adam-mandela-walden

People with autism can hear more than most – which can be a strength and a challenge

A noisy environment can be hell for a person with autism. On the plus side, they are more likely to have perfect pitch than a non-autistic person.

A group of friends are sitting in the garden chatting – only one person hears the ice cream van in the distance. That one person is autistic. He is also able to hear the buzzing of electricity in the walls and sometimes finds it overwhelming to be in a very noisy environment.

Our most recent work, published in Cognition, the international journal of cognitive science, suggests why that might be the case: people on the autistic spectrum can take in more sounds at any given moment compared with non-autistic people.

Over the past few years, there has been growing awareness that sensory experiences are different in autism. What is also becoming clear, however, is that different doesn’t mean worse. There are many reports of autistic people doing better than non-autistic people on visual and auditory tasks. For example, compared with non-autistic people, autistic individuals spotted more continuity errors in videos and are much more likely to have perfect pitch.

Do you have perfect pitch?

We suggest that the reason behind this is that autistic people have a higher perceptual capacity, which means that they are able to process more information at once. Having this extra processing space would be useful in some situations but problematic in others.

For example, when copying a complicated drawing you need to take in lots of information as efficiently as possible. On the other hand, if you don’t need much information to perform a task (such as when having a conversation with someone) then the extra capacity automatically processes other things in the room. This can distract you from what you are trying to do, or make you feel overwhelmed by lots of different sensory stimuli.

A sound advantage

To test out this idea, we asked a group of autistic and non-autistic adults to carry out two computer-based tasks.

The first was a listening-search task where having greater perceptual capacity would be useful and help you perform well. Participants were asked to listen to short bursts of animal sounds, played simultaneously, and figure out whether there was a dog’s bark or a lion’s roar in the group. At the same time, they also had to listen for the sound of a car, which was there in half the trials.

The autistic adults were much better than the non-autistic adults at picking out the car sound at the same time as doing the animal task correctly.

The second task involved listening to a recording of a group of people preparing for a party and focusing on the women’s conversation to be able to answer questions about it at the end. In this case, the task was easy and having extra capacity might leave you at risk of being more easily distracted by information that isn’t needed for the task.

To see if that was the case, an unexpected and unusual addition was made to the middle of the scene: a man walked in saying, “I’m a gorilla,” over and over again. As predicted, many more of the autistic participants (47 per cent) noticed the “gorilla man”, compared with 12 per cent of the non-autistic group.

So it seems that increased capacity for processing sounds in autism could be linked to both difficulties and enhanced auditory abilities that are found in the condition.

Changing perceptions

Understanding that differences in autistic attention might be due to this extra capacity, rather than an inability to filter out irrelevant information, can change the way we understand the condition and how we might intervene to help those who are struggling.

Our findings suggest that to reduce unwanted distraction, autistic people need to fill their extra capacity with information that won’t interfere with the task at hand. For example, it might be helpful to listen to music while reading. This challenges the common approach taken to simplify the classroom environment for autistic children, although care should still be taken to avoid a sensory overload.

While we must not downplay the challenges associated with autism, our study raises awareness of a more positive side to the condition. By promoting evidence of autistic strengths, we embrace diversity and undermine the traditional view that autism is only associated with deficits.

Understanding that differences in autistic attention might be due to this extra capacity, rather than an inability to filter out irrelevant information, can change the way we understand the condition and how we might intervene to help those who are struggling.

Our findings suggest that to reduce unwanted distraction, autistic people need to fill their extra capacity with information that won’t interfere with the task at hand. For example, it might be helpful to listen to music while reading. This challenges the common approach taken to simplify the classroom environment for autistic children, although care should still be taken to avoid a sensory overload.

While we must not downplay the challenges associated with autism, our study raises awareness of a more positive side to the condition. By promoting evidence of autistic strengths, we embrace diversity and undermine the traditional view that autism is only associated with deficits.

