Early Indicators of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Jan 9, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Examiner.com

It is well established that early identification and intervention are critical determinants in the course and outcome of autism spectrum disorders .

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the TOPIC

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friend wrote:
Topic- my son was very much the same way. Everyone called him the 'happy go lucky' boy. He never cried except mainly when it became night time. He over reacted to sounds around him yet under reacted when he should have (peek a boo). The ceiling fan was his best friend. He was a pressure seeker right off the bat. The only thing he did developmentally early was cut his teeth, and even then he got his top teeth first when most babies get the bottom first. Once he got those teeth, he became a biter of anything that wasn't food. He wrecked his top and lower teeth due to biting hard objects, broke them right off. High threshld for pain, too. He never cried when he was hurt. My son has verbal stims, and for him it was the letter P. He could say puppy and baby. His main form of communication was a growl, and by the type of growl you knew if he was mad, sad or happy. It wasn't until he started really talking, he started asking about memories he had but he had a hard time describing things due to language issues. I found he memorized things by colors, and his earliest memory was prior to being a year old. So even for a non verbal child, don't under estimate what they may understand. They very well may understand a lot, but lack the ability to make you aware of it due to autism. My son only heard the last of a sentence spoken to him. My advise is speak in very short sentences, add a word as the child's sentences become longer. My son was a toy dumper and paper shredder. Any magazine or video case that had eyes on it, he tore up. My son still has a hard time showing his emotions, he's the type who holds it in all day and let's it out once he's home. My son out grew many of his younger behaviors, and as he get's older he acquired other behaviors but the verbal stims and repeating he may never loose! I had learned my son needed stims, I couldn't always say no. So at home, he's allowed to a point to have his behaviors, but at school I have expectations for him to find some control. He is a rule follower so school is easier for him, and predictable. Social settings and at home never is predictable.
May I ask what interventions you have thought about or are trying?
Wow our children are so similar mine also has a high pain threshold. Once he Burned his hand on the oven, not a peep! He just flinched and walked away! This rules out spankings too ( I know everyone has their opinions and some don't agree with it but that's how I was raised and I think it works, just not for him) Your the first parent who's child was also a "dumper" and my son can sit tearing apart a magazine for hours. We buy them just so he can "play" with them. Our DVD case was another favorite he would throw every single one off (he wouldn't do anything with them, just throw em and go do something elSe) the minute we put them up there he was throwing them off again. Same with toys he had a box of smaller toys (cars, rattles, blocks,etc) that he would dump out and leave until we put them up. Most parents have children that are sorters and have to have things in a specific place.

As for interventions when he was about 18 months we did early intervention - speech and physical therapy, focusing more on PT because he wasn't walking and I felt he needed that more than speech at the time because, for the most part we knew what he was asking for/wanted. Now he is too old for that program so we are doing ST at a different place and OT as well, even though he still needs PT but its difficult with work and other appointments so I decided OT will benefit him more at this point. I have also considered behavioral therapy but where I live it would be a good drive for sessions, and I've noticed that with his other therapies his behavior has improved.
It was also recommended that he be given a medication evaluation but I'm still iffy on that. We will do the eval and decide from there.
the TOPIC

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#232
Jan 24, 2013
 

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He also is different in that he doesn't have to stick to a "routine" but does have to do things in the order he "wants" even if its different every time. He isn't "attached" or fixated on one thing all the time but he does fixate. One day it might be his shoes that he has to have with him (even just holding them) the next it might be a certain shirt.
Starts with Vaccines

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the TOPIC wrote:
He also is different in that he doesn't have to stick to a "routine" but does have to do things in the order he "wants" even if its different every time. He isn't "attached" or fixated on one thing all the time but he does fixate. One day it might be his shoes that he has to have with him (even just holding them) the next it might be a certain shirt.
They do that for comforts sake because they can't predict. Watching a movie over and over is comforting and has no uncomfortable surprises. Thats why routine works. They can't calibrate randomness.

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#234
Jan 24, 2013
 

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When my son was little, it was when ABA was very controversial and more like torture. I didn't agree with the reward sstem, either. We started EI at age 3, along with private ST and OT. Special ed at the time thought for sure once he started school, he'd then sleep. It seemed he was their first student in pre k who never slept, and starting school never made a difference. That's the only reason why he started meds. He only slept 2 hours 'maybe' in a 24 period, 24/7. I took him for a sleep study. I never met another parent who also had a non-sleeper until I joined on-line sites. Medication can help some symptom's, but none of the meds my son was on ever really modified his severe behaviors. It is a good idea to wait on meds when a child is very young.

