15 Early Warning Signs Your Child Might Be On The Autism Spectrum

The number of children who grow up with autism is increasing, and it’s important to know when your child might be at risk so you can effectively combat the developmental disorder as quickly as possible. Most early warning signs become apparent before your child hits the age of two, so it’s never too early to start watching! Here are the earliest warning signs you might notice if your child is on the autism spectrum!

It might be autism…

  1. If your child seems unusually sensitive to certain sounds, images, textures, or other sensory activities.
  2. If your child speaks with an unusual voice or tone.
  3. If your child cannot play with toys as you might expect.
  4. If your child cannot let go of objects.
  5. If your child makes awkward or unusual hand gestures.
  6. If your child does not react to stimuli in the same way that other children might. This might include ignoring the sound of your voice when you try to be soothing.
  7. If your child seems less enthusiastic than other children of the same age.
  8. If your child does not make eye contact with you.
  9. If your child does not smile when you do.
  10. If your child does not point at objects. It is normal for children to become curious about their surrounding environment.
  11. If your child does not start to respond to certain sound stimuli, such as his or her name.
  12. If your child does not like physical affection.
  13. If your child has yet to speak his or her first word by age two.
  14. If your child seems to have fewer facial expressions than other children.
  15. If you cannot gain your child’s attention or direct it.

By age two, your child should become more interactive with both the environment and its people. If trouble arises in communication or repeated behaviors which seem unusual, it might be time to have a specialist try to diagnose your child. If your child is already older and seems unable to fit in at school or with peers in other social situations, then there might be a problem.

It’s important to know that autism presents differently and symptoms are often dependent on the individual. Some kids who grow up with autism will learn to interact normally by the time they reach adulthood, while others will not. This is why it’s extremely important to talk to an estate planning attorney about special needs planning.  This way you can ensure that your special needs child will have the financial security they need when you are no longer around to take care of them.

What Are The Biggest Obstacles For Children With Special Needs?

There are a number of challenges associated with children who are on the spectrum or struggle with other special needs of a wide variety, but sometimes the biggest is external. Children with behavioral disorders require rigid structure in order to grow and learn to fit into society as a whole. When the environments–people included–are more likely to shift and change around these children than any others, the difficulties can become exacerbated.

Special education as a profession suffers from a high attrition rate. It’s not hard to understand why. In addition to the difficult nature of the job, teachers in general aren’t paid enough to make the headache worth the time and effort they put in each and every day. Parents don’t have a choice, but teachers do. That’s why they burn out so much faster. Around half of special education teachers will quit within five years. A quarter of the initial group will start looking for other career options after ten years.

Those rates are unacceptable, especially when it means change for the children.

There are things we can do to help the situation. Stress management is key. Teachers can prepare to interact with children who have special needs, but also they must prepare to take some alone time when a particularly challenging day presents itself. It’s not easy to have your own capabilities questioned every single day, and it reduces self-esteem. Teachers are human beings who could benefit from therapy just as much as anyone else. They must learn to eat and exercise properly, and find hobbies that extend past sedentary activities like the television.

Many of these children require more one-on-one time, and it can be hard to provide when other children act out or try to grab attention. The children should be routinely interviewed in order to document progress–or even after new issues that arrive from changing environments, if that’s the case. Teachers should strive to increase parental involvement both in and out of the classroom. It’s necessary to maintain a relationship with child and parent to achieve a measure of success.

This profession is not for the faint of heart or the unhealthy. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.

How To Explain Disabilities To Children

With more and more inclusion in the classroom, children with disabilities such as Autism and Down Syndrome will be in the same classroom setting as those who do not have any form of disability. And while it’s important to ensure that your child gets everything that they need from government services, therapies, IEPs, teachers, etc, it’s important to consider what the other children in the classroom need. Not all of them are going to understand what makes your child different. They just know that they are different.

Ava L. Siegler, Ph.D. wrote in Child Magazine that when explaining disabilities to a child it’s important to be compassionate (that it’s hard to have a disability), communicative (explain as much as you can within reason), comprehensive (that’s it’s not the child’s fault they are disabled) and competent (just because they have a disability doesn’t mean they can’t do things).

Here are some other things to keep in mind when bringing out disability awareness with your children.

Kids with special needs are different but that’s OK! – Kids with down syndrome might have almond shaped eyes.

Kids with special needs are also the same as other kids! – All kids have eyes.

Kids with special needs or disabilities are not necessarily sick. – A disability is not something you can catch.

Kids with special needs shouldn’t be compared to normal kids – A better word to use would be typically rather than normally.

If your special needs child is eager to share with their classmates about their disability there are tons of fabulous resources online. Hopefully one of the side benefits from inclusion in the classroom will be to help spread disability awareness.



