3C Autism Program

3C Autism Program

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Brain damage in premature newborns may raise risk for autism

Brain damage in premature newborns may raise risk for autism BY LAURA GEGGEL / 1 APRIL 2013 Low-birth-weight babies with injury to their white matter – the nerve fibers that connect different brain regions — are more likely to be diagnosed with autism as adults, says a two-decade study published 11 February in the Journal of Pediatrics1. The findings are part of the Neonatal Brain Hemorrhage Study, an effort that began in the mid-1980s. Researchers used cranial ultrasounds to analyze the brains of more than 1,000 newborns weighing between 500 and 2,000 grams (1.1 pounds and 4.4 pounds). They performed these ultrasounds within the first few days of the infants’ lives. Radiologists determined whether the babies had any brain damage, including hemorrhages, ventricular enlargements or lesions in brain tissue. The researchers then assessed some of the participants for autism 21 years later. They found that infants who have any kind of white matter injury are three times as likely to develop autism as those also born at a low birth weight, but without any brain damage. In particular, infants with enlarged ventricles – spaces in the brain filled with cerebrospinal fluid – have a sevenfold increase in autism risk compared with controls. Enlarged ventricles signal white matter loss, says lead investigator Tammy Movsas, medical director of Midland County Department of Public Health in Michigan. “There’s been a lot of controversy among the public and among researchers about whether autism develops in utero or after birth,” says Movsas. “This study gave us a look, at least in a low-birth-weight population, that the risk factors for autism start very early on.” Ultrasound analysis: Movsas points out that not all infants with white matter injuries develop autism, and says her group isn’t suggesting that doctors screen all prematurely born infants for white matter abnormalities. Instead, she says, the study calls for researchers to investigate the link between white matter injuries and autism. Other scientists say the findings aren’t conclusive, pointing to the study’s small size. Although the initial study included 1,105 babies, only 14 were diagnosed with autism as adults. It’s possible the 14 participants developed autism because of another reason, says Charles Nelson, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, who was not involved with the study. “[lt] could be attributed to the prevalence in the general population, and have nothing to do with being low-birth-weight or having ventricular enlargement,” Nelson says. When the study’s participants turned 16, the researchers screened 623 of them for autism2. (The others had died, been adopted or lost touch with the researchers.) When the participants turned 21, the researchers invited back 189 of them – 70 of whom had screened positive for autism and 119 who had screened negative. This was one of the precautions they took to ensure that the sample is representative of the larger group. The researchers confirmed the diagnosis in 14 people (11 from the positive and 3 from the negative group) using the gold-standard assessments, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised. Of the 14, 7 had abnormal ultrasounds, and 4 had enlarged ventricles. Of the remaining 175 participants called back, 41 had abnormal ultrasounds, including 8 with ventricular enlargement. There are a number of reasons an individual could have enlarged ventricles, including hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the ventricles that puts pressure on the brain. But the researchers say that often it’s because the infants have less white matter than do their peers with typically sized ventricles. “The ventricular enlargement represents the fact that the white matter of the brain has less tissue to it, and therefore the holes in the brain look larger,” Movsas says. Hemorrhages do not increase the risk of autism, and neither do tears in the brain tissue in the absence of ventricular enlargement, the researchers found. Weighty risk: Two studies within the past five years have hinted that brain damage in preterm infants is a risk factor for developing autism. The new study uses more rigorous diagnostic tests than the other studies do, says Michael O’Shea, pediatrics professor at Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who was not involved in the study3,4. It’s also unusual for a study to follow children from infancy to adulthood, but assessing people for autism at age 21 has its advantages, Movsas says. Although many children are diagnosed by age 3, the average age of an Asperger syndrome diagnosis is 10 years. “By screening for autism at 16 and assessing for autism at 21, we were able to capture all children who developed autism and not worry at the time of assessment that some of them may still develop it later on,” she says. Low birth weight itself is a risk factor for autism, but it’s not clear why this is the case. It is important to learn what increases the risk for autism more: low birth weight or younger gestational age. A number of babies born small don’t gain weight easily, says Alan Leviton, director of the neuroepidemiology unit at Boston Children’s Hospital, who was not involved in the study. “The growth-restricted babies are at increased risk for a number of problems,” Leviton says. “One wants to be able to say that most of what we see [in terms of autism] is not due to that.” The researchers may soon be able to answer this question. They are looking at a variety of risk factors using blood samples and magnetic resonance imaging in another cohort of more than 1,000 premature infants born between 2002 and 2004. References: 1: Movsas T.Z. et al. J. Pediatr. Epub ahead of print (2013) PubMed 2: Pinto-Martin J.A. et al. Pediatrics 128, 883-891 (2011) PubMed 3: Johnson S. et al. J. Pediatr. 156, 525-531 (2010) PubMed 4: Limperopoulos C. et al. Pediatrics 121, 758- 765 (2008) PubMed

