Articles on autism

Mild Autism Is Reversible With Educational and Behavioral Approaches

Mrs. Anupama Maruvada, Psychologist
Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.Educational and behavioral approaches are often a core feature of the overall treatment plan for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Limited evidence-based research is available for most of the behavioral and/or educational based programs. These approaches are particularly difficult to study using traditional research methods. For one reason, It is difficult to control many factors that can interfere with or bias results. It is also often difficult to exactly reproduce any single intervention across settings. One exception to this frustrating lack of evidence is the growing amount of success using early intensive intervention programs for children with ASD. Such programs generally involve many hours of therapy each week for children between the ages of 2 and 7.Many studies have shown that behavioral interventions can improve intelligence test scores, language skills, and academic performance of young children with ASD. Some studies have also shown improvement in behavioral or personal and social skills."Behavior Therapy Normalizes Brains of Autistic Children"Autism likely has deep genetic roots, but the latest research provides hope that some learning techniques can lessen symptoms of the developmental disorder. Ten years ago, autism was rarely detected before ages 3 or 4. Now, more autistic children are being identified when they are toddlers. In children with the mild cases of autism, cognitive behavior therapy techniques resulted in changes in their brains that made them “indistinguishable” from those of unaffected children of the same age — essentially normalizing them, according to many researchers.I, as the Clinical Director, with 15 years of experience in the field developed 3 different programs to normalize autistic children using lot of research happening world wide.1. Infant Brain Stimulation2. BMSI program3. Behavior Therapy ServicesBy using these programs, at CBT 2, we have 99% success in showing improvement in children with ASD. We believe that each child is a unique individual with a unique learning style. We therefore design comprehensive, individualized Behavior programs to meet the specific needs of each child and his /her family. We, at CBT 2, use standardized assessments to know where the child stands, develop unique programs for the child and determines the number of hours the child may require therapies. We then gather data to track improvements. These daily reports generate monthly reports to indicate progress of the child. If regression is occurring, we will be able to identify at the earliest and prevent.

Positive Signs for Autism

Dr. N. P. Karthikeyen
The incidence of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is reaching epidemic proportions, believed to affect approximately 1 in 166 live births. It is our sincere aim to create a “POSITIVE AWARENESS” on Autism both among the professionals and parents.Red Flags for Possible ASD Although autism is only considered to manifest around18 months of age, recent developments in research have indicated that it can be identified much earlier. Some of the characteristics they may exhibit include-Arching their back away from their caregiver to avoid physical contact,Failing to anticipate being picked up,As infants,they are either passive or over agitated babies. A passive baby refers to one who is quiet most of the time making little, if any, demands on his/her parents. An over agitated baby refers to an infant who cries a great deal,sometimes non-stop, during his/her waking hours.Some autistic toddlers reach/rush through developmental milestones, such as crawling, and walking, much ahead of time; whereas others are considerably delayed. The absence of eye contact is to be observed in particular even during the breast fed phase of life.Please understand that ‘A child with autism is not merely a compilation of symptoms.’ Because significant evidences now link the molecular pathways of cellular stress response to the onset of chronic inflammation associated with chronic diseases.‘Bodily symptoms could be the manifestations of signalling and metabolic derangements that may have widespread effects integrally related to what we now call autism.’Thus in autism, inflammation and decreased connectivity could hamper simultaneous and complex coordination between functional areas of the brain explaining the impaired social and communication skills.Our research indicates that restoration of Molecular order could activate the dormant neuronal pools,improve connectivity and restore functional integration.

Diagnosing Autism in Children - List of Early Symptoms

Dr. N. P. Karthikeyen
Characteristics of children with Autism:These are listed here to enable all parents to be aware and pick up warning signs early and act. Prefers to be alone; aloof manner,Little or no eye contact,Insistence on sameness; resistance to change,Difficulty in expressing needs, and no single finger pointing.Repeating words or phrases in place of normal, responsive language,Laughing,crying, showing distress and tantrums, for reasons not apparent to others,May not want to cuddle or be cuddled,Unresponsive to normal teaching methods,Sustained odd play, spins objects, inappropriate attachments to objects,Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain,No real fear of dangers, Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity,Uneven gross/fine motor skills,Not responsive to verbal cues; acts as if deaf although hearing tests are in normal range,A word of Caution to parentsWe emphasise that these standardised behavioural data are aimed at creating awareness but not phobia. Having any of these features in itself is not indicative of autism, but warrants further follow up and formal evaluation by a multi-disciplinary team. For example, in the social/educational system of United States of America, all infants who exhibit developmental deviations are closely observed and monitored with appropriate intervention until they are able to reach a Yes or No category on a definitive diagnosis. This ensures that no child is left out in the system and enables early intervention (where necessary) which is very crucial for prognosis.

Child Development and Autism: What You Need to Know!