Source:independent.co.uk

sarahmckameycrop_a7eb8b3d97b379e7636b5e265f7018c7.today-inline-large

10 Things I wish I’d known about having a child with autism

There’s a saying that’s often repeated because it’s true: If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. That’s because children (and adults) on the autism spectrum are very different from one another. There is no one correct road map to follow when raising, teaching and loving them.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and TODAY spoke to numerous parents and loved ones about what they have learned — and would like to tell others — on their particular autism journeys.

1. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking

“The most freeing moment of this journey for us was when we stopped worrying about public appearance. Your child needs for you to be 100 percent in tune with them and what they are experiencing, not worried about how you are perceived.”

—Sarah McKamey, son Micah, 9, Manchester, Tenn

2. When it comes to autism, one size doesn’t fit all

“I wish I knew that autism is not the disease — ignorance is. If you put a PlayStation game into an Xbox would it work? Of course not. So does that mean the Xbox is broken? No. The same thing applies for a child with autism. Just because they don’t learn the way ‘typical’ children do doesn’t mean there is something wrong with them. It means that we as parents, caregivers, friends, neighbors and teachers need to find different ways to try and make a connection.”

—Laura Jones, children Kate 12, Jack 11, Maxx 9, Lambertville, N.J.

Laura Jones and family.

3. Know that medical issues can be involved

“I wish I had known about the invisible medical issues of autism right from the start. For years, I had no idea that gastrointestinal dysfunction, including constipation, acid reflux, inflammation and pain, could dramatically affect my son’s sleep patterns, mood, irritability, aggression, attention, and even communication. Our son had to power through those problems all by himself on a daily basis, and it breaks my heart that we never suspected the cause of many of his struggles.”

—Janet Lintala, son Evan, 22, West Virginia

 

4. Be grateful for the strong connection you and your child will forge

“In reflecting over the last 24 years of our journey, I will say this: My son gives me 100 kisses and hugs every day, he is always happy to see me and he will always be with me. He doesn’t lie and he doesn’t judge. He is welcoming to anyone that wants to enter his world. On the other hand, my father sees me about twice a year since we live 1000 miles apart. So which dad is better off? It’s not better or worse, it’s just different. Once you understand that, your road will be smoother.”

—Scott Sanes, son Jache, 24, Great Barrington, Mass.

Scott Sanes

Scott Sanes says his son, Jache, shown, gives him 100 kisses and hugs a day.

5. Prioritize independence and communication

“After baseline medical needs are met and you figure out how to deal with the ‘everyday,’ I recommend that parents pay particular attention to the areas of communication, self-help and socially appropriate skills. A child who has a high academic ability, but poor communication skills, hygiene or a proclivity to hurt others will greatly limit their opportunities.”

—Nicole Sugrue, son Adem, 19, Port Washington, N.Y.

6. Trust your instincts even with the doctor’s advice

“What I wish I knew way back then is that it’s OK to get a second opinion when your gut tells you the doctor is wrong. We knew that Gavin had autism. Yet, we were told he had ADHD, that he had anxiety and depression. It took his first psychiatric hospitalization at age eight for a psychiatrist to finally say he thought Gavin had Asperger’s. We were always told, ‘Why is a diagnosis so important to you anyway? It’s just a label.’ Because the right diagnosis means the proper treatment. Now he has a job, he’s involved in school activities. He’s going to college in the fall to become a chemistry teacher.”

—Shannon Smyth, son Gavin Nelson, 18, Lake Ariel, Penn.

7. Seek out a mentor

“Looking back, it would have been helpful to have had a mentor or someone who had already walked the road that I faced. Initially, the diagnosis was overwhelming. Just as a driver on a road trip stops at visitor centers for information, I found myself searching for directions on how to not only cope with the future as his primary caregiver, but also how to fund his immediate and future medical expenses and care. My experiences have instilled in me a desire to mentor those with whom I come in contact who are facing the future I faced.”

