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Autistic children and teens can become favorite toys, activities, and conversation topics.
For example, children may pick up objects such as sticks or balls or wonder about the birthday of everyone they meet. They may open and close the door frequently or run to each new place to find and clean the bathroom. Older children may have interests or concerns, such as wanting to know everything possible about trains.
Some children switch from one interest or thought to another and persist for weeks or months before the interest changes.
Others develop an interest in railroads in childhood and continue into youth and adulthood.
Some children and adolescents with autism have rituals. For example, some children will keep their favorite things in a special place, like the bottom corner of a drawer in the bedroom. They may have to remove their belongings and touch them before they go to sleep. Or they just drink from the same glass or ask the same question and always want a specific answer.
Routine is often important for children and adolescents with autism. They may have a hard time resisting change and change. They may choose to eat, sleep, or leave the house as usual. For example, children will happily go to bed if you follow their sleep schedule, but they will not adapt if these routines are disrupted. They may be upset if they make it to kindergarten, or they may be told to wear the same clothes every morning.
Treatment depends on what's causing the voice change. Treatment can include voice therapy, drugs, shots or surgery.
Social connections are facilitated by facial expressions: a grin may convey curiosity, while a frown may convey empathy. According to a review of 39 studies, individuals with autism have trouble expressing themselves appropriately at the proper times1. Instead, they could exhibit expressionlessness or difficult-to-decipher facial expressions.
The behaviour of attachment, such as clinging, worrying, and proximity-seeking to the carer, cannot be distinguished from the behaviour of social skills, such as smiling, pointing, and sharing a toy with an adult.
Whether or not children with autism develop a secure or insecure attachment style may depend on the existence of more severe autism symptoms. Therefore, rather than the general presence of autism, it may be a kid's language and communication skills that influence carers' sensitivity towards their child.
In a study of young toddlers (about fifteen months old), it was discovered that those with a high risk of developing autism were much more likely than those with a low risk to exhibit the characteristics of an insecure attachment style, specifically the anxious attachment style.
DYSPHAGIA (DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING)
Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that is often noted in stroke survivors. It can affect the oral and/or pharyngeal phase of swallowing.
What is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is simply defined as a swallowing disorder. It can occur in any of the three phases of swallowing:
Dysphagia is often noted in stroke survivors and can affect the oral and/or pharyngeal phase of swallowing. The patient may cough or choke while attempting to swallow saliva, liquids, or food. A speech-language pathologist often assesses a patient’s ability to swallow in order to determine the risk of aspiration, (food or liquid going into the lungs) which potentially may lead to a lung infection or pneumonia.
Stroke survivors are at risk for silent aspiration. Silent aspiration is when food and liquid enter into the lungs without any coughing or choking. In these patients, there are no outward signs or symptoms of a swallowing problem.
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What does it mean to have difficulty swallowing?
When we swallow, many muscles and nerves work together to get food or drink from our mouths into our stomachs. Trouble with swallowing can originate anywhere in the mouth, throat or esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube in your throat that carries food and water to your stomach.
Swallowing problems can be mild or severe. The treatment varies depending on what’s causing the problem. Sometimes, doctors can prescribe medication to help you swallow. If you’re unable to swallow anything at all, you may need a feeding tube to get the nourishment you need.
What can cause difficulty swallowing?
Many disorders, diseases and conditions can cause trouble swallowing. Doctors separate swallowing problems into three types:
Oral cavity dysphagia: The problem is in the mouth. Typical causes include tongue weakness after stroke, difficulty chewing food or neuromuscular problems.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia: The problem is in the throat. This can be a result of a neurological or muscular problem.
Esophageal dysphagia: This is a problem of the esophagus. This can be caused when something blocks or compresses the esophagus, there’s a muscular disorder or there are pouches in the esophagus.
What conditions can cause swallowing problems?
Possible causes of swallowing difficulties can include:
Nervous system and brain disorders: Certain conditions affect your brain and nervous system (the network of nerves that controls muscles and organs). Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and stroke can lead to swallowing difficulties.
Muscle disorders: Myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune condition) and muscular dystrophy affect muscles all over the body. Disorders of the esophagus, such as achalasia, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), cricopharyngeal spasms and esophageal spasms can affect your ability to swallow.
Esophagus narrowing and blockages: Esophageal cancer, a tumor or a swollen thyroid gland can constrict the esophagus (make it narrower). A narrowed esophagus can make swallowing a challenge. Some people develop webs or Schatzki rings (pieces of tissue inside the esophagus). This tissue narrows the tube and makes it hard to swallow chunks of food. Disorders of the opening of the esophagus can also contribute to difficulty swallowing such as cricopharyngeal hypertrophy. Swallowing can be difficult or impossible if anything is stuck in your throat.
