Tag Archives | Autism

Autism: An Informative Study/Guide

Autism is a complex neurological disorder of human beings which include different impairments in social and communicative study. It is mainly caused due to connections of the nerve cells in the brain being different than in an average human. However, that does not always result in a derogatory condition. Indeed, it has been observed that while most autistic people have an inability to communicate properly with the society, their non-verbal and cognitive skills are far higher than any average person. These include various fields like drawing, music or their capability to learn new things. Autism can be recognized in the first three years of any child’s life.

No two persons in autism have the same behavioural pattern. That is what makes autism so difficult to control. Autism can be classified into various forms including the Autistic Disorder, the most common form of autism. This is characterized by inability to communicate verbally and performance of repetitive behaviours. In Asperger’s Syndrome, people are characterized by often high non-verbal test IQ, but possession of limited interest in society. For girls, Rett Syndrome is the most common form. These girls start normally, but by 1 to 4 years, they develop signs of autism. Pervasive Development Disorder (or PDD) is used for children who do not fit into any known categories. Along with these, another term common in context to autism is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, used to classify children who develop normally for 2 years but regress after that.

The Genetics of Autism

Autistic children can be taught to behave normally with people by repetitive advices on how to interact properly. It has been found that autism is more common in identical twins who share the same genetic blueprint than in fraternal ones. The concordance rate in monozygotic twins is between 60 -90%.  This means that monozygotic twin studies, autism appeared in both twins in 60-90% of cases. Autism is undoubtedly connected to genetics at some level, however as recent studies have found out, 20 of the normal genes found might be involved. Various genetic tests are under way to determine the exact mutations responsible for the condition and scientists have identified several genetic abnormalities in autistic people. Dealing with all variations of such a large number of combinations is highly time consuming and hence, the exact cause of autism has not been determined yet. Two genes identified and linked to the condition are Engrailed 2 (EN2) and the Serotonin Transporter.  EN2 abnormalities are linked and believed to cause structural changes in the cerebellum, a part of the brain related to motor skills and cognition.

Genetic DNA testing and analysis of the human genome has classified 98% of our DNA as “junk DNA”. Whilst the term is misleading because of the connotations of the word “junk”, we simply do not know what purpose junk DNA serves.

Associated conditions:

  • Autism is often seen alongside fragile X syndrome, a condition caused by abnormalities on the X chromosome affecting males more than females and often resulting in mental retardation.
  • Although rare, autism also sometimes manifests itself in individuals suffering from tuberous schelorsis.

Studies have pointed that parents with schizophrenia are more susceptible to autistic children, and the chances of autistic children having a new pair of genes missing, as compared to their parents, is huge. Flu or fever for more than a week during pregnancy can also double the chances of bearing autistic children. Though no fixed treatments for autism exist, early treatment of diagnosed children have often proven to be helpful.

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What are the Recommended Therapies for Autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect social and communication skills in children. The onset of autism is at birth or in infancy and symptoms usually appear before the age of three. Children with autism are mostly unable to form normal social interactions, show delays in communication and language, and have repetitive behaviors such as rocking, hand flapping and spinning. Often, they isolate themselves from others and act in an unusual manner. As the child grows older, the patterns of autism also change. Experts suggest that autism may have biological causes including genetics, heredity, infections, and complications during pregnancy, or at birth.

therapies for autism

Association with Other Disorders

The following disorders can occur with Autism.

Mental Retardation

About 75 to 80 percent of people with autism are mentally retarded.


Seizures are a result of abnormal, electrical brain activity. Almost one third of people with autism experience seizures; onset is usually between early childhood and adolescence.

Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a defective area of the X chromosome. It occurs in about 10 percent of people with autism – most of them are male.

Diagnosis of Autism

There is no specific diagnostic procedure for autism. In arriving at this diagnosis, specialists, such as pediatric psychiatrists, neurologists or child psychologists, may use the following methods of evaluation.

Medical History

In a medical history, the doctor obtains a detailed history of all family members’ health conditions, including the history of the mother’s health during pregnancy.


Over a period, doctors observe the development of the child’s social ability, behavior, and motor and language skills.

Assessment Examination

The doctor may administer an examination to evaluate the child’s development in areas such as speech, language and social behavior.


The American Psychiatric Association publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM); it gives standard criteria for classifying mental disorders, including autism.

What are the recommended therapies for Autism?

Over decades, different approaches have been developed to deliver more effective treatment programs.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy assists people with autism to become independent in all aspects of life, by learning to accomplish common and necessary tasks. Therapists modify tasks to make them more manageable for the individual. Activities include handwriting, tying shoelaces, and buttoning clothes. Another function of Occupational Therapy is to provide people with autism with the skills necessary for work, social life and leisure.

Physical Therapy

Nearly 80 percent of people with autism exhibit decreased muscle tone and impaired motor planning. Physical Therapy provides activities that promote muscle strength, coordination and motor skills (including basic skills such as: standing, rolling and sitting).

Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy aims to treat problems with speech and communication, using a variety methods and interventions such as: formal assessment, play-like therapy and speech training. Non-verbal communication also forms part of this therapy and can include gestural communication, and the use of picture exchange cards or electronic talking equipment. This therapy must be performed by a licensed speech and language pathologist.

Social Skills Therapy

Social Skills Therapy achieves effective communication with others and increases social competence by improving verbal and non-verbal behavior.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions and behavior. It is a very useful method for managing the symptoms of this disorder. Through Cognitive Behavior Therapy, people with autism learn techniques for coping with, and managing, their emotions in stressful situations.

This post is contributed by Ellen Park, a travel occupational therapist. She previously worked as an occupational therapist at a rehabilitation center and found the benefits of becoming a travel therapist after looking into Travel Therapy Jobs at Advanced Medical.

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Disadvantage of Being Obese During Pregnancy

Obesity is a becoming a huge medical problem that is growing in an uncontrollable fashion. Health experts are now aiming to educate more people about the disadvantages of becoming obese. These days, it is easier to experience weight gain than weight loss. According to statistics, more women fall in the category of obesity than men. Scientifically, women have more fats cells compared with men.

During the state of pregnancy, women’s hormones change and along with these changes, some women experience an increase in their appetite for food. This increase in appetite may lead to weight gain and can eventually result in medical problems such as autism in their unborn child.

Disadvantage of Being Obese during Pregnancy

Obesity is measured by the use of the body mass index, which is the division of weight in kilograms over height in centimeters of a person. You can check your body mass index to know if you are obese, average, or too skinny for your height. There are many potential health hazards when a pregnant woman is obese such as heart problems and diabetes as well as bearing a child with autism disorder. Autism is experienced by children at the age of 3 years old. It usually affects the developmental stage, particularly the child’s language skills, social skills and having behavior that is restrictive and repetitive in nature. What happens is that when a pregnant woman is obese, the development of the synapse and nerve cells is altered, resulting in the child developing the medical condition autism. Obesity during pregnancy can put the mother and her baby in danger of health problems that are serious and obesity can also interfere with a woman’s fertility level.

Another disadvantage brought about by obesity during pregnancy is that it can lead to the woman facing social issues. Obese people are looked down on by the rest of society. Aside from that, the pregnant woman may also experience problems related to the body structure and can lead to experiencing difficulty in moving as well as requiring excessive sleep and rest episodes. Lastly, being obese during pregnancy may lead to the woman experiencing personality related problems such as tiredness, sloppy attitude, lack of concentration and abnormal movement of the body. In order to prevent such occurrences, pregnant women should try and avoid obesity.


Despite the fact that it is easier to gain weight than lose it, the best way for pregnant women to deal with obesity is through healthy dieting.  The goal should be to have excellent fitness and nutrition during the pregnancy period by eating the right kinds of food like fruits, vegetables, and other protein rich foods. Vitamins and mineral rich foods can also be added to the diet to keep healthy.

If you are planning to get pregnant, then one of the best things to do is to undergo healthy weight loss prior to becoming pregnant.   You can do TRX training classes or perhaps undergo a 24hour fitness workout program. Even during pregnancy, women can still continue with an exercise program. There are many types of exercises which are suitable for pregnant woman; you can ask your specified health care provider for details. Exercise does not need to be strenuous; instead it can be simple and gentle exercise like walking for about 30 minutes daily. This will also help in the reduction of risk for any potential complication towards one’s health during pregnancy and certainly help to avoid becoming obese.

Apart from fitness workouts, one can try Medifast and BistroMD which provide healthy meal replacements for quick and safe weight loss. Get the Bistro MD deals here and visit http://www.weightlossdiets4women.com/medifast-coupons-and-review-of-meal-replacement-plans/ for the latest Medifast offers.
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Association Between Maternal Obesity And Autism

Women are the only human beings on the earth that are capable of giving birth to a child. During the state of pregnancy, a woman should maintain good health so as to be able to give birth to a healthy child. However, pregnant women are not exempt from being obese. Obesity has become a global problem for general health and it is increasing in its prevalence, and it is more common for women to be obese than men.

Maternal Obesity and Autism

Pregnant women can also become obese during pregnancy. This is a bad indication of general health and when a pregnant woman is obese; she has a higher risk of suffering from other medical diseases and may lead to giving birth to a child with a condition like autism.

What is Maternal Obesity?

It is often called parental obesity or overweight or weight gain which is a term that is experienced by a woman during the state of pregnancy. It is known by medical professionals to be a risky condition for a woman that is pregnant. It can cause effects in both the mother and the fetus.

