Autism Support for Parents

Parenting Children With Asperger's And High-functioning Autism

Mark Hutten, M.A is a practicing counseling psychologist and a professional parent-coach with experience of over 20 years in the field of High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger's. being the executive director of online parent support, LLC, Hutten presents several workshops and conducts numerous training courses for both professionals and parents dealing with HFA and Asperger's; besides, he works with hundreds of teenagers and children with HFA and Asperger's. Hutten is also an author of several articles that highlight parenting techniques based on highly effective research for dealing with children with HFA and Asperger's. The founder of the support group has published 'My out of control Child' and 'My out of control teen' eBooks. Most of Hutten's columns and articles discuss several ways of parenting young ones with conduct disorder, ODD, ADHD, Autism, Asperger's syndrome, Bipolar disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and many more conditions. The helpful parenting toolkit is all about a system that enables parents to minimize the child's meltdowns, low frustration tolerance, and tantrums, physical and verbal aggression, school-related behavior problems, social skills deficits, picky eating, attention difficulties, rigid thinking, problems completing homework, sleep problems, rituals and obsessions, and many more behavioral problems. The eBook is available for download. More here...

Parenting Children With Aspergers And Highfunctioning Autism Summary


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Highly Recommended

The author presents a well detailed summery of the major headings. As a professional in this field, I must say that the points shared in this ebook are precise.

All the testing and user reviews show that Parenting Children With Asperger's And is definitely legit and highly recommended.

Organomercury and autism

Autism is a distressing condition and five children in every 10000 are afflicted with it, and of these the ratio of 4 boys to 1 girl.* What causes a seemingly normal baby to develop autism is still unknown, but many in the USA believe that mercury is the cause. In the late 1990s it was accused of causing attention deficit syndrome, stammering, and especially autism. Some thought that thimerosal was to blame. This is a mercury-containing antibacterial agent which was added to vaccines to preserve them. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first reported a link between thimerosal and mental development in children after carrying out an epi-demiological study, although they later admitted that their analysis was flawed. Nevertheless, as a result of a Congressional report many US vaccines phased out its use from 2000 onwards and they no longer contain this preservative. Japan and most countries in Western Europe have done likewise. In the UK thimerosal continued to be used...

Elevated Boards And Sign Language With 19 Nonverbal Autistic Children

Table 11.1 Achievement of signs and spoken words by 19 nonverbal autistic children Table 11.1 Achievement of signs and spoken words by 19 nonverbal autistic children However, since none of the children could respond to or use signs when they began the program and all could respond and use some signs when retested, it was apparent that even severely disordered nonverbal autistic children could benefit from this approach. The procedure of pairing signs and spoken words both on the elevated structures and in other relevant situations seems to have facilitated the transfer of meaning to spoken words so that nonverbal autistic children could after training with spoken words and signs understand spoken words even without the signs. The results also suggested that training with signs may, at least for some, stimulate the development of expressive spoken language. The book From Ritual to Repertoire (Miller and Eller-Miller 1989) includes a number of case studies documenting the positive...

Autism Society of America Foundation ASAF

A fund-raising organization founded in 1996 by the autism society of america, the largest and oldest organization representing people with autism. The ASAF was established to raise and allocate funds for research to address the many unanswered questions about autism. The ASAF has implemented action on several autism research priorities, such as developing up-to-date statistics developing a national registry of individuals and families with autism who are willing to participate in research studies and implementing a system to identify potential donors of autism brain tissue for research purposes and facilitating the donation process. In addition, the foundation contributes money for applied and biomedical research in the causes of and treatment approaches to autism. (For contact information, see Appendix I.)


Autism Network international PO Box 35448 Syracuse, NY 13235 http Autism Services Center 605 9th St. PO Box 507 Autism Society of America 7910 Woodmont Ave., Ste. 300 Bethesda, MD 20814 (301) 657-0881 (800) 3-AUTISM http Autism Genetic Resource Cure Autism Now Foundation 5455 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 715 Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 549-0500 National Alliance for Autism

The Symbol Accentuation Reading Program

The second form of reading is based on an understanding of the letter-sound relation and how spoken words may be created by sounding out and blending the sounds that the letters represent. In this way, the child is able to find meaning in the printed word because it is part of his or her speaking vocabulary. As I will show, children on the autism spectrum confront very significant obstacles in developing this form of reading.

Why Is The Elevated Square Important

Elevated Work Stations

The Elevated Square (see Figure 5.1) is important because it contributes to a different, more grounded psychological state for the child. On the floor, many children on the autism spectrum toe-walk, flap their hands and twiddle their fingers in front of their eyes, or simply wander aimlessly. On the Elevated Square these otherworldly behaviors diminish markedly. For example, many children who toe-walk continuously on the ground walk quite normally on the Elevated Square. This change seems to occur because the children have moved from an undefined reality, in which they float along on their toes, twiddling or hand flapping with little body self awareness, to a highly defined reality which requires their rapt attention as they carefully, and body-consciously, move one foot in front of the other to traverse the structure. The properties of the Elevated Square help counter some of the significant challenges that children on the autism spectrum confront. One of these challenges is an...

Anticipating or recalling events

Many children on the autism spectrum seem to live so much in the moment that the next routine event no matter how often it has been repeated is upsetting to them. Those children with little or no language have no means of talking to themselves about what is coming next or what has just happened in the past. To help the children grasp the predictable sequence ofevents in the course of the day and how, from time to time, the sequence changes a template calendar is very useful (see Figure 9.7).

Shifting to the others perspective

Empathy depends on the ability of a person to see, visualize, or understand things from the other person's perspective. Children on the autism spectrum have great difficulty putting themselves in the position of the other. As Simon Baron-Cohen (1995) and Baron-Cohen, Tager-Flusberg and Cohen (2000) have stressed, autistic children's mindblindness has important implications for many facets of their functioning. While I am in general agreement that mindblindness is an important aspect of autistic children's behavior, it is not the underlying or core issue. Clinical experience indicates that at the root of the autistic child's functioning is the difficulty with establishing a well-defined sense of the body self. The remarkable account of his fragmented body experience by an autistic boy named Tito (Mukhopadhyay 2000) is consistent with this view. I suggest that only as Tito developed a more coherent sense of his own body could he attribute intentions to others. Lacking the consciousness...

