Understanding Autism

Parenting Children With Asperger's And High-functioning Autism

Mark Hutten, M.A is a practicing counseling psychologist and a professional parent-coach with experience of over 20 years in the field of High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger's. being the executive director of online parent support, LLC, Hutten presents several workshops and conducts numerous training courses for both professionals and parents dealing with HFA and Asperger's; besides, he works with hundreds of teenagers and children with HFA and Asperger's. Hutten is also an author of several articles that highlight parenting techniques based on highly effective research for dealing with children with HFA and Asperger's. The founder of the support group has published 'My out of control Child' and 'My out of control teen' eBooks. Most of Hutten's columns and articles discuss several ways of parenting young ones with conduct disorder, ODD, ADHD, Autism, Asperger's syndrome, Bipolar disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and many more conditions. The helpful parenting toolkit is all about a system that enables parents to minimize the child's meltdowns, low frustration tolerance, and tantrums, physical and verbal aggression, school-related behavior problems, social skills deficits, picky eating, attention difficulties, rigid thinking, problems completing homework, sleep problems, rituals and obsessions, and many more behavioral problems. The eBook is available for download. Read more...

Parenting Children With Aspergers And Highfunctioning Autism Summary


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Author: Mark Hutten
Official Website: parentingautisticchild.com
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Of all books related to the topic, I love reading this e-book because of its well-planned flow of content. Even a beginner like me can easily gain huge amount of knowledge in a short period.

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A Parent's Guide For Reversing Autism

Whilst best results are seen in younger children the seven step plan I have outlined in this book, including the diet, can be applied to any autistic person of any age. Step One details the gluten free/casein free diet and why it is so important for recovery to begin. It also explains why, after only 6 weeks, a particular type of cows milk can be included back into the diet. This milk has a different molecular structure than other milks. You are unlikely to hear about this milk anywhere else in the autistic community as we have been told that all casein is bad. This is simply not true. Your child may be similar to mine and have no reaction to this milk casein whatsoever. I explain how to test your child for this and other food intolerances in step one. If you have a child who is a 'picky eater' or skeptical family members, then doing step one correctly will put an end to all that. This diet is strict and has to be done properly or you will not get the results you are longing for. If you follow my recommendations for diet outlined in this chapter you could see significant improvements in your child in as little as a week.

A Parents Guide For Reversing Autism Summary

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Author: Donna Blackmore
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Eric Chessen's Autism Fitness Assessment Toolbox

Eric Chessen takes you step by step using his easy to follow Manuals, Assessment Grids and Videos to better prepare you to understand your participants abilities and help you create outstanding fitness programs. The Big 5 Movement Patterns- Each of the major ways in which we perform physically. The Big 5 include: Pushing (Movement away from the body) Pulling (Movement towards the body) Rotation (Movement around the torso or hips) Bending (All squatting or pick-up activities) Locomotion (Movement from one point in space to another) The Big 5 are all multi-joint movements, meaning they do not isolate a specific muscle. They will often be used in combination, for example, a scoop throw is a combination of bending (hips moving down/back) and pushing (throwing the to a partner) Behavior-Specific Praise (Bsp)- A technique derived from the science and practice of Applied Behavior Analysis (Aba). The instructor provides positive feedback immediately following the individuals action. Rather than saying Great job!, a more effective response would be Great job bending knees and jumping! This tells the individual exactly what they did well. Increasing Duration of Activity- For individuals who baseline at low or intermediate. levels of Adaptive ability, one of the goals will be to increase the time they are able to attend to an activity. This is not a measure of physical endurance, but developing the skills of patience and resilience. If Chris Pac assessment shows that he is only able to perform activity for ten seconds before running away from the instructor, the current goals will include being able to perform exercise for a longer time period (20 or 30 seconds) before gaining access to a secondary reinforcer (2nd R+).

Eric Chessens Autism Fitness Assessment Toolbox Summary

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Author: Eric Chessen
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The Essential Guide to Autism

