Autism registry

Autism Registry: Scary Government Tracking or Helpful Research?

Some states have recently formed an autism registry. If you are not in a state that has such a registry, you may be wondering what this is, what it’s for, and if you should register should your state ever start something similar. Parents who are very protective of their children may be very wary at first—after all, a state registry that tracks who has autism, where they live, and documents information about the mothers and their children seems a little invasive and scary. However, there are some positive points to registering your children with autism and registering important information about your family.

Autism registry in NJ

Autism research is a very important and positive reason for adding your family to the registry. All of the information the researchers gather about autism, where it seems to be most highly concentrated, the age of both parents when they conceived a child that was later diagnosed with autism, etc., is kept confidential, but it helps determine if there are any common factors. The common factors can then steer researchers in a direction that has not been explored before, as they try to find a cure or a preventive measure and help reduce the frequency with which autism is discovered and diagnosed.

Another reason for registering is so that when there is a cure, a treatment or a preventive measure found, your family can be one of the first ones to hear about it. Researchers who compile the list of names and data can present their findings to you and your child to see if you would like to reverse the disorder (should it ever be possible), or if you would like to remain as you are.

Government planning for the future welfare and financial needs also relies on this collected data. Social Security Administration will have to fairly and accurately predict the number of group homes, nursing homes, special care attendants, disability benefit amounts per person, and life expectancy for healthcare for every autistic child in America. Since the current number of autistic children is growing at an unprecedented rate in human history, there is no data bank to assist the government with these tasks, at least not without the help of the willing and volunteering families and the state registries.

Currently, many states on the East and West coasts of the U.S. have autism registries. Some require that mandatory reporters who discover and diagnose children with autism register your child and your family without your permission. Other states give you the option, while letting you know that if you do volunteer your information, you may be offered more public assistance and referred to extra programs that can help you raise your special needs child.

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Rapamycin for Autism

Autism and Tuberous Sclerosis , How is it linked to Rapamycin

There is some fairly new drama surrounding a drug and its potential for causing autism. Like most things, it is all hype, and you may or may not have heard about rapamycin anyway. If your child has a dual diagnosis of autism and tuberous sclerosis, then you do know why rapamycin is. It is the drug that helps shrink the tuberous growths throughout your child’s body.

The argument comes from a government study that examined the effects of this drug on lab rats. That’s right, lab rats. They were researching what the drug did for tumors, and instead concluded that it made the animals more social. It, like so many other drugs, alters the brain chemistry and some of its physiology such that the rats seemed more attractive and approachable to other rats. The key word here is seemed, since you cannot actually ask other rats what they think of their cage mates when the
cage mates were on this drug.

As with all drug research and development, lab rats are a long way from human trials, and it takes a lot of proof and study to be sure that the drug has no negative side effects on humans before a human drug trial can begin. The hope of the researchers is that rapamycin will make people with autism less socially awkward and facilitate better social interaction with their non-autistic peers, but it is years off from being tested in this fashion.

Meanwhile, parents and teachers of children with autism have to be the facilitators of social interaction for these children. It requires a lot more effort because everyone has to model social behavior and help the children with autism learn how to interact with others. There is no short cut here, and it is hard work, but many children with mild to moderate autism learn how to act, interact and react to what others say and do in correct ways, something which they would still have to do if they were taking
rapamycin.

The conclusion here is that there is no quick fix and no cure just yet. There is still the overwhelming task of teaching kids and adults how to interact even if there was a quick fix, and parents of children with autism would have to make the decision to place their children on this drug for life. If your child already takes it for tuberous sclerosis, then the decision is a simple one because your child really needs it. If not, then it becomes a choice between forcing your child to change and become social, or remain in his or her own quiet, little world.

The effects on children with moderate to severe autism are even more of an unknown, since most of these children do not want to be touched nor do they seek out affection. Given that there are so many medical hurdles to cross before anyone can find out, you do better by your child teaching him or her how to respond to others. That is better than any pill you can make him or her take.