Functional Use Of Tools And Objects

Teaching autistic and other special children how things work is another important way of building a child's sense of competence and strengthening the body self concept. For example, some nonverbal autistic children cannot use a rake to bring an out-of-reach object closer. Others cannot use a doorknob to open a door or open a multi-turn jar. To use a doorknob the child must learn to both pull and turn since neither single action will open the door. Similarly, to open a multi-turn jar, a child must understand that the hand has to lift before each turn so that the lid will unscrew. Instead many children simply keep turning the lid back and forth and become frustrated when the jar will not open.

Disrupting clothing or accessories

This next intervention helps establish awareness of the other. Some years ago, while consulting at a program for children on the autism spectrum, on a whim I put on a baseball cap cocked sharply to one side. Abruptly, a 14-year-old boy with autism who had been quietly rocking about 20 feet away dashed toward me, straightened out my cap, and then ran back to where he had been to continue his rocking. In recent years, following the same principle, I have engaged profoundly withdrawn children by perching my glasses precariously on my nose in such a way that certain children (with closed system disorders) felt compelled to restore them to their proper and more secure position. Since then, a colleague has gotten children to restore his tie after he had flipped it over his shoulder. The notion guiding all such use of clothing and accessories is that the children develop a fixed expectation (system) as to how clothes are worn and accessories carried. When these everyday systems are...

Awareness Of Self And Other

The fragility of autistic children's sense of body self is suggested by the following question posed by a parent My seven-year-old limited-verbal child on the autism spectrum becomes distressed in movie theatres yet enjoys watching television at home. When taken to SeaWorld and Disney World he becomes very upset when taken into a dark enclosure or tunnel and begins crying and stating No Out until he is taken back outside. Why does he react like this Many children on the autism spectrum have a fuzzy sense of their own existence. In the dark, enclosed settings you describe your son may become frightened because he loses visual contact with his own body (he can't see his feet, etc.).

Establishing the childs awareness of you as a source of information about the needed object

Children with autism do not usually engage in reciprocal games. They do not throw or roll a ball for the pleasure of seeing someone catch it and throw it back. They do not spontaneously integrate person and object. Children like Damon are intensely preoccupied with all sorts of objects, but, on their own, they do not take turns, exchange, share, or play reciprocally with objects. They often behave as if the adult trying to interact with them is an intruder. To encourage interaction around an object, we, as always, expand on the child's ritual. One of the most common mistakes that we make when working with autistic children is that we take generalization for granted. Our children do not automatically generalize perhaps because they experience each object as locked into its context. To counter this, it is always wise to quickly go over all the expansions that demonstrate the existence of the object in different contexts.

Coping With The Environment

Children on the autism spectrum are often lost in space because they lack the ability to ground themselves in their immediate realities. Consequently, they may not understand the layout of their house or apartment, or how to move from one room to another. In school, they may not understand, for example, the relation ofthe classroom to the entrance ofthe school building.

Children as Victims or Masters of Their Systems

As we compare the involvement with various systems ofautistic children with that of typical children, it becomes clear that while typical children are generally in charge of their systems, autistic children are generally dominated by them. The following vignettes of three children (one typical, two autistic), who were observed after being given a pile of assorted blocks, illustrate the point. In contrast, Damon, the autistic child with closed system disorder, had a single minisystem composed of lining up blocks. Damon's system was not driven by any inner plan but by the way the rectangular end of each block signaled the need to abut the next one. He changed the structure only when the physical barrier ofthe wall required such a change. This change, however, came about not through any executive decision on Damon's part, but because the wall required the change. Finally, there was no decision to stop connecting blocks Damon stopped when he ran out of blocks. When this occurred, he had...

Cooperative interaction

Figure 6.4 Dillan, an autistic child, follows his mother's signed direction to replace a station on the Elevated Square. Photographed with permission from Crossroads School, Westfield, New Jersey Figure 6.4 Dillan, an autistic child, follows his mother's signed direction to replace a station on the Elevated Square. Photographed with permission from Crossroads School, Westfield, New Jersey

Elevating the Special Child Creating an Enhanced Reality

Incidents like those cited above are typical of the reports which mothers of some special children have shared. Sometimes mothers attribute their child's failure to respond to deafness (only to find that the child's hearing is normal), or to the child being willful, obstinate, or stubborn. But for a child to be obstinate or stubborn implies that he or she has the consciousness of self which would allow him or her to oppose a parent's wishes. Typically, however, we don't find evidence for such self-awareness in nonverbal children. If it is the result of neither deafness nor stubbornness, how can we explain the child's failure to respond when Mother calls To understand word deafness it is useful to consider the unique way in which some autistic children process reality.

Noting the childs actionobject systems

Autistic children who fail to bond with their mothers often have an array of action-object systems that exclude people. These may include lining up blocks, animals, cars, etc. repetitive throwing of blocks or scribbling endlessly pouring water from one cup to another flicking light switches flushing toilets or opening and closing doors. Once the mother with the help of a trained therapist has catalogued the different action-object systems in the child's repertoire, the next task is to find ways for the mother to insert herself within these systems.

Levels of signword guidance

An autistic child may have sufficient sign word guidance to give a requested object when that object is in its familiar place in the room but not outside that room. More advanced is the child who when the object is requested can get an object from another room as long at that object is in its familiar place (milk in the refrigerator shoes on the floor) but is at a loss when the requested object cannot be found in its expected place, such as when the shoes are on the table. Most advanced is the sign word-guided child who can get a requested object from another room even when the object is not in its usual place.

