Tactile Defensiveness – The Facts About the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol

Many children with Sensory Integration Disorders exhibit symptoms of tactile defensiveness. In layman's terms this simply means that they have hypersensitivity to touch and / or tactile input. This in turn may cause:

-Difficulty transitioning between activities
-Lack of attention or focus
-A fear or resistance to being touched

Your child may benefit from what is commonly known to most parents as “Brushing Therapy”. It is known in Occupational Therapy circles as The Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique (DPPT) & Oral Tactile Technique (OTT). It was developed by Dr. Patricia Wilbarger, MEd, OTR, FAOTA, an occupational therapist and clinical psychologist that has been working with sensory processing theories for over 30 years.

When first introduced to this, many parents are a bit skeptical. How can “brushing” my child help them with their sensory integration issues and tactile defensiveness? The theory behind it is that our skin is the human body's largest sensory organ, and there before it is in constant contact with our nervous system; relaying information that allows us to interact effectively with our environment. Often times, the inability for the human body to process sensory input effectively can cause motor skill delays, tactile defensiveness, or social and emotional difficulties. Brushing therapy seeks to use this connection between the skin and the nervous system to assist kids who may be having difficulty organizing sensory information properly.

It is thankfully, quite simple to implement. The first step in the therapy involves using a soft, plastic, surgical brush which is run over the child's skin, using a very firm pressure, starting at the arms and working down to the feet. The chest and stomach area are always avoided as these are sensitive areas that can cause adverse reactions. There can be some drama at first, until the child becomes accustomed to the therapy, but most children find it pleasurable after a few sessions and may even ask for it when they are feeling “off”. Along with the brushing, most practitioners will also prescribe joint compressions. In this phase of the treatment, the therapist or a parent trained by a therapist provides gentle compressions of each of the child's major joints for a count of ten. Finally, the therapist may also suggest the Oral Tactile Technique, or OTT. This technique involves using a finger to swipe along the inside of the child's mouth. This has been found to help with some children who have an issue with what is known as oral defensiveness. If your child is adverse to new foods because of their texture, or has a definite aversion to having their teeth brushed, they may have an issue with oral defensiveness.

If you think that your child would benefit from this form of therapy, it is important to seek guidance from an Occupational Therapist. Performing the therapy in a manner other than taught by a trained professional can be, at best, useless and could possibly do more harm then good.

{ Comments are closed }

How to Help a Hyperactive Child Lead a Normal, Healthy Life

Let's face it. Hyperactivity can severely affect a child's life. Impulsiveness, accessibility to concentration, and loud, boisterous behavior can make your child unpopular with both his teachers and his peers. Helping a hyperactive child is necessary if you want him to have a successful life.

Help for the hyperactive child comes in many forms. There are some parents who are quick to give their children prescription medications in order to suppress the symptoms of hyperactivity. However, it's important to realize that prescription drugs are not a cure all. They may be a quick fix but if you want to help your child achieve long term results and behavioral improvement, you need to look beyond easy solutions.

Another problem with helping a hyperactive child through the use of prescription drugs is the fact that they have many dangerous side effects. Prescription drugs are known to cause side effects ranging from headache, stomach ache, insomnia, hallucinations, shortness of breath, and more. If you want to help your child, it's important to teach him how to relax and focus in the comfort of your own home.

Help for the hyperactive child comes in the form of a series of simple lifestyle changes. First of all, make sure your child follows a structured daily routine. Hyperactive children need the structure and organization of a daily routine in order to stay focused and calm.

When helping a hyperactive child, it's also important to make sure his diet is very healthy. A bad diet and nutritional deficiencies are very common causes of hyperactivity disorder. Give your child plenty of fresh, healthy food to eat. Avoid common allergens such as chocolate, dairy, sugar, and wheat.

Creating a relaxing space and providing your child with plenty of stimulating activities to do at home are also a great help for the hyperactive child. Many hyperactive children have a hard time sitting still because in order to focus, they need to be entertained with activities that they can concentrate on such puzzles, modeling clay, or coloring books. You can have these activities handy at home and also create a relaxing space where your child can do quiet activities and wind down when he starts to get out of control.

One of the easiest and most effective ways of helping a hyperactive child is by giving him a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathic remedies are very safe and highly effective, particularly when combined with other natural treatments like diet therapy and behavioral therapy. You can give your child a homeopathic remedy everyday in order to balance his mood, calm his mind, and alleviate all of the symptoms associated with hyperactivity disorder.

