Unraveling Autism

Autism is a developmental condition that is characterized by poor communication and social interaction. While the condition is present at birth, the signs start showing when the child is 2-3 years old.

What causes autism?

A few years ago, no one knew what causes the condition. This is no longer the case. The condition is thought about by many factors that include:

Genetic problems : Experts believe that the condition is thought about by presence of multiple genes interacting with each other. The genes cause the baby's brain to develop abnormally in the uterus.

Environmental factors : These are factors that influence the child at the time of conception, during pregnancy and during birth. One of the most common factors that has been shown to bring about the condition is deprivation of oxygen during pregnancy or during birth.

Signs that your child has autism

As mentioned, the signs of the condition start showing at the age of 2-3 years. Tell tale signs that your child might be having the condition include:

Poor social skills : Autistic children have been shown to have a difficult time interpreting other people emotions. They are also unable to hold eye contact, conversations, and can not even respond to their name. In most cases, they like being alone.

Language : It's common for autistic children to talk in a sing-song or robotic voice. In some cases they are unable to speak properly. In some cases they do not talk at all. According to experts, the child might use words that they hear without understanding their meaning.

Behavior : Children with autism often rock back and forth, bite themselves or others, spin around, flap their arms, and bang their heads on objects. It's also common for them to stare at objects for long periods of time.

Treatment of autism

There is no known cure for the condition but with early detection, the child can be taken through therapy where he / she can learn a wide range of skills such as making eye contact, hugging and others that show confidence and emotion. The most common therapies include:

Occupational therapy : It helps the autistic child in many ways including: improving play skills, transition to new activities, attention, stamina, aggression, interaction between the child and caregivers, responses to touch and other stimuli, and motor skills such as balance, posture and manipulation of small objects.

Speech therapy : From its name, this is a form of therapy that is aimed at helping the child fix the language problem and speech disorders. Many techniques are used in fixing the problem. They include: electronic talkers, picture boards, typing, signaling, sounds of people, song and many others.


This is what you need to know about autism and the treatment options that are available. While there is not a cure for the condition, studies show that with early identification of the problem, it is possible for the child to live a normal life.

Source by Jovia D'Souza

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Type 2 Diabetes – Is Diabetes in the Mother Linked to ADHD in Their Children?

A study reported on in October of 2018 in the journal Diabetic Care has linked Type 1 and 2 diabetes along with Gestational or pregnancy-related diabetes in mothers, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in their children. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, United States, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, United States, found the risk of ADHD to be higher in children whose mothers were treated for diabetes during their pregnancy than in children whose mothers had a healthy pregnancy.

The records of a total of 333,182 infants were reviewed from the time the children were four years of age. Over the following five years 17,415 of the children, or 5.2 percent, were diagnosed with ADHD…

  • children of mothers diagnosed with Gestational diabetes and treated with anti-diabetes medications were 57 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children from non-diabetic mothers.
  • the children of mothers who were medically treated for Type 1 diabetes had a 43 percent higher risk for developing ADHD, and those
  • children whose mothers needed medication for Type 2 diabetes during their pregnancy had a 26 percent higher risk of developing the condition.

The investigators concluded severe diabetes in pregnant women raised the risk of ADHD in their children.

Earlier studies have found similar results. In September of 2018, the journal Pediatrics reported on a study in which obesity and diabetes in the mother increased their children’s risk for not only ADHD but several other disorders…

  • autism spectrum disorder,
  • conduct disorder, and
  • mixed emotional and conduct disorder.

Another article published during the same month, in the Journal of Childhood Psychology and Psychiatry, linked the mother’s diet during pregnancy, an essential factor related with Gestational diabetes and blood sugar levels, with ADHD at ages 3 to 8 years.

Researchers at the University of Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France, and several other research facilities in France and Singapore looked at 1,242 mothers and their children. The children of the mothers who ate foods considered unhealthy or Western had more than a 60 percent higher risk for developing ADHD than children whose mothers reported eating healthful foods.

Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains and low in highly processed foods, meat, and dairy products, is helpful for preventing or controlling both Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes. It could likely help avoid problems for the children of diabetic mothers as well.

Source by Beverleigh H Piepers

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treating Autism

Several behavioral therapies have been tried from time to time for treating children with autism. Pivotal response training and applied behavior analysis are two of the most commons. But adults, older children, and teens are likely to benefit more from cognitive behavioral therapy, another major intervention to treat autism.

There have been many attempts to adapt cognitive behavioral therapy for teens and older children having autism. The target has usually been on those who suffer from anxiety as well, because this is a common trait in autism. The challenge has been to find out whether autistic children have skills that are required for cognitive behavioral therapy to be a success. The response, fortunately, is in the affirmative. A 2012 study, evaluated cognitive skills of older children with autism and compared them with those of non-autistic children. Almost every child in the former group had cognitive behavioral skills and they could distinguish feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. They only found difficult to recognize emotions.

Traditional cognitive behavioral therapy calls for strong language and abstract thinking capabilities, and this is often a challenge for those having autism. Researchers have realized this and have modified the therapy to suit autistic people, like making it more visually appealing and concrete, and repetitive. For instance, merely asking the children to orally rank their anxiety on a scale of one to 10, a therapist may have a thermometer that shows the anxiety level from low to high, and ask the participants indicate the prop for illustrating this. Another strategy in cognitive behavioral therapy for autism involves focusing on a child’s talent and special interests that help to keep the children motivated and engaged, and build frequent sensory activities and movement breaks for those who may have attention deficit problems with under or over-reactivity.

The researchers noted that cognitive behavior therapy must address social skills among those with autism, because core social deficits among young persons with autism contribute to anxiety which then goes on to intensify the teen’s social problems.

The therapy can be delivered in several ways, like family, individual, groups, and even both families and groups. Group therapies have the advantage that an individual with autism can see similar other people struggling with the same difficulties and trying to overcome them together. Social support and friendship gained through the process could be healing in themselves.

A family behavioral therapy for autism often involves parents who educate themselves about their children’s challenges. It also involves teaching them to encourage using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques when a real life situation confronts the child. This will make them feel confident and hopeful for contributing a positive change in a child’s life.

Researchers have found that the issue of protecting children from a potentially negative experience, is often a tough call for most parents. Autistic children usually have a history of behavioral and emotional challenges and of painful real failures in the world. Their parents are often reluctant to expose the child to further failures, and inadvertently limit the exposure to experiences necessary to become less anxious and more independent.

Source by Kalpesh Z Makwana

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