Preface Beyond Compliance

Profoundly disordered children on the autism spectrum are often intimidating to both the parents who live with them and the professionals who try to help them. Faced with the range ofbehavior the children present, professionals often ask themselves, Where do I start Complicating things further, the child is often very appealing, perhaps beautiful, but behaves as if the people around him or her do not exist. The felt need is to elicit some kind of response a fleeting glance, a smile anything that communicates that one is more than wallpaper for that child. But the child often does not permit this. As one parent put it, You knock .but no one answers. WHAT ARE AUTISM AND AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER AND HOW HAVE THEY BEEN TREATED Autism is a bioneurological disorder of unknown origin which affects the child's ability to process information from his or her own body or from his or her surroundings. It also interferes with a child's ability to initiate functional or communicative behavior....

Summary of the process for establishing motherchild bonding

While mother-child bonding provides the child on the autism spectrum or any child for that matter with a secure framework from which to launch an interaction with others, this, by itself, does not insure his or her success in relating to others. Mother-child bonding does not require the same level of sophistication or awareness of self vs. other that relationships with other children require. For example, in addition to well-established self-other awareness, the child must develop interactive skills which include the empathic ability to place himself or herself in the position of the other. In the following section, I shall discuss ways of achieving these capacities.

Teaching For Relevance

I will first discuss ways of helping the children move into symbolic functioning. Following this, I will provide an overview of the Sign and Spoken Language and the Symbol Accentuation Reading Programs. I will also indicate how arithmetic concepts and the concept of time duration can be taught to children on the autism spectrum.

Systems For The Scattered Child Systemforming Disorder

We now go on to the scattered child on the autism spectrum. In doing so let's first reiterate that most children do not fit neatly into any of the categories. Most often what we find is a child with an emphasis on one kind of pattern but who nevertheless shows properties of the other pattern. It is, for example, not unusual for a scattered child while showing primarily Before we can do anything else, we must help the child develop a ritual or system, a simple two- or three-step activity that we can expand on and become part of. We choose activities that are similar to what the typical child engages in during her first two or three years of life Dumping, filling, nesting, stacking, pushing, and pulling objects are all part of early play behavior. We also want to use objects that the child finds exciting. Many autistic children, including the scattered child, like to watch moving objects. They seek movement, both motorically and visually. Outside, they like to dribble sand, dirt, or...

The Childs Disorder Is Not The Fault Of Parents

It is completely understandable for parents to take their child's unrespons-iveness as a rejection. However, it is important to get past this notion as soon as possible for two very important reasons. First, the child's aberrant, non-responsive behavior is not a rejection of parents or caregivers and the child tends to behave like this with everybody. The distressing behaviors of self-preoccupation, eye avoidance, and failure to respond to affection are part of the child's bioneurologically based problem. The same is true if he or she is a scattered child. The child's central nervous system does not allow him or her to take in and process information the way typical children can. In other words, the autistic child does not have the tools to respond to parents or professionals without assistance. Second, if the child is viewed by parents as rejecting, a natural, self-protective tendency is for them to pull back. And that can trigger more distressing behavior. The special child needs...

Two Ways Of Applying The Mm

In working with autistic children using the MM, two sets of strategies are employed. One, transforming systems, is used when the child has preexisting although aberrant systems the second, creating systems, is used to establish new systems. Transforming systems means that one takes the disordered systems that the child brings to the situation and attempts to transform them into more functional activities that serve a particular goal. Creating systems, on the other hand, refers to a set of interventions designed to fill in developmental gaps in the child's functioning.

Videoconferencing Miller Method consultation

For the last ten years the LCDC has perfected methods for delivering consultation and treatment to schools and families remote from the center with the help of videoconferencing (VCO) technology. Recently, in addition to videoconferencing work with schools and families in six states, the LCDC has expanded its VCO capability to include families in Israel and the Alia Center for Early Intervention (for autistic children) in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Why So Much Emphasis On Using Manual Signs

There are a number of important reasons for emphasizing the use of signs with autistic children. The first reason is that spoken words are sounded one moment and are gone the next. This ephemeral quality makes it difficult for special children to hold words long enough to derive meanings from them. They literally do not know how to hear spoken words. All this changes, however, when spoken words are presented with manual signs that closely resemble their actions or object meanings. For example, it is not surprising to The unique power of manual signs becomes clearer as we note that the understanding and use of gesture signs, such as reaching to be picked up, occurs earlier in development than does the understanding and use ofspoken words. Studies (Acredolo and Goodwyn 1996 Goodwyn, Acredolo and Brown 2000) have shown that not only do typical infants aged as young as 8 12 months understand and communicate with gestural signs, but that those who are taught signs subsequently develop and...

The Miller Method

Developing the Capacities of Children on the Autism Spectrum Extracts from Miller, A. and Eller-Miller, E. (1989) From Ritual to Repertoire A Cognitive-Developmental Systems Approach with Behavior-Disordered Children. New York John Wiley Reprinted with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Case study on p.201 is adapted with permission from material originally published in Autism Spectrum Quarterly. The Miller Method developing the capacities of children on the autism spectrum Arnold Miller with Kristina Chretien forewords by Diane Twachtman-Cullen and Stuart G. Shanker. p. cm. ISBN-10 1-84310-722-8 (hardcover alk. paper) 1. Autism in children Treatment. 2. Cognitive therapy for children. I. Chretien, Kristina. II. Title. DNLM 1. Child Development. 2. Cognitive Therapy--methods. 3. Autistic Disorder rehabilitation. 4. Child Development Disorders, Pervasive--rehabilitation. 5. Child. WM 203.5 M647m 2007 RJ506.A9M55 2007 618.92'85882--dc22 Many hands and minds have worked to make this...