Your next step? Take this information and use it as a guide for helping your child overcome hyperactivity disorder. Helping a hyperactive child is necessary if you want him to live life to the fullest. Hyperactivity is a disruptive disorder that can severely hinder your child's life. For the best results, give your child natural treatments like homeopathy. If you do so, you will see a dramatic difference in your child's behavior even after a few short weeks.

{ Comments are closed }

5 Big Reasons Why You Need to Treat Hyperactivity in Children

Ever surprised if it is normal and acceptable for your child to squirm, fidget, talk excessively, and interrupt people when they speak? If you're like a lot of parents of hyperactive children, you have probably worn exhausted trying to make your child calm down and behave properly. It's important to treat hyperactivity in children before it spirals out of control because it will have grave consequences for your child. Here are 5 big reasons why you should treat your child's hyperactivity disorder and how you can go about it.

1. Your child may exhibit socially unacceptable behavior that will get him in trouble and lead to him having a hard time making friends. Hyperactivity among children is a common problem that often goes undiagnosed, making it very hard for your child to interact with his peers in a healthy manner. Behavioral therapy can be very helpful in improving your child's way of thinking and behavioral patterns.

2. Hyperactivity in children will definitely affect their performance at school. Hyperactive children have a hard time paying attention and staying organized. They often forget to do their homework and lose their school work. If your child has hyperactivity disorder, his grades will certainly suffer for it. You can help him pay attention and stay focused and organized by giving him a homeopathic formula. Homeopathic remedies are safe, effective, and affordable unlike prescription medications.

3. The impulsiveness associated with hyperactivity among children can be dangerous. Children with hyperactivity show no fear and often get themselves into dangerous situations because of their lack of judgment. For example, your child may fearlessly climb up mistakes and do things that other children are too scared to try.

4. Your child may have a very hard time sitting still. Hyperactivity in children can cause fidgeting, twitching, and constant movement. Not only can this behavior keep your child from being able to focus, it can also disrupt those around him.

5. Hyperactivity among children needs to be treated because otherwise it will severely affect their lives now and in the future. Your child's performance in school will obviously determine his place in the future as will his relations with his peers. Hyperactivity affects your child's behavior so much that he will not be able to focus, pay attention, or follow instructions and he will interrupt others and become unpopular. If you want your child to live a normal, carefree life, help him overcome hyperactivity disorder. The easiest way to do so is by giving him a homeopathic remedy on a regular basis.

Now that you are armed with this information, think carefully about how you can help your child. Hyperactivity in children may not seem like a big deal until you start considering the serious effects that it can have on your child's life. It's a lot easier than you think to help your child. All you need to do is give your child a homeopathic remedy. By doing so, you can calm your child's hyperactive behavior without putting his health at risk.

{ Comments are closed }

Screening Tests to Detect Down Syndrome During Pregnancy

Rapid urbanization and spread in education in women have one hand created a lot of progress in the society but in its wake some unwanted conditions have also surfaced. The major change has come upon the women of society who have progressed in leaps and bounds. This has increased the age for marriage in most of the urban household. Today getting married at 30 and having the first child after 35 is a common phenomenon. Although it has lots of advantages, one major disadvantage that has been seen, is to give birth to children with some or other physical or mental disability.

Although it does not happen all the time and to everyone yet the risk does increase …
The most common abnormality seen in late conception is Down Syndrome … it is the most common clinical cause of mental retardation in the world. It occurs once in every 1,500-2,000 births when the mother's age is below 25; one in every 400 births when the mother's age is over 35; once in every 40 births when the mother's age is over 45. A mother with a child with Down syndrome has a one-in-25 chance of recurrence.

Here I'll try to tell a little about the Syndrome and the tests that are available to detect Down Syndrome during pregnancy only.

The term Down syndrome is taken from the name of the English physician, Dr. John Langdon Down, who is credited with first describing the condition in 1866.The individuals with Down syndrome possess additional genetic material in their cells, usually an extra chromosome
Some of the physical characteristics observed in persons with Down syndrome include the following:

o The back of the head is often flattened,
o The eyelids may be slightly slanted,
o Small skin folds at the inner corners of the eyes may be present,
o The nasal bridge is slightly depressed, and the nose and ears are usually somewhat smaller.
o In the newborn there is often an excess of skin at the back of the neck.
o The hands and feet are small and the fingerprints are often different from normal children.
o Their muscle strength and tone are usually reduced.
o About one-third of children with Down syndrome have congenital heart disease.
Affect of Down Syndrome:
o All areas of development may be delayed in a child with Down syndrome.
o Poor muscle tone effects gross and fine motor development but this can be improved with physical therapy
o language development delays due to muscle problems which can be improved by language / speech therapy
o Since mental retardation is very common, higher integrative abilities such as the ability to think abstractly and to form concepts are likely to be affected.

