Written by: Nicholas Fearn
An 18-year-old software developer has created an iOS app to help those on the autistic spectrum in their day-to-day lives.
Ethan Shallcross, who has a form of autism and lives in the English town of Torquay, developed Aumi to enable people to manage their anxiety, monitor their mental health and reduce burnout.
“The app has been built with people on the autism spectrum in mind, and his has influenced the design and functionality of the entire app,” he says. “However, it is not just for people on the autism spectrum. People who have high anxiety, are frequently burnt out, or struggle with their mental health may also find it useful.” Click here to read the rest of the story.
Published By: Sheffield Hallen University
Written By: Dr. Luke Beardon
Some employers assume that because a person is autistic they will also have some kind of learning disability. This is absolutely not true for the majority. Autistic adults display a range of intellectual abilities – as do the predominant neurotype (PNT) (non-autistic) population – from low IQ to members of Mensa.
Here are five more misconceptions about autistic people in the workplace – and why they’re not true. Click here to read the rest of the story
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
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.
- 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!
- 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.
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
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.
CHADD- National Resource Center on ADHD
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
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 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
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
Click here to download PDF version of article
- “Stimming” is short for self-stimulatory behavior. (or stereotypical).
- It is common among people with developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities and Fragile X Syndrome.
- It is also prevalent among people on the autism spectrum.
- In fact in many cases, it is part of the diagnosis due to the repetition of stimming.
- Stimming is often used as a means to self-regulate, self-calm and for self-expression.
- The movements are repetitive and are used to self-stimulate the 7 senses.
- It is often described as a repetitive motor behavior that can disrupt academic and social and other activities.
- 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.
- Stimming behavior. based for self-soothing and to help a child or an adult regain emotional balance.
- Sensory Overload. Too much sensory information can lead to stress, anxiety and eventually a meltdown.
- It is observed in 10% of non-autistic children.
- common forms of stimming include spinning, hand-flapping and body rocking
- Benefits of stimming include the increased ability to remain calm, reduce meltdowns, and increased focus and time management skills.
- Love ones and society may consider stimming socially inappropriate
- Autistic people should be allowed to stim as much as needed
- Autistic people may bebefit from stress balls, fidget toys, and chewy jewelry.
- Stimming helps to relieve anxiety.
- Most people in the autistic community oppose attempts to reduce or eliminate stimming
- This is due to understanding that stimming is an important tool for self-regulation.
- Stimming can help block out excess sensory input
- Stimming helps provide extra sensory when needed
- repeated banging of the head actually reduces the overall sensation of pain.
- Visual. Repetitive movements such as fluorescent lights which tend to flicker.
- Smell (Olfactory) Includes repetitive behavior in licking, tasting objects,
- Tactile. Skin-rubbing, hand movement, and repeatedly grind teeth
- Vestibular. Moving body, rocking back to front, spinning, jumping and pacing.
- Vigorous exercise reduces the need to stim.
Autism Asperger’s Digest
Child Mind Institute
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (2013). APA 5th Edition