Archive for the ‘symptoms of autism’ Category

Autism Supports and Treatments

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

A diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder can come a s a great shock to many parents.

It is thought that an average of 1 in every 150 babies is going to be given a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder before they attend school, this number is astonishing. Research into autism suggests that there is no one reason for autism, and that there is no cure.

While there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, there are various autism supports and treatments available that can and will help with the symptoms of autism.

Autism supports and treatments can help  with disruptive behaviors, and teach self-help skills that allow for greater independence.  So what are the main symptoms of autism? social awareness deficits, communication difficulties both in verbal and non-verbal communication, imagination skills deficits as well as some stereotypical behaviours and sensory processing issues.

Autism supports and treatments ARE often reffered to as “Intervention Strategies”

Which Intervention Strategies will work for your child is mainy dependant on your child’s own personal abilities. No two children with autism spectrum disorder will ever be the same, and therefore the approach will be different. However one of the most significant treatments of autism is Social Skills Stories and ARE adaptable to suit all.

Social Skills Stories ARE used to help teach social awareness skills, deal with communication difficulties and help the child on the spectrum overcome many of the symptoms of autism that they display.

Social skills stories ARE short descriptive stories which detail a skill or behaviour from the child’s own perspective, breaking the skill or behaviour down into small relevant chunks that the child on the spectrum can understand.

The social story looks much like a comic script with visual images and small pices of first person text. Typically children with autism spectrum disorder ARE visual thinkers, this means that they think in pictures and will gain far more from visual intervention strategies like social  stories, PECS, flash cards and so on.

Commonly visual intervention strategies like the social story will answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and will also provide an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most children with autism spectrum disorder.

To implement social skills stories for autism and to learn more about what autism supports and treatments are avauilable visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Alternatively you will find immediate download of socials stories for autism from: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

What can you do about autism anxiety symptoms?

Friday, January 14th, 2011

The symptoms of autism affect how an individual thinks and processes information.

Tony Atwood was once quoted as saying “Autism is anxiety looking for a target”. Autism and anxiety go hand-in-hand.

Communication difficulties both verbal and non verbal are common in individuals with autism. Individuals with autism generally appear to be locked inside their own world; these symptoms of autism can cause anxiety.

Anxiety and autism becomes even worse when there is a change in routine, generally children with autism prefer things to remain constant and the same. Even positive and “fun” changes, like a school trip or a visit to the park, can be autistic anxiety triggers, triggering negative even aggressive behaviours.

What can you do about autism anxiety symptoms? For parents of autistic children, it is a good suggestion to anticipate upcoming changes to routines and transitions and help your autistic child prepare for them.

Many parents of autistic children find it helpful to use Intervention Strategies such as: social skills stories, or visual support cards to help prepare their child for impending disruptions.

What can you do about autism anxiety symptoms, for example if you are planning a visit to Grandma, it will be helpful to use visual support cards to show your child where he is going, what it will be like, and what sort of things to expect. Intervention Strategies like social skills stories will also help explaining the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW”

Do this each day for three or four days prior to the trip, this will help prevent any unnecessary autistic anxiety triggers, making the trip more predictable, helping to re-assure the autistic child and relieve some of the stress they may feel

Other changes in the routine which are less enjoyable but still necessary such as a new teacher can be traumatic, as can moving to a new house. If at all possible, try to spread out the major changes. If you move to a new house, try to do it during the summer, so that your child won’t have to deal with the added anxiety of getting a new school and new teacher mid-year.

Looking at ways of dealing with anxiety and autism: Introduce your ASD child to “changes” in a positive way you can use Intervention Strategies to prepare for any changes: Try practicing with non-negative things first. For example, give your ASD child a little extra TV time instead of homework time one evening, to show that changes in the routine can often be fun and good.

Then try a neutral change for example: homework after dinner instead of before dinner, then a negative change for example: changing play time into chore time. This process can help your ASD child grow accustomed to the idea of change and learn to adapt without the onset of autistic anxiety triggers causing stress, confusion and upset.

For continual, ongoing anxiety in autistic children many parents of autistic children us anti-anxiety medications with their child, such as:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), these are also used for obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Prozac, Luvox, Zoloft and Anafranil are all common for anxiety in autistic children.

