Autism Topic Categories
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ABA and Autism
ABA Resources for Recovery from Autism-Behavioral intervention (ABA) is a teaching method to help children with autism and related disorders develop to their maximum potential. Links to research, service providers, support groups, curriculum, and legal and special education information
ABA approach to Autism-The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies offers a section of their web site to educating parents and other interested persons about the ABA approach. Click on the section dealing with Parents.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Autism: Much publicity has recently surrounded the Applied Behavior Analysis approach to the treatment of Autism. But what exactly is ABA? How do you know if an intervention program works? Read more...
- Classrooms that work: There are as many educational techniques and settings that work for kids with PDD-NOS or atypical PDD as there are children with these diagnoses. There are some settings that have a marked record of success, however, and that parents would love to see replicated.
- Maladaptive behavior and PDD: various adaptations and treatment strategies used in classrooms to accommodate those with learning difficulties as a result of pervasive developmental disorders.
- Curriculum planning for an inclusive classroom: For most professionals using an inclusive pedagogy will simply involve expanding strategies and approaches already used in the classroom. While there is no recipe for expanding these strategies and approaches, a few simple guidelines can help educators plan lessons appropriate for the inclusive classroom.
Adults with Autism
- Transition to the world of work: first hand experience from a professor involved with students with Autism transitioning from school to the world of work.
- Choosing the right job: Jobs need to be chosen that make use of the strengths of people with autism or Asperger's syndrome. Both high and low functioning people have very poor short-term working memory, but they often have a better long-term memory than most normal people.
- Friends of Autistic People: a parents support group. dedicated to raising awareness of services and supported living arrangements needed for the entire spectrum of adults with autism through developing and implementing educational programs
- Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Children grow to be adults and adults have different needs. There are many adults on the autism spectrum in our society and over the next few decades those numbers will grow substantially. Meeting the needs of those adults will determine how successful their lives are.
- Adolescents and adults with Autism: a complete resource directory, advice and support phone contact, books and articles from The National Autistic Society.
- Articles on advocacy: Successful advocacy depends on having accurate information and knowing how to use it. There are four sections in the Advocacy Library: Advocacy Articles: FAQs- Letters to Wrightslaw, Newsletter Archives, and Advocacy Tips
- Advocacy tips: general tips to follow in becoming your child with Autism's advocate.
- Autistic advocacy: a good review of topics and articles on Autism advocacy.
- Autism community-Dedicated to sharing ideas on alternative living arrangements for autistic people.
- Autism Network International-An autistic-run self-help and advocacy organization for autistic people.
- Autism Information-Provides information to parents, doctors, professionals, tutors, caregivers, and anyone interested in learning more about autism and autism spectrum disorders.
- Autism USA-Community for parents, caregivers and educators of people with autism.
- Autism Society-Support community for parents and families, news, photo-art gallery, information and interactive features.
- Autism Advocacy-Positive support and information regarding autism, pdd, asperger's and all disorders under the spectrum. Siblings, spouses, ABA and other therapies, IEPs, Beginner's Guide to Autism, message board and online club.
- Autism and self-advocacy-Developing self-advocacy for people living with Autism.
- Autism and families-A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information and advice to families of More advanced individuals with Autism, Asperger's syndrome, and Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).
- Asperger's Disorder: throughout the life span- Diagnosis and multimodal treatment of Asperger's Disorder in different age groups.
- Asperger's Syndrome links- An informational page with links.
- Asperger's Syndrome, by: Lars Perner, Ph.D.-Brief introduction to this condition on the high functioning edge of the autistic spectrum and links to other resources.
- Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the U.S.-The Asperger Syndrome Coalition of the U.S. is a national nonprofit organization committed to providing the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on Asperger Syndrome and related conditions
- Asperger Syndrome Videos from Coulter Video- Videos to help people who support individuals with Asperger Syndrome, on the high functioning end of the Autism spectrum
- Aspie.com- A resource site for Asperger's Syndrome by AS author Liane Holliday Willey.
- Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome (FAAAS) -A support group that is aimed at the families of those afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome. Especially those whose relative has not been correctly diagnosed until they are well into adulthood.
- NINDS Asperger Syndrome Information Page-Asperger Syndrome information sheet compiled by NINDS, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
- OASIS: Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support -Includes research papers, support groups, clinicians, research projects, educational resources, message board/chatroom, and contributions from individuals and families.
- Tony Attwood and Asperger Syndrome- A resource for people with Asperger's, their families and professionals who work with them.