Dr. Vykunta Raju K. N, Neurologist
INTRODUCTIONAutism includes a wide spectrum of neuro developmental disorders, characterized by impairment in several areas of development. Recently these disorders are being referred to as autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) to include a broader behavioral phenotype. Sometimes the terms autism and ASD are used interchangeably.DefinitionThe core features of autistic spectrum disorders are:· Qualitative impairment in reciprocal social interactions · Qualitative impairment in communication (verbal and non-verbal)· Restrictiveand stereotypical patterns of behaviors, interests, or activitiesIn addition, children with autism may have unusual responses to sensory experiences or perceptions.Autistic Disorder All of the following symptoms/deficits may/may not be present in a child. Since there is a wide variation in presentation of Autistic disorder, variable combination of symptoms may be present in a given child.1) Deficits in reciprocal social interaction· Delay in the appearance of social smile · Impairment in the non-verbal behaviors used for social interaction (eye-to-eye contact,facial expressions, body postures and gestures)· Child may appear to be “in his/her own world”· There may be lack of spontaneous sharing of enjoyment and interests with other people· Social interaction is rarely initiated spontaneously· Contrary to popular belief, autistic children can show definite signs of attachment with familiar people or even clinginess to a specific care giver· On the other extreme, these children may display excessive familiarity with strangers due to the absence of social inhibitions and stranger anxiety2) Deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication· Approximately 50% never develop speech. In the remaining 50%, language acquisition is delayed and deviant · This may manifest with impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation, or stereotyped, repetitive use of language · Children may exhibit repetition of words or phrases regardless of meaning or relevance (echolalia) and pronominal reversal (substituting ‘I’ for “you’ or vice-versa)· The child may not be able to understand gestures or use them during communication · There is an absence of effort to indicate an item of interest to another person 3) Stereotypic behavior· Restrictive and repetitive behaviors present as stereotypic movements (body rocking, finger twirling, hand flapping, spinning and tip-toe walking) · A preoccupation with certain ideas or objects (i.e. a fascination with certain numbers, letters, schedules, animate or inanimate objects) · An apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals 4) Sensory deviance · These may be visual (seeing things from a particular angle), auditory (appearing deaf at times, clapping hand over their ears), olfactory (sniffing objects) or perceptual (refusing to eat food with certain textures or tastes, mouthing of objects, compulsive touching of certain objects or textures, diminished response to pain)· Increased sensitivity to touch, including but not limited to the feel of running water, adversity to bathing5) Play · This may be a typical or deviant, and if present, is mechanical and repetitive· Imaginative play is markedly impaired or absent· The child may play with objects which are not usually used for play by children of the same developmental level. E.g. A six-year old child collecting and playing with shoes, papers or wrappers· Lining things up6) Abnormalities of mood or affect· Mood may be inappropriate to the situation or circumstances.· This may be in the form of uncontrollable crying or laughing in a situation where it is not warranted. 7) OthersThese children may be oblivious to hazards or may have excessive fear of harmless objects. CLINICAL SPECTRUMEarly pointers to autismEarly red flag signs in communication Early red flag signs in social functioningClinical features of Autistic disorder The manifestations vary depending on the developmental level, age of the child, and degree of impairment.Note: This may not be true for children with Asperger disorder who can often pass as “typical” until a much later age (10-12 years).Co-morbidities of autistic spectrum disorders· Psychiatric disorders: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, mood disorders, tics and Tourette disorder.· Mental retardation· Epilepsy/Seizures· Feeding disturbances and gastro-intestinal problems· Sleep disturbances· Hearing impairmentNatural course ofAutistic disorder· It is very important to remember that the clinical spectrum changes with age and attainment of developmental maturity. · The specific characteristics change as the child grows older, but the deficits continue into and through adult life with broadly similar patterns. · During infancy, most children have a history of delayed or unusual development. Some children (33%) may give a history of normal development with regression becoming apparent between 1 and 3 ½ years. Often delays and deviations in language become apparent during the 2nd or 3rd year and are a common cause of seeking professional help. Up to 25% of children with autism had a history of normal development to approximately 18-24 months of age followed by a loss of social and communication skills· As the child develops, the child may become more willing to be passively engaged in social interaction, but their behavior is still deviant with unawareness of other people’s boundaries or inappropriate intrusiveness· Hyperactivity improves and ritualistic behaviors start decreasing during adolescence· Depression may develop in some high functioning autistic individuals who have limited social and language skills when they struggle with the normal desire to be apart of a group.BROAD PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENTThe goals of management comprise of: · Advancement of normal development (acquisition of cognitive, communication and social skills)· Promotion of learning and problem solving in structured semi-structured and unstructured settings· Reduction of maladaptive behavior that impede learning· Treatment of all co-morbid conditions· Assistance of families to cope with autismManagement of primary problemsThe earlier and more frequent the intervention, the better the prognosis. Universally accepted goals are improvement of the overall functioning status of the child by development of communication, social, adaptive, behavioral and academic skills. Therapy with young children focuses on speech and language, special education, parent education, training and support and pharmacotherapy for certain target symptoms. Older children and adolescents with greater intelligence but poor social skills and psychiatric symptoms may require psychotherapy, behavioral or cognitive therapy and pharmacotherapy.Behavioral & Psychological Treatment:2- 3 years children · Target deficits in learning, language, imitation, attention, motivation, compliance and initiative of interaction· Behavioral methods/ communication/ occupational/ physical therapy/ social play intervention· Physical activity to develop motor coordination (games/ puzzle/ paint)· Encourage interaction and use of language at snack time3- 9 years children · Provide a structure to enable a child to acquire social skills and functional communication· Involve parents to use the skills and behavior learned at school when at home· Encourage to grow his/ her areas of strength· Skills as learning how to behave in social gatherings and in making friendsAddress practical matters in activities of daily living Pharmacological treatment · There is no pharmacological cure or substitute for appropriate educational, behavioral, psychotherapeutic, vocational, and recreational programs· Medication is used only as an adjunct to these core interventions· The goals are to minimize core symptoms, prevent harmful behavior (aggression, self-injury) and maximize the benefits of non-medical intervention. · A decrease in these behaviors may facilitate communication, learning, socialization and integration into community settings.Management ofassociated problems/ co-morbidities· Mentalretardation - Acquisition of skills employed in the activities of daily living · Eating Disorder - Cognitive Behavior therapy and routine activity· Sleeping disorder - Use of appropriate medications and routine activitySteps for prevention            Secondary and tertiary prevention can be done by· Genetic counseling (especially genetic and metabolic conditions associated with Autistic disorder and Rett disorder)· Increasing awareness among parents and community.· Increasing index of suspicion among primary care providers to enable early diagnosis.· Increasing awareness and sensitizing kindergarten, nursery and primary school teachers · Appropriate management as early as possible. Referral Pattern· High index of suspicion and early identificationo By increasing awareness among parents and teachers (play schools and regular schools) o Awareness among doctors- general pediatricians/ psychologists/ pediatric neurologists· Creating a network of agencies who can diagnose and manage such children so that appropriate and timely referral canbe possibleRehabilitationProviding multidisciplinary assessment and advice to prevent development of secondary complications. The rehabilitation team should be staffed by a team of specialist professionals who work as a co-coordinated multidisciplinary team to enable people to transfer skills acquired during therapy sessions to their daily living activities. These include a developmental pediatrician/neurologist, a psychiatrist, ophthalmologists and optometrists, audiologists, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologist, behavioral expert and special educator.Special benefits · National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability Act, 1999 has provisions for legal guardianship of the four categories and creation of enabling environment for as much independent living as possible. The Ministry of Finance has included income tax exemption for parents/ guardians of children with autism according to Section 80DD andSection 80U of the Income Tax Act 1961.· The NationalTrust also provides following assistance for persons with disabilities: Economic rehabilitation of persons with disabilities comprise of both wage employment in organized sector and self-employment (3% reservation in employment in government establishments; wage employment in private sector; self-employment; special benefits for women and children with disabilities; provision of barrier-free environment).· NHFDC schemes implemented through state channelising agencies (SCA) and nationalized banks: Loan upto Rs. 3.00 lakh can be availed for self-employment amongst persons with mental retardation, cerebral palsy and autism Management of the family with an affected child· Developing social support groups· Counseling the familyAssessment of medical comorbid aspects1. Assessment of vision and hearing: in all children 2. Assessment of mental Retardation: in all children3. Electroencephalography: indicated in children with suspected seizures, unusual behavior, symptoms of regression, unusually poor sleep or regressive loss of previously acquired sleep. 4. Neuro-imaging: indicated in children with focal neurological signs, dysmorphic features or regression. 5. Assessment of sleep disorders: indicated when the sleep problems cause considerable stress and interfere with family functioning.6. Assessment of feeding problems: if leading to significant malnutrition7. Genetic referral and testing (DNA analysis, High-Resolution Chromosome Analysis): indicated in the presence of dysmorphic features or a positive family history of mental retardation of undetermined etiology. Genetic testing for Fragile X syndrome and Rett disorder is available. 8. Metabolic testing: indicated when there is additional history of episodic lethargy and cyclic vomiting, early seizures, dysmorphic features, mental retardation or regression. 9.  Screening for lead levels: indicated for children with significant geophagia or pica.