My son seemed to have rhyme and reason to his messes. He knew where everything was within that mess, too. His main thing back then was trains which started at about age 3. He wouldn't let you touch them and if one was moved, he'd know it.

Right at around age 4, I heard about RDI (relationship developmet intervention) and I liked that better than ABA since it was parent based, I didn't have to add another therapist. The parent more or less is the therapist, teaching the child different things in the child's comfort zone. An example was my son was horribly afraid of balloons, for fear they would pop. I made a game and popped a whole bag of balloons, then showed my son 'look, you survived and you're still alright'.

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#235
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Private therapies I believe were the most benefit for my son, 2 hours a week per ST and OT, our insurance covered both at a time when you never heard abut there being autism coverage. We just had good insurance. OT did music therapy, which help with the fear of music he had and singing. We still don't sing Happy Birthday to him and it was age 2 when he over reacted to it. They also had smells in a jar to help with his sesnory to smells. At a young age he was self injurous. He'd pinch his inner ear and right cheek until they bled, and he'd do this when he was scared, unsure, in social settings. About this time I also learned about visuals and realized my son was a visual learner. So our house was filled with visuals for him. As he became older, we went to scripts (once he learned to read). My son also has acid reflux and a hyper gag reflex. This resulted in him throwing up, and a lot. His growling would activate the gag reflex, and at home he growled all the time so he threw up no less than 7 to 10 times a day. When he was in 3rd grade he went to the school nurse. She gave him a Halls cough drop (even though I told them never to give him any candy type things) he threw up for a half hour until he could calm his gag reflex. Nurse never seen anything like it, it had to be the flu and I had to go get him. She never gave him a Halls since LOL! Eventually, he learned to say 'no' to things he knew would make him sick, like peppermint, apple sauce, yogurt with fruit pieces or any cooked fruit. It took years for him to speak up, he'd just eat it since someone told him to.

Every time he's been tested, he shows a developemental delay of 2 years. So I pretty much have to minus 2 years from his age. I tried to potty train him way too early for his developemental ability, for instance. Academically, he's 2 years behind his peers, although each year via state testing, he does increase those scores from the year before which is important to keep an eye on. He has always been in inclusion, but with academic Para's.
Vaccines Cause Autism

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#236
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My son had sleep issues until we gave him one vial of secretin, which ORAC and others say has no effect. He slept all night that night which scared us, but he has slept normally from that day on. His eating changed from fussy to chompimg down spoonful after spoonful of almost anything. It was overnight, just like that.

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#237
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Watching the same movie over and over had nothing to do with routine for my child. It had to do with his fixation and limited interests. Routine has more to do with Central coherence, limited ability to understand context or to "see the big picture", impaired social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive behaviours and restricted interests and processing. Most who have autism lack the ability to spontaneously react appropriately, due to autism. So they more so rely on routines.

Secretin was a fad, after parents heard a report of one child's autism improving, by accident, everyone had to try it. It is a hormone, and no one should mess with hormones unless under doctors care. Secretin did not work as treatment for autism in any of the studies that used the proper research methodology. It's sad how intervention are fly-by-nights over 3 children's experiences with it.
the TOPIC

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#238
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friend wrote:
Private therapies I believe were the most benefit for my son, 2 hours a week per ST and OT, our insurance covered both at a time when you never heard abut there being autism coverage. We just had good insurance. OT did music therapy, which help with the fear of music he had and singing. We still don't sing Happy Birthday to him and it was age 2 when he over reacted to it. They also had smells in a jar to help with his sesnory to smells. At a young age he was self injurous. He'd pinch his inner ear and right cheek until they bled, and he'd do this when he was scared, unsure, in social settings. About this time I also learned about visuals and realized my son was a visual learner. So our house was filled with visuals for him. As he became older, we went to scripts (once he learned to read). My son also has acid reflux and a hyper gag reflex. This resulted in him throwing up, and a lot. His growling would activate the gag reflex, and at home he growled all the time so he threw up no less than 7 to 10 times a day. When he was in 3rd grade he went to the school nurse. She gave him a Halls cough drop (even though I told them never to give him any candy type things) he threw up for a half hour until he could calm his gag reflex. Nurse never seen anything like it, it had to be the flu and I had to go get him. She never gave him a Halls since LOL! Eventually, he learned to say 'no' to things he knew would make him sick, like peppermint, apple sauce, yogurt with fruit pieces or any cooked fruit. It took years for him to speak up, he'd just eat it since someone told him to.