Here is just some of what you'll learn: 13 common Asd (Autism Spectrum Disorder) misconceptions and the real truth for each this information will greatly help put your mind at ease about this mysterious disorder. The three main signs of autism and how to quickly and easily recognize each. The three broad categories of autism and how to immediately tell in which category someone with autism belongs and what this means for their treatment. The 5 most recent, most accepted theories about the cause of Asds this information may surprise you. 13 questions all concerned parents should ask themselves if they think their child may have autism your responses to these questions will ensure you know what step to take next. 28 additional signs of autism youll know exactly what behaviors to look for when assessing your child or loved one. Common treatments for autism and how to know if a treatment is right for your child or loved one. 18 questions you should always ask before submitting your child or loved one for a particular treatment this information will help ensure your child receives the treatment thats right for him or her. The six most common autism treatments used today plus, whether or not it is good to combine treatments. The positives and negatives of using Applied Behavioral Analysis to treat autism and how to tell if your child is right for an Aba program. How to choose an Aba provider including four things that you should always look for before deciding upon a provider. The five steps involved in a successful Floor Time program if a program doesnt include all five of these steps then it is definitely not right for you child. The effectiveness of the most common alternative autism treatments plus, 14 things that you should always look for before selecting an alternative treatment program. How to use the diet to help control autism naturally diet experts agree that many symptoms can decrease in severity and some may even disappear with a change in diet learn more here. Supplements that have been shown to benefit those with autism and how to ensure your autistic child takes the supplements without having a battle on your hands. 6 tips for a successful supplementation program these tips will help you cut costs and ensure that your child adjusts to the program quickly and easily. How to cope with the stress of raising a child with autism this information will have you feeling better and more relaxed than you have in years. How to ensure the safety of a a child with autism follow these 12 simple tips and your childs safety is practically guaranteed. How to ensure the education needs of your child with autism are being met including seven questions that you should always ask your childs school. How to deal with an adolescent with autism follow these tips to safely navigate your way through this difficult time in anyones life. Read more...

The Essential Guide to Autism Summary

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Author: Rachel Evans
Official Website: www.essential-guide-to-autism.com
Price: $37.77

Autism And Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Autism is a heterogeneous, pervasive developmental disorder (118). Markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication skills are evident in the first 3 years. Patients are often described as either passive or overly irritable as infants, and they fail to anticipate being picked up. Dysfunctional behaviors may start to appear, such as self-stimulatory behaviors (i.e., repetitive, non-goal-directed behavior such as rocking or hand flapping), self-injury, sleeping and eating problems, poor eye contact, insensitivity to pain, hyperactivity, and attention deficits (119, 120). More than a third, 41.9 , fall in the severe to profound range of mental retardation (121). However, cognitive skills in individuals with autism may show uneven development. sclerosis, fragile X, and Rett syndrome, though an etiology is not determined in up to 90 (122). Researchers have located several brain abnormalities in individuals with autism however, the reasons for these...


Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by abnormalities in communication, social interaction, and by restricted repetitive activities. This condition was first described by Kanner,49 who named it infantile autism. About 25 of autistic children normally develop seizures about the time of adolescence. Park,48 in his report of analysis of retrospective data from the VNS Therapy patient outcome registry (Cyberonics, Inc Houston, TX, USA) for 59 persons with autism, found that 58 of the patients with autism (mean age of implantation12.4 7.7 years) experienced at least a 50 reduction in seizure frequency at 12 months. Improvements in all areas of quality of life (QoL) monitored were reported for most patients, particularly for alertness (76 at 12 months). The physicians reported more than half of the patients to be better in the areas of achievement (53 ), mood (61 ), postictal period (58 ), and seizure clustering (53 ). Interestingly, the authors noticed that the...

Multiple Network Parameters Change During Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders, including epilepsy, depression and autism, are thought to be caused by multiple genetic and environmental factors and are associated with a wide range of cellular and synaptic changes within particular brain regions. For epilepsy, the causes are often known, including hypoxia, stroke, infection and head trauma, but the mechanisms by which these insults cause epilepsy are poorly understood. Idiopathic epilepsies, which are mainly generalized, are thought to arise primarily from genetic factors, but the genes involved are often unknown. However, in some rare monogenic cases, epilepsy can be linked directly to mutations in specific channels (channelopathies), including sodium, potassium, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate channels (Chang and Lowenstein, 2003 Berkovic et al., 2006). While this provides some insight into the underlying mechanisms, even for these simplest cases, where a generalized seizure can be linked to mutations in single genes, such as...

Note on Concomitant Psychiatric Disorder

It is often stated that epilepsy, especially chronic epilepsy, carries a risk of associated psychiatric disorder. This is particularly true for the association with psychosis, which according to Krishnamoorthy31 is 10 times greater than in the general population. Quite separately, people with ID are said to have higher rates of mental health problems than the rest of the population, often stated as three to five times greater than expected, with some studies showing very significantly greater risk for schizophrenia.32 As Krishnamoorthy noted in a further review,33 the literature on psychopathology among subjects with epilepsy and ID is sparse and contradictory. Nevertheless, Scandinavian population-based studies once again give the clearest picture. In the Goteborg children's study it was found that 59 of those with ID and active epilepsy had at least one psychiatric diagnosis, including 38 with autism spectrum disorders. The authors felt that these observed figures were possibly...

