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Category Archives: Autism

Kentucky Autism Services and Supports

Find providers in your area The demands of caring for an individual with autism are great, and families frequently experience high levels of stress. Often, the lack of appropriate services adds to the frustration of families. To increase the awareness of currently available resources, the Kentucky Autism Training Center is gathering information about services to create an Kentucky Autism Supports and Services Directory. The goal of the Kentucky Autism Services and Supports Directory is to include all providers who serve individuals with disabilities in Kentucky. To be added to the Kentucky Autism Services and Supports Directory submit your organization application online. If you have any questions you can contact us at [email protected] or (502) 852-4631. Please be aware that there is no implied endorsement of the listed programs in the Kentucky Autism Supports and Services Directory by the KATC. The purpose of the Kentucky Autism Services and Supports Directory is to help parents and professionals share information. It is recommended that parents speak to a representative of the program before enrolling their children, to ensure that the interests, skills, talents and needs of each child can be met in the program. Continue reading



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Kentucky Autism Services and Supports

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Autism-Topic Overview – WebMD

What is autism? Autism is a brain disorder that often makes it hard to communicate with and relate to others. With autism, the different areas of the brain fail to work together. Most people with autism will always have some trouble relating to others. But early diagnosis and treatment have helped more and more people who have autism to reach their full potential. Autism tends to run in families, so experts think it may be something that you inherit. Scientists are trying to find out exactly which genes may be responsible for passing down autism in families. Other studies are looking at whether autism can be caused by other medical problems or by something in your child’s surroundings. False claims in the news have made some parents concerned about a link between autism and vaccines. But studies have found no link between vaccines and autism. It’s important to make sure that your child gets all childhood vaccines. They help keep your child from getting serious diseases that can cause harm or even death. Symptoms almost always start before a child is 3 years old. Usually, parents first notice that their toddler has not started talking yet and is not acting like other children the same age. But it is not unusual for a child with autism to start to talk at the same time as other children the same age, then lose his or her language skills. Symptoms of autism include: There is no “typical” person with autism. People can have many different kinds of behaviors, from mild to severe. Parents often say that their child with autism prefers to play alone and does not make eye contact with other people. Autism may also include other problems: There are guidelines your doctor will use to see if your child has symptoms of autism. The guidelines put symptoms into categories such as: Your child may also have a hearing test and some other tests to make sure that problems are not caused by some other condition. Treatment for autism involves special behavioral training. Behavioral training rewards appropriate behavior (positive reinforcement) to teach children social skills and to teach them how to communicate and how to help themselves as they grow older. With early treatment, most children with autism learn to relate better to others. They learn to communicate and to help themselves as they grow older. Depending on the child, treatment may also include such things as speech therapy or physical therapy. Medicine is sometimes used to treat problems such as depression or obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Exactly what type of treatment your child needs depends on the symptoms, which are different for each child and may change over time. Because people with autism are so different, something that helps one person may not help another. So be sure to work with everyone involved in your child’s education and care to find the best way to manage symptoms. An important part of your child’s treatment plan is making sure that other family members get training about autism and how to manage symptoms. Training can reduce family stress and help your child function better. Some families need more help than others. Take advantage of every kind of help you can find. Talk to your doctor about what help is available where you live. Family, friends, public agencies, and autism organizations are all possible resources. Remember these tips: Raising a child with autism is hard work. But with support and training, your family can learn how to cope. WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise Continue reading



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Autism-Topic Overview - WebMD

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Signs of Autism – National Autism Association