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Is ABCMouse.Com good for my autistic child

The World of ABCMouse.com: How It Can Help Your Child with Autism Learn

It’s no secret that a child with autism tunes right in to the world of computers because it makes sense to them and because they do not have to interact with live people. The children’s subscription service known as ABCMouse.com is ideal for these children because it begins with the most basic preschool curriculum and continues to build on the skills each child masters. All of the games, stories and songs that the children engage in on this website are immediately rewarded with virtual tickets that children can spend for virtual items in a virtual store inside the program.

abcmouse com

The fun of the activities combined with the immediacy of the rewards speaks to the emotional and intellectual needs of an autistic child. They feel accomplished and their self-esteem is elevated by the immediate rewards and the challenges do not reach beyond the child’s current skill level. Your child does not feel frustrated nor will he or she feel defeated or bored because ABCMouse has so carefully tailored their program that it resembles many of the learning games children can play on a tablet or learning tablet system.

As your child levels up in skills, he or she also levels up in the virtual school in ABCMouse. You are able to see and track your child’s progress and monitor their strengths and weaknesses. Because it is the exact same cumulative curriculum many teachers use in their classrooms, you can see what grade level your child is actually at in every subject including writing, reading, math and science.

Has anyone used ABC Mouse?

If you are not sure about how ABCMouse.com can help your child with autism, the company frequently offers introductory prices of $1 for the first month, or forty to sixty percent off an entire year’s subscription. Even if your autistic child does not take to the program, your “normal” children will, and it will help them catch up to their peers. The program starts out at the preschool level and advances your child when he or she is ready, all the way up to the sixth grade. You do not have to do previous school year levels either. If you jump in when your autistic son or daughter is in the second grade, the program still continues onward as if your child had started the program in an earlier skill/ grade level. It really is the only program of its kind.

The program simulates home schooling in many ways as well. If you already home-school your special needs children, then this program can be easily incorporated into the curriculum and even support the home-school curriculum you already use. The benefits far exceed and outweigh any educational deficit you could possibly dream up, and you should at least give it a try at the $1 introductory price.

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Probiotic for autistic children

Different Diets, Same Autism (Probiotics and Autism)

Probiotic autism
There have been many rumors circulating that a change in diet can help a child with autism cope with his or her surroundings. There are some grains of truth to this, but it should be kept in mind that even regular people can have a change in behavior and mood when they change their diets. The latest rumor running in autism circles is about the effect of probiotics. Here is the cold, hard truth. Children with autism often have poor diets, not because their parents don’t do everything they can to get them to eat healthy, but because autistic kids get stuck on certain foods and won’t eat anything else. There is also the problem of food textures and spices, which some kids with autism are extremely sensitive to, and therefore they simply won’t even try a lot of foods that may be healthier or could vary their diets more.

What this adds up to is a digestive system that does not run as smoothly as intended. Kids with autism often have constipation because they refuse to eat vegetables or fruits. They are hard-wired to consume carbs, although it is not certain why. Since you definitely do not want to give your kids laxatives all the time, some parents are wondering about the effects of probiotics.

What are Probiotics

Probiotics is a fancy word that describes the healthy bacteria in the human intestines. When it is properly balanced, you feel great and your bowel movements are regular and normal in consistency. It is completely natural to take probiotic supplements to aid digestion, and it can help your child with autism regulate his or her little system.

The thing is, it is not a fancy diet to follow nor is it a change in lifestyle. In fact, if your child does not have a lactose intolerance and is not sensitive to dairy products, he or she can get all the probiotics he or she needs simply by consuming one to two servings of yogurt daily. You do not have to overextend yourself financially buying probiotic supplements to give your child.

Can probiotics help autism

The drawback to this line of thinking is that probiotics can cure autism or that it dramatically improves the challenging behaviors of autism. It cannot be stressed enough that probiotics are not a cure-all, nor are they going to completely eliminate problematic behaviors. Will your child feel better and because he or she feels better behave better? Absolutely, but anyone eating yogurt or taking a daily probiotic supplement will. Correlation is not causation, and vice versa.

