Craig Eisele on …..

April 1, 2012

Signs of Aspergers Syndrome

What are the Signs of Aspergers Syndrome

I have a daughter diagnosed with both Aspergers Syndrome and PDD-NOS… both of which are classified under Autism Spectrum Disorder. Unfortunately as she was 14 weeks premature… we believed her symptoms were a result of her pre maturity…. as it turned out they were not and we did not get her the help she needed early enough to make a significant difference in her life… Hopefully the following will help you  or move you to at least have your child evaluated early in life and a follow up later… 

Aspergers is a form of Autism. People with Aspergers syndrome are on the higher end of the spectrum. They usually have normal language skills. Their main problem is dealing with people socially. Usually these problems are first noticed when a child begins school. The child can have all the signs of Aspergers, or only a few. Here are some of the common signs of Aspergers syndrome.

1. Have a hard time talking to other kids. Kids with Aspergers syndrome have a hard time going up to someone and starting a conversation.

2. Speak in words that are very advanced for their age. The Asperger’s child may use words that adults would use.

3. Have trouble understanding when someone is joking, or being sarcastic. Children with Aspergers have a hard time understanding tones of people’s voices. They tend to take everything said seriously.

4. Have very limited interests. A child with Aspergers syndrome may only want to focus on one thing. They may take a liking to puzzles, and only want to do puzzles all the time. They will often learn everything they can about one subject. That will be all they focus on.

5. Have a hard time with changes in their routine. This can be hard for a child starting school. They had a routine at home and now that is being changed. The same thing can happen during breaks during the school year. This is a common problem of Autistic children.

6. Talking a lot. Children with Aspergers usually talk a lot. They often say whatever they are thinking whether it is appropriate or not. Most of the conversations they have are one sided. While it looks like the child is talking to you, they are really talking at you.

7. Problems making friends. Kids with Aspergers have trouble making friends due to their inability to relate to the other children. They sometimes try to hard to make friends and scare the other kids away.

8. No eye contact. Children with Aspergers usually will not look you in the eye when speaking. This is another common trait of an Autistic child.

9. Using repetitive movements. This can be a movement like spinning around, or bouncing back and forth while sitting. These movements are calming to the Aspergers child.

10. Problems with speaking. The Aspergers child may speak really fast. They usually do not stop to see if the person they are talking to is paying attention. Their tone of voice is flat and does not change to show emotions.

11. Problems with movement. Children with Aspergers often have trouble with their coordination skills. They may always be tripping or stumbling over their own feet. They may take a long time to learn how to ride a bike.

Asperger children have the most positive outcome on the Autism spectrum. They have high intelligence and language skills. They can often be taught the social skills they need to get by. If you notice any of these signs in your child mention them to the doctor.

It is difficult sometimes to accept this diagnoses… and even then you will want to blame someone… but there is NO blame to be had for anyone.. it simply is…. My daughters mother basically burnt out trying to home school this child when the mother thought the child was falling behind… the overwhelming task of that caused the mother to suffer her own emotional trauma…. and as such another parent secumbs to their child’s disability … such sadness cannot be told so simply in words.. for when ANY  child loses a parent.. everyone loses…. the toll on all parents is real and it is sometimes just too much to continue to be a responsible parent 24/7/365… there has to be a system in place to provide respite for each parent to rest and revive before going back to the daunting task of the continuing care of that child…. hopefully there will be better  systems in the future for all of us… 

And a last note: My daughters mother had to stop … it was NOT her fault.. it was the stress of the situation…. she should not be blamed for this…. it is not a task everybody can handle even when you live your children like she did…. but there are times a parent just needs to stop because they will cause more harm than good despite good intentions… this is a grueling and difficult task that is never ever easy on anyone in the family.  So I ask you be a bit considerate when some parents have to leave the situation…. as it really does become a situation of survival. If I can forgive my daughters mother for this and understand her reasons.. then those who have never experienced such physical, mental and emotional drain should not condemn her either… Thank you!

March 31, 2012

Early Detection of Autism Encouraged

Filed under: ASD,Asperger's,AUTISM,Autism Spectrum Disorder — Mr. Craig @ 9:01 am
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CHICAGO (AP) — At 18 months, Cristina Astacio spoke only a few words, wouldn’t respond to her name and shunned other kids in her day care group. Last October, her worried parents found out why.

She has a mild form of autism, a diagnosis being given to more U.S. children than ever before, largely because of more awareness and better diagnosis.

According to new government statistics, the rate is about 1 in 88. That means autism is nearly twice as common as it appeared in data the government gathered 10 years ago. The largest increases are in Hispanic kids like Cristina.