- What is Asperger Syndrome?- Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, a group of conditions that include autism and other disorders with similar symptoms, such as problems with language and communication, and repetitive or restrictive patterns of thoughts and behavior. People with Asperger syndrome have autism-like problems in areas of social interaction and communication, but have normal intelligence and verbal skills. Asperger syndrome is usually thought to be the mildest of the autism spectrum disorders.
Purpose and procedures: Considering the heterogeneity of characteristics associated with autism spectrum disorders, it is not surprising that questions often arise about how best to evaluate children with this diagnosis.
Professional issues: individuals assessing children with pervasive developmental disorders need to be familiar with diagnostic criteria and be prepared to use alternative assessment procedures to compliment traditional standardized testing in order to accurately make a diagnosis. This article will address several key issues in assessing children suspected of having autism.
Diagnostic and assessment instruments: The following instruments are used by educators, clinicians, and researchers to assess children suspected of, or previously diagnosed with, a pervasive developmental disorder.
Lists of tests used in assessment: a list of tests often used to assess children with Autism
Screening tests for autism: Screening tests for autism are often used if there is a heightened concern about possible autism, or as part of a general assessment of a child's development. Screening for autism is often done prior to a more specific in-depth assessment for autism.
- Good overview: This article will discuss how various modes of technology (including technology designed as augmentative communication systems), can be used for children with autism
- Assistive technology and augmentative communication: selective links to assistive technology and augmentative communication resources for children with Autism and other disabilities.
- Autism, speech, and assistive technology: a first hand account of the trials and tribulations of an individual with Autism and assistive technology.
- Curriculum wide integrationThe Center for Technology in Education (CTE), a partnership of Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland State Department, is developing a hybrid paradigm that involves infusing technology-based instructional and behavioral supports into existing curriculum activities to help promote gains in communication, social skills, academics, as well as to increase the children's overall involvement in classroom activities.
- High tech assistive technology strategiesThere are two "high"-tech strategies which have proven very effective in focusing on various skill areas for children with autism: video taping and computers.
- Case study-literacy needs and assistive technology:the use of assistive technology with a young child who has literacy problems and also has Autism.
- Assistive technology site: a thorough assistive technology site
- Extensive site with over 250 assistive technology websites:this is a wonderful and comprehensive list of the various assistive technology sites.
- Autism: What do I do? - This video is designed for parents of a child just diagnosed with autism who want a no nonsense, step-by-step roadmap for medically necessary autism treatment. This is a "how to" video to set up science-based treatment, presented in a clear and straightforward way.
- Embracing Play-Teaching Your Child with Autism - Teaches parents how to keep a child with autism engaged through what comes naturally to most children---play. Playing is the doorway for a parent and young child with autism to connect and communicate. And this video gives parents a way to open that doorway.
- Autism and the New Law - This video, hosted by Anthony Edwards (ER), is aimed at parents of and professionals who work with autistic children who need to know how the Advancement of Pediatric Autism Research Act, a subtitle of the Children's Health Act of 2000, will affect them.
- A partial list of audiotapes on Autism
- University of Iowa on autism: The Regional Autism Services Program, a cooperative activity of the Department of Education and University of Iowa's Child Health Specialty Clinic offers audio tapes on loan to interested persons who provide service to individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
- Selected list - A short but excellent choice of video tapes on all aspects of Autism
- Video and film documentaries
- Variety of subjects - A list of video tapes and DVD's on all aspects of the Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Educator Information
Teaching Children with Autism - Social Stories - Social Stories are a tool for teaching social skills to children with autism and related disabilities. Social stories provide an individual with accurate information about those situations that he may find difficult or confusing. The situation is described in detail and focus is given to a few key points: the important social cues, the events and reactions the individual might expect to occur in the situation, the actions and reactions that might be expected of him, and why. The goal of the story is to increase the individual’s understanding of, make him more comfortable in, and possibly suggest some appropriate responses for the situation in question.
Autism Education - For children with autism education is usuallly used as the first line of defense to treat Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism education can also complement other interventions. The National Academy of Sciences (2001) recommends educational programs that are intensive (more than 25 hours a week), engage the child and are directed toward a strategic goal.
Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism - Teaching social skills to children with autism is an area of behavioral treatment that is continuously evolving, perhaps more than any other area. The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis alone frequently includes articles discussing the teaching of interactive play skills, the development of creativity and spontaneity, and the development of conversational skills.