How to Cope When You Know Your Child Has Autism

Dr. Santosh R Joshi, Homeopath
The diagnosis of your child having Autism can be a tough one, but in life we have to face the challenges thrown at us. One best part is that autism is not a life threatening disorder and when handled in a proper manner can be handled successfully.Some of the best ways to cope up can be:Taking proper guidance from a certified professional about what is autism and how to deal with it.Accepting that your child is having autism and it can be handled.Sensory issues, comprehension, hyperactivity, behavioural issues can be safely dealt with the right homeopathic medicines by a qualified homeopath.Nutritional interventions, GFCF diet can definitely help but has to be started after consulting a Nutrition expert.If you are unable to cope up with the social issues take help of your counselor or you can talk with your family and friends who can be of great help. There is no harm in reaching out for help.Community groups can also be a great boon to get over psychological pressures and also address the needs of your growing child.In our practice we have seen that major stress is caused when there is lack of acceptance that the child is suffering from autism. When parents work as a unit along with the intervention team then amazing outcomes have been seen. When the child is small and growing up the major worries are about speech, social interaction , sensory issues ,eye contact and stereotyped behavior to name a few. When the child is in the teenage and there are hormonal changes taking place it can be quite challenging to handle your kid, during such times one should take professional help in how to deal with the issues that the autistic teenager must be facing.Be sympathetic and try to understand the needs of the child and provide them with the necessary measures so they can adapt to the change and also live with their peer group. We were able to help children who used to have violent behavior outbursts, obsessive compulsive behavior, sensory issues with the right Homeopathic medicines. Parents should also continue the therapies and should also have a rational, realistic goal which can be achievable .The aim should be make the child independent so in the future they can live on their own. Some of the other issues that can be faced are in a school where there can be complaint every now and then try to meet the management of the school and make them understand what are the requirements and how the issues that the child is having can be handled in a positive way. This has helped quite some parents who came to us and we tried to resolve these by spreading awareness and some case the inclusive education for ably disabled has also made an impact. Check for the facilities that your country provides for autistic individuals and take the benefit.Let's join hands to make living Simple and Easy for ably disabled and be more empathic towards the families.

