Tag Archive Autism

ByAnxious Minds

Medicine used to Treat Autism

There are many types of medications used to treat Autism. These medications will fall into different categories based on the type of problem that is being dealt with. Medication will not cure the Autism, it just helps with some of the problems associated with it. Here are some of the medications used when treating an Autistic child.

Antipsychotic

This type of medication is used to treat behaviour problems in children with Autism. They can also be used to treat insomnia and aggression. This type of medication should be used if behaviour therapy is not working. Some times an Autistic child will try to harm their selves. Antipsychotic medicines can help control this.

Anticonvulsant

Some Autistic children have seizures. This type of medication is used in controlling or preventing the seizures.

Depression and Anxiety Medications

A large portion of Autistic children deals with depression and anxiety. They need medication to help control these feelings. These medications are found to cause suicidal thoughts in some kids. Be aware of changes in your child’s behaviour.

Sedatives

Children with Autism sometimes have a hard time falling asleep at night. They are given a sedative to help them sleep. There are natural alternatives that can be used in place of sedatives. They will not make your child dependant on them to fall asleep.

Stimulant

Stimulants are used in treating kids with hyperactivity. They are also used in children that have a hard time paying attention or concentrating. These medicines can help the child focus longer. This can be useful for a school-age child who is having problems paying attention in school. They can help a child who is having trouble staying focused on their school work. This can mean a difference in passing or failing.

Medications can help treat the problems found in Autistic children. Parents need to be careful when using any medications with their children. Some of these medications can have terrible side effects. Each child will react differently to the medicine. If you notice the medicine is not helping consult your child’s doctor. Medications need to be combined with other types of therapy to successfully work in treating Autism. Always use the lowest effective dose of the medications. Do not start or stop a medication without talking to your child’s doctor first. Some Autistic children do not speak so it is important to be aware of changes in their behaviour. If they begin acting in an unfamiliar manner they could be having a reaction to the medicine, and need to see a doctor.

Medication should be a last resort when treating Autism. If it must be used, combine the medication with other forms of therapy for better results. Remember the medicine is not a cure for Autism. The medicine just helps to lesson some of the symptoms the child is experiencing. Always be sure of the correct dosage of medication to give your child. Talk to the doctor about any long terms side effects caused by the prescription. Also, make sure to ask about any interactions with other medications your child is taking. Sometimes medication will be the only thing that helps your Autistic child. Just make sure the child is monitored for any side effects.

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ByAnxious Minds

Let your Autistic Child be a Child

Many parents with autistic children are afraid to let their child be a child. They get so wrapped up in their child’s treatment they forget to let them have fun. They focus on keeping them safe and become too protective. The child’s life becomes full of doctors, or therapy appointments. They get little time to just enjoy being a child. While it is important to keep your child safe it is also important to give them time to do things they like. Here are some things you can do to make sure your child gets to be a child.

  1. Give your autistic child a certain time each day to do whatever they want to. If they have a toy or game they like to play let them. Everyone needs a break from doctors appointments and such.

  1. Arrange activities for your child that they like. This could be something like a trip to the park once a week, or a meal at their favourite restaurant. Let the child pick the activity. Maybe they would like some time to spend with grandma or grandpa.

  1. Let them run and play like the other children. Children like to run and play in the dirt. This will not hurt them. Let them be a child and have fun. Keeping them sheltered will not help them. It will make them more afraid of being around other children. If they show an interest let them play with the other children. Let them get dirty. They will come clean with a bath.

  1. Do not teach your child to be a victim. Just because they are autistic does not mean they can not have a normal life. They need to be taught to not let their condition stop them in life. Teach your autistic child they can do anything they set out to do.

  1. Do not let your child’s diagnosis of autism become an excuse. Give your child consequences if they do something wrong. Do not let them get away with things simply because they are autistic. Children learn pretty quick that the excuse of their condition can get them special treatment. This will not help them later on in life.

  1. Give your autistic child chores. Make sure they are chores the child is capable of doing. This will give the child the pride of knowing they can accomplish something. Give them rewards for completing the chores. The chores could be as simple as making their bed or picking up their toys.

Do not lower your expectations for your autistic child. Teach them to always do their best. Having a medical condition should not give them a reason to not try. If they do not try they will never know their full potential.

