Understanding the concepts of Autism Spectrum Disorder’s treatment and therapy is very difficult. It is why organizations publicize the knowledge and awareness concerning autism to help people understand its nature. It is to help individuals with autism and their families to live better lives and avoid isolation. This has been mentioned in www.abqpetcarehospital.com/
It is common knowledge that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a mental disorder identified most typically among children, but teens and adults are not strangers to this condition.
There is no better way to understand a person with ADHD than stepping into their world and seeing things through their eyes.
ADHD cannot be diagnosed through a specific test but through a series of procedures that may include physical exam, aptitude and personality evaluations, and neurological assessment among others. It is often recognized based on symptoms exhibited. Kathleen Smith, LPC, says, “ADHD influences the parts of the brain that help us with what is known as “executive functioning.” This includes problem-solving, planning for the future, evaluating behaviors, regulating emotions, and controlling our impulses.”
Most children are hyperactive by nature, but when they have frequent inability to pay attention, often forget things, get easily distracted and are impulsive, they may be showing signs of this disorder.
If a child, either your own or someone else’s, performs poorly at school because he appears to be having difficulty learning and remembering and is unable to focus, do not disregard and conclude that the child is merely slow. If a child fidgets a lot, is impatient and has a hard time waiting for his or her turn, gets frustrated easily and acts before thinking, it may not be pure misbehavior. Think twice and consider having the child seen by a specialist.
Teens and adults with ADHD may present similar signs. They may also experience frequent mood swings, anxiety and depression, are incapable of being organized, restless, often procrastinate, and have low self-esteem.
On the side, Michael Karson, Ph.D. stresses that “the reason ADHD is so commonly diagnosed when school starts is because, until school starts, there are not too many demands on children.”
Dealing with ADHD
Have you ever dealt with a hyperactive child who is difficult to control? Getting them to sit still and listen is a Herculean task on its own that you often find yourself on the brink of tearing your hair out. Or have you ever dealt with a teenager with massive attention issues, have trouble staying organized, and often gets distracted from tasks that make you want to throw in the towel and give up? Well, you are most likely not alone.
Not knowing about and, even more so, not understanding ADHD, can often lead to frustration. Before you know it, you are tiptoeing around anxiety yourself. So how exactly do you deal with an ADHD person?
Dr. Perpetua Neo, a psychologist who believes she has always had ADHD, said, “When I watch others struggle because their lifestyles and mindsets are fraught with ideas that their ADHD traits handicap them, are crippled via the effects of pharmaceutical medications, or when I see them blame themselves relentlessly, it is painful to watch. It reminds me of where I could have ended up.”
Patience is the key. Without it, you may find yourself threading through deep waters and finding the situation more difficult than it is.
When dealing with younger children, engage them in an activity that will grab their attention and teach them to focus for a short period, making it longer as you proceed. Observe how they interact with others and reward them for every good behavior they exhibit.
Teenagers with ADHD may be a challenge. Just remember that no amount of screaming or threatening will do any good. Be calm and try putting yourself in their shoes. Imagine how they may hate having their faults rubbed in their faces. Try pointing out the positive things they do and praise them or reward them for it.
Dealing with ADHD isn’t a one-sided affair. Keep in mind that you may not be the only one struggling. Those who are stuck with the disorder may be struggling to cope as well.
Having someone in your life that has ADHD, or even if you have ADHD yourself, doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. Understanding ADHD may help you deal with it in a less stressful way.
When you hear of autism, the image that probably comes to mind is a child with a short attention span and seems to be living in his or her world. That’s not pretty far from the truth.
Based on the estimate of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1 in 68 children are found to have and that it is prevalently 4.5 times seen in boys than in girls.
According to Jane Framingham, Ph.D., “Autism exists on a spectrum. People with severe forms of autism may have a difficult time with everyday activities that significantly limit the kinds of things they do as an adult. People with less severe forms of autism may appear to be perfectly normal, except in certain social situations where the impairment becomes more apparent.”