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Phelan-McDermid Syndrome – Autismul inteles altfel

Phelan-McDermid Syndrome – Autismul inteles altfel What is Phelan-McDermid Syndrome?  Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS) is a rare genetic condition that causes developmental and speech delays, behavioral problems and a weakened or no ability to feel pain or sweat. Phelan-McDermid syndrome is a congenital condition (condition that is present at birth) that can affect people of all genders. What Causes PMS? PMS is caused by a mutation (change) or deletion of theSHANK gene (piece of genetic material). In most cases, PMS happens at random. It is not anyone’s fault. How Can a Person Develop PMS?  There are 4 different ways that a person can develop PMS: Simple deletion. This is the most common type of PMS. It is when a piece of chromosome 22 (piece of genetic material) on the SHANK gene gets lost. This usually happens at random. Ring chromosome. This is when chromosome 22 on the SHANK3 gene forms a circle instead of the typical X-shape. Unbalanced translocation. This can happen when parents do not know that one or both parents carry the chromosome for
PMS. Mutation in the DNA sequence (order) of the SHANK3 gene. This usually happens at random. What Are the Signs of PMS?  Most children with PMS show signs in early childhood. Other children show signs as early as their first 6 months of life. Signs can be different in every person with PMS. PMS signs can affect development, behavior and physical appearance. Development Developmental delays, such as delayed sitting up, rolling over, walking or talking Delayed or absent speech Autism spectrum disorder (ASD, or a condition that causes problems with communication, behavior and social skills) Behavior Repetitive behaviors, such as hand flapping Anxiety or nervousness Sleep and/or seizure disorders Some lower ability to sweat, which can lead to overheating Lower sensation or expression of pain Physical appearance Hypotonia (low muscle tone) Long head shape with full or puffy cheeks Puffy or droopy eyelids with long eyelashes Wide, flat nose or face with a pointed chin Large hands Underdeveloped toenails Rev. 5/2018. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.

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3C SportAutism Consulting

Întrebarea săptămânii trecute a fost: unde sunt adolescentii si adultii cu autism, din România? Nu vreau sa critic, nu vreau sa lovesc în terapeuti sau sa denigrez anumite metode. Vreau doar sa constientizăm ca anumite proceduri sunt ineficiente sau nu sunt aplicate corect. Obiectivul final al procesului global de recuperare/optimizare este dobândirea COMPORTAMENTULUI SOCIAL ADAPTATIV. Dacă toti terapeutii de pe ariile cu care se lucreaza isi fac treaba cu pasiune si cu responsabilitate, obiectivul este realizabil. Altfel, ne întâlnim cu situatii diferite. Copilul e bun la sport, dar nu stie sa vorbească. Sau stie matematica, geografie, etc, dar nu stie s-si miste mâinile si picioarele si are tendinte auto-agresive sau agresive, s.a.s.m.d. Stimulam creierele acestor copii cu diferite metode artificiale si pastile, scăpând din vedere ca ceea ce dezvolta creierul unui om este expunerea la stimulii naturali si expunerea copilului la situatii care să-I provoace să-si dezvolte capacitătile psiho-fizice i intelectuale, urmând ca noi si printii sa ajutam la corectarea comportamentului. Copiii cu autism NU sunt în “lumea lor”. Ei sunt in lumea noastr. lar rolul nostru, terapeuti si printi, este acela de a-i face functionali in aceasta. Multumesc. ? Paul Cojocaru, Fondator Terapia 3C

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Despre desensibilizarea copilului autist

Despre desensibilizarea copilului autist Nu de putine ori am auzit acest cuvânt “desensibilizare… Este omniprezent in toate terapiile copilului autist. Trebuie desensibilizat senzorial, olfactiv, etc… Daca noi nu suportam anumite texturi, înseamn ca avem deficit senzorial? Dacă nu suportam anumite mirosuri, înseamn ca avem deficit olfactiv? Dacă o anumit textura a hainelor ne da o stare de confort, înseamn ca avem o fixatie? Dacă un anumit parfum ne creste vibe-ul, în timp ce pe altul nu-I suportam, înseamnă ca avem fixatii olfactive? Probabil ar trebui sa întelegem ca si copilul autist este un om. Ca si el are haine ale căror texturi ii plac. Altele, nu. Poate si el are anumite mirosuri care ii creaz o stare de confort, altele nu… Diferenta între noi si copilul cu autism, este aceea ca el nu poate exprima aceste lucruri care ii crează o stare de confort/disconfort, in timp ce noi da. Paul Cojocaru, Fondator Sport Autism Program

