20 05, 2014

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Different, Not Less

By |May 20th, 2014|Asperger's, Autism, News & Events|Comments Off on Autism Spectrum Disorder: Different, Not Less|

There has been much research done over the past 20 years on Autism, PDD, and Asperger’s. These conditions bear many similarities, yet they each have some significant distinguishing characteristics, as well. Recently, the medical world has begun to group these disorders under the heading of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Consider the number of children diagnosed in America; these children have parents, siblings, and extended family. These children and families interact daily with many others in society through school, work, church, social organizations, and day-to-day activities.
Dr. Temple Grandin’s mother coined the phrase, “Different, Not Less” in reference to her daughter who was autistic. The impact and blessing of Temple Grandin’s life and legacy has touched millions! Spend a few minutes with a family member of someone diagnosed with autism, and you will note the respect, love, and pride they exude when talking about their loved one with this condition!
While I was with Dallas Brain Changers, I spoke with a woman in our building named Shannon. Shannon’s nephew, Brandon, is 15 years old. Diagnosed at an early age, Brandon’s family was uncertain as to what the future held. Through love, acceptance, and persistence, he continues to flourish. Today, Brandon attends a public high school where he touches lives every day, he plays the pipe organ on Sundays for the congregation at his church, and he enjoys a full, rich life where he is both blessed and a significant blessing to others!
Each of us was created to interact and make a difference in this world. We are all different, yet not one of us is less important than another! As we learn to appreciate and respect this truth, the lives of those diagnosed with [...]

3 01, 2013

Did Adam Lanza Kill 26 People Because He Had Asperger’s Syndrome?

By |January 3rd, 2013|Asperger's, Autism, News & Events|Comments Off on Did Adam Lanza Kill 26 People Because He Had Asperger’s Syndrome?|

Simply put, the answer is NO! Asperger’s and violence are not linked behaviors.
In the days and weeks since the killing of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, there has been a great deal of speculation in the media about the gunman, Adam Lanza.
It is natural for the world to be asking why something like this has happened. We are searching for an explanation, any explanation, of an act that seems unfathomable.
One thing that has been widely publicized about Adam Lanza is that he had Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning type of Autism. It is not clear whether this was a formal diagnosis by a physician or simply speculation from those who knew Adam — Adam’s brother, Ryan, was quoted as saying that his brother had Asperger’s and a personality disorder. Whether we can confirm what may be an amateur diagnosis or not, the simple fact that Asperger’s has been connected with a mass murderer may result in people drawing incorrect conclusions about the nature of Asperger’s.
This much is clear: Asperger’s syndrome did NOT cause Adam Lanza to commit these violent murders.
Asperger’s is not associated with violence and does not cause violence. Violent behavior is not a symptom or indication of Asperger’s. 
Asperger’s is classified as a type of autism, which affects 1 in 88 children in the U.S. today. People with Asperger’s are typically very high functioning and extremely intelligent, but lacking in social skills — and this seems to fit with some of the descriptions we have read and heard about Adam Lanza. Former classmates described him as “weird,” a “loner,” someone who was visibly uncomfortable when called upon to communicate, and a [...]

4 08, 2012

Asperger’s: What is an Aspie and How Can Neurofeedback Help?

By |August 4th, 2012|Asperger's, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder|Comments Off on Asperger’s: What is an Aspie and How Can Neurofeedback Help?|

A child or adult with Asperger’s is often referred to as an Aspie, even within their own circle. Asperger’s, also called Asperger’s Syndrome or Disorder, is one of five disorders under the umbrella of  Autism Spectrum, but is different from Autism in various ways. A child with Asperger’s is usually fairly high functioning, often with pointedly high intelligence and fairly normal language development.

Does my child have Asperger’s?
An Aspie, however, frequently has problems with social settings and may seem awkward or inappropriate in their social interactions with others. He may have difficulty initiating conversations or knowing “when to quit;” he may either avoid making eye contact or stare in a manner that makes others uncomfortable, and he may have trouble picking up on nonverbal cues. Additionally, his physical movements may be clumsy or awkward.

Click here for “Helping Aspies Be Their Best!” 
 An Aspie may exhibit seemingly eccentric behaviors or rituals. She may become fixated on a topic or activity, seemingly to the point of obsession. Although she may be high on the intelligence spectrum, it may be difficult for an Aspie to function effectively in school and the professional world as she grows older. An adult or adolescent with Asperger’s may struggle with everyday activities such as self-organization, time management, dealing with conflict, or dealing with the sensory overload presented in an atmosphere such as a shopping mall.

How Can Neurofeedback Help With Asperger’s?
For an Aspie, neurofeedback can enhance intellectual ability, improve cognitive functions, and enhance skills necessary for dealing with language and social situations. Neurofeedback helps the Aspie’s brain learn to function within more normal parameters, helping the child or adult learn how to respond and to become more focused. In normalizing brain [...]