How to Spot Autism
A child’s development. Early signs of the disease may show within a child’s first two years.
“Sometimes I work with families where we’re seeing things differently,” says Psychologist Emily E. Neuhaus. “It may be that I’m pointing out difficulties they’re not seeing, or they may be seeing difficulties they feel a clinician is not seeing,” she adds.
Observing a child’s development is the key to helping you identify any unusual or abnormal delay in his cognitive growth. Signs that a child may have, include:
- Not responding to his name when called by the time he reaches 12 months
- Not showing signs of interest on objects around him by the time he turns one
- Frequently flaps his arms or rocks in place
- Quickly gets agitated or distressed when something changes
- Eludes eye contact
- Prefers to be alone
- Rarely displays interactive gestures such as waving at someone
- Delay in speech development
- When able to speak, he reiterates the same words or phrases several times
A child with ASD may likewise show unusual behavior such as having an obsessive interest in an object, meticulously arranging toys in a single line, repeating actions such as spinning in circles or rocking sideways among others.
Having the habit of looking into a toy box situated against a wall every time he enters a particular room. If they’re unable to do that, they will most likely get upset and throw tantrums.
Other behavioral signs may be similar to ADHD such as being hyperactive, impulsive and having a short attention span. An autistic patient may also show aggression, may inflict self-injury, go through frequent temper tantrums, display bizarre sleeping habits, and exhibits strange emotional reactions.
How to Cure or How to Cope
Specific medications to magically cure don’t exist, but some can help in the development of a person with ASD and improve how he functions.
Early intervention services offer therapy to help an autistic child in language and communication, social and emotional as well as motor development.
Catherine Davies, LMHC, stresses, “Although your son or daughter may not be ready for these changes emotionally, they need to be prepared for them, as they are going to happen whether they (or you!) are ready or not. Additionally, there is a wealth of evidence that individuals with ASD need to learn about both the facts as they pertain to sex and the details of social relationships in order to enable them to develop healthy relationships as adults and reduce the risk of them becoming victimized by others.”
There are therapies available to help an autistic child learn skills to help them live as normally and independently as possible. Occupational therapy may help them learn everyday skills such as bathing, getting dressed and interacting with people. Speech therapy may help improve communication skills. Sensory integration therapy may help them deal with sights, sounds and smells that usually affect their moods or emotions.
Having to care for a child with ASD may prove to be a challenge but understanding the condition and how a child with this disorder sees the world may just be your survival guide.
People with Asperger’s syndrome and autism are often referred to as ‘neuro-untypical’ because of how different their brains function as opposed to people who do not possess the disorder being ‘neurotypical.’ Asperger’s Syndrome, like autism, is part of the umbrella diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which makes one wonder what the difference is.
Asperger’s syndrome, even though it is a lifelong developmental disorder, has less severe symptoms compared to autism. People with Asperger’s don’t experience a delay in language development, and they have either average or above-average intellectual perception. Though they have better cognitive skills than people with autism, they may still have difficulty in learning, unable to understand humor and sarcasm and may find holding proper conversation challenging.
On the other hand,” wrote Shuli Sandler, Psy.D., “to some children, the word Asperger’s can feel like a disease or a term describing what is “wrong with them.” We have seen children who were exposed to the word Asperger’s when they were diagnosed but avoid saying it, because of the sense of impairment it represents.”
Symptoms to Look Out For
Asperger’s and autism have nearly similar symptoms. Behaviors that may correlate with Asperger’s are repetitive speech, unable to hold eye contact, uncoordinated gestures and inept mannerism.
They also lack social skills and show improper interaction with others. Additionally, they have trouble interpreting verbal and non-verbal language such as gestures or facial expressions and sarcasm, which makes them insensitive to other people’s emotions.
People with Asperger’s may also display repetitive actions such as hand flapping and may become too engrossed in an object.
