Assessment Apps for Adults With Autism

The transition to adulthood is a major turning point in everybody’s life. However, for young people having autism spectrum disorder, the transition is usually very tough. Young autistic adults have lower levels of employment and even suffer from total social isolation compared to people having other disabilities.

Almost two-thirds of young adults, who have autism, have no job or gainful employment, nor any educational plans. For more than one-thirds of young adults having autism, this is often continued in their early twenties. Assessment apps for adults with autism are often used to measure their levels of competency.

But the employment scenario for young adults with autism spectrum disorder really paints a bleak picture. The economic shift in the US towards more job opportunities in the service sector hasn’t really helped much. Beginning in the mid-1970s, there has been a major shift in employment generation from the manufacturing sector to the service sector. And the type of jobs in the latter sector that requires direct customer interaction, are the jobs that most people with autism spectrum disorder find difficult to cope with. Experts recommend the capability of a young adult be first judged with assessment apps for adults with autism.

Researchers claim that by the time an individual reaches the end of high school, they face something called the “services cliff”. Autistic students in public school are eligible to get tutoring and receive mental health services, alongside other support via the special education program of their school.

But when these children graduate high school, they stop receiving the special aid services. There are some haphazard programs of various public services that are usually difficult to access. Community programs for autistic adults are usually meant for the seriously affected. High functioning adults with autism are often left out of these programs.

Federal laws for special needs children require that the high schools must help autistic students to come up with a transition plan. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in majority of the cases. One of the major reasons for this is that most school doesn’t have any special needs educator who’ll use assessment apps for adults with autism. Experts say that this is very important to gauge the progress of the children. For those who are not accustomed to assessment apps for adults with autism, it’s usually difficult to test an autistic individual with it. Only about 58% of the high school students in the US have a proper transition plan by the age of 14.

Puzzle Bracelets to Support Autism

Have you heard about this disorder? Do you know how to communicate with a child with autism? It is a serious neuro-developmental disorder that impairs a child’s ability to communicate and interact with other people. Sadly, it is a stereotyped behavior. It is reported that approximately 1.5 million Americans presently have some form of autism.

Presently it is not curable but this does not mean there’s nothing that can be done. It is a spectrum condition, affecting everyone in a different way and this is what makes it hard to recognize. So it is very difficult to generalize all treatment options. And why do we need autism awareness? Because early diagnosis and appropriate intervention, proper understanding and structured support may help patients maximize their potential.

Promote and Inspire With Puzzle Bracelets

Since April is designated as Autism Awareness Month, use this opportunity to raise awareness among families, friends, and local communities. There are ways to show your support for this noble cause but using customized puzzle bracelets is among the best of them because they are enormously popular. Families living with autism often need moral support.

Autism treatment and research receive less than 5% of the public funding contributed each year to fight all major childhood diseases. There are plenty of initiatives you can organize to get financial support.

Include your co-workers, speak about autism and bring personalized puzzle wristbands to work. Collect as much donations as possible and send them to a charity organization.

Form a team together with your family, neighbors and friends. Organize a marathon walk in support of autism. Give your team a unique personality – wear customized bracelets with an inspirational autism message.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Etsy and Twitter are the perfect tools for promoting a cause you truly believe in. You can also use photo-based sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

Autism puzzle bracelets can help spread the word and show support for people living with the disorder. The official awareness color is royal blue with multi-color puzzle pieces. The idea behind puzzle pieces is to reflect the mystery and complexity of the autism spectrum disorder. Each piece is different in some way and each one accurately represents the beautiful diversity of the individuals living with it.

You can get these wristbands online or directly from stores. But before placing your orders, spend a few minutes of your time to see which one best fits your purpose. These products come in a wide range of colors, fonts and patterns.

Design custom puzzle bracelets online. Choose your message, custom color, and add some puzzle art. Print awareness messages like “SUPPORT AUTISM AWARENESS” or “AUTISM IS MY SUPERPOWER” and use them at your events.

Finding Connection Points With Your Autistic Child

In the TV show Parenthood, one of the characters, Max Braverman, is a child with Asperger Syndrome. Max displayed many of the classic autism traits, including obsessing over specific topics. One of his strong areas of interest was pirates. Max loved to dress up like a pirate and act out his made-up stories. His TV father, Adam, was struggling to find those connection points with Max that he so desperately longed for, so he decided to dress up like a pirate and enter Max’s imaginary pirate world. The episode ends with Adam and Max running around in their pirate garb having a great time together. It was truly touching to see them both having fun as father and son.

