4 New Findings on Autism in Children

autism

Autism used to come with certain images of antisocial, even violent behavior and ideas of pure genius locked in mental isolation. Early research was incomplete and inconsistent, leading to shocking conclusions which are now debunked, such as the idea that autism was a result of a parenting failure. Thankfully, since the 1970s it has been accepted that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a problem of neurodevelopment and that appropriate interventions lead to improvements and better quality of life for the impacted families. Joint efforts of private and government funding on ASD research bring new findings.

1. Early Signs of Autism

The most common problem of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is finding an appropriate way to communicate with their family. Since autism tends to run in families, another study focused on baby siblings of such families in order to observe any differences between them and non-autistic children. In the second year of infants’ lives, the researchers correlated the overgrowths of babies’ brains to the severity of autism symptoms. The bigger the overgrowth, the more severe the symptoms were in children. This study relied heavily on the well-known fact among psychologists that not looking at people’s eyes and mouth is an early sign of autism in children who would later develop it. Now the scientists also confirmed that such behavior is inscribed in the genes and puts more emphasis on early social interventions.

Another predictor seemed to be an increased cerebrospinal fluid in the brains of babies who later developed autism. As a follow up to an earlier study, Mark Shen confirmed that the amount of cerebrospinal fluid is an early biomarker of ASD. It is unclear whether this symptom has anything to do with inflammation or if it is genetic, so further research is needed.

2. ASD Related Genetic Mutations

The ongoing struggle that genetic engineers face is to pinpoint the exact genes which are responsible for autism spectrum disorder and whose mutations affect the developing brains of children. Using the method of whole-genome sequencing of families with ASD, researchers recently managed to identify 18 new possible genes to blame. A related study took a look at 16,000 international participants and noticed a transcription factor in certain genes which has a role in neural changes. Not surprising, these are the same ones related to social skills. Moreover, the researchers identified a strong genetic overlapping with troubling regions of the gene in cases of schizophrenia.

3. Long-Term Benefits of Early Parental Intervention

A study by pediatric psychiatrist Jonathan Green focused on younger siblings of families with a higher risk of autism spectrum disorder. Participating parents videotaped interactions with their toddlers at home and revised them with professionals to gain advice on how to adapt their behavior, in order to better communicate with their children. The children who participated ended up having better IQ and social skills, like maintaining eye contact and also greater social responsiveness. The targeted participants were very young, up to 3 years of age, and provided important data on how brains of affected children respond better to empathic than directive parental guidance. The researchers hope to complete further studies with more children in order to confirm their findings.

4. Research into Medication

All these findings confirm the importance of neuroimaging, neuropsychological tests and genetic research with all autistic individuals and their families. Further clinical research could compare the findings with study results of other neurodevelopment disorders in hopes of noticing any similarities or patterns. Finally, while most autistic children have some more or less severe communication problems such as speaking impairments, the most commonly researched medications are those for externalizing behaviors such as irritability and aggression. It may sound disheartening but there are no known cures for any neuropsychiatric diseases, so the goal of medication is only to improve the quality of life of those impacted.

Conclusion

No two cases of autism are the same, hence the name autism spectrum disorder. It therefore makes sense that there isn’t a single cure, rather each child needs to be examined individually and have specifically targeted interventions, with an absolute must of parental and family involvement. However, the continuing funding into research does give hope that families at risk will be able to notice early predictors and learn to cope with the newfound situation appropriately.

About the Author

Rachel Fink is a mom of 7 and contributor at Parenting Pod. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science and Engineering and enjoys to share her expertise and experience on a variety of topics.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE/CEU) Courses:

Applied Behavior Analysis for AutismApplied Behavior Analysis for Autism is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides evidence-based behavioral interventions for the minimally verbal child with autism. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently seems to be holding steady at one in 68 children (or 1.46 percent). The communication challenges of these children are widely known and require specialized early interventions to overcome them.

This course presents evidence-based strategies that can enable students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and others who are verbally limited, to become more effective communicators. The focus will be on the minimally verbal child, the child who has a very small repertoire of spoken words or fixed phrases that are used communicatively. Included are: an overview of autism spectrum disorder, an introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis, the use of manding in communication training, techniques for direct instruction programming, and inter-professional collaboration strategies. Major points are illustrated throughout by case studies from actual practice. Course #21-15 | 2017 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