2 08, 2012

What is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)?

By |August 2nd, 2012|Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder|Comments Off on What is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)?|

What is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder?
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is one of five disorders which fall under the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PPD). Other disorders in this category include Autism, Asperger’s, Rett’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS (Not otherwise specified).
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is very rare, occurring in only 2 per 100,000 children. One of the identifying characteristics is that the child with this disorder develops typically until symptoms begin, appearing suddenly over a period of days, weeks, or sometimes months. Symptoms may appear by age 2, but commonly the child is between the ages of 3-4 when regression becomes apparent.

What are the Symptoms of CDD?
There is a loss of previously acquired language and social skills that result in persistent delays in these areas. Additionally, other social and emotional milestones show persistent regression. A child who was once consolable by a parent’s touch may withdraw from human contact, or the child who interacted with appropriate eye contact from infancy may suddenly avoid eye contact with others.

Does my child have CDD?
How Can Brain Changers help?
Brain Changers offers  Neurofeedback and Christian Counseling. The greatest benefit for the individual and family comes from a combination of these therapies toward improved health and wellness.
 Let us help! Call today!
 

 

31 07, 2012

Pervasive Developmental Disorder: What is PDD?

By |July 31st, 2012|Asperger's, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder|Comments Off on Pervasive Developmental Disorder: What is PDD?|

What is PPD?
Pervasive Developmental Disorder, or PDD, is an umbrella term for a group of conditions (including Autism and Asperger’s) that involve delays in development of a number of basic skills, including communication, use of imagination, and the ability to socialize and interact with others, and repetitive, compulisve thoughts or behaviors. Children with a PDD often feel and act very confused in their thinking and responses, and they generally have difficulty interpreting the world around them.
With most PDDs, symptoms actually begin during infancy or during the toddler stage. Parents may begin to recognize a problem when their toddler is not walking, talking, or developing as well as other children of the same age. However, these disorders are typically not identified until around 3 years of age. Because this is a critical period in childhood development, they are labeled developmental disorders.

There are five conditions which are considered to be a PPD:
Autism: Children with autism often have great difficulty with social interaction, pretend play, and communication. Additionally, the range of activity and interest is very low. Almost 75% of Autistic children have some degree of mental retardation.

Does my child have Autism?
Asperger’s Syndrome: These children struggle with social skills, and their range of interests is very narrow. However, they have average or above average intelligence, and they develop normally in language and cognitive processing. Those with Asperger’s may have difficulty with attention, and they may have poor coordination.

Does my child have Asperger’s Syndrome?
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder: Children with this rare disorder develop normally in all areas, including language, social, and motor skills, until the onset of symptoms, between the ages of 2-10. These children then lose many skills previously developed. The regression of [...]

8 03, 2012

Tactile Defensiveness and Autism

By |March 8th, 2012|Asperger's, Autism|Comments Off on Tactile Defensiveness and Autism|

Sensory processing issues related to hyperarousal remain a prevalent issue among both children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The qEEG or Brain Map can pinpoint areas of the brain affected. For many with ASD, hyperarousal is responsible for a condition known as Tactile Defensiveness. Living in a world where the majority of people thrive on human interaction and touch, those affected by tactile defensiveness and their families live in a world of their own, where touch may actually cause pain.
Does My child have Autism?
Temple Grandin’s mother was unable to console her with human touch. A mother’s desire to hold her daughter could not be realized; she loved Temple deeply and desired to help her daughter function in way that was effective for Temple. Temple learned to respond to her environment in the most effective way she could, but human touch was not a part of this environmental response. Living and functioning as effectively as possible with autism, Temple developed the squeeze machine as an alternative to human touch. This device delivers deep touch pressure to help the ASD child/adult learn to tolerate touching and to reduce anxiety and nervousness. This device offered hope to many families affected by this condition.
Click Here for Temple Grandin’s article, “Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals”
Neurofeedback has been found to be a very effective form of treatment for children and adults struggle with sensory processing issues, including those associated with ASD. Although there is no cure for ASD, with neurofeedback therapy, sensory processing issues can be effectively treated. Those suffering from hypoarousal can be woken up, and sufferers from hyperarousal can be significantly calmed. A [...]

17 11, 2011

Asperger’s: Helping Aspies Be Their Best

By |November 17th, 2011|Asperger's, Autism|Comments Off on Asperger’s: Helping Aspies Be Their Best|

Asperger’s shares many common symptoms with autism. Those diagnosed with Asperger’s (Aspies) are considered to be at the top of the Autism Spectrum; they are often high functioning, typically revealing few to no cognitive disabilities. Aspies typically have average to above average intelligence, and their language development is characteristically on target for age and intelligence. However, interpretation of language is very different from language development, and language interpretation is very difficult for someone with Asperger’s. Because they are usually very literal in their use of and comprehension of language, they most often struggle using language in a social context.