Your own doctor will help prescribe medication, for behavioural problems ASD children are often prescribed Antipsychotics such as Haldol, Fluphenazine and Chlorpromazine. These can reduce aggression in autistic kids, but sometimes also cause sedation and muscle stiffness.

All autistic kids are different. You child’s doctor will monitor your child’s progress very closely, using the lowest dose of medication possible, to see if what improvements it makes and whether there are any adverse reactions.

Medication should be the last resort for autistic kids, not the first one. There are a number of natural remedies available if you don’t want to go down the drug route. But try behavioural and dietary modifications first, to see what improvements can be made naturally.

For information and to signup for a Free Newsletter about Autism please visit The Essential Guide to Autism

 

 

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Which resources to use with an autistic child

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Autism is one of the most common developmental disorders yet still it is misunderstood.

Being the parent of an autistic child is one of the toughest challenges a parent can face. However with early diagnosis of autism, the challenges can be lessened.

Understanding which resources to use with an autistic child can be confusing, with so many treatments for autism available, many parents struggle to understand and decide which resources will best suit their own individual child.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of autism can be severe in some children with an ASD, some children with an ASD may never develop speech may have other educational difficulties and seizures. While other children with an ASD may have average or above average intelligence, although in most cases speech will be slow to develop.

Although there is nothing that can be done to reverse autism, therefore a diagnosis of autism is a lifelong disability. However there are strategies parents of autistic children can use to help with the symptoms of autism.

So which resources to use with an autistic child? What is available and how can you access them quickly and easily?

Generally being the parent of an autistic child can be isolating, frustrating and confusing. Many parents of autistic children use resources such as autism social skills stories, to help their child develop age appropriate skills and behaviours that their typically developing peers are learning naturally.

Studies into the behaviour patterns of children with autism show that most autistic children are visual thinkers and learners no matter which end of the autism scale they are on. This knowledge helps us determine which kind of resources may be needed to help children with autism learn skills and behaviours effectively.

Generally visual thinkers and learners will better understand information when it is presented visually through images, pictures, graphs etc rather that through written words or orally. For children with autism on either end of the autism scale visual representations and information is better received and understood.

Visual resources for children with autism are available from many sites like: http://www.autismsocialstories.com  Visual resources for children with autism such as social skills stories can be implemented and used effectively to help show and teach children with an ASD appropriate skills and behaviours. For example social skills stories are used to help autistic children learn behaviours such as making friends, controlling negative behaviours, asking questions, sharing, taking turns, respecting personal space, using the toilet and so on.

Social skills stories are like a comic script, visual, colourful, use first person language, can be edited, printed and personalized. Social skills stories are like a role model detailing the skill or behaviour in appropriate language and images easy to use, follow and versatile, can be edited and convenient to use. Social skills stories are one of the most popular autism resources used today, and have great uses in the nursery, classroom, college, work place and at home or out and about they can be used in most situation the autistic child struggles with for example the dentist, a hospital visit, birthday party, school trip, wedding etc.

To find out more about social stories and there uses visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com or one of the following sites:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/preschool

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

ASD – Autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

With an increase in the number of children being diagnosed with ASD, it is now recognized that autism spectrum disorders are more common in children than disorders such as diabetes, spina bifida, or Down syndrome.

 

All children diagnosed with ASD will have common symptoms of autism; these are known as social skills deficits or the triad of impairments.  A child’s social skills deficits are characterized by difficulties in:


Social skills development

Communication both verbal and non-verbal skills

Imagination skills

Interaction skills


These deficits are always present in children with ASD to varying degrees.


In addition to the triad of impairments or social skills deficits children diagnosed with ASD may also display sensory processing issues.


Probably the most noticeable of the symptoms of autism is an individual’s difficulty with social interactions. A child with autism spectrum disorder may have little trouble learning to read but exhibit extremely poor social interaction.


Typically a child with autism spectrum disorder will not follow the normal pattern of development. Generally parents of ASD children may have an idea that there is something not quite right with their child before their child is diagnosed with ASD.