With appropriate training, they can secure employment, often in the competitive job market, especially through supported work programs. Down syndrome affects kids' ability to learn in different ways, but most have mild to moderate intellectual impairment. Kids with Down Syndrome can and do learn, and are capable of developing skills through their lives. They simply reach goals at a different pace – which is why it's important not to compare a child with DS against typically developing siblings or even other children with the condition.

Prenatal Screening and Diagnosis

It is suggested that if you are above 33 years of age at the time of your first pregnancy, do get these tests done to be free from any type of anxiety …

Two types of prenatal tests are used to detect Down syndrome in a fetus: screening tests and diagnostic tests. Screening tests estimate the risk that a fetus has Down Syndrome; diagnostic tests can tell whether the fetus actually has the condition.
Screening tests include:

o Nuchal translucency testing. This test, performed between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy,
o The triple screen or quadruple screen (also called the multiple marker tests). These tests are typically offered between 15 and 18 weeks of pregnancy.
o Integrated screen. This compares the blood test reports of first and second trimester.
o A genetic ultrasound. A detailed ultrasound is often performed at 18 to 20 weeks in conjuction with the blood tests, and it checks the fetus for some of the physical exercises abnormalities associated with Down syndrome.
Diagnostic tests include:
o Chorionic villus sampling (CVS). The advantage of this test is that it can be performed during the first trimester, between 8 and 12 weeks. It carries some extra risk of miscarriage.
o Amniocentesis. This test, performed between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, involves the removal of a small amount of amniotic fluid through a needle inserted in the abdomen. The cells can then be analyzed for the presence of chromosomal abnormalities. Amniocentesis carries a small risk of complications, such as pre-term labor and miscarriage.
o Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS). Usually performed after 20 weeks, this test uses a needle to retrieve a small sample of blood from the umbilical cord. It carries risks similar to those associated with amniocentesis.

Although most of the parents after knowing that the fetus is suffering with Down syndrome go for abortion, I feel it's absolutely the parents choice to or not to go for Medical Termination of Pregnancy. Although it may cause them a little more effort to bring up their differently capable child, it may be a real joy for them to see the kid growing up. These kids are any time more lovable and loving. They remain innocent all their life and THEY DO GROW UP AS ANY NORMAL CHILD MAY BE A LITTLE LATE.

So if you are a proud parent of a child suffering from Down Syndrome, please do not take it as a blessing from God !!! You do have a child to love and care rather than without a kid.

{ Comments are closed }

The Definite Differences Between Autism Syndrome and Aspergers Syndrome

Autism and Aspergers syndrome are referred to as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Not forms of mental illness, they are disorders with a bioneurological basis. Aspergers syndrome is sometimes called “more advanced autism,” indicating that the Aspergers patient has fewer challenges that the autistic patient. However, there are some very definite differences between the two conditions.

Autism and Aspergers syndrome both involve problems with mental processes. Children with either disorder tend to be inflexible with regard to daily routine, their likes and dislikes, the way things are done, etc. They share a similar impairment in decoding language and fail to grasp metaphoric speech, taking everything literally.

There are differences between autism and Aspergers syndrome, though. The two conditions appear to have some overlap.

Let's start with autism. The ritualistic nature of many behaviors, as well as lack of most social interaction, makes the autistic child stand out as being different from quite an early age, usually by the age of three. Autism is regarded as being a lifelong condition, one that requires an intensive regimen of behavioral modification, dietary analysis, and sometimes drug therapy in the form of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication.

Autism's most striking symptom is an extreme lack of communication and social skills arising from rigid mental thought processes. This rigidity makes learning very difficult for most autistic people in general, but there are variations due to the complex genetics involved with the disorder.

Aspergers syndrome, on the other hand, usually is not as dramatic in its manifestations. Those children with Aspergers syndrome may appear to be merely very shy or slightly odd, lost in their own private little worlds. At the primary-school level, they may have some difficulties making friends, but they do make them. A diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome, therefore, may not be made until the child is quite a bit older and fails to mature socially in the same way as his peers. In essence, the Aspergers child fails to recognize important social cues.

Determining if the child has autism or Aspergers syndrome requires some travel though the gray areas of diagnosis. Aspergers is different from having a “more advanced” variety of autism. Autistic children are almost lacking in social and communications skills in general. Aspergers children have the social and communication skills, but at an incomplete level.

While very similar in manifestation, a diagnosis of either autism or Aspergers syndrome requires professional assessment.

{ Comments are closed }

Categories For Special Education – Which One Fits My Child?

