Saturday, December 31, 2011

Autism Research and List of Studies

Here is a fabulous link that has a ton of information about different studies that have been done in relation to autism:

Find Autism Resources In Your State

Here are 2 great links for you to find a wide range of resources for ASD children including things like where is best to get their hair cut, go to the Dentist and so on. All places listed are experienced with Autism:

-click on your state and it will bring you to a wide range of services.
-click on the service you are looking for and it will give you a list of providers experienced in that specific service with Autism. I frequent the link listed above. It's how I found where to get my sons hair cut (his extreme trigger), his pediatrician, where I could get an Autism evaluation and his dentist!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Does My Child Have Autism?

If you are asking yourself this question then you most likely have reason to believe so. I will be adding video clips of my children over the course of the next few weeks so that you can SEE the behavior for yourself. You will find so many "Autism Symptoms" lists online but it really helps to SEE the behavior yourself. I have composited a list of symptoms from different legit Autism websites for you as well as the official M-CHAT Questionnaire shown at bottom of post:

-Regardless of the wives tales you’ve been told about “just being a slow talker”, you must seek out an appointment with a neurological pediatrician to make the assessment.

-ANY withdrawal from your touch. This is called Sensory Disorder

-The tendency to prefer no clothing, (especially socks), is a sign of tactile dysfunction.

-The ‘picky eater,’ or Gustatory disorder.

-Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

-Inconsolable temper tantrums, (melt downs), with or without apparent reasons.

-If your child inflicts pain on them self, you or others. An ex. would be the child banging their head on the wall or floor when frustrated or slapping themselves when frustrated.

-If your child walks around on tippy-toes. (First thing I noticed with our son at 18 months was that he walked on his toes)

-If your child spins in circles, pats his head, rocks or flaps his hands.

-If your child continues to do any activity for long periods or over and over.

-If your child frequently covers his ears.

-If your child screams for long periods without reasons of apparent pain.

-If your child constantly hums.

-If your child is reluctant to changes such as environment or activity.

-Any aversions or overly strong preferences to lights or sounds.

-If your child appears at times to be hearing impaired and does not respond to your voice.

-If your child has sleep disturbance.

-If your child dislikes certain textures, taste or touch.

-If your child seems emotionally withdrawn.

-If your child says the same phrase over and over, (and over).

-If your child seems delayed in any physical areas of growth.

-If your child seems to be meeting all their mile stones and then out of the blue starts to regress.

-If your child cannot make eye contact or tends to stare through you instead of at you.

-If your child prefers grunting and pointing rather than the use of words, (caveman characteristics).

-If your child’s field of vision does not follow your finger if you point.

-If your child has perfect speech and uses a greater vocabulary than other children.

-If your child seems to remember things perfectly.

-Obsessions with organization and routine.

-If your child will always do things the same way or insists that you do same video, same book, same places, same times, same activities.

-If your child prefers to play alone, and can play for long periods without social interaction.

-If your child loves to line things up, arrange things in order, play with only one color, or if your child remembers exactly how things were arranged and never wants to change them.

-Having a security toy/blanket that the child must have at all times can be a sign of Autism.

-If your child is 5 or nearing the age of 5 and still not potty trained.

-If your child likes to eat non-food items, this can be a sign of PICA disorder. Another sign of Autism. (Be sure to have their iron levels tested first to make sure they are not vitamin deficient.)

-No recollection or fear of heights.

**Keep in mind that your child should have any where between 3-5 of these symptoms for you to be concerned about Autism. Do not panic if your child has less than 3 symptoms.**

Questionnaire-Should I Have My Child Evaluated?

Instructions for Taking and Scoring the M-CHAT
A child should be referred for further evaluation when any three answers suggest risk for ASD, as indicated by the list of ASD risk responses that follow the questions. Please answer questions to reflect your child’s usual behaviors. If the behavior is rare (e.g., you've seen it only once or twice), answer as if the child has not acquired the behavior.

1. Does your child enjoy being swung, bounced on your knee, etc.? Yes No

2. Does your child take an interest in other children? Yes No

3. Does your child like climbing on things such as stairs? Yes No

4. Does your child enjoy playing peek-a-boo/hide-and-seek? Yes No

5. Does your child ever pretend, for example, to talk on the phone or take care of a doll or other pretend things? Yes No

6. Does your child ever use an index finger to point, to ask for something? Yes No

7. Does your child ever use an index finger to point, to indicate interest in something? Yes No

8. Can your child play properly with small toys (e.g. cars or blocks) without just mouthing, fiddling, or dropping them? Yes No

9. Does your child ever bring objects over to you (parent) to show you something? Yes No

10. Does your child look you in the eye for more than a second or two? Yes No

11. Does your child ever seem oversensitive to noise? (e.g., plugging ears) Yes No

12. Does your child smile in response to your face or your smile? Yes No

13. Does your child imitate you? (e.g. If you make a face, will your child do so?) Yes No

14. Does your child respond to his/her name when you call? Yes No

15. If you point at a toy across the room, does your child look at it? Yes No

16. Does your child walk? Yes No

17. Does your child look at things you are looking at? Yes No

18. Does your child make unusual finger movements near his/her face? Yes No

19. Does your child try to attract your attention to his/her own activity? Yes No

20. Have you ever wondered if your child is deaf? Yes No

21. Does your child understand what people say? Yes No

22. Does your child sometimes stare at nothing or wander with no purpose? Yes No

23. Does your child look at your face to check your reaction when faced with the unfamiliar? Yes No

Having three or more of the following responses suggests risk for autism.

1. No

6. No

11. Yes

16. No


2. No

7. No

12. No

17. No

22. Yes

3. No

8. No

13. No

18. Yes

23. No

4. No

9. No

14. No

19. No

5. No

10. No

15. No

20. Yes

Understanding ABA Therapy

Although there is no "cure" for Autism, Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy is often referred to as "the cure for Autism" generally because it produces next to AMAZING results with ASD children. Most Insurance providers do not cover this type of therapy and out of pocket it can become extremely expensive. It has become very common for parents to move to a state where Insurance providers were recently mandated to cover ABA therapy. Something that my family is currently doing. Here is a link that gives good detail on what exactly ABA Therapy is:

Locate ABA Providers in Your State

Here's a great tool you can use to find the ABA providers in your area.
1) Click on the link I have listed below
2) Click on your state
3) Under "Intervention" click on "Applied behavior Analysis"

29 States That Cover ABA Therapy

While carriers in most states still exclude coverage for ABA
Therapy, there are now 29 states that have passed laws
mandating coverage for behavioral therapies including ABA.
-New Hampshire
-Rhode Island
-New York
-West Virginia
-Kentucky Jersey
-New Mexico
-South Carolina

**Although these states have signed the Bill there is still a loophole for Insurance providers. If your insurance provider is "Self Funded" then they are exempt from this law.** If you qualify for MEDICAID in your state, find out if they offer a Medicaid WAIVER. This is specifically for children with Special Needs and it will cover ABA therapy. However sometimes there is a waiting list for the Waiver.

Green=States with Autism Insurance Reform Laws
Yellow=States Pursuing Autism Insurance Reform in 2012
Blue=States NOT currently Pursuing Autism Insurance