Shortened School Days for Students With Autism

Many parents of children with autism have to deal with the fact that their child’s school often calls them at work because their child had a meltdown at school. They often demand that the parents come to get the child immediately and take him home. This often leads to shortened school days for prolonged periods of time as the school administrators claim that they don’t have the resources to deal with the child’s behaviour, and the safety of staff and other students are at risk.

This practice does not align with the Education Act, The Individuals with Disabilities Act, or the Human Rights Code.

Shortened school days or part-time attendance should be a plan agreed upon by both the parents and the school and must only be for the benefit of the student — to meet the needs of the student – not because of a lack of resources at the school. One example of this would be if the student were medically fragile and could not physically manage a full day at school. Another example is if the student is attending another program such IBI part-time, or is gradually transitioning from the IBI program to a full day at school. It would be acceptable for the school to call the parents to take the child home if the child is sick. However, if the child has had a “bad behaviour” day, or several “bad behaviour” days, due to meltdowns, even if it includes aggression, it is not acceptable for the child to be informally, or formally suspended from school, since the behaviour is likely a symptom of the disability (autism in this case).

So how to address this? Be proactive. Request that a Behaviour Intervention or Safety Plan be developed and implemented. It should include the following:

  • A description of the student’s behaviour concern.
  • A list of triggers or factors that may cause anxiety or agitation which lead to the behaviour of concern.
  • Strategies and accommodations, including the level of support, that needs to be in place in order to reduce the incidence of anxiety or agitation.
  • Signs to look for that would indicate that there is an increase in anxiety or agitation.
  • Actions to be taken by staff immediately when an unsafe behaviour is occurring, such as: separate student from peers, remove student from the situation, call for extra help, etc.
  • How to respond when the behaviour is over, such as: documentation, reporting to parents, review the plan — what worked,what didn’t, what needs to change
  • A list of common incorrect responses by staff during and after the bhaviour that may maintain or worsen the behaviour (such as sending the child home).
  • Program goals to be included in the IEP that would lead to reduced anxiety, such as in the areas of communication, sensory integration, and social skills.

If this plan is developed and implemented as soon as possible when the child with autism starts in a new placement at school, suspensions and shortened school days can be avoided.

Mangosteen Magic And Autism

The huge increase of autism in the western communities is a very disturbing health problem. There are no drug treatments that have the power to counter the sensory withdrawal, the mental inattention, and the inner aloneness of children who are diagnosed with autism. There is no drug that can cancel the pain and frustration experienced by loving parents who try to help a child stricken in this way.

In spite of many admirable efforts by psychologists, doctors and therapists using many techniques, there is little to offer hope to parents regarding prognosis for the future life of their autistic child….until now!

The tropical mangosteen fruit is used particularly in SE Asia as a remedy for many diseases and health problems. The fruit pulp and also the strong outer rind are each used for treating individual conditions. However, it is the juice of the whole fruit that has been instrumental in the dramatic improvements applied in western countries.

News of successful use of the whole mangosteen fruit pulp or mangosteen juice is growing like wildfire as a simple method that includes mud baths to draw out the heavy metals and particularly the mercury that is found resident in the body tissues and beyond any safe limits. Mercury is associated with the commonly administered methods of childhood inoculations. It is recognized as one of the causes of autism and no doubt that chemicals that are directly responsible will also be identified in time.

In conjunction with adding special mud to the child’s bathwater for the purpose of eliminating through the skin any heavy metals, mangosteen juice is given as a pleasant, daily oral health tonic. Results are accumulative and usually the benefits of this method take some time but sometimes improvement is obvious after only a few weeks although there are some cases that have displayed sudden signs of general improvement.

Mangosteen fruit is confirmed to possess many beneficial properties. These include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties and potassium, calcium, iron and vitamins B and C.

A visit to the internet entries on the subject will provide hope for those who are struggling to cope with the unique needs of an autistic child.

Look forward to happier times ahead as you test the magic of mangosteen and the powerful therapy offered by this simple, natural method.

Autism Treatment – Neurological Inflammation

Inflammation is known to be a big problem in chronic illness. Inflammation is always a problem in degenerative conditions we see in our country like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and cancer, and it is even more problematic when the inflammation is chronic. We also see a problem with inflammation in Autism, especially neurological inflammation. There are several markers that can indicate inflammation that may be impacting these kids neurologically, tumor necrosis factor and interferon gamma are two.

Many children with Autism can have an issue with digestive inflammation and particularly, inflammatory bowel disease. But any type of inflammation whether it is in the gut, the blood stream, whether it is from a virus or a vaccine reaction or food sensitivities, it can negatively impact the brain. Inflammation in the brain can affect kids both globally and locally too, and can be particularly impactful on the temporal lobes. The temporal lobes are found on the side of the head and the left side is where some of the language areas are. When you have inflammation in those areas, blood flow can be decreased which hampers the ability for the blood to deliver oxygen. You can see that can be very problematic.