Autistic systems

We will now examine common systems of autistic children and how you might change them. Rocking back and forth either standing or sitting is a typical autistic behavior, with the child demonstrating little or no awareness that anyone else exists. However, ifyou introduce rocking behavior with your child instead of waiting for him to produce it as part of his autistic system, then you may be able to transform rocking into an interactive system in which the child starts to develop some awareness of the distinction between him and you, and his ability to influence what you do. A behavior in autistic children that is closely allied to rocking is repetitive flapping of the arms and hands. Recently, after carefully observing the arm-hand flapping motion made by a five-year-old child at the center, we suggested that his teacher provide him with cymbals (one for each hand). When this was done, the child's flapping motion resulted in the cymbals clashing together with a resonating metallic...

Developing tool use

(1980), in typical development when the child is about ten months of age. Yet many autistic children ages three and older have still not achieved this basic skill. The children's powerful drive to grab the object with their hands seems to preclude awareness of any alternate means such as tool use for dealing with objects. In other words, for many children on the autism spectrum, tools are not part of their immediate realities. Our task, then, is to find a way to make tools and their varied functions relevant for the children.

Creating Systems

Transforming behavior, by itself, is not sufficient to move children with autism forward. What is also needed is a way of dealing with developmental gaps or lags. The children need to develop an array of systems that are common to typical development. These may include body systems, such as how to hop or skip or object systems, where the children learn how, for example, an inclined plane works, or how tools work as extensions of the body. To build these systems, you will often have to use some handover-hand with the child until the system catches. In our terminology, we refer to the introduction of such activities as spheres or spheric activity. Spheres are characterized by repetition and a gradual taking over or conversion of the sphere into a system by the child. Our goal is to turn spheres introduced by parent, teacher, or therapist into systems that become part of the child's repertoire. The next section shows how different children on the autism spectrum accept spheres and...

Peekaboo game

This is an excellent game for developing self-other awareness among many young children on the autism spectrum. After playing rough and tumble for a few minutes, interrupt the play by suddenly dropping a cloth over your face. When the child removes the cloth say, Here is Mommy (etc.). Later, place the cloth over the child's face and ask, Where is David When the child pulls the cloth off his face, tap him on his chest and say, There is David

Kristina Chrtien

In this chapter, I will share with you some of the systems (activities) that I have found helpful when working with children with autism at the Language and Cognitive Development Center (LCDC). In the previous chapters, you have become familiar with two types of children on the autism spectrum the ritual-captured child (closed system disorder), and the scattered child (system-forming disorder). Though no one child fits perfectly into either of these categories, these divisions are helpful when thinking about the different children and planning the interventions most likely to help them develop. As each child progresses, the differences between them tend to become less obvious. After a time, you may be surprised to find, for example, that your previously scattered child now responds best to interventions previously planned for the ritual-captured child.

Motherchild Bonding

The failure of mother-child bonding to take place is one of the tragic effects of classical infantile autism as described by Kanner (1943). It is devastating for a mother to find that she is not a special person for her child. One mother, alarmed by her son's retreat and her loss of eye contact with him, consulted with me and then wrote to describe how it had changed her approach with her two-and-a-half-year-old child, Joshua.


This chapter presented two ways of assessing the capacities of children on the autism spectrum The MUAS and the MDS. Each contributes to understanding in a different way The MDS is a questionnaire filled out by parents which taps a broad range of functioning including sensory reactivity, body organization, problem solving, social contact, communication, and symbolic functioning. The MDS also assesses the child's aberrant functioning and, by establishing a ratio between a child's overall performance and his or her aberrant functioning, yields a coping score which reflects the extent to which a child's performance is adversely affected by aberrant functioning. Two sample reports on different kinds of autistic children have illustrated how data from the MDS permit a multidimensional view of the children's functioning.

Transforming systems

The general mission with this set of strategies is to find ways to channel the energy used by children with autism to maintain their rituals into systems which are both flexible and interactive. When this succeeds, the child develops a repertoire of new ways to interact with people. This new repertoire combined with the high support high demand attitude on the part of caregivers and professionals, enables the child to move closer to typical functioning. However, before the child's systems can be transformed, the parent, teacher, or therapist must view the child's disordered behavior

Psychology And The Psychology Of Science

Cemed with perception, concept formation, learning, memory, problem solving, and creativity, it has the most obvious possible connection with a psychology of science. The only subdiscipline I do not take up in the book is clinical psychology, simply because there is little to no empirical work directly related to scientific thought and behavior. The one fascinating clinical topic that has garnered some empirical attention and could justify including a clinical subdivision in the psychology of science in the future would be the extent to which particular mental disturbances (for example, autism, manic-depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder) help or hinder interest or creative achievement in science. For example, as I discuss in the chapters on development and evolution, Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues have found a connection between high functioning autism (Asperger's Syndrome) and scientific interest and talent. Is creative achievement helped or hindered by certain mental...

The Study Of Commonsense Psychology

The fact that this conceptual system is part of common sense does not mean it is unworthy of scientific scrutiny. It is well established that human beings throughout the world are endowed with natural forms of psychology that equip them for navigating their social worlds (Callaghan et al., 2005 Lillard, 1998). The recognition of the ubiquity of commonsense psychology in people has led in the last 20 years to the emergence of a vigorous program of scientific research in the cognitive sciences. There are various goals for this scientific enterprise. Researchers want to understand how commonsense psychology is normally involved in the organization of social action. At the same time, it is productive to consider the departures from typical social interaction seen in different forms of psychopathology as disruptions in commonsense psychology. The classic example here is autistic spectrum disorders, which have been fruitfully viewed as involving disturbances in the development of...

Childrens Craniofacial Association CCA A

Center on birth defects and developmental disabilities. It also improved newborn screening, boosted autism research and pediatric research in general, and authorized the development of a national surveillance program designed to monitor maternal and infant health. Autism Research and Surveillance The act authorized the expansion of federal research on autism and established three CDC regional centers of excellence in autism and pervasive developmental disabilities to analyze information on autism and related developmental disabilities. Additionally, it called for establishing a program to provide information on autism to health professionals and the general public and established a committee to coordinate all autism-related activities within HHS.

