EEG Brain Trace Can Detect Autism in Kids

A simple brain trace can help identify autism in children as young as two years old, researchers say.

EEG brain trace can detect autism in kidsA US team at Boston Children’s Hospital said that EEG traces, which record electrical brain activity using scalp electrodes, could offer a diagnostic test for this complex condition.

EEG was able to clearly distinguished children suffering with autism from others in a trial involving nearly 1,000 children.

Experts emphasise that more work is needed to confirm the BMC Medicine study results.

There are more than 500,000 autistic people in the UK.

Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that it is not a single condition and hence affects individuals in different ways.

Generally, people with autism have trouble with social interaction and can appear locked in their own worlds.

It can be a difficult condition to diagnose and can go undetected for years.

The latest study found 33 specific EEG patterns that appeared to be linked to autism.

These patterns consistently spotted autism in children across a range of age groups, spanning from two to 12 years old.

The scientists repeated their analysis 10 times, splitting up their study group (children with a medical diagnosis of autism and children with no signs of autism) in different ways.

Around 90 percent of the time, the EEG patterns could correctly detect the children diagnosed with autism.

The team now plan to repeat their study in children with Asperger’s syndrome – one particular subset of autism.

Typically, people with Asperger’s have higher-than-average intelligence and struggle less than people with other types of autism with their speech.

Dr Frank Duffy who is leading the investigation said that the work could help determine if Asperger’s should be treated as an entirely separate condition.

And the study could also point the way to determining if younger siblings of children with autism are likely to develop the same condition themselves.

“It is a great cause of anxiety when an older sibling develops autism,” the BBC quoted Dr. Duffy as saying.

“EEG might offer a way to check for the same condition in younger siblings in advance of them having symptoms,” he added.

EEG could also be used to track what effect different autism treatments are having on the condition, he said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/EEG-brain-trace-can-detect-autism-in-kids/articleshow/14431775.cms

Enhanced by Zemanta

Helping Children Thrive with LD/ADHD

By Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD

Helping Children Thrive with LD/ADHDAccording to the U.S. Department of Education, almost 1 million children have some form of learning disability for which they receive special education. Parents report that over 5.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, a figure that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims are continuing to increase annually. Millions more have varying diagnoses that affect learning and life success, including autism spectrum disorders.

For those of us who have parented children with learning disabilities, ADHD, and associated mental health issues, these figures not only represent challenges for our educational and health systems, they are deeply personal matters that affect the core of our families and our children’s happiness.

Beyond the logistics of educational assessments, tutoring, and daily homework challenges lies the responsibility of all adults—parents, teachers, and counselors—to foster a positive mindset that helps kids overcome the many obstacles they face.

Like millions of other students, my daughter’s story is unique. Among her many hurdles was learning to compensate for a reading speed in the lowest one percentile, a challenge that continues today as a 29-year-old.

But with acceptance and encouragement, children and young adults are surprisingly resilient and learn to embrace their differences. Recently, my daughter wrote about five ideas that fueled her success from middle school through law school as a student with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder. She presented these ideas as part of an article, To Parents & Educators: From an Attorney with LD/ADHD and gave me permission to reprint them here.

Needless to say, I am very proud of how my daughter developed a path to accomplish goals she set for herself. But more importantly, what she outlines below as critical steps in her journey to understand and embrace her differences supports much of the research on positive youth development. All children must learn to overcome obstacles in order to believe in themselves!

In her own words, here are the five steps that were critical to my daughter’s success, ideas she now tries to instill in other young people.

Understand your Disabilities

Every student has strengths and weaknesses. But kids with diagnosed disabilities need to understand their academic and emotional assets and liabilities really well. By middle school, educational testing can help students look inside themselves and understand how their disabilities impact their studies and social lives. Knowing what they need from teachers, tutors, counselors, peers, and parents is a foundation for future growth.