Books and Publications
- Facing Autism: Giving Parents Reasons for Hope and Guidance for Help - This is one mother's account of coping with her son's autism. Within two months of his diagnosis, Ryan began intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and with his mother tackled other related issues, including immune deficiency, food intolerance, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
- Reports From My Life with Autism - A high-functioning autistic, Grandin presents linked articles on her life and her work as an animal scientist.
- Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism and Related Disorders
- Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph Over Autism - A vivid and uplifting story of how a family pulled not one but two children out of the torments of autism--and into a normal life.
- A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder - This book written by an experienced clinician that gives a step-by-step treatment guide for parents and doctors based on the understanding that ASD is a complex biomedical illness resulting in significant brain malnutrition.
- Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder: A Mother’s Story of Research and Recovery - Though the theory has not yet been proven, author Seroussi says, research now suggests that autism may be an autoimmune disorder triggered in rare cases by an infant's measles-mumps-rubella immunizations. Convinced that the inability to digest certain proteins was contributing to her son's condition and that his autism was related to his reaction to MMR vaccines, Seroussi eliminated suspect foods from his diet; he made such dramatic improvement that, by age four, he was functioning normally.
- Activity Schedules for Children with Autism: Teaching Independent Behavior - A thorough introduction to autism, covering diagnosis, assessments, history, prognosis, and methods of education.
- My Friend with Autism: A Coloring Books for Peers and Siblings - A coloring book to help peers and siblings understand autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
- A Treasure Chest of Behavioral Strategies for Individuals with Autism - A resource manual that provides theory and the best practices in behavior management with individuals with autism. It is an easy reference for using behavioral interventions.
- Educating Children with Autism - Educating Children with Autism outlines an interdisciplinary approach to education for children with autism. The committee explores what makes education effective for the child with autism and identifies specific characteristics of programs that work.
- Overcoming Autism - Clinician Koegel (cofounder of the Autism Research Center at the University of California Santa Barbara) and novelist LaZebnik (Same As It Ever Was), mother of an autistic boy, team up "to show you how intelligent, well-planned early interventions... can improve the symptoms of autism enormously."
- Enzymes for Autism and other Neurological Conditions - Enzyme therapy is one of the fastest emerging successful alternatives for people on the autism spectrum as well as other neurological conditions. Reports of significant improvements in health, pain reduction, language, food tolerance, socializing and other benefits emerge daily.
- Solving Behavior Problems in Autism - A practical approach to recognizing the complexity of behavior management for students with autism spectrum disorders and other students with communication and behavior challenges. Continuing the approach of supporting communication with visual strategies, this book contains many problem solving techniques.
- The Everything Parent’s Guide to Autism - Author Adelle Jameson, the mother of an autistic child and an active participant in the autism community, speaks directly to parents and explains exactly what they can expect after diagnosis, the range of treatments and therapies available, and where to go for advice—both medical and emotional.
- Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism - This book discusses the benefits of inclusion, as well as offering exercises and programs that make inclusion comfortable for the child with autism, his teacher and fellow students.
- List from TEACCH Program - List of professional book resources on autism
- Non-fiction books - List of non-fiction books on autism, listed by title
- Non-fiction by topic - List of non-fiction books on autism, listed by topic links
- Fiction - List of fiction books relating to autism, listed by author
- Children’s autism books - List of children's books relating to autism, listed by author
- Autism resources-bibliography: books and articles-extensive - An extensive list of books and articles on autism
- Journals and periodicals - List of journals and periodicals dedicated to autism
- Journals that often carry articles on autism - A list of journals that often carry articles on autism
- Selected articles - A list of selected choice articles on autism
- Diagnostic and assessment references - A list of references for diagnosing and assessing autism
Books and Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Autism and PDD research at the Yale Child Study Center
- Want to know how to evaluate research studies? - A tract written to serve as a resource for parents of children recently diagnosed with autism.
- When Autism Strikes: Families Cope with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder - The children chronicled in this book share a common affliction. Born healthy and happy, they lose their minds to a mysterious disorder for which there is no known cause or cure. Fortunately the disorder is rare, but more children may be affected every day, on every continent.
- The World of the Autistic Child: Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders - This book is written for parents but should also be required reading for professional workers who see autistic children or adults, especially for its insights into parents' experiences of this strange, frustrating but fascinating condition.
- Helping Children with Autism Learn: Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals - This book will be of great interest to teachers, parents, and clinicians in their efforts to facilitate the learning of the child with autism. It draws on the large, and increasing, body of work generated in recent years.
- Autism and Childhood Psychosis - Autism and Childhood Psychosis is Frances Tustin first book and the original statement of her views on autistic states of mind and the genesis of varieties of childhood psychosis. In it, she tackles problems of diagnosis as these relate to therapeutic intervention.