The definition of autism has changed over the years, and Cristina might not have been considered autistic two decades ago.

But experts say kids like her are lucky in a way, because her parents recognized early that something was wrong. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report issued Thursday found that 40 percent of kids weren’t diagnosed until after age 4. Evidence shows that children who are identified early and get help have the best chance for reaching their potential, said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends autism screening for all children at age 18 months and 2 years.

Diagnosing the developmental disorder relies on observing behavior. Autism can’t be cured, but treatment including intensive behavior therapy can help many kids function better.

The academy’s Dr. Susan Hyman said many children who aren’t making eye contact and aren’t talking “may have autism, but they may have other things.” She said it’s important for parents to be persistent about their concerns with their doctor so their kids can be evaluated.

Kristy Batesole, of Atascadero, Calif., says she suspected something was wrong with her son, Keegan, even when he was a hard-to-calm overly fussy baby. He learned words, but by age 2 stopped talking, would spend hours opening and closing doors and sometimes bang his head on the ground.

Though he started getting special help in preschool in Nevada, he wasn’t formally diagnosed with autism until last year, at age 6, after the family moved to California, where there are more autism specialists.

Cristina Astacio gets two hours of behavior therapy six days a week. Her mom, Charisse, says the little girl now responds to commands and speaks about 50 words. The most special are two words Cristina never said before. “Now she says ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy,'” Astacio said. “It’s wonderful.”

Christina’s dad, Christopher, is a special-education teacher in the New York City; most of the kids in his class are Hispanic and many have autism.

“I remember back in the past, a few kids here and there had autism, not like the way it is now,” Astacio said. “I’m really curious why so many kids are being diagnosed.”

Experts, including CDC researchers, think broader screening and better diagnosis have largely contributed to that. But autism’s cause remains a mystery, and government researchers are seeking answers.

The latest numbers are based on 2008 data from 14 states. The new rate is nearly two times higher than data suggested in 2002, roughly 1 in 150 kids. And it’s 23 percent higher than a later estimate of 1 in 110 based on 2006 data. Rates are highest in boys and white children. But the biggest rate increase was among Hispanics, from 1 in 270 in 2002 to about 1 in 125 in 2008.

That rate increase also is likely due to better awareness. The CDC report says there’s no strong evidence of any racial or ethnic difference in risk factors for autism and that it’s likely the condition is underdiagnosed in blacks and Hispanics.

Melissa Miller, a St. Petersburg, Fla., mom whose daughter, Chelsea, was diagnosed last year at age 2, said many people still misunderstand the disorder.

“I think many people hear ‘autism’ and think ‘Rain Man,'” she said, referring to the 1988 movie featuring Dustin Hoffman as the mathematically brilliant but socially impaired autistic savant.

“The autism spectrum is so vast, and all of our children are different. Many of them don’t rock back and forth or have savant skills. They are sweet, affectionate, intelligent, goofy — and exhausting — kids,” Miller said.

Proposed revisions in the manual that doctors use to diagnose mental illness would streamline autism criteria. Critics contend the suggested changes would be too narrow and exclude children who need educational and behavioral services.

Hyman noted that since the manual’s last revision, in 1994, much has been learned about autism. “There’s a real possibility the new definition will be better for children,” she said Thursday at a CDC news conference.

CDC officials say research into causes of autism will help determine if there’s been a true increase or just better diagnosis.

Genetics is believed to play a role. Studies have found no connection with childhood vaccines, but other factors under investigation include mothers’ illnesses or medication during pregnancy. First results from the CDC study are expected next year.

Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer for the advocacy group Autism Speaks, said the new figures indicate “a public health emergency that demands immediate attention.”

Her group estimates that U.S. autism costs total $126 billion each year, including costs related to diagnosis and treatment. That estimate also includes treatment for severely affected adults and lost wages.

___

Online:

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov

Autism Speaks: http://www.autismspeaks.org

February 3, 2012

Coming of Age and Facing a Poor Quality of Life and Uncertain Future

This Post is scheduled to post on  the early morning of Friday February 3, 2012. It is My Daughter Birthday today… and I am sad …..

It is a sad post actually… it is about my daughter. While the happy news is that on this day she attains the milestone of 21 years  of age…. and I will  abide by her wished to give her the first legal drink in her life (I have been instructed by her to make sure it is sweet) ….. the sad news is  she faces a glib future.