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Rolul sportului in recuperarea persoanei cu autism

Rolul sportului in recuperarea persoanei cu autism Andrea Marica si Lacramioara Munteanu – terapeutii care lucreaza cu S.A.I. S.A.l. are 4 ani si 3 luni si a fost diagnosticata cu autism infantil si intarziere mintala moderata. La inceputul terapiei, S.A.l, manifesta un comportament refractar, intoleranta, frustrare si irascibilitate crescuta. Implicarea copiluli in activitati sportive structurate a dus la o colaborare mai soara, la achiziti in plan cognitiv, la acceptarea comenzilor primite si executarea acestora cu succes. Combinarea sportului cu programele specifice de recuperare a determinat la S.A.I cresterea motivatiei, a duratei de concentrare in activitate si realizarea de sarcini independent. Pentru S.A.l. instructorul reprezinta un model masculin de autoritate. Copilul este mai disciplinat, accepta reguli si intelege interdictille. Totodata s-a dezvoltat motricitatea grosiera, S.A.I. nemaifiind la fel de stangace in miscari. Odata cu redirectionarea energiei copilului si introducerea sportului in terapie, am constatat si o diminuare a stereotipiilor. In prezent S.A.l. este mai vesela, a capatat incredere in fortele proprii, initiaza jocul si cauta compania copiilor. Articol preluat din www.sportautism.ro

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Viata, ca o terapie!

La fiecare workshop pe care-l tin, aduc in vedere atat parintilor cat si terapeutilor faptul ca nu toate actiunile pe care copilul cu TSA le intreprinde intra sub incidenta afectiunii pe care o are. In consecinta, e oarecum lipsit de sens sau poate chiar nociv sa-i transformam viata intr-o terapie care se desfasoara ca un perpetuum mobile. Astfel, bucurii pe care orice copil de varst lui le are, el trebuie sa le perceapa ca pe o terapie. Hipismul, inotul, cantatul la un instrument, adoptarea unui animal de companie, nu pot fi luate ca atare de catre copilul cu autism si familia acestuia, findca ele TREBUIE sa devina terapii. Chiar si Terapia 3C, metoda prin care se aplica exercitii de coordonare adaptate am fost nevoit s-o intitulez ca find terapie, findca tot ce se desfasoara in sfera activitatilor persoanei cu TSA, nu poate fi altceva decat TERAPIE. De asemenea, am observat peste tot in tara un fapt nu tocmai la locul lui. Si anume, copilul cu autism NU ARE VOIE SA GRESEASCA. Daca la varstele copilariei noastre, am avut voie sa ne impiedicam, sa cadem, sa spargem o vaza, sau cine stie ce alte nazdravani am facut fiecare dintre noi, copilul cu autism NU ARE VOIE. Nu, findã daca nu ar fi avut aceasta afectiune ar fi fost copilul perfect, fara zgarieturi, fara nazdravanii de tot felul. Acceptarea de catre parinti a unei astfel de abordari a propriului copil, nu are ca si consecinta trecerea în plan secundar a rolului de parinte, cel care construieste, dezvolta si echilibreaza dpddv emotional colpilul, si abordarea preponderenta a rolului de terapeut exigent. Astfel pe langa multitudinea de terapii pe care copilul cu TSA e obligat sa le accepte in acest fel, se mai alege cu un terapeut omniprezent si cu un parinte care arareori mai reuseste sa vadã în el copilul pe care si I-a dorit.. Daca doriti sa experimentati fiecare dintre dvs cam cum poate fi viata ca o terapie, va propun un exercitiu de imaginatie. Imaginati-va ca, de azi, bautul cafelei de dimineata sunteti nevoiti sa o vedeti ca pe o terapie cu cafea, privitul tv-ului ca pe o terapie vizuala, mersul la piscina ca pe o terapie prin inot, etc… Si mai mult decat atat, pregatiti-va sa argumentati unei persone de langa dvs fiecare gest pe care-l faceti. De exemplu, de ce intr-un moment anume ati privit in gol, de ce in alt moment v-ati trecut mana prin par, etc… Sunt convins ca intelegeti punctul meu de vedere si ca de acum o sa constientizati si mai mult ceea ce spun de cativa ani: Autismul nu are copii, ci copiii au autism!

Created by Andrey Cojocaru
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