Published By: Delaware
Written By Dennis Assanis and James Mahoney
Innovation drives the future, and neurodiversity can help drive innovation.
In pursuit of the next great technology, product or enterprise, organizations often lose sight of the fact that innovation starts with people. And the most inventive breakthroughs and outcomes don’t just emerge from anywhere; they evolve from communities of creative thinkers who typify diversity and inclusiveness.
Neurodiversity is the idea that people with autism and other neurological differences are a natural part of the typical range of human mental ability and that, as such, they may need guidance, accommodations and individualized treatments — not cures or one-size-fits-all therapies — to navigate traditional society. As a result, a growing number of schools and workplaces are beginning to embrace this perspective, not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it can translate into a huge benefit for the entire organization on many levels. Click here to read the rest of the story
For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), head banging is a common way to self-soothe and communicate needs. Both neurotypical and autistic babies and toddlers seek to recreate the rhythm that stimulated their vestibular system while in utero. Other rhythmic habits that fuel a child’s kinesthetic drive include head rolling, body rocking, biting, and thumb sucking. According to Dr. Harvey Karp MD, rhythmic habits trigger the calming reflex in infants and toddlers. Many babies begin head banging around six months of age, but neurotypical children usually will not continue the behavior after the age of three. Please click here to read the rest of the story.
Local researchers have turned up an interesting connection between autism and obesity in children.
Teams at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, and six others centers found that kids with developmental delays, including autism, were up to 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese.
And the more severe the symptoms, the greater the chance of being obese.
Doctors don’t know yet why these kids become overweight. It could be due to endocrine disorders, side effects from medication, picky eating, or other factors. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Published By: Forbes Magazine
Written By: Denise Brodey
People with disabilities, now the largest minority group in this country, are largely misunderstood by business leaders, managers, and well, a lot of people. And at the same time, C-suite executives are actively looking for ways to remove disability bias and lessen the employment gap. But disability advocates say the research and statistics on people’s understanding of the disability community are still dismal. How do we meet in the middle? How do we have the tough conversations that will inspire both sides?
How can we all go the extra mile? Click here to read the rest of the story
Developed in 1985 by Andy Bondy, PHD and Lori Frost, MS, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) allows individuals with little or no communication the ability to do so using pictures. The approach includes a person giving them a picture in exchange of an item. PECS teaches functional communication and includes 6 phases.
How to communicate. In the first phase, the individual learns to exchange a single picture for an item or activity they want.
Distance and persistence. The individual learns to generalize by using the picture with different people.
Picture discrimination. The individual learns to select from two or more pictures to ask for something.
Sentence structure. Individuals learn to construct simple sentences on a detachable sentence strip
Responsive requesting. Individuals use PECS to answer wh questions.
Commenting. individuals are taught to comment in response to questions.
The following links below include articles and additional information on the PECS system.
Published by: Fragile X News Today
Written by: Vijaya Iyer
Social anxiety and autistic traits are prevalent in males with fragile X syndrome and these behaviors overlap with those observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) without a known genetic syndrome, a study reports.
The overlap of traits between the two clinical subgroups makes their measurement extremely challenging, researchers said.
The study, “Biobehavioral composite of social aspects of anxiety in young adults with fragile X syndrome contrasted to autism spectrum disorder,” was published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics. Click here to read the rest of the story
Published by: Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism
Written by: “Seeking Sara”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been ashamed of what I do and don’t eat. The stigma of being a “picky eater” has followed me my whole life, bringing comments (and no small amount of exasperation) from family, friends, wait staff, and strangers.
I’ve recently been examining why I struggle with certain foods, and have come to the same conclusion as I have with much of my post-autism-diagnosis self-exploration: I’m actually incredibly strong, and my experiences are real and valid.
Why am I so “picky”? Well, if you could experience my senses for a few hours, I bet you’d be more understanding, less judgmental, and I’m fairly certain you’d stop using the word “picky” pretty quickly.
Often times, I want desperately to like a food, to be able to order anything at random, or to just eat whatever is put in front of me without hesitation. But for me, food is almost always a relentlessly overpowering experience. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Sequence is defined as a set of related events, movements, or things that follow each other in a particular order. For many children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities, the ability to arrange thoughts, information and language may be a challenge due to issues with their executive function capabilities. The following resources, tips and strategies will help you teach sequencing skills.
Tactile difficulties occur when the nervous system dysfunctions and the brain is unable to process information through the senses. Some children and adults with this form of sensory processing disorder will be over sensitive to touch. Between 5 to 13 percent of the population is diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.
Common Signs of Tactile Difficulties
Difficulty with having nails cut or teeth brushed
Becomes upset when hair is washed
Dislikes any clothing with tags including clothes, hats, shoes, and complains about the type of fabric and the style
Dislikes getting their hands dirty or messy
Overreacts when they are touched by other people
Oversensitive to temperature change
Over or under reacts to pain
Prefers deep pressure touch rather than light touch
Avoids messy textures
Prefers pants and long sleeves in hot weather
Eyes may be sensitive to cold wind
Avoids walking barefoot
Avoids standing close to other people
May be anxious when physically close to other people
Strategies for Handling Tactile Defensiveness
Use deep pressure
use weighted items including blankets, vest and backpacks
Seek out an OT
Utilize a sensory diet
Minimize time expected to stand and wait in line by having the child go first or last in line
Allow the child to wear a jacket indoors
Encourage the child to brush his or her body with a natural brush during bath time
Studies show that epilepsy are more common in individuals with autism than the general population. Studies show that in some cases, 20% of people diagnosed with autism also have an epilepsy disorder. Other studies indicate epilepsy prevalence estimates between 5% to 46%.
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.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder which occurs when neurons in the brain experience a brief interruption causing a seizure to occur. Seizures vary from mild to severe and affects over 3 million Americans. There are different types of seizures:
Generalized Tonic/Clonic- A seizures where the whole brain is affected.
Absence Seizures- Generally start without any warnings. It affects children and last only for a few seconds.
Myoclonic Seizures- Are abrupt jerks of the muscle groups which originate from the spine.
Partial Seizures- The person may look as though he or she is in a trance.
There are many unanswered questions as to why epilepsy is more common in people with autism. There is some evidence the common underlying cause may be both are related to genetic and environmental causes and are both related to some type of brain disorder. Evidence does shoe however individuals with autism and epilepsy have worse behavioral and social outcomes than individuals diagnosed with autism only including issues with motor and daily living skills.
Signs for parents to look out for
May be difficult to determine especially in children diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder. Red flags include, staring episodes, stiffening of the body and shaking movements.
A medical evaluation will include brain imaging and an electroencephalogram (EEG).
If you are an educator, be aware that after a seizure, the student will become tired. Allow the student an opportunity to rest.