Being a parent to autistic child is challenging but their love does miracles. Every child and every case is special and unique. Of course, parents have already surfed the Internet and other resources, including books, phone apps to help them … Continue reading
Winter is a magical season… We usually wait for the holiday and for the presents, no matter how old we are. We start to believe in all good things, believe that this season will be special, our dreams will come … Continue reading
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that is marked by recurring seizures or convulsions. It includes impaired social interaction and language development, which often leads to repetitive behaviors. The connection between these two neurological disorders came after another study that explored the mechanisms in the brain that are responsible for each and how they contribute to each disorder. For example, both disorders show patterns of impaired socialization.
A new study now examines the connection between the long-term outcome of epilepsy in autism and the epilepsy characteristics of adults with autism. The results estimate that nearly one third of people on the autism spectrum also have epilepsy. Before these studies, many issues with behavior management and socialization for people with epilepsy remained largely under diagnosed, meaning these people did not have proper access to treatment they may have really needed.
This new research could mean that adults with epilepsy would be able to benefit from a wide range of autism treatment services and improving their overall quality of life. The highest epilepsy incidences actually happen within a child’s first year after being born. Each year, approximately 150,000 children and young adults in the U.S have a single seizure and 30,000 end up being diagnosed after they experience more seizures.
Some epileptic symptoms that are commonly overlooked by parents include:
– Prolonged staring
– Uncontrolled jerking of the arms and legs
– Lack of response from verbal stimulation
– Shaking or loss of balance
– Smacking of the lips
The ICare4Autism International Autism Conference 2014 will have an entire day dedicated to scientific advances in autism research as well as new drug developments. For more information on this resource, CLICK HERE!
For original article, Click here!
Autism spectrum disorder is commonly thought of as a brain disorder in the areas of language, communication, and social behaviors. However, more research is surfacing about autism being more of a brain movement disorder. A new study from Oregon State University (OSU) conducted a study where they examine the relationship between the severity of ASD and motor skill deficiencies in young children with ASD. Researcher and Assistant professor in OSU’s College of Public Heath and Human Sciences, supports that the findings from their study suggests that there should be a focus on developing a child’s motor or movement skills when treating children on the spectrum. The earlier medical professionals are able to identify motor skill deficits, the more time therapists and parents have in working with their child to develop these skills.
The Anat Baniel Method is based on an understanding of autism as a brain movement disorder. Children with ASD typically have developmental delays in motor movement, which can sometimes be written off as clumsiness. Professor Macdonald found that very young children on the spectrum were about 6 months behind in motor skills such as running and jumping and almost a year behind in skills such as holding a spoon or small toys.
These delays in movement are caused by a disruption in the brain that slows down or prevents its ability to create new neurological connections. The brain is supposed to organize movement. Anat Baniel explains that we need to “awaken and support the brain’s ability to differentiate and create new connections and effective patterns,” and a major part of this is teaching the brain to perceive differences. For example, in working with a four year old autistic boy who kept wetting the bed, they realized that perhaps he couldn’t tell the difference between wet and dry since his diapers would absorb everything. They used a wet and dry face towel on different parts of his body and asked him whether it was wet or dry seemed to make all the difference as he stopped wetting his pants after that.
Anat Baniel has developed “The Nine Essentials” that are at the core of her neuromovement approach to treating autism. With neuromemovement, mind and body are thought of as one at all times. Many people may find it difficult to understand how physical movements can be beneficial for developing thought processes and vice versa, but her method has been shown to help brain functions that organize thinking, feeling, emotion, and action. The nine essentials allows for concrete and immediate ways to create new connections in the brain and help in many physical and cognitive aspects of life.
Anat Baniel will be presenting about Neuromovement at our upcoming ICare4Autism International Autism Conference!
For more info on the conference program and presentations, click here
Read more about the Baniel’s Nine Essentials here
Read more about Oregon State University’s Motor Skill study here
Ari Ne’eman, An Inspiration
Ari Ne’eman is the President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and also serves on the National Council on Disability as appointed by President Obama. He strives to empower people with autism and sheds much needed light on the importance of celebrating the neurological diversity of people with disabilities. As someone who was diagnosed with autism at an early age, he has a real passion and dedication for this movement to shift the perception of “disabilities as weakness.”