- The Protective Shell in Children and Adults - We shall come to realize that the protective shell develops as the result of people with autism being in the compulsive grip of overintense 'flight' reactions -- 'fight' reactions not being part of the repertoire of these passive children.
- Emotional Development in Atypical Children - Without an understanding of emotional development in children with disabilities we are unlikely to either understand fully the causes of their difficulties or to ameliorate these difficulties.
- Meeting the Needs of Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in the Early Years - Parents and early years professionals need to know that a child has an ASD because this enables them to suspend their normal intuitive understanding of behavior and try to work out what that behavior means for this particular child.
- Early Intervention for Children with Autism: Parental Priorities - It has been recognized for some time that early intervention for children with disabilities should not only focus on child outcomes but must also recognize the integral role families play in the development of their child
- Music Therapy for the Autistic Child - Music therapy cannot cure such conditions as autism and mental handicap but it can alleviate the negative behaviours when the child is involved in interactive music-making with the therapist. So that the music therapist can meet the child on his or her own terms spontaneously, much of the music is improvised.
- A Passion to Believe: Autism and the Facilitated Communication Phenomenon - In this volume Dr. Twachtman-Cullen presents an in-depth analysis of facilitated communication (FC) in the context of the larger movement it represents. Understanding the essence of the controversies, Dr. Twachtman-Cullen continually reminds the reader of the most central issues. Her penetrating analysis of FC is reasonable, logical, and compelling.
- When Autism Strikes: Families Cope with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder - In his classic description of the autistic syndrome, Leo Kanner ( 1943) originally suggested that children with autism were born with the disorder. Subsequent research has modified this impression. It is clear that most children with autism do exhibit problems in the first year or year and a half of life, but a small group of children develop autism, or something very similar to it, after what appears to be 1 or even 2 years of normal development.
- Advanced Abnormal Child Psychology (Chap. 17 "Pervasive Developmental Disorders: The Spectrum of Autism") - This chapter of an established textbook on abnormal child psychology provides an in-depth overview of autism. See Chapter 17.
- General article including causes: It has been over 50 years since Dr. Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, wrote the first paper applying the term 'autism' to a group of children who were self-absorbed and who had severe social, communication, and behavioral problems. This paper provides a general overview of the complexity of this developmental disability by summarizing many of the major topics in autism.
- Excellent overview of various theories of autism: Some experts believe there are bio-chemical reasons for autism; others suspect that it is a psychiatric disorder. Some believe that a combination of the wrong foods and too many antibiotics and environmental toxins can damage the colon and lead to physical and behavioral problems, including autism.
- General article including causes from the National Institute of Mental Health: All these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior.
- Excellent overview: everything you ever wanted to know about Autism.
- Genetics and autism: The first thing Dr. Cook wanted to clarify about genetics is that, finding genetic evidence of autism does not mean that that person's fate is sealed.
- Theories and causes: There is no theory of the cause of autism which everyone has found convincing. There may be multiple causes. Thus we will review some of the proposed causes.
- General article including characteristics: Many autistic infants are different from birth. Two common characteristics they may exhibit include arching their back away from their caregiver to avoid physical contact and failing to anticipate being picked up (i.e., becoming limp). Read more.
- Common Characteristics: The symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe. Although autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors, children and adults can exhibit any combination of the behaviors in any degree of severity.
- Excellent overview: contains an excellent section on characteristics of Autism.
- Characteristic behaviors: a lengthy list of characteristics of Autism
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
- Overview of Childhood disintegrative disorder : Childhood disintegrative disorder is a condition occurring in 3- and 4-year-olds who have developed normally to age 2. Over several months, a child with this disorder will deteriorate in intellectual, social, and language functioning from previously normal behavior.
- Criteria and clinical features : This rather rare condition was described many years before autism (Heller, 1908) but has only recently been 'officially' recognized. With CDD children develop a condition which resembles autism but only after a relatively prolonged period (usually 2 to 4 years) of clearly normal development
- Overview : a very thorough overview of childhood disintegrative disorder.
- Contrast DSM criteria for CDD with the other PDD disorders. : Doctors are divided on the use of the term PDD. Many professionals use the term PDD as a short way of saying PDDNOS. Some doctors, however, are hesitant to diagnose very young children with a specific type of PDD, such as Autistic Disorder, and therefore only use the general category label of PDD. This approach contributes to the confusion about the term
Organizations That Can Help (Childhood Disintegrative Syndrome)
- Autism Organizations: Given the CDD is one of the disorders along the autism spectrum, with symptoms quite similar to autism itself, you may also find useful information, assistance, and connection to local resources at any or all of the autism-related organizations.