But the good news is there are many remedies that have been implemented that can have a positive change on neurological inflammation. Actos is a medication that have been used on individuals with Autism with fairly good success to help reduce neurological inflammation. Actos was originally a medication to control blood sugar for diabetics and then it was discovered that it could positively impact the way the cells in the body produce inflammation. Spironolactone is another medication to aid in controlling inflammation, also used at first to treat other conditions. It can be used to treat hirsutism which is an overproduction of testosterone in women and can regulate potassium and sodium which is useful in edema or swelling, especially of the lower extremities. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also an effective treatment for inflammation in Autism and it helps in two different ways. It increases blood flow and thereby oxygenation to the brain but the pressure of the chamber also seems to be helpful in treating inflammation as well. Turmeric is a very interesting herbal remedy for inflammation. It is an Indian spice with the active ingredient called curcumin. It is showing good results in children with Autism for both gut and neurological inflammation. As you do more research you will certainly hear more about inflammation, not only as a big problem in chronic illness today but also in the Autism community. But, as discussed in this article, there are remedies that can help.

5 Tips to Buy Children’s Apps

With the festival season not very far away, many children are about to receive electronic gifts from their family and relatives. The good news is that apps have emerged as a promising tool to support literacy in general, and science, mathematics and life skills. The challenge for parents is to pick up the right app, more so, if the child has autism spectrum disorder or has special needs.

#1 The education and entertainment combo

Kids learn when they’re engaged. Educational apps like Just Match or Math on the Farm forge a perfect balance between learning and engagement. The Math on the Farm app teaches mathematics skills in a fun way. Here, the child has to answer multiple-choice type questions to score points. The stories in the app are themed on a farm that has flowers, vegetables, domestic animals, and cattle. Bright colors and interactive animation are the highlights of this app. It’s important that the child learns by playing and the Math on the Farm app does just that.

#2 Play with your child

Studies have shown that children learn better if parents join the fun. Take an active role and choose and app that’s likely to hold your kid’s attention. The Just Match app could be perfect for you. This fun educational app teaches matching skills, where you’ll be shown to game figures and an outline which matches only one of them. You’ve to drag and match the figure with the outline. A lively animation will hail your efforts every time you match correctly.

#3 Select appropriate games

Determine whether a fun educational app is correct for your child. Not all four-year old will be equal. So, different apps would appeal to different kids at different times. Ask yourself whether your child will be able to follow the app’s storyline. The touch screen system is a major advancement in the field of communication. Make sure the fun educational app has audio cues and not only words.

#4 Set limits and encourage other playing and learning forms

Well, setting the proper “media diet” is important for your child. It’s almost like balanced food. The more variety, the better it’s for your child. Consider the number of hours the child will spend in front of a screen. A possible rule could be not allowing TV until the homework is complete. The same should apply to a touch screen, unless it’s required in school, which of course is increasingly happening these days.

#5 Download from reliable, trusted sources

Look for established brands that specialize in fun educational apps. Are you comfortable with the app’s characters? Kids imitate popular media characters. Make sure the language and behavior in fun educational apps are appropriate for your kids. Avoid apps that have a lot of violence or are frightening to play. Such apps may have an adverse impact on the child’s mind. The Math on the Farm and Just Match app can fit the bill perfectly. These two apps are sensitive to children’s needs, and are among the best fun educational apps around.

A Simple Way to Understanding Schemas in Autism and Reducing Anxiety

Schemas are grouped pieces of information the brain can access quickly to understand a specific event or situation. For example, we may have a preconceived idea of what someone is like simply by the way they dress, how they talk or where they come from. A schema that may dictate to us that a person will be very nice because we already have an understanding that people who we group into the same category are nice too. Chances are this person will be nice also.

Schemas work on a variety of levels. Our brains group together a series of data which it calls upon to understand an environment, ourselves as people and events. For example, you will know that when you go to a restaurant, you wait to be seated at a table, ask for the menu, choose your meal and your drinks and so on. The reason why you know this information about restaurants is because your brain has a schema that tells it how to behave.

We have different schemas which provide our brain with different pieces of information depending on the environment. For example, there are role schemas (which tells us about social occupations of certain people when we see say, uniforms; soldier, policeman and so on.) There are also social schemas which we use to define events. These can related to anything from what to do when we go to the dentist to seeing a news item of war or protest through media like television. We adapt what we see, feel and experience into an understanding of the event.

Of course, we have schemas which define how we feel about other cultures and backgrounds different to our own. In this aspect, the schemas we sometimes have can be based on negative experiences. This can be associated with the anger and frustration people feel against racism, segregation, prejudice and in some parts of the world; religion.

So how does this sit with Autism?

Our brains all work in the same way. In other words, your child’s brain still has schemas for different things, such as eating dinner, getting dressed, going to school and so on. These schemas are defined by previous information of a situation or a memory of a similar event. With Autism, the brain can sometimes not know what is expected of it when faced with a situation where it feels anxious, stressed or confused. When it feels like this, this may be when your child expresses an unusual behaviour. What other people might find surprising is how the child is reacting. This is because they have their own schemas that tell them this behaviour doesn’t fit with their own understanding.

There is a reason why sometimes people don’t readjust their schemas more appropriately. It is because they are triggered by automatic thought. This was one of the elements of CBT which Beck recognised as being a factor in depression, anxiety and stress related conditions. The key is to interrupt the automatic thought and all the brain to connect to the schema a new thought, or a new piece of the puzzle. The essential part of this exercise is to use repetition. Once the piece has been ‘fixed’ into place, then they will be able to adapt to the new schema.

This has been highly successful with my own son who has Autism and who has used these new ideas for social and communication skills, with great effect. It has also been very helpful for stressful situations such as hospital appointments, dentist appointments and exams at school, allowing him to go into the transitions of life, no matter how big, with renewed confidence and less anxiety; the real barrier, I believe, that holds back many people on the spectrum from reaching their true potential.