What is the Difference Between Apraxia and Autism?

Apraxia and autism are two entirely different neurological disorders which can occur in a child independently of one another, or together in the same child. While autism’s symptoms can impact and impair many different systems, behaviors, and thought patterns, apraxia occurs when the child struggles to plan and carry out voluntary physical movements.

In terms of gross motor skills, apraxia may impact a child’s capabilities to stand up, sit in a chair, or catch a ball and with fine motor skills, a child may not be able to zip up a jacket, button a shirt, write or print, or even point at an object.

Children with apraxia may also struggle to produce sound patterns to make words, or even coordinate the various speech mechanisms to make the individual speech sounds such as the difference between a “g” and a “b” sound, or the hum of an “m” sound. Even when a sound is modeled, a child with apraxia may not be able to mimic the same sound.

However, though these symptoms may also cross over into autism, there remain important differences between the two conditions. For example, when a child has only apraxia it is only the motor functioning and not the social and emotional skills that are impacted, as is often not the case with autism.

Apraxia and autism can become difficult to tell from one another when the child is exhibiting symptoms of verbal apraxia (officially known as oral-motor apraxia). The reason for this is that children with either condition can be very aware of their struggle to communicate verbally, and therefore they may choose to avoid having to talk by staying away from social situations. However, in the case of verbal apraxia, if you play with your child and don’t demand speech from him or her, you may find that they begin playing actively and engage others in their play.

The child usually experiences relief from being able to socialize and have contact with others without being required to talk, which is frustrating for them and can create a fear of failure. Often, with these children, when they are allowed to select the type of play and are allowed to go without having to speak, the relief and comfort they feel can make them more open to accepting the slow introduction of new sounds and syllables, which may eventually bring about simple words into their favorite games and play. Encouragement to vocalize or verbalize should be gentle in both apraxia and autism, and should be gradual, tailored to the pace of success rather than to a schedule.

In both motor apraxia and autism, children show social interaction problems, but in the case of motor apraxia, this is normally because they are not always capable of performing the physical movements that allows them access to others. However, motor apraxia won’t usually make a child want to avoid social interaction altogether, such as failing to make eye contact, or specifically moving away from other people.

It is easy to see why there is so much confusion between apraxia and autism spectrum disorders. Especially considering children with these conditions can also both exhibit signs of over-reactivity to sensations. However, there are differences between the two and it is important to speak to your doctor or a specialist if you are unsure. Your doctor will be able to determine which condition your child may have, or if both are present.


Source by Rachel Evans

What You Should Know About Allergy Induced Autism

Allergy induced autism has only been recognized by scientists and doctors for a relatively short time since the “discovery” of autism. Since being recognized, its presence has become increasingly common; in line with the increase in autism cases.

Those who are at the highest risk for allergy induced autism are children who have regressive autism – that is, those children who develop normally and start regressing at around the age of two years – and children with behavioral and neurological problems in combination with extreme digestive issues (such as intractable constipation).

Such children are generally incapable of metabolizing (digesting) important common food proteins; specifically casein and gluten. Casein is one of milk’s main proteins and is also commonly utilized in the manufacturing of foods. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and several grains and is often added in the manufacturing of food.

In some children with autism, gluten and casein aren’t digested in the normal way. Instead, they are metabolized only partially and become a substance quite similar to morphine, which can pass through the wall of the digestive tract and enter the blood stream.

These children also often have a “mutant” form of protein in their urine after ingesting casein or gluten. This protein is believed to be the byproduct of the creation of the morphine-like substance; the result of which is “spacey” behavior in children and a virtual addiction to foods that contain casein and gluten.

Due to this improper digestive functioning, these children are also incapable of eliminating many of the chemicals within their environment and their food. These can include pesticides, pollution, detergent additives, artificial colorings and flavorings, chemical food additives, and other substances that can become toxic when built up to unusually high quantities.

The symptoms of autism will typically present themselves within a child’s first three years. While some autistic children may have intolerance to chemicals in food, other substances can impact other children. The most common “culprits” are believed to be corn, sugar, wheat, and citrus fruits. Symptoms may be completely unnoticeable, however, it is common for children with the disorder to experience low blood sugar, excessive sweating (particularly at night), bloating, diarrhea, incapability to regulate body temperature, rhinitis, a redness in the face and/or ears, and under-eye circles.

The reduction or elimination of problem substances from a child’s diet will not cure their autism, but it can help with some of the symptoms of allergy induced autism. And this approach has been found to be effective in many children and adults. The improvements reported have been significant in some cases, but for many children, who appeared to be severely autistic, restricting their diet has reduced their symptoms only as long as they don’t deviate from the strict dietary limitations.


Source by Rachel Evans

Signs of Mild Autism – A Guide For Parents

If a child is showing symptoms and signs of Autism, the symptoms will be apparent before the child reaches age three. The symptoms will manifest themselves in three different ways: First, the child will have a hard time communicating and relating to others. Second, the child will have a hard time learning to speak and keeping conversations. Third, the child will have a lot of withdrawn or repetitive behaviors. If a parent notices any mild signs of autism, they should take their child to a doctor as soon as they can so the child can be evaluated. The sooner Autism is diagnosed and treated, the better life will be for the affected child and his or her family.

First, let’s talk about the social symptoms and signs of Autism. An Autistic child will make poor eye contact with others. Even if they do make eye contact, they will not hold it for very long. If spoken to directly, a child showing symptoms and signs of Autism usually will not look, even if their name is called. They may seem like they are not paying attention to the person speaking, or they may seem like they are unaware that person is present.

Children displaying mild signs of Autism often seem like they are in their own world. They often do not pick up on body language. Children displaying symptoms and signs of Autism have trouble comprehending different emotions. They have no sense of other peoples’ feelings. Children exhibiting mild signs of Autism will turn inward. They do not like to be touched, hugged or held. This is because they are very sensitive to people or things touching them.

Next, let’s discuss the symptoms and signs of Autism that deal with speaking and language. Children who are displaying mild symptoms of Autism are way behind their peers in acquiring speaking skills. If children don’t babble by the time they are 12 months old or say phrases made up of two or three words by the time they are two years old, they may be demonstrating symptoms and signs of Autism. Another common symptom of Autism happens when children forget words or phrases they could say earlier.

Another symptom shows up in the child’s tone of voice. Children showing symptoms and signs of Autism will often times talk like a robot, saying everything in the same tone of voice. Other times, they may sound like they are singing everything they say instead of saying it. Children who demonstrate signs of mild autism have a lot of trouble beginning a conversation. Even if they are able to start one, they will be unable to sustain it.

Another mild symptom of Autism is to repeat certain words over and over again. These words may be completely insignificant. The child often doesn’t even know what these words or phrases mean or understand how to use them in a sentence. Lastly, let’s outline the symptoms and signs of Autism that pertain to withdrawn or repetitive behaviors. One of the most frequent symptoms is called “flapping.” This is when a child flaps his or her hand or an object back and forth very quickly in front of his or her face.

Autistic children may become infatuated with ordinary objects, especially if they spin, move quickly, or have shiny colors. Autistic children also tend to rock back and forth a lot, especially when they get anxious or when they are experiencing emotions that they don’t understand. They form specific routines that they do not waver from. When the routines get interrupted for any reason, the child gets very agitated. Children who display signs and symptoms of Autism may be very bothered by bright lights, certain sounds, like the vacuum cleaner, and things that touch their skin. They have a very high tolerance for pain.


Source by Justin Parrish

There Are 5 Different Types of Autism Disorders

Autism is a complex developmental disability with many different levels of severity. Technically, there is one diagnosis that is Autism. People do however refer to the Pervasive Developmental Disorders as disorders on the Autism spectrum or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Autism Spectrum Disorders are developmental brain disorders that cause impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. Autism is just one of five different types of Autism disorders.

Below are definitions and characteristics of the five different autism disorders.

Classic Autism:

Autism is the second leading childhood developmental disorder and is considered the most severe of the different types of Autism disorders. People with Classic Autism develop language late, or not at all. People affected with Classic Autism have difficulties talking with other people or a profound lack of affection or emotional contact with others, an intense wish for sameness in routines, muteness or abnormality of speech, high levels of Visio-spatial skills, but major learning difficulties in other areas. Symptoms of autism usually appear during the first three years of childhood and continue throughout life. Autism is a spectrum disorder because the severity of impairment in each of these areas differs in each individual.

Aspergers Syndrome:

A Person with Aspergers Syndrome can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Children show deficiencies in social skill and have difficulties with transitions or changes. They compulsively cling to rituals and any changes in their routine can upset them. They have a great difficulty reading body language and determining proper body space. Some children with Aspergers Syndrome have reduced sensitivity to pain and an increased sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises. With this type of Autism disorders they also have average or above-average intelligence.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder:

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder includes severe regression in communication skills, social behavior, and all developmental motor skills. At the beginning these children seem perfectly normal. They start to regress at between ages 2-4 years. At that time these children stop socializing, lose potty-training skills, stop playing, lose motor skills and stop making friends.

Rett Syndrome:

Rett syndrome is a neurological and developmental disorder that mostly occurs in females and is marked by poor head growth. Loss of muscle tone is usually the first symptom. Other early symptoms may include problems crawling or walking and diminished eye contact. They stop using their hands to do things and often develop stereotyped hand movements, such as wringing, clapping, or patting their hands. The inability to perform motor functions is perhaps the most severely disabling feature of Rett syndrome, interfering with every body movement, including eye gaze and speech. Infants with Rett syndrome seem to grow and develop normally at first, but then stop developing and even lose skills and abilities.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified:

This tends to describe people who have many or all of the different types of Autism disorders. Children with PDDNOS either do not fully meet the criteria of symptoms used to diagnose any of the four specific types above, and/or do not have the degree of impairment described in any of the above four specific types.


Source by Shawn Johnson

Parents Need to Recognize Autism Signs in Their Children

Autism is one of the fastest growing neurological disorders, with as many as one in every 95 children diagnosed with the disorder. Autism signs vary among individuals, of course, but there are some common characteristics that you should watch for. Children with autism have trouble relating to others, sometimes markedly so. The nuances most people pick up on during social interaction elude them to the point where they become very socially disabled indeed, and can become extremely isolated. With early intervention, autism can be managed quite well, sometimes with few effects depending on the severity of the original disorder and the age at which the child was diagnosed.

First noticing autism signs

Most professionals think that autism begins while still in utero, but it can be difficult to see these signs when children are very, very young. By about the age of three, though, there are many common characteristics definitely present; many parents will also often think that there is simply “something wrong” in a vague sort of way with their child at a much earlier age.

Early intervention is key

Following are some signs you should be concerned about in your child that may not just be “developmental” or “a stage.” Early intervention is key, so if you suspect your child may have autism based upon one of the following symptoms, get him or her to a doctor for diagnosis as soon as possible. The earlier the intervention, the more successful it is.

Autism signs in very young children

Even in infancy, many children with autism don’t like to be held and in general have an aversion to being touched. They may also lack the ability to establish or be very uncomfortable with eye contact. Even babies as young as six months old like the game of “peekaboo,” and if your child does not like these types of games or doesn’t seem to be able to engage, this should be a sign of concern within a few months of age.

Autism signs at older ages

As a child grows older, he or she should become more verbal and should begin to speak. Yet, if your child can’t say simple words or phrases (and doesn’t seem to make the normal cooing or babbling sounds most babies make) by the age of several months to a year old, it’s also a sign of concern. In some cases, parents often think their children may have hearing difficulties, but the hearing itself appears to be selective. That is, they obviously react to some sounds just fine, but don’t seem to be able to hear others.

Alternatively, these children also often exhibit what’s called “echolalia,” in which they mimic exactly the sounds or words they hear, in pitch, tone, etc. This is different than the type of mimicry young children do when they’re learning how to speak, since it appears to be mere repetition as one might hear from a recording instead of an actual attempt to speak.

Other autistic behaviors

Autistic children also exhibit intensive concentration on specific things, especially mechanical things; they may also exhibit so-called “isms,” whereby they engage in repetitive movements, tongue clicking, et cetera.

Possible causes of autism

The actual causes of autism are not known, although most suspect it’s a neurological disorder that begins in utero. Some have suspected infection, certain vaccination combinations, or being ill at very young ages with high fevers may also contribute to the onset of autism. Still other causes are purported to be immune system response to allergies, et cetera. As yet, though, no definitive actual cause has been found.

Getting autism signs diagnosed and treated

With early intervention, children can significantly improve their ability to relate to others. Although most children with autism will have some residual effects, they will significantly improve their ability to relate to others and may even be able to live on their own once older and function very well, even living normal or nearly normal lives. Most children with autism, contrary to popular belief, are not completely isolated and do not “live in a world of their own,” especially if they are given early and intensive treatment.


Source by Jon Arnold