Teaching Students with CDD
- Educating students with Autism: As was said above, it's very difficult to locate information specific to CDD, let alone materials about educating students with this rare disorder. Since CDD is one of the disorders along the autism spectrum, with symptoms quite similar to autism itself, appropriate educational interventions will be those similar to what's used when educating students with autism.
Classifications or Types of Autism
- Is there more than one type? : Several related disorders are grouped under the broad heading "Pervasive Developmental Disorders" or PDD
- Types : Individuals who fall under the Pervasive Developmental Disorder category in the DSM-IV exhibit commonalties in communication and social deficits, but differ in terms of severity.
- Pervasive developmental disorder: The diagnostic category pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions including socialization and communication.
- Excellent overview: Several related disorders are grouped under the broad heading "Pervasive Developmental Disorder" or PDD-a general category of disorders which are characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development
- Overview of Asperger’s Syndrome: Asperger Syndrome is a neuro-biological disorder named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger, who in 1944 published a paper which described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills.
- Autistic savant: The autistic savant is one of the most fascinating cognitive phenomena in psychology. "Autistic savant" refers to individuals with autism who have extraordinary skills not exhibited by most persons.
- Autism Spectrum Disorders-Full article on the full spectrum of autistic disorders, and how to sort them out.
- Treatment and education: While there is no cure for autism, there are treatment and education approaches that may reduce some of the challenges associated with the disability. Intervention may help to lessen disruptive behaviors, and education can teach self-help skills that allow for greater independence.
- Effective approaches: Evidence shows that early intervention results in dramatically positive outcomes for young children with autism. While various pre-school models emphasize different program components, all share an emphasis on early, appropriate, and intensive educational interventions for young children.
- Lovaas Institute: The UCLA Model of Applied Behavior Analysis was created and developed in the Psychology Department of UCLA under the direction of Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas. It is based on extensive clinical experience and more than 40 years of scientific research.
- Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis- ABA
- All about TEACCH
- Educational methods: There are a number of methods & techniques used in the education of autistic children. Many professionals use a variety of combination of methods. Some professionals attempt to identify an individual student's learning style and modify curriculum and materials to suit the student's learning style.
- Recommendations for students with high functioning autism: 19 great and fully explained strategies for working with children with Autism.
- Learning styles: Parents and professionals are well aware of the difficulties children with autism have in many educational settings. In response they have developed alternative programs and intervention strategies. Although some of these have been useful, most emphasize remediating behavioral difficulties to improve educational functioning. Another aspect of the problem, however, has received less attention: the specific learning needs of this unique population
- Guidelines for mainstreaming: With the momentum for (mainstream) inclusion of children with special educational needs and the growing realisation that it may not always be in the best interests of children with autism or Asperger syndrome to be grouped together in classes, it is likely that many children at the higher functioning and more verbal end of the continuum of need, who might previously have attended specialist schools, will now be educated in their local, mainstream schools.
- Social behavior: One of the most characteristic symptoms of autism is a dysfunction in social behavior. Numerous reports written by parents and researchers have described this problem, and it is thought by many to be the key defining feature of autism. The social problems can be classified into three categories: socially avoidant, socially indifferent, and socially awkward.
- Music therapy and language: Since autistic children sometimes sing when they may not speak, music therapists and music educators can work systematically on speech through vocal music activities.
- Sensory integration: Children and adults with autism, as well as those with other developmental disabilities, may have a dysfunctional sensory system. Sometimes one or more senses are either over- or under-reactive to stimulation.
- Teaching tips: Good professionals helped me to achieve success. I was able to overcome autism because I had good professionals. At age 2 1/2 I was placed in a structured nursery school with experienced professionals. From an early age I was taught to have good manners and to behave at the dinner table. Children with autism need to have a structured day, and professionals who know how to be firm but gentle. QA first person account.
- TEACCH and Autism-Frequently asked questions about autism from TEACCH.
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and verbal behavior: ABA generally assumes that appropriate behavior – including speech, academics and life skills – can be taught using scientific principles. ABA assumes that children are more likely to repeat behaviors or responses that are rewarded (or "reinforced"), and they are less likely to continue behaviors that are not rewarded.
- Introduction to discrete trial: The discrete trial is the primary teaching method for a number of the behaviorally-based interventions used in teaching children with autism. In fact, Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is often synonymous with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), though that is a practice that should probably be discouraged, as they are two very different beasts.
