenta, its weight, can vary depending on the mother’s diet, her alcohol consumption, her infections or her stress. To better understand the differences between male and female embryos, researchers at the University of Maryland looked at an enzyme that plays a role in placental health: OGT, or O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase. OGT acts on the expression profile of genes as a function of sex.

OGT would act through epigenetic modifications called H3K27me3, which correspond – as this abbreviation indicates – to a trimethylation (me3) of lysine 27 (K27) of histone H3. Modification of histones is one of the epigenetic mechanisms influencing gene expression. Patterns of gene expression in the placenta contribute to differences in the development of the hypothalamus, an area often involved in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism or schizophrenia.

By maintaining high levels of H3K27me3 in the placenta, the female embryo thus obtains better resistance to maternal stress than male embryos. For Tracy Bale, “this path could help explain why we see this profound neurodevelopmental difference in humans.”

The researcher had already shown that in mice, stress affecting the father could affect the development of the offspring’s brain: stress can alter spermatozoa by epigenetics, which has repercussions on the development of the

Autism: music, not a quick fix

Q: Can music help children with autism?

A: This is a topic of interest to a number of scientists. There have been several studies on this topic since 2012. One of them, conducted on 364 subjects, was published in August 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Trained music therapists sang and played music with children, listening to each child to help them develop their emotional sharing and attention skills.

Compared to usual healing techniques, improvised music therapy had no significant effect on symptom severity. According to the researchers’ conclusions, this study does not validate the use of improvisational music therapy for the reduction of symptoms of autism.

Q: So this is not the miracle cure?
A: No, it is not music alone that will suddenly make a child with autism talk nonverbal, or teach him to read and count. Music therapy cannot solve all problems. But, applied in a very rigorous way, it can have positive effects, represent a little more. It would take studies on larger populations, with homogeneous measures, to know if it is recommended.

This also poses the problem of measuring the effects of the therapies offered to children because there is great variability from one child to another. Social interaction, verbal communication, socio-emotional reciprocity are functions that are difficult to measure.

Q: Are there more effective interventions for reducing autism spectrum symptoms?
A: No intervention provides a significant generalized response for all children. What works are comprehensive programs in which we also encourage the family to understand the child and to better manage him on a daily basis. There is no one wonderful technique that works for all children. Because we are far from having found the unique key that would explain autism.

It’s like a code, a complicated code, and probably not the same for all forms of autism. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that alters the functions of the nervous system from birth, and even before. It alters the brain in its connections. The cause is not known: genetics have a weight, the environment too.

Asperger’s disease: definition, symptoms

It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be spotted at an early age (before the age of 2). There is not yet a specific treatment for autism. Symptoms of autism It is important to note that autism presents a wide range of symptoms and a person with this disorder may present one or more of these symptoms.

In addition, autism is often accompanied by other disorders or other pathologies such as trisomy 21, epilepsy or hyperactivity. This is also why we talk about autism spectrum disorders because the term autism has a wide range of very different characteristics. Here are a few examples:

  • Problems communicating: the affected person may repeat pieces of sentences repeatedly (also called echolalia). In addition, people on the autism spectrum may have difficulty understanding the second degree. , are sometimes unable to put themselves in the other’s shoes or have difficulty expressing their emotions.
  • Obsessive interests: repetition for example of words or gestures (also called stereotypy). Focus on a single center of interest.
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Hyper sensory sensitivity
  • People with the characteristics of autism have extremely heterogeneous symptoms.

Diagnosis of autism
The diagnosis of autism can be made in early childhood but can be done throughout life. It will allow people with autism to be supported by a multidisciplinary team, whether they are children or adults. Indeed, progress is possible throughout life. This will also allow the autistic person and those around them to understand certain symptoms or behaviors and above all, allow themselves to be “different”.

Asperger syndrome
The name Asperger’s syndrome has not been used since 2013 because it is included in autism spectrum disorder. Its characteristics can be from mild to severe and can change in intensity as a person develops. The characteristics of people with Asperger’s syndrome are very broad, like all people on the autism spectrum. Here are some of them:

  • Impaired verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Difficulty decoding facial expressions
  • Difficulty creating social ties
  • Difficulty in emotional exchanges (friends and lovers)