Ted Hutman, a licensed clinical psychologist, elaborates this, saying, “These three disorders share many of the same symptoms, but they differ in their severity and impact. Autistic disorder was the most severe. Asperger’s Syndrome sometimes called high-functioning autism, and PDD-NOS, or atypical autism, were the less severe variants.”
Seeing The World Through an Asperger’s Person’s Eyes
People are intuitive by nature, and this serves as their guide to know how to interact and communicate with others. Imagine if your brain works differently and you are stripped off of that sense of intuition. With the inability to read people, socializing can prove to be difficult.
Causes and Treatment
Researchers suggest that the cause for Asperger’s syndrome may be a combination of genetic and environmental elements. The disorder may also be the result of problems that arise during pregnancy.
There is no cure for Asperger’s, but there is a range of treatments available that may help cope with the symptoms.
Social skills training may be used to guide a person with Asperger’s in learning proper social interaction and teach him how to express himself. Cognitive behavior therapy may alter his way of thinking and teach him to manage repetitive behaviors. Speech therapy may help enhance communication skills where he may learn proper intonation and speech patterns.
Marina Benjamen, Ph.D. believes that “an effective treatment program builds on the child’s interests, offers a predictable schedule, teaches tasks as a series of simple steps, actively engages the child’s attention in highly structured activities, and provides regular reinforcement of behavior.”
Identifying a Meltdown
You’ve probably heard the term ‘meltdown’ concerning people with autism or Asperger’s syndrome and are likely wondering what it is.
A meltdown is often triggered by anxiety and is a heightened reaction to an overwhelming situation. It is more like an episode where a person with autism or Asperger’s loses control because of their emotions’ failure to align with specific environmental factors.
There isn’t usually a specific, single reason for the onset. Every cause or trigger tends to build up until the person becomes overwhelmed that he feels like he will explode.
It may start out as a regular tantrum. However, a meltdown is hard to control and much more difficult to stop. Once you recognize the beginning of a meltdown where they may show signs of anxiety such as pacing, hair pulling or nail biting, the best thing to do is guide the person away from the source of his distress. Otherwise, the situation might worsen, and the Asperger person might end up hurting himself.
Understanding Asperger’s syndrome may help you understand a person with this disorder. Acknowledging that they are different may help you see them through a different light.
Autism is a neurological condition that starts manifesting from childhood and will most likely be carried by the patients throughout their lives. The initial response of physicians and parents is to expose the kid to normalcy so that they’ll ideally know how to cope with the world in general. Many of them succeed too and can hold regular jobs, which is honestly admirable.
Despite that, the belief that all autistic folks have the same symptoms stays in some people’s minds too. It is far from being accurate – in fact, there’s an entire spectrum of disorders that a patient can get diagnosed with. To know them better, see the different types of autism below.
A clear definition is seen in an article written by Ted Hutman, a licensed clinical psychologist: “Autism is not a single disorder, but a spectrum of closely related disorders with a shared core of symptoms. Every individual on the autism spectrum has problems to some degree with social interaction, empathy, communication, and flexible behavior. But the level of disability and the combination of symptoms varies tremendously from person to person.”
Regardless of the higher volume of knowledge available to-date about mental disorders, only a few know about Asperger’s syndrome.
Technically speaking, the fact that it’s also known as a high-functioning autism disorder makes life extra difficult for the patients. When ill-informed outsiders talk about the illness, they have a high tendency to typecast them as autistic people who can’t function as “normal” human beings.
The truth of the matter is, they can do that. You may not even realize you’re speaking to a patient unless they tell you directly or you grew up with them. Hence, there’s no reason for these individuals to become stereotyped as such. Marina Benjamen, Ph.D. says, “At present, like most mental disorders, there is no “cure” for Asperger’s Disorder. But by focusing on learning ways to cope with the symptoms and pick up on social cues, most individuals with Asperger’s Disorder lead fairly typical lives, with close friends and loved ones.”
In case you want to know more regarding the struggles they face throughout their life, learn about them below.