- Complimentary approaches to the treatment of Autism: While early educational intervention is key to improving the lives of individuals with autism, some parents and professionals believe that other treatment approaches may play an important role in improving communications skills and reducing behavioral symptoms associated with autism. These complementary therapies may include music, art or animal therapy and may be done on an individual basis or integrated into an educational program.
- Behavioral and communication approaches to the treatment of Autism: The behaviors exhibited by children with autism are frequently the most troubling to parents and caregivers. These behaviors may be inappropriate, repetitive, aggressive and/or dangerous, and may include hand-flapping, finger-snapping, rocking, placing objects in one's mouth, and head-banging. Children with autism may engage in self-mutilation, such as eye-gouging or biting their arms; may show little or no sensitivity to burns or bruises; and may physically attack someone without provocation.
- What is autism: comprehensive overview of Autism and the specific types fornd on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Excellent overview: everything you always wanted to know about Autism and the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- Definition of autism and PDD: Autistic disorder is one of the disabilities specifically defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal legislation under which children and youth with disabilities receive special education and related services. IDEA, which uses the term “autism,” defines the disorder as...
- Definition of PDD: Over the past few years, PDD has become a subject of increased attention among parents, professionals, and policymakers across the country.
- Definition of autism: diagnostic criteria for the diagnosis of Autism.
- Autistic disorder from DSM IV: the diagnostic criteria used by DSM for Autism is listed.
- Basic definition: Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) are developmental disabilities that share many of the same characteristics.
- Diagnosing autism: There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism. An accurate diagnosis must be based on observation of the individual's communication, behavior, and developmental levels. However, because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptoms being exhibited.
- Diagnostic criteria: The following criterion for Autistic Disorder are from the 2000 Revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR).
- Diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome: The following criterion for Asperger's Syndrome are from the 2000 Revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition-Text (DSM IV-TR).
- Tests used in diagnosing PDDs: Hundreds of standardized tests, questionnaires, and observation plans are available for rating behaviors, abilities, and other factors that could be related to pervasive developmental disorders. The lists in the next sections provide a little information about some of the most commonly encountered tests, but they are by no means complete.
- Interesting website that contains a case study report and all the auxiliary Reports-good reference: an actual clinic report on a child with Autism.
- Floortime-Overview-A developmental, individual-difference, relationship-based approach (D.I.R.) to intervention--also known as "floor-time." Based on the work of Stanley Greenspan and James McDonald.
- 20 questions and answers: an Autism Primer containing 20 of the most frequently asked questions about Autism.
- Common questions: quick answers to commonly asked questions about Autism.
- Frequently asked questions about Pervasive Developmental Disorder
- Autism through the ages: Autism is not a modern problem, even though it has only recently gained vast recognition. It is difficult to discuss the history of autism treatment without paying particular attention to the history of "autism" as a concept and the ways in which autism has been conceptualized and theorized about over the past 100 years.
- Functional assessment refers to a variety of approaches used to gather information about the cause of problematic behaviors to enable the design of effective treatment. Functional assessment approaches include descriptive methods (e.g., interviews, rating scales), direct observations (e.g., ABC, time charts) and functional analysis.
- What Is Hyperlexia? - An overview of Hyperlexia
- Where to find help? - A list of organizations and resources to help with hyperlexia issues
- Books on Hyperlexia - A list of books and other publications regarding hyperlexia, without links
- Hyperlexia and Language Disorders – Articles - A list of various articles on Hyperlexia - some in Spanish
- ABA Resources for Recovery from Autism/PDD/Hyperlexia - A list of resources from an experienced parent of a hyperlexic child
- Incidence and some causes: There has been a lot of advancement in the diagnostic criteria, diagnostic tools and investigations, physician awareness and the confidence among healthcare workers to diagnose Autism at an early age. This has resulted in the revision of statistical data concerning this disorder.
- GAO 2005 report on Autism: an excellent report on Autism statistics and information from the GAO and speaks to the 500% increase in Autism diagnosis from 1993-2002. A Pdf file.
- A summary of special education law specific to autism. Subjects covered: Assessments, IEP, Stay Put, Least Restrictive Environment, Autism Services Parent Attachment to IEP, What is a Free Appropriate Education - FAPE, Extended School Year - ESY, Stay Put, Compensatory Education, Damages, Mediation and Due Process
Autism spectrum medical issues: a family's personal journey in dealing with thetreatment of Autism.
