Anxiety, Movement Disorders May Increase With Age in Angelman Patients, Study Finds

Anxiety and movement disorders may increase with age in adults with Angelman syndrome, while the prevalence of seizures may decrease, a study suggests.

The results also call into attention the need for better monitoring and treatment, provided by a multidisciplinary medical team, to improve quality of life in the adult Angelman population. That’s because sleeping, gastrointestinal and bone disorders remain a significant issue for many adults with this condition. Read the rest of the story here

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Reducing Stress In Kids


Published by: Stress-Free Kids
Written by: Lori Lite

Children are vulnerable to stress. Thirteen out of one hundred children experience some kind of anxiety disorder and many more are just stressed out! Living a balanced life and reducing stress in kids is a challenge for most families.
With very little effort you can offer your children the tools they need to maintain emotional balance. Consider filling your child’s emotional backpack with solutions and techniques they can use for stress management and relaxation. Kids can be active participants in creating their own healthy, calm lives. Click here to read the rest of the story

 

Surfing as therapy for autism: Ocean Heroes charity helps children find connection


Published by: ABC News
Written by: Eliza Laschon

Learning to surf is proving to be a tonic for children with autism, helping them become calmer and more confident after a morning in the swell on Perth’s coastline with volunteers from a surfing charity.

The organisation was set up by a group of surfing mates last year and parents of children who have participated have been blown away by the positive results.

Judi Barrett-Lennard said her son William had “very low-functioning autism”.

“There’s a huge improvement once he has been in the water,” Mrs Barrett-Lennard said. Click here to read the rest of the story

New report shows slight uptick in autism prevalence

Published by: Spectrum
Written by: Jessica Wright

About 1 in 59 children in the United States has autism, according to data released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Four times as many boys as girls have the condition, according to the report1.

The data are based on a 2014 survey of 325,483 children across 11 states. The data were collected by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM).

These numbers show an increase of nearly 16 percent from the previous prevalence of 1 in 68 children. That estimate was based on data collected in 2012 and had a gender ratio of 4.5 to 1. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

The Importance of Hearing Young People With Autism

Published by: U.K. Youth
Written by: Maya Hattenstone

There are around 700,000  people on the autism spectrum in the UK, many of these are young people and I am one of them. And you don’t hear from us often enough!

Being a young person with autism you can get lost in anxiety; worrying that people are judging you, that you are not accepted, that you sound strange when you talk. Too often we end up silencing ourselves with our self-consciousness.

I was diagnosed with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (a condition on the autism spectrum) when I was seven years old.  People with PDA have communication and social interaction difficulties. I found school life and academic work hard. In fact I found a lot of life hard.

For a long time I didn’t know how to be a voice and didn’t want to be a voice. So, like many autistic people my instinct was to withdraw – into silence in social situations, or simply avoid those awkward situations in the first place. Click here to read the rest of the story

The Exhaustion Of My Life As An Autistic Person

Website: The Mighty

Written by: Violet Haze

One of the hardest things for me to deal with as an autistic person is people not understanding what life is like on a daily basis. Nobody has any idea how much energy goes into ensuring I don’t mess up too badly or that I “get things done” when they need doing. Well, they might, but many people in my life didn’t until I received my diagnosis, and even then, it’s hard for them to understand sometimes.

Ever been so tired after a busy day that you sit down and before you know it, you’re waking up out of nowhere and it’s the next day already… when you weren’t even finished with the day before? This has been my reality since I was young. A few hours of an activity that didn’t involve being at home, and for the next day or even two, I’m so tired I can’t do anything except lay around and sleep. The exhaustion of autism is real and tangible in my everyday life. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Classroom Accommodations for Austistic Students


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a parent who voiced her frustration with her daughter’s school. Although her daughter is diagnosed with autism, she falls on the mild range of the spectrum meaning her deficits are ignored. This becomes challenging for a teacher who may not recognize the signs and symptoms of an autistic child.

Girls, in particular, often develop the ability to disappear in a large group. Imagine the amount of energy it takes to pretend you hold the same characteristics of others.  This leads to both depression and anxiety in children with autism. There are also sensory challenges a student with autism may face including auditory, visual and tactile.

Reading non-verbal cues forces a child and even some autistic adults to work harder everyday which causes exhaustion and can possibly lead to anxiety.

There are a number of ways to accommodate  a student with autism. If you are a teacher, read as much information as you can on autism. each child is different so it will help to get feedback from parents who can help provide the right accommodations.

The following articles provide great information on both modifications and accommodations  which can be put into the child’s IEP:

10 tips for making middle-school work for kids with autism

14 possible IEP accommodations for children with autism/ADHD

20 classroom modifications for students with autism

23 classroom accommodation suggestions for kids with autism and Asperger’s syndrome

Accommodations and supports for school-age students with autism

Asperger syndrome/HFA and the classroom

Common modifications and accommodations

IEP considerations for students with autism spectrum disorder

Recommendations for students with high-functioning autism

Supporting learning in the student with autism

Decoding The Overlap Between Autism and ADHD

Written by: Ricki Rusting

Published By: Spectrum

Every morning, Avigael Wodinsky sets a timer to keep her 12-year-old son, Naftali, on track while he gets dressed for school. “Otherwise,” she says, “he’ll find 57 other things to do on the way to the bathroom.”
Wodinsky says she knew something was different about Naftali from the time he was born, long before his autism diagnosis at 15 months. He lagged behind his twin sister in hitting developmental milestones, and he seemed distant. “When he was an infant and he was feeding, he wouldn’t cry if you took the bottle away from him,” she says. He often sat facing the corner, turning the pages of a picture book over and over again. Although he has above-average intelligence, he did not speak much until he was 4, and even then his speech was often ‘scripted:’ He would repeat phrases and sentences he had heard on television. Read the rest of the story here

Why Are Public Toilets A Challenge For Children and Young People With Autism?

Sign, Bathroom, Restroom, Symbol, Icon
Written By: Natasha Bolger
Published By: Bladder and Bowel UK

Problems with imagination may lead to a lack of ability to know what is going on or what will come next, resulting in inflexibility, difficulty changing routines, fears and anxieties, as well as an inability to transfer a skill learned in one place to another. Therefore, the child may be able to use the toilet at home or at school, but does not understand that they can or should do this in different toilets.

These problems may on their own make public toilets a difficult place for children and young people with autism to be. However, if there are sensory differences, particularly hypersensitivities, which is an increased awareness of different sensory inputs, these may make public toilets a particularly difficult or frightening place to be. It needs to be remembered that sensory problems can make things that most of us do not even notice intrusive or even painful for some people with autism. Read the rest of the story here.

Special Needs Article Resources

The following are helpful articles on a variety of topics from children with disabilities to adults with physical disabilities.


Submitted by: Jennifer McGregor

Explaining special needs to your child: 15 great children’s books– This article provides information on books to help promote understanding and tolerance of children with disabilities. Books include topics on ADHD, autism, visual and physical disabilities and invisible disabilities such as anxieties.

How to Remodel for Accessibility– Includes steps to remodeling your home for wheelchair accessibility

Developing Your Blind Child’s Sleep Schedule– Although this article focuses on the sleep pattern of children who are visually impaired, it is also helpful for children with autism who display an irregular sleeping pattern.

How to Exercise if You Have Limited Mobility– An article that focuses on fitness tips for people with physical disabilities including the three different types of exercises.