Recognizing the Most Common Autism Symptoms of Toddlers

When you are trying to figure out the autism symptoms of toddlers, it can often be confusing. How much is just normal toddler behavior, how much is a phase of some sort, and how much is cause for serious concern? One thing that you can use to look at to help you decide is the child’s behavior.

Routine

Toddlers with autism will display many behavior related symptoms. They will have a marked need for routine, needing to do everything in the same way, every time. For example, if you always travel home from the grocery store the same way, your child might notice if you take a different route, and get very upset. Very likely, he will want to have the same things for breakfast and meals, and at the same time every day. Bed time should be kept consistent. This need for routine is a common autism symptom of toddlers and children.

Lining up Toys

A toddler might line up his toys repeatedly. This is a classic autistic symptoms that toddlers exhibit. He won’t play with them in the traditional way – there is a definite lack of imaginative play.

Typical kids might play house or give human-like qualities to inanimate objects. They might pretend they are having tea, or at a monster truck rally, or something of the like. They might pretend they have super powers.

Autistic kids, though, will take the same dolls or trucks their peers played with, and line them up. They will get very upset if someone tries to interrupt them from this. This desire to line up toys is another autism symptom of toddlers.

Other Autism Symptoms of Toddlers

There are several other autism symptoms that parents may notice in their toddlers such as:

  • Autistic kids don’t like to share things as much with others.
  • A typical kid will point to show things of interest to parents, but a toddler with autism won’t.
  • There will be lots of repetitive behaviors, and your child may seem interested in unusual things, like the slant of light through the window or the sound something makes. They may spend hours observing these things.
  • Kids with autism are not good with new situations. There will be a lot of screaming, yelling and meltdowns in general if they are made to try something new they haven’t done before.
  • Also, because of sensory issues, meltdowns are common in large crowds of people, and in close, crowded areas with other kids, due to the noise and commotion levels.
  • They are very detail oriented, and will notice things that you never would have about any object or situation.

Autism Symptoms of Toddlers Often Show in Preschool

Often, a toddler is considered just a little bit quirky until it is time for preschool or kindergarten, and then the parents will get a rude awakening when they see how different their child is from his peers.

Since autism in many cases has a genetic role to it, parents often might remember having similar, but less severe traits, and not think as much of some of the milder ones. Once at school, though, the gap between the child with autism and his typical peers is a big one.

Don’t worry; there is help available if you think that your child displays some of these autism symptoms of toddlers.


Source by Craig Kendall

About Autism and EMDR Treatments

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This is a technique that is supposed to be useful in helping people overcome things like anxiety, many phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol or drug abuse, schizophrenia, learning and eating disorders and disabilities, and other personality or mental problems a person may have. At a very basic level, this therapy is done by waving a stick, often lit, in front of the eyes of a patient. The eyes must follow the stick. It is moved in patterns up and down and back and forth. Some wonder if autism and EMDR might have a favorable outcome as well.

This therapy was invented by a therapist by the name of Francine Shapiro. It should be noted that though she received her doctorate, the school she attended was never accredited and no longer exists. However, that does not mean that this does not work. It seems that no one is sure how this therapy works, but some believe it might work much like the theories behind acupuncture. It is believed that EMDR might release brain energy blockages that have been causing any of the aforementioned problems a person might be experiencing. Much like the chi of the body must be running in balance and unblocked in acupuncture, the same theory is said to be true for the brain and it’s functions as well.

When this type of therapy is employed to help those that have gone through a traumatic experience, it is said to be useful in eliminating the stress and depression associated with the memories. For example, someone who has gone off to war and has anxiety related to what happened to him or her while there might benefit from EMDR. The therapist will have the patient recall the event in as much detail as possible while having the patient do the eye movements associated with the therapy. This can help people who have been in fires, been through rape, or any other type of trauma that might cause lifelong and severe anxiety and stress.

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How then, would this work for those who have autism? It’s not a treatment that can cure autism by any means, but it may help with specific things that are a problem for an autistic child. A big part of autism is anxiety, especially with socialization. However, other things can bring on anxiety that might be more troubling for a child with autism than for a child who does not have it. They may be scared of things that another child can rationalize. EMDR may help reduce anxiety with these children in relation to an event or a thing.

This treatment has its fair share of discreditors, but there are others who state that it works well and recommend this treatment for anxiety and traumatic experiences. The results of autism and EMDR treatment will differ from child to child, but because it is non-invasive and rather simple, it might be something worth trying when a child seems to have paralyzing fear that is affecting their life and schedule. Try to find a practitioner who has experience in dealing with autism.


Source by Rachel Evans

Swing Therapy For Autistic Children

Most of us have no problem combining all our senses. For autistic children (and grownups) however, it’s a mighty challenging task. Processing stimuli from the senses of sight, smell, sound, touch, taste, balance and body is overwhelming. Those suffering from autism will often withdraw to avoid over stimulation, or try to sort out the input from their senses with self-developed soothing mechanisms and repetitive behaviours.

A significant amount of occupational therapy for autism focuses on sensory integration through specially designed programs. Some of the greatest tools for sensory integration therapy for autism type disorders are various types of swings. People with various autism spectrum disorders such as Autism, PDD, ADHD, Asperger’s, proprioceptive dysfunction and tactile defensiveness will benefit from using swings as part of their therapy.

Additionally, children and adults with Sensory Processing Disorders (also called Sensory Integration Disorders), especially those with proprioceptive or vestibular dysfunction, should definitely have swings or therapy hammocks as a crucial element of their treatment.

The benefits of the hammock can be two-fold. Children who find the smooth, swaying motion soothing, will relax and unwind while using it. However, children who have a vestibular dysfunction will feel uneasy while in the hammock and might initially protest its use. For them, hammock therapy is more about regaining equilibrium and learning to tolerate vestibular stimuli.

The motion of swinging restores balance to the vestibular system, provides proprioceptive input (deep pressure) and generally helps autistic-spectrum children feel more “in balance”. The soothing motion of swinging soothes, relaxes and increases concentration. Children who have trouble focusing on tasks such as reading or math, might find it easier to concentrate sitting in a hammock chair, their bodies engaged in a soothing motion.

Setting up a swing in the home is easy and does not require a large investment. A hammock, hammock chair, hanging bag or a therapy platform swing are all relatively inexpensive, easy to find and do not take up a lot of room. Making a platform swing out of a hammock is an easy do-it-yourself project, with instructions available in our blog. Put one in the child’s room, playroom or family room for a retreat or a therapy corner for an autistic child.


Source by Marina Mironov

Why the Autism Diet Does Not Work – And How it Can

Many families of children with autism provide their children with a gluten-free or gluten-casein-free diet. Some believe that children with autism experience a specific digestive problem which relates to autistic behavior.

This year, the medical journal Pediatrics reported that no rigorous evidence could conclude that special diets work for children with autism or that children with autism experience more digestive problems than other children.

Many parents report anecdotal evidence that these types of diets do help their children. Medical experts have concerns that children on these specialized diets may encounter nutritional deficiencies.

It is the belief of this author that many children who begin showing the symptoms of autism between the ages of two and eight years of age, have just that, a nutritional deficiency.

In fact, most Americans are at risk for any of 900 nutritional diseases. The problem is not with the “autism diet,” it is how it is administered without the needed 90 essential nutrients and some of the items the diet includes.

When childrens’ brains are developing, they need all of the essential nutrients and raw materials for their brains to make neurotransmitters. In typical American society, a child goes from being weened from breast milk or an infant formula to cereals and juices.

Examples are instant oatmeals, sweet fruit cereals, grape or apple juice, sweet toaster products, and sweet punches. As you can tell I am trying hard not to name product names, but you can imagine the different brands of cereals, etc. that could be on this list.

Childrens’ brains cannot develop on carbohydrates and sugars. Not only can this limit brain development nutritionally, but evidence itself in behavior. This is where the gluten-free diet can come into play. A gluten-free diet can help with digestive problems and can be healthy if a child also receives the right supplementation.

Another of the deadly nutritional errors we make in America is providing fried foods to our children. Can anyone say “chicken nuggets?” Eggs are a food that are excellent for the brain. Not fried of course, but scrambled, poached or soft boiled. Squash and sweet potatoes can be on this diet. If your child is not allergic to milk, you can put butter and milk in them. Rice, millet, flax, and buckwheat along with meat for protein and vegetables are also healthy choices.

The problem I have with some “autism diets” is the amount of carbohydrates and sugars I see in them. These are the most important things to avoid. Unfortunately fruit and fruit juices are sugars which may be problematic for these children. Supplementation must come into play here. That is why the medical review team from the study published in Pediatrics expressed concern about nutrition.