Treatment Options - There is no single best treatment package for all children with ASD. One point that most professionals agree on is that early intervention is important; another is that most individuals with ASD respond well to highly structured, specialized programs.
Allergies and food sensitivities: People with autism are more susceptible to allergies and food sensitivities than the average person; and this is likely due to their impaired immune system. I have provided a brief discussion of allergies and food sensitivities below.
Vitamin B6 and magnesium: An effective intervention for many autistic children and adults is the use of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and magnesium. For over 30 years, parents have given B6 and magnesium to their children and have observed benefits ranging from mild to dramatic. B6 and magnesium are safe and inexpensive.
Evaluating the effects of medication: When a medication is being evaluated to modify the behavior of a person with autism, one must assess the risks versus the benefits. The benefits of the medication must outweigh the risks. Some medications can damage the nervous system and other internal organs, such as the liver.
Autism from mercury poisoning: Thimerosal is an organic compound that contains mercury, or an ‘organomercurial’ and can cause Mercury poisoning.
Autism and element imbalances: Much concern has been raised over the link between exposure to heavy metal toxins and neurological brain damage associated with learning and behavioral disorders in children. Indeed, research shows that exposure to heavy metals such as lead and mercury can impair brain development at very early ages-even at low doses previously deemed "harmless."1-3
Autism and amino acids: Clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests that diet and digestive function play important roles in influencing symptoms in many autistic children. Amino acids are the chemical building blocks of key neurotransmitters that act on the brain to influence mood and behavior.
Autism and fatty acids: Increasing evidence suggests that essential fatty acids, which are critical nutrients for the brain, may be especially important for children suffering from developmental disorders like autism.
Experimental intervention: Three years ago, I began a dietary experiment that has helped my son enormously. Because I spent so much time and energy searching for answers as to why this has helped him, and how to implement this diet, I decided to share it with other parents and professionals.
Autism and medical marijuana: Some families have found marijuana (mmj) to be nothing short of miraculous. Some of the symptoms MMJ has ameliorated include anxiety--even severe anxiety--aggression, panic disorder, generalized rage, tantrums, property destruction and self-injurious behavior.
Naltrexone and autism: In the past year, naltrexone has received a great deal of media attention. Although there have only been a handful of studies on the effectiveness of naltrexone, these reports are quite encouraging.
Biomedical and Dietary Approaches: While there are no drugs, vitamins or special diets that can correct the underlying neurological problems that seem to cause autism, parents and professionals have found that some drugs used for other disorders are sometimes effective in treating some aspects of or behaviors associated with autism.
Treatment : There is no standard, universally accepted treatment of autism; in fact, every single method has its detractors. General approaches may be summarized as follows...
Treatment of PDDNOS: No one therapy or method will work for all individuals with Autistic Disorder or PDDNOS. Many professionals and families will use a range of treatments simultaneously, including behavior modification, structured educational approaches, medications, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling.
Dietary Autism treatment-Autism may be aided by a gluten-free, casein-free diet
Gluten Free Casein Free Diet and Autism-Explanation of the diet, menus, sources of foods, message board.
- Comprehensive list: a very thorough list of state and national organizations and associations dedicated to Autism.
- National organizations: a comprehensive list of national Autism organizations, online support groups, legal advocacy and more.
- National autism organizations: a list of national organizations.
Overview and General Information
- Autism Spectrum Disorder: A very comprehensive and complete overview of spectrum disorders associated with Autism. Includes a detailed summary that describes symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping.
- Autism/PDD - A brief overview of autism/PDD
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified - A brief overview specific to PDD-NOS
- An inside view of autism - An article by a professor of Colorado State University describing her life experience suffering from autism
- Autism Spectrum Disorder - Original articles, links, discussion board, and chats about autism spectrum disorders.
- Autism-What is It? - Essay, with references, on the history and current knowledge of autism.
- Autism overview - National Institutes of Mental Health publication on the definition, diagnosis and treatment of Autism.
- Autism information page - Brief description with some resources and links, compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
- Getting a diagnosis: starting with a pediatrician - In an ideal world, pediatricians would be quick to see the early signs of ASDs, and would guide parents toward the best medical resources available. Sometimes that's how it works.
- What I would do if I were a parent of a child with autism - recommendations based on 25 years of research.
- Comments from Parents - Comments and questions and answers from parents of children with PDD and Autism.
- Autism experts and services - The largest collection of experts and services for the Autism Community.