Autism Spectrum DisorderAutism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that summarizes proven approaches to screening, assessing and diagnosing ASD in children and young adults. Epidemiological studies indicate a progressively rising prevalence trend in the number of individuals identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decade. Yet, compared with general population estimates, children and youth with mild to moderate symptoms of ASD remain an underidentified and underserved population in our schools and communities. The DSM-5 conceptualizations of autism require professionals in clinical, school, and private practice settings to update their knowledge about the spectrum. In addition, professionals should be prepared to recognize the presence of risk factors and/or early warning signs of ASD and be familiar with screening and assessment tools in order to ensure that individuals with ASD are being identified and provided with the appropriate programs and services. The objectives of this course are to identify DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarize the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD, and describe a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. Course #30-94 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & NutritionAutism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews diagnostic changes in autism as well as treatment options and nutrition interventions – both theoretical and applied. The first section traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed. Course #40-41 | 2017 | 62 pages | 25 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Visuals for Autism – Renewed

Visuals for Autism: Beyond the Basic SymbolsVisuals for Autism: Beyond the Basic Symbols is a 2-hour online video continuing education (CE/CEU) course that demonstrates when, how, and why to use visuals with students with autism. This course has been renewed with ASHA to provide online CEUs for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs).

It is well-established by research that many learners on the autism spectrum benefit from the use of visuals. How can we go beyond a basic use of symbols to create and implement individualized visuals that will help our students learn and communicate more comprehensively? Participants will learn about considerations and strategies to take into account in order to put more effective visuals in place for their students on the autism spectrum. Topics covered include: broadening symbol selection, adding layers and additional components to visuals in order to make them more motivating and meaningful, providing visuals for a wide variety of expressive communicative functions, and using visuals for comprehension and organization as well as expression.

The course video is split into 2 parts for your convenience: part 1 is 56 minutes and part 2 is 57 minutes. Course #20-94 | 2015 | 14 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

This course is offered for .2 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area).

ASHA credit expires 11/7/2020. ASHA CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the quarterly completion report from the ASHA Approved CE Provider. Please note that the completion date that appears on ASHA transcripts is the last day of the quarter regardless of when the course was completed. AAUM5135 (renewal of AAUM5113)

This video course provides instant access to the course video, course handout and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to view the video, download/print the course handout and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while watching the course video).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHAProvider #AAUM) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology. We are also approved by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (Provider #50-1635) and the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Behavior Analysis for Autism ASHA CEUs

New Online ASHA CEU Course @pdresources.org

Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides evidence-based behavioral interventions for the minimally verbal child with autism.

Applied Behavior Analysis for AutismThe prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently seems to be holding steady at one in 68 children (or 1.46 percent). The communication challenges of these children are widely known and require specialized early interventions to overcome them.  This course presents evidence-based strategies that can enable students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and others who are verbally limited, to become more effective communicators. The focus will be on the minimally verbal child, the child who has a very small repertoire of spoken words or fixed phrases that are used communicatively. Included are: an overview of autism spectrum disorder, an introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis, the use of manding in communication training, techniques for direct instruction programming, and inter-professional collaboration strategies. Major points are illustrated throughout by case studies from actual practice. Course #21-15 | 2017 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

 

 

Autism: Clues to the Mystery Quiz

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Clues to the Mystery Quiz from Health IQ

Autism remains a mystery to doctors and parents. To learn more about the mysteries behind autism, test your knowledge with this interactive quiz…

Autism: Clues to the Mystery QuizAutism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been studied thoroughly and yet there are still numerous mysteries to these types of behavioral disorders. To make matters worse, there are several contradicting study results that only confuse the public more about ASD. For instance, a study released in 1997 claimed that the measles vaccine was linked to autism. This study has since been disproven across nine separate research reports. Thus, it’s easy to see why behavioral disorders like ASD are such a mystery to doctors and parents.

There is a lot more about ASD that we don’t know than we do, but it’s still important to understand as much as you can about ASD so that you can detect it early. We know that ASD can be diagnosed as early as age two and that screenings at a young age can help identify any behavioral disorders early on.

We have also learned a great deal about teaching parents to properly manage children that do have ASD. In fact, there are many training courses that parents can take to help better understand how to properly work with a child that has ASD. Even though there are no current cures for ASD, in many instances, proper management, behavioral therapy, and medication can all help mitigate the severity of the disorder.

Understanding ASD, its causes, and treatment are all important tools to help you work with a child who suffers from autism. If you’d like to learn more about the mysteries behind ASD, you can test your knowledge by taking the interactive quiz below.

About Health IQ

HealthIQ’s mission is to improve the health of the world. In pursuit of this mission, they’ve created over 2,000 quizzes and worked with innovative insurance companies to create financial rewards for health-conscious people. To date, Health IQ has helped thousand triathletes, vegans, runners, and other health conscious people secure billions in life insurance coverage, and they hope to expand to other financial rewards in the near future.

