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.


When Lying isn’t a Problem: Theory of Mind Difficulties


There are many symptoms that an individual with autism may experience; however, one of the most frustrating and hard to understand is what has recently been named Theory of Mind. Within the last few decades, this problem has been more thoroughly discussed and studied, but it is still largely a mystery. Because of Theory of Mind problems, social interactions are even more strenuous for autistic individuals.
Theory of Mind causes these social behavior difficulties in almost every aspect, from playgroups as children to the social world as adults. The concept behind Theory of Mind is that autistic people fail to recognize that other people in the world have different ways of looking at things. Although an autistic person may not be egocentric, he or she probably inherently assumes that everyone thinks, feels, and knows the same things he or she thinks, feels, and knows. Most autistic people have an inability to lie, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but is clearly unnatural. They don’t even consider lying an option because they assume everyone knows the truth as they know it.
Because autistic individuals have an inability to lie, they also do not realize that other people do so. In fact, it is a rude awakening for autistic people to find out that others lie or are bad in general. This is especially unnerving when first experienced in the business world, and many autistic individuals do not know how to cope with this. Because they believe that everyone sees the world as they do, it is difficult for them to put themselves in others’ shoes. Of course, this can be taught, but it is unfortunately a hard process that those with autism have to constantly remember to do.
Even children have trouble with Theory of Mind-they find it difficult to play games with other children that require keeping a secret. They also often must be reminded of sharing and releasing aggression in ways that are not harmful. Some of an autistic person’s frustration may stem from this inability to understand why another is not reacting in a situation in the “correct” way. Autistic children also have a hard time understanding why people don’t know certain facts-if they know it, so should everyone else.
Theory of Mind still needs to be studied in order to be able to better understand and treat this symptom of autism. Currently, the best teaching method is continuous social interaction, along with role-playing and other games that require autistic children to see things from many angles. Until modern medicine finds a better answer to Theory of Mind problems, the best thing to do is be patient with autistic individuals and be willing to explain your thought process to them.


How Autism is Treated


Once you find out your child is Autistic you will then want to begin some type of treatment plan. There are many different treatments for Autism. Many worry that they will have to use medications that can be dangerous to their child. This is not the case. While some children need medication not all children do. There are a lot of other treatments available to the Autistic child besides prescription medication. Some people will go with the standard type of treatment plan, while others will try an alternative, natural plan. We will look at some different types of treatment for Autism.
Medication
There are many types of medications used in treating Autism. These medications can be for different problems associated with Autism. Some are used to help with anxiety that is often found in Autistic children. Autistic children sometimes have problems with falling asleep. Medication can be used to help with this. Antipsychotic drugs are often used in children dealing with behavioral problems. These medications will not cure the Autism. Medications can have terrible side effects. The child needs to be monitored closely while on any medication.
Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy helps to teach the Autistic child to be independent. They learn daily skills they need like dressing, or taking a bath. They will work on fine motor skills. They also teach the child to use any devices they may have to help them function in daily life. They will be taught safety measures. This could be safety when outside, or dangers in the house.
Physical Therapy
Many Autistic children require physical therapy. This type of therapy can help children with low muscle tone. They also work with young children on basic motor skills. This can include walking, standing, and rolling. Many Autistic children can have other health problems. These problems can benefit from physical therapy too.
Behavioral Therapy
Behavioral therapy will concentrate on teaching the Autistic child appropriate behaviors. Usually this will include some form of a reward system. They are taught how to act in social settings. This therapy is often done in the child’s home setting. The parents are taught ways to deal with the child’s unwanted behaviors. Usually an Autistic child will learn they will be rewarded for good behaviors, and they will stop some of the bad behavior.
Speech Therapy
Autistic children often have a hard time communicating. They have problems understanding non verbal cues. Some Autistic children do not speak at all, so they have to be taught ways to communicate with others. Children with Autism need to be taught about body language. Some children with Autism that do not speak are taught to communicate by signing, or with the use of pictures. The speech therapist will work on getting a non verbal child to speak.
These are just a few of the many treatments available to a child with Autism. Not all children will require all of the treatments. The most important factor is to find a treatment plan that works for your child. With proper treatment your Autistic child can thrive.