—Lisa Bamburg, son Joel 20, Jacksonville, Ark.

8. Watch for depression signs in older children and young adults

“While it’s a good thing to integrate your autistic child into a regular school system, be aware that most autistic children that can be integrated are fully aware that they are autistic and as they become teenagers and into their twenties that awareness of being different can lead to depression. My brother went into the system at a young age and even graduated from college. Even highly intelligent children on the spectrum have difficulty finding their place in the world. It’s not talked about very often, but it’s a very important thing to bring more awareness to.”

—Tanya Ryno, 47, brother, 24, Alpine, N.J. and Maine9. When you change your expectations, the world will grow

“I wish we knew that autism just means different, not less. Instead of baseball games in elementary school we would have sensory integration programs. I wish we knew then that it will be okay some days will be hard, some days will be beautiful and at the end of each of them when we tuck our son into bed, the most important thing we can do is make sure he knows he is loved.”

—Tabatha and Tony Rainwater, son Junior, 5, Knoxville, Tenn.

Grayden Grossman with his parents.

10. Celebrate all of your child’s achievements

“I wish I had known that unlike other parents we can’t take even the smallest achievement or milestone for granted. When our son started wearing his coat without a fight and expressed that he was cold, when he was able to participate in circle time during music class and when he got up on stage with the other kids at his school show we celebrated.”

 

Source:today.com

Anxiety-and-Intimate-Relationships-How-to-Stop-Anxiety-From-Stealing-the-Magic

5 Things My Loved Ones Should Know About Life With Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are so many things I do not know how to express or explain to the people who love me. The next five bullet points are some of the most important to me.

1. I never wanted to become sick.

I pray every day that God will see fit to heal me. At this point in my illness I do not even fully understand what is going on in my body most days. I just made a list of symptoms to show my doctor which was about 20 bullet points. I am hoping they will connect them to form a more solid diagnosis. I am hoping they have answers, that there is something to be found that is fixable. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have ignored it for many years. Not facing it has only made my symptoms worse. It can take six months sometimes for my body to recover from a flare, surgery, injury or infection.

2. Please be considerate and know I am trying my best.

I am actively involved in a couple different ministries and charities and I love the opportunity to serve. However, if I am there, know it is taking all my energy to get by. Please do not judge me for not being extra social or participating in every event. Please do not exclude me from group activities. I tend to leave as soon as the event is over and I sometimes get left out of group pictures and after event lunches or activities. It can be a painful reminder that I am disappearing from the lives of my friends.

3. There are weeks when I do not leave the house for days.

Texting and social media are very much a lifeline for me right now. Getting up and out of the house is taking an increasing amount of energy. So, I connect with friends via my phone. Sometimes I just need to text and share that I am having a bad day. Even if I do not receive a response, just being able to share it lightens the burden. The friends I do have in my life are very important to me. So, if one of them needs me, even if I cannot make it out, I am always available by phone or text.

4. I have a “knee-jerk” reaction to apologize.

I am always saying I am sorry. I apologize for apologizing too much. I have been trying to shift my behavior to saying thank you instead. Thank you for understanding, thank you for your help, thank you for including me and so on and so forth. Apologizing for my illness only makes me a victim to it, versus having gratitude for what I can do.

5. I do not want to hear how high your pain tolerance is.

That is a phrase I really do not like to hear. It is dismissive, ignorant and comes with an air of superiority. People with chronic pain probably have a high pain tolerance but the pain never goes away! It would wear down the toughest of the tough if there was no end in sight. I am really glad that your pain tolerance is high; that is a good thing. It is just very insensitive to say that to someone who has shared their struggle in chronic pain with you.

Please do not ever take your health for granted because we rarely get warning when things go bad. Becoming chronically ill can go from bad to worse very quickly. If you love someone with a chronic illness, tell them you appreciate the things they can do. Listen to them cry and resist the need to “fix” them. The more you try to fix them, the more broken they feel.