Plain and simple, when your child is not struggling to create a BM and then empty his or her system of that BM, he or she will be more comfortable, content, and less challenging. There is nothing wrong with trying this approach, especially if you notice your child has infrequent BM’s or really hard/hard to pass stools. What will ease their gut will ease some of their distress and in turn ease some behavior, but not all.

Omega-3 fatty acids supplementation for autism spectrum disorders (asd)

Autismspeaks.org

Autism Speaks

Many people have worked to fund research to find the cause(s) of autism and they have done a good job helping researchers pay for expensive studies. The organization that has so far done the best work of fund raising has been Autism Speaks. This group has worked to fund autism research through sales of donated articles and group specific merchandise. It is a nonprofit that works to donate all of their time and energy to the funding of autism research.

How was autism speaks founded

The site was started in 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright who have a grandson with the dread disease. They worked with a friend to start the organization initially and have since grown exponentially. Their friend, Bernie Marcus, donated the initial $25 million that gave them the funds to start the site and begin fund raising efforts. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness and helping both those who suffer from autism and their families gain some kind of hope in a world that often seems hopeless.

The color of the website is a royal blue and they have made that the color of choice for the organization. With their “Light it up Blue” campaign, they are hoping to raise money to fund further research and to assist families of children who have autism.

The site is a constant fount of news for those family members looking for an oasis in the desert. The news articles include fundraising efforts and where people can gather to help raise money, talk of cures that may show promise as they are developed, and other news of interest to the ever broadening community.

This shows that the dedication of a small group of people can genuinely make a difference in the lives of people with a debilitating condition. It is through efforts like these that autism will finally be cured and people released from its bondage.

Difference between high functioning autism and Asperger’s

Difference between high functioning autism and Asperger’s

In the past, Asperger’s Syndrome and autism were thought to be two entirely different things. People with autism were not able to live in society because of their mental disabilities and physical problems; while people with Asperger’s may have a difficult time relating to society and the people in it, they were still able to function and have relatively “normal” lives. This has recently changed. Now Asperger’s is classified as high-functioning autism. So, as of a few years ago there is no difference between the two. Some people who are considered high functioning autistics do not have all the features of autism though.

Sleep disorders linked to ADHD and autism

Sleep disorders linked to ADHD and autism

Doctors are just beginning to realize that there are many physical ills that can be related to sleep deprivation and sleep disorders. These happen mostly in adults as a result of being overweight, having some physical trauma or other cause, but they can occur in children. Sleep disorders are not a cause of either ADHD or autism, but they can definitely be a result of both of these conditions. People with ADHD have a hard time relaxing because they are trying to gain stimulation. Children with autism may experience anxiety or other symptoms that lessons the efficacy of sleep.

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Top 20 Autism Medications for Children Every Parent Should Know

Medicines for autism

Many parents of children with autism use medications to treat various symptoms.  As of now, there are no medications that cure autism, but there are many that can ease some of the more debilitating symptoms.  I have made the list of medication, every parent with an autistic child should be familiar with. Here is a list of the top 20:

Autism and stimulant medication

Stimulant medications are used to decrease hyperactive behavior and improve focus.

1. Adderall

Adderall autism

2. Concerta

Concerta autism

3. Dexedrine

Dexedrine and Autism

4. Focalin

Focalin and Autism

5. Ritalin

Ritalin autism

Antidepressants and anti anxiety medication for autism

These medications address depression and anxiety.

6. Anafranil

Anafranil autism

7. BuSpar

Buspar autism

8. Effexor

Effexor and autism

9. Paxil

Paxil for autism

10. Prozac

Prozac autism

Antipsychotics  for autism

Antipsychotic medications are prescribed to decrease aggressive behaviors.

11. Clozaril

Clozaril and Autism

12. Haldol

Haldol used for autism

13. Risperdal

Risperdal autism

14. Seroquel

Seroquel autism

15. Zyprexa

Zyprexa autism

Mood stabilizers  for autism

These medications are prescribed to stabilize mood.

16. Cibalith-S

17. Depakote

18. Eskalith

19. Lithobid

20. Tegertol

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How to discipline autistic children effectively

Autistic Children and Discipline

“Should you discipline an autistic child?” The debate.