This scene from Parenthood struck a chord with me as a father of a child on the spectrum. Our son Trevor certainly had things that he obsessed about growing up, including the TV shows Blues Clues and Spongebob Squarepants, puzzles, and drawing. He never got bored talking about his areas of interests and could recall the minutest of details with ease. He could keep himself occupied for hours on end which in some respects made him very easy to care for. At the same time, letting him live in his own world without interaction wasn’t good for his long-term social skills growth. Today I know more than the average dad does about Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, Mr. Krabs, Plankton, and Pearl (Mr. Krabs sperm whale daughter).

As Trevor aged, his interests grew with him. As a youngster his food menu was very limited to a handful of items. As he got older, though, his interest in food grew to a point where he is now willing to try most anything that isn’t spicy. Now as an adult he not eats a wide variety of food but also loves cooking. Another obsession of his is movies. He so loves movies that he graduated cum laude from Arizona State University with a degree in Film and Media Studies. He has a movie review website Trevor’s View on Hollywood where he writes reviews using his own 32-data-point ratings scale.

Now I love watching movies, and I LOVE food. Given his passion for both, these are two natural connection points that we have together. One of our favorite movies is Men in Black. We’ve seen it many times over the years. In fact when the third Men in Black movie came out we went to see it together in the theater. Prior to the movie they had a MIB trivia contest. Trevor and I nailed the questions and came home the proud owners of black MIB t-shirts. We also love going out for breakfast, lunch or dinner together at places ranging from The Melting Pot to Costco for hot dogs. These are things that we both love doing together and as a dad I fiercely protect our time for these activities.

Do you see this as an area to work on? Here’s a few pointers that may help you strengthen those connection points as well as help your child with socialization and exposure to new things:

Get into his world – Actively look to see those areas where your child shows interest and actively plot out actions you can take that will let you be a character in his world.

Watch reactions – With some things Trevor preferred to be the sole actor, like drawing when he was little and photography as an adult. He is content (and prefers) to be doing those things on his own and for me to be a cheerleader and admirer. My role wasn’t to draw with him as a child or to take pictures with him now; it’s to be supportive of his interests.

Look for opportunities to introduce new interests – Trevor wasn’t born loving SpongeBob SquarePants; he was exposed to it and developed an interest. Take advantage of time together to explore new potential interests. For example, we made it a point to eat dinner as a family every night at 6 p.m. This was where we introduced the “Ten times” rule for trying new foods. Trevor had to try something ten times before he decided he didn’t like it. In retrospect we should have named it the “Three times” rule because that’s about what it worked to be. Nevertheless, Trevor knew that he needed to try something new more than once before saying he didn’t like it. This was key to him expanding his menu choices.

Create routine around interest areas – When Trevor and I did things it was usually after dinner, whether it was watching a favorite show, playing a computer game, or doing some other activity. He knew when to expect that time together so it was a welcomed activity. I learned not to approach him out of the blue and suggest doing something, as he already had his activities planned out; my unplanned activity was interrupting his schedule, which is something people with autism generally don’t appreciate.

Your child isn’t you – I loved playing sports as a child. Trevor wanted nothing to do with sports. While it would have been great seeing him pitch a perfect game, I couldn’t project my interests on him to where he would hate doing something just because I loved it (and therefore resent me). By all means introduce him to new things, but recognize when it just isn’t going to happen and don’t force it.
I cannot express enough the importance of finding those connection points with your autistic child. While there have been struggles along the way, I am thankful that Trevor and I have those connection points where we are able to enjoy activities together and build upon the great relationship we have.

Autism Study Results With Cord Blood Stem Cells

We all know that autism cannot be cured. But Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development researchers have found a way to alleviate the symptoms of autism, thereby offering a better life for children with the condition. And the key to this therapy lies within their own umbilical cord blood stem cells.

The researchers at the Duke conducted a study to find out if the symptoms of autism can be lowered down in degree by infusing blood, derived from their own umbilical cord. They have published their findings in April 2017 and since then it has all the media attention.

The trial involved 25 children between 2 and 6. Geraldine Dawson, director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development confirmed that all the children have displayed improvement in terms of the autistic symptoms. Dawson mentioned, “We measured the children’s social and communication abilities using various tests and parent questionnaires. We found that the infusion was safe and many children showed improvements in their social and language skills.”

