How PDD-NOS is Diagnosed


PDD-NOS is a diagnosis given when a child does not meet all the criteria for Autism, but they show several of the signs. PDD-NOS or Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is diagnosed with several different types of assessments. We will look at these different types of assessments needed for PDD-NOS.
Medical Assessment
The medical assessment will examine the child completely to rule out any health conditions that could be causing the symptoms the child is experiencing. Some health conditions can cause similar symptoms as those in Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.
Educational Assessment
The child will be tested in several different educational areas. They will be assessed on what skills they have appropriate for their age. They will be assessed on daily living skills. These skills include dressing, bathing, eating, etc. These skills can be assessed by testing, or interviewing the parents, and teachers.
Interviews with Child’s Parents, Teachers
Children with Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified can have different symptoms at different times or places. Interviewing the child’s parents and teachers gives a better picture of the child. A child in school is with the teachers for several hours a day. They can add very important information to the child’s assessment. The same can be said for anyone that spends a lot of time with the child. This might be a daycare provider, or grandma.
Psychological Assessment
The child will be assessed by a Psychologist to rule out any mental disorders that could be causing the problems. The child will be examined for delays in several areas like cognitive, or social. They will be evaluated for anxiety, or problems with depression.
Behavior Observation Assessment
The doctor assessing the child for PDD-NOS might want to observe the child in a natural setting. This can be done in the child’s home. This gives the doctor a better view of symptoms a child is having. They can see how the child acts with their family.
Communication Assessment
The child will have their communication skills tested. This will be done with testing and by talking to the child’s parents. The child will be assessed for their ability to understand others, and their ability to use their words. The doctor will want to know if the child understands body language, and facial expressions.
Occupational Assessment
The occupational assessment will check how well the child can use their fine motor skills. They will also check for any sensory issues the child may be dealing with. An example of a sensory issue would be a child that only likes certain textures. This can make choosing clothing difficult.
After all of the assessments are complete the team will meet and decide if the child has met the criteria for a diagnosis of Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. If the child is found to have PDD-NOS a treatment plan will be created. Getting treatment for the child is very important. The treatments can help a child with Persuasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified to be able to communicate better. They can learn how to act in social settings. Overall treatment can make their life easier.

Published with Blogomator


Potty Training an Autistic Child


Potty training a normal, healthy child can be hard work. What do you do when that child is Autistic? Maybe they do not even understand what it means to use the potty. Here are some helpful suggestion when potty training and Autistic child.
1. Make sure the child is ready to be potty trained. Just because all the books says they need to be trained at two does not mean your Autistic child has the ability to do so. Do they know when they are wet or have a dirty diaper? Do they have a dry diaper all night?
2. Does your Autistic child have the skills to undress and redress. If not this can making potty training harder unless you intend to let them run around naked for the next few months. This can also make for a lot of time spent scrubbing carpets. It is best to wait to potty train until your child can easily undress and redress them selves.
3. Use a reward system when potty training. If they use the potty, or attempt to use it give them some type of reward. This can be a treat or a toy. Make sure that anyone working with the child knows they are to be rewarded for their potty efforts.
4. Do not punish the child for accidents. If your child has an accident remind them that is what the potty is for. Make sure everyone working with the child knows this too. Mixed messages will not help.
5. Find out what your child’s schedule is. It does not take long to do this. When during the day are your child’s diapers dirty? Use these times to sit the child on the potty. You can keep a journal of the day to see a pattern in potty time. Then you will know the times to focus on potty training the most.
6. Do not give up. If your child does not catch on right away do not give up. It takes a few weeks for a new skill to be learned. If you keep switching from diapers to the potty this will just confuse the child even more. Consistency will be a key factor when potty training. This goes for any child not just Autistic children.
7. Do not make your child feel stressed about potty training. If they think they have to use the potty they may immediately turn against it. Let your child see the potty and get familiar with it before they are made to sit there. Place the potty out in an area for them to examine it for a few days . This will let them become comfortable with the idea.
Remember Autistic children can take longer to catch on to a new skill. Do not stress out about the potty training. It will happen when the child is ready. If you are stressed the child will feel that, and they will have a much harder time relaxing to use the potty. It could make them avoid potty training all together. Just relax, your Autistic child will not be in diapers forever.

