Published by: Spectrum
Written by: Nicholette Zeliadt
Traits linked to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tend to co-occur even in adulthood, according to one of the first studies of the traits in that age group1.
The results extend support for the idea that autism and ADHD are intrinsically linked — a notion that is largely based on studies of children.
“Not much is known about the transition from later adolescence into adulthood with regard to autism and ADHD,” says lead investigator Ralf Kuja-Halkola, a statistician at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Did you know that there are seizures that are not due to epilepsy? Since November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share information on non-epileptic seizures. It is especially important to know about non-epileptic seizures since 1 in 5 people diagnosed are later found to have non-epileptic seizures.
What is a Non-Epileptic Seizure?
A non-epileptic seizure displays characteristics similar to epilepsy seizures by mimicking similar signs and symptoms including control over their body through shaking movements, blacking out and falling. From the outside, the signs look similar however, the causes are quite different. Non-epileptic seizures, also known as non-epileptic attack disorders (NEAD) tend to resemble a seizure however, they are not caused by electrical impulses in the brain, rather it may be due to an overload of stress including a death in the family, abuse and past painful experiences, causing some to have difficulty handling thoughts and memories in the brain.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
While the signs differ for each person, a common sign mirrors tonic-clonic seizures involving similar movement including the shaking of the arms, legs and head. Small differences include the person tends to have their eyes closed during the attack which generally last longer than an epileptic seizure.
Who is likely to have a non-epileptic seizure?
Although non-epilepsy seizures can occur to anyone, at any age, studies found people with non-epileptic seizures are:
- More common in women
- More common in people experiencing depression and anxiety
- Likely to occur to people who experience an emotional, stressful event
- More likely to start in young adults.
Diagnosing Non-Epileptic Seizures
The most effective way for neurologist to diagnose a non-epileptic seizure is through a series of test including personal history, medical history and an electroencephalogram (EEG) used to detect abnormal electrical discharges (would not show up in a person diagnosed with non-epileptic seizures).
Treatment is based on the cause of the seizures. Options may include:
- Medication (antidepressants)
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
What is Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome?
Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that is the result of a ring that develops when a chromosome breaks in two places and the short arm of a chromosome has merged with the tip of the long arm.
This anomaly causes recurrent seizures during childhood. It is reported that the seizure can occur at anytime from during the day time to sleeping at night, it is very rare. In fact only 50 cases have been reported in research journals. However, this form of epilepsy can occur from birth to 17 years old.
What makes this rare form of seizures unique is that it does not respond to anti-epileptic medication. Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) tends to be successful as well as the Ketogenic diet in reducing the number of seizures.
Children diagnosed with Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome typically experience several types of seizures including:
- Focal seizure
- Non-convulsive status epilepticus
- Frontal lobe seizures
- Tonic seizures
- Generalized tonic-clonic seizures
Signs and Symptoms
Children with Ring Chromosome 20 Syndrome generally face challenges in the area of behavioral, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. In some instances, children may display physical characteristics including slow growth, short stature and a small size head.
Signs and Symptoms of Intellectual Disability
- Decrease learning ability
- Delays in crawling
- Difficulty solving problems
- Lack of curiosity
- Language and speech delays
- Poor motor skills
- Short attention span
- Use short and simple sentences
- Repeat directions
- use strategies for remembering such as clustering information together
- Provide immediate feedback
Signs and Symptoms of learning disabilities
- Difficulty recognizing non-verbal cues such as facial expression
- Fine motor skills difficulty
- Weak visual discrimination abilities.
- Use a multi-sensory approach
- Break into small steps
- use probing techniques
- use diagrams and pictures.
Genetics Home Reference
Rare Chromosome Organization
Source: Meraki Lane
If you’re looking strategies and products that help with autism and noise sensitivity, you’ve come to the right place.
While no two children with autism are the same, and the range and intensity of symptoms varies from person to person, certain characteristics tend to stand out when interacting with children on the autism spectrum. Communication challenges, an inability to express emotions and understand the emotions of others, difficulty with transitions, poor impulse control, and problems with self-regulation are all common struggles for kids on the spectrum. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Since President Trump’s, election, there has been a vigorous interest in politics not only in the United States but also in other countries as well. The upcoming mid-term elections provides an opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities to participate through a lesson plan created not only on the upcoming election, but also ways to get individuals more involved on topics and platforms that impact their lives.
Sadly, I have heard very little from politicians on issues concerning people with disabilities and the impact it will have on people with disabilities and their families. This affords an opportunity to have real discussion with people on issues that are important to them through a series of multisensory activities.