Ask for Help

It’s okay to be different; embrace it. I can’t emphasize this enough. I have friends who were told to hide their disabilities from teachers. As a result, they felt unhappy and defeated. It wasn’t until they got tested, shared their disabilities, and requested accommodations that they were able to finally get into a college and get the degree they wanted. The earlier students learn to work with their disability and understand it as part of their identities the better. Embracing our disabilities give us the confidence to talk with teachers, administrators, and trusted friends about what we like, what we are good at, and what we need help with. We often can’t, and don’t have to do it alone.

Never Use your Disability as an Excuse

It can be easy to say to a teacher, “I need an extension on this paper because I am slow at writing.” While this may be okay early on in school, it doesn’t work in college or the real world. So why get used to it? Rather than using a disability as an excuse, students must find ways to compensate. Figure out how to work efficiently and effectively, rather than longer and harder. Most kids with learning disabilities need help developing efficient work habits. Ask for help!

Use Compensatory Strategies

Working longer hours is necessary at times. But it can also lead to burnout. There are lots of compensatory strategies for learning, and many books on the topic. You’ve likely heard of many, including, making lists, getting organized, using memory tricks, etc. The key is finding the strategies that work and altering others to make them your own.

For example, I’m a very slow reader and got frustrated when I couldn’t finish reading assignments. But I’m a good listener and I understand high-level concepts. My strategy was to listen in class, research the topic, and then boil down the minimum reading necessary. Finding strategies that worked for me helped me set limits on my school work, gave me time to socialize, and helped me have time for myself.

Taking time away from stressful school work is essential for students with learning disabilities and contributes to better mental health. It also allows students to focus on bigger dreams, careers that might take 4-8 years of secondary education!

Know you can Achieve your Goals

Setting goals is important for all of us. And most importantly, we have to develop the determination to achieve them! I encourage students with LD/ADHD to find adults who give them positive messages of encouragement, who listen to them when they express self-doubt. With the right support and strategies, we can do anything we set our minds to!

Having learning disabilities and/or ADHD is not easy. And it doesn’t end when we finish school. With every change, come new challenges and strategy adjustments. I always remember what the famous educator, Booker T. Washington said more than 100 years ago, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed.” Challenges are what make life exciting—they are what define who we are and who we become. Embrace the challenges!

Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moment-youth/201204/helping-children-thrive-ldadhd

Related Online Continuing Education Courses:

Are We Over-Diagnosing Autism?

Via Scoop.itHealthcare Continuing Education

The American Psychiatric Association is considering a report that would narrow the mental health definition of autism and potentially exclude up to three-quarters of current cases.
Via www.cbc.ca

ADHD Awareness – Are You Up to Date?

September is ADHD Awareness MonthOver the past fifty years the childhood cognitive and behavioral problems categorized as disorders of attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity have presented a clinical challenge for physicians, educators, and mental health professionals. This symptom constellation referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD has become one of the most widely researched areas in childhood, adolescence and increasingly throughout the adult life span. For over thirty years problems arising from this constellation of symptoms have constituted the most chronic childhood behavior disorders and the largest single source of referrals to mental health centers.

Symptoms of ADHD constitute one of the most complex disorders of childhood. Despite efforts to reach a consensus definition and agreement that inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the hallmark for the diagnosis, debate continues concerning core deficits, associated problems and consequences. Increasingly it has been recognized that problems with faulty impulse control and self-regulation may lie at the core of problems for those with ADHD. Children with ADHD typically experience difficulty with home, school and community behavior involving family, peers, academics and emotional adjustment. The uneven, unpredictable behavior they demonstrate appears to be a function of knowing what to do but not always doing it. Their problems are one of inconsistency rather than inability. ADHD causes significant and pervasive impairment in day-to-day functioning.

Learn more about ADHD and earning continuing education credits @ www.pdresources.org:

Additional resources are available @ ADHDcentral.com

Enhanced by Zemanta