Tag Archives: asperger

Paul Louden

Paul Louden is a radio host with autism who hosts a radio show called “Theories of Mind.”  The show is about how adults go through life with autism.

Find him at KTEK 1110 in Houston, Iradio, or at www.business1110ktek.com.

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Bernard Marcus

Bernard Marcus is an American businessman and philanthropist. He co-founded Home Depot and was the company’s first CEO; he served as Chairman of the Board until retiring in 2002.

Marcus has opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). He has also suggested that clients send donations to groups and Senate Republicans also against the EFCA. He views the legislation as hindrance to American capitalism, calling it “the demise of a civilization” and suggesting that any retailer who does not fight it “should be shot; should be thrown out of their goddamn jobs.” Marcus has also been an opponent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2015, Marcus donated $1.5 million to Super PACs supporting Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.

Marcus also funded and founded The Marcus Institute, a center of excellence for the provision of comprehensive services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. In May 2005, Marcus was awarded the Others Award by the Salvation Army its highest honor. Marcus donated $25 million to Autism Speaks to spearhead its efforts to raise money for research on the causes and cure for autism. He is an active member of the board of directors.

Marcus is currently chairman of the Marcus Foundation, whose focuses include children, medical research, free enterprise, Jewish causes and the community. Marcus is on the Board of Directors and an active volunteer for the Shepherd Center. His main focus is in providing care for war veterans with traumatic brain injuries. He was named a Georgia Trustee in 2009. In 2012, Marcus was awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leader.

Married twice. Two children with his first wife, Fred and Suzanne; and a stepson, Michael, with his second wife, Billi.

Dr. Wendy Ross

Dr. Wendy Ross, a pediatrician founded a nonprofit company, Autism Inclusion Resources. The company teaches children with autism and their families skills that would make the world less scary. She was sad to hear stories about families avoiding social outings such as a ball game, a theme park, etc. in fear of having a disastrous outing. Ross also works with people who may encounter autistic individuals and their families. She educates stadium personnel, airline employees, and museum docents, making them aware of the challenges these families face.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/19/living/cnnheroes-ross/

Autism Awareness

For those who know or not, April is autism awareness month. People attend seminar, lectures, or festivals, raise money for awareness, teach the meaning of autism, etc.

 

This is a website about a shop worker who was isolated in a box for 100 hours to raise autism awareness:

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30166571

Discrimination is wrong! People should be very tolerant of people with autusm and treat them with respect and dignity. People with autism are not animals or robots or weird people. They’re human beings, like us. Society should be more accepting.

https://gma.yahoo.com/woman-claims-she-daughter-autism-were-kicked-off-151716493–abc-news-topstories.html

History of Autism

From the early 1900s, autism has referred to a range of neuro-psychological conditions. The word “autism,” which has been in use for about 100 years, comes from the Greek word “autos,” meaning “self.” The term describes conditions in which a person is removed from social interaction — hence, an isolated self. Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first person to use the term. He started using it around 1911 to refer to one group of symptoms of schizophrenia.

In the 1940s, researchers in the United States began to use the term “autism” to describe children with emotional or social problems. Leo Kanner, a doctor from Johns Hopkins University, used it to describe the withdrawn behavior of several children he studied. At about the same time, Hans Asperger, a scientist in Germany, identified a similar condition that’s now called Asperger’s syndrome. Autism and schizophrenia remained linked in many researchers’ minds until the 1960s. It was only then that medical professionals began to have a separate understanding of autism in children. From the 1960s through the 1970s, research into treatments for autism focused on medications treatments such as LSD, electric shock, and behavioral change techniques. The latter relied on pain and punishment.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the role of behavioral therapy and the use of highly controlled learning environments emerged as the primary treatments for many forms of autism and related conditions. Currently, the cornerstones of autism therapy are behavioral therapy and language therapy. Other treatments are added as needed.

Symptoms:

One symptom common to all types of autism is an inability to easily communicate and interact with others. In fact, some people with autism are unable to communicate at all. Others may have difficulty interpreting body language or holding a conversation.

Other symptoms linked to autism may include unusual behaviors in any of these areas:

  • Interest in objects or specialized information
  • Reactions to sensations
  • Physical coordination

These symptoms are usually seen early in development. Most children with severe autism are diagnosed by age 3. Some children with milder forms of autism, such as Asperger’s  syndrome, may not be diagnosed until later, when their problems with social interaction cause difficulties at school.

Types of Autism:

Over time, psychiatrists have developed a systematic way of describing autism and related conditions. All of these conditions are placed within a group of conditions called pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). Within PDDs, the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) category includes the following:

Autistic disorder: Children with autistic disorder cannot use verbal or non-verbal communication to interact effectively with others. Usually, children with autistic disorder have severe delays in learning language. They may have obsessive interest in certain objects or information. They may perform certain behaviors repeatedly. To be diagnosed with autistic disorder, symptoms must have been noted before age 3.

Pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS): Children diagnosed with “atypical autism” are included in this group. Children with PDD-NOS have symptoms that do not exactly fit those of autistic disorder or any other ASD. For example, the symptoms may have developed after age 3. Or the symptoms may not be severe enough to be considered an autistic disorder.

