What Happens When My Autistic Child Acts Differently at Home Than at School : Autism – We Provide Truth


 

Reports from school don’t marry with the child at home at all. In school he conforms, is settled and appears happy. At home he can be violent, unpredictable and highly distressed. The great divide between home and school is a challenge.

When my autistic child behaves differently in school, it makes me feel like I am to blame for his meltdowns at home.

 

Source: What Happens When My Autistic Child Acts Differently at Home Than at School : Autism – We Provide Truth

Disabled people ‘still not safe in Luton’ after second ‘assault’ in three years | DisabledGo News and Blog


Despite the sackings, Bedfordshire police has quietly cleared other officers over their role in an earlier incident in similar circumstances and involving the

Source: Disabled people ‘still not safe in Luton’ after second ‘assault’ in three years | DisabledGo News and Blog

They “scared everybody”: How Jenny McCarthy and anti-vaxxers actually helped autism awareness – Salon.com


Salon talks to the co-author of “In a Different Key” about autism history and the silver lining of controversy

Source: They “scared everybody”: How Jenny McCarthy and anti-vaxxers actually helped autism awareness – Salon.com

Blood-Oxytocin Levels and its Relation to Autism Disorders


Original post from icare4autism

‘…………..By ICare4Autism

oxytocin-300x200

Despite recent reports saying otherwise, a new study states that children with autism actually have normal levels of oxytocin in their blood system.  Oxytocin, a hormone that affects social functioning, was found to be of similar levels among both children with autism, and children without.

For years, many suspected that low levels of oxytocin were a contributing factor in autism development. However, research in the past has only seen mixed results in trying to establish this link. In this new study, the largest-ever to test the connection, the range of blood oxytocin levels was in the same range as that of two comparison groups (which consisted of children with autistic siblings, and children without autistic siblings).

Dr. Karen Parker, along with her colleagues at Stanford University School of Medicine, found that higher oxytocin levels were linked to better social functioning in all three of the groups. Although all children with autism have some type of social deficit, the study found that deficits were worst in those with the lowest blood oxytocin. In the comparison groups, the social skills also fell in a range that correlated to oxytocin levels.  Dr. Parker states, “Oxytocin appears to be a universal regulator of social functioning in humans.” She continues, “That encompasses both typically developing children as well as those with severe social deficits we see in children with autism”.

Dr. Antonio Hardan, senior author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, states, “It didn’t matter if you were a typically developing child, a sibling or an individual with autism: your social ability was related to a certain extent to your oxytocin levels, which is very different from what people have speculated.”  In addition to examining blood oxytocin levels, they examined small variations in gene coding for the oxytocin receptors. These receptor variants are correlated to higher levels of social ability. “Oxytocin is a vulnerability factor that has to be accounted for, but it’s not the only thing leading to the development of autism”, Dr. Hardan adds.

Dr. Eric Hollander, Chairman of the ICare4Autism Advisory Council, Director at the Spectrum Neuroscience and Treatment Institute, and Director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, has focused much of his research on the impact of oxytocin, stating, “I think that this is an important area for future development to understand the underlying root cause of ASDs and develop treatments to help manage symptoms.” According to Dr. Hollander’s research,oxytocin stimulates receptors in the regions of the brains that involve social memory and social affiliation, like the amygdala and the thalamus. Further tests on mice and humans using oxytocin and vasopressin show that gene variations may affect response of these hormones on social memory and social cognition.

According to Dr. Hollander, the effects of oxytocin include improved social cognition, and the improvements can be preserved for a two-week period on a single dose. Furthermore, thefindings from the recent study by Stanford show that oxytocin may prove useful in treating a subset of children with autism. The study suggests that some children with autism, such as the ones that have low levels of oxytocin, or those with oxytocin receptor gene variants associated with poor social functioning, can potentially benefit from oxytocin-like drugs.  ………………’

 

12 Things Not to Say to Parents of Kids With Autism


Original post from The Mighty

‘……….Kathy Hooven   

When you say, “My son/daughter has autism” people don’t know how to respond. Most folks know not to say, “Woo hoo!” and high-five me, so instead they fumble for their speech, they turn their gaze away, they make horrible social blunders, and then quickly try to escape an uncomfortable situation.

We get it. We know you are at a loss for words. We know you don’t know what the right response is. We know you feel awkward, unsure and really, really wish you had never stared rudely and commented on our child’s behavior, but once the cat is out of the bag, you can’t pretend you didn’t let it out. And neither can we.

