When Autism and Anxiety Go Hand in Hand

Source: Lifestyle Yahoo

Written by: Molly D. Dann-Pipinias

Which came first? The anxiety or the autism? For me, anxiety and autism have always gone hand in hand. I have heard from multiple people, including past agoraphobics, that my anxiety is the worst they’ve ever experienced. My anxiety manifests in many different ways. My panic attacks can range from a five-minute crying spree to not being able to breathe correctly for a week. I also have a relatively new type of panic attack that feels like an actual heart attack. I have a lot of trouble with highway driving anxiety as well, especially when I’m going through a difficult time. It can cause me to become disassociated and make me feel unsafe.

When I get anxious, I can get really fixated on things. I need to complete the task or find the object before my anxiety can go away. This can lead me to do the same things over and over again, even when I know it won’t work. I can usually tell when something actually needs to be worried about vs. my irrational anxiety, but I don’t have the capacity to stop the irrational anxiety. Click here to read the rest  of the story

Making the Museum Autism Friendly – best practice from around the world

Source: Museum Next
Written: Charlotte Coates

There are many museums working hard to make Autistic people feel welcome.

Autism is a condition which affects how a person experiences the world around them. Autistic people see, hear and feel the world in a different way to other people.

It is a spectrum condition, and Autistic people are not all the same. All share some difficulties in how they interact with the world. But this affects them in different ways. The amount of support that an Autistic person will need depends on the individual. Having some knowledge of the common challenges they face can help museums learn to support them. Click here to read the rest of the story

Facts and Statistics- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined as a disorder that includes two core symptoms- obsessions and compulsions. According to the Census for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obsessions are defined by:

  • Thoughts, impulses, or images that occur over and over again. These thoughts, impulses or images are unwanted. They cause a lot of anxiety and stress.
  • The person who has these thoughts, impulses or images tries to ignore them or tries to make them go away.

Compulsions are defined as:

  • Repeated behaviors or thoughts over and over again or according to certain rules that must be followed exactly in order to make an obsession go away.
  • The person feels that the purpose of the behaviors or thoughts is to prevent or reduce distress or prevent some feared event or situation.

The following are facts and statistics on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

  • 1.2% of U.S. adults had OCD in the past year.
  • OCD was higher for females (1.8%) than males (0.5%).
  • Among adults with OCD, approximately one half (50.6%) had serious impairment
  • 34.8% of adults with OCD had moderate impairment
  • 14.6% had mild impairment.
  • OCD affects 2.2 million adults
  • The average onset is 19 with 25% of cases occurring by age 14
  • One-third of affected adults first experience symptoms in childhood
  •  17% of autistic people may specifically have OCD
  • Because of similar characteristics, it is often overlooked
  • It affects people of all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability worldwide for individuals between 15 and 44 years of age
  • 1 in 40 adults are affected.
  • 1 in 100 children are affected
  • Other conditions may co-exist with OCD including anxiety, bipolar, ADHD, autism spectrum, Tourette syndrome, and major depressive disorder.
  • Worldwide, OCD is approximately 2% of the general population
  • OCD ranks 10th place among all diseases
  •  1 in every 200 children has the disorder 60 to 70% of OCD children improve significantly with therapy.
  • Many people still hide their OCD behaviors.
Beyond OCD.org
Healthy Place.org
National Institute of Mental Health

Meet the woman fighting to change people’s views of autism

Source: Devonlive
Written by: Charlotte Vowles

Growing up, Heidi Slatter always felt she was different from other children.

Heidi, who lives in Paignton, grew up and went to school in Totnes. Unfortunately for Heidi, school was a traumatic experience, a place where she said she experienced bullying from teachers as well as other pupils. Click here for the rest of the story.

She said: ”I was highly sensitive, intelligent and doing life differently.’

”I had a horrendous time at school. Which has now left me with childhood trauma. I left with no GCSES or qualifications. The school system completely failed me and I suffered intense bullying. I was not being listened to, or got told I was a naughty child.”

Early Signs of Rett Syndrome

Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder occurring mostly in females in which the child exhibits reduced muscle tone, autistic-like behaviors, stereotyped hand movements consisting of wringing and waving. It is a rare disorder that affects about 1 out of 10,000 children and is the most genetic causes of severe intellectual disability in females. Due to similarities to autism and cerebral palsy, it is often misdiagnosed.

Signs similar to autism include outburst, eye contact avoidance, lack of social reciprocity, sensory issues and loss of speech. Signs of Rett syndrome similar to cerebral palsy include short stature, difficulty with walking, gait movement difficulties and delayed ability to walk.

Typically, children born with Rett syndrome develop normally until the age of 6 and 18 months and reach typical development milestones including eye contact, rolling over and grasping objects. As children grow, motor development begins to slow such as walking and muscle movement. The first signs is usually the loss of muscle tone where the child’s arms and legs appear “floppy.”