Ne’eman grew up in New Jersey and was verbally advanced as a child, though struggled, like many autistic children, to be socially accepted. After being moved to a special education high school, he felt stifled and didn’t feel like he was being challenged enough. Ne’eman used his talents and passion for advocacy to return to mainstream schooling and immediately founded ASAN before moving forward to study Political Science at the University of Maryland.
Now at age 26, Ne’eman has a wide variety of accomplishments under his belt that rival those of most peers his age. However, it was not achieved without hardship and criticism. Before officially joining the Council on Disability his nomination was placed on hold by advocates who claimed that he didn’t have enough sympathy for others on the ASD spectrum and didn’t have the drive.
In a recent lecture at Cornell University, Ne’eman says, “It’s about changing the conversation from creating a world without autistic people, to creating one where autistic people are respected and enjoy the equality of opportunity.”
Students at Cornell welcomed this view and are now working on their own initiatives to promote neurodiversity within their own campus because they understand it to be part of a larger social justice movement. If Cornell University, an Ivy League college, can recognize the importance of including neurodiversity within their campus, then perhaps more colleges will begin to follow suit. It is definitely a move in the right direction.
Also part of Ne’eman’s initiative for change, ASAN partnered with Freddie Mac, a leading mortgage and finance company, to promote and fill four paid internship opportunities for recent graduates and current students on the autism spectrum. This opportunity allows them to gain invaluable experience and enter the workforce in a successful environment and one that definitely welcomes diversity. Launched in May 2012, Freddie Mac’s diversity initiatives have proven to be an asset to their company. Diversity Learning and Recruiting Manager, Stephanie Roemer adds, “Our interns are terrific workers who are not easily distracted.”
ICare4Autism also has a strong focus on integrating autistic people and promoting neurodiversity within higher education and ultimately the workforce through our own workforce initiatives, i.e., working with high school kids and young adults towards this end. Dr. Joshua Weinstein, Founder and CEO of ICare4Autism spoke on neurodiversity and deficit views at the AUTISM CONNECT conference hosted by Fordham University November 8th of last year where he stressed the importance of understanding Autistics as individuals with strengths and differences rather than individuals carrying a disease.
That being said, we are proud and honored to have such a strong advocate as Ne’eman as a guest speaker for our 2014 International Autism Conference hosted right here in New York City this upcoming June. We hope you will be just as inspired as we are!
For more information on this conference and how you can hear him speak for yourself, click here
For more information on ASAN, click here
Follow Ari Ne’eman on Twitter
It is never too early to start thinking about transitions for your child. One of the biggest transitions will be from school to a workplace. Shema Kolainu understands the challenges that individuals with autism will face while searching for a job. That is why we will include the Global Autism Workforce Initiative in our International Autism Conference on June 30, 2014. This part of the conference will be specifically dedicated to developing and promoting Autism Workforce Programs.
A lot of businesses have started to realize that individuals with autism have a lot of talents that they can bring to a company. Some of the companies that are providing jobs for individuals with autism are ASP, Semperical and Walgreens. Andy Travaglia, owner at Lee & Marie’s Cakery and Bar Crudo in New York employs adults with autism. Andy organized her own bakery business because she had a dream to help people with autism by providing them with a workplace.
Employment not only gives financial independence for those with autism, but also an ability to gain social skills and self-confidence. People on the autism spectrum may take a longer time to train, but when they are ready to perform, autistic workers make exceptionally hardworking and reliable employees.
For more information about our conference, please visit https://www.eventbrite.
At a conference Wednesday in Montreal, Temple Grandin, known for her knowledge on autism and animal welfare and behavior, stood in front of the audience with a monumental presentation.
According to Grandin, who is now 66, she feels blessed to have been diagnosed with autism when she was 2 ½ years old. Furthermore, she alluded to figures such as Albert Einstein and Apple’s Steve Jobs, who perhaps would also be diagnosed with autism. “You wouldn’t have all these electronics and technology if it weren’t for all these geeks with mild autism,” Grandin suggested.[i]
Temple Grandin has been known for her advocacy of early intervention programs for young children diagnosed with autism. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the sooner he or she can begin therapy. Grandin believes in bringing out the exceptional skills children with autism possess, and to help them succeed. Instead of concentrating on what autistic kids struggle with, parents and therapists should encourage their strengths.
When a young girl presented Grandin with honey and a painting, she accepted it graciously and said, “Let me tell you, you’re professional grade. I’m serious. You’re very talented and you could turn this into a career. I’m all about careers.”
Let’s take Temple Grandin’s advice: realize the importance of early intervention for children diagnosed with autism, and try to bring out everything they could possibly offer to succeed.
[i] “The Gazette” Let autistic kids take a turn, author advises. 07 Nov 2013. Web. < http://www.montrealgazette.com/touch/story.html?id=9134398>
On Saturday October 19th, the Northridge Center in San Fernando Valley, California held an inspirational event called “More Like You than Not”, where 230 people gathered to understand more about people with autism and exactly how they learn to communicate.
Sheelah Peterson, the event coordinator, explained that the point of this event was to dispel the myths that people with autism are not as intelligent as people who aren’t autistic. People tend to have this perspective, especially of those with autism who are non-verbal. The purpose of the event was to change this assumption of unintelligence that occurs simply because non-verbal autistic people can’t communicate the way that is normally expected.
Tracy Tresher and Larry Bissonnette were guest speakers at the event and talked about their struggles with having autism and being non-verbal. They also discussed their award-winning documentary called “Wretches & Jabberers”. The 2011 film is about their quest to change prevailing attitudes about autism and intelligence. They communicated with the audience at the event by typing into iPads. Their words were then projected onto two screens and also read out loud by a computer generated voice.
Christina Cannarella came to the event in order to learn how to communicate more effectively with her autistic son. She highlighted exactly what the guest speakers were trying to get across.
“We don’t need words to communicate and that’s the beauty of what Larry and Tracy are doing, “ Cannarella said. “People that are not able to share a physical voice are showing us other ways of communication.”
Although autism is hard to diagnose before 24 months, symptoms often surface between 12 and 18 months and if it is caught in infancy, treatment can begin early and we can gain much progress from taking advantage of the adolescent brain’s amazing flexibility. If signs are detected by 18 months of age, rigorous treatment may help to rewire the brain and undo the symptoms.
The initial signs of autism entail the lack of normal behaviors and not the existence of abnormal ones. This then is hard to spot. Often enough, the most basic symptoms of autism are misinterpreted as signs of a “good baby,” because the toddler may seem quiet, self-sufficient, and easy going. However, you can detect warning signs early if you know what to look for.
Some autistic infants don’t respond to cuddling, reach out to be picked up, or look at their mothers when being fed.
At a special Tu BiShvat seder organized by Ezra and Gabriella Friedlander in their home in the heart of Borough Park, New York City Council Speaker and Mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn was warmly welcomed this past Sunday by a small but highly influential group of Boro Park Leaders.
Also participating in the Seder were NYC Councilman Brad Lander, President of the City Council in Yonkers Charles Lesnick, Assemblyman David Weprin, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, of the NY Board of Rabbis, Abe Eisner, Yeruchim Silber of the BPJCC, Alexsander Rapaport of Masbia, Dr. David Moskovits, Leon Goldenberg, Moshe Friedman of Community First, Meir Laufer, founder of New York Wheel, Isaac Sofer – Central UTA Satmar, Ari Weiss, Shomrim, Naftali Reiner of Bobov ,Jonathan and Cynthia of the QJCC, Esther Henny Jaroslawicz, Boro Park Bikur Cholim, Zev Brenner of Talkline Communications, were among many other local community leaders and activists attending.
Guests were treated to all the traditional fruits of the holiday. In addition about a dozen readings from the Torah Sages were distributed and read by different participants. The topics discussed ranged from the importance of conservation to the unity and responsibilities of the local community people. The attendees were able to exchange candid and thought provoking ideas.
“Sharing our traditions with elected officials allows us to get to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and having Council Speaker Quinn join us demonstrated her sensitivity to our community” said Ezra Friedlander, CEO of The Friedlander Group.