Every time he's been tested, he shows a developemental delay of 2 years. So I pretty much have to minus 2 years from his age. I tried to potty train him way too early for his developemental ability, for instance. Academically, he's 2 years behind his peers, although each year via state testing, he does increase those scores from the year before which is important to keep an eye on. He has always been in inclusion, but with academic Para's.
How old is your son? And how old was he when he was potty trained? And tips?

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My son will be 14 in a few months. He partly potty trained at 4.6 years of age. For him, sensory really affected training. He could tell when a BM was coming, but not pee, plus he never fully emptied his bladder when he did pee. he never really master the BM until he was about 6, he'd have a lot of accidents because he didn't realize until it was too late he had to go. I started way too early for him, and tried all the tricks. What worked for him was visuals, and a routine. I took him every half hour, making it a routine. My son also had a big issue with feet off the ground, he had to have his feet touching a stool when on the toilet.
I also bought this book, which comes for girls as well
http://www.amazon.com/Its-Potty-Time-Boys-Tim...
The button for toilet flushing helped with the sensory to noises, and it made it a fun time as a routine.
Elias

Glen Waverley, Australia

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#240
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friend wrote:
Right at around age 4, I heard about RDI (relationship developmet intervention) and I liked that better than ABA since it was parent based, I didn't have to add another therapist. The parent more or less is the therapist, teaching the child different things in the child's comfort zone. An example was my son was horribly afraid of balloons, for fear they would pop. I made a game and popped a whole bag of balloons, then showed my son 'look, you survived and you're still alright'.
Never heard of RDI in Australia? both my wife and I did ABA training and use ABA on our daughter. Our Psych says that ABA works best when done by somebody other than a parent. The problem is my daughter will simply not tolerate being in the vicinity of an ABA therapist if they have a sniffle, cough or sneeze.

Interesting to hear about your son's balloon phobia. Is there any tricks to cure a child's phobia to specific noises like coughing and sneezing?
Elias

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#241
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friend wrote:
Every time he's been tested, he shows a developemental delay of 2 years. So I pretty much have to minus 2 years from his age. I tried to potty train him way too early for his developemental ability, for instance. Academically, he's 2 years behind his peers, although each year via state testing, he does increase those scores from the year before which is important to keep an eye on. He has always been in inclusion, but with academic Para's.
Of course every child with ASD is different. My daughter is actually two years ahead of her peers academically (particularly math) but is three-four years behind in terms of social skills and expressive language. In social settings it's quite awkaward when girls her age walk up to her and say something and she does not make eye contact nor respond back.

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The thing with any therapy that I have a problem with is it has to transfere to all settings and all people. I didn't see that happening with ABA at the time when my child was young, plus it was unregulated in the USA. Now they have to be Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I wanted my son to learn this as natural as he can in a natural setting. That is just me. Private speech did what is called Dyads (which is part of RDI), where they match a same aged peer with same like interests and teach social skills at a 1:1 bases. The idea is children with autism cant easily learn these social skills in a large setting, but many can in the 1:1 setting. They learn the skills in the small setting which gives a better chance to then used those learned skills in increasingly larger and larger settings.

What I did with the balloons was pop them, and I popped a lot of them. Of course there was the whole reaction, but exposure more and more eventually reassured him those balloons couldn't hurt him. One could do the same with a sniffle, cough or sneeze. Repetitive exposure can teach a child coping skills.