Source:themighty.com

_f2af95fe-1ecb-11e7-89d6-c3c500e93e5a

Soon a blood test will help detect brain injury in infants

A team of scientists has come up with a new medical test that may help identify infants who may have had bleeding of the brain as a result of abusive head trauma, sometimes referred to as shaken baby syndrome.

Developed by the researchers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the serum-based test, which needs to be validated in a larger population and receive regulatory approval before being used in clinical practice, would be the first-of-its-kind to be used to detect acute intracranial hemorrhage or bleeding of the brain.

Infants who test positive would then have further evaluation via brain imaging to determine the source of the bleeding.

“Abusive head trauma (AHT) is the leading cause of death from traumatic brain injury in infants and the leading cause of death from physical abuse in the United States,” said senior author Rachel Berger.

Missed diagnoses can be catastrophic as abusive head trauma can lead to permanent brain damage and even death. (AFP/iStock)

However, approximately 30% of AHT diagnoses are missed when caretakers provide inaccurate histories or when infants have nonspecific symptoms such as vomiting or fussiness. Missed diagnoses can be catastrophic as AHT can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.

The researchers collaborated with Axela, a Canadian molecular diagnostics company, to develop a sensitive test that could reduce the chances of a missed diagnosis by using a combination of three biomarkers along with a measure of the patient’s level of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in blood.

Axela’s automated testing system allowed the researchers to measure multiple biomarkers simultaneously using an extremely small amount of blood, an important characteristic of a test designed to be used in infants.

The test correctly detected acute intracranial hemorrhage because of abusive head trauma approximately 90% of the time, a much higher rate than the sensitivity of clinical judgement, which is approximately 70%.

“The test is not intended to replace clinical judgement, which is crucial,” said Berger. “Rather, we believe that it can supplement clinical evaluation and in cases where symptoms may be unclear, help physicians make a decision about whether an infant needs brain imaging.”

The specificity of the test or the ability to correctly identify an infant without bleeding of the brain who would not require further evaluation was 48%. The researchers aimed for the test to be highly sensitive rather than maximizing accuracy, since missing a diagnosis has more serious consequences than performing brain imaging in babies without the condition.

“This study illustrates the benefits of being able to perform highly sensitive tests at the point of care,” said co-author Paul Smith.

Source:.hindustantimes.com

five-natural-remedies-for-arthritis

5 Ways to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Naturally

Go on a Fast

Fasting is one of the first things many natural health doctors suggest to patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Not eating at all often results in a significant reduction in symptoms, including pain, swelling and inflammation. During a fast, which usually lasts from 3 days to 1 week, you’ll drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. People on juice fasts can go for up to 2 weeks without solid food. Just make sure the juice is fresh and organic. However, you should never fast unless you’re under the supervision of a doctor since some people have underlying conditions that make them unable to fast safely.

Try an Elimination Diet

Many people with arthritis find that they are sensitive to certain foods. When they eat these foods, their rheumatoid-arthritis symptoms get worse. To determine whether you have any food sensitivities that may be causing you undue pain and suffering, try to remember what you ate in the hours before a bad arthritis attack. Eliminate that food from your diet for 2 weeks. If you experience a flareup of symptoms again after you re-introduce it to your diet, permanently remove it from the list of foods you eat.

Don’t Eat Inflammatory Foods

Some foods promote inflammation, which you definitely want to avoid if you have rheumatoid arthritis. Dairy products are among the worst offenders in this category. Sugar, hydrogenated oils, white flour and fried foods all contribute to inflammation in the body. Instead, eat anti-inflammatory foods, such as salmon, olive oil, blueberries, ginger and garlic.

Take Cetyl Myristoleate

Cetyl myristoleate is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in some foods. When it’s extracted and taken orally for at least 2 months, it has been shown to stop the disease process of rheumatoid arthritis in some people. Cetyl myristoleate was discovered when it was noticed that albino mice don’t get rheumatoid arthritis. Naturally high levels of cetyl myristoleate in these mice were found to be the protective factor.