Children get hurt. They get dirty. That is all a part of being young. They will be much happier. Do your part and watch over them, but allow them to have some freedom. Even though your child has special needs allow them the chance to be a child.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

Doctors and Diagnosing Autism

When a doctor first suggests that your child has autism, your immediate reaction might be disbelief and the urge to seek a second, third, or even fourth opinion. Because autism is so different in every child, it is a tricky disorder to diagnose. However, there are a few key ways in which doctors can efficiently identify autism in children, and if your infant or toddler is showing any of these signs of autism, you should visit your paediatrician immediately to express your concerns.

Autism occurs at a young age, rather than being a disorder an older child might develop. It is usually detected before the age of three, and many times much earlier. The first signs or autism are usually delays or regression in speech communication. Another early sign is abnormal behaviour in group play situations and other social situations. The first step to diagnosing autism is a thorough physical examination as well as a review of family history by a specialist. Although your regular paediatrician will be able to spot unusual behaviour, you’ll want your child to be examined by a professional who specialises in autism and other similar diseases to make sure your child is properly diagnosed.

The next step includes hearing tests. Sign language and social skill delays could be due to inadequate auditory sensations. There are two types of auditory tests, one of which records the tones that a child can hear, the other requires sedation and measures the brain response to certain tones. Of course, the first method is preferred, since it does not require any use of a sedative. After auditory testing, your doctor may encourage testing your child for Fragile X syndrome, which often times goes hand in hand with autism. Metabolism can also be evaluated. To do this, your doctor will need a blood or urine sample to analyse DNA.

An MRI or CAT scan can also be helpful in diagnosing autism. The important thing is to work with doctors you trust. Second opinions can be very helpful, but when your child has been diagnosed, stick with one doctor so that treatment is uniform and so that your child will get used to this person.  Autism is difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat, so remember that you should begin to learn as much as possible about the disorder as soon as your doctor identifies it. If you have yet to speak with your doctor about abnormal behaviour in your child, do so immediately. By detecting autism early, you give your child a better chance at becoming a high-functioning individual with much more opportunities in life.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

Early Signs of Autism

With all the recent publicity of Autism in the news you might be wondering what the signs of autism are. What follows is a list of signs that can be associated to autism. If you see these signs in your child speak to their doctor about having them evaluated. The sooner that autism is discovered the better the chances are at treating it.

  1. Does not reach developmental milestones on time. Each child develops differently. Some children will crawl at four months while others will not until they are several months older. This can be perfectly normal. The problem starts when every milestone is much later than usual. If your child is not meeting the developmental stages talk with their doctor.
  1. Child does not talk. Children learn to talk at different ages. Some will start talking very young while others will just start blurting out whole sentences one day. This can be very normal. However if your child does not have any babbling type talk by the age of one this could be a cause for concern. Most children will says some words by the time they are sixteen months. If your child is not ask their doctor if they think an evaluation is necessary.
  1. No eye contact. Most babies and children will look at you when you are talking to them. Autistic children will often not give you eye contact. It will appear they are looking off into a daze instead of paying attention to you. They will not point to objects. They will not look at something you are trying to show them. Instead they look past it.
  1. Child does not show emotion. Autistic children often do not show any emotion. They do not smile back when a person smiles at them. They do not show any cares when someone around them is expressing pain, or crying. The autistic child does not usually like to be held or cuddled. They will not reach up for their parents to hold them.
  1. Prefers to play by themselves. The autistic child usually will play alone. They feel more comfortable being by their self. They have a hard time making friends. They do not know how to relate to other kids. They do not understand when another child is joking with them. They take everything said to them literally.
  1. The child loses skills they previously knew. The child may have learned to talk and then it may seem as if they forgot how to. They can learn a new skill and then a week later have no idea how to do it. Autistic children often lose skills they have learned.

These are just a few of the signs of autism. If you notice any of  them in your children talk to their doctor. All children with autism will not have every sign. Getting them diagnosed as soon as possible will allow treatment to begin sooner. Getting your child evaluated as soon as you suspect a problem is very important. Even if there is nothing wrong it is better to be safe. The earlier treatment can be started the better for the child.

www.anxiousminds.co.uk

ByAnxious Minds

Dairy Free Diet to Treat Autism

Parents are turning to their child’s diet to when treating  Autism. Some believe that Autistic children have a food sensitivity. They believe dairy, also known as Casein, is one of the foods to cause problems with Autistic children. Removing all dairy from your child’s diet can at first seem very difficult to do. Most kids love cheese and ice cream.