As previously stated, we can suffer from over 900 nutritional diseases. Dr. Joel Wallach, a pioneer in nutritional medicine, has been treating patients successfully for years with this science. We need 90 essential nutrients for our bodies. 60 Minerals, 16 Vitamins, 12 Amino Acids, and 3 Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 & 6 are essential). Over the years, our soils have become depleted of these minerals and plants can’t put into foods what the soil does not give them. This is why we need to supplement with the 90 essential nutrients.

Dr. Wallach suggests that children born with true autism will benefit from a gluten-free diet and receiving the 90 essential nutrients or the “Mighty 90” as he calls them. However, the most important statement from Dr. Wallach comes next. He states that the 85% to 90% that have changed from a normal behavior to autistic can change dramatically with this diet and the 90 essential nutrients.

It is the hope of this author that more awareness can be brought about regarding nutritional deficiencies. Actually treating our diseases instead of masking them with drugs and providing temporary fixes with surgeries can benefit us tremendously, bringing about a better quality of life and longevity. Autism is just one of these nutritional deficiency diseases which can be treated by diet and supplementation.


Source by Brian Sater

Autism – Handling an Autistic Child

Autism appears to be the leading mentally challenged disorder presently. But, exactly what is autism?

Autism, usually rearing its head in children, is described as a developmental disorder that bears impaired communication, emotional detachment and excessive rigidity. There are two types of autism – regressive and non-regressive. Autism, developing in children from about 18-months-of-age, is known as autism when children begin losing language and other developments. Non-regressive autism occurs from birth.

How do I know my child autistic?

When children are born with Down’s syndrome, it is harder to trace autism in them then it is to trace in a non-Down’s syndrome child. Social and emotional developments are delayed in an autistic child. If tracing autism in a Down syndrome child is close to impossible for you, look out for the following.

Autistic loneliness – Generally, children with Down’s syndrome are loveable and enjoy being hugged or love to hug. However a child with autism usually prefers to be by himself. Autistic children consider people as objects rather than people.

Changeless routines – Even a slight change can cause a child with autism to go berserk. Sameness breeds familiarity for them.

Lack of eye contact – Autistic children do not make eye contact, but instead they often look ‘right through’ people.

Repetitive movement – It has been observed that autistic children can sit for long hours while waving an object and staring at it.

How do I, as a parent, handle a child with autism

Autistic children usually display intense emotions. Mrs Pillay is a mother whose 5-year-old son, Somesh, has been diagnosed with mild autism. “Even though it’s just mild autism, he is extremely sensitive and cries over nothing at times. He is in normal day care but when these episodes take place, he has to be separated until he calms down. Sometimes he stares into oblivion for hours,” explains Mrs Pillay about Somesh.

Somesh’s condition for mild autism is nothing out of the usual. Working with an occupational therapist is probably the best for both Mrs Pillay and her son. Autistic children suffer from seizures, ranging from mild to severe, at times. When a child is seizing, never move him unless he is danger of falling down the stairs, etc. Try to gently turn the child on his side and loosen the clothing around his neck.

If a holiday celebration is coming up, plan it wisely. Gifts and toys do not make a difference to a child with autism. Mrs Webber remembers her daughter, Christina now 16, back in the old days when everyone would be busily tearing open their presents on Christmas morning. Christina, then 5, would sit and stare, focused on an ornament hanging from the tree. “She never touched a present and even when we unwrapped her gifts for her, she would merely ignore us, the gifts and just about everything else in the room,” remembers Mrs Webber with a tear. Rather than toys, shower the child with love and attention, which according to most therapists are what many autistic children are lacking in today.

What happens if autism is left untreated?

If left untreated, autistic children’s social skills and speech skills will not develop effectively. The number of children who recover from autism without any help is extremely low.

What treatments are there available for autistic children?

There is no cure for autism but there are many treatments available for autism. However the treatment that suits the child may vary from individual to the next. Listed below are those that are not only popular but have seen good effects as well.

Behaviour Modification – Highly structured and skill-oriented activities that are based on the patient’s needs and interests are carried out with a therapist and extensive caregiver.

Communication Therapy – Autistic patients who are unable to communicate verbally , communication therapy is used to initiate language development.

Dietary Modifications – At times, altering the diet, digestion may be improved and food tolerances or allergies may be eliminated and therefore behavioural problems (caused by these tolerances or allergies) may reduce.

An autistic child can be as different or similar as a normal child, depending on how you look at him and treat him. At the end of the day, he is your child and will always be. No amount of denial or leaving him for long hours in special needs schools will change that. It’s time for every parent to make a difference and embrace the child for who he is rather than for what he is.


Source by Sangeetha Nadarajan

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