Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Other Conditions Of ASD

Hello, Autism Spectrum Disorder can also be diagnosed with other conditions, which can add another layer of difficulty for both Parent and Child. I have seen the dual conditions in my work experience with Autism clients. I can say that with the proper behavioral and medical treatment of the other conditions, their life can be managed on a daily basis without much effort, and they can enjoy a good quality of life, but it is important to be aware of these other issues that can arise. I hope this information helps anyone who is concerned that more may be going with anyone who has the diagnosis of ASD.
Thanks for visiting,
Janet :)

Photobucket

Sensory problems
Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) either overreact or underreact to certain sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes. For example, some may: Dislike or show discomfort from a light touch or the feel of clothes on their skin. Experience pain from certain sounds, like a vacuum cleaner, a ringing telephone, or a sudden storm; sometimes they will cover their ears and scream. Have no reaction to intense cold or pain. Researchers are trying to determine if these unusual reactions are related to differences in integrating multiple types of information from the senses.

Sleep problems
Children with ASD tend to have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, or have other sleep problems. These problems make it harder for them to pay attention, reduce their ability to function, and lead to poor behavior. In addition, parents of children with ASD and sleep problems tend to report greater family stress and poorer overall health among themselves. Fortunately, sleep problems can often be treated with changes in behavior, such as following a sleep schedule or creating a bedtime routine. Some children may sleep better using medications such as melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle. Like any medication, melatonin can have unwanted side effects. Talk to your child's doctor about possible risks and benefits before giving your child melatonin. Treating sleep problems in children with ASD may improve the child's overall behavior and functioning, as well as relieve family stress.

Intellectual disability
Many children with ASD have some degree of intellectual disability. When tested, some areas of ability may be normal, while others—especially cognitive (thinking) and language abilities—may be relatively weak. For example, a child with ASD may do well on tasks related to sight (such as putting a puzzle together) but may not do as well on language-based problem-solving tasks. Children with a form of ASD like Asperger syndrome often have average or above-average language skills and do not show delays in cognitive ability or speech.

Seizures
One in four children with ASD has seizures, often starting either in early childhood or during the teen years. Seizures, caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, can result in a short-term loss of consciousness, or a blackout. Convulsions, which are uncontrollable shaking of the whole body, or unusual movements

Staring spells
Sometimes lack of sleep or a high fever can trigger a seizure. An electroencephalogram (EEG), a nonsurgical test that records electrical activity in the brain, can help confirm whether a child is having seizures. However, some children with ASD have abnormal EEGs even if they are not having seizures. Seizures can be treated with medicines called anticonvulsants. Some seizure medicines affect behavior; changes in behavior should be closely watched in children with ASD. In most cases, a doctor will use the lowest dose of medicine that works for the child. Anticonvulsants usually reduce the number of seizures but may not prevent all of them. For more information about medications, see the NIMH online booklet, "Medications". None of these medications have been approved by the FDA to specifically treat symptoms of ASD.

Fragile X syndrome
Fragile X syndrome is a genetic disorder and is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability, causing symptoms similar to ASD. The name refers to one part of the X chromosome that has a defective piece that appears pinched and fragile when viewed with a microscope. Fragile X syndrome results from a change, called a mutation, on a single gene. This mutation, in effect, turns off the gene. Some people may have only a small mutation and not show any symptoms, while others have a larger mutation and more severe symptoms. Around 1 in 3 children who have Fragile X syndrome also meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD, and about 1 in 25 children diagnosed with ASD have the mutation that causes Fragile X syndrome. Because this disorder is inherited, children with ASD should be checked for Fragile X, especially if the parents want to have more children. Other family members who are planning to have children may also want to be checked for Fragile X syndrome. For more information on Fragile X, see the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website.

Tuberous sclerosis
Tuberous sclerosis is a rare genetic disorder that causes noncancerous tumors to grow in the brain and other vital organs. Tuberous sclerosis occurs in 1 to 4 percent of people with ASD. A genetic mutation causes the disorder, which has also been linked to mental retardation, epilepsy, and many other physical and mental health problems. There is no cure for tuberous sclerosis, but many symptoms can be treated.

Gastrointestinal problems
Some parents of children with ASD report that their child has frequent gastrointestinal (GI) or digestion problems, including stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, vomiting, or bloating. Food allergies may also cause problems for children with ASD. It's unclear whether children with ASD are more likely to have GI problems than typically developing children. If your child has GI problems, a doctor who specializes in GI problems, called a gastroenterologist, can help find the cause and suggest appropriate treatment. Some studies have reported that children with ASD seem to have more GI symptoms, but these findings may not apply to all children with ASD. For example, a recent study found that children with ASD in Minnesota were more likely to have physical and behavioral difficulties related to diet (for example, lactose intolerance or insisting on certain foods), as well as constipation, than children without ASD. The researchers suggested that children with ASD may not have underlying GI problems, but that their behavior may create GI symptoms—for example, a child who insists on eating only certain foods may not get enough fiber or fluids in his or her diet, which leads to constipation. Some parents may try to put their child on a special diet to control ASD or GI symptoms. While some children may benefit from limiting certain foods, there is no strong evidence that these special diets reduce ASD symptoms. If you want to try a special diet, first talk with a doctor or a nutrition expert to make sure your child's nutritional needs are being met.

Co-occurring mental disorders
Children with ASD can also develop mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or depression. Research shows that people with ASD are at higher risk for some mental disorders than people without ASD. Managing these co-occurring conditions with medications or behavioral therapy, which teaches children how to control their behavior, can reduce symptoms that appear to worsen a child's ASD symptoms. Controlling these conditions will allow children with ASD to focus more on managing the ASD.

5 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the picture very-very much. It looked just stunning and loudly talked to me. That was the perfect art therapy that has power to heal as people with ASD as with any other health disorder.
    By the way, I think that was the Artwork that would embellish any art hall. In any case the picture illuminated Tomas Karkalas path

    ReplyDelete
  2. My son was diagnosed PDD (pervasive developmental delay) is on the Autism spectrum. It's an umbrella term for children, such as my son, who have Autistic characteristics but are not severe. They also have Asperger characteristics but might have had a language delay. My son did have a major speech delay. He still has some trouble with pronouncing certain words and syllables.

    He also has sensory processing disorder which is common in children on the spectrum, but it is common in children who are not anything else. The SPD foundation is trying very hard to have SPD recognized in the DSM-V as a separate disorder.

    I did have Fragile-X ruled out and he does not have it. I was relieved. I lost my youngest son to a genetic disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (form of Muscular Dystrophy). It is a genetic neurological disorder but it attacks the muscles weakening people afflicted. He had the most severe form Type I which many babies will die before age 1. He was 5 months old. I am curious as more researchers think ASD and SPD are genetic disorders. I have to wonder since we had two boys with different types of neurological disorders. I wonder if there is any connection. Could be a fluke. Thanks for sharing. I hope you stop by my newest blog Robbie's Corner as I will be sharing information about our struggles with both. My son also has major anxiety.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed the picture very-very much

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing Bonnie, I wish you the best with your situation, it must be tough. I will visit your new blog and I'll put it in my blogroll so that others may find it if they need your insights and someone with whom they can relate too if they are going through the same. Take time to take care of yourself as well,
    Janet :)

    ReplyDelete