 

For example from birth, typically developing babies are social beings. Early in life, they gaze at people, turn toward voices, grasp a finger, and even smile. However with ASD children this is not always the case.

 

Research suggests that although children with ASD are attached to their parents, the attachment is not typical and is difficult to read. For parents of ASD children, their child’s apparent lack of attachment can be upsetting and stressful.

 

Generally typically developing children have met all their milestones in communication by the age of three, however for most ASD children these milestones may pass un-met. Communication both verbal and non-verbal can prove difficult for ASD children.

 

Some children with autism spectrum disorder will never develop speech, or speech may be delayed. Generally all individuals on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners and benefit form visual aids that can help them learn social and communication skills.

 

For many children with autism spectrum disorder using visual aids that teach social and communication skills such as PECS, visual support cards and social stories are proving very beneficial.


For the vast majority of individuals with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching needs to be direct. For example making friends, for typically developing children this skill is learnt naturally. For an ASD child this skill does not develop naturally, although some children with autism spectrum disorder may wish to be social they do not know how.

 

Consequently, many children with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching is achievable by using visual aids like social stories. Since their development twenty years ago, social stories have grown into probably one of the most significant tools used for teaching and re-enforcing social and communication skills in children with autism and related conditions today.

 

Social stories are a role model that provide individuals with ASD a visual explanation in the form of a script, much like a step by step visual representation or plan of the skill or situation that he or she may find difficult, stressful or confusing.


Social stories use a specifically defined style and format. The goal of social stories is to describe accurately using first person language and social cues in a clear and reassuring manner that is easily understood by the individual with an ASD.


Giving the individual with ASD accurate information that answers the “wh” questions
(who, where, why, when and what)
as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others helping them manage and cope with the skill or behavior.

 

Social stories will help reduce anxieties and stress making them to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

For more information on social stories for autism and how they can help with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching visit any of the following sites where you will also gain immediate downloads of appropriate social stories for autism.

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

Treatment for autism

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder, and as yet there is still no known cure for autism, however there are many treatments.

 

Some help manage the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, while others address the social, behavioural and communication difficulties associated with this pervasive developmental disorder. Of all the available autism treatments any claiming to be a cure for autism is simply not so.

 

There are many different theories surrounding the “cause of autism” and as yet no one theory has proven conclusive, research into the cause of autism and the symptoms of autism is still on-going.

 

There are many different types of therapies and autism treatments developed specifically to alleviate symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

 

A diagnosis of autism is not the end of the world, with the available therapies and treatment for autism it is expected that children with autism have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

 

Probably one of the most significant treatment for autism is social stories, a social story will address communication difficulties help build social skills, interaction and imagination skills as well as encourage appropriate behaviours.

 

We all need a certain amount of social and communication skills to be able to function daily. With autism the ability to learn social and communication skills is missing, however using a treatment for autism like social stories this lack of naturally learnt skills and behaviours can be addressed successfully.


Typically developing children learn through the environment and their family and peers, the child with ASD wont, therefore direct teaching is necessary.  Using social stories as a strategy for improving and teaching social skills to your child with ASD is simple, no qualifications or formal training is needed, social stories are simple to use and very effective.

 

The symptoms of autism vary between individuals, however all autistic’s tend to be visual thinkers and learners. Therefore social stories were developed to be visual, much like a visual framework of the skill or behaviour being addressed.

 

For many parents probably the most significant difficulty they struggle with is their child’s communication difficulties, for most children with autism language is confusing and often they do not understand what is expected of them. Much like if you were dropped in a foreign country, chances are you would not understand what people were saying, however if they showed you a picture chances are you would catch on pretty fast. This is the same with autism visual images and pictures trigger understanding much quicker that the spoken or written word.

 

 

For example a parent struggling to make their child understand may talk more trying to explain, this is not going to work with a child with ASD, the answer is to talk less and use visual cues prompts. For example show them a picture of the toilet, dinner etc rather than speak they will understand a lot quicker and with less stress for the both of you.

 

Using social stories as a strategy uses this knowledge; a social story is a visual representation with minimal text, always in first person language that describes the skill or behaviour from the point of view of the autistic individual.