What Is Dyslexia? A Basic Overview

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the medical malpractice disease known as dyslexia. And for something that is so common in modern society, the misconceptions are rather surprising. In this article, you’ll quickly learn what dyslexia really is, along with some other interesting things you might not know about this diagnosis. So, what is dyslexia?

Dyslexia Defined

Even though we regard our reading abilities as a given if you take the time to learn the alphabet, 20% of the population don’t have this natural ability. And it’s not because they have a lower IQ or any other type of diminished capacity. Instead, their brains just find it more difficult to arrange letters and sounds.

And just like nature wants it, these individuals are typically known for their quick reasoning abilities and extreme creativity. In other words, what they struggle with in terms of reading, they excel in other areas.

So, dyslexia means a person finds it challenging to read and understand the material. It does NOT make a person any less capable.

Is There A Cure For Dyslexia?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for dyslexia. Instead, treatment can be used to decrease the effects and help people with this learning disability to gain the same opportunities as everyone else. Of course, it takes patience, motivation, and dedication, but every success in life consists of this combination.

What Is It Like Overcoming Dyslexia?

A common question people ask is whether a dyslexic person can learn to read? The answer is yes, but it will never happen on automatic pilot, in a manner of speaking. Whereas individuals without dyslexia can make reading an element of fun and even comfort (doing it without thinking about it), a dyslexic person will always have to put effort into it.

Can Pre-School Kids Show Any Symptoms?

Yes, there are signs you can look for, like slightly delayed speech. It is also difficult for them to recognize words that rhyme. Ultimately, there is a screening process you can follow, but this is better discussed with a professional.

Are There Notable People Who Have Dyslexia?

Leonardo da Vinci was dyslexic, and Sir Richard Branson (the billionaire Virgin brand business owner) is also said to be dyslexic. In fact, there are many famous and respected people who have or had a learning disability.

And this ultimately proves that living with dyslexia doesn’t have to limit you as to what you can achieve. If anything, it should inspire you to reach for the biggest stars.

Famous People With Disabilities Are All Around Us

A lot of people who grow up and live with disabilities do so with the belief that they’re completely alone with their burden, and that kind of solitude can stunt one’s growth in unacceptable ways. The thing is, there have been famous people throughout history who have already proven that people with disabilities are most definitely not alone, and that they have what it takes to impact the world for the better. These are just a few of those people.

These days, most people know someone who has autism spectrum disorder. Sometimes, we might not even realize it. It can be mild, or it can greatly impact someone’s life. It can also take on many different forms, and doesn’t discriminate between those with high or low intelligence. Experts believe that Albert Einstein likely had some form of autism. Mozart, Matt Savage, and Tony DeBlois are just a few others who fall on the spectrum.

Mild cerebral palsy might leave a person with this disorder on crutches but able to do everything else, or it could significantly impact the daily routine in more meaningful ways. In either case, many famous personalities were subject to this movement disorder. In recent years, young actor RJ Mitte made waves playing “Walter White JR.”, on the AMC smash hit Breaking Bad. Not everyone realized that RJ actually does have a mild form of cerebral palsy, but he’s proof that everyone can accomplish what they put their mind to if they want it badly enough.

Epilepsy is a somewhat common neurological disorder which leads to seizures, and is most often treated and controlled rather than cured. Famous figures who had epilepsy were Vincent van Gogh, the great artist, scientist Isaac Newton, and Napoleon Bonaparte, the French conqueror.

Tourettes can present in odd ways, most notable of which is the cliche cursing vocal tic. But that doesn’t really characterize the neurological disorder, which results in more than one physical tic and at least one vocal tic. No one knows exactly what causes the disorder, but current scientific knowledge supposes that it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Dan Ackroyd, a popular actor, hasn’t experienced symptoms of Tourette’s and Asperger’s syndrome since he was about fourteen years old. Even so, it’s probably a surprise to no one that someone with such a strong personality experienced either disorder.

No matter who you are or what you choose to do in life, the people who came before us can serve as inspiration now and in the future. They show us that anything is possible with hard work and legal practice software, even for those of us who suffer from disabilities that we might otherwise think impossible to rise up from.  

What Are Assistive Devices And Who Are They For?

Those who are deaf or hard of hearing, or those who have a speech or language disorder sometimes require assistive devices (sometimes called assistive technologies) in order to help them communicate in certain situations. Sometimes the fault doesn’t lie in the person with the supposed “disorder” so much as in the people whom they need to communicate with. A deaf person can often communicate just fine using sign language, for example, but people who can hear don’t often take the time to learn how to communicate back. Sadly, the burden falls on the minority, and so the assistive devices are for their benefit as much as everyone else’s. Other devices are more necessary–like alarms or flashing lights to alert someone of danger.