Psychosocial Problems Associated with Communicative Disorders

Howlin, Mawhood, and Rutter (2000) reported a bleaker picture. They reexamined two groups of young men, 23-24 years of age, who had first been evaluated at 7-8 years of age. One group was identified with autism and the other with language impairment. At follow-up, the group with language impairment showed fewer social and behavioral problems than the group with autism. The two groups had converged over the years, however, and differences between the two were not qualitative. The young men with language impairment showed a high incidence of social difficulties, including problems with social interaction, limited social contacts, and difficulty establishing friendships. Most still lived with their parents and had unstable employment histories in manual or unskilled jobs. Neither childhood language ability nor current language ability predicted social functioning in adulthood. Howlin et al. (2000) concluded that in language impairment, ''as in autism, a broader deficit underlies both the...

Trends In Development Stages And Universality

Finally, I should say a few words about norms in development. In this book, we follow the development of commonsense psychology from an idealized, normative perspective. The typical developmental trends are presented. This should not be taken to mean that all children fit these trends or that there is no influence of individual differences. It is commonly observed that there is considerable variability in the ages at which children reach various milestones. Some start slow and catch up, others show the reverse pattern. Not only do rates of development differ, but there are also individual differences in patterns of development. Some paths of development are so atypical that they lead to serious difficulties in social functioning. Children with autism may present particularly tragic cases where, from an early age, social behavior and commonsense psychology are severely disrupted (Hobson, 1993). Within typically developing children, there are also variations in the ways that children...

Personality and Domain Specific Scientific Interest

Supporting this domain-specific view of scientific interest, Simon BaronCohen and his colleagues have found that engineers, mathematicians, and physical scientists score much higher on measures of high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome than nonscientists, and that physical scientists, mathematicians, and engineers are higher on a nonclinical measure of autism (Asperger's) than social scientists. In other words, physical scientists often have temperaments that orient them away from the social and toward the inanimate their interest and ability in science is then just one expression of this orientation. Moreover, autistic children are more than twice as likely as non-autistic children to have a father or grandfather who was an engineer.17

Augmentative and Alternative Communication General Issues

The role an AAC system plays in a particular child's life will vary depending on the type and severity of the child's language disorder. Children who use AAC include those individuals who present with congenital disorders as well as those individuals with an acquired language disorder. Children with congenital language disorders include children with cerebral palsy, dual sensory impairments, developmental apraxia of speech, language learning disabilities, mental retardation, autism, and pervasive developmental disorders. Acquired language disorders may include traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a range of other etiologies (e.g., sickle cell anemia) that affect language skills.

The devaluation of diagnosis

Whereas in the past mental illnesses were few and clearly defined, today disease labels are both more numerous and more diffuse. In 1952, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of American psychiatry recognised 60 categories of abnormal behaviour by 1994 this had expanded to 384 (plus 28 'floating' diagnoses) (American Psychiatric Association 1994). Furthermore psychiatric authorities have identified a much wider prevalence of 'sub-syndromal behaviour'. Some reckon that many, if not most, people in society are suffering from 'shadow syndromes', mild or partial forms of familiar psychiatric conditions, such as depression and anxiety, obsessional compulsive disorder and autism (Ratey, Johnson 1997). Clinical psychologist Oliver James, author of the popular book Britain on the Couch, snappily subtitled 'why we're unhappier compared with 1950 despite being richer a treatment for the low-serotonin society', reckons that around one third of British adults could be diagnosed as having some...

Language Disorders in School Age Children Aspects of Assessment

Approximately 7 of kindergarten children have a primary language disorder characterized by a significant delay in the comprehension or production of spoken language. Although these children have normal intelligence and hearing and are free of obvious neurological deficits such as cerebral palsy and severe emotional disturbances such as autism, their limitations in spoken language often persist throughout childhood, adolescence, and well into adulthood.

Language Disorders in School Age Children Overview

Several populations of school-age children are at risk for language disorders. These populations include children with developmental disabilities, such as children with mental retardation, autism, or a pervasive developmental disorder, and also children in whom only subtle cognitive deficits are implicated. Among the latter are children with learning disabilities or disorders as well as children with attention deficit disorder, characterized by frequent instances of inattention and impulsiveness, and children with disruptive behavior disorder, marked by aggressive behavior or the violation of social norms. Children with hearing impairments are also at risk for language disorders. Although most school-age language disorders are developmental, children may have acquired language disorders resulting from closed head injuries, seizure disorders, or focal lesions such as stroke or tumors. Taken together, children with language disorders constitute a large group of students for whom...

Reasoning Beyond Grammar Evidence From Native And Non Native Signing Deaf Children

Deaf children from signing families scored at a level similar to those of hearing children. However, the deaf from signing families outperformed deaf children from hearing families who in turn scored at a level similar to a group of children with autism. Recent research (Woolfe et al., 2002) has replicated this finding using a newly developed test of syntax and morphology in British Sign Language (Herman et al., 1999) and thought-picture measures that minimize the need for the use of language in ToM tasks (Custer, 1996). The two deaf signing groups were equivalent in their syntax as well as on measures of spatial intelligence and executive functioning in shifting attention. Nevertheless, the native signers again excelled in their ToM performance compared to their late signing counterparts. This pattern is consistent with that shown in other studies on the relation between language and cognition in deaf children (Peterson & Siegal, 2000).

Right Hemisphere Language and Communication Functions in Adults

An overlapping body of work examines whether an underlying social cognitive impairment affects discourse performance. The ability to explain behavior in terms of other people's mental states, referred to as theory of mind, has been examined in several populations, including people with autism and stroke patients. Comprehension of stories and cartoons that rely on theory of mind are relatively difficult for patients with right-sided lesions, but not for aphasic patients with left hemisphere lesions (Happe, Brownell, and Winner, 1999). Also, functional imaging studies in normal adults suggest greater activation linked to theory of mind in a variety of regions, including the right middle frontal gyrus and precuneus (Gallagher et al., 2000).