Most people following a dairy free diet also remove Gluten from the diet. The ingredient in dairy that it thought to cause problems is Casein. Casein is a protein found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and some hotdogs. It is very important to read all labels on food the child will be eating.

If you are going to try the dairy free diet with your child you will need to make sure they are getting enough calcium. This can be done with vitamin supplements, or milk substitutes. Many types of food are including calcium.

It is thought that the Casein reacts in the Autistic child’s body causing the unwanted behaviours. They think if the dairy products are removed some of the behaviours will leave. It should take a few months  to know if the diet is working for your child. If you are considering removing Gluten from the diet too it is advised to try removing dairy first. The dairy is removed from the body much faster than the Gluten. Gluten can take ten months or more to be completely removed from the body.

Following a Casein free diet can be expensive. Most milk replacements cost double the price of regular milk. Not all stores will carry the dairy free products. They can usually be found at specialty, or health food stores. You can find Casein free products on the internet for mail order. There are also lots of Casein free recipes available online. To save on the cost of Casein free foods some families find another family in their area using the same diet, and share the cost of ingredients by buying in bulk. They then split the foods.

If you choose to try a Casein (dairy) free diet with your Autistic child remember to allow enough time to see if the diet is helping. It can be helpful to keep a journal while trying the diet. Keep a record of behaviours your Autistic child has. Then you can see if the number of behaviours is dropping. If you have not removed Gluten from your child’s diet you may want to consider this if your child is not improving from the dairy free diet.

To find out if your Autistic child has a sensitivity to dairy (Casein) have them allergy tested. This will tell you if you should remove any other foods from the diet. If you are wanting more information about Casein free diets visit your local library. You can find many books that deal with dairy free living. The internet is also a great source of information.

A Casein free diet might be helpful in treating your child’s Autism. It is not a cure for Autism though. It will only help treat some of the symptoms.

ByAnxious Minds

Busting the Autism Stereotypes

As with anyone with a physical or mental disorder, autistic people deal with a wide range of reactions from others, from full support to uncaring ignorance. Unfortunately, even those who support autistic family members, co-workers, and friends may not understand autism very well. This leads to stereotypes, which can result in hatred, embarrassment, or other unhappy situations. By becoming educated about autism, you can help others in your community cope with this disorder.

It is most important to note that not all autistic people are the same. Other diseases and disorders have their own sets of rules, but autism is such a complex medical condition, that everyone reacts differently to it. Autistic people are usually rated on a functional scale, with high-functioning people being able to hold jobs and low-functioning people needing 24-hour-a-day care. Symptoms include behavioural challenges, uncontrollable movements, speech and communication difficulties, and emotional inadequacies. Some show all symptoms, while other show few, and still others may have most under control to the point where you cannot tell they have autism at all.

Because every person is different, no one thing can be said about autism and be true overall. However, most autistic people have trouble communicating emotions. This does not mean that an autistic person does not feel. He or she simply cannot express this feeling. It also does not mean strong relationship bonds are not possible. On the contrary, many autistic people are happily married and in love. Forming relationships is more difficult for most, but can be accomplished over time.

Many people believe that being autistic coincides with being a genius in some aspect. While it is true that some autistic individuals have extraordinary math, music, and art skills, this number is nowhere near the majority in fact, relatively few autistic people function outside of the normal range in any skill. This stereotype is perpetuated in the movies and on television, because the story of a talented person fighting disadvantages (such as autism) makes a good plot. However, this is not the norm, so nothing more than the best they can personally do should be expected from an autistic person. However, it is important to note that autism is not a form of mental retardation. Some autistic people are mentally retarded as well, but most are not and should not be treated as such.

In the end, the most important lesson to take away from your studies on autism is one of tolerance. You will probably need to be patient when dealing with autistic people, but by understanding a little more about the disorder, perhaps this will be easier. Learn what you can and spread the knowledge to those you know to help create a more tolerant setting for autistic individuals in your community.