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by: Because Autism is a spectrum disorder, it can range from very mild to very severe and occur in all ethnic, socioeconomic and age groups. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females. Some children with autism appear normal before age 1 or 2 and then suddenly regress and lose language or social skills they had previously gained. This is called the regressive type of autism. Early Signs: A person with ASD might: People with autism may also: Other Symptoms: M-CHAT-RTM General Information The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F; Robins, Fein, & Barton, 2009) is a 2-stage parent-report screening tool to assess risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The M-CHAT-R/F is an autism screening tool designed to identify children 16 to 30 months of age who should receive a more thorough assessment for possible early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or developmental delay. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children receive autism-specific screening at 18 and 24 months of age, in addition to broad developmental screening at 9, 18, and 24 months. The M-CHAT-R/F, one of the AAP recommended tools, can be administered at these well-child visits. If you and your physician agree that further screening is needed, you can request a free developmental assessment through your State Department of Health. For more information on M-CHAT-R, visit http://m-chat.org. Source: http://m-chat.org. Developmental Screening Developmental screening is a short test to tell if children are learning basic skills when they should, or if they might have delays. During developmental screening the doctor might ask the parent some questions or talk and play with the child during an exam to see how she learns, speaks, behaves, and moves. A delay in any of these areas could be a sign of a problem. All children should be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regular well-child doctor visits at: Additional screening might be needed if a child is at high risk for developmental problems due to preterm birth, low birth weight or other reasons. In addition, all children should be screened specifically for ASDs during regular well-child doctor visits at: Additional screening might be needed if a child is at high risk for ASDs (e.g., having a sister, brother or other family member with an ASD) or if behaviors sometimes associated with ASDs are present. It is important for doctors to screen all children for developmental delays, but especially to monitor those who are at a higher risk for developmental problems due to preterm birth, low birth weight, or having a brother or sister with an ASD. If your childs doctor does not routinely check your child with this type of developmental screening test, ask that it be done. If the doctor sees any signs of a problem, a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is needed. Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation The second step of diagnosis is a comprehensive evaluation. This thorough review may include looking at the childs behavior and development and interviewing the parents. It may also include a hearing and vision screening, genetic testing, neurological testing, and other medical testing. In some cases, the primary care doctor might choose to refer the child and family to a specialist for further assessment and diagnosis. Specialists who can do this type of evaluation include: Source: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/screening.html If your child is young and you suspect there might be something wrong, immediately seek early intervention services for your child. Click here for more information on Early Intervention. Continue reading



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Signs of Autism - National Autism Association

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Autism-Symptoms – WebMD

Core symptoms The severity of symptoms varies greatly, but all people with autism have some core symptoms in the areas of: Symptoms of autism are usually noticed first by parents and other caregivers sometime during the child’s first 3 years. Although autism is present at birth (congenital), signs of the disorder can be difficult to identify or diagnose during infancy. Parents often become concerned when their toddler does not like to be held; does not seem interested in playing certain games, such as peekaboo; and does not begin to talk. Sometimes, a child with autism will start to talk at the same time as other children the same age, then lose his or her language skills. Parents also may be confused about their child’s hearing abilities. It often seems that a child with autism does not hear, yet at other times, he or she may appear to hear a distant background noise, such as the whistle of a train. With early and intensive treatment, most children improve their ability to relate to others, communicate, and help themselves as they grow older. Contrary to popular myths about children with autism, very few are completely socially isolated or “live in a world of their own.” Continue reading



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Autism Spectrum: Get Facts on the Disorders

Autism Autism Overview Autism is a complex developmental disorder that has the following three defining core features: A number of other associated symptoms frequently coexist with autism. Most people with autism have problems using language, forming relationships, and appropriately interpreting and responding to the external world around them. Autism is a behaviorally defined developmental disorder that begins in early childhood. Although the diagnosis of autism may not be made until a child reaches preschool or school age, the signs and symptoms of autism may be apparent by the time the child is aged 12-18 months, and the behavioral characteristics of autism are almost always evident by the time the child is aged 3 years. Language delay in the preschool years (younger than 5 years) is typically the presenting problem for more severely affected children with autism. Higher functioning children with autism are generally identified with behavioral problems when they are aged approximately 4-5 years or with social problems later in childhood. Autism disorder persists throughout the person’s lifetime, although many people are able to learn to control and modify their behavior to some extent. As of May 2013, autism, along with what were formally described as Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorders were classified by the American Psychiatric Association as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). All of these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of problems with communication, social interaction, and atypical, repetitive behaviors. There is a wide range of symptoms, severity, and other manifestations of these disorders. The expression of autism spectrum disorders varies widely among affected individuals. A child with significant impairment in all three of the core functioning areas (socialization, communication, and atypical, repetitive behaviors) may have a lower level-functioning autism spectrum disorder, while a child with similar problems but without delays in language development may have a higher level-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Some people are affected with fairly mild symptoms and signs of autism. Many of these individuals learn to live independent lives. Others are more severely affected and require lifelong care and supervision. As the following statistics indicate, autism is a common developmental disorder. There is no cure for autism; however, there is good news. Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/18/2014 Continue reading



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Autism Spectrum: Get Facts on the Disorders