Scarring from acid reflux: Scar tissue can form in your esophagus as a result of GERD (acid reflux disease). GERD can lead to Barrett’s esophagus (irritation in the esophagus lining).
Infection: Tonsillitis (sore throat) causes pain and inflammation. It can make swallowing painful.
1. Touch and feel activities
This is one exciting activity that your child won’t want to stop playing! Take a box, a bag, or any container that your child can’t see into. Grab some items from around the house to place inside. Here are a few ideas: A small stuffed animal, Play-Doh or slime, an apple, a ball, a toy car, and a hairbrush.
Place each item in one by one, without your child seeing. Then have your child reach in, feel the item, and guess what it is.
To target speech and language skills, they can try to describe what they feel by using words like “cold” or “soft.”
You can also help your child guess by giving them clues about each item. For example, “We use this to comb your hair,” or “This is one of your favorite snacks.”
This game is great for helping your child practice saying new words and growing their vocabulary. It’s OK to throw some items in the box that they don’t know the name of. This helps them learn even more!
2. Freeze dance
Who doesn’t love freeze dance? Your toddler or preschooler definitely will! Turn on some of their favorite music and dance together. Depending on your child’s age, you can vary this game slightly. Here’s how to play.
For toddlers or kids working on more basic vocabulary, use words like “stop” and “go” throughout the game. Explain that when you say “Stop,” your child should stop dancing and stand completely still. You can show them what you mean to help them understand.
Then go on to explain that when you say “Go!,” they can start dancing again. This helps them learn the meaning of these words. And if they aren’t already saying these words, they may begin to use them, as well! So cue up the music and dance together. Say “stop!” and “go!” throughout the song.
For older preschoolers, feel free to use the word “freeze” each time you want them to stop dancing. You can even say words that rhyme with “freeze” to work on their listening abilities and word discrimination skills. You might try saying “Cheese!” or “Keys!” Your child will be anticipating the word “freeze,” so they’ll really have to listen to your words before moving.
According to a recent study, up to 30% of kids on the autistic spectrum engage in self-harming behaviours like skin plucking or head banging.
Headbanging is a means for children with autism to express demands and self-soothe when they are experiencing anxiety. Infants and young children calm themselves and seek to re-create their womb experiences. The term "vestibular stimulation" refers to this.
Any of the following factors may contribute to the desire to self-soothe in this way:
•Calling for attention
•Problems with the sensory system
•Making an effort to convey
Headbanging can appear to arise out of nowhere or be episodic and triggered by the same stimulus. Finding triggers can be made easier by keeping an eye on your child and keeping track of what happened just before headbanging.
•Psychological/ Physical trauma
•Prenatal and neonatal risks
• Exposure to toxic environment
Learning Disabilities and Their Types
• Dyslexia - A child's ability to grasp language is impacted by the learning disability dyslexia. Children who have dyslexia have difficulties with speech sound recognition, reading, and word and letter decoding.
• Dyspraxia - The motor skills and movement of the child or individual are impacted by dyspraxia, which is a learning problem.
• Dyscalculia - An individual's or a child's capacity for maths is impacted by dyscalculia, a learning disability.
• Dysgraphia - A specific learning problem called dysgraphia affects a child's ability to express themselves via writing.
• Auditory processing disorder- Despite having normal hearing, people with auditory processing disorder (APD) have a diminished or impaired capacity for sound identification, comprehension, and discrimination.
• Visual processing disorder
when a child or an individual has trouble interpreting visual information.
•Non verbal learning disorder - challenges with the visual-spatial, visual-motor, and other skills required for social or academic functioning. The young child has trouble understanding and recognising nonverbal indications of communication.
• Apraxia of speech - trouble speaking clearly and finding the right words to express what they want to say.
Differentiating between similar sounding words or rhyming words
Reading, spelling, or writing accurately
Distinguishing right from left, for example, confusing 25 with 52, “b” with “d,” “on” with “no,” “s” with “5”
Recognizing letters of the alphabet
Using correct mathematical symbols for doing maths problems
Remembering numbers or facts
Learning new skills; the child may be slower than other children of his or her age
Memorizing poems or answers
Understanding the concept of time
Hand-to-eye coordination, being unable to gauge the distance or speed, thus leading to accidents
Tasks involving fine motor skills: holding pencil, tying shoe lace, buttoning shirt and so on
Keeping track of own possessions like stationery items
Showing appropriate emotional reactions in a learning environment (the child may behave in an aggressive or rebellious way, and react with an excess of emotion)
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