Why Recognizing Dyslexia In Children At School Can Be Difficult

Published by: KQED
Written by: Holly Korbey

When Anna and Chris Thorsen of Nashville sat down for the first parent-teacher conference of their daughter Clara’s second-grade year, they weren’t surprised to hear that Clara was having trouble telling time. Her teacher also said that Clara seemed to learn something one day, then forget it the next; her writing was poor and slanted upward, no matter how hard she tried.

“My husband starts to smile and reaches over and pets my arm, because in that moment, we both know Clara has dyslexia. There’s no question,” said Anna Thorsen.

Thorsen knows something about dyslexia herself, having struggled through school, and having been diagnosed with it at age 27. “It was almost like her teacher was ticking through a dyslexia checklist and didn’t know it.”

In many children with dyslexia, a neurobiological condition in which the brain fails to read words or letters, a lack of swift and intensive intervention can result in reading failure as well as psychological difficulties for the child. When the Thorsens came home from the conference, they decided to get Clara tested immediately and then decide the next steps. Click here to read the rest of the story. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Autism and Sleep Disorders

Autism Spectrum Disorders is characterized as a neurodevelopmental disorder that are a group of conditions with onset in the developmental period that produces impairments in the area of social communication, reciprocal social action as well as repetitive and stereotyped behaviors and interest.

It is a spectrum meaning it varies from person to person with varying co-disorders including sleep.

Studies show that children with sleep disorders experience insomnia and sleep issues at a higher rate than children without autism.

Interviewed parents reported showed that 53% of children with ASD have difficulty sleeping including difficulty falling asleep(23),frequent awakening(19) and early morning wakening (11). Sleep disturbance included bedtime resistance, insomnia, breathing issues while sleeping, morning arising issues and daytime sleepiness. There is also evidence that children with autism spectrum disorder are reported to experience high levels of Parasomnias, defined as a group of sleep disorders involving unwanted events displayed by complexed behaviors during sleep. This includes:

  • Bed Wetting
  • Sleep Hallucination
  • Nightmares
  • Night Terrors
  • Sleep Walking

Sleep disturbance fin autism falls into one of the following categories:

  1. difficulty falling asleep
  2. night walking
  3. early walking
  4. night terrors

The Impact of Sleep

Lack of sleep for an autistic child and adult presents additional challenges. Studies show the lack of sleep can increase issues with repetitive behaviors, fatigued parents, increase anxiety and depression and increase cognitive issues. this decreases the quality of life for the person during daytime. In school, the child may have difficulty staying awake, regulating emotions and an increase in hyperactivity, aggression and poor appetite.  As children become adults, it is possible for the issue of sleeping to increase. there is evidence that autistic adults continue to have issues with insomnia and sleepwalking.

Causes

  • Psychiatric comorbidities including anxiety, behavior problems, and hyperactivity
  • Genetic Mutations including serotonin and melatonin which has been described as an important factor in the sleep-wake cycle. Studies have found abnormal melatonin in people with ASD.

Tips for Improving Sleep

  1. Create a regular bedtime routine including using a visual cue which will help the child or adult prepare for bed.
  2. Make sure the bedroom is comfortable including using  a dim light in the bedroom and blackout blinds. Also ensure the temperature in the room is comfortable
  3. Quiet activities. Plan for quiet play before bed which allows the person to relax. This can include reading, puzzles, or a craft activity.

Reference

Updated 4/7/21

 

 

Many On The Spectrum Have Sensory Processing Disorder. Here’s What You Need to Know

Published by: The Autism Site

With 5% to 16% of children affected by Sensory Processing Disorder in some way, it’s clear that this disorder isn’t limited just to children on the autism spectrum, though it is common with these kids. Children affected by SPD endure chronic disruptions and difficulties with the challenges of everyday life. However, as science learns more about what causes SPD, therapies and interventions make it possible to help affected kids learn to cope and thrive.

What Is SPD?