Asperger’s syndrome: Children with Asperger’s syndrome may display many of the same symptoms as children with autistic disorder. However, they usually have average or above-average intelligence and initially show normal development of language. They often want to be social with others but don’t know how to go about it. They may not be able to understand others’ emotions. They may not read facial expressions or body language well. Their symptoms may not become apparent until school, when behavior and communication with peers become more important.

Other conditions share symptoms with PDDs and ASDs. These conditions include the following:

Rett Syndrome: Children with this severe, rare condition begin with normal development from birth through about 5 months of age. However, from about 5 to 48 months of age, head circumference development slows. Children lose motor skills and social interaction and language development become impaired.

Childhood disintegrative disorder: Like Rett syndrome, children begin developing normally. However, from about age 2 to age 10, children are increasingly less able to interact and communicate with others. At the same time, they develop repetitive movements and obsessive behaviors and interests. They lose motor skills, too. This usually leads to them becoming disabled. This autism-like condition is the rarest and most severe in autism spectrum disorder.

What Causes Autism?

Autism runs in families. The underlying causes, however, are unknown. Most researchers agree that the causes are likely to be genetic, metabolic or bio-chemical, and neurological. Others also believe that environmental factors may be involved.

How Is Autism Treated?

Treatments for autism vary depending on the needs of the individual. In general, treatments fall into four categories:

  • Behavioral and communication therapy
  • Medical and dietary therapy
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Complementary therapy (music or art therapy, for example)

Behavioral and Communication Therapies:

The primary treatment for autism includes programs that address several key areas. Those areas are behavior, communication, sensory integration, and social skill development. Addressing these areas requires close coordination between parents, teachers, special education professionals, and mental health professionals.

Medical and Dietary Therapies:

The goal of medication is to make it easier for the person with autism to participate in activities such as learning and behavioral therapy. Drugs used to treat anxiety, attention problems, depression, hyperactivity, and impulsivity may be recommended. These do not “cure” autism, but they can treat underlying dysfunctional symptoms that get in the individual’s way of learning and growing.

There is some evidence that people with autism may have certain deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. These deficiencies don’t cause autism.  Supplements, though, may be recommended to improve nutrition. Vitamin B and magnesium are two of the most frequent supplements used for people with autism. However, one can overdose on these vitamins, so mega-vitamins should be avoided.

Diet changes may also help with some symptoms of autism. Food allergies, for example, may make behavior problems worse. Removing the allergen from the diet may improve behavior issues.

Complementary Therapies:

These treatments may help increase learning and communications skills in some people with autism. Complementary therapies include music, art, or animal therapy, such as horseback riding or swimming with dolphins.

Future Research and Treatment of Autism:

Researchers, health professionals, parents, and persons with autism all have strong opinions about the direction future autism research should take. Everyone would like to find a cure for autism. However, many feel that finding a cure is unlikely. Instead, scarce resources should be devoted toward helping people with autism find better ways to live with the condition.

No matter what the view toward the future, many techniques and treatments exist now that can help relieve the pain and suffering of autism. These treatments offer many options for improving quality of life of people with autism.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/02/436742377/neurotribes-examines-the-history-and-myths-of-the-autism-spectrum

Differences Between Asperger’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

High-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are both part of the autism spectrum. There are a few differences. In the language development dept., people with Asperger syndrome will not have had delayed language development when younger. Sometimes, the two diagnoses are given on an almost interchangeable basis.

The term ‘autism’ has an unusual history. It was originally coined by a psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in 1911 to describe what he perceived as one of the key symptoms of schizophrenia, that of social withdrawal. Autism, literally meaning ‘selfism’, seemed to him to describe the active detachment which affected many of his patients. In the 1940s, when Leo Kanner in America and Hans Asperger in Austria were both beginning to identify the existence of autism they separately stumbled on this term which they felt described what they were witnessing in the children they were treating. Kanner started from the premise that these children were experiencing childhood schizophrenia. In time, he became aware that they were not exhibiting all the symptoms of schizophrenia and used the phrase ‘infantile autism’ to describe their condition. Asperger identified a personality disorder affecting some of the children referred to his child psychiatry clinic which he felt was described, albeit imperfectly, by the term autism. His acute identification of autism was extraordinarily ahead of its time considering he was among the first people to chart it. Unlike schizophrenic patients, children with autism do not show a disintegration of personality. They are not psychotic; instead they show a greater or lesser degree of autism.

Kanner, an American, wrote in English. His paper was published in the UK where it gained a lot of attention. The term ‘infantile autism’ became increasingly widely used in the 1950s and 60s, more and more children were diagnosed with the condition. In the English-speaking world, the work of Hans Asperger was largely ignored. However, in Europe, he continued to conduct research and have an influence over child psychiatry.