In this study, the children received stem cells from their own umbilical cord blood. After the infusion, their improvements were being monitored thoroughly. The doctors found that the infusion was completely safe for the children. After one year, these children were called for another round of tests in order to measure their further improvements.

Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, the professor in the department of pediatrics, said that the process is entirely new to them. Dawson said that the study is still at its nascent stage, as they don’t have any standard comparison factor to compare the effectiveness of the therapy for autism, as there was no control group of autistic children involved in the study to compare the results. Dawson added, “Because there was no comparison group in this study, we don’t yet know whether the improvements we observed were because of the cord blood. As much as we’re hopeful that this is helping, we don’t want to prematurely make claims that haven’t been confirmed.”

After the successful Phase I, the team is ready to start with Phase II trial, which is expected to be completed in two years. Unlike the Phase I, the second Phase will include a blind control group, where children will get a placebo infusion. Moreover, the Phase II will involve 165 children with autism.

Dawson said that the children will be divided into two groups. One group will receive umbilical cord blood stem cells and another group will receive a placebo. The groups will be switched after six months and the children will receive the opposite therapy. This will enable to researchers to find out the effectiveness of stem cell therapy for autism. Kurtzberg added, “There is a remodeling of certain abnormal brain connections [by the microglia], which then results in decreasing symptoms of autism.”

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Benefit Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is a disorder that responds best to treatment that is holistic and addresses all aspects of the condition. Recent research has shown a benefit for what is considered complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) or integrative medicine that focuses on pairing natural treatment approaches with behavioral therapies and treatments. This approach facilitates a more balanced treatment plan as it allows families, like yours, to treat the child with autism as just that – a child affected by autism.

Autism is diagnosed based on criteria from a diagnostic manual of mental disorders however, it is increasingly clear that many of these symptoms are medical – not psychological.

Common medical problems in children on the autism spectrum can include:
• Digestive problems: reflux, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, bloated abdomen
• Seizures
• Allergies, asthma, and eczema
• Food reactions
• Sleep problems
• Infections
• Poor nutrition
• Poor growth

Children with autistic-spectrum disorder have health issues that are very complex. This is the reason that the approach to help these children requires a wide variety of diagnostic tests to scientifically assess the cause of their health issues.

No two individuals experience autism in the same way, and individuals do not respond to the same treatments. This is the reason it is of utmost importance that each child with autism spectrum disorder be evaluated individually.

This is the reason that the approach to help these children requires a wide variety of diagnostic tests to scientifically assess the cause of their health issues. Tests that involve gastrointestinal functioning, allergens: both food and environmental, nutritional needs and toxin levels are paramount to identifying the causes of their symptoms and embarking on a plan to improve health. A plan may involve some or all of the following: dietary changes, use of herbal, homeopathic and nutritional supplements, as well as natural and complimentary medicines as needed to support healing and improve their health and functioning.

Much of this information is not well recognized by most of the medical community and so what is available is found in books or online. This can leave parents feeling frustrated as knowing what to do first, how to prioritize therapies, dietary changes and what supplements to use is subjective without the proper testing.

Diet is an important component for children on the Autism spectrum.

The “Autism Diet” has been around for many years and has helped many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) improve their health, and functioning. Research shows that 91% of autistic children improved when following the autism diet. According to the Autism Research Institute, nutritional treatments show great success in autism treatment. They suggest an autism diet of avoiding yeast, glutens, casein, and any allergens.

Since 91% of children with autism spectrum disorder improve on the autism diet, this is something that parents can implement without the consult of a doctor or health care professional.

To help implement this diet here is a list of the top 10 foods to eat or avoid according to Dr Axe:

Eat:

1. Additive-free, unprocessed foods

2. Bone broth

3. Poultry

4. Foods high in probiotics

5. Fish

And the top 5 foods to Avoid are:

1. Gluten

2. Cows Dairy

3. Sugar

4. Food coloring and dyes

5. Soy

Dr Cafaro knows that the proper testing to determine the cause of your child’s health issues is essential to formulating a plan to help your child improve their health and function better. Dr Cafaro can guide you through the process.

Difference Between Asperger Syndrome (AS) and Autism?

