Melatonin Helps Autistic Children Sleep

Our bodies naturally produce Melatonin. In Autistic children the amount of Melatonin produced is not enough. They have problems falling asleep at night. Night after night of too little sleep can really take a toll on an Autistic child. They can have more unwanted behaviors. If a child is not sleeping, most of the time the parent is not sleeping either. This can make for a terribly grouchy child and parent. Starting out the day tired can ruin the entire day. The child will not want to cooperate with you or anyone else. This can make therapy or doctors appointments very unpleasant.
If your Autistic child is having problems sleeping you might want to try giving them Melatonin supplements. They can be found at most pharmacies, or health food stores. Melatonin is a safer approach than using prescription medication. Prescription medications can make the child dependant on them to sleep. The Melatonin is naturally produced in our bodies. The supplement just helps to make sure the body has enough to allow the child to fall asleep.
Melatonin should be given to the child about thirty minutes before their bed time. The dosage should be the lowest that still is effective. Most Autistic children do well on a dose of one to three milligrams. Always start with the lowest dose. Too high of a dose can make waking the child hard. It can also give the child nightmares. If too high a dose is given the child can still be tired and groggy the next day. This is not the desired effect. You want the child to feel rested and energized.
Melatonin usually does not lose it’s effectiveness. The Melatonin should not stop working with continuous use. If by some slight chance it does stop taking it for a few days, or a week. Then when you restart the Melatonin it should work fine. Melatonin taken in Autistic kids is found to have other benefits as well. The children who take Melatonin are found to be more alert the next day. Melatonin has also been found to help with some anxiety and depression. This can be a way to avoid medications that sometimes have harmful side effects.
If your Autistic child is having problem sleeping Melatonin might be the answer. Your child needs a good nights rest. If they are on any medications to help them sleep consult the doctor before trying Melatonin. Melatonin should only be given to the child once a day before bed time. If given in the middle of the night it could interrupt the child’s internal clock. This could cause more problems than the lack of sleep.
If your doctor suggest a sleeping medication be used for your Autistic child consider using Melatonin. It does not have any side effects. The child will not become dependant on the Melatonin to help them sleep. It is all natural, and our bodies produce the Melatonin. Some times our bodies just do not produce enough. The Melatonin supplement adds the extra amount needed to fall asleep, and stay asleep for a good nights rest.

Rescuing Bipolar Disorder Sufferers

Anyone who suffers a bipolar disorder can’t possibly stand alone. He needs the utmost support of his family, friends and whoever is close to him. True, that a person needs to undergo series of tests and treatments to be able to tend to him well. Although, it doesn’t end there. After getting out of the rehab, what’s next?
Help is always there. One must only shout the words and seek for it to make things a bit better in his life. You can search for help in medical schools or any affiliated programs, psychiatric departments of hospitals, clinics, mental health centers.
People who have bipolar disorder need attention. Without it, there will be no success in any kind of treatment. Oftentimes, people who have bipolar disability don’t realize the impairment of the disease because they think of their problem as some cause of debilitating normality in their everyday living. People usually asks help when the disorder is already striking hard.
Families and friends have a big responsibility over someone who is experiencing the bipolar difficulties. Therefore, it is important that great encouragement to get treatment must be imposed. If you have no idea on where to bring the family member who is affected, you can ask your family physician for referrals to where would be more appropriate to bring him.
With this kind of responsibility, family members and friends must be ready to let the person with bipolar disease to be hospitalized in order to protect him or her from further harm. Emotional as it seems, the family and friends must be able to cope with certain situations in which the person who has bipolar doesn’t want to go into rehabilitation and forced hospitalization will occur.
Once inside the facility, families and friends must always show total support and encouragement in order to make the person feel that he is still important to those around him and fast recovery and treatment is possible. Although, one needs to understand that the course of treatment is not a one-day scenario. It goes a long, long way.
The physician needs to know the appropriate intervention that should be given to the patient in cases of mood swings and intervals. While others have a stable mood of being in a manic stage, others show a relapse from being aggressive to being repressive.
Other people who suffer from the disorder voluntarily surrender themselves in a rehabilitation facility and are oftentimes joined with support groups who can further enhance the capability of treating the disorder. Groups that are sponsored by associations like the NAMI or National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Benefits can also be taken from these support groups by the families and friends of the patients.
For families and friends, it is important that you understand the situation your loved one is going through. It is a tough battle. If you have noticed certain attitude changes due to bipolar disorder, it is better to deal with it than act as if nothing’s wrong just because you are ignoring the fact of life.
Having a difficult time dealing with the person’s episodes can be hard but realizing that the person is having a more difficult time experiencing the disorder and being excommunicated and ousted from frequent society is more painful. You have a lot of help outside your home. All you have to do is reach out.