There are many different kinds of technologies available depending on the needs of the person using them.

Assistive listening devices (or ALDs) are for the hard of hearing, and they help drown out background noises while amplifying more prominent sounds like voices or the sound of a horn blasting. They can be coupled with other type of hearing aids to further benefit the user’s hearing.

Alerting devices are used to complement bells or alarms. Instead of the sound of a doorbell, a deaf person might utilize a device that connects to the doorbell but issues a blinking light in place of the bell.

An augmentative and alternative communication device (or AAC) is used by those who have speech or communication disorders. As technology advances, so too do they. For example, the most basic AAC devices are picture boards, while the more advanced computer programs can create sound out of text or the same in reverse.

A hearing loop is a type of ALD that is comprised of a sound source, an amplifier, a wire that encircles a given room, and a receiver. Electromagnetic energy flows through the wire in order to enhance sound. Receivers for this type of system are often built into hearing aids, but aren’t always used.

Other ALDs involve FM radio signals to transmit similar sounds or infrared light to do the same. Personal amplifiers can also be used in place of the aforementioned if they aren’t available in a given environment.

These options represent only a very small number of the avenues available for those who need assistive technologies, and new research is conducted on a regular basis by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) in order to consistently improve existing technology while searching for new and better technology in the future.

Choosing A School For Your Disabled Kid

Knowing the benefits of the many different school systems available whenever you move from one place to another is key if you want to provide your children with the kind of advantages they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world, but what was an already difficult decision for a normal child becomes nearly impossible if your child has special needs. So what should you do if your child is disabled or needs more attention than the other children in the neighborhood? Well, luckily there are systems in place to help you out.

You can choose to enroll in an online school, but there are disadvantages to doing so, especially if your child has a behavioral disorder which precipitates a personalized, one on one approach. You can also choose to homeschool, if you know you can provide the right education to meet your child’s needs. Most parents find this a substantial challenge, and it should only be undertaken if you’re sure you aren’t doing more harm than good. Seek professional support before you try. It’s a lot more likely that you’ll need the guidance of an institution or individual professionally accustomed to your child’s needs.

Magnet schools are public schools that cater to kids who are disabled. Unlike most traditional schools, they specialize in certain areas or provide a focus in an area where your child may struggle, such as math or science. Magnet schools are prone to unfortunate long waiting lists, and if the particular magnet school you really want is located in a different school district, then transportation could become a major issue. With every pro, there’s a con.

Charter schools represent another more controversial option, and it’s up to you if you want to take the chance on this one. Although they do offer smaller classes that allow your child a more personalized experience, they are run by groups that may not get adequate funding for children with disabilities, and if the government finds that standards aren’t met, the school can be abruptly shut down. If this happens, your children will need to transition to a different school with different teachers, and that can hinder the learning process a lot more for a disabled child.

There do exist private schools that offer special services for students that have learning or attention problems as part of their disability, and these are especially good for all-around, comprehensive learning. Because all the children in these schools are in the same boat (they all have special needs) there is potentially less bullying, while the culture itself is adapted to meet all of their needs. The problem for most parents is expense, even though this probably offers the best solution to the problem of choosing a school. There are some scholarships available to help pay for the inflated expenses, however.

Ultimately, what you choose for your child depends on his or her needs and the level of support that can be provided from all sides.

Disabity Types

The dictionary’s definition of a disability is a cognitive, mental, physical, or developmental condition that will interfere, limit, or impair someone’s ability to engage or perform in certain actions or tasks. This also implies to the participation of typical daily interactions and activities. For example, someone who has a problem reading could have a dyslexia disability.

According to the Equality Act 2010 in the UK, the definition of a disability under this act is someone who has a mental or physical impairment that will produce a long-term, negative affect on their ability to perform normal daily activities. The long-term signifies something that is more than trivial or minor. For example, it could mean taking a longer time to getting dressed than it normally would.

There can be different types of disabilities, according to a consumer patent lawyer, such as a medical disability, a mental disability, or a social disability. The various types of medical disabilities include things such as diabetes, cancers, AIDS, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, and so forth. Medical disabilities can affect both motor and cognitive functions. Functional limitations and abilities will vary widely with a medical disability but they are often associated with fatigue.

Mental disabilities or disorders may occur as a result of your family history or genetic makeup. These type of disabilities can also occur because of life experiences such as a history of abuse or stress. There may also be biological factors that could cause a mental disability. For example, a mother may be exposed to a toxic chemical or virus while pregnant which could affect the child’s mental stability. Abusing the use of illegal drugs or alcohol could also be responsible for a mental disability.