My son has always made eye contact with me, but he wouldn't to you or in a social setting. Picture day at school is never fun. He's never liked camera's. When he was little and someone looked at him, he ran for cover under a table, chair or if nothing was available, my shirt. Eye contact can take a long while to master, and some may never master that. In small settings my son will make eye contact, and being in social skills class since Kindergarten has greatly helped using that Dyads, giving him same-aged peer social opportunities which I cant easily provide.
Elias wrote:
<quoted text>
Never heard of RDI in Australia? both my wife and I did ABA training and use ABA on our daughter. Our Psych says that ABA works best when done by somebody other than a parent. The problem is my daughter will simply not tolerate being in the vicinity of an ABA therapist if they have a sniffle, cough or sneeze.
Interesting to hear about your son's balloon phobia. Is there any tricks to cure a child's phobia to specific noises like coughing and sneezing?
Elias

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#243
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friend wrote:
The thing with any therapy that I have a problem with is it has to transfere to all settings and all people. I didn't see that happening with ABA at the time when my child was young, plus it was unregulated in the USA. Now they have to be Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I wanted my son to learn this as natural as he can in a natural setting.
This is a great idea. Therapists talk about minimising segmented therapy for kis on the spectrum (i.e. holding therapy sessions in sterile soundproof white rooms which are not representative of the child's real environment). In reality clinics are not all that good, we also came to the conculsion parental therapy works better for our daughter. However it may be better for other kids to have a third party.
friend wrote:
What I did with the balloons was pop them, and I popped a lot of them. Of course there was the whole reaction, but exposure more and more eventually reassured him those balloons couldn't hurt him. One could do the same with a sniffle, cough or sneeze. Repetitive exposure can teach a child coping skills.
Yes we already do this. The problem is two fold. Firstly the amplitude and pitch of the sneeze or cough, whether it's gutteral (cough) or involves a severe drawback (sniffle). Secondly it's the sudenness and background sound. A cough on a rollercoaster is not going to be registered, however somebody coughing in an art gallery really shocks my daughter's system.
friend wrote:
My son has always made eye contact with me, but he wouldn't to you or in a social setting.
Yes this sounds like my daughter. SOmetimes she comes to me eyeball to eyeball in order to get a point across LOL!...
Vaccines Cause Autism

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Watching the same movie over and over had nothing to do with routine for my child. It had to do with his fixation and limited interests. Routine has more to do with Central coherence, limited ability to understand context or to "see the big picture", impaired social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive behaviours and restricted interests and processing. Most who have autism lack the ability to spontaneously react appropriately, due to autism. So they more so rely on routines.
Secretin was a fad, after parents heard a report of one child's autism improving, by accident, everyone had to try it. It is a hormone, and no one should mess with hormones unless under doctors care. Secretin did not work as treatment for autism in any of the studies that used the proper research methodology. It's sad how intervention are fly-by-nights over 3 children's experiences with it.
Well that fad had a dramatic and positive affect on our child. Thanks for your usual ignorance and negativity.

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If it's the noise that's the issue (not germs) we used noise reduction ear muffs, bought them in the sporting section for kids. You can still hear talking, but it reduces the noise level. My son used these for years and in fact was very useful for getting him on the full size bus. My son doesn't use them any more, but I actually just tested them out last night when our smoke detectors decided to keep going off. He could hear me speaking to him, even with every alarm going off in the house. The only difficult problem we had was my son wouldn't let anyone or anything touch his head. Music therapy is what gave me the idea, and when they started that therapy, the specialized head phones went flying :) Once he got used to them, he wore noise reduction ear muff for years, even to the dentist.

ABA just wasn't for us. Private ST and OT was at a clinic, but it was very kid friendly and a fun place for a kid to be. He was already doing 4 hours a week of that, plus early intervention school and there simply wasn't the time to add another therapists. It would had meant he'd have had more therapy time than home time.
Elias wrote:
<quoted text>
This is a great idea. Therapists talk about minimising segmented therapy for kis on the spectrum (i.e. holding therapy sessions in sterile soundproof white rooms which are not representative of the child's real environment). In reality clinics are not all that good, we also came to the conculsion parental therapy works better for our daughter. However it may be better for other kids to have a third party.
<quoted text>
Yes we already do this. The problem is two fold. Firstly the amplitude and pitch of the sneeze or cough, whether it's gutteral (cough) or involves a severe drawback (sniffle). Secondly it's the sudenness and background sound. A cough on a rollercoaster is not going to be registered, however somebody coughing in an art gallery really shocks my daughter's system.
<quoted text>
Yes this sounds like my daughter. SOmetimes she comes to me eyeball to eyeball in order to get a point across LOL!...
Elias

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#248
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friend wrote:
If it's the noise that's the issue (not germs) we used noise reduction ear muffs, bought them in the sporting section for kids. You can still hear talking, but it reduces the noise level./QUOTE]

We have discussed using noice cancelling headphones/earmuffs. However my wife and I are inclined to get our daughter used to outside sounds through ongoing exposure. Having said that we often play music fairly loud at home when a neighbor is doing drilling or cutting the grass to drown out the noise.

