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Once I know my child has Autism what should I do?

April 8, 2020, 10:43 a.m.

Firstly, you might find yourself coping with a condition you know very little about.  Here are some ideal tips

  1. Read about the condition & sign up for newsletters to be updated with global information on new methods and trends.
  2. Consult a child psychologist who is specialised in early intervention. The child needs a combination of therapies – Speech therapy, OT & Behaviour modification therapy. 
  3. Start therapy immediately. This is a crucial step. Remember it’s a long and continuous process. While deciding on the therapy centre for your child consider the following
    a.    Logistics – Traveling everyday should not be tiresome for both you …

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Symptoms and red flags to watch out for from 12 months to 3 years

April 3, 2020, 8:49 a.m.

Autism Spectrum Disorder can be diagnosed before the age of 3. Some children with ASD show signs within the first few months of being born. While others, symptoms may not show up until 2 years (24 months) or later. In some cases, children with an ASD seem to develop typically until around 18 to 24 months of age and then they stop acquiring new skills, or they lose the skills that they once used to possess. Studies have shown that one third to half of parents of children with an ASD noticed a problem before their child’s first birthday (12 …

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Talking To Children About Coronavirus

March 26, 2020, 5:25 a.m.

Corona virus / COVID-19 makes people sick and shows flu-like symptoms such as cough or fever or trouble while breathing. As experts are still doing their part in knowing as much as possible about this pandemic, there isn’t much information available about how this affects children. There are also fewer cases reported about children. However, studies are suggesting that babies/ children catch milder symptoms of fever, cough, fatigue, nausea etc. as compared to adults/ senior citizens. 
 
Now the question that arises is – How do we explain this to our children? 

We are all aware that children sense our feelings and emotions. …

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Dealing with Eating problems in Children

March 19, 2020, 12:52 p.m.

  • Be careful about what you say to your children. Children are already very sensitive to comments regarding food. There are higher chances of them emulating these random comments as serious advice, especially when it comes from their own parents. 
  • Parents should deal with their own fears and problems revolving food. There is a good chance that the parents can unintentionally pass on their own aversions to their children. 
  • If your child has a weight problem, it is imperative to teach the child to eat better and different as opposed to teaching them to eat less or not at all. 
  • As established, kids are …

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How Technology Can Help Kids With Dyslexia

March 12, 2020, 4:16 a.m.

Broadly stated, dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty in reading. 

“Reading is complex. It requires our brains to connect letters to sounds, put those sounds in the right order, and pull the words together into sentences and paragraphs we can read and comprehend,” according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. “People with dyslexia have trouble matching the letters they see on the page with the sounds [that] those letters and combinations of letters make. And when they have trouble with that step, all the other steps are harder.” 

  • Note taking: Some dyslexic people have trouble jotting down quick …

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Music Therapy for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

March 7, 2020, 4:53 a.m.

Music Therapy is the musical interaction between the children and their therapists which can help the kids deal with their multitude of problems in a risk-free, non-problematic manner. Music Therapy is widely known to help build the ability to function across a wide-range of activities. It can build skills, develop new communications kills, help kids with their pre-existing abilities, lower anxiety and work on attention span and concentration issues.

  Although they share a few similarities, music therapy is very different from typical music instruction classes. Appropriate qualifications are required to master the techniques and education that is mandatory for the …

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Autism – From The Perspective Of A Physiotherapist

Feb. 26, 2020, 2:50 a.m.

 Physiotherapy is a key ingredient in the treatment of motor difficulties for children who with autism.  
A physiotherapist who is experienced in pediatrics will assess the child’s overall motor functioning, identify underlying difficulties and then provide an intervention programme to help address the identified difficulties while this simultaneously works on improving the child’s overall functioning.  
 
The following can be the underlying motor difficulties: 
A number of motor, sensory and muscular-skeletal issues are the base of the difficulties experienced by a child with ASD 
-       Low muscle tone 
-       Motor planning difficulties 
-       Poor core strength 
-       Poor …

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Autism – From The Perspective Of A Clinical Psychologist

Feb. 20, 2020, 5:42 p.m.

