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

 

27 Facts On Stimming You Should Know

  1. “Stimming” is short for self-stimulatory behavior. (or stereotypical).
  2. It is common among people with developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities and Fragile X Syndrome.
  3. It is also prevalent among people on the autism spectrum.
  4. In fact in many cases, it is part of the diagnosis due to the repetition of stimming.
  5. Stimming is often used as a means to self-regulate, self-calm and for self-expression.
  6. The movements are repetitive and are used to self-stimulate the 7 senses.
  7. It is often described as a repetitive motor behavior that can disrupt academic and social and other activities.
  8. One of the theories behind stimming is that beta-endorphrins are released in the brain casuing an euphoric feeling which is generally a response to pain.
  9. Stimming behavior. based for self-soothing and to help a child or an adult regain emotional balance.
  10. Sensory Overload. Too much sensory information can lead to stress, anxiety and eventually a meltdown.
  11. It is observed in 10% of non-autistic children.
  12. common forms of stimming include spinning, hand-flapping and body rocking
  13. Benefits of stimming include the increased ability to remain calm, reduce meltdowns, and increased focus and time management skills.
  14. Love ones and society may consider stimming socially inappropriate
  15. Autistic people should be allowed to stim as much as needed
  16. Autistic people may bebefit from stress balls, fidget toys, and chewy jewelry.
  17. Stimming helps to relieve anxiety.
  18. Most people in the autistic community oppose attempts to reduce or eliminate stimming
  19. This is due to understanding that stimming is an important tool for self-regulation.
  20. Stimming can help block out excess sensory input
  21. Stimming helps provide extra sensory when needed
  22. repeated banging of the head actually reduces the overall sensation of pain.
  23. Visual. Repetitive movements such as fluorescent lights which tend to flicker.
  24. Smell (Olfactory) Includes repetitive behavior in licking, tasting objects,
  25. Tactile. Skin-rubbing, hand movement, and repeatedly grind teeth
  26. Vestibular. Moving body, rocking back to front, spinning, jumping and pacing.
  27. Vigorous exercise reduces the need to stim.

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Reference

Autism Asperger’s Digest

Child Mind Institute

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (2013). APA 5th Edition

Science Daily

Anxiety On The Spectrum

Anxiety is one of the co-occurring  disorders that affect autistic children. A study published by the Journal of Child and Family Studies found that autistic children had higher anxiety levels compared to neurotypical children. It is estimated that 40% of autistic teens display signs and symptoms of anxiety.

Why Autism and Anxiety?

There are many reasons anxiety affects autistic children in large numbers. Bill Nason, moderator of the Facebook page, Autism Discussion Page and psychologist, explains that daily experiences that impact their nervous system including sensory, cognitive, social, and emotional vulnerabilities leave autistic children and teens with daily high levels of stress. He explains what comes naturally for neurotypicals, is hard work for them placing their nervous system on high alert even during its resting state. High levels of anxiety make take the form of mood swings, rigid and inflexible thinking and obsessive compulsive behavior.

What are the signs of anxiety?
Physical Signs

Complains about feeling sick

Complains about headaches

Difficulty sleeping

Fidgets and spins

Worrying

Worries about making a mistake

Difficulty in performing in exams

Is afraid of being placed in a new situation

Social

Apprehensive of meeting new people

Displays difficulty in joining new groups

Avoids interacting with peers

Worried about being laughed at.

Types of Anxieties

Anxiety of uncertainty- fear of anything new and unfamiliar
Social anxiety- difficulty interacting with others during social events
Sensory overload- Becomes anxious in settings that present strong sensory stimulation
Generalized  anxiety- non-specific ongoing pervasive anxiety

Strategies for Reducing Anxiety
  1. Rest
  2. Exercise or physical activity
  3. Allow time to participate in a favorite activity
  4. Self-stimulation can be used for calming purpose
  5. Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and meditation
  6. Build structure into daily routines
  7. Review the day including what is expected of them
Additional Resources

Anxiety in autistic adults

Classroom ideas to reduce anxiety

Managing anxiety in children with autism

 

 

Children with ADHD and Autism Are More Likely To Develop Anxiety

Website: News Medical Life Sciences

The study, which compares comorbidities among patients with ASD and ADHD, and ASD alone, is one of the largest of its kind.

A team of researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute used the data from a cross-sectional survey of children aged between six to seventeen years old with ASD. The study included 3,319 children, 1,503 of which had ADHD and were monitored by the Interactive Autism Network between 2006 and 2013. Click here to read the rest of the story

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.

The Link Between Sensory Sensitivity And Anxiety No One Talks About

Sensory Processing Disorder anxiety

Published by: Learning Minds

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your environment? Do sights, sounds, smells or textures sometimes exhaust you and make you feel anxious? You could be suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder.

Our brains take in information from our five senses through our eyes, nose, ears, skin and taste buds. We use this information in order to be able to function in the world. However, if during the intake of information our processing goes awry, it can then affect us in different ways. Read here the read the rest of the story.

Maternal Anxiety and Depression May Affect the Quality of Life of Children with Cerebral Palsy

Mother’s Anxiety or Depression Affects Her Child’s Quality of Life, Study Suggests
Source: Cerebral Palsy News Today

A new study suggests that maternal anxiety and depression may affect the quality of life of children with cerebral palsy (CP).

The study, “Impact of Symptoms of Maternal Anxiety and Depression on Quality of Life of children with Cerebral Palsy,” was recently published in the journal Archives of Neuropsychiatry.

CP is a leading cause of physical disability.  A heterogenous condition, it causes motor and sensory impairment, negatively affecting quality of life (QOL). However, that QOL in CP patients is multidimensional, and can be affected by other variables, including the person’s specific type of CP, cognitive function, and other medical disorders. Click here to read the rest of the story.