Toward Enhanced Proximate Meaning

In The Mountain People, cultural anthropologist Colin Turnbull describes the difficult lives of the Ik villagers in the barren highlands of east-central Africa. Previously, the Ik apparently had been a loosely organized society of prosperous hunters and gatherers with a rich culture not unlike those of other tribes in the area. Now, driven to the very edge of starvation, the Ik society in less than two generations had become little more than an unconnected assemblage of individuals pursuing his or her personal survival, by all appearances without family structure or cooperative sociality. In a sort of collective autism, the Ik now sought only to avoid starvation, and were forced to abandon what most of us consider to be the elements of a meaningful life.13

Empirical Support For The Fms Model 861 Study

Moreover, general language ability is highly correlated with false belief (Jenkins & Astington, 1996). Such has also been demonstrated through analysis of atypical populations. Level of verbal ability is a crucial factor for those children with autism who pass false belief tasks (Happe', 1995). In addition, children with autism, who typically fail ToM tasks, are delayed in language achievements and show linguistic performance patterns that differ from those of non-autistic children (Tager-Flusberg, 1993).

Sensory integration dysfunction 447

Developmental disorders Severe problems with sensory processing is a hallmark of AUTISM. Autistic children seek out unusual amounts of certain types of sensations but are extremely hypersensitive to others. Similar traits are often seen in other children with developmental disorders. Improving sensory processing will help these children develop more productive contacts with people and environments.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

The mental, behavioral, and developmental problems that affect children and teenagers include autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, bulimia and anorexia, behavioral disorders, and emotional disturbances. In their diagnostic examinations, child psychiatrists look at many components, from physical to cognitive, and from genetic to emotional. They take an integrative biopsychosocial approach, and consult with physicians and professionals from schools, social agencies, and juvenile courts. Working with kids

The Approach Look For The Rare But Remember The Ordinary

In this chapter I provide suggestions for medical-family history queries for the following broad categories of disease birth anomalies (Section 4.2), hearing loss (Section 4.3), visual impairment (Section 4.4), mental retardation (Section 4.5), autism (Section 4.6), neurological conditions (Section 4.7), seizures (Section 4.8), dementia (Section 4.9), mental illness (Section 4.10), cardiac disease (Section 4.11), chronic respiratory disease (Section 4.12), renal disorders (Section 4.13), short stature (Section 4.14), diabetes (Section 4.15), reproductive loss and infertility (Section 4.16), and sudden infant death (Section 4.17). Family history markers for identifying individuals with an inherited susceptibility to cancer are discussed in Chapter 5. The decision to include these general groupings of disease in this chapter is based on my experience with some of the questions people have asked me most frequently about disorders in their family.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Approaches in Children

Autism and pervasive developmental disorders are described with three main diagnostic features (1) impaired social interaction, (2) impaired communication, and (3) restricted, repetitive, and stereotypical patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). These disorders occur as a spectrum of impairments of different causes (Wing, 1996). Children with a pervasive developmental disorder may have cognitive, social communicative, language, and processing impairments. Early intervention with an emphasis on speech, language, and communication is extremely important (Dawson and Osterling, 1997). A range of intervention approaches has been suggested, and as a result, AAC interventionists may need to work with professionals whose views differ from their own, thus necessitating considerable collaboration (Simeons-son, Olley, and Rosenthal, 1987 Dawson and Osterling, 1997 Freeman, 1997). Dawson, G., and Osterling, J. (1997). Early intervention in...

Speech Disorders in Children A Psycholinguistic Perspective

Psycholinguistic Model Repetition

In a medical perspective, speech and language problems are classified according to clinical entity. Commonly used labels include dyspraxia, dysarthria, and stuttering. Causes of speech difficulties can be identified (e.g., cleft palate, hearing loss, neurological impairment) or an associated medical condition is known (e.g., autism, learning difficulties, Down syndrome).

Margaret Mahlers View

Margaret Mahler Stages Development

To achieve psychological birth and individuation, a child proceeds through a series of three major developmental stages and four sub-stages (Mahler, 1967, 1972 Mahler. Pme, & Bergman, 1975). The first major developmental stage is normal autism, which spans the period from birth until about age 3 or 4 weeks. To describe the normal autism stage, Mahler (1967) borrowed Freud's (1911 1958) analogy that compared psychological birth with an unhatched bird egg. The bird is able to satisfy its nutritional needs autistically (without regard to external reality) because its food supply is enclosed in its shell. Similarly, a newborn infant satisfies various needs within the all-powerful protective orbit of a mother's care. Neonates have a sense of omnipotence, because, like unhatched birds, then needs are cared for automatically and without their having to expend any effort. Unlike Klein, who conceptualized a newborn infant as being terrified, Mahler pointed to the relatively long periods of...

Genetic Sovereignty

Baron-Cohen, Mindblindness An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind (Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press, 1995). 43. O. Sacks, An Anthropologist on Mars Seven Paradoxical Tales (New York Knopf, 1995). Oliver Sacks relates the remarkable story of an autistic child, Temple Grandin, who grew up to teach agricultural science at Colorado State University. Through amazing exercises of will, Grandin learned life's survival skills, yet she remains unable to appreciate concepts such as romantic love or empathy, or to develop meaningful emotional connections to others.

Ampicillin Amcill Omnipen Polycillin Principen

Angelman syndrome A childhood disorder characterized by hyperactivity, seizures, laughter, and developmental delays. Initially presumed to be rare, it is now believed that thousands of children with Angelman syndrome (As) have gone undiag-nosed, or been misdiagnosed with cerebral palsy, autism, or other childhood disorders.