My daughter is Autistic.. and hope as I may have I  hoped and prayed that she would  develop enough to be at least minimally self sufficient…. but that is not going to be the case for her. If I am no longer able to care for her then I  fear.. really fear…. that  the Government , in its efforts to care for her.. will in fact fail her like they have…. many others. WORSE, my own republican party has  taken on an ANTI-NEEDY stance….. and   if you know anyone on a fixed income you will know that the “COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT”  that Social Security Recipients Get is NOT true….NOT real.. and their costs of living are far far greater than the  adjustment they get every year.

I have thought of putting my assets into a specified Trust Fund…. but who will administer it…. I do not know anyone that is related to me or my daughter that I can trust to do what is right for her and to safeguard the money… and I mean that….. NO ONE related to us do I trust…. and that is a sad state of affairs in itself.

Lawyers charge too much to do this over time….. and if the assets were  placed in my daughter’s name I fear she will not qualify for aid until all of that money was used up… and I wanted her to have that for the simpler things in life… Ruffles Potato Chips , Pepperoni Loves Pizza cut into half-inch squares  so she  can eat them without having any front teeth, the newest Sims 3 or whatever version is current  expansion packs. I tunes, and Music players and the occasional new computer and  TV set… and Movie and game rentals…. it sounds like a lot.. but it is not cost wise….

But then it is things that Insurance does not cover.. like dental… and Medicare does not cover dental.. or who will help her chose a good Medical plane if Medicare goes private.. and how will she affords it.

I am NOT going to outlive this child/Adult… so what is going to happen to her… where is she going to live… and because she is 100% NON VIOLENT   and is not  the personality that can even stand up for herself.. and gets upset if she is confronted and buckles like a house built of cheap cards….. She really is the most sweetest, kindest, caring, compassionate, empathetic young lady you would ever want to meet.

She is able to achieve intellectually to some extent. She even was able to earn a REGULAR ED diploma and pass the STATE High School  exam…. but some days she cannot remember the days of the week and always has trouble with the months of the year.  She is spatially challenged.. meaning  she cannot see things in her mind.. so when it came to learning how to drive… she had to look down at the pedals to look at them before she wold put her foot down on one to stop or go…. Same with brushing her own hair.. she can not  envision it by feel or concept and can’t brush it as a result.. Bathing, the same…  and even if she could in some ways her dexterity and coordination is so awkward that she gets frustrated and gives up trying….. ohh and she is just 4 foot 8 so even kitchen cabinets are to high for her….  In the simplest terms she needs help in her every day living..  so even finding a good place to live is extremely difficult and I have not found that place yet.

I cold go on about my troubles with getting her her own Medicaid… she does not qualify because she lives with me and our HOUSEHOLD income is too high… or the supposed Medicaid Waiver Program that Congress refuses to fund so I can get her additional help and services…  but what is the use.. there are a lot of people in that position and I am not alone…

What I am alone in and have been for almost 9 years now is taking care of this  sweetheart. No ONE has really helped.. and respite care  … I have no idea what that is.. even family ignores my needs to have real-time for myself… and so I am tired… and have literally lost my will to live.. no I am not going to kill myself… First because I have this obligation to this great person .. but second because i am a Cowardly Catholic… and help has no appeal for me.

And last….. which may seem the strangest thing of all is I am afraid….. NOT OF DYING…. For that Concept I fully embrace…. BUT BECAUSE MY OWN REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS BETRAYED ME AND MY FAMILY…. They have gone so far as to actually now believe the lies they have been telling the public for the last 4 years.. and I am DISGUSTED by their  lies, distortions and worse….. their heartlessness….  and remember I AM A REPUBLICAN!!   …… and it is for this reason I  have to live longer.. because of their  hubris…. their complete disregard for the human condition… because they have become something I do not recognize…. and maybe the 2012 doomsday prophecy will be true if my party wins the  Presidential race based on this platform of hate.

Some of you will say.. ohh then you’re a Democrat… I say no way I am not that  compassionate and soft on people who need to take responsibility.. so others say ohh your libertarian….. I say no there is a need for government and regulations because humans by nature are greedy and selfish and  if left unchecked hurt all of humanity.

I AM A REPUBLICAN… and I am an ANGRY Republican…. but my party does not care.. they have only one goal…. not America.. not Americans.. Not humanity…. no …. ONLY ONE GOAL….. BEAT OBAMA…..  Stupidity reigns in my party!!

Life is HARD.. it is an uphill battle for all of us.. and more so for those like my daughter who are disabled and disadvantaged…. WHO WILL BE HER ADVOCATE when I am not able  to do it anymore….. Obviously not my family, my party, or my country.

So while this is an auspicious day for my daughter turning 21…. and I will make it as special as I can for her.. it is also a sad day as it only  makes me sorry and care  about what will happen  when I can no longer be her advocate and care giver….. and I want to just sit her and cry when I write this………………….

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