What Causes Autism


What causes Autism is something every doctor hears when they tell a parent their child is Autistic. There is not one definite answer to this question. There are several thoughts on what causes Autism. Some of the causes of Autism are thought to be genetic. Doctors think there are several genes that cause Autism, but have yet to locate them. They now feel that some people are born with the predisposition to be Autistic. Then they have some type of environmental trigger and they become Autistic.
Autism is more common in boys that girls. Some studies show a connection to environmental factors and Autism. They think that the pollution and toxins in the air can contribute to a child having Autism. Studies have shown small towns with high cases of Autism. The towns had one thing in common, a high pollution source. Usually the source is a factory of some sort that release a lot of toxins, and chemicals into the air.
A majority of people believe Autism was caused by the Mercury, or Thimersal in vaccinations. This was due to the fact that Autism was first diagnosed about the same time as vaccinations were given. There has been a lot of studies an research about vaccines causing a child to become Autistic. So far there has been no evidence to suggest the connection between vaccinating your child and Autism. There could be more risks from not having the vaccinations.
Some studies have shown children being exposed to high levels of Mercury were more likely to have Autism. This was a fear with the vaccinations, but the majority of shots these days do not contain any mercury or Thimersal. If they do contain Thimersal it is in very trace amounts. High levels of Mercury can be contributed to eating a lot of fish, and industrial emissions. Researchers think there could be a connection to pregnant women being exposed to Mercury and their children having Autism. There are new studies testing pregnant women to see how much Mercury is in their systems and testing the babies at birth. They can then monitor the babies with high Mercury levels and see if they have any problems later on.
There are theories that Autism is caused from an underlying health issue. Certain diseases make a child more likely to develop Autism. Some of these diseases include Fragile X syndrome, and congenital Rubella. Others believe Autism is caused by a metabolic imbalance.
It used to be thought that Autism was caused from an early emotional trauma. They also thought bad parenting was to blame. Doctors tried to blame mothers for not giving their children enough attention and love. These theories have been found untrue. Much more research is needed to identify the true cause or causes of Autism. Until a definite answer is found no one will know what cause a child to be Autistic. These theories are all just that, theories. Someday hopefully doctors will understand what causes a child to be Autistic, and they can work on a way to prevent, or cure it.

Dietary Concerns: Glutton and Casein


Autism is a disorder that must be treated with a variety of methods since there is no effective way to completely cure it. One of the ways you can help keep the symptoms of autism under control is by studying diet. Parents of children with autism have reported that by controlling diet, they see a significant difference in their child’s behavior. Two of the main dietary concerns are glutton and casein.
Glutton is a substance found in many common food products, with wheat, rye, and oaks being the main culprits. Casein is found in dairy products, such as milk. If you or your child with autism eats many foods with these products in them, such as breads or cheeses, you may be able to better control autistic behavior by decreasing consumption of such foods.
The difficulty in digesting both glutton and casein comes from an inability to digestively handle the peptides in these substances. Since they are not broken down as in a normal body, these extra peptides are absorbed into the blood stream. Elevated levels of peptides disrupt major brain functions, contributing to the effects of autism. By cutting foods containing glutton and casein out of you or your child’s diet, you can help the body with the process of breaking down the peptides present in the body. To see if you or your child has a high absorption rate of these peptides, your doctor can administer a simple urine test.
Speak to a nutritionist or doctor before making any major changes in your diet. When you decide to cut glutton and casein from your diet, do not attempt to do this all at once. Cutting anything from your diet suddenly is unhealthy, and your body could go into withdrawal. Instead, slowly begin reducing the amounts of breads, grains, and milk products until you are eating none. You doctor can provide you with a complete list of all the foods containing glutton and casein if you truly want to cut them all from your diet. However, it may be necessary to get the nutrients that you find in glutton and casein products in another way, such as with dietary supplements. Again, your doctor can help in this decision. Overall, maintaining a balanced diet is the healthiest thing to do. Leaving glutton and casein products out of your or your child’s diet may help control autistic behavior, so it is an option that should be considered, but eating a healthy diet altogether is the best way to keep you and your family healthy.