The Atomization of Human Behavior

Autism or mindblindness is a devastating neurological disorder clinically diagnosable by the age of three.42 Autism typically is associated with moderate mental retardation, but some autistic children have normal or superior IQs.43 What all autistic people share is an obliviousness to other people's thoughts and feelings. By five years of age, most nonautistic children understand that brains are for thinking and dreaming, but autistic children never develop a working concept of their own or other people's minds they tend to relate to others as opaque, alien beings. Although the behavioral development of autism in infants and children is described reasonably well, neither structural neurological deficits nor genetic alterations have as yet been associated with the disorder. One possibility is that normal genetic operations or cellular factors are disrupted at critical times during an individual's development, but only transiently. Certainly, many developmental genes normally switch on...

Inclusion Models for Children with Developmental Disabilities

During 1998-99, 5,541,166 students with disabilities, or 8.75 of the school-age population ages 6-21 years, received special education and related services under Part B of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). IDEA specifies 13 disability categories based on etiological groupings. The largest single category of disability served is specific learning disabilities (50.8 ), with speech and language impairments the second largest category (19.4 ). Children with mental retardation account for 11.0 , while children with autism, considered a low incidence disability, constitute 1 of those receiving special education and related services. Since the original passage in 1975 of IDEA's forerunner, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, the categorical model has served as the basis for determining who qualifies for special education in accord with two premises. First, each disability category represents a separate and...

Social Development and Language Impairment

What are the interrelationships between language impairments and these important areas of social development Language impairments occur with a large variety of developmental disorders, and some, such as mental retardation, autism, and pervasive developmental delay, include social skill deficits as a primary diagnostic feature. In order to address the question of how language impairment uniquely affects social development, however, we need to examine the social skills of children with specific language impairment (SLI) (see SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT IN CHILDREN). SLI refers to a language deficiency that occurs in the absence of other conditions commonly associated with language disorders in children. Children with SLI show normal hearing, age-appropriate scores on nonverbal tests of intelligence, and no obvious signs of neurological or socioemotional impairment. Children with SLI represent a heterogeneous group, and significant individual differences exist among children diagnosed...

Attention Deficit Information Network Inc A

Autism This complex developmental disorder of brain function causes impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests. Symptoms of autism usually appear during the first three years of childhood and continue throughout life. Although there is no cure, appropriate early educational intervention may improve social development and reduce undesirable behaviors. The result of a neurological communication disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism and its associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in an estimated 10 to 20 of every 10,000 people, depending on the diagnostic criteria used. Most estimates that include people with similar disorders are two to three times greater. The condition is four times more common in boys than girls and is not related to race, ethnic origin, family income, lifestyle, or education. Autism significantly impairs a child's ability to communicate and...

Pervasive developmental disorder PDD A

Wide spectrum of neurobiological disorders (also known as autistic spectrum disorders) characterized by delayed development of communication and social skills. The most noticeable feature of a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) is a problem with communication, including using and understanding language. Children with these disorders can also have trouble relating to others and may play in an unusual way with toys flicking, shaking, spinning, or lining up toys. Children with autism This condition is considered to be a PDD because it affects communication as well as cognitive and behavioral skills. Asperger's disorder A condition that some experts believe refers to high-functioning autism in children who generally have high IQs Facilitated communication is a type of treatment that uses another person (a facilitator ) to support the child's hand, arm, or shoulder, helping him press the keys of a computer keyboard or communication board. Although the Autism Society of America neither...

Mental Retardation and Speech in Children

Autism is a developmental disorder with prevalence estimates ranging from two to five per 10,000 (3 1 males). This disorder is characterized by deficits in social interaction, communication, and play two out of three children with autism are mentally retarded (Pennington and Bennetto, 1998). Although in phonetic form, the prelinguistic vocalizations are like those of nonretarded infants, social communication skills in the prelinguistic period are atypical. About 50 of autistic children fail to develop spoken language the other 50 exhibit delays in acquiring language, although not to the same extent as children with Down syndrome do. Speech production is characterized by echolalia and abnormal prosody (see autism).

Early Semantic Development in Children with Developmental Language Disorders

Children with autism or other pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) typically demonstrate semantic systems that are weak relative to the formal systems of syntax, morphology, and phonology. This weakness is manifested as use of words without regard to conventional meaning, context-bound extensions of word meaning, and confusion regarding the mapping of personal pronouns onto their referents. Social and cognitive deficits are thought to contribute to this weakness. Whereas normally developing children readily make inferences about word meanings by reading social and contextual cues, such as the speaker's eye gaze and intentions, children with autism do not (Baron-Cohen, Baldwin, and Crowson, 1997). This failure is often viewed as part of a broader deficit in theory of mind. The theory of mind deficit is further reflected in a particular limitation of children with autism in the acquisition of words for cognitive states (Tager-Flusberg, 1992). Down syndrome is another condition in...

Social Psychology Of Science

Reys 1990, Prediger 1982, Schmidt, Lubinski, and Benbow 1998, Webb et al. 2002 people-thing orientation Holland 1992, Lippa 1998, Prediger 1982 scientists score higher on autism and Aspergers than nonscientists Baron-Cohen et al. 1999, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Skinner, Martin, and Clubley 2001 autistic children more likely to have engineer for father or grandfather Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Stott, 1997, Baron-Cohen et al. 1998 three-day-old preferences Connellan et al. 2000.

Theory Of Mind In Atypical And Pathological Developmental Conditions

Interest in studying theory of mind in children with hearing impairments began about ten years ago in fact the first paper on it was published in 1995 (Peterson & Siegal, 1995). In addition to helping us to further understand deaf children, it deals fundamentally with two interconnected issues. The first concerns whether theory of mind deficit is specific or not to autism (Baron-Cohen, 1995 Baron-Cohen, Tager-Flusberg & Cohen, 2000 Corcoran, 2000). The second sees this research as a test-bed for the Vygotskian hypotheses on theory of mind development, which have emerged more recently, after the classical hypotheses, such as the modular mechanism (Astington, 1996). As can be seen later, of the two, the second issue is the most important for this research. The first issue concerns the cognitive hypothesis, initially proposed by Baron-Cohen, Leslie & Frith (1985), that theory of mind deficit explains the core symptoms of autism (marked lack of social interaction, communication and...