Have special education personnel stated that your child was ineligible for special education, because they do not fit into one of the 13 eligible categories? Does your child have Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) but you were told by school that this does not fit into the 13 eligible categories? Has your child been diagnosed as emotionally disturbed and you believe the child has autism? This article will discuss how you can determine what category of classification that your child can receive special education services under. By knowing these categories you can advocate for the one that meets your child's needs.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that every child with a disability must receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Also special education services to meet their unique needs. Labels or classifications do not determine, if a particular child is eligible for a particular special education service, although sometimes special education personnel act like it does.

Categories:

1. Autism: If you suspect that your child has autism ask special education personnel to give him or her a childhood autism rating scale (CARS). The scale is done by the parent answering 13 questions about their child, and a knowledgeable person giving a score to the scale. The higher the number the more chance that the child has autism. If the scale is positive take your child to a specialized Pediatrician that specializes in autism.

Pervasive developmental disorder is on the Autism spectrum. Autism is one of the eligible categories for special education services. So a child with PDD is eligible for special education services under the category of autism.

2. OHI: For a child to be eligible under this category usually requires some type of documentation from the child's physician. Many children with ADD and ADHD receive special education services under this category.

3. Mental Retardation: Determined by IQ score; a child's IQ score under 75 is considered to be in the mental retardation range. Be careful if your child's IQ is normal and decreases as they grow older, this is indicative of an appropriate education, not necessarily mental retardation.

4. Emotional Disturbance (ED): Many children with autism are being given an ED label-Why? Because in my opinion special education personnel are attributable to give a child an autism label due to cost of special education services. For a child to truly be ED, they must have no other disability!

5. Deafness: This is a total loss of hearing and usually requires physician documentation.

6. Hearing Impairment: Not a total loss of hearing as above!

7. Visual Impairment: Severe damage not fixed by glasses or contacts.

8. Deaf-Blindness: Total loss of hearing and total loss of sight.

9. Specific Learning Disability (LD): Children with reading difficulty sufficient appropriate instruction, math difficulty sustainable appropriate instruction, dyslexia, visual processing disorder, sensory integration disorder (SID), auditory processing disorder, all qualify under LD.

10. Multiple Disabilities. Must include another disability and also mental retardation.

11. Orthopedic Impairment: A child with Cerebral Palsy would qualify under this category.

12. Speech or Language Impairment. Includes delayed speech, communication disorder, language disorder such as dyslexia, receptive and expressive language disorder etc.

13. Traumatic Brain Injury: Any injury to the brain either at birth or when the child was older.

By understanding the 13 categories and what is required for each one, you will be able to be an informed advocate for your child. Children who need special education services and do not get them may have their lives ruined forever!

{ Comments are closed }

Cerebral Palsy Child – A Look at the Causes and Treatment

There are many different forms of cerebral palsy, and a child can end one or more at a time. The different types are spastic, athetoid, ataxic, or mixed. However, spasticity is most common among children, which is usually distinguished through through rigid and convulsive muscles. On the other hand, other forms of this disability cause low muscle tone, leading to loose and flaccid muscles, underdeveloped balance and coordination, or a combination of these.

Cerebral palsy can also lead to many other conditions, such as mental retardation, epilepsy, visual and hearing impairments, and behavioral difficulties. Although its conditions can be managed through medications, there is no permanent cure for it.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy in a Child?

The main cause in children is prenatal injury to the brain. Sometimes, the cause of the brain injury is unknown, and other times there are many known factors that contribute to the development of cerebral palsy.

However, there are some known conditions which can either cause cerebral palsy, or increase the risk of it. These conditions include birth defects, inadequate oxygen supply, premature birth, prenatal infections, like rubella or toxoplasmosis, and severe jaundice.

Thedisability can also develop after birth due to brain injuries early in life, such as trauma, dehydration, or stroke.

Treating Cerebral Palsy in Children

Treatment varies depending on the child, but typically includes a combination of the following.

* Physical therapy to stretch and work muscles

* Occupational therapy, to assist with regular tasks

* Speech therapy to improve language and help with pronunciation difficulties

* Using hearing aids or glasses to correct vision and hearing impairments

* Drug therapy to reduce muscle spasms and help relaxation. Some recommended products are baclofen, phenol or Botox

* Technology which helps mobilize people and give them ways to communicate

* Improve joint movement through surgery

* Hyperbaric oxygen therapy or other alternative therapies.

Cerebral palsy requires a lifetime of treatment, despite the fact that it does not particularly worsen over time. However, treatment can be very expensive, so families turn to certain associations to provide them with financial help.

When Medical Malpractice is to Blame

Unfortunately, sometimes this condition is preventable, but medical errors occur during delivery. When this happens, legal actions should take place. Negligent parties are held finally responsible for damages to cerebral palsy children and their families.