Health IQ’s Learn About Life Campaign:

Learn About Life is an educational campaign that aims to increase the world’s health & wealth literacy levels. To accomplish this task, Health IQ has partnered with a select group of nonprofits and bloggers to produce and promote thousands of health & wealth quizzes. If you’re a nonprofit or blogger and want to learn about how you can support this campaign, email teamiq@healthiq.com with subject line “Learn About Life…I’m In”

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides evidence-based behavioral interventions for the minimally verbal child with autism. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently seems to be holding steady at one in 68 children (or 1.46 percent). The communication challenges of these children are widely known and require specialized early interventions to overcome them. This course presents evidence-based strategies that can enable students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and others who are verbally limited, to become more effective communicators. The focus will be on the minimally verbal child, the child who has a very small repertoire of spoken words or fixed phrases that are used communicatively. Included are: an overview of autism spectrum disorder, an introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis, the use of manding in communication training, techniques for direct instruction programming, and inter-professional collaboration strategies. Major points are illustrated throughout by case studies from actual practice. Course #21-15 | 2017 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that summarizes proven approaches to screening, assessing and diagnosing ASD in children and young adults. Epidemiological studies indicate a progressively rising prevalence trend in the number of individuals identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decade. Yet, compared with general population estimates, children and youth with mild to moderate symptoms of ASD remain an underidentified and underserved population in our schools and communities. The DSM-5 conceptualizations of autism require professionals in clinical, school, and private practice settings to update their knowledge about the spectrum. In addition, professionals should be prepared to recognize the presence of risk factors and/or early warning signs of ASD and be familiar with screening and assessment tools in order to ensure that individuals with ASD are being identified and provided with the appropriate programs and services. The objectives of this course are to identify DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarize the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD, and describe a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. Course#30-94 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews diagnostic changes in autism as well as treatment options and nutrition interventions – both theoretical and applied. The first section traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed. Course #40-41 | 2017 | 62 pages | 25 posttest questions

Autism Movement Therapy is a 2-hour video-based online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches professionals how to combine movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Movement Therapy® is an emerging therapy that combines movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in meeting and achieving their speech and language, social and academic goals. Its purpose is to connect left and right hemisphere brain functioning by combining patterning, visual movement calculation, audile receptive processing, rhythm and sequencing into a “whole brain” cognitive thinking approach that can significantly improve behavioral, emotional, academic, social, and speech and language skills. This course is presented in two parts. Part 1 summarizes what is known about the brain functioning of individuals with ASD and illustrates how participation in dance, music and the arts can render the brain more amenable to learning social and language skills. Part 2 is a documentary created by Joanne Lara – Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts, which spotlights – from a strikingly positive perspective – the challenges and accomplishments of eight individuals with ASD. Course #20-82 | 2014 | 106 minute video | 14 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Course excerpt from Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism

“The National Standards Report may be the most important document that parents and practitioners ever read and the most important weapon in their arsenal to fight autism.” – Marjorie H. Charlop, PhD / Professor of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College / Director, The Claremont Autism Center.

Applied Behavior AnalysisApplied Behavior Analysis-based approaches for educating children have been extensively researched. In the last 30 years, ABA has been acknowledged as one of the best practices for teaching children with autism. As you already know, there are a variety of treatments available for students with autism. Their parents, understandably wanting what is best for their child, are often inundated. When helping them sift through the science versus pseudoscience, you can introduce them to the National Standards Project (NSP) (http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/), which works to answer the very crucial question: “how do we effectively treat individuals with autism spectrum disorder?” The National Standards Report (see Web Resources, in References), issued by the NSP, reviews interventions and identifies those that have been shown to be effective for individuals with ASD. The Report recognizes behavioral-based approaches – including ABA – as an established form of treatment.

The National Standards Project (Phase 2, 2015), a primary initiative of the National Autism Center, addresses the need for evidence-based practice guidelines for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Its primary goal is to provide critical information about which interventions have been shown to be effective for individuals with ASD. The interventions reviewed were given a rating. The possible ratings were “established,” “emerging” or “unestablished.” Behavioral interventions, as we will discuss in this course, were rated as “established.” These behavioral interventions are rooted in the science of applied behavior analysis. Below is a brief introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis and terms associated with the science. These terms will be used throughout the course, so this vocabulary section will set the stage for further application of this science.