Social and learning disabilities, another type of disability, are becoming more and more apparent in today’s society. These type of disabilities are rarely confined to work or school. Social and learning disabilities affect relationships with family, friends, workmates, and daily encounters with strangers. They often erode self-confidence and self-esteem so as to make dealing with any normal daily situation a challenge.

Social and learning disabilities are often misinterpreted and may be perceived as a social ineptness or immaturity. Some common social disability and learning characteristics include a need for immediate gratification, an inability to interpret social and environmental cues, a bossy or immature behavior, a low frustration tolerance, or an inability to set realistic goals and priorities.

Therefore, as you can see from the above information it is important to understand that there are a variety of disabilities. However more importantly, it is essential that we all support anyone who has a mental, social, or medical disability.

What Is Fragile X Syndrome? An Overview

If you’re curious to learn more about what fragile X syndrome is, as well as the common symptoms and treatments that are available, then this guide is going to give the information you need. So, without any further introduction, let’s take a closer look at this condition.

What is fragile X syndrome?

This condition is regarded as a genetic disorder that primarily influences a person’s intellectual ability. The severity can range from mild to severe, and it is also related to autism, with around one-third of sufferers also having autism-related issues such as delayed speech and difficulty with social interaction. What’s more, it more commonly affects males rather than females.

It’s worth noting that the condition is also referred to as Martin Bell syndrome, although fragile X syndrome seems to be the most common term used to describe the disorder nowadays.

What are the common symptoms?

The symptoms of the condition can vary by quite some degree, with a range of developmental, behavioral, and muscular issues being associated with the condition. Additionally, there are some physical characteristics such as larger ears, enlarged head, and a prominent jaw, combined with a thinner-than-average face.

In terms of behavior, it can cause aggression, repetitive movements, and nonsensical word repetition for most sufferers.

Developmentally, it can cause speech delay and overall learning disability for most people with the condition. For many sufferers, seizures and anxiety along with hyperactivity become behavioral issues that have further effects on learning ability.

The condition is usually diagnosed at a very young age, and there will be a noticeable onset by the time the child reaches approximately two years old.

What are the treatments?

Unfortunately, there are no known cures for the condition overall, although there are a number of therapy-related solutions that can help the sufferer to treat their most problematic learning disabilities.

Additionally, there are several medications that can help to regulate the person’s mood as well as help to combat the anxiety that is often associated with the condition.


Overall, the condition of fragile X syndrome is a relatively rare condition that only affects 1 in 4000 males or 1 in 8000 females, and it has a number of symptoms that are often noticed a young age.

While there are no known cures, there are several therapies and medication based treatments that can help a person to navigate the challenges that this syndrome can cause throughout a lifetime.

What Is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and How Is It Treated

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is an anxiety disorder that’s often identified by interfering and undesired thoughts known as obsessions and mental or behavioral rituals known as compulsions. OCD is a very common disorder, and in fact, the fourth most diagnosed mental disorder in the united states. It can be quite mild or highly deliberating, but all patients agree that this disorder interferes with their lives and relationships in an unhealthy state.

Well, treating OCD takes time as the obsessions are embedded in the mind, and the victim finds it hard to distract his or her mind. The obsessions tend to cause anxiety and to alleviate it, the individual needs to exercise compulsive behavior. The difficulty in treatment arises at two levels. The first appears when the person becomes habitual to reduce anxiety through compulsive behavior and the second happens when the clinician stops the patient from performing a compulsion after an obsession occurs.

There are a variety of techniques and therapies that collaborate and are used to treat OCD, which we shall briefly cover below:

Pharmacological Treatment

Research has shown that serotonin, a neurotransmitter is involved in OCD. Low levels of serotonin can induce obsessions and compulsions in an individual, and if that’s the case, Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are recommended.


There is a number of psychotherapies that can be used to treat OCD:

The first thing that psychologists is psycho educating the patient and his or her loved ones about the condition. This stage involves developing a full understanding of the issue including the causes, symptoms and viable treatment modes.

Clinicians usually employ relaxation therapy as a treatment for the OCD. In this form of therapy, the clinician teaches the patient how to calm themselves down. Self-instruction or self-talk is one of the most beneficial techniques for people with obsessive compulsive disorder. During self-instruction, the patient talks him or herself in order to guide. This is also helpful in preventing the patient from performing compulsions.

Exposure Response Prevention or ERP is one of the most popular OCD treatment methods under psychotherapies. In this treatment method, the patient is exposed to anxiety provoking action, for example, touching the handle of a door and not being allowed to wash their hands afterward. This hopefully alleviates anxiety, and the patient learns that compulsive behavior is not the way to reduce anxiety.

These are of course, not the only methods of treating OCD, but are the most popular.