Autism: What does it mean?

Dr. Radhika Bharath, Physiotherapist
Autism and Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are both the general terms used for a group of disorders of brain development. ASD is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people (Autism Spectrum Australia, 2014). The word spectrum denotes a range of difficulties that people with ASD experience and the degree to which it may be affected. While some may be able to lead relatively normal lives, others may have an accompanying learning disability and require continued specialist support (Autism Spectrum Australia, 2014). People on Autism spectrum may have the following:Unusual sensory interests such as sniffing objects or staring intently at moving objects.Sensory sensitivities including avoiding everyday sounds and textures such as hair dryers, vacuum cleaners and sand.Intellectual impairments or learning difficulties.Red Flags that indicate your child may be at risk of Autism (Autism speaks, 2014):Absence of big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months and thereafter.Absence of back and forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months.Absence of back and forth sharing of sounds, smiles or any other facial expression by 9 months.No babbling by 12 months.Absence of words by 16th month.No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including, imitating or repeating) by 24th months.Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.What causes Autism?First and foremost, as we know that is no single cause that leads to autism just as there are many types of autism. It is a combination of various factors, most important of them being a rare gene change or mutation associated with autism (Autism speaks, 2014). There are certain cases where the chances of the baby are at a high risk of exposure to autism:In the case of genetic pre-disposition to autism, a number of non-genetic or environmental factors stresses to further increase the child’s risk for autism.Maternal illness during pregnancyAdvanced parental age at time of conceptionCertain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain.Research also proves that the ladies having good amount of folic acid and vitamin including a rich and healthy diet are at a less risk of having baby’s with autism. Hence it is essential to have a check on the vitamins, folic acid levels not only during pregnancy but before and after as well. Management of Autism:Treatment strategies for autistic children and parenting tips:Don’t wait for diagnosisBest thing you can do is to start the treatment right away (with physiotherapy, speech therapy and many more)As parents learn about autismBecome an expert on your childAccept your child as he/she isDon’t give upWhile helping Children with Autism:Be consistent (with therapists, schools, homes)Stick to a schedule (as children with autism tend to do best when they have a strong schedule or daily routine)Reward good behaviourCreate a home safety zoneFind nonverbal ways to connect:Look for nonverbal cues (making gestures and body language)Figure out the need behind the tantrum (get to know why your child is feeling ignored or left out , a result of which is he/she throwing tantrums)Make time for funPay attention to your child’s sensory sensitivities.Create a personalized autism treatment plan:Focus on your child’s strengthsKnow your child’s weaknessesWhat are the behaviour causing most problemsWhat important skill is your child lackingHow does a child learn best (through listening, seeing, doing )Finding help and support:Approach autism support groupsContact special schools where your child does not feel left out.Individual, marital and family counselling.

Delayed Speech: Can It Be Autism?