As a formal definition of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), we offer simply that it is a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior (Cooper, Heron & Heward, 2007). In other words, ABA is the science of studying behavior, and applying data-supported techniques to increase and/or decrease behaviors that are meaningful to the client and the client’s social environment. It is a systematic way to look at human behavior, including verbal behavior.

Click here to learn more.

Applied Behavior Analysis for AutismApplied Behavior Analysis for Autism is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides evidence-based behavioral interventions for the minimally verbal child with autism. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently seems to be holding steady at one in 68 children (or 1.46 percent). The communication challenges of these children are widely known and require specialized early interventions to overcome them. This course presents evidence-based strategies that can enable students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and others who are verbally limited, to become more effective communicators. The focus will be on the minimally verbal child, the child who has a very small repertoire of spoken words or fixed phrases that are used communicatively. Included are: an overview of autism spectrum disorder, an introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis, the use of manding in communication training, techniques for direct instruction programming, and inter-professional collaboration strategies. Major points are illustrated throughout by case studies from actual practice. Course #21-15 | 2017 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

 

Feeding Interventions for Autism

Course excerpt from Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition

Feeding Interventions for AutismRegardless of the cause, feeding problems left untreated can increase the risk for medical problems such as rickets, weight loss, dehydration, failure to thrive, as well as learning and behavioral problems. Among the best supported treatments for feeding problems in children with autism are Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-interventions, which include escape extinction, simultaneous presentation, behavioral momentum, and reinforcement procedures (Bui et al., 2013). Any existing medical issues (food allergies, oral-motor difficulties, GI problems) need to be addressed prior to implementing the feeding interventions described below.

Escape Extinction

There are two forms of escape extinction:

1. Non-removal of the spoon (the spoon is not removed until the child has accepted the food).
2. Physical guidance (involves a gentle pressure to the child’s jaw to open the mouth).

It is widely believed that food refusal and other negative mealtime problems are primarily maintained by negative reinforcement. By being uncooperative at mealtimes, children succeed in escaping from eating, and this is highly reinforcing. In using escape extinction in feeding, non-removal of the spoon and physical guidance are both used as preventions from escaping from the feeding situation. If parents allow children to leave the table when they refuse to eat, they are reinforcing maladaptive feeding problems. This parenting behavior has been shown to cause some feeding problems (Bui et al., 2013).

Escape extinction has been demonstrated as an effective tool for increasing consumption of non-preferred foods. Adding positive reinforcement (access to preferred foods, toys, and attention) to the treatment improves compliance and reduces the level of problem behaviors during mealtime.

Simultaneous Presentation

Simultaneous presentation involves presenting both the child’s preferred and non-preferred foods at the same time. This method has been shown to increase acceptance of previously rejected foods. The child is either given the preferred food once the non-preferred food has been eaten (for example, asking the child to take a bite of carrots and allowing a bite of ice cream after the carrots are swallowed) or given the two food items together in one bite (gradually increasing the ratio of non-preferred to preferred until the non-preferred food is accepted on its own).

An example of simultaneous presentation of foods involves putting all the food to be eaten on a spoon at once with the test food at the tip and the reward food behind it. For example, ground carrot at the tip followed by ground chocolate chip cookie. Or if a child prefers juice and refuses water, a small amount of water can be added to a cup of juice. Over time, the amount of water added can be increased until the child drinks water alone.

Behavior Momentum

Behavior momentum involves presenting an initially empty spoon to the child’s mouth, followed by a small bite on the spoon. This technique has been reported to increase food acceptance and consumption. The amount of food on the spoon is gradually increased until the child accepts spoonful amounts of the food.

Reinforcement Procedures

Reinforcement of appropriate behaviors has been shown to be highly effective in motivating children with autism (Bui et al., 2013). Verbal praise is the most commonly used to reinforce, but alternatives such as ‘token systems’ where the child can earn tangible rewards (i.e. candy, stickers, etc.) is sometimes necessary.

An example of differential reinforcement of acceptance would be if a preferred video was shown before eating and then turned off. During the trial, when a food was tried or eaten, the video would be played for a specified period.

Premack Principle

Similar to reinforcment is a principle of operant conditioning originally identified by David Premack in 1965. According to this principle, some behavior that happens reliably (or without interference by a researcher), can be used as a reinforcer for a behavior that occurs less reliably.

For example, most children like to watch television — this is a behavior that happens reliably (they learn to like TV all on their own and it is something they will do willingly without any interference from their parents) — and parents often use this behavior to reinforce something children like to do less such as cleaning their room. So, some parents might condition children to clean their room by rewarding room cleaning with television watching. This procedure was often paired with shaping, another parent-reported successful technique.