Genetics Of Eeg Abnormalities

Recent research using advances in genome scanning technology have shed light in characterizing structural variations in human DNA that are 1 Kb to 3 Mb in size along the human genome. These copy number variations (CNV) occur at high frequencies when compared to other classes of cytogenetically detected variations. These variants, existing in a heterozygous state, lie between neutral polymorphisms and lethal mutations. Their position may directly interrupt genes or may influence neighboring gene function by virtue of a position effect. These CNVs or copy number polymorphisms (CNPs) are capable of influencing biochemical, morphologic, physiologic, and pathologic processes, thus yielding potentially new mechanisms to explain diversity in human genetic diseases. CNVs and CNPs have been used to identify genetic susceptibility loci and potential candidate genes successfully for complex genetic disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and severe speech and language disorder (25, 26). It is...

Treatment and outcome

It was subsequently possible to discontinue both the acetazolamide and the valproate, leaving him on carbamazepine monotherapy. By the age of 19 years, he typically had no more than one seizure a year and the EEG showed only a nonspecific excess of slow wave activity with occasional right-sided sharp waves of dubious significance. Although he enjoyed social interaction and derived great pleasure from interacting with his parents and carers, he was markedly eccentric. The intonation and content of his speech was typical of an individual with Asperger syndrome. He had developed many skills of daily living but continued to require a moderate degree of supervision to enable him to live within society. This patient's initial presentation at 6.5 years was striking both because of gross attention-deficit disorder and overactivity and because of the autistic features. It appears that both of these clinical disorders were the result of frequent epileptiform discharges that were fragmenting his...

Postvaccination encephalopathy

The possible role of vaccination (particularly pertussis vaccination) in causing a childhood encephalopathy and subsequent epilepsy and learning disability has been the subject of intense study, with contradictory claims. The UK National Childhood Encephalopathy Study found that children hospitalized with seizures and encephalopathy were more likely to have received diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccination in the previous 7 days than control children. However, the potential methodological bias of this study has been severely criticized. A more recent large series of 368,000 children after immunization found no difference in rates of epilepsy when compared with controls. Similarly, suggestions that mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccine increases the risks of autism and epilepsy are now thought to be unfounded. Most vaccines are now not prepared from infected live neural tissue and as a result there has been a significant reduction in post-vaccination encephalomyelitits....

Diagnostic Evaluation Aims and Questions to be Answered

As part of the ongoing assessment of epilepsy, other associated disorders should be identified by the clinical examination. These can affect the occurrence and the course of epilepsies in persons with ID (see Chapter 3). For example, epilepsy is one of the most common disorders associated with cerebral palsy (CP). Population-based studies and clinical series revealed a ratio of 30-40 of concomitant epilepsy in children with CP. Epilepsy is significantly more common in patients with severe CP and with ID.42 Epilepsy in hemiplegic CP can be difficult to treat in many cases.43 In autistic persons the chance of experiencing an unprovoked seizure is substantially higher than in the general population (up to 39 in autism). There is an elevation in risk in early childhood and another subsequent increase in adolescence in autistic persons, i.e., a bimodal age distribution of epilepsy incidence.44,45

Clinical Manifestations

The classical features of LKS are a verbal auditory agnosia (word deafness) followed by language regression, seizures, or both in a previously normal child who has an epileptiform EEG. An important corollary is normal hearing, because a central disorder cannot be diagnosed in the presence of peripheral dysfunction. Children with sleep-activated epileptiform activity without the classic features of LKS have been referred to as children with LKS variant (28). These variants include children with involvement of more anterior language areas with dysfunction characterized by oral-motor apraxia, sialorhea, seizures, and an abnormal EEG (29), referred to as anterior LKS children with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD, autism) with language regression and abnormal EEGs (30-32) and children with congenital aphasias (33), also called developmental language disorders, with or without clinical regression but with epileptiform EEGs, also referred to as developmental LKS.

Tuberous sclerosis

Epilepsy is the presenting symptom in 80 or more of patients. It can take the form of neonatal seizures, West syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or as adult onset partial or generalized seizures. About two-thirds of patients present with seizures before the age of 2 years, with motor seizures, drop attacks or infantile spasms. About 25 of all cases of West syndrome are due to tuberous sclerosis. The skin is abnormal in almost all patients, and skin lesions include hypomelanotic macules (87-100 of patients), facial angiofibromas (47-90 ), shagreen patches (20-80 ), fibrous facial plaques, and subungual fibromas (17-87 ). The facial angiofibromas cause disfigurement, but none of the skin lesions result in more serious medical problems. CNS tumours are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The brain lesions can be distinguished on the basis of MRI studies and comprise subependymal glial nodules (90 of cases), cortical tubers (70 of cases), and subependymal giant cell astrocytomas...