Dr. Rakesh K Jain, Neurologist
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive,and stereotyped patterns of behaviour. Males are four times more likely to have an ASD than females. A recent study in US found 1 in 68 children suffering from autism.The main feature of ASD is impaired social interaction.  As early as infancy,a baby with ASD may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time.  A child with ASD may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.Children with an ASD may fail to respond to their names and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behaviour. They lack empathy.Many children with anASD engage in repetitive movements such as rocking, or self-abusive behaviour such as biting or head-banging.  They also tend to start speaking later than other children. Children with an ASD don’t know how to play interactively with other children. Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favourite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking.Children with characteristics of an ASD may have co-occurring conditions, including Fragile X syndrome (which causes mental retardation), tuberous sclerosis, epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. About 20to 30 percent of children with an ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. Very early indicators that require evaluation by an expert include:If you find any of these features in your child, please consult the local pediatrician or child neurologist if available who can assess your child in detail. There is no single blood test to diagnose autism. However, the doctor needs to look into certain disorders in which children have similar features or having features of autism in addition to other signs of that disorder. E.g. Tuber sclerosis, Landau-kleffner syndrome (a form of Epilpesy), other childhood epilepsies, some metabolic and genetic disease. So your doctor may do some blood test, hearing assessment, EEG, etc. depending upon the presenting features and assessment.Twin and family studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism. Identical twin studies show that if one twin is affected, there is up to a 90 percent chance the other twin will be affected. In families with one child with ASD, the risk of having a second child with the disorder is approximately 5 percent, or one in 20. This is greater than the risk for the general population.   For many children, symptoms improve with treatment and with age. Children whose language skills regress early in life (before the age of 3) appear to have a higher than normal risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. During adolescence, some children with an ASD may become depressed or experience behavioural problems, and their treatment may need some modification as they transition to adulthood. People with an ASD usually continue to need services and supports as they get older, but many are able to work successfully and live independently or within a supportive environment.There is no cure for ASDs. However, it is important to diagnose it early and look for associated conditions like ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactive disorder), Epilepsy, sleep disorders, etc. Earlier is intervention, better is the outcome. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of individual children.  Educational/behavioural interventions: Therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as AppliedBehavioural Analysis. Family counselling for the parents and siblings of children with an ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with an ASD.Medications:  Doctors may prescribe medications for treatment of specific autism-related symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Antipsychotic medications are used to treat severe behavioural problems. Seizures can be treated with one or more anticonvulsant drugs. Medication used to treat people with attention deficit disorder can be used effectively to help decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity.Other therapies:  There are a number of controversial therapies or interventions available, but few, if any, are supported by scientific studies. Parents should use caution before adopting any unproven treatments. Although dietary interventions have been helpful in some children, parents should be careful that their child’s nutritional status is carefully followed.Conclusion: Autism is seen commonly now a day. The main features are delayed speech, poor eye contact and social interaction and restricted interest with repetitive behaviour. Parents and physician should aware of its early symptoms so that early intervention can be started.

Faq's on Autism by dr.joshi - Center for Autism

Dr. Santosh R Joshi, Homeopath
1. What is Autism?Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because symptoms and severity vary from individual to individual. Autistic children express differently from each other. Autism is characterized by failure of the child to develop communicative language or form proper social communication. But they show motor and other skills far beyond that of a mentally retarded child.Autism is characterized by varying degrees of impairment to develop communicative language or form proper social communication. Some of them are obsessively pre occupied with inanimate objects such as lights, running water or spinning objects, and also by repetitive behaviors. Symptoms range from mild to severe. Some of them gradually develop extreme talents such as in mathematics and these are retained mostly throughout the life. Studies of people with autism have found abnormalities in several regions of the brain which suggest that autism results from a disruption of early fetal brain developmentThere is a milder form of the disorder known as Asperger's Syndrome. Other developmental disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorders are Rett's Syndrome, PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. If you have concerns about your child's development, don't wait: speak to your doctor about getting your child screened for autism.2. What is meant by "On the spectrum"?Autism is considered a spectrum disorder because symptoms and severity vary from individual to individual. Though the Autistic children show similar traits they are individual and express differently from each other. one child may have not developed speech and have difficulty in learning how to read and write, where as another child can easily read and write and can be attending normal school. Some children may display hypersensitivity to touch noise and other may have no sensory issues at all.3. How common is autism?According to the survey by Centers for Disease Control, autism affects as many as 1 in every 100 children and it is rising by 10-15% every year. It is the most prevalent developmental disorder in today's time. Boys are more susceptible than girls to develop Autism but it is seen that girls manifest a more severe form of the disorder that the boys.4. How do I know my child is Autistic?No two children with autism are alike, each one managing a different set of symptoms. But there are some signs and symptoms that are common and may be recognized as early as the toddler years, or even sooner. They usually do not have or do not sustain eye contact and have trouble communicating with other people or they may communicate in ways that others cannot easily understand. They may hardly speak and even if they speak it's just babbling and not coherent. They're also prone to repetitive behaviors like flapping their hands constantly or uttering the same phrase over and over again. They may also be over sensitive to sights, sounds and touch.Criteria for AutismA total Of 6 or more items of the following with at least 2 from [1], and one each from [2] and [3] are satisfied by the patient: [1] Qualitative impairment in social interaction: Marked impairment in facial expression Failure to develop peer relationships A lack of spontaneity in sharing interests Lack of social or emotional reciprocity [2] Qualitative impairment in communication: Marked inability to initiate or sustain conversation with others. [3] Restricted, repetitive and stereotyped pattern of behavior Encompassing preoccupation with one stereotyped and restricted pattern.5. How did my child develop autism?No one is yet able to point to a probable cause. Though a disorder as common as autism would have a known cause, in many ways it's still quite mysteriously not known. Recent studies have suggested a strong genetic basis for autism. There are about 20 sets of genes that may play a part in the development of autism. Genes are not the only one responsible for all the cases; there are other triggers which are yet not discovered.6. Does vaccination cause autism ?Many studies have been conducted to determine if a link exists between vaccination and increased prevalence of autism, with particular attention to the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and those containing thimerosal. These studies have not found a link between vaccines and autism It remains possible that, in cases, immunization might trigger the onset of autism symptoms in a child with an underlying medical or genetic condition.As this is a sensitive topic it is best to discuss it with your healthcare provider who will guide you and ensure the optimal well-being of the child. Establishing open communication and trust with a physician who understands each child and his or her family is the best strategy for keeping a child healthy.7. What help my child needs if He/She is Autistic?Do not Panic first understand and learn about Autism from the right source that can be your doctor. You will need a good team of doctors, therapists, psychologists and teachers who understand and have experience with autism and can respond to his needs appropriately. Your healthcare provider can guide you toward various intervention programs and suggest complementary therapies. It also helps to associate with the existing network of parents facing the same challenges as you.8. How to I deal with the diagnosis of Autism?It is difficult to come to terms with the diagnosis that your child is having Autism but there is always a brighter side to every adversity. As we know the Autistic children have some special capabilities which the normal kids may not pocess.For e.g. some of the children we saw one was having a extraordinary power to memorize things only after reading once, one of them was brilliant in drawing and another in playing musical instrument. So do not blame your self or feel sad or hopeless. Take the right steps understand the disorder and if take care from your healthcare provider who will guide you with the exact nature of the disorder and how to deal with it. Keep the faith.9. What therapies do I need for my child with Autism?There are various therapies that are useful some of them are :Speech Language Therapy (SLT) Occupational Therapy (OT) Sensory Integration Physical Therapy (PT) Social Skills Picture Exchange Communication system Auditory Integration Therapy10. What role Homeopathy plays in Autism?Homeopathy is a holistic treatment and it plays a vital role in treatment of Autistic children. With the Constitutional Homeopathic treatment we can achieve increased level of concentration, decrease in hyperactivity and channeling of the energy in a constructive method. Homeopathic remedies act at the level of the Psycho Neuro endocrinal axis. Homeopathic treatment is safe and without side effects.11. Can Autistic children become independent?Yes Autistic children can become independent with the right intervention programs, therapy and proper care from the early stages once the child is detected with Autism. A sustained effort is needed to achieve the desired outcome from therapy and treatment. As Autistic children are having special capabilities which when nurtured properly can be a great asset in making the individual independent.For More Details Visit us at : www.drjoshis.comToll Free Number : 18004257400