If you experienced a traumatic delivery, and medical malpractice is under suspicion as the cause to your child's condition, then contact a medical lawyer as soon as possible. Doing this will ensure you your legal rights.

{ Comments are closed }

Down Syndrome Facts and Statistics

Wikipedia states that, “Down syndrome, Down Syndrome, or trisomy 21 is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. The disorder was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by Jérome Lejeune in 1959. The condition is characterized by a combination of major and minor differences in structure. Down syndrome can be identified during pregnancy or at birth. ”

People with Down Syndrome typically have lower than average cognitive ability and may have learning disabilities as well. It is estimated that 1 per 800 to 1,000 births result in infants with Down Syndrome. Expectant mother's over the age of 35 are at greater risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. One out of every nineteen babies from mothers over the age 45 have Down Syndrome. Many standard prenatal screens can detect Down syndrome. Ask your doctor about these screenings if you are at risk.

Some physical characteristics of individuals with Down Syndrome include, muscle hypotonia (poor muscle tone), a protruding tongue (due to small oral cavity, and an enlarged tongue near the tonsils), a short neck, oblique eye fissures with epicanthic skin folds on the inner corner of the eyes, excessive joint laxity including atlanto-axial instability, and congenital heart defects. These are not all of the characteristics of Down Syndrome and people with this disorder may have just some or all of these.

For more information on health and disabilities visit Healthy Moms – Parenting, Pregnancy, Health and Women's Issues.

{ Comments are closed }

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Any time that a person sufferers damage to his or her brain, there is the chance that they will suffer from long-term damage and disability. However, when this damage occurs during the years where a child's brain is still developing, the chance of long-term disability is much greater.

Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a name given to describe a group of non-contagious, non-progressive brain injuries that result in physical disability due to damage of the motor centers of the brain. For a brain injury to be labeled cerebral palsy it must involve damage to a still-developing brain, usually in unborn or young children (under the age of three).

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

As mentioned above, cerebral palsy is a non-progressive order. This means that the disease will not continue to cause further damage to the brain once the initial trauma takes place, something that makes CP different from a lot of other brain injuries.

Unfortunately, there is no cure, and so once the initial damage is inflicted, a person with CP will experience physical disability for his or her entitlement life. There are some treatment options, however, that can alleviate some of the pain and suffering that CP brings and that can reduce the likelihood of secondary complications from arising.

How Does a Person Get Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy only affects young children in the formative stages of brain development. Most instances of CP are birth defects. 75% of all cases are due to injuries that occurred during pregnancy. 5% are the result of the birthing process itself, and the final 10% are due to brain injuries that took place during the early years of a child's life (usually before the age of three).

Classification of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is divided into four different classifications that each describes a different type of movement impairment. The differences between movement impairments relates to the area of ​​the brain that has been affected. The four groupings are

· Spastic
· Athetoid / dyskinetic
· Ataxic
· Mixed

Spastic is by far the most common type of cerebral palsy, accounting for 70-80% of all cases. People with spastic cerebral palsy are hypertonic and suffer from a tightening of the muscles and an inability to stretch a muscle. Because of this, people with spastic CP also suffer from spasticity in certain muscles.

{ Comments are closed }

ABA Therapy

The ABC's of ABA

If you wish to modify your child's behavior, you have to change yours. Aba can work for ANY child, not just special needs.Success with ABA is accomplished by a few key steps. Here are the ABC's.

What happens right before a behavior is known as the Antecedent. Then, you have Behavior, and finally the Consequence. For example, the television is too noisy (antecedent), you turn the volume down (behavior), the noise is gone (consequence). Another example is holding up a piece of gum, child says gum, child gets gum. This gum is a motivator for the child to speak. To put it plainly, you must find what the child is most interested in. If your child's been eating cookies all day, they're not going to be motivated by a cookie! You have to find motivators and deprive the child of them in order for that object to remain a motivator.

Negative and Positive Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is the removal of a stunning or a decrease of the intensity of the stimulous which makes the behavior illegally to reoccur. We've all done this with or children, whether we knew it or not. Your child has an annoying habit of flushing the toilet, or opening and shutting the refrigerator door. It usually takes something as easy as closing the bathroom door, or putting a baby-proof clip on the refrigerator. By doing these things, you are removing the stimulant, then changing the behavior.

Positive reinforcement, is generally the opposite. Instead of removing, you are adding. If you're child receives an allowance, and five dollars is no longer a motivator, you add. Whether it be another big chore for a few dollars extra, or the same money combined with a 'special day' each week. You add to the motivation.