Stimulus Fading

In stimulus fading, the overall goal is for the child to eventually eat without needing prompts. The least intrusive prompts are used so the child does not become overly dependent on them when learning a new behavior or skill.

Prompts are gradually faded out as new positive eating behavior is learned. For example, learning to unscrew the toothpaste lid may start with physically guiding the child’s hands, to pointing at the toothpaste, then just a verbal request. The same method can be used when trying a new food, guiding the child’s hand to pick up a fork or spoon with the food, pointing at the food on the plate, and then finally just asking the child to try a bite.

Appetite Manipulation

Using appetite manipulation, new foods are only presented when the child is hungry to increase the likelihood of trial behaviors. This method takes advantage of the natural reinforcers for eating (reduction in hunger, taste, etc.). Preferred foods should be limited to the greatest extent possible. Hydration should be offered in non-caloric liquids. This method is often difficult for parents who are concerned that the child may not get the nutrition they need if food is withheld to the point of physical hunger.

Shaping

Shaping is a teaching technique that comes from behaviorism, a field of psychology established by B.F. Skinner, by which a child is rewarded for successful approximation of a target skill. The goal is for the child to overcome his/her fear of trying something new. For example, a child might first only have to smell a new food, later would be required to lick it, and then asked to eat increasingly larger portions. It is important not to underestimate the extremely small amount of a new food which is tolerable to a selective eater.

Repeated Exposures

Still another procedure reported to be effective in treating food select`ivity is multiple presentations of non-preferred foods, in which parents continue to present a rejected food over many trials (even months). Eventually, the child will become less fearful of the novel food when it becomes familiar (Kral et al., 2013). This is a common strategy for other families with children without ASD and familiarity is commonly considered to occur after a child has had at least ten exposures to a new food item.

Social Modeling

For some children with ASD, parents have reported success in treating feeding problems with social modeling, which involves peers or family members serving as examples of appropriate eating behavior. Other, less reported procedures that have been effective according to parents include use of visual cues and menus.

Involvement in Food Preparation

The theory is that children who are involved in the growing, selection, and or preparation of food are more likely to eat it. Although, there have not been any studies that have addressed this for children with ASD, parents report this is not a helpful practice. Anecdotal reports indicate that children with ASD will participate in these activities, but participation has no relation to whether or not the child will accept the food.

Making Choices

Children with ASD need structured environments and having to choose what to eat may reduce the chance of a meal happening. Remember the division of responsibility. Parents should select and provide the food, it’s up to the child how much and what to eat of what is provided.

Conclusion

Practitioners who are working with families and children with ASD should be encouraged to consider whether the treatments they are using to deal with feeding difficulties are evidence-based. Feeding difficulties get no better or worse without treatment. However, they can and do impact nutritional status. Parents should seek treatment as soon as a problem occurs because these problems can lead to nutritional deficits that affect growth rates and the risk is greatest in children under age five. Little is known about how early and ongoing poor eating habits and nutrition affect the motor, cognitive, and behavioral development of children with autism. This is an important area for future research (Volkert & Vaz, 2010).

A literature review found only low-level evidence for the effectiveness of feeding programs in autism spectrum disorder. Twenty-three studies were assessed, but none had more than five participants. Positive results were seen in increasing the amount of food eaten, but inconsistent in improving the range of foods eaten (Marshall, Ware, Zivani, Hill, and Dodrill, 2015).

Because children with ASD often have a number of other traits that result in poor social acceptance, successfully addressing feeding problems could result in improved social acceptance in important settings such as school cafeterias, birthday parties, and restaurants.

Much more research is needed on effective feeding practices in children with ASD so that ineffective practices can be eliminated and subsequent nutritional deficits may be corrected early rather than after they result in negative effects on a child’s growth, development, and health. “Further research in the form of prospective randomized controlled trials is recommended to fully evaluate the impact of intervention in this group. Use of a well-considered range of outcome measures to capture long-term and wider-ranging impacts, as well as the involvement of a multidisciplinary team, are also advised given the complex nature of feeding difficulties” (Marshall, Ware, Zivani, Hill, and Dodrill, 2015).

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & NutritionAutism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews diagnostic changes in autism as well as treatment options and nutrition interventions – both theoretical and applied. The first section traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed. Course #40-41 | 2017 | 62 pages | 25 posttest questions

This online continuing education course is offered by Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.
We are approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).

 

 

Can Children “Outgrow” Autism?

By Anna Almendrala

Some Children Do Outgrow Autism, But It's Not What You ThinkIn the largest national study of children with autism to date, researchers examined one of the most mysterious aspects of autism spectrum disorder: that it sometimes simply vanishes.