Research is ongoing, and it consistently points to the neurological, genetic, and enviornmental factors which seem to indicate a person has Asperger’s. however, may of those diagnosed to not see this as a condition or a problem. Rather, they refer to themselves as Aspies; they embrace their way of seeing the world as unique. On the other hand, some with this condition believe they need to overcome the way they interact with the world around them.
Scientists have identified structural and functional differences in certain areas of the brain of an Aspie, specifically the frontal lobe. The Asperger brain appears to be wired differently than neuro-typical brains. Temple Grandin’s mother coined the phrase, “Different, Not Less!” about the way these individuals relate to people and the world around them.
Parents need to understand that it is usually briefly disappointing that your child is not typical. It is important to not feel guilty about the disappointment. Many families mourn when a doctor confirms what they already suspected, their child is on the Autism Spectrum; he or she has been diagnosed with Asperger’s … their child is “different.”
At [...]

15 11, 2011

Autism: Autism Touches Hearts and Lives

By |November 15th, 2011|Asperger's, Autism|Comments Off on Autism: Autism Touches Hearts and Lives|

Each individual is unique; it is the way God created us. His plan ensures that every person has a physical appearance that is distinctive, and no two minds work exactly alike! As of today, there were approximately 6,930,230,935 people alive in the world! (Click here for World/US Population Clock) It is astounding that with this many people on this planet, each person is unique in both appearance and thought! Of these, about 312,537,037 people live in the United States! Latest estimates indicate that approximately 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with autism and other related disorders. And each of these individuals is unique!

Does my child have Autism?
There has been significant research completed over the last 20 years on Autism, PDD, and Asperger’s. While these conditions share many similarities, they each have some significant distinguishing characteristics. Recently, the medical community has classified these disorders as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Consider how far reaching the influence of children in America diagnosed with this disorder; these children touch the lives of parents, siblings, and extended family. Additionally, children with ASD and their families interact daily with many others in society through school, work, church, social organizations, and day-to-day activities.
Brain Changers desires to walk alongside the autistic child/adult and his or her family. Autism cannot be cured. However, neurofeedback is a very effective form of treatment to compliment other treatment modalities, including counseling, which may assist in helping the child on the Spectrum reach his or her potential. Ongoing research repeatedly supports that both children and adults with ASD show significant improvements in communication, cognitive function, and interpersonal relationships with neurofeedback. Regardless of where on the spectrum the person diagnosed  is today, studies steadily support a 40-70% improvement in overall [...]

4 11, 2011

Autism: Autism Success Story

By |November 4th, 2011|Autism, Success Stories|Comments Off on Autism: Autism Success Story|

This young autistic boy’s parents reported  social deficits in interpreting social cues, including responding appropriately to anger or affection. In addition, the parents described other behaviors: most notably, emotional self-regulation proved difficult, including loss of control and increased anxiety when frustrated or when faced with strange or sensorialy overwhelming environments. In the later stages of  neurofeedback treatment, the parents reported “more congruent” self-expression from their son, with fewer facial distortions and incidences of arrested movement. The boy was consistently able to modify his behavior in most instances, appropriately expressing his needs and also responding appropriately to social cues.
Autism: Click here for Case Study
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1 11, 2011

Autism: Autism Case Study

By |November 1st, 2011|Autism, Case Studies|Comments Off on Autism: Autism Case Study|

This case involved an eleven year old boy who had benefited from applied behavioral modification training, and extensive communication, occupational and physical therapies, along with social play interventions and counseling. Prescribed neuroleptic medications were discontinued due to problems with muscle spasms, dehydration of the mouth, excessive constipation and general agitation. The boy’s parents reported demonstrated social deficits in interpreting social cues, including responding appropriately to anger or affection. In addition, the parents described other behaviors: emotional self-regulation proved difficult, with loss of control when frustrated, or when faced with strange or sensorialy overwhelming environments. Verbal outbursts, disruptive and physically aggressive behaviors, common with autism, were part of the boy’s daily experience, along with banging his head, biting, and sudden freezing in position. The boy had an extensive vocabulary and was hyperlexic, but was challenged by an inability to coordinate his thoughts with logical sentence construction. He also demonstrated facial contortions, gesturing and tone mismatches with his behaviors,and compulsively self-stimulated with inappropriate touching.

Does my child have Autism?
 He appeared to have a high tolerance for and lack of awareness of extreme pain, yet could be overly sensitive to minor sensations such as tags on his clothes.
Early after the boy completed Neurofeedback training sessions for Autism symptoms his parents reported their son’s behaviors were unchanged. Shortly thereafter the parents reported minimal aggressive incidents for two days in a row and that he had hugged his Mother spontaneously and appropriately a couple of times. Thereafter reports were mixed, with a few “difficult days” and numerous “incidents”, replete with verbal outbursts, head banging, biting, crying, etc. As training progressed, the parents noted the boy’s improved ability in thought construction and therefore with communication. The boy seemed to be less [...]