Is Your Child Hyper Active or Difficult to Manage?

Dr. Rahul Varma, Pediatrician
All children between 18 to 24 months should be screened for hyperactivity and Behavioral disorders like Autism etc. (as per recommendation of American Academy of Pediatrics).It can be easily done in OPD setting using M- chat (23 point Questionnaire). it takes hardly 10- 15 minutes.. If positive, child can be referred to Child developmental specialist for detailed work up.It is available at Maya clinic (No extra charges).Feel free to discuss with our child specialist/Pediatrician.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends screening all children for autism at the 18 and 24-month well-child visits in addition to regular developmental surveillance. This type of screening can identify children with significant developmental and behavioral challenges early, when they may benefit most from intervention, as well as those with other developmental difficulties. For screening to be effective, it must be applied to all children – not only those with Symptoms. Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT): In most offices, Pediatricians use the M-CHAT, a 23-point questionnaire filled out by parents. Most families find it easy to fill out. Using this standardized screening, Pediatricians can pick up children at risk for ASD and will be prompted to start conversations about language delay, concerns about behavior, or possible next steps for a child at risk with additional genetic, neurologic, or developmental testing.Screening Isn’t Diagnosing!It’s important to note that screening isn’t diagnosing. If your child has a positive screen for an ASD, it doesn’t mean he or she will be diagnosed on the spectrum. And further, if your child screens normally but you continue to worry about ASD, don’t be shy. Screening tests are just that—screening—and don’t identify all children with ASD. The rate of success for the M-CHAT, for example, isn’t 100%, so it is used in combination with health and family history to identify children at risk. Your opinions as a parent are irreplaceable and of the most importance.If You Are Concerned and Your Child Has Not Been Formally Screened:Talk with your Pediatrician about doing a formal screening. Many screening tools are available.

Reversing Autism With homeopathy...!!!