An estimated 1 in 68 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the U.S., but researchers are beginning to take note of a small minority of children with ASD who seem to “grow out” of their diagnoses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed more than 1,400 children with ASD — the largest nationally representative sample of children with autism to date — and found that about 13 percent of them seemed to shed their ASD-associated behaviors as they grew up.

The catch: that doesn’t mean they’ve stumbled upon some kind of miracle therapy or cure. Rather, as some previous researchers theorized, most of them were simply misdiagnosed or intentionally diagnosed with ASD for other reasons.

“The present study confirms that ASD diagnoses can and sometimes do change as children mature and overcome delays, and as new information is assimilated by their healthcare providers,” said Stephen Blumberg, lead author and an associate director for science at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Partnering with the University of Washington and the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the CDC identified five factors that were most common among the children who went on to “outgrow” their diagnosis; these signs make it clear this subgroup was already higher functioning and had fewer symptoms at diagnosis.

Based on parent feedback, the diagnosis most often disappears in:

  1. Children who are able to use the bathroom without help
  2. Children who are able to eat without assistance
  3. Children who ask for what they need, be it objects or information
  4. Children whose parents were less likely to be concerned about developmental markers such as verbal skills and learning ability, and
  5. Children who were less likely to be referred to a specialist.


The study adds to a body of research on “lost” diagnoses that already suggests children most likely to outgrow ASD diagnoses are those with high IQs (over 70), early communication skills and intensive therapy. And children with certain sub-types of ASD, like Asperger’s Syndrome and PDD-NOS, are also more likely to lose their diagnosis.

Among parents whose child lost an ASD diagnosis, 73.5 percent said it was because they were given a new one, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (46 percent), anxiety problems (17 percent), depression (12 percent) learning disabilities (seven percent), behavioral problems (nine percent) or sensory, auditory, or processing disorders (23 percent).

Another 24 percent said they used the ASD diagnosis to access benefits and services. Meanwhile, 21 percent of parents believe their kids matured out of the disorder or received effective treatment. Less than 2 percent of patients believed their doctor simply got the diagnosis wrong.

The study can’t prove that overdiagnosis is becoming more common, the researchers wrote. However, heightened awareness about ASD and a push for more screening measures could be resulting in early, inaccurate diagnoses for ASD among doctors — especially in those who don’t specialize in the disorder.

The research was published in the journal Autism.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/children-outgrow-autism-why_562a931de4b0aac0b8fcf369?ir=Healthy%2BLiving%253Fncid%253Dnewsltushpmg00000003

Related Online CEU Courses:

Apps for Autism is a 3-hour CEU course that guides you through the hundreds of apps for autism so you can utilize today’s technology to maximize your child or student’s success.

Visuals for Autism: Beyond the Basic Symbols is a 2-hour online video continuing education (CE/CEU) course that demonstrates when, how, and why to use visuals with students with autism.

Autism Movement Therapy is a 2-hour video continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches professionals how to combine movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that describes DSM-5 diagnostic changes, assessment, intervention models, dietary modifications, nutrition considerations and other theoretical interventions.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online CEU course that identifies DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarizes the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD and describes a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing students with ASD.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

Special Diets & Supplements Not Always Helpful for Kids With Autism

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas

autism supplementsWell-intentioned parents of children with autism may think that special diets or supplements can help their child, but a new study suggests that often these efforts lead to problems.

As the researchers explain, many children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are picky eaters, and parents may direct them to nutritional supplements, or gluten- or casein-free diets.

However, the study reported June 4 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that these regimens leave children still deficient in some nutrients, such as calcium. On the other hand, special diets and supplements can cause children to take in excessive amounts of other nutrients, such as vitamin A, the researchers said.

“Each patient needs to be individually assessed for potential nutritional deficiencies or excess,” study lead researcher Patricia Stewart, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., said in a journal news release.

One other expert agreed. “Children with an autism spectrum disorder are not very different nutritionally from non-ASD children,” said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

“Giving children with an autism spectrum disorder a multivitamin/mineral supplement will not correct many of the nutritional deficiencies seen in these children,” he added, “and may in fact lead to excess amounts of some nutrients in the bloodstream.”

The new study involved 368 children aged 2 to 11 years who were treated at five different Autism Speaks specialty centers. Autism Speaks is a nonprofit organization that sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities.

The study participants had all been diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s syndrome or another so-called “pervasive developmental disorder.” The children’s caregivers kept a three-day food diary, which recorded the amounts of food the kids ate as well as the drinks and supplements they took.