Fragile X syndrome

Fragile X syndrome is a condition due to an increased number of CGG repeats (typically more than 200) in the FMR1 gene (at Xq27.3) accompanied by aberrant methylation of the gene. It is an X-linked condition in which the presenting symptom is usually mental retardation, which is moderate in affected males and mild in affected females. Fragile X syndrome occurs in about 1 in 4000 male births and is the most common identified cause of mental retardation. Carrier rates in females (CAG repeats of approx 50-200) may be as high as 1 in 250, with some geographical and racial variation. Developmental delay is noticed from infancy, and manifests with abnormalities of speech, abnormal behaviour typically with tantrums, hyperactivity and autism. Dysmorphic features include abnormal craniofacies, with typically a long face, prominent forehead, large ears and prominent jaw. After puberty macro-orchidism, strabismus and rather abnormal behaviour are evident. Heterozygotic females show a milder but...


Patients with TSC have a high prevalence of cognitive and behavioral difficulties, including autism Infantile spasms and early intractable epilepsy may increase this risk, and side effects of polytherapy with antiepileptic medications may play a role Many patients may respond to medical management with antiepileptic medications however, up to 40 of patients with early onset seizures may prove medically refractory. Epilepsy surgery may render more than 50 of appropriately selected patients seizure free A recent meta-analysis found that tonic seizures and moderate or severe intellectual disability were significant risk factors for seizure recurrence following surgery. For those that are not appropriate candidates, ketogenic diet or vagus nerve stimulation should be considered

Figure 112

Febrile seizures. J Child Neurol 2002 17 Suppl 1 S44-S52. Ballaban-Gil K, Tuchman R. Epilepsy and epileptiform EEG association with autism and language disorders. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev 2000 6(4) 300-308. 22. Filipek PA, Accardo PJ, Ashwal S, Baranek GT, et al. Practice parameter screening and diagnosis of autism report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. Neurology 2000 55(4) 468-479. 23. Danielsson S, Gillberg IC, Billstedt E, Gillberg C, et al. Epilepsy in young adults with autism a prospective population-based follow-up study of 120 individuals diagnosed in childhood.

Clinical features

In its purest form, LKS is aptly characterized by its alternative descriptive name, acquired epileptic aphasia . Most commonly, the child has normal speech and language development until the onset of aphasic features between the age of 3 and 8 years . The pace of language deterioration is highly variable, with some children demonstrating slowly progressive changes, whereas others may experience a rapidly progressive or stepwise course over a period of just a few weeks . Classically, the aphasic features consist of a verbal auditory agnosia, in which decoding of verbal stimuli is most severely impaired . However, there is great variability, with some patients completely aphasic and mute in the most severe forms of the syndrome There may be coexisting behavioral problems, such as attention and mood disturbances Impairment of socialization may lead to a diagnosis of autism in some patients

Figure 241

Although a genetic predisposition was questioned, there is no strong evidence to support such predilection (46). The response of the epileptiform discharges to corticoste-roids raised the question of an autoimmune pathogenesis at least in a subset of patients including central nervous system (CNS) vasculitis or demyelination. IgG and IgM antibodies to brain endothelial cells have been identified in these disorders (28, 47), with higher levels in the patients than in controls. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), BDNF autoantibodies, and IgM and IgG antibodies were elevated in some children with autism and childhood dis-integrative disorder (CDD). The authors concluded that these findings suggest a previously unrecognized interaction between the immune system and BDNF (47). Autoantibod-ies to rat brain auditory cortex, brainstem, and cerebellum have been identified in children with LKS (48).

The ketogenic diet

The effects on epilepsy can be dramatic. Early studies in the 1920s and 1930s consistently showed impressive results, and these have been largely confirmed in more recent investigations carried out to modern standards. A recent study from Johns Hopkins University showed, at 1 year, a reduction in seizures of more than 50 in 50 of 150 treated children, and a reduction of more than 90 in 27 . At 3 -6 years, 44 maintained the improvement. The use of the diet allows a reduction of adjunctive drug therapy, which is an added benefit. Other benefits of the diet include improvement in behaviour in those with and without autism. The diet can be given for months or years. A typical period of treatment is 1-2 years, if the diet proves initially successful. About 10 of children maintain the diet for 4 or more years, and one patient is reported who has maintained the diet for 15 years with no major side-effects. Discontinuation of the diet should take place gradually over 3-6 months.

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Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.

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