Clinical psychologists use their clinical judgement along with the use of standardized assessments to determine the individual’s cognitive, language, social, and adaptive functioning when working with an individual with ASD. 

The core areas that are assessed while coming up with strategies as a part of the intervention plan are: 
 
  • An In-depth history of the child’s development and health acquired through parent/ caregiver reports 
  • If there is loss of any previously acquired language or social skills
  • Concerns of informant/ parents with regard to the child
  • Frequency, Severity and the duration in which these behaviours take place
  • Various situations/environments in which these behaviours occur
  • How do these behaviours impact …

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Autism – From The Perspective Of A Speech & Language Pathologist (SLP)

Feb. 12, 2020, 2:40 p.m.

All individuals have different ways of communicating their needs, wants and opinions. Children with autism often have impaired communication skills as well as impaired social interaction and find it hard to interact socially due to an addition of inadequate cognitive skills. Hence speech and language therapy is one of the significant parts of treatment for autism, which addresses a wide range of communication problems.
 
Autism can affect speech, language development, and social communication in many ways as listed below: 
1.    They might not talk at all
2.    Presence of grunts, cries, shrieks, or throaty-harsh sounds
3.    Hum or talk in a …

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Autism – From The Perspective Of An Occupational Therapist

Feb. 8, 2020, 3:38 a.m.

 From an Occupational Therapy perspective, when working with children with Autism, we can be involved in looking at how a child manages their daily routines and self-care (e.g. dressing, brushing teeth, eating); their fine motor skills (e.g. using scissors, tying shoelaces, drawing and writing); their sensory needs (e.g. being attentive, picky eating, wearing certain clothes); their visual perceptual skills (doing puzzles or dot-to-dots, orienting numbers and letters, finding objects in a busy environment); their emotions and behaviours (dealing with anger and anxiety, aggression); and their playing and socializing (e.g. eye-contact, sharing, functional or imaginary play). 

By incorporating different approaches (e.g. sensory …

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Autism from My perspective - 6 Things that Helped My Son the Most

Jan. 30, 2020, 1:59 p.m.

My name is Madhavi Adimulam.  My older son Varun has Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  He was diagnosed with Autism when he was around 2.5 years old. He is 21 years old now.  It was quite a roller coaster journey. In this short article I would like to list the 6 most important things that we did which helped him the most.

1.  Early Intervention - In early intervention time is invaluable. Time lost cannot be recovered. We started his Speech, Occupational Therapy and Behaviour Therapy in a matter of days he after was diagnosed. We didn't waste any time.

2. Started …

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Early Intervention - Difference between Autism and ADHD in children

Jan. 23, 2020, 5:36 p.m.

 How do you differentiate if your child has Autism or ADHD? Especially because they can look a lot like each other in their initial stages. 
 The 2 can be very similar yet distinct at the same time. Some of the similarities are: 

-       Difficulty with focusing 
-       Difficulty with communication 
-       Difficulty in school/schoolwork 
-       Difficulty in maintaining relationships 

Here are some similarities & differences: 

  • Easily getting distracted / daydreaming - ADHD
  • Jumping from one task to another/getting bored easily - ADHD
  • Unresponsive to stimuli (especially common ones) - ASD
  • Difficulty with focusing or concentration - ADHD & ASD
  • Intensive concentration on one …

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Early Intervention in Action

Jan. 17, 2020, 12:49 p.m.

MILESTONES

Apart from your child’s height and weight, there are several other milestones to keep track of while they’re growing up. In fact, these milestones start showing up in the first few months of your baby’s life. 

Now how does one know if there is a delay in one’s development or not? When a child does not achieve a milestone around the same time as other babies. Even though all children take their own time, there are certain tasks that children should do by a certain age. Not all delay is problematic, however at the same time delay does suggest the possibility. …

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Early Intervention – Starts Early

Jan. 9, 2020, 4:28 a.m.