They are so close in symptoms that it is hard to tell them apart but there are some guidelines available to help. It is that relationship between them and the outward signals that can be more easily understood. While one in 100 Australians suffer from Autism it appears that a lot more can be autistic, even without knowing it. They can both lead full anc active lives under the right conditions.

The autistic child will have early symptoms showing in his brain development. They lean towards repetitive behaviour and restricted movements and interests. Some children will hit the wall constantly with their hand, others with their heads. They lack skills for social communication and interaction so they tend to be loners who are happier on their own.

It’s a lifelong condition and basically affects how they relate to their environment and to other people. They may also have an intense interest in one specific subject matter. They can also have sensitivity to particular sounds that make them scream out or hide. That can be anything from a car horn, vacuum cleaner, or someone yelling.

They can also be sensitive to textures. This makes it difficult with the wearing of some clothing that may upset them. That doesn’t even have to be on them. It is apparently four times more likely to affect boys than girls.

The Asperger’s child is slightly different although it is referred to lately as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It does not normally show up in the young child who may start to develop normally without language delay. That means it is not normally diagnosed in early childhood and may even escape notice entirely until after puberty or early adulthood.

Many adults may not be aware of it until relationship issues arise. Although there is no proof at this stage that there is a genetic link many researchers believe there is. That is based on the fact that it runs in families. This is an area being worked on at the moment to try to figure out which gene is affected.

Meanwhile we can see from this brief analysis that both Asperger’s and autism may have similar outcomes but are widely different in their symptoms, at least in the early years.

A Slimming Plan For Overweight Kids

Childhood obesity has approached epidemic proportions in United States. And for a growing number of youngsters, it is a serious problem.

And one that involves more than just simple schoolyard vanity. Excess weight in childhood is likely to be carried over into adulthood, studies show, and it will predispose children to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related chronic illness. That’s why it’s important to act early, to ensure a lifetime of optimum health.

But take note: Kids are not just small adults, and slimming them down takes a special approach that’s safe for their growing bodies. The first step is recognizing what’s causing the problem.

Some people think it starts with heredity. It’s a controversial question as to how much heredity actually contributes to the problem. But here’s the important point:

Even if a child carries genes that create a tendency toward obesity, major environment factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle and a high-fat diet, must be in effect for obesity to take hold. There are plenty of fat-prone kids out there who never get fat because they practise good health habits.

For most overweight children (on the order of 70 per cent), the problem can be attributed directly to these environmental causes. For the 30 per cent, heredity is the problem. That’s good news, parents, because it means there’s a lot you and your child can do to get that excess weight off.

TAKING ACTION

Before you do anything, though, it’s critical to get your pediatrician advice. While you may think your child is overweight compared to her friends or siblings, children vary. A doctor can provide an objective assessment and determine how serious the problem is – or if there really is a problem at all.

If the child is overweight, restricting calories until the child loses weight is, at best impractical, and at worst, potentially dangerous. What overweight children need is flexible, low-fat eating plan to follow, in which portion size and between-meal snacking are kept to moderate levels.

It’s not a diet that they go on or off. It’s way of eating that can last a lifetime. (Calories and fat should never be restricted in a child less than age two, most doctors agree.)

In fact, losing weight shouldn’t be a goal at all for most plump children. The goal should simply be to get the child to stop gaining weight. If a child’s weight stabilizes while he’s still growing, and his problem isn’t too severe, he’ll simply grow out of his obesity. (Most girls grow until they’re about 16, boys until they’re 19).

But an eating plan isn’t the only answer or even the most important, necessarily. The number-one cause of childhood obesity may well be a sedentary lifestyle.

Children – especially children of affluent or even middle-class parents – have, like many adults, become couch potatoes. Getting your kids moving again should be your top priority.

IMPLEMENTING YOUR PLAN

By now it should be obvious that, in most cases, when a child is overweight, the whole family is going to have to make changes. The greatest influence on a child’s health is his parents. Children learn what they see. If the parents’ eating and exercise habits are poor, the child’s will probably be lacking, too. Start by assessing your family’s activity level. Do you regularly “sweat” together? Whether it’s a community-sponsored “fun run” or a walk in a zoo, make a resolution to do family fitness activities together every week.

IN WITH THE NEW

On the food front, the first thing you need to do is look inward. In your refrigerator. In your kitchen cabinets. In your oven. Are you really buying and preparing low-fat, high-fibre foods? Are the cabinets clear of fatty chips, sweets and has your freezer been declared an ice-cream-free zone?