Is my Child Autistic

Autism is a popular topic in the news right now. Several celebrities have came out and told the world about their Autistic children. This is causing more people to be aware of Autism, and to question whether their child is Autistic. Nobody wants to think that something could be wrong with their child. Then they watch a news report, or hear someone talking about a child that has Autism and they start to question their own child.
The symptoms of Autism are many, and they vary in each child. Just because you see some symptoms of Autism in your child does not mean they are Autistic. There are other medical conditions that have the same symptoms. Some children are late on their developmental milestones. Each child develops at their own rate. Just because your child is not talking by the time they are one does not mean for certain they have Autism.
If you have concerns about your child’s development speak to their healthcare provider. They can tell you if further testing should be considered. A lot of parents try to self diagnoses their children. This can be a big mistake. It takes several qualified medical professionals to diagnose a child with Autism. This will not be done with one appointment at the pediatrician. You will have a team of health care providers evaluating your child. The earlier you have your child evaluated the better the chances of treatment helping the child.
Try not to compare your child with other children. Each child is an individual. They grow and develop at their own rate. While they may be late at some milestones, they may excel at others. Sometimes a parent has a gut instinct that tells them there is something wrong. If you feel that your child is having problems and the doctor does not agree, get a second opinion. Parents have to be the voice for their child.
Finding out if your child is Autistic can take time. It can be a life changing experience for both the child and the parent. Once you find out if your child is Autistic you can begin the process of treatment, or finding out what is causing your child’s problems if it is not Autism.
Signs that your child needs to be evaluated further include. 1. No eye contact 2. No communication. This can be sounds, or words. 3. Shows no emotions. 4. Does not pretend play. 5. Uses repetitive movements. 6. Have a hard time with schedule changes. 7. Do not respond to you when you are talking to them. This can be with looks or words. 8. Does things over and over again. 9. Loses skills they knew. 10. Develops an attachment to a certain food, or smell. These are sensory issues.
If you see these signs in your child talk to the doctor about them. Getting a diagnosis and treatment plan are very important. At the same time do not worry over every little thing. Some children just take a little longer to reach their milestones.

Is Bipolar Disorder In Children And Adolescents Possible

“It runs in the family…”
With the above stated fact, it goes to show that children and adolescents can acquire bipolar disorder if their parents or someone within the family is also suffering from the disease. More likely, children may adopt the illness but symptoms will show only when they have reached their adolescent stage.
Although, compared to adults who have the disorder and symptoms is more defined, diagnosing based on the evident manifestations through the behavior of children and adolescents are hastened and can be experienced almost every day. Mood swings that include mania and depression can occur multiple times a day.
Children who experiences mania are expected to be irritable and have destructive tantrums that is caused by being joyful or elated. Symptoms of mixed episodes are common in adolescents or youths having the disorder. Older adolescents who have developed the illness have symptoms and episodes that are more notable in adults and are considered more classical.
Diagnosing bipolar disorder in children and adolescents is harder than with adults. Apart from mood swings that are obvious because of the unstable swinging of emotions caused by terms of growing up, being hyper and depressed is also considered normal and is within the range of children and adolescent behavior.
Furthermore, there are some symptoms that can also be associated with other disorders like the aggressiveness and irritability of a child can also be associated with ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and other mental disorders. Drug abuse is also one factor that may cause such symptoms which are not totally connected with the illness.
According to researches, the disorder may have the possibility to begin during childhood or teenage years but the exact diagnosis of the diseases can be proven upon adulthood. This mental illness can affect anyone most especially if that person is exposed to contributing risk factors.
Studies also said that when both parents manifest the illness, it has a greater chance for their children to have the disorder. Alcohol and drug abuse through the history of the family can also be considered as a contributing factor.
Symptoms in children and adolescents are almost the same with adults but some may differ and may be lighter.
Manic episodes may include the following:
• Unrealistic increase in self-esteem (a child perceiving that he is Superman)
• Easily distracted
• Repeated increased risk-taking attitude that may be associated with sexual promiscuity, alcohol and drug abuse, etc.
• Ability to talk in a fast-paced manner and at the same time talking too much
• Increased energy and has the ability to go on for days without the appropriate amount of sleep
Depressive episodes include the following:
• Persistent emotional disturbance like frequent outburst of emotions
• Always in a depressed mood with irritability
• Lack of enjoyment in usual activities
• Poor concentration, boredom, fatigue and low energy level
• Abrupt change in sleeping and eating patterns
• Frequently complains about physical pains
Teenagers having bipolar disorder may have the greatest possibility to be treated compared to adults already manifesting the illness. Some of the major treatment modalities are medications that can used to stabilize the person’s mood swings, educating the family and friends, and preventing depression. In order to treat the illness effectively, medical authorities must diagnose the disorder correctly.

