Medical
We’re here for you during COVID-19, providing information and resources like we always have for the past 17 years. Let us know how we can help.

Medical

Everything from how to deal with wrap around services for your child with autism, to how exercise and yoga benefits those with ASD. This section contains all the blog posts and articles pertaining to medical health, treatments and services for those with autism.

Repetitive Training Not Helping Children With Autism

I’ve written about the difficulties I have had getting my own children to recognize and use washrooms that are not the ones from our home. It can be a real challenge for a child with autism because there is a tendency to represent, understand, and remember things in an extremely specific way. This tendency towards specific or inflexible learning is…

Read More »

How Do You Know When A Child With Autism Is Feeling Pain?

Historically children with developmental disabilities were excluded from pain research, but this past month a new (as yet unpublished) study showed conclusively that people with autism exhibit abnormal brain responses when a painfully hot object is placed against their skin. The brain’s response to pain has three phases – early, intermediate and late. In an experiment with 17 people with autism and 16 people without, a small piece of metal was taped to the skin and heated to the point of causing discomfort/pain but not injury. The people without autism were still responding to the pain ten seconds after it stopped, but the people with autism had no brain response after the ten seconds.

Read More »

Are Current Self-Advocacy Skills Only For The Middle Class?

I am an avid reader of Judy Endow’s blog because she highlights issues that many of us are not even aware of. Her recent post about the differences in self-advocacy if you are poor or middle income was eye-opening.

Judy has been both poor and middle income as an autistic adult and has observed that “self-advocacy is typically geared toward middle-income status. This could be problematic since many autistic adults live in poverty.”

Read More »

Too Many Meds: Medications Are Overprescribed To Those With Disabilities

Many of us have had uncomfortable moments when a person with autism “acts out” or does something inappropriate. Sometimes these behaviours can be aggressive and downright scary for a parent or caregiver. While it might be easier to imagine that prescribing a drug could minimize these events or make them stop altogether, new research out of the UK suggests that many people with intellectual disabilities are overprescribed medications in an effort to treat problem behaviours such as aggression and self-injury, despite there being little evidence of any benefit from these medications.

Read More »

Causes of Sleep Disturbances for Those with ASD

A good night’s sleep is important. Without it, children can be irritable, struggle with academics, engage in more repetitive behaviours, become easily fatigued, and are more likely to suffer from unintentional injury. Over the long term, poor sleep can lead to adult obesity, anxiety in adulthood, and sleep problems throughout adulthood.

Read More »

Wrap Around Services for Children and Adults with ASD

researchers now recommend a place where everything is under one umbrella, where a team of experts can wrap around the child. This can happen in a hospital setting, agency or center. The concept of wraparound services also extends into independent living for adults on the spectrum. As adults leave their parental home, they will need support for medical and dental needs, recreation, employment, nutrition, and daily living skills. How do we best meet these needs simply and under one roof?

Read More »

Horses Can Benefit Those with Autism

We’ve known for some time that interaction with dogs can have a positive effect on those with autism and other disabilities. Horses are now being recognized for their psychological benefits by a growing numbers of therapists who work with autistic children. Scientists have found levels of oxytocin, the hormone which promotes social interaction and increases bonding and empathy, increase when interacting with horses and dogs.

Read More »

Finding a Program that Works for Your Child with ASD

It is an overwhelming task for parents to choose the right program for their child with autism. We do our research through media, family, friends, and ask other people in the autism community what is working for them. We then enroll our child in that program only to find it isn’t working for them. So what went wrong?

Read More »

Parental Concerns About Autism Often Dismissed by Doctors

Receiving an early autism diagnosis remains a concern for parents because new research shows that pediatricians are still dismissing parental concerns about autism.The study found that doctors often reassured patients that their child would grow out of it rather than refer them to a specialist or send them for developmental testing.

Read More »

Gluten-Free Diet Does Not Decrease Autistic Behaviors

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry on September 25th says there is no link between Celiac disease and the risk of autism. Many children on the autism spectrum experience gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, constipation, food intolerances, and malabsorption of nutrients. Some follow a GF diet to try and improve health and behavior issues. For some, the diet works; for others there is no change.

Read More »

We need to know and do more about ageing with autism

Every human being ages. As we age, our needs changes. Approaching the senior years can mean changes in housing, health, and daily care. Policymakers have concentrated on these concerns for neurotypical seniors when designing social supports and models of care. What about the needs of those growing old with autism or other related disabilities? Timothy Baron, one of the first…

Read More »

Autism Spectrum Disorder Identified By Changes in Brain’s Chemical Levels

The Journal of American Medical Association Psychiatry has just published a study that revealed children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience a distinct chemical change in their brain that contributes to developmental delays. “Between ages three and 10, children with autism spectrum disorder exhibit distinct brain chemical changes that differ from children with developmental delays and those with typical development,”…

Read More »

Breakthrough Study Reveals Biological Basis for Sensory Processing Disorders in Kids

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is prevalent in those with an autism diagnosis; however, it’s never been recognized as a distinct disease. In a new study from UC San Francisco, researchers have found that children affected with SPD have quantifiable differences in brain structure, for the first time showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other…

Read More »