There are four keys you must remember when using reinforcement. The first is Immmediacy. The reinforcer must be given immediately after the appropriate response. Otherwise, the child may not understand why they're getting the reward. Second is Deprivation. If your child gets suckers all the time, they're less likely to work for them. Thirdly there's size, make sure the size of the reward is worth your child's effort. If you slaved at work all day for a quarter would you stay? And contingency, meaning the reward must only be given if they have performed the target behavior. The reward has to be earned. This is tricky, because when beginning ABA you want your child to always feel successful. If you know that your child can perform the target task and they're not, that's when you start with contingency. If you've never seen your child draw a straight line and that's the target, do hand over hand, then reward them. Success is a motivator.

The Five Ways To Communicate

In Aba there are five basic ways of communication. A Mand is a request from the child for something they want or need.A mand can come from words, pictures, or signing. This is a natural reinforcement. When your child says, signs, or points to a picture of juice, this is manding. Throwing a juice cup at you is an inappropriate mand and this behavior must be changed.

Labeling an object by any of your senses is Tacting. When asking your child “what is that?”, Your child should respond “boat” by saying, signing or identifying the picture.

Receptive is my child's area of ​​expertise. If I say it's time for your bath, he runs to the bathroom. Receptive language requires no vocals from the student. Another example is, “give me your shoes” and the child responds by handing you his shoes.

Imitation is obvious. If I say “do this” while clapping my hands, child claps their hands. Child may use vocal imitation as well. This is known as Echoic.

Feature, Function, Class

When using an object, always keep in mind it's FFC. For example if you're using a pair of scissors, the feature is sharp, function is cutting pieces of paper, and function is school supply. This is useful in ABA because you're able to teach these separately to the child.

You have a ball, a hat, a cow, and a duck on the table. You say “hand me the item that is round”, and the child gives you the ball. You've just taught feature. When asking for the item that keeps you warm, and you get the hat, you've taught function. If asking for a bird, and the child hands you a duck, then the child has learned it's class.

Prompting

Initially you're going to be prompting constantly to teach the target behavior. Before handing your child a cup of juice, sign or say drink. If you're child is not responding, say it again. The third time it is best to grab their hand and sign it for them. YAY! Now they get the consensus. They get their cup of juice. You've just made the child successful and tailed manding with a full prompt.

As your child gets the hang of things, and knows what they're doing, you're going to sometimes give partial prompts. When you're waiting for a mand of “juice”, and there's a delay, sometimes helping them to get their hands up without signing for them. They carry through the mand, and get the consequence. This can also be done in play. You say “give me the car”. Child is looking around.Point to the car- do not grab it- and child gets the car.

Over time, you must fade the prompts just as you would when teaching a child to ride a bike. They must be allowed to do it on their own, or there is no progress.

Manipulation

In order to teach certain target behaviors, you must use manipulation. When teaching words such as when, where, what, and why, trying hiding objects and asking questions which will result in the target response being used by the child. An example is hiding the ball under the bed. You say, “I put it over there”. “What?” “the ball, I put the ball over there.” “Where?” You can see how easy this is. Sometimes it is going to take forward.

In ABA there are so many techniques to teaching a target behavior. When using ABA, always remember to put yourself in the child's shoes and reassess what you're doing. The therapy is well worth the time and effort and very rewarding for all involved.

{ Comments are closed }

Online Support Groups For Aspergers Syndrome

One of the first things I noticed after my daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers was how alone and different I felt. Even though I knew others had Aspergers I had never actually heard anyone speak of it or know of anyone who had Aspergers. Trying to go through daily experiences where I felt I was the only one in the whole world having these problems with my daughter was a nightmare! During my research to learn more about Aspergers Syndrome I came across a Yahoo Group which focuses on asking questions and relaying experiences to help eachother. When I joined I had a million questions. I now am able to read daily posts and respond to questions others ask as well as post questions and new information I find to this site. What was the best part was to find that others are going through exactly the same things I am.

We have discussed things from social skills problems, stories about social interactions, obsessions, medicines, diagnosis, school and teacher difficulties, family interactions, explaining Aspergers to others, favorite activities, technology equipment and aides, websites, motor skills difficulties, peer conflicts, books & videos, doctors, eating and sleeping habits, new research and information, depression, multiple diagnosis, and more.

Most importantly we share our own personal feelings as parents with the struggles and pains we have experienced as we try to move forward day to day. It is always easier to face something new, different and maybe even freightening when you have others walking hand in hand with you. I have found that whenever I post a question there is always someone to reply even if just to say they understand and have been there. It is nice to not be alone!

{ Comments are closed }

Myths About the Causes of ADHD

When a child has ADHD, the parent or guardian of the child can sometimes blame thyself for the problem. They saddle with the guilt for making their child's life miserable, as if they bought on, or are making the symptoms of ADHD worse with their actions.

Parenting, good or bad does not cause or prevent ADHD. A home where tranquility & peace reign, does not guarantee the absence of ADHD. On the other hand, a neglected and troubled home is not necessarily the reason for one to get ADHD. Although a stable home can help alleviate the symptoms of some children with ADHD, it will not cure or reverse the problem. The same as, a problematic home can possibly worsen the symptoms of a child with ADHD, but will definitely not bring it on in the first place.

There is yet another factor that could contribute to the guilt of a parent of a child with ADHD. In the past many experts believed that the way of eating has an impact on a child with ADHD. It was said that a diet with a lot of sugar and food coloring can bring about the symptoms of ADHD. As a mother of a child with ADHD I used to deprive my child of all the goodies, because I was confident that without all the sweet stuff, my child would not suffer as much of the ADHD. It took quite a short while for me to realize that instead of making matters better, just the opposite occurred. If the hardships of the ADHD was not sufficient, I just added more trouble by increasing my child of something all his friends were adoring. When a child is hyper, albeit he does not have ADHD, sugar and sweets can cause him to be more aggressive. But that is not the case with ADHD.

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, do not shoulder the responsibility upon yourself. You are not at fault. It's important to learn as much about it as you can, and do everything you can to help your child. That way you will feel blameless.

{ Comments are closed }

Mild Cerebral Palsy – One of the Many Forms of Cerebral Palsy

Mild cerebral palsy is often difficult to detect, so early treatment is not given. When detected at early stage, corrective treatment can be applied and may help the patient very much.

A child with a mild form of this disability may have trouble lifting a large object with the right hand but may have no difficulty on writing with a chalk or a pen. This means, that it affects only the physical ability of the child, but not the intelligence.

When the child sees normal in every way, it is more difficult to diagnose with limited physical coordination. A normal child will be able to perform in the gym class without trouble, but a child with this cerebral palsy may be less coordinated. This will give the child so much frustration even though having excellent record on other areas like being on top of the class.

This is just one of the many forms of cerebral palsy, a condition of the nervous system that affects coordination of muscle and over-all body movement. Unlike the Down syndrome, it has many possible causes. It is caused by brain injury sustained during pregnancy, or during and after childbirth.

When a mother had a particularly difficult pregnancy and / or child delivery, the child may have incurred brain damage and must always be observed for symptoms like difficulties on use of one or more limbs.

Children with cerebral palsy that is mild and have normal learning abilities may be disqualified for financial assistance provided to more different forms.

{ Comments are closed }

Early Skill Development – The Work of a Child is Never Done

A child is constantly working on developing new skills when doing everyday activities. What to adults look like play activities, can be seriously hard work for a child trying to master a new skill. A child has to develop master the skills need to be able to walk, talk and be independent. Early development skills form the basis for successful entry into formal learning when they enter school.

Early development skills improve because of –

– the child's personal preference (just like adults, children prefer to choose activities we either like or are good at),
– the number of opportunities the child gets to practice their skill (in their play),
– how well the child can “join up” that skill, with other skills they are learning.

Just like a jigsaw puzzle, all development skills (eg talking, moving etc) need to be improved. Skills in one area must be combined with the other skill areas to make a “whole” base for a child to use to learn and develop. Children with very strong preferences for certain activities, or who only play in certain ways, can find it difficult to get the broad range of skills they need. They find it difficult to “join up” their strong skills and their weaker skills so that their skill level can be come “unbalanced.”

To help, parents can encourage new activities and less preferred activities to keep their child learning a wide variety of skills. When they join their child in play they can target the less preferred activities to offer support and demonstrate how their child can master these skills. For example for a child who prefers to drive their cars but avoids drawing activities, a parent could join in the car play but introduce drawing roads for the cars to drive on and assist their child to attempt to draw as well.

BUT Remember: Work, rest & play

Children need to work, rest and play – just like adults. But how they work, rest and play is different to adults. When children learn a new skill it could be considered their “work”. So in the work phase of learning a skill it takes a lot of effort and concentration. It can be pretty tiring and can not be sustained for too long. So the child drops back to playing using skills they have already mastered.

This repetitive “play” helps to make skills easier and easier (Think about the play very young children engage in saying the same word over and over as if seeking confirmation from you as the parent that while they are doing it right. adults sometimes – it is a fun game for the child – playing with their newly learnt word and making it easier and easier for them to say it).

