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((If you are here for the IFS autism blog hop, click here!))
It’s that time of year again… I’m volunteering at AIDS Walk San Francisco on July 18th. I had such a blast helping others out last year, that I thought I would do it again this year. …and did you know that volunteering and helping others out, is one of the natural ways to make yourself feel good?
If you want to help me reach my small fund raising goal of $100, I (we) would greatly appreciate it.
It’s time for another blog hop, but this one is being hosted by the gals over at Ideas for Scrapbookers. Each contributing artist was asked to share information about autism on their blog.
- If you have been hopping along from blog to blog, then you probably just visited Dolores’ blog where she shared information about how autism is diagnosed.
- If you have just joined the hop, you can get a list of all the participating artists here.
I’m going to be sharing information about medical issues that relate to autism.
Often times an Autism Spectrum Disorder is not the only diagnosis for children and adults on the spectrum. There are often other psychological, physical, and medical diagnoses that accompany it. Here’s some of the more common physical and medical issues that a person with autism may experience:
Seizure Disorder, also called Epilepsy, occurs in as many as 39% of people with autism. It is more common in children who also have cognitive deficits than those without.
A small number of children with autism may also have an identifiable neurogenetic condition such as Fragile X Syndrome, Angelman’s Syndrome, a neurocutaneous disorder called Tuberous Sclerosis, Chromosome 15 Duplication Syndrome or another chromosomal abnormality.
Many parents report gastrointestinal (GI) problems in their children with autism. The exact number of children with both gastrointestinal issues such as gastritis, chronic constipation, colitis, celiac disease and esophagitis and autism is unknown. Surveys have suggested that between 46 and 85% of children with autism have problems such as chronic constipation or diarrhea.
Sleep problems are common in children and adolescents with autism. Having a child with sleep problems can affect the whole family. It can also have an impact on the ability of a child to learn and benefit from therapy. Sometimes sleep issues may be caused by medical issues such as obstructive sleep apnea or gastroesophageal reflux and addressing the medical issues may solve the problem. In other cases, when there is no medical cause, sleep issues may be managed with behavioral interventions including “sleep-hygiene” measures such as limiting the amount of sleep during the day, and establishing regular bedtime routines.
Sensory Integration Dysfunction
This is very common. Many children and adults with autism experience unusual responses to sensory stimuli, or input. These responses are due to difficulty in processing and integrating sensory information. Vision, hearing, touch, smell, taste, the sense of movement (vestibular system), and the sense of position can all be affected. This means that while information is sensed normally, it may be perceived much differently. Sometimes stimuli that seem “normal” to others can be experienced as painful, unpleasant or confusing by the child with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID), the clinical term for this characteristic. This can involve hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity. An example of hypersensitivity would be the inability to tolerate wearing clothing, being touched, or being in a room with normal lighting. Hyposensitivity might be apparent in a child’s increased tolerance of pain or a constant need for sensory stimulation, like a child that wants to be on the swings for hours. Treatment for Sensory Integration Dysfunction is usually addressed with occupational therapy and/or sensory integration therapy.
Pica is an eating disorder involving eating things that are not food. Children between 18 and 24 months old often eat non food items, but this is typically a normal part of development. Some children with autism and other developmental disabilities persist beyond the developmentally typical time frame and continue to eat items such as dirt, clay, chalk or paint chips. Children showing signs of persistent mouthing of fingers or objects, including toys, should be tested for elevated blood levels of lead, especially if there is a known potential for environmental exposure to lead.
To learn more, please visit Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation.
Next stop on the blog hop is Susan who will be sharing information about the treatment of autism.
….but before you head to the next blog, leave a comment to this post for a chance to win a RAK from yours truly. You have until Tuesday, April 27th by 11:59 pm.
Aside from the blog hop, I wanted to recap my wonderful weekend. It was definitely one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time. The weather was warm, and it was so laid back.
Maui and Hilo surely enjoyed the warm weather because they spent the weekend out and about. We took them to Ed Levin County Dog Park, and they LOVED it. To make it even better, the park was filled with other Miniature Schnauzers!
This weekend, we also went on a picnic. Instead of trying to fight for a parking space at the park, we decided to have our own little private picnic in the backyard! It sure beat having to look for a picnic space on a crowded lawn. Besides, it was easy to pack up the picnic blanket, food, and water, hehe.
Laying the blanket out on the lawn and enjoying the warm weather and fresh air was definitely a great idea! Besides, it was free. You can’t beat that, right?! Staring up into the sky to look at clouds, doing cartwheels in the grass, and trying to catch ladybugs reminded me of my childhood. Stuff like that always makes me smile. …and because the weather was warm, we brought out the dog pool!
Weekends like this remind me of how awesome life really is. Instead of going out to shop, watching TV, or spending time on the computer, spend a little quality time doing something as simple as taking a blanket out to your backyard. I promise that you will feel better after doing it; I know that I did.