At home, move the focus away from food. When the family gathers to play games or talk, do it away from the dining room and the kitchen. Make a new rule no eating anywhere in the house except at the dining table. Everyone has to abide by this rule, including the grown-ups.

Speak up at PTA meetings for a school programme on good nutrition, campaign for PTA action against hawkers selling trashy foods in the school’s immediate vicinity.

But a word of caution: Too much focus on a child’s weight might lead to eating disorders. Over half of the people who develop eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, can trace it to an episode of dieting.

That’s why it’s very important that you never use food as reward or punishment. That’s a dangerous strategy that can lead youngsters to seek comfort in food.

HELP FOR TOUGH CASES

If a child’s weight problem continues, both the parents and child may need counselling – separately. Separately, because you need to learn different things. Parents must learn how to encourage good habits without nagging or unwittingly encouraging eating disorders. If both parents are working, they may need to learn how to fit healthy meal preparation into a bust schedule.

The children need to learn new eating habits and to enjoy physical activity. But remember: Any formal programme for overweight children and their families should focus on appropriate behaviour and healthy foods, not ton dieting and calorie counting.

Only if a child’s obesity is severe should weight loss be on the agenda. And that should be initiated only after weight gain has stopped, and after the entire family is eating healthy foods.

Then you can explore with a physician a safe way for a child to lose 5 to 10 per cent maximum of weight at the rate of half to one kg a week, over five or six weeks.

Weight loss should then stop, and children should stay at that level for several months before losing any more, if needed they still need to lose. Weight-loss diets for children must be constructed carefully by pediatricians and should always include a 10 per cent increase in physical activity.

The new discoveries and inventions have made our lifestyle full of convenience. But our bodies require work. Just like the sedentary water starts smelling, the sedentary lifestyle has given rise to many chronic diseases like the heart problems, diabetes and hypertension.

Today, the health researchers are suggesting that most of the chronic diseases that have appeared in man’s life are due to STRESS. From where it has come. It is the bi-product of our so-called modern lifestyle.

We are standing at the edge of cliff. Immediate actions are required to bring back the healthy days. We must incorporate exercise, balanced diet, sound sleep, and the most importantly happy and positive thoughts to our lifestyle to get rid of all health problems.

Cut Your Belly Fat With Bariatric Surgery

Keeping a strict control over your diet, performing various fat reducing exercises or consumption of some Ayurveda medicines for reducing fat will not help you in reducing your belly fat which is also termed as obesity. It is tough for a person to burn so much amount of calories at once. This is the reason that bariatric surgery came into existence. It is also known as obesity surgery or weight-loss surgery.

Bariatric surgery is done to help people reduce their excess weight. It is an operation in which the whole belly fat is burnt down to make the person slim fit. Scientific study reveals that people who undergo bariatric surgery are less prone to be a victim of some of the dangerous diseases caused by obesity, such as:

1. Heart attack
2. Increase in blood pressure level
3. Diabetes
4. Cancerous diseases
5. Gallbladder infections
6. Osteoarthritis (observed mostly in women after the age of 40)
7. Gout
8. Problems related to breathing, like asthma and sleep apnea (stopping your breath for a very short period while sleeping)

It is not mandatory that every obese person has to face all these problems. But the chances increases if you have a family background, satisfying one of these conditions.

Various Types of Bariatric Surgery

Four types of bariatric surgeries can be performed. They are as follows:

1. Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB)
2. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB)
3. Biliopancreatic Diversion with a Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS)
4. Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG)

In this surgery, the surgeon uses an “open” approach, which involves cutting of the abdominal portion, i.e. with the help of surgical instruments, a small half-inch cut is made in the abdomen. This method is scientifically called as laparoscopy. Since in laparoscopy, less long cuts are made, this operative method comes out to be more beneficial than open surgery. The benefit of laparoscopy is that it leads to less tissue damage, less post-surgical complications, fast recovery and early discharge from the hospital.

Bariatric Surgery-Being a Boon to Save Many Lives

Obesity is one such kind of a disease which gives rise to multiple numbers of other vulnerable diseases and infections. In this condition, it is the bariatric surgery that gives hope to every obese patient. It is said that bariatric surgery has led to lower death rates in case of severely obese patients, which is a miracle indeed! This surgery not only helps in reducing weight but it has also saved several lives of morbidly obese patients. The quality of life for obese or overweight people has been drastically improved.