Importantly, they also need to take a break from learning. How much rest they need can depend on how quickly they are trying to add new skills, or how hard skills are for them to master. When we say rest it is important to consider this includes non sleeping rest times. Again this may be where they lay quietly on the floor playing with a simple toy, or flop into a beanbag, or run wild around in circles – if only for a few minutes – they are resting in the form of not having to concentrate and getting ready to get back to work. They may need to rest often, but only briefly through the day; as well as having longer “sleeping” rest.

With their child needing to learn so many skills, a parent has many things to consider

– what skills should my child have or be working on?
– what does my child really like doing, and what do they avoid or do not give them as much time practicing?
– What chance do they get during their day to work or play at a new skill?
– How well does my child rest themselves and how do they do this?

What does this mean for your child?

Children need parents to “challenge” their current skill to get them to the next level – but not challenge them so much that they can not succeed at learning the skill.

Children need to be encouraged not only to play in activities that like, but to also “work” at activities that they do not enjoy as much. They may not play in a certain activity because the activity needs skills that are currently difficult for them. For example three year old Michael liked to climb but never played with blocks or jig saws. He was confident and skilled in his gross motor skills. When his parents helped him build towers with blocks, and cave him lots of praise he began to play with the barriers more frequently on his own. His fine motor skills gradually became as strong as his climbing skills.

Finally, children need lots of ways to rest – not just sleep. This includes quiet time, down time, and active time with no pressure (eg running around or laying on the floor with their favorite toys). This is a sign that they have been working hard to learn something new or practice something difficult. How often they need this “rest” time shows parents how hard they have been working at a new skill. Recognizing and encouraging appropriate rest activities ensures the child will then be ready to successfully work or play at more skills again.

{ Comments are closed }

An Overview of ADD-ADHD

People think of ADD as a childhood disorder, but some adults can also be diagnosed with ADD. ADD ties in with ADHD: ADD is attention deficit disorder while ADHD means Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

ADD / ADHD is a biological disorder that starts in the brain related to irregularities in neurotransmitter activity. But what's the difference between the two? The official name of the disorder is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the recognized acronym being ADHD. ADHD is of three types: (a) combined (b) predominately inattentive and (c) predominately hyperactive-impulsive type.

The misbehavior of children or their poor academic performance were thought to be just “growing up” pain or related to the awkwardness of youth, but it appears that ADD / ADHD could explain poor grades and erratic behavior.

Statistics indicate that 4% -6% of Americans have some form of ADD / ADHD. This disorder can not last a lifetime if it is not detected and treated immediately.

Common Symptoms of ADHD

Before an ADHD diagnosis is made, symptoms must exhibit three elements: they must be predominant or pervasive, they must be excess or frequent, and they must be long term. These symptoms include (but not limited to):

o Lack of concentration
o Inability to perform simple tasks
o Talkativeness
o Losing things and forgetfulness
o Habit of interrupting others
o Restlessness

Contrary to popular belief, ADD / ADHD is not caused by an over-consumption of sugar (although people with ADD / ADHD may be allergic to some foods), too much television, a brain tumor, bad parenting or ineffective teachers.

If your child shows signs of AD / HD, ask the following questions, bearing in mind that the degree and intensity of symptoms vary from one person to another:

o Does your child's behavioral patterns evident in more than one setting; that is, does your child have that way way only in school, or also at home and in social gatherings?
o Is your child's behavior NOT typical of other children's behaviors? Do the symptoms seem highly unusually?
o Have your child symptoms symptoms more than six months?
If you answered yes to all these questions, you may want to see your doctor who will refer your child to a specialist.

ADD / ADHD: Treatment

Because there is no identifiable cause of ADHD, the decision to choose one treatment over another is a decision that your doctor can recommend after your child has been examined. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be offered: medication and behavioral therapy; or a third option – counseling or psychotherapy – may also be considered. The purpose of medication is to regularize brain activity and must be taken under the supervision of your doctor. Behavior therapy, on the other hand, is intended to help children and adults cope with the emotional effects of their disorder. It may interest you to know that the federal government classifies AD / HD as an allowable disability.

ADD / ADHD: Preference for Natural Treatments

Millions of parents have wondered if AD / HD can be treated naturally. This is because of controversial reports that have generated interviews among health professionals and concerned parents regarding the consequences of the long term use of certain drugs. Numerous natural remedies are available for the treatment of AD / HD but again, the decision to take natural treatments must be discussed with your doctor.

As for treating ADHD with diet adjustments, we have seen diets that promote abstinence from sugar, dairy and fried foods. The evidence, however, is inconclusive that such absence will cure your child's ADHD.

{ Comments are closed }