Published with Blogomator


Finding What Works: Dealing with Autism


When dealing with autism, just as in most other disorders, you will be faced with a number of treatment options for yourself or your child. These include treatments that are educational, behavioral, biomedical, nutritional, and sensory. Unfortunately, for patients who are not affluent or who do not have good medical insurance, the cost of these treatments can be pricier than what they can afford. One way to ensure that you or your child receives the best possible treatment for autism is to carefully monitor the effects a treatment has over time. By finding out which treatments work and which do not, you can stop paying for the ineffective methods and put more of your money into those which are creating a positive difference.
First, evaluate the abilities of the autistic individual before treatment begins. To do this, many services and organizations, including the Autism Research Institute, provide a checklist of evaluation points that focus on behavior and illnesses associated with autism. Autistic individuals tend to have increasing functionality as they mature, so remember that some of the positive effects in his or her life are simply due to the natural growth process. However, after two months fill out the checklist once again and compare it to the first. Are there any sharp positive increases in behavior characteristics? If so, this is more likely due to the treatment.
It is important to begin only one treatment method at a time. If you try everything at once instead, good and bad effects may cancel one another out, or even if the effect is totally positive, you will not know which treatment method is causing it and which are not doing anything. Of course, past studies can help you choose which methods to use, but because autism is an extremely complicated and individual disorder, these studies are not always helpful. Also, some treatments are so new that the studies done are only on short-term effects, which is usually unhelpful. Instead, it is a process of trial and error. Two months is a good amount of time to study the differences within an autistic individual trying a new treatment. After two months, if you do not see positive improvement, you can discontinue your use of that particular method and better invest your money in treatment options that work.
Remember that you do not always have to wait two months to make choices about whether to continue or discontinue a treatment method. If the side effects of a medication, for example, are interfering with the patient’s life in an unbearable way, then you should discontinue the treatment. You can also make continual treatments based on immediate good reactions-just remember to continually monitor the various methods. Autistic individuals grow and mature just like everyone else, so treatments may stop working after time. Before trying anything new, consult your doctor to make sure you are being as safe and healthy as possible.

Published with Blogomator

Tips for Celebrating Holidays with Your Autistic Child


The holidays are all about being with family and enjoying the festivities. This can be very difficult for a child with Autism. This does not mean the holidays are ruined, it just means that as a parent you will have to take some precautions. Here are some tips for celebrating the holidays with your Autistic child.
1. Plan visits with family and friends for short time periods. If you plan short visits your child is less likely to get over tired, or overwhelmed. Keep the visitors to a few at time.
2. Do not force your child to participate in activities they do not like. If you are having a family dinner and your Autistic child does not want to sit at the table with a lot of people let them sit where they are comfortable.
3. Keep your child’s schedule. If bed time is at eight in the evening, stick to it. Explain to visitors that your child’s needs come first, and they need their sleep. Taking a sleepy child somewhere will be asking for trouble. If there is something that requires them staying up later in the evening try to get a nap in the afternoon. This will help the child enjoy the activity later in the day.
4. Spread holiday activities out over a few days. This way your child does not become too overwhelmed. There is no rule stating that you have to visit all the family in one day. They would much rather see your child in a happy mood than in the midst of a meltdown.
5. Leave your child home while Christmas shopping. If your Autistic child does not like crowds do not take them Christmas shopping. Leave them home with your spouse, or other responsible care giver. It is hard enough to deal with the crowded stores alone. It could be miserable bringing an unhappy child along.
6. Consider opening a few presents at a time. Opening Christmas presents is very exciting to a child. To a Autistic child the excitement can become overwhelming. An autistic child often has issues with over stimulation. By opening a few presents at a time the child does become to overwhelmed, and can enjoy their gifts.
7. If you have your child on a special diet make sure friends and family know this. You do not want other people feeding your child things that could ruin the progress you have made. Some people might not agree with your choices about your child’s diet. Be strong and stick to your beliefs.
8. Remember the reason for the holidays. They are meant to be spent with family and loved ones. Enjoy the holiday with your Autistic child. Be thankful for all you have in your life.
9. Reward your child for their good behavior while visiting others. This will help with unwanted behaviors. The child will know they can earn a prize so they will work harder on behaving.
10. Relax. If your child senses stress or anxiety from you they will become uneasy.
The holidays with an Autistic child can be a wonderful time with a little extra planning. Forget about the daily problems and struggles you have. Remember all the good things you have. Most of all enjoy the holidays with your Autistic child.