- Parent's guide to Autism - A guide to the diagnosis, treatment and education of children with autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Information on diet, teaching methods, links, a message board, and book guide.
- Growing Minds Autism Programs - Specializes in training parents whose children have autism, PDD, and other autism spectrum disorders. Offers 5-day programs with continuing distance support.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder
- PDD guide-Pervasive Developmental Disorder guide written by Dr. Rami Grossmann.
- PDD briefing paper-NICHCY briefing paper, discussing how Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) fits into the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders.
- PDD Overview-Provides introduction, and information related to: clinical, differentials, workup, treatment, medication, follow-up, etc.
- PDD information pages- From the Yale Developmental Disabilities Clinic.
- PDD and your child-Find out all about PDD and autistic spectrum disorders. University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) can help you find all kinds of resources, including local support groups.
- What is PDD-If you are confused about PDD, this should help answer some of your questions.
- List of statistics: a comprehensive list indicating all the statistics on Autism
- Definition and prevalence: Sixteen studies of the prevalence of autism in childhood, using epidemiological methods in defined populations in Europe, the USA and Japan, in English or with English summaries, were found in the published literature
- Increasing incidence-fact or fiction: Each year, the IRCA reports on the incidence of autism spectrum disorders in public schools in Indiana. Ten years ago, commonly accepted incidence rates ranged from 2 to 5 individuals per 10,000. Today, the Centers for Disease Control believe that the incidence may be as great as 1 in 166 for those diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and other pervasive developmental disorders.
- Researchers to Create Autism Databank - Scientists at the University of Michigan and 10 other universities will use a $10 million gift from a New York-based foundation to create a databank of DNA samples from 3,000 autism patients that they hope will help them identify different kinds of autism and develop treatments.
- Largest-Ever Search for Autism Genes Reveals New Clues - The largest search for autism genes to date, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has implicated components of the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11. Based on 1,168 families with at least two affected members, the genome scan also adds to evidence that tiny, rare variations in genes may heighten risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
- Autism Research Efforts Highlighted in Biological Psychiatry Special Issue - The February 15, 2007 special issue of Biological Psychiatry is dedicated to recent advances in autism research, including many studies funded by the Institute. As described in an editorial by NIMH scientists Benedetto Vitiello, M.D., and Ann Wagner, Ph.D., the articles in this issue cover a wide range of topics related to autism, including potential treatments, growth and functioning of the brain, deficits in cognitive skills, and new research tools.
- Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head - The devastating derangements of autism also show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition to the brain.
- What is Rett Syndrome - Facts on Rett Syndrome from the International Rett Syndrome Association.
- Making the Diagnosis for Rett Syndrome - Information on diagnosing Rett Syndrome
- Revised Diagnostic Criteria for Rett Syndrome - Information regarding the revision of accepted diagnostic criteria for Rett Syndrome
- The Man Who Gave Rett its Name: Profile of Dr. Andreas Rett - Profile of the physician who pioneered the classification and research into the syndrome
- Glossary of terms - A glossary of terms related to Rett Syndrome
- Frequently Asked Questions about Retts Syndrome
- How to help children with sensory integration dysfunction- including tactile and oral defensiveness, pain tolerance and mealtime issues. Discussion lists, articles, and research
- Interview with LornaJean King, OTR, FAOTA -One of the pioneers of sensory integration therapy, international lecturer on this topic, and founder and director of the Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona. Interview was conducted by Stephen M. Edelson (SE).
- Sensory integration dysfunction articles-A series of articles written by parents and professionals on some of the most pressing issues for these children. Links to additional resource sites included.
- Sensory Integration Article by Cindy Hatch-Rasmussen, MA, OTR/L –The author has written a thorough paper on sensory integration dysfunction. Includes links for those who want or need more information.
- Sensory Integration Dysfunction in Young Children – An article by Linda C. Stephens. Also includes useful links to resources and associations related to article.
- Sensory Integration Resource Center-Provides a broad range of information and services on sensory integration. Includes sections for parents, children, physicians, educators, therapists, families, and frequently asked questions. Resource, research, and donations links are also included.
- Sensory integration treatment-New Clinic that helps kids with Sensory Integration and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Uses teachings of Dr. Tomatis.
- Sensory integration and parenting- Approaches sensory defensiveness (and its treatment, sensory integration) through a variety of articles aimed at helping parents raise and treat sensory defensive children
- Sensory Integration Links- Section of the Sharon (Massachusetts) Special Education Parents Advisory Council that deals specifically with sensory integration. Contains a wide range of articles, interviews, resources, and links on the subject.