The early years of a child are some of the most important ones for development. In the initial few years of a baby’s life, the brain is on its highest level of grasping and learning to create newer stronger neural pathways - neuroplasticity

Now what if you notice that your child is having difficulty or trouble with some skills or that “something is off “? Well this is the time you go to a healthcare professional for advice and support. In other words, this is the time you opt for early intervention. 
What exactly is early intervention? It is a system of …

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By The Age Of 6-7, Most Children Make Their Speech Sound Like The Adults Around Them

Dec. 26, 2019, 7:19 a.m.

Interesting fact: Babies are better at hearing different sounds (with different accents) around them as compared to adults! 
 
But this usually happens during the ages of 6-12 months. They can actually “hear” the differences between different languages and their accents. Gradually, by the age of 12 months they start losing this ability. But as they lose this ability to hear these differences, they develop the ability to distinguish between sounds of the same language, simultaneously. One could call this a “sound map”. This map is usually an accurate representation/example of each and every sound they hear (that acts a base) along …

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Speech And Language Pathologists Understand The Speech and Language Difficulties That Children Have

Dec. 19, 2019, 2:09 p.m.

If your child has reading, spelling, articulation, fluency, voice or oral feeding difficulties then a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) is your answer! 
What the SLP would do is observe your child to understand what kind of difficulty they are facing in an unbiased manner. They might work with them individually, in smaller groups or in a large group such as a classroom based on the needs of the child. When an SLP works with a child, the duration can stretch up to months or sometimes even years. Progress is subjective and it is vital that all individuals involved in the …

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Speech Is A Complex Process

Dec. 12, 2019, 6:52 a.m.

When a child starts speaking, it takes him/her around 100 muscles of the chest, jaw, neck, lips and tongue to come together. The process is so complex for an individual to speak that hundreds and thousands of fibers, nerves and neurons must coordinate and work together. Apart from the physical necessities, the aspect of the vocabulary, situations and their correlation is also a very intricate process. Simple words like “Hello, Hi, Bye, how are you?” have all their related information stored in a part of the brain called the “speech area”. If any of these areas (physical and mental) have …

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A Common Misconception Is That A Speech & Language Pathologist Only Teaches Children How To Say Sounds Correctly

Dec. 6, 2019, 5:27 a.m.

Most children say their first few words between 10-14 months of age. Parents might consider consulting a Speech & Language Pathologist if they feel their child hasn’t achieved the typical milestones of speech and language.  A lot of times, parents go with the assumption that the role of a Speech & Language Pathologist or Therapist (SLT) is to teach people how to speak or say sounds correctly. 

However, this assumption might only be partially true. There are multiple things that an SLT does to observe, evaluate, diagnose and create a treatment plan for children with speech and language difficulties. 
 
Speech & Language …

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Occupational Therapy enhances Self-Esteem and Sense of Accomplishment

Nov. 28, 2019, 7:08 a.m.

Every parent’s primary goal is to make their child independent, motivated & drive a sense of accomplishment, so they can be successful in their personal & professional lives. 
 
This is exactly where an Occupational Therapist steps in. By working on a child’s self-esteem and helping them feel like they can take care of themselves, they enhance the child’s sense of accomplishment as well. 
Believing in oneself, feeling content and satisfied automatically releases the “happy” hormones (dopamine, endorphins etc.). 
 
Occupational Therapists are experts in carrying out assessments related to behavioral health. These assessments give them exposure to the child’s condition. Once they gain this …

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Occupational Therapy Addresses Hand-Eye Coordination

Nov. 21, 2019, 5:40 a.m.

Occupational Therapy (OT) addresses hand-eye coordination, i.e. the Integration of visual information with hand movement.  OT can help with strengthening of the muscles in the eyes and hands while enhancing neural pathways to improve everyday functioning. 

These skills impact many aspects of life. In its absence, most people would be unable to carry out even the simplest of actions such as picking up a book from a table. 

The home routine can include simple and basic hand eye coordination activities such as playing ball, dressing up dolls, mazes and connecting dots, drawing shapes and lines, juggling, bouncing ball etc. Children who have …

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Occupational Therapy Works on Child’s Fine Motor Skills

Nov. 15, 2019, 2:12 a.m.