Published with Blogomator

Bad Apples on the Family Tree


The news that a child in the family is autistic is most often met with a number of reactions. While all family members, even extended, would be supportive in an ideal world, the sad truth is that many are disgusted or disappointed. Does a family member scold the autistic child often? Does he or she look at your autistic child unfairly? Does this family member insist on treating your autistic child the same way he or she treats all the other children in your family, even when it is inappropriate? These are signs that this relative is not receptive to either your autistic child or the situation. This may often be the case when discovering a child is autistic, so as a parent, be aware and prepared for this to happen.
Often, unreceptive relatives simply do not understand what autism is or what it means for your child and your immediate family. Though many see autism as a mental retardation, many autistic children and adults are highly intelligent; they are just unable to communicate this in the same ways that others would. Try explaining what autism means to this family member, and have him or her spend some time with you and your autistic child. Allow them to see the effects of autism and the methods you can use to cope.
If the family member continues to be unsupportive or refuses your explanation, ask why this family member is so unreceptive to the situation. Are they scared of hurting the child? Are they worried about the added responsibility when spending time with the child? Perhaps they feel guilty or are embarrassed. If you can pinpoint why a family member is unreceptive, you can better address the issue and hopefully help him or her overcome their original perceptions.
Perhaps no amount of talking or spending time together will help this family member overcome their prejudice. If this person has stubbornly made up his or her mind, you will never be able to show him or her how beautiful your son or daughter is-autism and all. If this is the case, eliminating this person from your life may be difficult, but it will also rid you and your child of this family member’s negative energy and personality. In this developing situation, you need the best positive support available. Remember that other family members have been supportive; that your children are adjusting well and are a source of strength for you. Strengthen your support network by participating in parent support groups for autistic children. And remember that you can surround yourself with those who do accept and love your child-family or not.

Published with Blogomator

Know Your Rights: Laws and Autism


If you or your child has autism, some of the most basic things you can study and learn are your rights. Every American citizen is protected under the constitution, and there are special laws that have been passed to help protect people with autism and other disabilities. By knowing the laws that protect you or your autistic loved ones, you can live in a world that provides better opportunities to everyone, regardless of not only disability, but also race, gender, and ethnicity. This is simply the first step to creating a more tolerant world in general.
The first law with which you should become acquainted is I.D.E.A., or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The I.D.E.A. covers children ages 3 to 21 and provides autistic children with the special educational programs they need. The I.D.E.A. gives parents the right to be involved with education decisions concerning their child made by the school. Your child first needs to be assessed to qualify under the I.D.E.A., and this is best done by a private professional. In the end, your child has the right by law to receive a free public education that is appropriate for his or her skill level. If your public school has no such program, they are required to find one or create one at no cost to you.
Also become familiar with and knowledgeable about the American Disabilities Act. Under this act, discrimination due to disability is prohibited in the workforce, as well as with state and local government, public accommodations, the United States Congress, public transportation, and telecommunications. For example, if you are autistic, but have the skills to do a certain job, you cannot be refused the job because of your autism.
Other laws provide rights for people with autism so that they are constitutionally equal to others. One such law says that people with autism have the right to vote, and accommodations must be made so that this is possible. Another says that autistic individuals cannot be refused housing based on disability. Others provide equal rights in all other aspects of life, and these should especially be studied if your loved one with autism is in a health care institution. By knowing the law and how it applies to yourself or others with autism, you can be sure that justice is upheld. If you have questions, local law officials should be ready and willing to answer you or provide you with material to answer your own questions. Remember that ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for anyone, so be an advocate for yourself or others with autism to prevent mistreatment.

Published with Blogomator

What Is Adult Dyslexia?