ByAnxious Minds

Bottles of Pills: Medication Options for Autistic Patients

As with any illness, disease, or disorder, there are a number of medicine options available to help control these symptoms. It is important to remember that none of these medications will “cure” autism; they simply help control some of the effects of the disorder. There are advantages and disadvantages to each drug, as they all have side effects as well as benefits. When choosing medicines to effectively treat autism, your doctor can make recommendations, but since autism is a disorder which varies from person to person, you should use drugs very carefully, watching to see how the body reacts to the treatments.

First, consider the safety of the drug. Some cannot be used in children or in people under a certain weight. Make sure the dosage is easy to understand and before you choose one medicine or another find out how it is administered (pills, injections, liquid, etc). This is important if you are not comfortable with certain methods, such as injecting yourself or your child. Also find out how safe the drug is to individuals who do not suffer from autism. If you have small children in the house, you’ll want to be sure that the drug is not lethal if it gets into the wrong hands. Find out what to do in case this happens, just to be on the safe side.

Also consider the side effects of the drugs you are considering. While they may be very good at controlling aggression, responsiveness, hyperactivity, or other autistic tendencies, they may also cause sedation or other side effects such as nausea or dizziness. Weigh your options carefully before beginning one of these treatments, or you could find yourself with ten bottles of pills, each taken to counteract the side effects of another. Also remember that medications may have long-term effects. Will you or your child become dependent on the drug? Will you be tolerant? How else will it affect the body over time? These are all important questions to ask your doctor before beginning any medication.

You can research the many studies on these drugs at your local library or on the Internet. Publications such as journals and healthcare magazines are probably most current and most reliable, whereas you may get some altered information on the World Wide Web, so be careful about following advice you find without first consulting your doctor. He or she may also be able to provide you with literature about the medication options available for autistic patients. Do your researching on the many choices before making any decisions, and you’ll be able to better control your health.

ByAnxious Minds

Is my Child Autistic

Autism is a popular topic in the news right now. Several celebrities have come out and told the world about their Autistic children. This is causing more people to be aware of Autism, and to question whether their child is Autistic. Nobody wants to think that something could be wrong with their child. Then they watch a news report or hear someone talking about a child that has Autism and they start to question their own child.

The symptoms of Autism are many, and they vary in each child. Just because you see some symptoms of Autism in your child does not mean they are Autistic. There are other medical conditions that have the same symptoms. Some children are late on their developmental milestones. Each child develops at their own rate. Just because your child is not talking by the time they are one does not mean for certain they have Autism.

If you have concerns about your child’s development speak to their healthcare provider. They can tell you if further testing should be considered. A lot of parents try to self-diagnoses their children. This can be a big mistake. It takes several qualified medical professionals to diagnose a child with Autism. This will not be done with one appointment with the paediatrician. You will have a team of health care providers in evaluating your child. The earlier you have your child evaluated the better the chances of treatment helping the child.

Try not to compare your child with other children. Each child is an individual. They grow and develop at their own rate. While they may be late for some milestones, they may excel at others. Sometimes a parent has a gut instinct that tells them there is something wrong. If you feel that your child is having problems and the doctor does not agree, get a second opinion. Parents have to be the voice for their child.

Finding out if your child is Autistic can take time. It can be an about experience for both the child and the parent. Once you find out if your child is Autistic you can begin the process of treatment, or finding out what is causing your child’s problems if it is not Autism.

Signs that your child needs to be evaluated further include.
1. No eye contact
2. No communication. This can be sounds, or words.
3. Shows no emotions.
4. Does not pretend play.
5. Uses repetitive movements.
6. Have a hard time with schedule changes.
7. Do not respond to you when you are talking to them. This can be with looks or words.
8. Does things over and over again.
9. Loses skills they knew.
10. Develops an attachment to a certain food, or smell. These are sensory issues.

If you see these signs in your child talk to the doctor about them. Getting a diagnosis and treatment plan is very important. At the same time do not worry over every little thing. Some children just take a little longer to reach their milestones.

ByAnxious Minds

How Autism is Diagnosed

The signs and levels of Autism vary in each child. This can make getting a diagnosis difficult. Children on the higher level of the Autism spectrum may go years without being diagnosed. There are many factors that go into an Autism diagnosis. We will go over some of the criteria being used to diagnose a child with Autism.