Other early signs include:

  • Loss of communication abilities
  • Unusual eye movement
  • Breathing problems
  • Irritable and crying often
  • Intellectual disability
  • Seizures
  • Scoliosis
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Irregular heartbeat
More Resources on Rett Syndrome

Over 30 Online Resources on Rett Syndrome

 

How to Handle Food Allergies and Autism Without Going Insane

Published By: Spectrum of Wellness
Written By: Anna Laurab

Do you have a child with both food allergies and autism? If so, it can be doubly challenging and overwhelming at times. However, it is possible to manage both without going nuts. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this:

1. Take inventory of what kind of help and resources you need. I recommend hiring a health coach, or nutritionist to help you with the nutrition and meal planning part. You can of course hire me as a health coach. Check out what I offer on my coaching page. Otherwise I can provide you with referrals for a nutritionist or pretty much anyone or anything you might need. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Thoughts and ideas to support children and adults with autism

Source: Living Autism
Written by: Geoff Evans

One definition of a foundation refers to it being an anchor and providing a solid surface upon which to build.
In a world of quick fixes and instant solutions when supporting individuals with autism we are all at risk of being drawn in to trying interventions and approaches that offer a quick fix or an easy solution without having to do all the hard work of laying the foundations that will help ensure success.
Over many years of working with children and adults with autism I have learnt that what often works is taking time to lay the foundations, that is to ensure we have both the values and best practice in place to support what we do. In this article I explore some of the basics that help provide a firm foundation upon which we can build successful interventions and approaches.

The person with autism has a right to be consulted with and involved in all aspects of living their lives including what approaches and interventions are used

Underpinning all we do should be a commitment to seeking the views and opinions of the person with autism irrespective of their abilities and how autism impacts upon them. Whilst we may take this for granted in the past we might have often put approaches and strategies in place without consulting and actively involving the person with autism and then wondered why they were not successful. I will cover this area in more detail in a future article; however, for now it is worth considering and asking yourself the following:

1. What support and methods can we put in place to enable the person with autism to be fully involved, make comments and make real choices regarding their lives and the support they receive? This can include the use of photographs, symbols, video clips or one of the many Apps that are now available for smart devices. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

Facts and Statistics- Ataxia

Ataxia is a rare disorder that affects both children and adults. I was quite surprise to find that very little statistics have been conducted on ataxia. this may be due to the understanding that Ataxia is not a specific disorder, rather, a condition can cause ataxia including multiple sclerosis, head trauma, cerebral palsy and infections.

Ataxia affects a child’s coordination, balance and speech while some children are born with ataxia as a result of genetics, others develop it in a progressive matter. Signs and symptoms of Acute Cerebellar Ataxia include:

  • Frequent stumbling
  • Impaired coordination affecting arms or legs
  • Unsteady gait
  • Uncontrolled eye movement
  • Difficulty performing fine motor task
  • headaches

The following are facts and statistics on the Ataxia disorder:

  • It is a degenerative disease of the nervous system
  • Symptoms, often mimic being drunk in adults such as slurred speech
  • Age of symptom can vary from childhood to late adulthood
  • rare recessive genetic disorder
  • occurs between 1 out of 40,000 and 1 out of 100,000
  • The word ataxia refers to clumsiness or a loss of balance and coordination
  • The ataxia gene was first identified in 1993
  • Ataxia is inherited
  • Ataxia is a sign of an underlying disorder
  • It is caused by damage to different areas of the central nervous system
  • The most common symptom in children is an unsteady gait
  • In some cases, ataxia can present itself rapid while in others, it is progressive.
  • The most common cause of acute ataxia in children are excessive drug ingestion and drug intoxications
  • There are from 50 to 100 different types of Ataxia.

Autistic Teenager Creates App To Help People On The Spectrum

Source: Forbes
Written by: Nicholas Fearn

An 18-year-old software developer has created an iOS app to help those on the autistic spectrum in their day-to-day lives.

Ethan Shallcross, who has a form of autism and lives in the English town of Torquay, developed Aumi to enable people to manage their anxiety, monitor their mental health and reduce burnout.

“The app has been built with people on the autism spectrum in mind, and his has influenced the design and functionality of the entire app,” he says. “However, it is not just for people on the autism spectrum. People who have high anxiety, are frequently burnt out, or struggle with their mental health may also find it useful.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

Strategies In Training Dyslexic Employees

According to the Learning Disability Online website, It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia which is between 5 to 15% of Americans.

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is also known as a language-based disability. It is defined as difficulties with accurate and word recognition and by poor spelling which can affect reading fluency, reading comprehension, recall, decoding, writing, spelling, and sometime speech. Signs of dyslexia in adults include:

  • Poor spelling
  • Avoids writing task
  • Gifted and creative
  • Difficulty in following oral and written instructions
  • Difficulty staying on task
  • High level of frustration
  • Difficulty in retaining information
  • Test-taking anxiety.
  • Highly curious
  • Insightful
  • Curiosity
  • Good communication of stories read to them

American Disabilities Act

Employees diagnosed with Dyslexia are protected under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination in all employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. It applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities.

Disability Definition

The American Disabilities Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communication and working.

Challenges in training employees with Dyslexia

recalling information

following instructions

May experience anxiety from test-taking

Reading takes longer

Training Strategies

People with dyslexia are visual learners. They learn best by seeing, watching, and observing. When training, use pictures, computers, PowerPoint and text.

Multisensory training helps the employee to use all senses when learning something new on thejob. Multisensory learning should include combining all senses including visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic.

Use demonstration when possible and give feedback whenever possible.

Accomodations

A diagnosis of dyslexia also qualifies under the American Disability Act (ADA).  While some may not want to disclose their diagnosis, It’s always a good idea to make sure each person is comfortable in the training. The following are some suggestions:

  • Asking a participant diagnosed with dyslexia to read out loud can be tricky and make them feel uncomfortable
  • If your organization gives, test, look for alternatives such as allowing time to complete the test longer or giving a test orally.
  • Too much information may be overwhelming. Make sure instructions are clear.