Maternal obesity affects the fetus by causing the fetus to have physical or mental defects. Aside from that it can also affect the mother by her acquiring such conditions as gestational diabetes, blood clots, hyperlipidemia and hypertension which are the common medical conditions linked to maternal obesity.

What is Autism?

Autism is a complex development disability that affects a three year old child. It is characterized with an impairment of social communication as well as interaction. In addition, the child has repetitive and restricted behavior. Medically, the autism condition has the ability to alter the nerve cells and its respected synapses to organize and connect. It has been discovered that there is a link between maternal obesity and children with autism.

What is the association between Maternal Obesity and Autism?

According to a study, women who are pregnant and obese are at high risk of bearing children with the autism disorder. The study concludes that maternal obesity is linked to neurodevelopmental problems which are seen in children, which has serious possible implications for public health.

It has been found that compared to normal healthy pregnant women; women who are obese during their pregnancy are more likely to bear a child with autistic behavior.

Hence, experts are implementing health education that is aimed at informing pregnant women about the importance of having a healthy lifestyle during their pregnancy. They can participate in Flex belt workout exercises that are easy and suitable for pregnant women. They can also follow weight loss diet program like Diet to go which will help them in their goal towards a healthier lifestyle and the prevention of obesity during pregnancy. Every pregnant woman should be aware of the importance of continuing to exercise and diet program while pregnant in order to avoid possible obesity and risk to her unborn child. Visit this page for more details on Flex Belt and Diet to go respectively.

In conclusion, the best way to fight off maternal obesity is to have a firmer grasp of the factors that could lead to it and the possible results when one has it. As they say, knowledge is power. With such, you will be able to determine that too much weight during pregnancy is not good for your baby. When you are pregnant, you should take care with your diet and your body, to be able to bear a healthy baby.

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Autism is

I would like to talk to you about autism. I know, we talk about autism a lot, you and I. But somehow things have gotten off track and I really think that I need to make something very clear. Not for for you or my neighbor or for other people but for me, right here, right now.

I have been living with autism my entire life and didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until I discovered that my son has autism that I truly came to grips with what it really is. And I’m not talking about what I’ve read in medical research studies or transcripts or expert opinions or even public opinions. What I mean is, I know what autism is, to me.

autism isThis may sound a little strange but in a very general sense, autism is everything and it is nothing too.

Autism is the way a person perceives the world around them. It is the way they take it in, interact with it, experience it, process it and live with it. It’s the filter with which all reality flows through before becoming our own reality. It shapes a person’s past as well as their future. With each step forward, all that is involved in that step flows through a vail of autism which invariably alters the course they take towards their next step. Each step being a direct result of the step before it, exponentially affecting further steps ahead. We become a product of our combined experiences, each of which, affected and altered, whether for better or worse, as an effect of autism.

At the same time, autism is nothing, neither tangible or quantitative in it’s existence any more than any other thought, memory, expression, synaptic response or neurological interpretation to stimuli that every living thing is privileged with in it’s existence. It’s a unique perception unlike any other making it exactly the same as any other. It’s a tasteless, touchless, odorless, inaudible and invisible anomaly that isn’t really there.

There’s more, and this is important. So hear me out.

Autism is not a fight between parents. Autism is not a battle with the school board. It’s not about who is functioning higher or lower than someone else or even about what “functioning” even means nor is it about who should and shouldn’t be cured.

Autism is not about what a person looks like and it’s most certainly not about tendencies that a person might have, homicidal or otherwise. It’s not about taxing the system or making life hard on a parent and it’s definitely not about organ transplant bureaucracy.

Autism is not politics. It’s not religion. It’s not about you or me and it’s certainly not about you versus me.

I am tired. I’m tired of all of this.

I’m tired of reading stories in the news about mothers killing their autistic children. I’m tired of people making horrendous and false claims in the name of autism. I’m tired of the fighting, I’m tired of the name calling and I’m tired of the people who can’t admit when they’re wrong. I’m tired of people that are judgmental and I’m tired of the people who think it’s funny. I’m tired of people telling me what I should and shouldn’t believe, what I should and shouldn’t say and what I should and shouldn’t think.

I’m really, just tired. Very tired.

So here it is, as simple as can be.

Autism is me. It’s my son. It’s the little girl who can’t speak but screams with every breath she takes. It’s the little boy that completely loses control one moment but creates his own computer operating system the next.

Autism is the man that needs a heart transplant to live. Autism is the young woman that goes to Washington to fight for people she doesn’t even know but loves.

Autism is the life taken far too early by the parent that didn’t know what else to do. Autism is the life that wandered away from safety, scared and unknowing of the dangers around them.

Autism is not a disease. Autism is not a battlefield. Autism is not an opinion.

Figure it out. Work it out.

Because autism is a lot of people.

Autism is the perception, the experiences and the reality that effects and shapes what is to become a person’s life and yet, it’s nothing too, for all the same reasons.

It’s people.

It’s lives.

Autism is.

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