Dealing with Asperger Syndrome


Asperger Syndrome is a relatively mild form of autism that effects people in different ways than regular autism. Because it usually does not affect language, many people with Asperger Syndrome go undiagnosed. This is the one form of autism that is usually not caught at an early age and is instead a disorder that develops later in life. Asperger Syndrome, however, can be a very difficult condition to have, so as soon as you suspect yourself or your child of having communication and social behavior problems, see your family doctor.
Many famous and successful people were diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Historians even suggest that Einstein and Mozart each suffered from this disorder. It is important to note that no form of autism is a form of mental retardation. In fact, most people with Asperger Syndrome are very intelligent. Asperger Syndrome does not dictate mental ability, but rather makes it difficult for people to communicate in social settings, much in the same way a typical autistic child has trouble with behavior in groups. When this disorder goes undiagnosed, children do not get the help they need, leading to problems in school such as bullying. Most children are relieved to find out they have Asperger Syndrome instead of just thinking they are less of a person. By getting diagnosed, not only can you or your child put a name to the problems, but it is then also possible to get treated to improve your overall situation.
Some symptoms to watch out for if you suspect Asperger Syndrome are some of the same symptoms that people with full-blown autism experience. This includes social confusion, first and foremost. Many people with Asperger Syndrome find it very difficult to deal with transition or change, wanting everything to stay the same. A quickly changing environment is especially confusing. People with Asperger Syndrome also may say rude or inappropriate things when they don’t mean to do so, and may not be able to understand others’ thought processes. Another common trait they share with autistic individuals is fixation, although people with Asperger Syndrome usually have more control over their fixations, which take the form of highly focused interests. If you suspect yourself or a loved one of this disorder, these are just a few of the signs for which you should be watching. You doctor should be able to answer further questions and provide both reading material and treatment for this disorder.

Medicine Used to Treat Autism


There are many types of medications used to treat Autism. These medications will fall into different categories based on the type of problem that is being dealt with. Medication will not cure the Autism, it just helps with some of the problems associated with it. Here are some of the medications used when treating an Autistic child.
Antipsychotic
This type of medication is used to treat behavior problems in children with Autism. They can also be used to treat insomnia, and aggression. This type of medication should be used if behavior therapy is not working. Some times an Autistic child will try to harm their selves. Antipsychotic medicines can help control this. Anticonvulsant
Some Autistic children have seizures. This type of medication is used in controlling or preventing the seizures.
Depression and Anxiety Medications
A large portion of Autistic children deal with depression and anxiety. They need medication to help control these feelings. These medications are found to cause suicidal thoughts in some kids. Watch for changes in your child’s behavior.
Sedatives
Children with Autism sometimes have a hard time falling asleep at night. They are given a sedative to help them sleep. There are natural alternatives that can be used in place of sedatives. They will not make your child dependant on them to fall asleep.
Stimulant
Stimulants are used in treating kids with hyperactivity. They are also used in children that have a hard time paying attention or concentrating. These medicines can help the child focus longer. This can be useful for a school age child who is having problems paying attention in school. They can help a child who is having trouble staying focused on their school work. This can mean a difference in passing or failing.
Medications can help treat the problems found in Autistic children. Parents need to be careful when using any medications with their children. Some of these medications can have terrible side effects. Each child will react differently to the medicine. If you notice the medicine is not helping consult your child’s doctor. Medications need to be combined with other types of therapy to successfully work in treating Autism. Always use the lowest effective dose of the medications. Do not start or stop a medication without talking to your child’s doctor first. Some Autistic children do not speak so it is important to watch for changes in their behavior. If they begin acting strange they could be having a reaction to the medicine, and need to see the doctor.
Medication should be a last resort when treating Autism. If it must be used, combine the medication with other forms of therapy for better results. Remember the medicine is not a cure for Autism. The medicine just helps to lesson some of the symptoms the child is experiencing. Always be sure of the correct dosage of medication to give your child. Talk to the doctor about any long terms side effects caused by the prescription. Also make sure to ask about any interactions with other medications your child is taking. Sometimes medication will be the only thing that helps your Autistic child. Just make sure the child is monitored for any side effects.

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The Terrible Teens – Dealing with Autistic Teenagers


For most parents, one of the most trying times in their lives is during their child’s teenage years. When puberty hits, young adults go through serious changes in their bodies and minds, and parents have little or no control over many situations. In an autistic child, puberty is no different. Although your autistic child is not experiencing puberty in quite the same ways as others his or her age, major hormonal changes still occur in the body. This can lead to extreme results, and this can be either good or bad depending on how your child reacts to the new hormone levels.
One of the scariest side effects of changes in an autistic person’s body is the onset of seizures. Many autistic individuals experience seizures from birth to adulthood, but even if your child does not suffer from these episodes, he or she may begin to experience seizures during puberty and afterwards, due to the new levels of hormones in the body. Strange as it may sound, violent shaking seizures are not necessarily a bad thing. Almost a quarter of autistic children experience seizures, but many go undetected because they are not textbook versions of seizures. If you recognize that your child is experiencing a seizure, you can do something about it, and doctors will be able to better treat your child. However, if the seizures are subconsciously happening, you and your child may not realize it. The result of these small hidden seizures can be a loss in function, which can be devastating, especially if you child was improving before puberty. Regular check-ups during puberty, therefore, are extremely important.
The changes might not necessarily be a bad thing. New hormone levels in the body and the other changes associated with puberty might help your autistic child grow and succeed in areas in which he or she normally had no skill or interest. Many parents report that their child’s behavior improved, and that learning in social settings was easier.
The important thing about puberty is to learn to monitor the changes in your child very carefully and to ask your doctor lots of questions. Remember that puberty is a difficult experience for any young adult, and so it will be even more difficult for someone with autism. Try to practice patience and understanding with your teen, and be careful to regulate his or her autism so that the transition from child to adult will go more smoothly.