One aspect of Occupational Therapy is to work on a child’s fine motor skills, so they understand the concept of grasp and release. An early intervention program in Occupational Therapy stimulates natural curiosity while addressing Visual perception, Problem solving and Coordination. 

Smaller muscles, like muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrists are used for these skills. This practice addresses difficulties in eating, buttoning, clothing, writing, holding small items like pencil, eraser, turning pages in a book, cutting with scissors, and using keyboards. 
 

A few activities for fine motor are:
 
1.     Beading with thread/pipe cleaners
  • Different sizes of beads
  • Random beading
  • Sequential beading
2.     Sorting

Occupational Therapy is an Evidence-Based Practice

Nov. 8, 2019, 4:42 a.m.

Occupational Therapy is a science driven practice which like any other, gives measurable outcomes. The significance of a practice like this is that it ensures effective treatment techniques. 

In pediatrics, play-based activities/play therapy allows children to develop skills such as turn taking, sharing or even basics like counting. Play therapy refers to playing with purpose as it is otherwise called is basically a structured game or activity. These games have to be led by a therapist or the parent. Games played along with families help support and encourage togetherness, strengthening and positive behavior (how to cope with losing a game, turn …

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Tips and tricks on how to plan holidays for children with autism

Nov. 1, 2019, 8:14 a.m.

Everyone deserves to soak up some sun! 

As we know, autism affects everyone in different ways. To make it easier for you, here are some general tips that probably might be helpful for you and your child to enjoy your vacation and look forward to another one:

  • The first thing you can do to begin is to inform your flight attendants in advance. Sending an email with a list of information that addresses food preferences, allergies and communication abilities will prepare them well. 
  • Make a book with pictures or show your child some videos about the place that you’re planning to visit. 
  • Try and …

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Myth: Children eventually grow out of ADHD

Oct. 16, 2019, 5:45 a.m.


FACT: ADHD changes overtime, but rarely does one outgrow it.
 
William Barbesi, MD, once said in a press release that we are all stuck in a mindset that believes ADHD is just one of those irritating childhood problems that is over treated. There needs to be an approach to ADHD as we have for diabetes. The base of care needs to be made keeping the long-term in mind. 
One of the largest research of its kind says that 1/3 of people who have ADHD as children, continue to have the same even when they become adults and also get more vulnerable towards …

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Myth: ADHD is a learning disability

Oct. 11, 2019, 3:40 p.m.

FACT: ADHD isn't a learning disability; be that as it may, it makes learning troublesome. For instance, it is difficult to realize when you battle to concentrate on what your educator is stating or when you must sit in one place and focus on a task in front of you. You can face both. Learning disabilities and ADHD frequently co-exist. Kids with ADHD are bound to have learning disabilities as compared to kids who don't have ADHD. 
 
Learning includes utilizing the official elements (executive functions) of the brain especially the capacity to pay attention, focus, connect with an errand and utilize …

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5 Proven Ways To Improve Child's Behaviour Autism Spectrum Disorder

Oct. 11, 2019, 3:40 p.m.

The sheer need to follow a routine, difficulty switching from one activity to the other or trouble using and understanding language appropriately are a few of the common reasons that affect the behavior of the child who under the Autism Spectrum.

Much because of the delay in language skills, the child often coveys his/her thoughts and feeling through behavior.The methods of expression may be inappropriate like shouting, screaming, or aggression towards self and others posing a challenge in understanding and supporting the child.

It is important to understand that there are NO quick fixes for altering these types of behaviour.Let’s check a …

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Role of Grand Parents in the world of Autism

Oct. 11, 2019, 3:40 p.m.

Grand Parents In The World Of Autism – The Light And Support

There is nothing in this world that can be compared to the unconditional and boundless love that a grandparent feels for their grandchild.

Being a grandparent of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is quite like being a grandparent of any other child. Grandparents can play a very important role in the growth and development of the child.Parents have to manage and coordinate a lot of responsibilities.

In these situations, grandparents can be a huge support and sharing responsibility with more extended roles in the lives of the …

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