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.

 

 

Most States Failing To Meet Requirements Under IDEA

Source: Disability Scoop

Fewer than half of states are meeting their obligations to properly serve students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education says.

In an annual review of performance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, federal officials found that just 21 states deserved the designation of “meets requirements” for the 2017-2018 school year.

The remaining states were classified as “needs assistance.” Click here to read the rest of the story.

Spinal Cord Injuries-Data and Statistics

Facts and Statistics
  • Each year, around the world, between 250,000 and 500,000 people suffer from a spinal cord injury.
  • The majority of spinal cord injuries are due to preventable causes such as road traffic crashes, falls or violence.
  • Spinal cord injury is associated with lower rates of school enrollment and economic participation.

Spinal Cord Injuries Are Most Commonly caused by:

 

Age of Injury

The average age of injury has increased from 20 years during the 1970’s to currently 42 years of age.

Gender

Males account for approximately 80% of new spinal cord injury cases.

Life Expectancies

Life expectancies for persons with SCI continue to increase, but are still somewhat below life expectancies.

 

References

Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention Care and Cure

National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center

Spinal Cord Injury News Blog

World Health Organization

Dysgraphia and Workplace Accommodations

Some might be surprised to learn that there are several types of learning disabilities. Dysgraphia is describes as a learning disability that affects writing, spelling and fine motor skills. Dysgraphia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can occur as a stand alone disorder or part of a co-occurring disorder with other disabilities such as ADHD, Autism, and Dyslexia. Typically it is diagnosed or discovered in the early years when children are beginning to learn how to write. Most adults often remain undiagnosed.

Early Signs of Dysgraphia

Signs and symptoms of dysgraphia generally begin to show up when children began to lean how to write. Early signs of Dysgraphia include:

  • Inconsistent spacing between letters
  • Poor spatial planning
  • Poor spelling
  • Unable to read own handwriting
  • Poor fine motor skills
  • Omitted words
  • Writes slow
  • Pain in hand from writing
  • Messy unorganized papers
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts on paper
  • Illegible printing and cursive letter formation
  • Slopping handwriting
  • Tight, cramped pencil grip
  • Tires quickly when writing
  • mixes upper and lower case or irregular sizes and shapes of letters.

Download a free dysgraphia checklist

Signs and Symptoms in the Workplace

A early signs that rarely disappears is having a “sloppy” handwriting. The person when writing leaves out letters at the end of a sentence, difficulty reading own handwriting after meetings, trouble with filling out routine forms, displays unorganized papers on the desk, difficulty thinking and writing at the same time and tends to mixes upper and lower case letters when writing. The person will also avoid writing when possible and show a preference to using a computer or texting neatness, line spacing, staying inside margins and capitalization rules.

Strategies to Use in the Workplace
  1. If you have a smart phone, you can use the device to record meetings, interviews or instructions that are given to you.
  2. Assitive technology such as tablets, computers and Apps are also useful in transcribing information
  3. Take the time to organize your desk before you leave work in the evening. Prioritize your workflow and create a plan for the next day.
  4. Pre-write. Before you take on the task of writing, create an outline on paper.