Signs of Autism

With all the recent publicity of Autism in the news you might be wondering what are the signs of Autism. Here are a list of signs that can be associated to Autism. If you see these signs in your child speak to their doctor about having them evaluated. The sooner that Autism is discovered the better the chances are at treating it.
1. Does not reach developmental milestones on time. Each child develops differently. Some children will crawl at four months while others will not until they are several months older. This can be perfectly normal. The problem starts when every milestone is much later than usual. If your child is not meeting the developmental stages talk with their doctor.
2. Child does not talk. Children learn to talk at different ages. Some will start talking very young while others will just start blurting out whole sentences one day. This can be very normal. However if your child does not have any babbling type talk by the age of one this could be a cause for concern. Most children will says some words by the time they are sixteen months. If your child is not ask their doctor if they think an evaluation is necessary.
3. No eye contact. Most babies and children will look at you when you are talking to them. Autistic children will often not give you eye contact. It will appear they are looking off into a daze instead of paying attention to you. They will not point to objects. They will not look at something you are trying to show them. Instead they look past it.
4. Child does not show emotion. Autistic children often do not show any emotion. They do not smile back when a person smiles at them. They do not show any cares when someone around them is expressing pain, or crying. The Autistic child does not usually like to be held or cuddled. They will not reach up for their parents to hold them.
5. Likes to play by their self. The Autistic child usually will play alone. They feel more comfortable being by them self. They have a hard time making friends. They do not know how to relate to other kids. They do not understand when another child is joking with them. They take everything said to them literally.
6. The child loses skills the knew. The child may have learned to talk and then it seems as if they forgot how. They can learn a new skill and then a week later have no idea how to do it. Autistic children often lose skills they have learned.
These are just a few of the signs of Autism. If you notice any of them in your children talk to their doctor. All children with Autism will not have every sign. Getting them diagnosed as soon as possible will allow treatment to begin sooner. Getting your child evaluated as soon as you suspect a problem is very important. Even if there is nothing wrong it is better to be safe. The earlier treatment can be started the better for the child.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome in conjunction with autism is still being researched; a number of studies and research are under way to better understand how the syndrome starts, why it can be prevalent in autistic children, and how to treat it. Simply, leaky guy syndrome is the inability of the intestinal wall to keep out large, unwanted molecules. This symptom of autism most often signifies that the intestinal wall has been altered to become permeable. Leaky gut syndrome in autistic children may occur because of increased sensitivity or allergies.
Leaky gut syndrome is problematic for one’s health because it allows molecules and substances (such as proteins) that are normally filtered out of the intestinal tract into the intestines. Because these molecules are not usually allowed inside the gut, the body misinterprets these non-harmful substances as a virus or infection and begins to produce antibodies to attack them. In turn, this creates a process where one’s body recognizes certain foods, as well as any of the body’s regular molecules that are similar to these foods, as harmful, causing an auto-immune disease where the body attacks itself. These are merely two possible outcomes with leaky gut syndrome. Others include the transportation of bacteria normally found within the intestinal tract to move into the bloodstream and cause an infection anywhere in the body as well as a weakening of the liver, which causes more toxins to circulate throughout the body, leading to a number of medical problems.
What can cause leaky gut syndrome? Researchers are still working to more fully understand the causes, but current medical diagnoses suggest that a diet high in alcohol and caffeine intake, certain drugs like ibuprofen and antacids, or a diet high in carbohydrates can decrease the thickness of the intestinal wall as well as other possible reasons. These are just a few possible reasons, and ways to treat leaky gut syndrome are just as uncertain as the reasons. Because of the sensitivity of the digestive system with leaky gut syndrome, many parents of autistic children find that putting their child on gluten- and casein-free diets can help. Both gluten and casein are proteins, and a diet with these proteins may irritate and inflame a leaky gut syndrome – though at the moment, researchers are still studying this. You may also treat leaky gut syndrome by avoiding alcohol, caffeine, ibuprofen, or spicy foods – all of which can cause irritation in the intestines.
Understanding leaky gut syndrome is an ongoing process, for parents with autistic children, doctors, and researchers, but this does not mean that there is nothing you can do to treat it. Simply being aware that your autistic child may have leaky gut syndrome will help you to better understand and improve his or her life.

Sounding Off: How Auditory Stimulation Helps an Hurts and Autistic Child

Sounds are a part of our everyday life, and so when dealing with an autistic child who has sensory problems, sound is one of the first things you should learn to control, especially in a learning environment. Sound can both be hurtful and helpful for an autistic child. Because each autistic individual is different, you must closely observe him or her to find out what types of reactions you can expect from auditory sensory stimulation.
Loud or frightening sounds may be the most difficult type of sensory stimulation in an autistic child’s life. Many of our routine daily activities include such sounds, hurting the growth process. Autistic children can not and will not learn if they are frightened. For example, parents often find that they have a difficult time toilet training their autistic children. This may be due to the scary sound of the toilet flushing; witch could be overpowering to and autistic child. Instead, try using a potty seat away from the actual toilet until they get used to the idea. Another example is loud or crunchy foods. If your autistic child is a picky eater, try to notice specifically which foods he or she blatantly refuses to eat. Sometimes, food simply sounds too loud when crunching in an autistic child’s mouth, and these loud noises can hurt his or her ears. If this is the case with your child, provide alternative soft foods instead of crunchy carrots, apples, or potato chips. Other loud sounds, such as a vacuum cleaner, may hurt your child’s ears. Try to do these activities when he or she is not in the room, or consider providing your child with earplugs that he or she can use if the world gets too loud.
Sounds can also cause fixation. Some children, for example, constantly hum and seem fixated on the sights and sounds of lawn mowers. Use this fixation to be beneficial. For example, read stories about lawn mowers or use the humming in conjunction with a song. Music is a great way in which autistic individuals can learn, because sound is a form of nonverbal communication. Teachers and parents should use this tool in learning environments. The key is to make sound work for you and your child. Autism is a difficult disorder to handle, so by being sensitive to your child’s specific needs, you can help him or her learn to deal with the sounds of everyday life.

Busting the Autism Stereotypes

As with anyone with a physical or mental disorder, autistic people deal with a wide range of reactions from others, from full support to uncaring ignorance. Unfortunately, even those who support autistic family members, co-workers, and friends may not understand autism very well. This leads to stereotypes, which can result in hatred, embarrassment, or other unhappy situations. By becoming educated about autism, you can help others in your community cope with this disorder.
It is most important to note that not all autistic people are the same. Other diseases and disorders have their own sets of rules, but autism is such a complex medical condition, that everyone reacts differently to it. Autistic people are usually rated on a functional scale, with high-functioning people being able to hold jobs and low-functioning people needing 24-hour-a-day care. Symptoms include behavioral challenges, uncontrollable movements, speech and communication difficulties, and emotional inadequacies. Some show all symptoms, while other show few, and still others may have most under control to the point where you cannot tell they have autism at all.
Because every person is different, no one thing can be said about autism and be true overall. However, most autistic people have trouble communicating emotions. This does not mean that an autistic person does not feel. He or she simply cannot express this feeling. It also does not mean strong relationship bonds are not possible. On the contrary, many autistic people are happily married and in love. Forming relationships is more difficult for most, but can be accomplished over time.
Many people believe that being autistic coincides with being a genius in some aspect. While it is true that some autistic individuals have extraordinary math, music, and art skills, this number is nowhere near the majority-in fact, relatively few autistic people function outside of the normal range in any skill. This stereotype is perpetuated in the movies and on television, because the story of a talented person fighting disadvantages (such as autism) makes a good plot. However, this is not the norm, so nothing more than the best they can personally do should be expected from an autistic person. However, it is important to note that autism is not a form of mental retardation. Some autistic people are mentally retarded as well, but most are not and should not be treated as such.
In the end, the most important lesson to take away from your studies on autism is one of tolerance. You will probably need to be patient when dealing with autistic people, but by understanding a little more about the disorder, perhaps this will be easier. Learn what you can and spread the knowledge to those you know to help create a more tolerant setting for autistic individuals in your community.