Evidence And Proof

As one example, this philosophy has considerable implications when epidemiologists try to show that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine does not cause autism. We can never prove the null that that there is no association between the MMR vaccine and autism. All we can do is demonstrate that, if there is a risk, then the risk is very low. It is up to those who advise on public health issues to decide whether the risk of autism is lower and or less damaging than the competing risks associated with a child having measles. In this respect, temporality was a major issue as in the UK increases in the diagnosis of autism had been linked to the introduction of MMR. However, this increase has not been observed in other countries, none of the other Bradford-Hill criteria are satisfied and there is no clear biological theory linking vaccines to autism.


Studies show that individuals with autism respond well to a highly structured, specialized education program tailored to individual needs. A well-designed treatment approach may include work on communication and social skills, sensory integration therapy, and applied behavior analysis by autism experts. with a one-on-one teacher to student ratio. However, many other children with autism may do well in a normal education environment with appropriate support. Because of the nature of autism, no single approach can ease symptoms in all cases. Educational behavioral interventions emphasize highly structured and often intensive skill-oriented training tailored to the individual child. Therapists work with children to help them develop social and language skills. Because children learn most effectively and rapidly when very young, this type of therapy should begin as early as possible. Recent evidence suggests that early intervention has a good chance of favorably influencing brain...


In relation to most major scares, it is possible to define a moment when they 'went critical' and leapt to the centre of the mass media and thereby to public attention. If we look at our list, it is striking that this moment was usually defined by an official government announcment or political initiative the 'tombstones and icebergs' campaign (Aids), the Committee on Safety of Medicine's announcement (the Pill), the Stephen Dorrell statement (BSE-nvCJD). Alternatively, the take-off was triggered by the appearance of a report in a prestigious medical journal (MMR-autism). Once these scares had received an official medical political launch, the press and television enthusiastically took them up and transmitted

Further Readings

Baron-Cohen, S., and Bolton, P. (1993). Autism The facts. Oxford, UK Oxford University Press. Bauman, M., and Kempter, T. (1994). The neurobiology of autism. Baltimore Johns Hopkins University Press. Catalano, R. (1998). When autism strikes. New York Plenum Press. Cohen, D., and Volkmar, F. (Eds.). (1997). Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders. New York Wiley. Dawson, G. (1989). Autism Nature, diagnosis, and treatment. New York Guilford Press. Donnellan, A. (1985). Classic readings in autism. New York Teachers' College Press. Frith, U. (1989). Autism Explaining the enigma. Oxford, UK Blackwell. Glidden, L. (2000). International review of research in mental retardation Autism. San Diego, CA Academic Press. Happe, F. (1995). Autism An introduction to psychological theory. Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press. Hogdon, L. (1999). Solving behavior problems in autism. Troy, MI QuirkRoberts Publishing. Matson, J. (1994). Autism in children and adults. Pacific Grove, CA...

What Is Not LD

It is also important to understand what is not included in the LD category. For example, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are not learning disabilities, but there is a 20 percent probability that someone with ADD or ADHD also has one or more learning disabilities. other conditions that are not considered to be learning disabilities include autism, blindness and deafness, emotional problems, hyperactivity, illiteracy, mental retardation, slow learner, or physical disability.

Foods to Avoid

Language delay A lag in the development of communication skills, progressing more slowly than would be expected based on age, environment, or specific deprivation or disease. Children with learning disability are likely to have language delays. Language delay includes the diagnostic subgroups of language disorder, language and learning disability, MENTAL RETARDATION, and AUTISM.


Intrapersonal Related to interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence is the cognitive ability to understand and sense the self. Intrapersonal intelligence allows children to tap into internal feelings and thoughts. A strong intrapersonal intelligence can lead to self-esteem, self-enhancement, and a strength of character that can be used to solve internal problems. on the other hand, a weak intrapersonal intelligence (such as that autistic children) prevents a person from recognizing himself as separate from the surrounding environment. Intrapersonal intelligence often is not recognized from the outside unless it is expressed in some form, such as rage or joy.


Big Lips Genetics

Two cases of confirmed mosaic trisomy 17 have been reported (157,158). The trisomic cells were not seen in lymphocytes, but were found in high percentage in skin fibroblasts. One patient, age 8 years at the time of reporting, had mental and growth retardation, microcephaly, minor dysmorphism, seizures, hearing loss, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autistic behavior. The other patient had mild dysmorphic features and moderate neurological involvement that the authors suggested could be related to prematurity. Two cases of mosaic trisomy 19 are in the literature, one of them was a stillborn male and the other died on day 13. Clinical features were varied and included facial dysmorphism with no report of major malformation (159,160).

Auditory Training

Auditory training includes a collection of activities, the goal of which is to change auditory function, auditory behaviors, or the ways in which individuals approach auditory tasks. Auditory training most commonly is associated with the rehabilitation of individuals with hearing loss, but it has been used with other populations that have presumed difficulties with auditory processing, such as children with specific language impairment, phonologic disorder, dyslexia, and autism (Wharry, Kirkpatrick, and Stokes, 1987 Bettison, 1996 Merzenich et al., 1996 Habib et al., 1999). Auditory training has been applied to children diagnosed with central auditory processing and to adults learning a second language (Solma and Adepoju, 1995 Musiek, 1999). It also has been used experimentally to assess the plasticity of speech perceptual categories and to determine the neurological substrates of speech perception learning and organization (Werker and Tees, 1984 Bradlow et al., 1997 Tremblay et al.,...


Despite the positive contributions to assessment and intervention procedures that have resulted from the study of pragmatics, a clear sense of the role of pragmatic behaviors in language impairment has been difficult to achieve. Research with some groups of children with language impairment has documented the presence of serious pragmatic problems. In other groups of children the nature of pragmatic difficulties has been more challenging to characterize. This variability can be seen by contrasting two groups for which language problems play a major role children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and children with specific language impairment (SLI).

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Funny Wiring Autism

Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.

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