There has been much debate regarding the topic of autism and discipline.  After all, crying, tantrums and flapping may be the autistic child’s way of communicating that he isn’t happy about something.  Yet, should the child be allowed to display these behaviors at any given time in any kind of setting?

What is the best way to discipline a child with autism?

Any time an autistic child’s behavior could cause harm to himself or those around him, you need to take action and stop the behavior.  Just as you wouldn’t let a three year old play with matches, you wouldn’t want to let an autistic child engage in something dangerous.  Be prepared that when you abruptly stop a behavior, it may cause the child to have a meltdown.  Yet, better to deal with a meltdown than a child who is physically hurt.

Acknowledge positive behaviors

Rather than thinking about behavior in terms of discipline, focus on acknowledging the child’s appropriate behavior.  For example, if the child has recently mastered the goal of quietly shutting a door each time he leaves his bedroom, verbally praise him each time you observe him shutting the door quietly.  If the child doesn’t respond to verbal praise, try a reward chart or his favorite edibles.

Be consistent.

Whether it is the use of time-out, re-directing, or taking away a favorite toy, it is important to be consistent when disciplining an autistic child.  This can be a challenge at times, especially if you’ve had a stressful day and you just want some peace and quiet.  On those days, it’s easy to just let your child do whatever and not try to discipline him.  However, the more consistent you are with your discipline techniques, the sooner your child will learn that there are consequences for his behavior.

Provide a time-out area.

For many autistic children, it is beneficial to have a time out area where the child can calm down and regroup.  This needs to be an area that is non-stimulating.  There shouldn’t be a lot of things in the room, especially objects that the child enjoys.  If the child tends to throw tantrums or bangs himself against the wall when upset, consider putting padding against the wall and on the floor.  Some kids respond well if there is calming music or might fall asleep if given a weighted blanket to cover up with.

In regards to autistic children, focus on the good behavior, be consistent, and devise a plan of action to deal with serious inappropriate behaviors.

How to make a weighted blanket for an autistic child

For many autistic children, addressing sensory needs can make a big difference in emotions and behavior. More and more parents are utilizing weighted blankets with their autistic children.

What is a weighted blanket for autism?

A weighted blanket is a therapeutic method to help your child have less anxiety and stress during the night. For many autistic kids, weighted blankets greatly reduce the number of meltdowns and kids sleep better at night. When a kid has a good night sleep, he or she functions better the following day. The blanket can be during the day as well. When your child because upset, encourage him or her to lie down and cover up with the blanket.

Materials needed to make a weighted blanket

  • pillow cases
  • poly (or plastic) pellets
  • funnel
  • sewing machine

Instructions to make a weighted blanket

For a small blanket, a pillow case can be used. For a bigger blanket, you can use 4 to 6 pillow cases.

  1. Begin by sewing eight channels from the top to the bottom of your pillow case.
  2. Using the funnel, fill each channel with 1.5 cups of pellets.
  3. Sew the end of the pillow case.
  4. Divide the pellets into halves, so that you can sew along the middle of the pillow case.
  5. Next, sew a line through the middle of each half, forming four quarters.
  6. Lastly, sew a line through the middle of each quarter.

When you are through, you should have a total of 64 blocks, with roughly the same amount of pellets in each block. If you’re using more than one pillow case, simple sew the completed pillow cases together.

Material can be instead of pillow cases. Once you select your material and the size that you need, fold the material inside out and sew the two sides. Then use straight pins to mark the channels. Follow the same steps as listed above.  Here’s a great tip. If you don’t want to have to mess with pins, look for material that has vertical and horizontal lines. This makes the job a lot easier with little hassle.

How much do weighted blankets cost?

Price can range from $65 to $140.

Where can I find a weighted blanket?

There are several online sites that sell weighted blankets under various names such as SensaCalm, Sensory Goods Blanket, or Magic Blanket. These blankets can be quite costly and sometimes are limited in size or color.  However, you can easily make your own weighted blanket by following the steps below.

Weighted Therapy Devices For Autism: What They Are, What They Do, And How Effective Are They?