 

The social story breaks the situation down into small pieces and each piece of the skill for example going to recess is represented by an image and text describing the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what) as well as what the child with ASD may expect from others and what they will expect back from them. This will help the autistic individual feel more comfortable and in control which will reduce anxieties and stress.

 

To learn more about this treatment for autism and how using social stories as a strategy can help your child with ASD visit any of the following sites:


http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Children with autism and finding friends

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life.

 

Autism spectrum disorder affects the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Making life difficult for children with autism and finding friends.

 

Children with autism display deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication, social, imagination and interaction skills and behaviors.  Typically children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to communicate with others and relate to the outside world and will often be described as being in a “world of their own”  In some children with autism spectrum disorder, aggressive and sometimes self-injurious behavior may also be present.


The symptoms and characteristics of autism may present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, ranging from mild as with aspergers to severe or low functioning autism.

 

Although the symptoms and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder are generally recognized by a certain set of behaviors, children with autism will exhibit various combinations of these behaviors dependant on the degree or severity of their diagnosis.  

 

Consequently, no two children regardless of diagnosis will ever be the same and may act very differently from one another and display varying skills and behaviors. This complex set of symptoms and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder make finding and maintaining friendships difficult.

 

Generally all autistic children will be visual learners and will gain a better grasp of learning life skills like making friends easier when the skills is taught using visual supports for autism such as social stories for autism.


Many parents realize that using visual supports for autism can impact on a better grasp of our world and how to interact affectively, giving the autistic child a better chance of social acceptance and less chance of social mistakes and blunders.

 

Developed almost twenty years ago to teach social, communication, imagination and interaction skills to autistic people the social skills story has evolved, and is reported as one of the most significant resources used today, to teach, and enforce, important life and living skills and behaviors to autistic people.

 

Sites offering information on how to use the social skills story to teach vital social, communication, imagination and interaction skills to those with autism can be found readily, one such site offering explanation and downloads of social stories like children with autism and finding friends is:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com These social stories for autism are written by an expert in autistic behaviors and can be downloaded immediately.

 

Other internet site’s offering downloads of social stories for autism are:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

 

 

Communication goals for children with autism

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder affecting an individual’s brain.


The common symptoms of autism are communication, social, imagination and interaction skills deficits. These common symptoms of autism are often referred to the triad of autistic impairments.

 

The triad of autistic impairments is present in every autistic individual. However the severity of symptom will differ between each autistic individual.

 

The communication problems of autism vary depending upon the intellectual and social development of the autistic individual.

 

Some children with autism may be unable to speak, whereas others may have rich vocabularies and are able to talk about topics of interest in great depth.

 

Almost all children with autism will have difficulty effectively using communication skills and language. Many children with autism spectrum disorder also display deficits with word and sentence meanings, intonations, and rhythms.

 

Many children with autism often say things that have no content or information some autistic children use echolalia, a repetition of something previously heard, for example from a TV program, cartoon or other auditory means.

 

Many autistic children will use immediate echolalia for example they may repeat a question, “Do you want something to drink?” instead of replying with a “yes” or “no.”

 

Delayed echolalia, is when a child will say, “Do you want something to drink?” whenever he or she is asking for a drink.

 

Generally children with autism do not make eye contact and have low attention spans.

 

Many children with autism are unable to use gestures as a means of communication, for example sign language, or to assist verbal communication, such as pointing to an object they want. These are probably some of the more significant communication problems of autism.

 

Therefore the communication goals for children with autism will vary dependant on individual needs.

 

Parents can help their autistic child improve social and communication skills using social stories. Generally children with autism spectrum disorder are visual learners and will benefit from visual supports for autism such as social stories which can help teach children to cope with their individual communication problems of autism.

 

Developed almost twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray social skills stories were first introduced to help teach social, communication, imagination and interaction skills to children with autism spectrum disorder.

 

Social skills stories are one of the major tools used as visual supports for autism and are now available for immediate downloads form sites such as http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Many parents and teachers use social skills stories to teach communication skills such as asking questions, holding a conversation and learning how to greet other people.

 

To help develop and reach appropriate communication goals for children with autism download and begin using social skills stories immediately.

 

To learn more about social skills stories and gain access to immediate downloads visit any of the following sites:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills