Autism and Mental Health Resources

 

5 ways to help reduce anxiety in children with autism

Anxiety: children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder

How can you support your teenager with autism spectrum disorder if they are depressed

Managing anxiety and depressive symptoms in adults with autism spectrum disorder

Managing anxiety in children with autism

Mental health and autism

Mental heath treatment for people with autism spectrum disorder

The deep emotional ties between depression and autism

The essential guide to anxiety and autism

Treating mental health disorders in kids on the autism spectrum

What is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder?

Did you know that Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is  considered part of Autism Spectrum?

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) is a condition where a child develops normally and achieves appropriate milestones up to the age of 4 and then begins to regress in both developmental and behavioral milestones and lose the skills they already learned. with a loss o skills plateauing around the age of 10.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is rare. It affects 1.7 in 100,000 and affects males at a higher rate than females. It is also known as Heller’s Syndrome and Disintegrative psychosis. The causes are unknown but may be linked to issues with the brain and nervous systems with some researchers suggesting it is some form of childhood dementia.

First discovered by Dr. Theodor Heller in 1908, Dr. Heller began publishing articles on his observation of children’s medical history in which he reported that in certain cases, children who were developing normally began to reverse at a certain age.

Signs and Symptoms

Children begin to show significant losses of earlier acquired skills in at least two of the following areas:

  • Lack of play
  • Loss of language or communication skills
  • Loss of social skills
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Lack of motor skills

The following characteristics also appear:

  • Social interaction
  • Communication
  • Repetitive interests or behaviors

Due to the small number of reported cases, it is included in the broad grouping of autism spectrum disorder in DSM-V under pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).  Although grouped with the autism spectrum disorder diagnosis, there are distinct differences. For example, children with CDD were more likely to be diagnosed with severe intellectual disability, epilepsy and long term impairment of behavior and cognitive functioning.

Resources

NCBI

Summit Medical Group

Losing sleep: How researchers miss a key contributor to autism

Published by: Spectrum
Written by:  LUCIA PEIXOTO, ANNETTE ESTES

Most people with autism — up to 86 percent — have trouble sleeping1. Their sleep problems often include the hallmarks of insomnia: difficulty falling asleep, waking up multiple times during the night and getting less sleep than average. Animal models of autism display these same signs, suggesting that sleep problems may arise from fundamental mechanisms conserved across species2. But scientists do not yet know what these mechanisms are, much less why insomnia is so prevalent in autistic people.

Autism researchers and clinicians commonly refer to insomnia as a comorbidity, meaning that it only accompanies autism. However, we suggest that doctors and scientists may need to consider it as an integral part of the condition and begin to study sleep in more rigorous ways — for instance, using technology in place of surveys and questionnaires. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Law Enforcement and Autism: Why Training is Needed

Published by: Psychology Today
Written by: Katherine Stavropoulos

Although law enforcement is tasked with keeping the public safe, interactions between first responders and those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other psychiatric conditions can be contentious—and in some cases, deadly.

A 2012 study conducted by researchers at Drexel University measured how common it was for youth with ASD to be stopped and questioned by police or arrested. They found that by age 21, 20 percent of youth with ASD had been stopped by police, and almost 5 percent had been arrested.

Although the Drexel study focused on those in the U.S., similar findings have been reported from other countries. For example, a study from Swedish researchers found that people on the autism spectrum were at a 31 percent higher risk of having a criminal conviction compared to those without ASD. More broadly, in a study of all civilian deaths during interactions with law enforcement in 2015, researchers found that individuals with a mental illness were over 7 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement compared to those without. Click here to read the rest of the story

Autism And Fragile X Syndrome

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 1 in 54 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder. ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. ASD is more than 4 times more common among boys than girls. About 1 in 6 (17%) children aged 3-17 years were diagnosed with a developmental disability.

The CDC states that Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common known cause of inherited intellectual disability and affects both males and females, with females having milder symptoms than males.

Autism is considered a common comorbid condition with Fragile X syndrome- it is estimated that he prevalence of ASD in Fragile X syndrome varies. some studies show a 50% relationship. While there are similar characteristics, the motivation appears to be for different reasons. For example, indiviuals with Fragile X Syndrome appear to avoid eye contact due to social anxiety and shyness while people with autism simply prefer to be left alone.

The following articles provide insightful information:

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder in Fragile X Syndrome– Further Inform Neurogenetic Disorders (FIND)

Autism Spectrum Disorder in Fragile X Syndrome Cooccurring Conditions and Current Treatment– Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Fragile X and Autism Factsheet– Synapse

Fragile X is a common cause of autism and intellectual disabilities– UC Davis Health

Fragile X symptoms don’t add up to autism studies suggest– European Fragile X Network

Fragile X Syndrome and Autism– Interactive Autism Network

Fragile X Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder- Otsimo

Fragile X Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Similarities and Differences– National Fragile X Syndrome

The Fragile X Syndrome Autism Comorbidity: What do we really know? – National Institute of Health

What can we learn about Autism from studying Fragile X Syndrome?– Developmental Neuroscience

 

Printable Autism Fact Sheet

 

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. It is a recognized day sponsored through the United Nations to bring awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The day serves to bring individual autism organizations together around the world to aid in research diagnoses, treatment and acceptance. More than ever in these challenging times we face, tolerance, compassion and acceptance is needed to provide people with autism with necessary support.

The following fact sheet provides information on facts, prevalence, timeline, co-occurring disorders and the definition.