After analyzing the children’s food diaries, the researchers found the kids with an ASD were consuming amounts of nutrients that were similar to other children who did not have autism. They also had the same deficiencies often seen in the general population.

In addition, even among those who took supplements, up to 55 percent of the children with an ASD remained deficient in calcium, while up to 40 percent didn’t get enough vitamin D, the study found.

The kids on the gluten-free and casein-free diet ate more magnesium and vitamin E, but they were still deficient in calcium, Stewart’s team found.

Much of these special diets and supplements are unnecessary, the authors said, because even children with picky eating habits still get most of their essential nutrients from the food they eat. That’s because many of today’s foods are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, the researchers explained.

And, the study authors suggested, that could explain why some kids with autism are getting too much of certain nutrients, such as vitamin A, folic acid and zinc.

“Few children with ASD need most of the micronutrients they are commonly given as multivitamins, which often leads to excess intake that may place children at risk for adverse effects,” Stewart said. “When supplements are used, careful attention should be given to adequacy of vitamin D and calcium intake,” she added.

Adesman pointed out that some parents with a child with autism may believe that nutrition is somehow key to their child’s symptoms.

“Although this study identified nutritional deficiencies and excesses in some children with ASD, this study was not specifically trying to link the nutritional status of these children as a cause for their autism spectrum disorder,” he said.

Autism is a neurobehavioral disorder that is now estimated to affect about one in 68 American children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_152931.html

Related Online CEU Course:

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition

4-Hour Online CE Course

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course for healthcare professionals. The first section of this course traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed. Course #40-38 | 2013 | 50 pages | 30 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You can print the test (download test from My Courses tab of your account after purchasing) and mark your answers on while reading the course document. Then submit online when ready to receive credit.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

Visuals for Autism – New ASHA Video CE Course

By: Anna Fredman, MS, CCC-SLP

Visuals for Autism: Beyond the Basic Symbols is a 2-hour online video continuing education (CE/CEU) course that demonstrates how the use of symbols to create and implement individualized visuals will help our students learn and communicate more comprehensively.

Visuals for AutismIt is well-established by research that many learners on the autism spectrum benefit from the use of visuals. How can we go beyond a basic use of symbols to create and implement individualized visuals that will help our students learn and communicate more comprehensively? Participants will learn about considerations and strategies to take into account in order to put more effective visuals in place for their students on the autism spectrum. Topics covered include: broadening symbol selection, adding layers and additional components to visuals in order to make them more motivating and meaningful, providing visuals for a wide variety of expressive communicative functions, and using visuals for comprehension and organization as well as expression. The course video is split into 2 parts for your convenience: part 1 is 56 minutes and part 2 is 57 minutes. Course #20-94 | 2015 | 14 posttest questions

This online video streaming course provides instant access to the course video, course handout and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You can print the test (download test from My Courses tab of your account) and mark your answers on while viewing the video. Then submit online when ready to receive credit. Email any questions to admin@pdresources.org – we’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

CAM on the Rise for Children with Autism

By Caitlin O’Toole

Autism Continuing EducationThe term “CAM” seems to be gaining popularity these days. And interestingly, an increasing number of parents of children with autism seem to be turning to CAM for help in the treatment of some symptoms of the disorder.

But what exactly is CAM?

The term CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) is, according to the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) website, is “often used to mean the array of health care approaches with a history of use or origins outside of mainstream medicine, [and it is] actually hard to define and may mean different things to different people.”

CAM falls into two subgroups, the website says: natural products, often sold as dietary supplements; and mind and body practices (such as yoga, meditation, movement, deep breathing, and many others).

In an interview with NAMI, Robert Hendren, D.O., Professor and Vice Chair, Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco – whose studies have included “natural” products such as omega-3s, pro-biotics, and melatonin – said it does appear that CAM is on the rise.

“There’s an increasing acceptability,” he said. “People also want to start off trying things that they think of as milder and having fewer side effects.”

One of the CAM treatments from the mind and body category that parents are turning to is yoga for their children with autism.

A 2012 study, led by Dr. Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at NYU, found that children with autism spectrum disorder who did yoga at their elementary school behaved better than kids with autism who weren’t doing yoga.

The study, which was conducted at a public elementary school in the Bronx section of New York City, had the kids follow a specific routine each morning, five days a week, for 17 minutes, for 16 weeks. The routine had the kids take their mats out, breathe deeply, assume yoga poses, tense and relax muscles, and sing. The researchers compared the kids in the program, which was called “Get Ready to Learn,” with a control group of kids doing a standard morning routine. Teachers said that the kids doing yoga exhibited significantly fewer problematic behaviors overall.

