DJSoft.Net
English Deutsch Espanol Русский
RadioBOSS
RadioBOSS makes automating your broadcast to the world, your business or shop professional, simple, affordable, reliable.
Read MoreDownloadBuy Now

Author Topic: autism  (Read 4575 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bobby

  • Posts: 292
autism
« on: February 24, 2012, 07:57:39 AM »
Hey djsoft

this is what my autism and OCD is all about okay

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old.[2] Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.[3] It is one of three recognized disorders in the autism spectrum (ASDs), the other two being Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (commonly abbreviated as PDD-NOS), which is diagnosed when the full set of criteria for autism or Asperger syndrome are not met.[4]

Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by rare mutations, or by rare combinations of common genetic variants.[5] In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects.[6] Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines;[7] the vaccine hypotheses are biologically implausible and lack convincing scientific evidence.[8] The prevalence of autism is about 1–2 per 1,000 people worldwide; however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports approximately 9 per 1,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with ASD.[9][10] The number of people diagnosed with autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.[11]

Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life.[12] The signs usually develop gradually, but some autistic children first develop more normally and then regress.[13] Early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help autistic children gain self-care, social, and communication skills.[12] Although there is no known cure,[12] there have been reported cases of children who recovered.[14] Not many children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, though some become successful.[15] An autistic culture has developed, with some individuals seeking a cure and others believing autism should be accepted as a difference and not treated as a disorder.[16]

bobby

  • Posts: 292
autism and OCD
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 10:27:33 AM »
Autism and OCD in Children

hand_washingAutism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can and do occur at the same time.  OCD is a specific diagnosis under a larger umbrella of anxiety.  Children with OCD experience unwanted and intrusive thoughts that they can’t seem to get out of their heads (obsessions), often compelling them to repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines (compulsions) to try and ease their anxiety.  Children with ASD generally have repetitive, perseverative thoughts that are intense in nature, much like children with purely OCD symptoms.  The big difference is that children with OCD do not like the experience of having repetitive thoughts and would do anything to get rid of the thoughts (such as washing one’s hands 25 times).  Children with Autism Spectrum diagnoses are not bothered by their repetitive behaviors and thoughts, and instead are usually comforted by them (such as playing with a train in a repetitive fashion for hours at a time).

Anxiety is highly prevalent among children with Autism Spectrum diagnoses (greater than 35% of children experience both).  This is due to a combination of genetics, brain development, and higher levels of stress.  The error that many schools and therapists often make is attributing a child’s anxiety symptoms to his or her Autism diagnosis (i.e., “The only way to really reduce  anxiety and aggression is to treat the Autism.”)  For example, many children are referred into social skills groups when what they really need is help with anxiety that is interfering with their social functioning.  Highly anxious children with OCD may begin to act out behaviorally in school prompting teachers to encourage (some might say ‘coerce’ or ‘force’) parents to begin medicating the behavior.  The concerns here is twofold: 1) the behavior is numbed with medication and the root anxiety is never truly addressed (i.e., stop the medication and everything returns to the way it was), and 2) the school may begin to implement safety nets such as increased para support to keep the behaviors from occurring while again failing to adequately address the underlying anxiety symptoms.

The question often asked is, “Can you really treat a child who has both an autism spectrum diagnosis and OCD?”  The answer is “yes” and new research is beginning to show that there are some exciting recent behavioral treatments out there for these children.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety that has been established by the American Psychological Association as effective for children.  A recent study of CBT for neurotypical children with anxiety (Wood et al., found):

    Childrens’ school performance improved & they attended school more regularly
    Children had more friends & better quality friendships
    Children got along better with family members
    Children had higher self-esteem

The authors of that study have adapted the neurotypical CBT protocol for children with autism spectrum and are finding some promising results.   In general the results suggest that the authors’ adaptations of the pre-existing CBT manual can be effective for treating anxiety such as OCD in children with autism (research article link).  This treatment manual is available to practitioners and families, a sample of which can be viewed here.   Thus, there is hope for effective anxiety treatment for your child who also has an autism spectrum diagnosis.  It is highly recommended that you seek out services from a pediatric specialist who has training and experience treating children with co-occurring anxiety and autism spectrum diagnoses.

On a personal note and aside, I will be spending tomorrow with noted Asperger’s guru Dr. Tony Attwood  so stay tuned for a blog later this week where I hope to share some new ‘nuggets’ of information.