Dr. Ruksana Shamnaz, Homeopath
Autism is a disorder in which children have impaired or poor communication and social skills. It usually becomes apparent within first three years of life but some mild cases get diagnosed during early schooling. Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted or repetitive behaviour. But many parents feel that their kids start showing autistic traits suddenly after a period of normal development.What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?IndexThe autism spectrum disorder describes a range of conditions classified as pervasive developmental. ASD includes autism, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS]. These disorders are characterized by social deficits, communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviours and interests, and in some cases, cognitive delays.What are the signs and symptoms of Autism?Autism (or ASD) is a wide-spectrum disorder and children with autism often vary in the severity and range of signs and symptoms. As well as experiencing varying combinations of symptoms, some people will have mild symptoms while others will have severe ones.Onset: Overt symptoms gradually begin after the age of six months, become established by age two or three years and tend to continue through adulthood.Autism is distinguished by a characteristic triad of symptoms: impairments in social interaction; impairments in communication; and restricted interests and repetitive behaviour. Other aspects, such as atypical eating, are also common but are not essential for diagnosis. Here is a detail list of Autism symptoms.Social Skills – signs and symptoms:Very little or no eye contact.Resistance to being held or touched.Tends to get too close when speaking to someone (lack of personal space).Responds to social interactions, but does not initiate them.Does not generally share observations or experiences with others.Difficulty understanding jokes, figures of speech or sarcasm.Difficulty reading facial expressions and body language.Difficulty understanding the rules of conversation.Difficulty understanding group interactions.Seems unable to understand another’s feelings.Prefers to be alone, aloft.Unaware of/disinterested in what is going on around them.Talks excessively about one or two topics.Minimal acknowledgement of others.Language Development – signs and symptoms:Abnormal use of pitch, intonation, rhythm or stress while speaking.Speech is abnormally loud or quiet.Difficulty whispering.Repeats last words or phrases several times. Makes verbal sounds while listening (echolalia).Often uses short, incomplete sentences.Speech started very early and then stopped for a period of time.Difficulty understanding directional terms (front, back, before, after).Behaviour – signs and symptoms:Obsessions with objects, ideas or desires.Ritualistic or compulsive behaviour patterns (sniffing, licking, watching objects fall, flapping arms, spinning, rocking, humming, tapping, sucking, rubbing clothes).Fascination with rotation.Play is often repetitive.Unusual attachment to objects.Perfectionism in certain areas.Inability to perceive potentially dangerous situations.Emotions – signs and symptoms:Sensitivity or lack of sensitivity to sounds, textures (touch), tastes, smells or light.Difficulty with loud or sudden sounds.Resists change in the environment (people, places, objects).Calmed by external stimulation – soothing sound, brushing, rotating object, constant pressure.Learning Development – signs and symptomsExceptionally high skills in some areas and very low in others.Excellent rote memory in some areas.Difficulty with reading comprehension (can quote an answer, but unable to predict, summarize or find symbolism).Difficulty with fine motor activities (colouring, printing, scissors, gluing).Short attention span for most lessons.Resistance or inability to follow directions.Difficulty transitioning from one activity to another in school.Locomotor Skills – signs and symptoms:Walks on toes.Unusual gait.Difficulty changing from one floor surface to another (carpet to wood, sidewalk to grass).Difficulty moving through a space (bumps into objects or people).Gross motor skills are developmentally behind peers (riding a bike, skating, running).Fine motor skills are developmentally behind peers (hand writing, tying shoes, scissors).When should you get your child evaluated for Autism or ASD?If your child has any of these delays or behaviour, consult your paediatrician asap:No babbling by 9 monthsNo pointing or gestures by 12 monthsNot responding to their name by 12 months of ageNo single words by 16 monthsLack of pretend play by 18 monthsNo two-word phrases by 24 monthsAny loss of language or social skills at any ageYour infant or child resists cuddling and doesn’t respond to his or her environment or to other peopleYour child bangs his or her head or demonstrates self-injurious behaviour or aggression on a regular basisYour child demonstrates unusually repetitive behaviour, such as repeatedly opening and closing doors or turning a toy car upside down and repeatedly spinning its wheelsHow prevalent is Autism? Incidence and Epidemiology of Autism.Autism is approaching the numbers of an epidemic. The figures are staggering—in the 1960s, four in 10,000 children had autism. Today, according to Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to autism, one in every 110 children is diagnosed with autism. Different studies in different countries have found a prevalence rates between 3/10000 to 40/10000. U.S. government statistics suggest the prevalence rate of autism is increasing 10-17% annually. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism. Based on the evidence reviewed in a study published in 2012, the median of prevalence estimates of autism spectrum disorders was 62/10000.USA: Most recent reviews tend to estimate a prevalence of 1–2 per 1,000 for autism and close to 6 per 1,000 for ASD and 11 per 1,000 children in the United States for ASD as of 2008;UK: A 2006 study of nearly 57,000 British nine- and ten-year-olds reported a prevalence of 3.89 per 1,000 for autism and 11.61 per 1,000 for ASD; these higher figures could be associated with broadening diagnostic criteria.Canada: The rate of autism diagnoses in Canada was 1 in 450 in 2003. However, preliminary results of an epidemiological study conducted at Montreal Children’s Hospital in the 2003-2004 school year found a prevalence rate of 0.68% (or 1 per 147).India: It is estimated that there are 20 lakh ( 2 million) individuals in India suffering from Autism/ASD using the extrapolated prevalence figures of 1/250 to 1/500.Why does Autism occur? What causes Autism?The exact cause of autism is still not known. Recent research indicates that it could be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental factors could be a variety of conditions affecting brain development, which can occur before, during or soon after birth.Is there a role of vaccines in causing Autism? ASD & Vaccine Damage controversy.Over the years, many people have had concerns that autism might be linked to the vaccines children receive. One vaccine ingredient that has been studied specifically is Thimerosal, used as a preservative in many recommended childhood vaccines. MMR vaccine has also been linked with Autism frequently.The main reason people talk about vaccines and autism is that some parents have noticed changes in children shortly after the children were vaccinated. Their