- Who doesn’t like a game of bingo? Download the bingo template, make as many copies as you wish and set up an activity playing Bingo. Once you call out a name. use it as an opportunity to have discussion i.e. How would you describe a conservative? When is the election held? Below, click on the template
2. The second activity includes a week-long lesson plan on election and representative in office using a multisensory approach. The first day is set up for making an apple smoothie and a trip preparation activities allowing individuals to work on their social and money management skills. I left the lesson plan editable so that you can move activities around as you wish.
Materials Needed for the lesson plan activities
Mock Voter Registration
mock voter registration
Apple Smoothie Recipe
Apple Smoothie Recipe
Caramel Apple Smoothie
Patriotic Printable Paper Chain
Free patriotic printable chain
Patriotic paper chain with needed supplies
Oh, this is also a great activity to use a home or school for students at the high school level.
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability. It is defined as language-based learning disability. Research shows that 1 in 5 people are dyslexic. It is a myth that people with dyslexia see words backwards, rather, letters such as b-d are reversed due tp deficits interpreting left and right. The best way for children to learn to read is through a multi-sensory approach. The following links include tips, strategies and ways to accommodate a student with dyslexia.
12 tips to help kids with dyslexia learn sight words
A dyslexic child in the classroom
Accommodating students with dyslexia in a classroom setting
Dyslexia in the classroom: What every teacher needs to know
Helping your student with dyslexia learn to read
How teachers can accommodate the dyslexic student
Strategies for teachers
Teaching students with dyslexia: 4 effective lesson plans
From job opportunities to personal income to marital relationships, there’s hardly an area in which American women haven’t made great strides in recent decades. But when it comes to getting diagnosed with and treated for ADHD, women still have a long way to go.
ADHD in Women
Women are as likely as men to have ADHD, and the latest research suggests that ADHD in women causes even greater emotional turmoil. Yet ADHD is still thought of as something that affects only men and boys. Consequently, women with ADHD are more likely than men to go undiagnosed (or misdiagnosed), and less likely to receive appropriate treatment. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Candy is not the only great thing about Halloween. It is a chance to work on fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination while having fun at the same time. From ghosts to witches, there are a number of activities you child or student can do that will help increase fine motor skills. For some children and adults with disabilities, struggle with fine motor skills. These activities are a chance to improve the coordination between the brain and the muscles including dexterity and motor control. Click on the links below.
Easy Halloween fine motor activity
Eyeball sensory bag
Feed the spider
Frankenstein monster pumpkin
Halloween fine motor: Giant lacing spiderweb
Halloween fine motor activities for preschool
Halloween fine motor activities that promote cutting practice
Halloween mask to print and color
Halloween Play Dough
Halloween themed cutting tray
Scissor skill pumpkins
Spider web yarn
Yarn wrapped spider craft for halloween
October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Spina Bifida is a birth defect that affects the spine and the spinal cord. The membranes surrounding the spinal cord do not close properly.
Facts and Statistics
- Each year, about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida.
- There is no known cause
- Accumulation of fluid in the brain affects 70% of children.
- 40% of shunts fail or become in affected and need to be changed within a year.
- It can happen anywhere along the spine if the neural tube does not close all the way.
- Spina Bifida might cause physical and intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe depending on the size and location of the opening in the spine.
- Myelomeningocele is the most serious type of spina bifida.
- Spina Bifida can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after the baby is born.
- Some people with Spina Bifida may never experience symptoms
- Spina Bifida occurs between the 3rd and 4th week of pregnancy.
- Children with Spina Bifida may have difficulty with math, reading comprehension and learning.
- Common challenges to learning include, fine and gross motor skills, spatial orientation, communication difficulties and attention and memory.
- Some children with Spina Bifida also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Hispanic women have the highest rate of having a child affected by spina bifida, when compared with non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black women. Data from 12 state-based birth defects tracking programs from 1997-2007 were used to estimate the total number of pregnancies affected by spina bifida compared to the total number of live births (also called the prevalence of spina bifida) for each racial/ethnic group:
- Hispanic: 3.80 per 10,000 live births
- Non-Hispanic black or African-American: 2.73 per 10,000 live births
- Non-Hispanic white: 3.09 per 10,000 live births
March of Dimes
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: 914-997-4488; 888-MODIMES (663-4637)
Spina Bifida Association
4590 MacArthur Blvd. NW
Washington, DC 20007-4266
Tel: 202-944-3285; 800-621-3141
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia