Halloween Tips to Avoid Meltdowns!

Source: Lori Lite’s Stress Free Kids

Halloween Tips to Avoid Meltdowns with Kids! Enjoy these TRICKS to make sure your child’s Halloween experience is a TREAT! You and your children will benefit from these tips and most of them can be applied to children with special needs. Children with Aspergers, Autism, SPD, and general anxiety orders can enjoy Halloween with a few adjustments.

  1. Be flexible! Do not make your definitions of a fun Halloween define your child’s expectation of fun.  It is not necessary for children to have the full blown experience in order for them to have a good time.  If your child wants to answer the door and hand out candy, then let them do that without guilt. If your child wants to sit on the porch and costume watch, then let them. If they just want to go to bed……  Trust me it will not matter when they go to college!
  2. Decide and let children know ahead of time how many pieces of candy they are allowed to eat while trick-or-treating and after. Let them keep the wrapper to keep count. When they ask for more…ask them to count how many wrappers they have and let them answer their own question. Click here to read the rest of the story.
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ADHD- Facts and Statistics

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)  is a neurological disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that disrupts functioning in both children and adults
Facts and Statistics
  • ADHD is a condition characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity
  • It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood
  • It is usually diagnosed in childhood and last into adulthood
  • People diagnosed with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention and or controlling impulsive behavior
  • 70% of people with ADHD in childhood will continue to have it in adolescence
  • 50% will continue into adulthood
  • ADHD is not caused by watching too much, parenting or having too much sugar
  • ADHD may be caused by genetics, brain injury or low birth weights
  • Is a highly genetic, brain-based syndrome that has to do with the brain regulation in executive functioning skills
Prevalence

UNITED STATES

Children & Adolescents

The 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) interviewed parents and reports the following ADHD prevalence data among children ages 2–17 (Danielson et al. 2018):

  • 6.1 million children (9.4 percent) have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. This includes:
    • About 388,000 young children ages 2-5 (or 2.4 percent in this age group)
    • 2.4 million school-age children ages 6-11 (or 9.6 percent in this age group)
    • 3.3 million adolescents ages 12-17 (or 13.6 percent in this age group)
  • 5.4 million children (8.4 percent) have a current diagnosis of ADHD. This includes:
    • About 335,000 young children ages 2-5 (or 2.1 percent in this age group)
    • 2.2 million school-age children ages 6-11 (or 8.9 percent in this age group)
    • 2.9 million adolescents ages 12-17 (or 11.9 percent in this age group)
  • Treatment used by children ages 2-7 with a current diagnosis of ADHD:
    • Two out three were taking medication (62 percent).
    • Less than half received behavioral treatment in the past year (46.7 percent).
    • Nearly one out of three received a combination of medication and behavioral treatment in the past year (31.7 percent).
    • Nearly one out of four had not received any treatment (23 percent).
  • Severity of ADHD among children ages 2-17:
    • 14.5 percent had severe ADHD
    • 43.7 percent had moderate ADHD
    • 41.8 percent had mild ADHD
  • Co-occuring conditions (children ages 2-17):
    • Two out of three children (63.8 percent) had at least one co-occuring condition.
    • Half of all children (51.5 percent) had behavioral or conduct problems.
    • One out of three children (32.7 percent) had anxiety problems.
    • One out of six children (16.8 percent) had depression.
    • About one out of seven children (13.7 percent) had autism spectrum disorder.
    • About one out of 80 children (1.2 percent) had Tourette syndrome.
    • One in a hundred adolescents (1 percent) had a substance abuse disorder.
  • By race or ethnicity (children ages 2-17):
    • 8.4 percent White
    • 10.7 percent Black
    • 6.6 percent Other
    • 6.0 percent Hispanic/Latino
    • 9.1 percent Non-Hispanic/Latino

Adults with ADHD

  • 4.4 percent of the adult US population has ADHD, but less than 20 percent of these individuals seek help for it.
  • 41.3% of adult ADHD cases are considered severe.
  • During their lifetimes, 12.9 percent of men will be diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 4.9 percent of women.
  • About 30 to 60 percent of patients diagnosed with ADHD in childhood continue to be affected into adulthood.
  • Adults with ADHD are 5 times more likely to speed
  • Adults with ADHD are nearly 50 percent more likely to be in a serious car crash.
  • Having ADHD makes you 3 times more likely to be dead by the age of 45
  • Anxiety disorders occur in 50 percent of adults with ADHD.
Reference

Additude Magazine

CHADD- National Resource Center on ADHD

 

 

Going to College With Autism

Source: Child Mind Institute

Vassar junior Zoe Gross knows her strengths and weaknesses all too well. So while she gets good grades, the 21-year-old is aware that she does things more slowly than most people, including getting dressed in the morning, transitioning between activities, and writing papers. It makes college an even greater challenge. “When you take into account that when I’m living on my own it is difficult for me just to keep myself washed, fed and in clean clothes,” she says, “it means that I can’t do the schoolwork as fast as the professors can assign it.”

Gross is on the autism spectrum, and her struggles with life skills and executive function—the mental processes that involve things like planning, time management and multitasking—leave her feeling depressed and anxious. “I get sick a lot because my immune system is shot,” she says. “I got strep and mono in one semester.” Of course, this adds to her anxiety and trouble getting things done. “Every semester I am absolutely miserable by finals.” After finally hitting a serious “rocky patch,” as she puts it, Gross decided to take a break this semester. Click here to read the rest of the story

Why Children With ‘Severe Autism’ Are Overlooked by Science

Published by: Spectrum
Writtten by: Alisa Opar

 

It should have been a perfect day. Lauren Primmer was hosting an annual party at her home in New Hampshire for families that, like hers, have adopted children from Ethiopia. On the warm, sunny July afternoon, about 40 people gathered for a feast of hot dogs, hamburgers and homemade Ethiopian dishes. The adults sipped drinks and caught up while the children swam in the pool and played basketball. It was entirely pleasant — at least, until the cake was served. When Primmer told her 11-year-old son Asaminew that he couldn’t have a second piece, he threw a tantrum so violent it took three adults to hold him down on the grass.
The Primmers adopted Asaminew from an orphanage in Ethiopia in 2008, when he was 26 months old. They had already adopted another child from the same orphanage in Ethiopia, and they have four older biological children. From the beginning, Primmer says, “He would only go to me, not anyone else.” That tendency, she later learned, may have been a symptom of reactive detachment disorder, a condition seen in some children who didn’t establish healthy emotional attachments with their caregivers as infants.
About a year and a half later, the family adopted three more Ethiopian children — siblings about Asaminew’s age — and he became aggressive. “When they first came, Asaminew was very abusive,” Primmer recalls. “He’d bite and scratch them.” The Primmers had to install gates on all of the children’s bedroom doors for their safety. Soon after he entered preschool, Asaminew began lashing out at his classmates, too. His teachers suggested that he be evaluated for autism. Doctors at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic in Manchester, New Hampshire, diagnosed him with the condition. In addition to his violent episodes, they took note of his obsession with lining up toy cars and flushing toilets, his habit of taking his clothes off in public and his tendency to not follow rules at home or school. Asaminew is intellectually disabled and speaks in short, simple sentences. Click here to read the rest of the story

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

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.

Picture

 

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

5 ways to help reduce anxiety in children with autism

10 tips to help calm anxiety in kids with autism

Adults with autism feel frequent, lingering anxiety

Anxiety in autistic adults

Classroom ideas to reduce anxiety

Managing anxiety in children with autism

Unmasking anxiety in autism

The essential guide to anxiety and autism

What anxiety treatment works for people with Autism?

What triggers anxiety for an individual with ASD?

 

Updated on October 13, 2018

 

 

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