Urine May Help

Many people have found that their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms were successfully managed or even cured by urine therapy. It sounds horrible, but it’s really not. Urine is a powerful immune-system modulator, and drinking your own can correct the imbalances in your immune system that have caused it to attack your joints. A typical protocol for urine therapy is to put one drop of your first morning urine in a full glass of water and drink it. Each day, increase the number of drops of urine by five to 10, until you’re drinking 1 to 2 oz. of urine each day. Some people are able to increase the amount of urine they drink more quickly than this, as their senses readily adjust to accept the taste and smell of it.

Once you’ve reached 1 to 2 oz. of urine, take note of how your joints feel. Since you can’t overdose on urine, you can increase your dose at that point if you’re not feeling better yet. Keep increasing your dose until you notice an improvement in your symptoms, and then continue taking that dose of urine each day for the rest of your life.

Source:livestrong

carly-autism-voice

Take 2 Minutes and Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes—It’s Breathtaking

This is breathtaking. See inside the mind of someone with autism, and you’ll never look at people with this condition the same way again.

When Carly was just two-years-old, she was diagnosed with severe autism. Her condition stopped her from speaking and doctors said she would likely never intellectually develop beyond the mind of a child.

However, she made progress with her therapists, and after years of effort in behavioral and communication therapy, she had a huge breakthrough. One day during therapy she reached out for a laptop and typed, “HELP TEETH HURT,” and it blew everyone away.

This event started Carly’s new journey of hope and helped crush stereotypes about people who suffer from severe autism.

Experience autism through Carly’s eyes in this amazing first-person video.

Source:http://faithit.com

tea-heals-fibromyalgia-rheumatoid-arthritis-hashimotos-multiple-sclerosis

This Tea Heals Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s, Multiple Sclerosis, And More…

Thyme has been popular for centuries, and it has been commonly used to treat various ailments, from flu to epileptic seizures.

During the middle ages, people mixed thyme with lavender in equal amounts and sprinkled on the floors of churches to get rid of any unwanted odors. Moreover, it has also been used to heal wounds and prevent infections, and it was applied crushed on the affected areas.

Its volatile essential oils are high in antiviral, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal properties.

Its regular use will lower the viral load in the body, so it is excellent in the case of lupus, tinnitus, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, vertigo, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and rheumatoid arthritis. All you need to do to treat these conditions is to drink thyme tea every morning.

Thyme is high in vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, and calcium, all of which are extremely beneficial for proper red blood cell formation, blood pressure regulation, and distribution of antioxidants in the body. It is also abundant in folic acid, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, and C.

It also contains various  bioflavonoids and volatile oils, including thymol, an essential oil with potent antioxidant properties.

Furthermore, it has powerful cancer preventive properties, as it is rich in terpenoids such as rosmarinic and ursolic acids. Studies have shown that the regular intake of thyme raises the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in the kidney, brain, and heart cell membranes.

The essential oils in thyme have strong expectorant and bronchial antispasmodic properties and are thus excellent in the treatment and prevention of:

  • gingivitis
  • laryngitis
  • asthma
  • throat infections
  • acute and chronic bronchitis
  • sore throats
  • coughs
  • inflammation of the mouth

Source:healthyfoodhouse.com

Always-Writing

4 Easy Things A Parent Can Do To Help A Child With Dyslexia

As a teacher, tutor, and parent of a child who struggles with Dyslexia, I have found there are some simple things that parents can do to help their child. It doesn’t really matter if your child has been diagnosed with Dyslexia or if they simply struggle with those tendencies, these are things that you can do right now to help your child.

I must admit, I found these things out on my own. When my own daughter began to show struggles with writing, I had no one to tell me that these are the things I should do. There was really not a lot of help out there, and I had to do some research. My goal is to help other parents, and teachers, to know what to do in order to really help these kiddos out.

