Autism Symptoms

You can observe some Autism symptoms in a person as young as two years old and sometimes even younger. Here are the main Autism symptoms that will allow you to identify or wonder if your a member of your family, a friend or anyone else might be affected by this disorder. The severity of these Autism symptoms may vary as each individual is unique. That is why it is evaluated on a spectrum.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Seminar to be given on Autism Symptoms

A treatment believed by some to reduce the symptoms of autism will be the topic of seminars in Springfield and Nixa on May 1 and 3.
The first seminar will be 7-9 p.m. May 1 at Campbell United Methodist Church, 1747 E. Republic Road in Springfield. The May 3 seminar will be 7-9 p.m. at the Nixa Senior Center, 404 S. Main St.

Scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and Immunotec Research Ltd. have launched a study of a specially formulated whey protein isolate, Immunocal.
It will be used to raise glutathione levels in an effort to lessen symptoms of autism, a neurological developmental disorder that affects children's ability to socialize normally, impairs language skills and causes other behavioral abnormalities.
The causes of autism have not been clearly identified, but some research suggests that chronic biochemical imbalance plays a role, according to Immunotec. A press release by the company says that studies have shown that levels of the major intracellular antioxidant, glutathione, is typically about 50 percent lower in children with autism.
When glutathione levels reach a critically low degree, people are more vulnerable to toxins and immune dysfunction, according to Immunotec.
Sandi Walper, an Immunotec Research representative, Branson-based performer Barbara Fairchild and Opal Erickson, coordinator, will co-host the two seminars about glutathione. Walper works with the research doctors and oversees education seminars. Fairchild will share her story about how Immunocal changed her mother's life while she was suffering from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

They will talk about how the company believes raising glutathione in the cells can have a positive impact on other diseases including HIV/AIDS, cancer, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and Crohn's disease.
For details or reservations, call Opal Erickson at 743-2427.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Autism Symptoms in Toddlers

The signs of autism in toddlers
Vancouver Sun
A decade ago, autism diagnosticians developed CHAT -- the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, designed to flag symptoms of autistic behaviour.
If the majority of answers to the questions are ‘no’ it is suggested parents talk with their family doctor or pediatrician. Here they are:
Does your child enjoy playing word/action games with others, such as peek-a-boo?
Does your child show emotions that fit the situation?
Is your child interested in what’s going on around him or her?
Does your child enjoy playing with many different toys, in many ways?
Is your child beginning to enjoy pretend play, taking turns and imitating other people’s play?
Is your child interested in approaching other children and joining a group?
Can your child easily indicate his or her interests and needs through words or sounds?
Is your child talking as you would expect?
Does your child point to, ask for, or try to show you something?
Does your child look at you when you talk to him or her?
Does your child imitate words or sounds?
Does your child imitate gestures and facial expressions?
Is your child comfortable with changes in routine?
Does your child hear and react to sound as you would expect?
Does your child enjoy being touched and touching other things?
Does your child move his or her hands like other children?
Does your child see and react to things as you would expect?
Does your child eat and drink a variety of foods and beverages?
Point to a toy and say, “Look, there’s a ------.” Does your child look in the right direction?
Use two cups and spoons. Invite your child to make juice with you -- mix, pour and drink. Does your child participate?
Ask your child to show you something in the room. “Show me the ———— ?” “Where’s the ———— ?” Does your child turn and point or touch the items?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Medication for Autism Symptoms

