Comprehensive Early Intervention Boosts Brain Response and Social Skills


Early education is crucial in enhancing our development in the day to day world. Theearlier an individual can adapt and process, the more information they can retain and utilize. The human brain is the catalyst on which we build knowledge and skills. So much of what our children learn is developed through social interaction and is implemented with cultivation.


Through ground breaking research and commitment from world renowned organizations and educators, advancements have been made. Such advancements have created a path for improved treatments and workforce initiatives  domestically and abroad. With such remarkable developments that currently exist, autism can see the light through a brighter outlook on immediate change.


Autism: Still on The Rise

autism still on the riseIf you float in online autism circles you may be well aware of the new autism figures released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday.  While it has been evident for many years that the number of those with autism is steadily rising, yesterday’s announcement that the number of cases has risen 78 percent in the last ten years is a sobering reminder.

The number of autism cases in the United States has reached one in every 88 children, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports. The figures vary wildly between girls and boys with one in every 54 boys affected, five fold the prevalence in girls: one in 252. Continue reading

Early Detection of Autism: Ten Signs to Look For

Early Detection of Autism: Ten Signs to Look ForChild can start showing signs of developmental delay before their first birthday but autism is often not diagnosed until the age of three. Early detection and treatment can take full advantage of the young brain’s remarkable plasticity. Intensive treatment may help to rewire the brain and reverse the symptoms.  While not all infants and toddlers with delays will develop autism spectrum disorders (ASD), experts point to early detection of these signs as key to capitalizing on early diagnosis and intervention. Continue reading

Siblings of Those with Autism

Research indicates that the majority of brothers and sisters of children with autism cope well with their experiences. That does not mean, however, that they do not encounter special challenges in learning how to deal with a sibling who has autism or a related disorder.

With more children being diagnosed with autism, and many within a family where several children are neuro-typical, it’s raised some questions on how these children feel about their sibling with autism taking more time and attention from their parents. Continue reading

Music Therapy for Autism

Music Therapy at Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices

Music Therapy at Shema Kolainu - Hear Our Voices

After covering how one boy’s hidden talent was discovered through music therapy, we thought we’d take a closer look at how music therapy works. Continue reading

OK for Children with Autism to Avert Gaze

 Autism to Avert GazeA study by Northumbria University has found that when processing complicated information that children with autism react in the same way as children without autism: by averting their gaze to think.

Children with autism and usually encouraged to maintain eye contact to promote social skills, however they seem to naturally follow the suit of their peers by using ‘gaze aversion’ when working on difficult tasks.  This behavior has been shown to increase the accuracy of responses. Continue reading

Free Autism Workshops for Teachers and Parents

Dr Stephen Shore holding a workshop

Here at Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices, School and Center for Children with Autism we pride ourselves on regularly opening our doors to share our finding about children with autism.

At SK-HOV we provide comprehensive, research-based educational practices and related therapeutic services to maximize the learning and participation of children (aged 3 to 11 years) with various developmental and neurological disorders.

Our education and training program is designed to inform participants about autism, related services and behavior analytic techniques used to teach personal, social, and academic skills.

So far this year we have had a workshop about how to address sensory issues as well as a workshop on curriculum development for advanced learners. Continue reading

African-American Children Receive Autism Diagnosis Later

African-American Children Recieve Autism Diagnosis Later than OthersA study by a Florida State University researcher has shown that African-American children tend to be diagnosed with autism later than other children, which can have a negative impact on their treatment outcomes.

“Intervention for any autistic child needs to start around age 3, so we can get the child to begin to learn how to eat right and develop normal, healthy routines, which will result in a better developmental outcome,” Martell Teasley, an associate professor in Florida State’s College of Social Work said. “Later intervention will result in a poorer developmental outcome that can have a lasting impact on the child’s and family’s quality of life.” Continue reading

One Mother’s Quest Inspired Autism Programs to Help Other Families

Karen Neary

When first receiving a diagnosis of autism, parents can become overwhelmed by the variety of treatment options and the pressure to act as soon as possible.

One Waterloo mother knows this feeling all too well. “All I know is I’m panicked now,” Karen Neary said. “You’re obsessed with starting instantly, but you don’t know what to do.”

When she received her son’s diagnosis Neary was working as an X-ray technician but she went back to school to gain a PhD in developmental psychology. Continue reading

An Introduction to Retts

Rett syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system occurring almost exclusively in girls. It leads to developmental reversals, especially in the areas of expressive language, and hand use, making it easily misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy, or non-specific developmental delay.

While Retts syndrome can occur in males, it attacks their only X chromosome, resulting in miscarriage, stillbirth, or very early death.

Although the a child will develop normally for the first 6-18 month, symptoms ranging from mild to severe will slowly start to develop. Symptoms may include apraxia, breathing problems, developmental changes, excessive saliva or drooling, floppy arms and legs, intellectual and learning disabilities, scoliosis, shaky or unsteady gait, toe walking, seizures, slow head and hand growth, change in sleep patterns, loss of purposeful hand movements, loss of social engagement, loss of speech, ongoing and sever constipation or gastro esophageal reflux, and poor circulation.

Treatment is varied depending on symptoms and includes assistance with feeding and diapering, methods to treat constipation and GERD, physical therapy, weight bearing exercises, supplemental feedings, diets high in calories and fat, as well various medications and supplements.

Although the disease will slowly progress until the patient is a teenager, then the symptoms may improve. Generally, individuals with Rett Syndrome will need assistance all their lives, and most will live until adulthood.

Rett Syndrome was first discovered in 1954 when Dr. Andreas Rett, a pediatrician in Vienna, Austria noticed two girls (unrelated to each other) in his waiting room making the same motions with their hands. After a comparison of their developmental and clinical histories, he noted they were quite similar. He found six other girls with the symptoms in his practice, traveled Europe looking for more subjects to study, and published his findings in several German medical journals in 1966. Even so, it wasn’t until 1983 that an article on Retts Syndrome was published in a mainstream English journal, Annals of Neurology.

It is of note that while the condition affects 1 of every 10,000 children, groups of the disease have appeared within families and certain geographic regions including Norway, Sweden, and northern Italy.