1. Reteach how to correctly write letters and numbers.

I discovered this while tutoring some fourth-grade students who struggled with classic Dyslexia. They tended to write their letters and numbers upside down. For example, instead of writing an “l” from top to bottom, they wrote it from bottom to top. They would draw an “o” from the bottom and counterclockwise. Normally, if you learned how to print, you learned to write an “o” from the 12 o’clock position and clockwise.

Students with Dyslexia really need this corrected. You can easily find and print out handwriting practice sheets online. As for homework, you are going to have to sit and watch how they write each and every letter and number, but it is worth taking time to do it—I promise!

2. Have a “cheat sheet” of common letters and numbers that your child writes backwards.

This is great for the teacher to put on their desk as well. My daughter’s teacher had a little card on her desk with the letters she was writing backwards. This helped her to slow down and copy that letter until her brain learned to write it correctly. This helped right away at home as well. We also had a number chart for her to use when doing her homework. Numbers are often written backwards as well, so don’t overlook them.

3. Teach your child how to write in D’Nealian or cursive as early as possible.

I cannot stress this enough: teach your child how to write in D’Nealian as soon as possible. Students who write in cursive, or a form of simplified cursive, do not show Dyslexic tendencies as much. Why? Because a cursive “b” and “d” cannot be confused since the formation is totally different, unlike print where they are mirror images of one another. The same goes for “p” and “q.” In print, they are mirror images, but not so in cursive. Again, you can print practice sheets you find online for free.

4. Do Brain Gym exercises with your child.

Yes, exercise helps—believe it or not! People that have Dyslexia have trouble crossing the middle of their body, and it has to do with the right and left sides of their brain. Ways to combat this include practice skipping, touching opposite elbows to the opposite knee, or touching opposite foot and hands. I know this sounds strange, but believe me it works! My previous elementary campus found this so helpful that all third-grade teachers would stop class and do Brain Gym in the classroom before reading and writing activities. It helped the students with Dyslexia, and the other students as well.

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are simple things you can do today to help your child with their struggles with Dyslexia or similar symptoms. Early intervention is the key! And, of course, if you feel that your child may have Dyslexia, do get them tested through your school or doctor.

Source:lifehack.org

shutterstock_132600665

The Top 9 Signs That Your Infant May Have Autism. #6 Really Surprised Me!

1. DELAYED MOTOR DEVELOPMENT

Has your daughter experienced significant delays in motor development milestones, such as rolling over, pushing herself up, and crawling?

freeimages_mom kissing baby_138382_9026

 

THOSE WERE THE TOP INDICATORS OF AUTISM IN INFANTS. WANT TO LEARN MORE?

It’s known that children who have been diagnosed with autism do not make eye contact, but is it possible to find these signs at an earlier age? Researchers at Emory University have discovered an eye tracking software that shows where your baby is looking and has proven to find changes already happening that may detect autism.

Studying babies as early as two months old, these researchers have found that by six months children with autism spend less time looking at eyes. This technology can now help identify autism before a parent or doctor sees signs.

Note: Be aware this isn’t something you can see with the naked eye and should constantly be worrying about. Your babies physician will use this screening over the years to make sure they detect anything out of the ordinary for a better long term outcome!

Source:autismsite

 

Did you know this? Where your baby is looking COULD be a sign of autism.

It’s known that children who have been diagnosed with autism do not make eye contact, but is it possible to find these signs at an earlier age? Researchers at Emory University have discovered an eye tracking software that shows where your baby is looking and has proven to find changes already happening that may detect autism.

Studying babies as early as two months old, these researchers have found that by six months children with autism spend less time looking at eyes. This technology can now help identify autism before a parent or doctor sees signs.

Note: Be aware this isn’t something you can see with the naked eye and should constantly be worrying about. Your babies physician will use this screening over the years to make sure they detect anything out of the ordinary for a better long term outcome!

Source:autismsite