Tag Archive | "autistic children"

Autistic Children and Diets

Autistic children clearly have special needs and carers, for the most part have to be particular in these kinds of conditions. Generally speaking, children experiencing autism should have a diet devoid of ingredients that comprise of casein and gluten. This is because these products contain high amounts of protein and casein.

For the time being, the idea of adhering to these diet regimens is not exactly a concrete and sure-proof guarantee of not having problems. Although not scientifically backed, feeding an autistic child with casein and gluten results in a problem in digestion. Specifically, the undigested materials enter the gastrointestinal tract and the bloodstream as well as the brain literally poisoning these organs because the immature body of the child cannot still breakdown the undigested products.

While there is no evident short term effect of sticking to such particular diet, the long term effect of staying away from protein and casein will be very much convincing. In particular, the diet improves the behavior of a child. Children who are autistic are known to have poor social skills. More importantly, they have poor eye contact that makes it difficult for them to establish a connection with others. However, this social aspect can be greatly enhanced by the diet. It would actually take a lot of time for the parents or carers to see the actual long term effect; instead, what will be more evident during the first few months would be the increase in irritability as well as other regressive display of behavior. Nonetheless, with patience and determination in adhering to the diet, the rewards will surely be reaped in the end.

It is actually helpful to remember and note the simple mnemonics tagged as B-R-O-W: barley, rye, oat and wheat when protein needs to be eliminated in the foods served. On the other hand, casein is seen in dairy products such as cheese and milk. Unfortunately, these ingredients form the attractive and usual foods craved by most children. Spaghetti or any form of pasta as well as bread are clearly foods that are appealing to a kid; that is why, as early as possible, children should already be introduced to other alternative diet plans.

In introducing a rather new idea to your child, you may want to start off by reading the labels of those that you buy. Dairy products can really be a problem as you will have to determine the presence of milk in the foods taken by your child, you may also find it difficult to convince yourself to ever find a pastry or cake without milk in it. Try not to feel overwhelmed; consulting your child’s pediatrician will certainly help a lot. If you wish, you might also want to hear his professional opinion about the said diets.

Apart from checking the label and scrutinizing the ingredients of a particular dish, you may also want to check on books and the internet for more information. There are comprehensive lists of foods recommended and other interventions that may as serve as invaluable tips. When you research though, make sure that these are the updated ones as changes happen every now and then.

Finally, give this dramatic transformation in the diet a fair chance. Not every child reacts at the same pace so you will have to be more determined.

Posted in Allergies, Diet and NutritionComments (0)

New Information on Autism

Autism is a complex pervasive developmental disorder or PDD. This complex disorder affects neural tube development causing impaired social interaction, communication delays as well as repetitive and restrictive behavior. This developmental disorder usually starts at birth or around the age of 2 or 3 and lasts the entire life span. In most cases, autistic individuals and children look fairly normal in terms of physical appearance, the things that set them apart are their puzzling behaviors and actions that are out of the ordinary. These actions and behaviors include speech and communication delays, interaction difficulties, learning disabilities and unusual ways like hand flapping and head rolling. For children, being autistic is very difficult. It is like being in a world where everything doesn’t fit and seem right. It’s as if, he’s the only one who doesn’t understand everything that is happening around him and vice versa. Autistic children experience a great deal of difficulty doing everyday activities. Their brains interpret sight, sound, touch and other sensations differently. An autistic child might not understand what a smile is. He might not know that laughing or smiling is the proper way to react when you feel happy. These things will definitely make the child function differently compared to other children.

Children with autism need help to cope with their developmental disorder. Several forms of therapy are available for various autistic cases. Occupational and speech therapy are among the most common. These therapies will slowly teach the child how to properly function at the best of their abilities, teaching them skills and behaviors that they’ll be able to use on a day to day basis. Letting these children undergo such therapies also ensure that most of their special needs are met and attended to. Most of the time the special needs of autistic children is not met without any form of therapy.

Currently, with the advancement of science, researchers were able to formulate and come up with new and various treatment modalities for autism. The main focus of treating autism is the core symptoms. These treatment options are very intensive and comprehensive. The involvement of every family member might be required to make the treatment successful. Applied behavioral analysis or ABA is among the interventions. ABA uses a scientific approach in dealing with autistic behavior. This technique addresses socially and functionally important behaviors the child needs to possess and practice on a daily basis. The next form of treatment is called PRT or pivotal response treatment. PRT also follows the behavioral approach in managing autism. It teaches spoken language and communication, social skills and interaction as well as positive and non-disruptive behavior. PRT is child directed which means treatment plan is unique for each autistic individual. Another new approach in treating autism is called VBT or verbal behavior therapy. The aim of this therapy is to teach the child to put meaning and values to words. Psychologists, trained professionals and speech therapists are usually the ones who provide VBT. Because of the new treatment options available, autism is slowly becoming an easy disorder to treat.

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Autistic Children Process Sounds, Vision and Touch Differently From Others

Every child is special and unique in his own way. No one is the same; even identical twins have slight differences that set each of them apart. That is how things are; we live in a world full of diversity and variations. Autistic children is no different, these kids are also very special and distinct. Despite the limitations they have because of their autism, they still manage to rise up above the challenge and live productive and successful lives. What is autism by the way? And how different are autistic children from non-autistic ones?

 Autism by definition is a neural development disorder, where-in the child manifests and exhibits impaired social interaction, communication, and restrictive or repetitive behavior. The human brain processes information using a complex network of organized nerve cells and synapses, in autism, the organization of this network is disrupted or altered affecting the entire thought and behavior process. Impaired social interaction in autistic children is evidenced by the child’s lack of attention, minimal eye contact, and frequent loneliness; in some cases they also manifest occasional aggression and violence. Majority of autistic children develop impaired communication and have difficulties learning normal speech, they babble, reverse words and mispronounce them. It is common for these children to manifest repetitive, compulsive and ritualistic behavior such as hand flapping, head rolling, body rocking, ritualistic dressing and self-injury. Autism is a genetic disease but is also believed to be caused by several external and environmental factors including the use of heavy metals, exposure to pesticides and childhood vaccines. Children as early as the first 2 years of their lives can already show symptoms of autism and this develops gradually as he grows up. Currently this disease has no cure, only support measures and therapies are available to help the child live a life as close to normal as possible. Now that we have an overview on what an autistic child is, is it true that they process sensory information differently? Do they see, smell, hear, feel and taste things differently?

 According to a new study on how children with autism spectrum disorder processes sensory information conducted by Dr. Sophie Molholm Ph.D. associate professor in the Dominick P. Purpura department of neuroscience and pediatrics, children with autism are overwhelmed with all the sensory information around them, they have difficulty processing multisensory information as well as interpreting it in a meaningful way which explains their autistic behavior. The data gathered for this research was taken using Multisensory Integration (MSI) measurements from Electroencephalogram (EEG) brainwave recordings. The findings show that autistic children are more unisensory than multisensory; they can effectively focus on one sensory stimulus at time, but have difficulties integrating multisensory information. For example, it’s easy for them to watch a silent video but it becomes a bit of a challenge if they listen to music at the same time.

 The findings of Dr. Molholm’s study are significant to the better understanding, management and care for children with autism. This research would be very helpful for future autism related studies.

Posted in Growing PainsComments (2)