Dyslexia has been described as a difficulty in processing information which may be linked to deficiencies in short-term memory and visual coordination. It is an inherent weakness in short-term memory, that is either auditory or visual, which can make it extremely difficult for that person to learn and understand the relation between symbols and spoken sounds.  This difficulty allows the person to be unable to correctly speak the correct flow of auditory sounds needed to make a word or sentence sound proper.

The range and severity of the problem of adult dyslexia varies widely between dyslexic people. The main areas of difficulty that occur most often are reading, writing, spelling, numeric, personal organization and time-keeping. However, the degree to which individuals may be affected ranges from mild spelling difficulties to severe organizational problems or complete illiteracy. In all reality there really is no such thing as a typical case of dyslexia.

In some cases people with dyslexia are unaware that they suffer from such a problem whereas others haven’t had a confirmed diagnosis until adulthood. Adult dyslexia is difficult to recognize and identify as it’s a problem that many people either don’t realize they have or they try to hide it. Simple tasks that a person with dyslexia may try to perform may become increasingly more difficult, such as taking down a message, which can lead to frustration and anxiety.

What Causes Adult Dyslexia?

Most research has concentrated on seeking to explain the cause of dyslexia, however this has proved to be somewhat unfruitful. Neurological research suggests that there may be some abnormality in the function of the left side of the brain which controls the speech system, whereas cognitive research in recent years has increasingly focused on problems of phonological awareness (the awareness of the speech sounds within words) and there has been speculation that these problems may be associated with a specific area of the brain.

One thing is conclusive however, it’s that the cause of dyslexia does center around an abnormality in the brain that prevents a person from correctly recognizing the right speech pattern.  Many people that aren’t dyslexic can also have moments where they switch sounds out of their correct pattern which suggests to researches that perhaps it’s something that can be corrected in everyone.

Whatever the cause may be, there is absolutely no doubt that dyslexia leads to many literacy problems within individuals and an insensitivity to sounds within a word, which in time will lead to problems with reading and reading comprehension. We also know that the causes of dyslexia can greatly vary from person to person which can make treatment a bit more difficult.

Estimates of the inclusion of dyslexia vary immensely – from 4-10% of the population. It is believed to be four times more prevalent in males than females.  Statistics in this area have been difficult to gather with great accuracy due to people not willing to admit to having a dyslexic problem.

What Are The Symptoms Of Adult Dyslexia?

Dyslexia can present itself in many, many ways and it’s more than likely that all the following symptoms will not present themselves within one individual.  However use this to see what ones may apply.

  • A difference between academic achievement and real-life performance in practical problem-solving and verbal skills.
  • Taking an inordinate amount of time to reading a book and finishing it.
  • Missing endings of words in reading and spelling.
  • Poor presentation of written work, such as poor spelling and punctuation.
  • Not being able to think what to write.
  • Reluctance to write things down, such as messages.
  • Confusing telephone messages.
  • Difficulty with note-taking.
  • Difficulty in following what others are saying.
  • Difficulty with sequences or verbal patterns.
  • Reversing figures or letters or leaving words out.
  • Problems with time management.
  • Trouble with remembering tables.
  • Difficulty with mental math.

Again all of these symptoms will not present themselves typically within one individual.  However after looking over these symptoms and if you saw that a number of them applied to you then please think about speaking with your doctor on getting a possible diagnosis.

If you would like to find out more about Adult Dsylexia then you need to look at our new book, ‘Adult Dyslexia, Tips and Tricks for Beating Adult Dyslexia’

This all inclusive guide will explain in simplified terms all the questions that have eluded you in your internet searches or textbooks on the subject. Why spend hours going over outdated information that will leave you as clueless as when you started.

Click This Link Now To Find Out How You Can Get Your Copy

Speech Therapy Of Hearing Impaired Children at the Verbal Level

There are two notable differences when teaching a hearing-impaired child compared to the traditional way of teaching language. First the choice of vocabulary taught is different. Second, the correctness of word order is different too.

Teaching at the Vocabulary or One Word Level

First, your choice of vocabulary is important. Customarily, words that are easy to say or lip read are usually taught first. Words like shoe, bow, tie, boot etc. are commonly taught with an emphasis on lip reading. On the other hand, children taught through auditory stimulation would likely say button first rather than bow. This is due to the inflectional pattern of button that is more stimulating to the child’s hearing.