Doctors have a checklist that must be met before the possibility of Autism is suspected. Some of the signs on the checklist include poor relationships with friends, focusing on one thing for very long periods of time, poor communications skills, and insisting on certain routines, or rituals. When these signs are shown in a child the doctor will want to evaluate the child further. The doctor will question the child’s parents or any other people that have close contact with the child. They may send home a form for you and the child’s teacher to fill out. Once the doctor has the forms back they will compare the forms and look for similar results. If the results all are pointing to something being wrong further testing will be considered.

Children also develop at their own rate. So a parent has concerns about their child not reaching developmental milestones on time may question the doctor for further testing. The doctor will ask a series of questions to the parent. If the answers match the criteria for Autism the doctor will order further evaluations to be completed. Remember each child grows and matures at their own rate so they may just be a late bloomer.

There is not one test that can say definitely the child has Autism. It will require several appointments with different health professionals to rule out other conditions that could be causing the problems in your child. Often a child who is late to talk is suspected of having a hearing issue first. After this is checked then the doctor can move onto evaluating for Autism. Several health conditions can mimic the symptoms of Autism. Children always need to be evaluated for any other medical conditions that could cause the same symptoms as Autism first.

To receive an Autism diagnosis the child will be evaluated by a team of medical professionals. They will include the doctor, a psychologist, a speech therapist, a neurologist, and a psychiatrist. Once the child is evaluated by the team they will meet and compare their findings. Then they will have a meeting with the parents to discuss their findings. If the diagnosis of Autism is made a treatment plan will be set in place.

Each child will show different symptoms of Autism, and the levels they experience it will be different. So it may take longer to get a diagnosis of Autism in some children. Once you have the diagnoses the most important thing is to start a treatment plan. The treatment plan will help make the life of your Autistic child better. While there is no cure for Autism, the treatments available can help to lessen the symptoms.

ByAnxious Minds

Autistic Children need Schedules

Schedules are an important part of every child’s life. This is especially true when dealing with a child of special needs like Autism. Having a schedule will help the Autistic child feel a sense of structure. Children with Autism often have anxiety issue they are dealing with. Having a schedule helps the levels of anxiety to drop. They know what to expect on a daily basis. They know at a certain time of the day what they will be doing.

If there is no schedule or structure in an Autistic child’s daily life things will be very hectic. An Autistic child has lots of doctors and therapist appointments. Sometimes there will be more than one appointment a day. Keeping a schedule can help you and your child to make sure they do not miss any appointments.

Some Autistic children have trouble with reading. You can use a visual schedule. Have pictures for all the daily activities. This allows them to see what is coming next. Having a schedule for your Autistic child will help avoid some breakdowns. Keep the schedule posted where your child can see it. If you have to change the schedule explain the changes to your child. Autistic children like routines, and a change could throw their whole day out of whack.

Schedules can be a help when trying to get the child to do something they do not want to do. Simply show them that after they do this they will get to move onto something else. Tell them they cannot move on until this activity is completed.

There will always be things that come up. Try to stick to the schedule as much as possible. When things come up try to get back on schedule as soon as you can. This includes weekends . If your child is used to getting up at seven in the morning continue to do so. Keep their bedtimes close to the same time each night. Your Autistic child will be happier when they have had enough sleep.

Schedules will make life much easier you and your Autistic child. Keep them posted for your child to see, and stick to the schedule the best you can. An example of a schedule you can use if found below.

7 AM Wake up, get dressed and ready for the day
8 AM Breakfast
9 AM Therapy Appointment at home
11 AM Free time/ Play time
12 PM Lunch
1 PM Outdoor Play
2 PM Arts and Crafts
3 PM Free Time
5 PM Dinner
6 PM TV time
7 PM Bath time
8 PM Bed Time

This allows the child to know what is going on during the day. Include doctors, or therapy appointments on the schedule. An older child can still benefit from a schedule. It has to be adjusted for school time, and any extra curricular activities. You can include homework time, and chores into the chart. Once you start using a chart for your Autistic child you will see a improvement in the flow of your day. This also leaves little time for boredom. There is always something planned to do.