SPD occurs when the brain interprets all sensory input coming through vision, taste, touch, hearing, and smell as being equally important. When this occurs, the child experiencing it is typically overloaded. Some neuroscientists liken SPD to a traffic jam in which all the sensory input being processed by the brain just stops. Click here to read the rest of the story.

April 2 is World Autism Day

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts social, speech, behavioral and motor skills. It is a spectrum disorder meaning it varies from person to person. No two people have the same symptoms. It is estimated that 1% of the population is diagnosed with autism.

The United Nations proclaims April 2 as World Autism Day in an effort to recognize and promote awareness by bringing worldwide attention to issues facing people with autism.

Worldwide 1 in 160 children is autistic

The prevalence of autism in Africa is unknown

1 percent of the world population is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births

1 in 42 boys are diagnosed with autism

1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism

100 individuals are diagnosed everyday

More than 3.3 million Americans live with autism spectrum disorder

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability

Autism services cost the United States citizens 236-262 billion annually

Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on an average

Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism

Autism generally appears before the age of 3

40% of children with autism do not speak

25-30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months, and then lose them.

Studies in Asia, Europe, and North American have identified individuals with ASD  with an average prevalence of between 1% and 2%.

About 1 in 6 children diagnosed with autism also have a developmental disability.

Parents who have a child with ASD have a 2%-18% chance of having a second child diagnosed with autism

Almost half (44%) of children diagnosed with ASD has average to above average intellectual ability.

ASD commonly co-occurs with other developmental, psychiatric, neurological, chromosomal and genetic diagnoses.

Almost half (44%) of children with autism have average to above average intellectual ability.

Autism is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

The UK estimate is 1 in 100 are diagnosed with autism

30-50% of individuals with autism also have seizures.

Autism Spectrum Disorders refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders which includes repetitive patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication, interaction, sensory processing and motor issues.

.In 1943, Leo Kanner dissociated autism from schizophrenia.

Autism is more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.

Accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism due to wandering.

Stimming

  • It is also prevalent among people on the autism spectrum.
  • In fact in many cases, it is part of the diagnosis due to the repetition of stimming.
  • Stimming is often used as a means to self-regulate, self-calm and for self-expression.
  • The movements are repetitive and are used to self-stimulate the 7 senses.
  • It is often described as a repetitive motor behavior that can disrupt academic and social and other activities.
  • One of the theories behind stimming is that beta-endorphrins are released in the brain causing an euphoric feeling which is generally a response to pain.
  • Stimming behavior. based for self-soothing and to help a child or an adult regain emotional balance.
  • Sensory Overload. Too much sensory information can lead to stress, anxiety and eventually a meltdown.

Wandering Statistics

    • Nearly half of children with autism engage in wandering behavior
    • Increased risks are associated with autism severity
    • More than one third of children with autism who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number
    • Half of families report they have never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional
    • Accidental drowning accounts for 71% of lethal outcomes, followed by traffic injuries at 18%
    • Other dangers include dehydration; heat stroke; hypothermia; falls; physical restraint; encounters with strangers
    • Accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism due to wandering.

 

16 people with Autism describe why eye contact can be difficult

Source; The Mighty
Written by: Melissa McGlensey

or some people on the autism spectrum, making eye contact can be a stressful, distracting and sensory-taxing experience. Far too often, though, outsiders view avoiding eye contact as “rude” or “antisocial,” when this isn’t the case at all.

In an effort to better understand how this experience feels for many on the spectrum, The Mighty asked our readers with autism who find eye contact difficult to share a description of what it’s like.

This is what they had to say: 

1. “It’s abstract to me and can be draining. Looking at someone else in the eye means I am taking in everything about them as a person, and I become overloaded. It’s a constant stream of extra sensory or processing information on top of what I’m already trying to sort through in my head. It can disrupt any thought or speaking process I have going on and zaps my energy quickly.” — Laura Spoerl. Click here to read the rest of the story.