How To Recognize Someone With Bipolar Disorder

Recognizing someone who is a probable candidate for bipolar disorder can easily be resolved if the person is already exhibiting symptoms. Although, if the symptoms aren’t that prominent and the person is subject to coming back to his normal status, it wouldn’t be likely to be diagnosed because of the apparent signs.
To mentally suspect someone having a bipolar disorder within the family or the community is hard especially when you have no idea where to start. It’s best to leave it to the experts.
It’s easier to recognize something that is shown than something that is not. When you see someone with bleeding hands, you know that you have to fix medications and clean the wound of the affected part. When it comes to recognizing a person with such a psychological disorder, it wouldn’t be easy as telling that he has broken ears or swollen fingers.
Tests must be made to diagnose if the person is really undergoing a stage of the disease. Upon testing a person, he goes into numerous psychological and medical examinations which can help assume or rule out any kind of problem. These tests can also help check if there are any related complications that have occurred to support the problem.
The tests to help diagnose a problem generally consist of:
• Laboratory tests. Testing via laboratory usually includes CBC or complete blood count, other blood tests, and thyroid tests. Urinalysis may also be provided.
• Physical tests. This is all about the outer physique of a person that includes the measuring of weight and height, taking of vital signs such as the person’s temperature, respiratory and pulse rate and blood pressure, auscultation of the lungs and heart and examining the abdomen as a whole.
• Psychological exam. Considered as one of the most important part of the test. Here, the physician will initiate conversation and trigger some of the patient’s inner thoughts and feelings. Psychological exams can help distinguish the behavioral pattern that might have caused the disorder.
The patient may also be asked to fill out certain questionnaires that can help in psychological assessments. With proper permission from the patient, the doctor can also question close relatives and friends that can further provide information of episodes of depression or mania.
Criteria for diagnosis
In order to be diagnosed with the disorder, a person must meet certain criteria that are stated by the manual published by the association which is responsible for American psychiatric society indicated as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This manual can be the basis for health providers to diagnose conditions regarding mental health.
Upon diagnosing a person, the criteria must be based specifically on the type of bipolar disorder as well as the types of episodes and history. To be able to learn more on the situation, you have to talk intently to your doctor and ask the long term treatments to the condition. Researchers say that bipolar disorder can be regarded as a series of disorders with varying symptom and degrees.
Early diagnosis for a person with bipolar disorder is very important. In the event that people are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, the person affected will not get sufficient cure because the treatment may be severe or inappropriate. Thus, it is better to consult skilled medical professionals whose training and experience can provide the proper care in the most appropriate manner.

Traveling With an Autistic Child

Daily life with an Autistic child can be a challenge to say the least. What should you do if you are traveling for vacation, or another purpose? Lets look at some things a parent can do when traveling with their Autistic child.
1. Plan ahead. If at all possible plan trips far in advance. This gives you time to talk with your child and get them used to the idea of traveling. You can explain to them where they will be going, and some of the things they will be doing while away.
2. Bring items from home that your Autistic child likes. Bring their favorite toys. Bring along their pillow and blanket they use each night. Try and keep as many items that are familiar to your child with you while traveling. This can help your child to relax in their new environment.
3. Bring all their necessary medications. You do not want to be away from home and not have their medicine. Get the prescriptions refilled before the trip to make sure you do not run out.
4. Try and keep a schedule while traveling. If possible keep some of the schedule you use while at home. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Autistic children needs their schedules to feel safe.
5. Do not overload your child. If your child has a lot of sensory issues do not over load them while traveling. If you see your child getting overwhelmed go back to your hotel for a break. Warn your child if the place you are going has loud noises, or bright lights if these are issues.
6. Do not force your child to do something they are not comfortable doing. For example do not make them go to a amusement park if they do not like loud noises and lots of people. Consider bringing a qualified person to watch your child while you visit the park. They could do an activity that your child would like instead.
7. Make sure your child has something with them that has your name, and phone number where you can be reached incase the child gets lost. If your child is verbal make sure they know how to tell someone they are lost. This can be very hard for an Autistic child. They have hard time dealing with people anyway.
8. If you have to travel for an emergency try to stay calm. If you are stressed about the trip your Autistic child will pick up on this and become stressed their selves.
9. Take lots of activities the child enjoys to keep them occupied while traveling. This could be hand held games, or a portable DVD player. This can help keep your child from becoming overly bored. It can also give them something to focus on if they start to feel uneasy.
10. Notify the place where you are staying that your child is Autistic. This is very important if your child likes to wander on their own. The staff at the hotel will know if they see the child and you are not with them to contact you right away.
Traveling with an Autistic child will take some extra planning, but it can be done. Just try and keep as much structure to the trip as possible. It will make the trip more enjoyable for you and your child.