So during this month of Autism Awareness, I thought I could help those dumbfounded, awkward, at-a-loss-for-words people out as much as I could. Seeing as how every situation is different and every child with autism is different, I might not be able to tell you exactly what to say, but, I can give you some helpful hints on what not to say.

what not to say to the parent of a child with autism

1. “But he looks so… normal?!”

Um, OK… thanks? I’m not exactly sure what “normal” looks like, but, I think my kid is gorgeous.

2. “Are you sure he’s autistic?”

Yes, I’m sure. I realize if he isn’t spinning, flapping, asking to watch Judge Wapner or yelling, “Bazinga,” he may not seem autistic to you, but, the 200 specialists we have seen, trying to reassure ourselves of that very question, confirmed that he is indeed autistic.

3. What do you think caused it?

We don’t know. We wonder, we question and we agonize over everything we did, everything we ate, and every place we went while pregnant. We spend countless hours blaming ourselves, the environment, genetics, etc., then we finally realized, what caused our child’s autism isn’t nearly as important as what we are doing to support him. We want you to realize that, too.

4. “Ohhhhh… what can he do?” 

I said that he has autism, not that he’s a circus monkey. We realize that there are misconceptions that all people with autism have some sort of exceptional ability, and although some do, some do not. So when you ask a mother this, not only does it reinforce that her child is “different” in the neurotypical world, it makes her feel like her child is “different” in the autistic world, too, so just don’t.

5. “Maybe if you just provided him with some discipline.”

Duck. If you say this, then either wear a face mask or duck very, very quickly.

Autism is not caused by poor parenting or a lack of discipline and what you are witnessing is not a temper tantrum. What may look like an “I’m not getting my way” tantrum is a sensory meltdown by a child who cannot tell his mother what is hurting him, how he feels or how to help him. This inability to help our child already feels like a punch in the gut; don’t add to our pain with your ignorance and judgments.

what not to say to the parent of a child with autism

6. “I try to talk to him, but, he always ignores me. Maybe you should get his hearing checked.”

We have. He is not deaf. He hears you. He sees you. He knows you are there. Just like he knows when you don’t see him, when you don’t hear him and when you give up on him. Just because he does not speak to you, does not mean he isn’t trying to communicate with you.

7. “Maybe he just likes to be alone.”

He may “prefer” to be alone, but, that doesn’t mean he “likes” to be alone. Being alone is easier than trying to understand facial expressions, body language and conversations that are difficult to understand. Watching them be alone hurts, having people assume they “like” being alone, and letting them be alone, hurts even more.

8. “He’s not that bad.”

I didn’t say he was bad. I didn’t say he was broken. I didn’t say how he sees the world is wrong. I said he has autism. “Different” is not “bad.”

9. “He’ll eat when he’s hungry.” 

No. He. Won’t. (Duck again.) And let me ask you, would you test your child with this theory? Would you wait him or her out for days and days to see how hungry he gets before he will eat what is put in front of him and not the food his sensory system tells him he needs?

10. “You are so… [insert amazing, brave, strong, loving, etc. here].”

No, I’m not, but, he is.

11. “I’m sorry.”

Don’t be, I’m not (most days).

12. “Will he always be like that?” 

Will he always have autism? Yes. Will autism always impact his life in some way? Yes. Will he always see the world a little bit differently? Yes. Will he continue to grow, live, love and find joy while teaching me to see his world? Yes. And that’s why we don’t want you to be sorry.

Saying The A Word is hard. Responding to The A Word is hard. Educating yourself about The A Word is not. Thanks for taking the time to do so.

A longer version of this post appeared on The AWEnesty of Autism.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment someone changed the way you think about disability and/or disease. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.  …….’

“I Don’t Want Your Awareness”


Parenting Autistic Children With Love & Acceptance

This was first posted on Ollibean and is written by Amy Sequenzia.

I don’t want Autism Awareness. Actually, I fear Autism Awareness because it only makes the world fear, hate and ignore us, one blue light, one puzzle piece at a time.

Autism Acceptance. Everybody has something  to offer and do contribute when supported. Amy Sequenzia on Ollibean

It is April again. The month when Autistic anxiety increase is directly proportional to the “autism awareness” marketing strategy.

I am not being hyperbolic or snarky.

In April, sales of blue lights and puzzle pieces, appointments with therapists that promise to make Autistics “better”, interviews with celebrities that “support autism”, the parade of “experts” on our TV’s, views of articles – in newspapers, magazines and websites – about us (always without us) and about our “deficits”, increase.

All this comes attached with the Autism Awareness Month reminder.

All this also brings the stigma, the fear mongering, the bias, the pity porn, the hate towards Autistics.

All this elevates…

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