Then there is the use for functional words. Auditory approach makes the early vocabulary of functional words possible. Words that a child uses to communicate everyday experiences but are very far off from the words said in the vocabulary lists devised for deaf children. Much of these words are not proper names or nouns.

Some of the first words are: Bye-bye, More, Oh, All gone, Off, Nice, Rough, Up, Uh-huh, Down, Hi, Ow, Hot, Cold, Light, No, Yummy, Yah, Pooie, Peeoo, Stop, Cut and Knock-knock.

While the first phrases include: open the door, I heard that, pick it up, bad girl, bye-bye in the car, daddy shop, I love you, come here, thank you, and peek-a-boo.

Developing First Nouns is the third critical point. When the child is already active in the communication process, it is recommended that the parents target a word that they perceive that the child would need. When the child is already able to recognize five to ten sounds associated to toys and a few functional words the development of symbolic language of the child should be accelerated.

The Circle Of Speech

The child’s vocabulary development could be illustrated in circles. The core skills comprise of basic listening experiences and pre-speech activities; and gestures. If the child possesses these skills, the therapist can proceed to the next level and teach him names like mommy, daddy, doggie, baby and a few verbs like listen and push, few adjectives like loud, hot and more and a few nouns like hat, cookie etc.

Fourth is the ability to developing language units. If the therapist would consider the child’s interests, it would be easy to plan language units. A few of these units are derived from the child’s everyday environment.

Body parts are one good example of language units. Words like eye, nose, and hair are words that a child can easily learn due to the association of his body. Family names are another example of language units. The child easily picks up words such as mama, Dada, and the names of his siblings since these are the people that he is exposed to most of the time.

Another language unit criteria can be food. Basic food related words like apple, candy and yummy can be taught. Verbs are also another kind of language unit. The therapist can teach words like cook, stir, drink, and jump. This can be done by doing the actions themselves so the child can easily pickup the concept.

School related words could also be a unit. Words like teacher, and his classmate’s names are a good start. Animal words, like dog, cat, kitty, can also be one separate unit, coupled with some sounds associated with animals.

Speech Therapy Management For Fluency Disorders

There are six main types of fluency disorders namely: normal developmental disfluency, stuttering, neurogenic disfluency, psychogenic disfluency, language based disfluency, and mixed fluency failures. Due to the uniqueness and difference of each case, all of them require a different kind of management approach in speech therapy.

Management For Normal Developmental Disfluency

Developmental disfluency occurs during the critical period of speech and language development. A child is considered to have this condition if 5% or less of his overall speech-sample are repetitions and 1% or less are prolongations.

Etiologies of this condition could be: excitement while speaking, demands of Language Acquisition, Speech-Motor control is lagging, environmental factors like stress in the family (e.g. separation of parents) and the situations they are in, and daily pressures of competition.

Concerned parents still make their children with this kind of disfluency undergo therapy even if this could still possibly decline. These children are taught how to: decrease the rate of their speech, relieve other pressures that the therapist and parents mutually agree to change, and simplify their language.

Management For Stuttering

The onset of stuttering may occur between ages 1 ½- 11 years old but it mostly occurs during early childhood stage, which ranges from 2-6 years old. A condition is diagnosed to be stuttering when the speech has 5% or greater repetitions and 1% or greater prolongations. 

There are several approaches to therapeutic intervention for early stuttering namely: environmental manipulation, direct work with the child, psychological therapy, desensitization therapy, parent-child interaction therapy, fluency-shaping behavioral therapy, and parent and family counseling

Management For Neurogenic Disfluency

The onset of neurogenic disfluency is varied. It can occur at any age but it usually appears during adulthood or among the geriatric population. The neurological events that can trigger the onset of neurogenic disfluency are as follows: strokes, head trauma, extrapyramidal diseases, tumors, dementia, drug usage, anoxia, cryosurgery, viral meningitis, and vascular disease.

Self-monitoring program is one of the most suggested modes for the management of this kind of disfluency.