[QUOTE who="friend"]Music therapy is what gave me the idea, and when they started that therapy, the specialized head phones went flying :)/QUOTE]

We have started sensory integration therapy a few months ago primarily with music therapy. It really has made a big difference and I would strongly recommend it. The trick is to get the child to listen to music of varying scales (on an i-pod) while doing an activity such as drawing or playing with a ball.

[QUOTE who="friend"]ABA just wasn't for us. Private ST and OT was at a clinic, but it was very kid friendly and a fun place for a kid to be.
We found ST to be Ok at first. The problem later down the track is my daughter avoided the therapist because of her sniffles and that fell through. She has a P/T ST at school but its not really enough. We had an OT and were really dissapointed with what she came up with. OTs need to be better regulated as the one we had did not address any of the issues my daughter had but rather used a standard "one size fits all" approach. In 2013 we are focussing on getting our daughter into social skils classes and maybe (now she is getting better with noise) retry the ST.
frienduh

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#249
Jan 26, 2013
 

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Elias wrote:
<quoted text>
We found ST to be Ok at first. The problem later down the track is my daughter avoided the therapist because of her sniffles and that fell through. She has a P/T ST at school but its not really enough. We had an OT and were really dissapointed with what she came up with. OTs need to be better regulated as the one we had did not address any of the issues my daughter had but rather used a standard "one size fits all" approach. In 2013 we are focussing on getting our daughter into social skils classes and maybe (now she is getting better with noise) retry the ST.
A one size fits all just like vaccines. You can see how that works for children too.
Elias

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Jan 26, 2013
 

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frienduh wrote:
<quoted text> A one size fits all just like vaccines. You can see how that works for children too.
No it's not. Two completely different things mr troll. Like we said before, a) vaccines are a red herring, b) nothing is to be gained from focussing on the past and finally c) we are only focussed on the future of our kids...

I am concerned that the only real therapy developed for ASD is ABA and it's just so much of common sense in relation to behavior modification. It doesn't really address issues such as language, speech, social skills and sensory integration.

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#252
Jan 26, 2013
 

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I'd just ignore him as was already suggested.
ABA isn't the only therapy for ASD, it's just one of about 100 choices out there. ABA doesn't cover language, speech, social or O.T, they're not qualified. I doubt there will ever be one therapy that addresses all the needs to of the child. Many with autism are going to need multiple therapies.
The experience you had with the OT is too bad. Maybe you can find a better one. Here, each do their own evals and then determine the treatment plan from there. They also have to show progress report and submit it to the insurance CO. every 60 days.
The main thing about any individual therapist is the connection they make with the child. If that connection isn't made, the progress isn't going to be seen. Our private therapies ended at grade 1, full time school made it too difficult. But just before 1st grade started, the SP we had for years was transfering to a new job. The new SP just never made that connection with my son, she just didn't have the right personality so we ended that sooner than we did the OT.
Elias

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friend wrote:
The main thing about any individual therapist is the connection they make with the child. If that connection isn't made, the progress isn't going to be seen. Our private therapies ended at grade 1, full time school made it too difficult. But just before 1st grade started, the SP we had for years was transfering to a new job. The new SP just never made that connection with my son, she just didn't have the right personality so we ended that sooner than we did the OT.
Based on this criteria my daughter never really connected with any of her therapists. This could a developmental issue as well. She got on really well with her 1st grade aides and I hope she can continue this relationship when she starts grade 2 next week. Most of the literature now suggests that regardless of therapy, the biggest determinant of success is cognitive competency i.e. IQ. If the child has a high IQ then they will find it easier to learn coping strategies for their stimming, sensory issues and catch up on language/speech with their peers. The lower the IQ the more specialist services are needed throughout their lives.

However despite the IQ issue, the child's brain is very nueroplastic till age 30 and new networks can be laid down up to that age according to developmental psychology theory. I read a blog site by an autistic guy who who was non-verbal till his late teens and started speaking in his early 20s. Astonishingly he went to university in his late 20s and works. Needless to say he is skeptical over some professional views that children who show no improvement before 6 yrs of age are a lost cause.

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