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How Autism is Diagnosed


The signs and levels of Autism vary in each child. This can make getting a diagnosis difficult. Children on the higher level of the Autism spectrum may go years without being diagnosed. There are may factors that go into an Autism diagnosis. We will go over some of the criteria being used to diagnose a child with Autism.
Doctors have a checklist that must be met before the possibility of Autism is suspected. Some of the signs on the checklist include, poor relationships with friends, focusing on one thing for very long periods of time, poor communications skills, and insisting on certain routines, or rituals. When these signs are shown in a child the doctor will want to evaluate the child further. The doctor will question the child’s parents, or any other people that have close contact with the child. They may send home a form for you and the child’s teacher to fill out. Once the doctor has the forms back they will compare the forms and look for similar results. If the results all are pointing to something being wrong further testing will be considered.
Children also develop at their own rate. So a parent having concerns about their child not reaching developmental milestones on time may question the doctor for further testing. The doctor will ask a series of questions to the parent. If the answers match the criteria for Autism the doctor will order further evaluations to be completed. Remember each child grows and matures at their own rate so they may just be a late bloomer.
There is not one test that can say definitely the child has Autism. It will require several appointments with different health professionals to rule out other conditions that could be causing the problems in your child. Often a child who is late to talk is suspected of having a hearing issue first. After this is checked then the doctor can move onto evaluating for Autism. Several health conditions can mimic the symptoms of Autism. Children always need to be evaluated for any other medical conditions that could cause the same symptoms as Autism first.
To receive an Autism diagnosis the child will be evaluated by a team of medical professionals. They will include the doctor, a psychologist, a speech therapist, a neurologist, and a psychiatrist. Once the child is evaluated by the team they will meet and compare their findings. Then they will have a meeting with the parents to discuss their findings . If the diagnosis of Autism is made a treatment plan will be set in place.
Each child will show different symptoms of Autism, and the levels they experience it will be different. So it may take longer to get a diagnoses of Autism in some children. Once you have the diagnoses the most important thing is to start a treatment plan. The treatment plan will help make the life of your Autistic child better. While there is no cure for Autism, the treatments available can help to lesson the symptoms.

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Autism and the School System


Autistic children will have special needs when it comes to schooling. Many children with Autism go to public school and do just fine with some special modifications. There are laws pertaining to kids with disabilities. Here are some of the things you will need to know about Autism and school.
The Individuals With Disabilities Act
The Individuals with Disabilities act was passed to make sure all children receive a free and appropriate public education that meets their needs. The act requires children with special needs to have special education service as long as they meet the requirements. Autism meets that requirement.
Free and Appropriate Education
This is an education that meets the special needs of your child. It is one that allows them to make progress learning.
Least Restrictive Learning Environment
This means that your child will be placed in an educational setting that is right for their special needs while allowing them to socialize with kids that do not have a disability. The school will do what it can to meet the needs of your Autistic child while keeping them in regular classrooms.
To figure out what special needs your child will need the school will evaluate your child. This evaluation can be requested by the school or the parent. If you think there is a problem write a letter to the school asking them to evaluate your child. They will send a paper home for you to sign that gives permission for the evaluation to take place. During the evaluation your child will be tested for learning disabilities along with any mental, or behavioral problems. After the evaluation is complete the school will have a meeting with you to discuss their findings, and what can be done to help your child.
IEP
An IEP is used when a child has a need for special education services. The group that evaluated the child will be part of the team that creates the IEP. The parents will also have a say in what is included in the IEP. An IEP will state the needs the child has to get an appropriate education. They will also list the services the child is going to receive in the IEP. The IEP can be evaluated at any time if the services are not working for the child. An example of some services that might be included in an IEP are extra time when completing class work, have tests read aloud to the child, or an aide is provided for the child. Each IEP will be different for each child. The IEP will be evaluated on a yearly basis unless the parents request it sooner. The parents have the right to be at every IEP meeting held.
You are your child’s best advocate when dealing with the school system. Some schools will try to give you the run around. They will do whatever they can to keep your child from having any special services in school. You have to be the one to stand up for your child. You are their voice. If you do not feel comfortable dealing with the school alone there are lawyers and advocates that are there to help.

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