 

Download Fact Sheet Here

 

 

2020 Special Needs Conferences and Seminars for Professionals and Families

The following are upcoming special needs and developmental disability conferences and seminars for the year. The conferences include annual meetings, specialty conferences and professional development courses. Click on the highlighted title to get further information.

January

27th Annual Florida Statewide Card Autism Conference
Date: January 17-19, 2020
Location: Orlando, Fl.

Annual Autism conference for families, educators, professionals and autistic adults.

ICADD International Conference on Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date: January 30-31, 2020
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

CASP The Council of Autism Service Providers Annual Conference
Date: January 13-14, 2020
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

7th Annual Conference on Depression, Anxiety and Stress Management
Date: January 20-21, 2020
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Autism Spectrum Disorder Across the Life Span
Date: January 11, 2020
Location: Boston, MA

DADD 21st International Conference on Autism, Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disabilities
Date: January 22, 2020
Location: Sarasota, FL

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: January 28, 2020
Location: Atlanta, GA

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will give insight backed by research evidence and own experience.

February

Council for Exceptional Children
February 5-8, 2020
Portland, Oregon

DFW Autism Conference
Date: February 6-7, 2020
Location: Hurst, TX

Autism Conference and Training
Date: February 7-8, 2020
Location: Vancouver, BC

Special Needs Planning Symposium
Date: February 7-9, 2020
Location: Napa, CA

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple Grandin
Date: February 11, 2020
Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will give insights backed by research evidence and own experience.

Future Horizon
An Evening with Temple GrandinDate: Lubbock, TX
Location: February 17, 2020

Features Renown Dr. Temple Grandin who will give insight backed by research evidence and own experience.

Learning Disabilities Association 57th Annual International Conference
Date: February 17-20, 2020
Location: Orlando, FL

National Autistic Society- Autism Professional Conference
Date: February 27-28, 2020
Location: Birmingham, London

19th Annual Alabama Autism Conference
Date: February 28, 2020
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

2nd European Autism Congress
Date: February 28-29
Location: Budapest, Hungary

March

Professional Development and Parent Seminars
Date: March 5, 2020
Location: Albany, New York

Autism Conference and Training
Date: March 5-6, 2020
Location: Edmonton, AB

Southern Maine Autism Conference
Date: March 7, 2020 8am- 4pm
Location: South Portland, ME

2020 Autism Matters Conference
Date: March 20, 2020
Location: Orange Beach, AL

Autism Through the Life Span
Date: March 21, 2020 8:45-4:30
Location: Li Ka Shing Conference Center
291 Campus Drive, Stanford University

Autism Society National Conference
2020 Disability Policy Seminar
Date: March 23-25, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

11th Annual Honestly Autism Day
Date: March 28, 2020
Location: Hunt Valley, MD

April

Autism Conference and Training
Date: April 2-3, 2020
Location: Ottawa, ON

Nebraska ASD Network State Conference
Date: April 2-3, 2020
Location: Lincoln, NE

Autism Conference and Training
Date: April 16-17, 2020
Location: Halifax, NS

International Conference on Physical Disability Treatments and Therapies
Date: April 23-23, 2020
Location, New York, NY

Autism Converge Autism Summit 2020
Date: April 23-25, 2020
Location: Greenville, SC

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin 31st Annual Conference
Date: April 30- May 2, 2020
Location: Wisconsin Dells, WI

May

International Society for Autism Research
Date: May 6-9, 2020
Location: Seattle, Washington

Autism Conference and Expo Georgia
Date: May 13-14, 2019
Location: Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA

June

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Date: 1-4, 2020
Location: Pittsburg, PA

Autism Research Conference
Date: June 4
Location: New York, NY

National Autism Conference
Milestones Autism Resources
Date: June 11-12, 2020
Location: Cleveland, OH

European Academy of Childhood Disabilities
Date: June 17-20, 2020
Location: Poznan, Poland

48th Annual National Down Syndrome Congress Convention
Date: June 25-28, 2020
Location: June 25-28, 2020

August

National Association of QDIP’s Annual Conference
Date: August 4-7
Location: New Orleans, Lousiana

September

American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Annual Meeting
Date: September 22-26, 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana

October

Autism New Jersey Annual Conference
Date: October 15-16, 2020
Location: Atlantic City, N.J.

Council for Learning Disabilities
Date: October 15-16
Location: Richmond, VA

November

Annual 32nd International Conference on ADHD
Date: November 5-7
Location: Dallas, Texas

December

2020 CPISRA Conference on Physical Activity and Health for People with Cerebral Palsy or Acquired Brain Injury
Date: December 4-6, 2020
Location: Sydney, Australia

Inside Dollywood’s ‘Incredible’ Calming Room for Children with Autism

Publisher: Yahoo News
Written by:Rachel DeSantis

A day at the Dollywood Family Amusement Park is filled with enough sights, sounds and colors to overstimulate anyone ⁠— especially those with autism.

That’s why Dollywood safety manager Judy Toth, who noticed an influx of families with children on the spectrum at the Tennessee park, decided to take action to help make their trip all the more memorable.

The result? A first-of-its-kind calming room that serves as a refuge of sorts for families seeking a break from the non-stop hustle and bustle of the 150-acre theme park.

“[It’s] sensory overload when you come to a theme park,” Toth tells PEOPLE. “And I couldn’t quite grasp at the beginning, you know, why are they coming? Knowing that something could potentially trigger their child. But realistically, it was just that they want their child to do what any other child does.”

The calming room first opened in the spring of 2016 after Toth observed that families with children on the spectrum were having to either end their trip early or slip someplace quieter, like a bathroom or a first-aid tent. Click here to read the rest of the story