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Autism – KidsHealth

You’ve probably heard about autism. You may know someone who is on what doctors call the “autism spectrum.” It could be someone in your family or a kid at school. But what is autism? How does someone get it? And can it be treated? Autism is a word that refers to a wide range of developmental disorders that some people are born with or develop early in life. This group of disorders makes up what doctors call the autism spectrum. Someone whose condition falls within the spectrum has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism affects the brain and makes communicating and interacting with other people (chatting, playing, hanging out, or socializing with others) more difficult. People on the autism spectrum often have trouble talking and understanding language from an early age. It can be hard for them to play games and understand the rules when they are kids. As they become teens, people on the autism spectrum might have trouble understanding what clothes are cool to wear, or how to play sports, or how to just hang out and talk. Not everybody with autism spectrum disorder has the same difficulties. Some people may have autism that is mild. Others may have autism that is more severe. Two people with autism spectrum disorder may not act alike or have the same skills. Some people with autism are especially good at music or computers or art just like other teens. Others may have trouble with speech and balance and coordination (just like other people!). About 40% of people with autism spectrum disorder have average or above-average intelligence. The other 60% have intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe. Right now, doctors and researchers don’t fully understand what causes autism. Scientists believe it has something to do with genes and Some studies suggest that something in the environment could make kids more likely to develop a spectrum disorder, but so far scientists haven’t identified what that thing might be. Other studies have suggested that autism could be caused by viruses, allergies, or vaccines. But none of these theories have been scientifically proven. Most of the scientific studies on vaccines have found no link between vaccines and autism. Figuring out what causes autism is hard because of how complicated the human brain is. Current research focuses on genetic causes, but since there are so many genes in the human body, it could be a long time before researchers know exactly which ones are involved. Autism is usually diagnosed when a child is between 18 months and 4 years old. The earlier kids are diagnosed with a spectrum disorder, the sooner they can start getting help with their language and learning skills. There are no medical tests for autism, but doctors may do certain tests to rule out other possible problems, including hearing loss and difficulties with learning and paying attention. Diagnosing autism can involve lots of health care professionals such as psychologists, neurologists, speech therapists, psychiatrists, and developmental pediatricians. To decide whether a child has autism spectrum disorder, doctors and other professionals compare the child’s levels of development and behavior with those of other kids the same age. Teens on the autism spectrum might have more problems with learning or making friends. Some can be like other teens much of the time but might have differences in the way they learn or in their interests. Some people on the spectrum have special gifts and talents. Some kids with autism spectrum disorder can go to school just like their peers. People with moderate or severe autism spectrum disorder usually don’t take part in regular classes typically, they have more trouble talking, and some might not talk at all. Sometimes it can seem as if kids and teens with autism want to be left alone because they have trouble looking at, talking to, or hanging out with people. Sometimes they can seem rude or act like they’re not interested in others. Because of the way their brains work, it can be hard for some teens with autism to look at people while they talk. They also may have trouble understanding jokes or sarcasm. And since they’ve been taught by other people how to talk, teens on the spectrum might imitate what they have learned and their voices might sound flat or boring. People with spectrum disorders often do things that seem unusual or repetitive, like saying the same word over and over or moving a body part in a certain way. When they do this, it’s almost as if their brains have a case of the hiccups. They know they’re doing it, but often have a hard time controlling it. Sometimes people with autism may seem insensitive or look unemotional, but often they just don’t know how to express how they’re feeling. It doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings it can just be more difficult for them to show those feelings or understand the feelings of others. There is no cure for autism, but treatment can make a big difference by helping people with autism spectrum disorder have fewer issues related to their conditions. Therapy can help kids with autism learn language and life skills, and ways to develop socially and behaviorally so they can enjoy their lives like other kids. The brains of kids under 5 years old often adapt more easily. That’s why it’s best to start treatment for autism as early as possible. A treatment program might include: Many other types of therapy (including diet, music, and art therapies) can help people with autism spectrum disorder. Teens with autism who don’t attend regular classes in middle school and high school can also benefit from going to special-education classes or separate schools for students with disabilities. You’re bound to meet someone with autism spectrum disorder at some point. If you know someone who is on the autism spectrum, try to be understanding and patient. Don’t expect the person to view the world the same way you do. Sometimes it can be hard for teens with autism to interact with other people. For them, learning to communicate and express emotions can be like learning a foreign language. When even a casual conversation requires so much effort, and when hanging out or talking to a classmate becomes stressful and frustrating, it can be hard for people on the autism spectrum to make friends. Even though people on the autism spectrum see the world in a different way, there’s plenty to connect on, like playing video games. If you know someone on the autism spectrum, you can help just by including him or her or where possible or hanging out one-on-one. Watching how you interact with other people can help the person learn rules for friendships and make it easier to make other friends. Reviewed by: Raphael Bernier, PhDDate reviewed: January 2014 Continue reading



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Autism - KidsHealth

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