“We found that the kids in our study group showed less irritability, a decrease in a lot of the maladaptive behaviors associated with autism, and, anecdotally, the teachers reported that they were able to transition into their day much better,” Dr. Koenig told NAMI in an interview.

“Kids were really a part of setting up the room, and getting the yoga mats down. It was part of their routine,” she said. “Kids that are autistic do really well if they have that structure. We watched the tone of the class change as they started their yoga – you could just see that it produced a totally different atmosphere in the class.”

Dr. Koenig said that yoga programs are being implemented in schools across the country more and more … and that the kids who benefit do not necessarily have autism.

“[Yoga] addresses a couple of issues,” she said. “Everything from obesity to getting kids moving more to more attentive and mindfulness in school – so it’s becoming more and more popular.”

Dr. Koenig cautioned that yoga should be thought of as a complementary treatment rather than an alternative one.

“There’s a strong body of evidence for a variety of conditions that suggest that yoga and mindfulness and meditation is helpful,” Dr. Koenig said. “But more from the complementary standpoint.”

Dr. Hendren, like Dr. Koenig, also believes in the full body/mind approach.

“I think it’s important to do all of these things with behavioral treatments like ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) and speech and language and OT,” Dr. Hendren said, “so it doesn’t take the place of a complete treatment package. You need to have that comprehensive treatment to get the best result.”

Dr. Hendren also said that he believes the terms “complementary” and “alternative” are sometimes misunderstood and therefore, overlooked.

“There are an increasing number of studies that some of these things are of benefit,” he said. “The terms ‘complementary and alternative’ give us an image that somehow they are not ‘real’ or they are not fully a good treatment – but many are helping the body be more resilient. So I think if we have ways of making the body healthier — that’s good and not necessarily CAM.”

Source: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Top_Story&template=/contentmanagement/contentdisplay.cfm&ContentID=169573

Related Online & Video Continuing Education (CE/CEU) Courses:

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that describes DSM-5 diagnostic changes, assessment, intervention models, dietary modifications, nutrition considerations and other theoretical interventions. The first section of this course traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed. Course #40-38 | 2013 | 50 pages | 30 posttest questions

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online CEU course that identifies DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarizes the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD and describes a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing students with ASD. Epidemiological studies indicate a progressively rising prevalence trend in the number of individuals identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decade. Yet, compared with general population estimates, children and youth with mild to moderate symptoms of ASD remain an underidentified and underserved population in our schools and communities. The DSM-5 conceptualizations of autism require professionalsin clinical, school, and private practice settings to update their knowledge about the spectrum. In addition, professionals should be prepared to recognize the presence of risk factors and/or early warning signs of ASD and be familiar with screening and assessment tools in order to ensure that individuals with ASD are being identified and provided with the appropriate programs and services. The objectives of this course are to identify DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarize the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD, and describe a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. Course #30-69 | 2014 | 44 pages | 40 posttest questions

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a 2-hour online CEU course that provides therapists, educators, and caregivers with the information and techniques needed to begin using the human-animal bond successfully to meet individual therapeutic goals. In Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) the human-animal bond is utilized to help meet therapeutic goals and reach individuals who are otherwise difficult to engage in verbal therapies. AAT is considered an emerging therapy at this time, and more research is needed to determine the effects and confirm the benefits. Nevertheless, there is a growing body of research and case studies that illustrate the considerable therapeutic potential of using animals in therapy. AAT has been associated with improving outcomes in four areas: autism-spectrum symptoms, medical difficulties, behavioral problems, and emotional well-being. This course is designed to provide therapists, educators, and caregivers with the information and techniques needed to begin using the human-animal bond successfully to meet individual therapeutic goals. Course #20-62 | 2012 | 30 pages | 20 posttest questions

Autism Movement Therapy is a 2-hour video continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches professionals how to combine movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Movement Therapy® is an emerging therapy that combines movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in meeting and achieving their speech and language, social and academic goals. Its purpose is to connect left and right hemisphere brain functioning by combining patterning, visual movement calculation, audile receptive processing, rhythm and sequencing into a “whole brain” cognitive thinking approach that can significantly improve behavioral, emotional, academic, social, and speech and language skills. This course is presented in two parts. Part 1 summarizes what is known about the brain functioning of individuals with ASD and illustrates how participation in dance, music and the arts can render the brain more amenable to learning social and language skills. Part 2 is a documentary created by Joanne Lara – Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts, which spotlights – from a strikingly positive perspective – the challenges and accomplishments of eight individuals with ASD. Course #20-82 | 2014 | 106 minute video | 14 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).