Management For Psychogenic Disfluency

The onset of psychogenic disfluency is also varied. A condition is said to be under this category when 90% of the patient’s utterances have become disfluent when the emotional stimuli is present. This condition originates in the mind. The etiology could be acute or chronic psychological disturbances. Stress is another factor that may also cause the disorder.

Psychologists, psychiatrist and counselors can only provide treatment of this kind of fluency disorder. Speech pathologists prioritize treatment only of the bad speech habits, which may still be present after resolving the emotional issues of the patient.

Management For Language Based Disfluency

This kind of fluency disorder may arise in a child as soon as any newly introduced language skill emerges, specifically during the toddler to preschool stage. The fluency failure may be due to linguistic or motor immaturity. It can also be a result of the child’s struggle to acquire newly introduced and more complex language rules.

The management of this kind of disfluency usually focuses on improving the child’s language skills to increase his/her linguistic and motor maturity.

Management For Mixed Fluency Failures

The onset of this condition cannot be exactly determined, since it is an overlap pf two or more causative factors. No specific age for identification since onset may be sudden. Therapists must prioritize the most debilitating and/or the most correctable aspect of the disfluency.

Speech Therapy For Intermediate Stuttering

There are different techniques used for the treatment of intermediate Stuttering. Such techniques are a mix of fluency shaping and stuttering modification techniques. Here are some of the commonly used techniques for treating intermediate stuttering.

Flexible Rate

Flexible rate is slowing down the production of a word, especially the first syllable.  This technique is thought to allow more time for language planning and motor execution.  In here, only those syllables on which stuttering is expected are slowed, not the surrounding speech. 

Flexible rate is taught by having the clinician model production of words in which the first syllable and the transition to the second syllable are said in a way that slows all of the sounds equally.  Vowels, fricatives, nasals, sibilants, and glides are lengthened, and plosives and affricates are produced to sound more like fricatives, without stopping the sound or airflow. 

After the clinician’s model, the child produces the word with flexible rate, and successive approximations of the target are reinforced.

Easy Onsets

Easy onsets refer to an easy or gentle onset of voicing.  Teaching easy onsets is like teaching flexible rate.  The clinician models the target behavior by the use of a lot of different sounds and then he makes the child imitate the models. After the child tries to imitate, the therapist should reinforce the child’s successive approximations. 

Some children, particular younger ones, may be helped to get the concept by performing an action, such as bringing their hands together slowly, as they produce an easy onset.

Light Contacts

Producing consonants with light contacts prevents the stoppage of airlow and/ or voicing that can trigger stuttering.  Light contacts are taught by modeling a style of producing consonants with relaxed articulators and continuous flow of air or voice, depending on the consonant. 

Plosives and affricates should be slightly distorted so that they sound like fricatives but are still intelligible.  Modeling a variety of words with initial consonants and reinforcing the child’s successive approximations of the target accomplish teaching a child to use light contacts. The clinician can use a variety of games to make the concept of light contact more interesting.

Proprioception

Proprioception refers to sensory feedback from mechanoreceptors in muscles of the lips, jaw, and tongue.  The effectiveness of teaching proprioception may be that it promotes conscious attention to sensory information from the articulators, perhaps bypassing inefficient automatic sensory monitoring systems and thereby normalizing sensory-motor control. 

Children can be taught to use proprioception by having a child first hold a raisin in his mouth and report on its taste, shape, size, and other attributes.  Children can also learn proprioception by picking a word from a list and then closing their eyes and silently moving their articulators for this word and being rewarded when the clinician guesses the word. 

Children can be coached to feel the movements of their lips, tongue, and jaw as they say a word.  Proprioceptive awareness can also be enhanced by using masking noise or delayed auditory feedback to interfere with self-hearing.  In this, the clinician must look for slightly exaggerated, slow movements to verify that a child is trying to feel the movement of his articulators.

Scaffolding

It is useful with some children to “scaffold” their use of superfluency by letting the listener/s know that we are working on our speech and sometimes by coaching the child in that fluency-friendly environment. This can be exhibited for example telling a stranger in a mall that the child and the clinician are working on their speech and would like to ask him some questions, another example would be when the child makes telephone calls.