UPI) -- An estimated one-third of youngsterswith autism are prescribed psychotropic drugs to control theirbehavior and outlook, scientists report.The more common pharmaceutical aids include anti-depressants likeProzac for anxiety and depression, stimulants like Ritalin forhyperactivity and impulsivity, anti-convulsants for seizures andanti-psychotic drugs, usually reserved for schizophrenia, foraggression.In certain cases, these medications can quell such behavioraloffshoots of autism as self-injury and severe tantrums, but they donot alter the underlying condition and can wreak havoc with somechildren's moods and pose other potential risks, doctors say."There is no great drug for autism," said Texas psychologist StevenGutstein, developer of a behavioral treatment called relationshipdevelopment intervention."Children with autism can have other problems that require medicationlike attentional problems or medical problems," he added. "It's acomorbid disorder, but there's no Ritalin for autism, and thereprobably never will be because it's a disorder with multipleetiologies."The drugs that are used are the same as those prescribed for similarsymptoms in children without autism, but doctors often find thedisorder affects the response, at times making the side effects muchmore pronounced or the medicine much less effective or both.Most of these pharmaceuticals are not backed by sufficient science tobe approved for such use, and the government acknowledges "much moreresearch is needed" to determine what risks they pose to children andadolescents over the long haul.The drugs' usual aftereffects may be so exacerbated in children withautism, health authorities urge doctors to give them the lowestpossible dose and monitor their reaction closely.In a rare study of drug treatments for minors with autism, sponsoredby the federal government, the anti-psychotic risperidone was foundto control tantrums, aggression, repetitive behaviors, severehyperactivity and/or self-injury for up to six months in childrenages 5 to 17.The survey of 82 boys and 19 girls, conducted at several U.S. medicalcenters, showed the medication -- which was donated by its makerJensen Pharmaceuticals -- produced only limited side effects.However, when the drug was discontinued, symptoms rapidly returned in62 percent of the cases.Because the study lasted only eight months, "our data may beinsufficient to estimate precisely the long-term risks of risperidonein children," the authors concluded.Although a variety of pharmaceutical and behavioral treatments isused to restrain violent behaviors in autistic youngsters, fewscientific studies have looked into their effects, the authors noted.Previously, the largest long-term studies of autism medicationstested haloperidol, an older anti-psychotic that proved light oneffectiveness but heavy on neurological and other ill effects.In another recent study, reported in the Archives of GeneralPsychiatry, researchers found methylphenidate, the No. 1 drug choiceof doctors treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, mayalso be effective for calming hyperactivity in children with autismspectrum disorders.There is a caveat, however, according to the Research Units onPediatric Psychopharmacology Autism Network, a consortium funded bythe National Institute of Mental Health, which conducted the study.The bad news is that the percentage of takers gaining benefits fromthe stimulants and the level of those benefits are lower, while thefrequency of unwanted effects scientists call "adverse events" ishigher in autistic children than in ADHD youngsters without thedisorder, the authors reported.Seven of the 72 participants ages 5 to 14 withdrew from the study dueto intolerable reactions to the drugs, including irritability, loss ofappetite, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, upset stomach,diarrhea, fatigue, self-injury and social withdrawal.Even among the children who could stomach the medicine, only halfshowed any improvement in symptoms, and it was modest at best, theresearchers said.Nevertheless, the authors deemed methylphenidate "a reasonable choiceto target hyperactivity in the context of PDDs (pervasivedevelopmental disorders)," although they warned caregivers to "becautioned about the strong possibility of adverse effects" andpractitioners to "be prepared to suspend treatment if considerableadverse effects are reported."Although no causative association has been proven, reports of someADHD children medicated with Ritalin and other stimulants sufferingstrokes and heart problems and seeing snakes and other hallucinationsprompted two federal regulatory advisory panels last year to urge thatparents and physicians be informed of the potential risks.The Food and Drug Administration has obliged, ordering drug makers torevise the labels for doctors and insert medical guides for patientsto alert them about the adverse cardiovascular and psychiatric sideeffects.Other researchers, experimenting on mice, have come up with a waythat may help alleviate the debilitating effects of Rett's disorder,a type of autism that primarily affects girls.The investigators found deactivating a certain gene produced therodent equivalent of the ailment, but turning it back on in animalspredisposed to the syndrome forestalled its onset. The researchclears the path toward developing therapies for humans, thescientists said.Some currently available treatments may ease certain symptoms, butthey fail to address the condition at a more fundamental level. Theresearchers from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research inCambridge, Mass., and Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., saidonce they learn the molecular mechanisms underlying the disorder,they may be able to design more effective strategies against it.(Note: In this multi-part installment, based on dozens of reports,conferences and interviews, Ped Med is keeping an eye on autism,taking a backward glance at its history and surroundingcontroversies, facing facts revealed by research and looking forwardto treatment enhancements and expansions. Wasowicz is the author ofthe new book, "Suffer the Child: How the Healthcare System Is FailingOur Future," published by Capital Books.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New study sugests that infants not responding to their name is one of the Autism Symptoms

Infants who don't respond to their name by 1 year of age appear to be more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other developmental problem by the age of 2, the results of a new study suggest.
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of developmental disabilities, characterized by impaired social, emotional, and communication skills. Many people with autism spectrum disorder also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. The condition typically begins in early childhood and lasts throughout a person's life.
"In current practice, autism is not diagnosed until the third or fourth year of life, although parents tend to have concerns about their child's development much earlier, with 30 percent to 50 percent reporting initial concerns before the first birthday," according to Dr. Aparna S. Nadig, of the University of California Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, Sacramento, and colleagues.
"Earlier identification of autism offers the possibility of early intervention, which holds promise for improving outcomes in children with autism," they write in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
The researchers examined the accuracy of decreased response to name at age 1 year as a possible screening test for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental conditions.
The study included 55 six-month-old and 101 twelve-month-old infants at risk for autism, and 43 six-month-old and 46 twelve-month-old children with no known risk. At-risk infants had an older sibling with autism spectrum disorder.
The team assessed the number of repetitions it took for a child to respond to his or her name. While the child sat playing, a researcher walked behind the child and called his or her name in a normal voice. The name was called again up to two more times if the child did not respond after 3 seconds.
At age 6 months, there was a trend among the infants with no know risk to require a fewer number of calls to respond to their name compared with the at-risk infants. Overall, 82 percent of controls and 66 percent of at-risk infants responded to their name on the first or second call.
Among the 12 month-olds, 86 percent of the at-risk infants responded to their name on the first or second name call, compared with 100 percent in the other group.
Overall, 46 at-risk infants and 25 low-risk infants were followed for up to 24 months.
Of the 12 children who failed to respond to their name at 1 year, 9 were diagnosed with developmental problems at age 2.
Because this test is easy to administer and requires few resources, Nadig's team suggests it could be incorporated into regular pediatric visits.
"If a child fails to orient to name, particularly reliably over time," they advise, "this child has a high likelihood of some type of developmental abnormality and should be referred for more frequent screening, comprehensive assessment, and, if indicated, preventive early intervention."