kids seemed to be developing normally, then suddenly stopped interacting with people and lost language abilities — a condition called “regressive” autism.The American Academy of Paediatrics, the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Institute of Medicine all agree that there’s probably no relationship between autism and vaccines.But if the case is that solid, why do so many people remain unconvinced? There are a number of websites giving information about vaccine damage in kids. YouTube also has dozens of testimonial videos from parents who believe their children developed autism after vaccination.Their beliefs may have been validated in March 2008 when federal officials said that a Georgia girl was entitled to compensation because vaccines may have aggravated an underlying condition, causing autism-like symptoms. In 2013, an Italian court also ruled in favour of the Bocca family, whose nine-year-old son became autistic after receiving the MMR vaccine.New evidence suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism have emerged recently. Scientists reported finding a strong association between the vaccine and an immune system reaction which is thought to play a role in autism. The team led by Dr Vijendra Singh analyzed blood samples from 125 autistic children and 92 children who did not have the disorder. In 75 of the autistic children they found antibodies showing there had been an abnormal reaction to the measles component of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.Nine out of ten of those children were also positive for antibodies thought to be involved in autism. These antibodies attack the brain by targeting the basic building blocks of myelin, the insulating sheath that covers nerve fibres. This stops the nerves developing properly and may affect brain functions.None of the non-autistic children showed the unusual anti-measles response.Dr Singh has suggested that an abnormal immune response may be the root cause of many cases of autism. Dr Singh’s team, who worked at Utah State University in the U.S., report their findings in the latest issue of the Journal of Biomedical Science.In June 2013, scientists and physicians from Wake Forest University, New York, and Venezuela, reported findings that not only confirm the presence of intestinal disease in children with autism and intestinal symptoms, but also indicate that this disease may be novel. Using sophisticated laboratory methods Dr. Steve Walker and his colleagues endorsed Wakefield’s original findings by showing molecular changes in the children’s intestinal tissues that were highly distinctive and clearly abnormal.Another new study shows a direct link between standard childhood vaccination series, MMR, and autism-like symptoms in monkeys. The principal scientist involved in the study, Dr. Laura Hewitson of the University of Pittsburgh, presented the alarming conclusions as an abstract pending publication at the International Meeting for Autism Research. It has been presented at scientific conferences in both London and Seattle, USA.The study compared vaccinated macaque monkeys with non-vaccinated macaques. The vaccines included the popular MMR series. The study found a marked increase in “gastrointestinal tissue gene expression” and “inflammation issues” with those monkeys which received vaccinations. They are a common symptom of children with regressive autism.The study also found marked behaviour changes and development differences in those monkeys given the vaccines versus those who were not. “Compared with unexposed animals, significant neuro-developmental deficits were evident for exposed animals in survival reflexes, tests of color discrimination and reversal, and learning sets,” the study`s authors reported. “Differences in behaviours were observed between exposed and unexposed animals and within the exposed group before and after MMR vaccination.”Despite these recent research studies, the scientific community remains divided about vaccine-autism relation. As informed parents, you need to make your own choice.What treatment can Homeopathy offer for Autistic Children?“Homeopathy is the latest and refined method of treating patients economically and nonviolently. Government must encourage and patronize it in our country. Late Dr. Hahnemann was a man of superior intellectual power and means of saving human life, having a unique medical nerve. I bow before his skill and the Herculean and humanitarian labour he did. His memory wakes us again and you are to follow him, but the opponents hate the existence of the principles and practice of homeopathy, which in reality cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment, and it is beyond all doubt safer and more economical and the most complete medical science.”- Mahatma GandhiHomeopathy is one of the most popular alternative systems of medicine. Despite some controversy regarding its mode of action, the anecdotal evidence for Homeopathy is so strong that it is recognized by dozens of National governments as effective medical modality. There are tens of millions of patients across the world using homeopathy. Despite the negative comments at Wikipedia Homeopathy page, which has been sabotaged by skeptics, there are increasing number of clinical and laboratory studies, not just on humans, but also on animals and plants, which have demonstrated the effectiveness of potentised homeopathic remedies.Homeopathic medicine is one of the most popular alternative systems used for Autism treatment. There are several books and websites dedicated to providing information about homeopathic treatment of Autism. YouTube also has many videos from parents giving positive testimonials of homeopathic treatment for their children.Homeopathy is a safe and gentle system of healing, which tries to identify the root cause of any problem by taking a detail case history, which includes the current complaints of the patient, his/he past medical history, family history, nature and disposition of the patient and many other finer factors.Homeopathy is practiced in two forms – classical and complex. In classical homeopathy, the homeopathic doctor takes a detail case history, tries to identify the root or exciting cause of an illness, and prescribed a single homeopathic remedy at a time to the patient. In complex homeopathy many medicines for a given condition are mixed in a bottle and given at a time. Classical Homeopathy is the pure form of homeopathy and offers deep and lasting cures.When you consult a classical homeopath, he will note the full case history of your child. This will include your child’s current medical complaints, their onset, modalities, past medical history, mother’s history during pregnancy, family history, exploration of any stress points or causes for current illness, and a detail assessment of your child’s mental and emotional makeup. After this exhaustive case history and analysis, the homeopath identifies a homeopathic medicine that covers your child’s symptoms and condition the best. Such a remedy, when well selected, can bring significant changes in many difficult and inveterate cases.Does diet and nutrition play any role in Autism?Many therapists recommend large dose supplements of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Zinc and Fish oil. Casein free and Gluten free diets have also been suggested by many. Please consult your physician before making any dietaryWishing you a speedy recovery,