We don’t know if Kanner was ever aware of the work of Asperger, but we do know that Asperger in later years read about the work of Leo Kanner. He argued, albeit unconvincingly, that they had identified separate syndromes with a great overlap. Other academics began to argue that Asperger’s and Kanner’s autism were the same syndrome. Most notably Judith Gould and Lorna Wing in their ground-breaking study in Camberwell in the late 1970s came to the conclusion that autism existed on a continuum. In 1981, Lorna Wing used the phrase ‘Asperger syndrome’ in a research paper to describe a distinct sub-group of patients that she had been seeing. The term became much more widely used in the English-speaking world as a result. Some professionals have felt that Asperger syndrome is a more acceptable diagnosis from the point of view of parents. They argue that there is a social stigma attached to autism which is not attached to the term Asperger syndrome.

 

  • Level of cognitive functioning: The view that Asperger syndrome is autism without any additional learning disability is helpful from the diagnostic point of view as it is fairly easy to make a distinction in these circumstances. However, Asperger himself said that there might be unusual circumstances where a person could present the symptoms of Asperger syndrome with additional learning disability. It is widely recognized that high-functioning autism cannot occur in someone with an IQ below 65-70.
  • Motor skills: In recent years, the view that Asperger syndrome can only occur when there are additional difficulties with motor skills has become more prominent. Certainly Asperger himself was well aware of the prevalence of motor skill problems in the group of people he tried to describe. It seems likely that most children with Asperger syndrome experience poor co-ordination and difficulties with fine motor control. However, many children with higher functioning autism will also have difficulties in these areas.
  • Language development: This is the area that probably causes the greatest controversy. Both ICD-10 and DSM-IV1 state that for a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, spoken language development must be normal. Children with high-functioning autism may have had significant language delay. However, Asperger’s original descriptions of the condition stated that speech and language peculiarities are a key feature of Asperger syndrome. Often diagnoses of Asperger syndrome are made when a child is quite old and they or their parents may have difficulty remembering the details of their language development.
  • Age of onset: A diagnosis of high-functioning autism and one of Asperger syndrome can be made in the same individual at different stages of development. Occasionally, a child has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism in early childhood and this diagnosis has been changed to Asperger syndrome when they started school. Some diagnosticians are clearly of the view that Asperger syndrome cannot be diagnosed before a child starts school. However, this is largely because areas such as social skills deficits may not become apparent until a child spends a lot of time in social settings.
  • Both people with high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome are affected by the ‘triad of impairments’ common to all people with autism.
  • Both groups are likely to be of average or above average intelligence.
  • The debate as to whether we need two diagnostic terms is ongoing.
  • However, there may be features such as age of onset and motor skill deficits which differentiate the two conditions.If you or your son or daughter has recently been given a diagnosis of either high-functioning autism or Asperger syndrome then it is worth checking what criteria the diagnostician was using.
  • Although it is frustrating to be given a diagnosis which has yet to be clearly defined it is worth remembering that the fundamental presentation of the two conditions is largely the same. This means that treatments, therapies and educational approaches should also be largely similar. At the same time, all people with autism or Asperger syndrome are unique and have their own special skills and abilities. These deserve as much recognition as the areas they have difficulty in.
  • What distinguishes Asperger’s syndrome from autism is the severity of the symptoms and the absence of language delays. Children with Asperger’s syndrome may be only mildly affected and frequently have good language and cognitive skills. To the untrained observer, a child with Asperger’s syndrome may just seem like a normal child behaving differently.
  • Children with autism are frequently seen as aloof and uninterested in others. This is not the case with Asperger’s syndrome. Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome usually want to fit in and have interaction with others; they simply don’t know how to do it. They may be socially awkward, not understand conventional social rules, or may show a lack of empathy. They may have limited eye contact, seem to be unengaged in a conversation, and not understand the use of gestures. However, the fact that some persons with Asperger’s may make eye contact does not rule out the diagnosis for them. Therefore, a child who can make eye contact could still have Asperger’s syndrome.
  • Interests in a particular subject may border on the obsessive. Children with Asperger’s syndrome frequently like to collect categories of things, such as rocks or bottle caps. They may be proficient in knowing categories of information, such as baseball statistics or Latin names of flowers.While they may have good rote memory skills, they may have difficulty with abstract concepts.
  • One of the major differences between Asperger’s syndrome and autism is that, by definition, there is no speech delay in Asperger’s. In fact, children with Asperger’s syndrome frequently have a large vocabulary and can talk a lot; they simply use language in different ways. Speech patterns may be unusual, lack inflection, or have a rhythmic nature or they may be formal, but too loud, too quiet, or high pitched. Sometimes their speech can be informal when it needs to be formal, or vice versa. They also may not be able to communicate the message that is most important, especially when they are stressed or upset.
  • Children with Asperger’s may not understand the subtleties of language, such as irony and humor, or they may not understand the give and take nature of a conversation. Another distinction between Asperger’s syndrome and autism concerns cognitive ability. While some individuals with autism experience cognitive delay, by definition a person with Asperger’s cannot possess a “clinically significant” cognitive delay and most possess an average to above average intelligence. While motor difficulties are not a specific criteria for Asperger’s, children with Asperger’s syndrome frequently have motor skill delays and may appear clumsy or awkward.