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Autism Related Articles – 2

This is a continuation of my other post, Autism Related Articles 😉


How art transformed an autistic mind

12 important needs of siblings and tips to address these needs

Death of a Cool Mum

Autism and the ultimate goal: independence

5 facts autism families want President Obama to know

Autistic athlete defies the odds

From troublemaker to entrepreneur for Asperger’s suffer

Son with Asperger’s syndrome coping with unseen difficulties

Fungicide study links chemical to autism, obesity, stress and anxiety

In China, private school for autistic children provides hope–the-autism-project-in-china-private-school-for-autistic-children-provides-hope

Autism research chair will look at bullying–autism-chair-goes-to-bullying-researcher-at-york-university

Autism Study: First signs don’t appear until after 6 months of age–autism-study-first-signs-don-t-appear-until-after-6-months-of-age

Vaccine bombshell: Baby monkeys develop autism symptoms after obtaining doses of popular vaccines



Major Meltdown – I had to leave him in tears

Tyson - photo taken using Photo Booth app

This morning wasn’t a very good morning for my eldest son, Tyson, who has an autism spectrum disorder. The weather outside isn’t very nice and there are dark clouds in the sky. Hearing on the radio that there was a chance of storms later on in the afternoon is never easy for Tyson – storms scare him, especially if there is thunder and lightning.

When Tyson got up this morning at 7am, he wasn’t in the best mood. Having slept awkwardly during the night, he was complaining about having a sore neck – holding his neck whilst making a small (fake) coughing sound. Tyson didn’t have a temperature nor were there any signs to suggest that he was sick so I decided that he could go to school today.

Breakfast is never easy with Tyson and it is common for Tyson to take over 45 minutes to eat 4 pancakes – Taj scoffs 11 pancakes down in about 10 minutes! This morning was no different. I made a concerted effort not to badger Tyson about eating and just left him to it. By the time he finished, his mood had improved.

That was until he saw me organising the school lunch bags. The tears started along with big heaving breathes. Tyson kept telling me that he was too sick to go to school today and that he really didn’t want to go. I calmly explained that he had to go to school, especially during this term (4). I focused on as many positives as I could.


Walking to school was no better. Tyson continued to cry all the way. Thankfully we don’t live too far from the school and the walk only takes about 7 minutes. We took Taj to his class first and Tyson seemed to improve. This improvement didn’t last for long, though, and Tyson was soon melting again as we walked to his classroom.

I got all of his things organised for school and took them into his classroom, all the while with Tyson glued firmly by my side with tears streaming down his face. Talking to the teacher (who is very understanding), I explain quietly what had happened and that Tyson was in full meltdown mode. In order to reassure Tyson, the teacher agreed that if Tyson wasn’t feeling any better by recess, that the school would give me a call.

This didn’t help. When the EA (education assistant) came into the classroom, I had to help her to get Tyson over to his desk. All the while he was crying, begging me to pick him up early. I said my goodbyes and gave him a big kiss on the cheek as well as telling him that I love him. None of that helped and he continued to cry.

As I left the room, I could hear Tyson’s confusion that I had ‘just left’. When I turned to look back, he had thrown himself down on his desk, crying uncontrollably, with his EA giving him a hug.

It breaks my heart to have to leave Tyson at school like that, it really does. As much as I would love for him to stay home and not be melting, I have to remain strong. Tyson needs to get an education so that he can succeed in life. I wouldn’t be doing “my job” if I denied him this right.

Jeez it’s hard being an autism Mum =D

Cat Toilet Training System By Litter Kwitter – Teach Your Cat to Use the Toilet – With Instructional DVD

Cat Toilet Training System By Litter Kwitter

Product Description:
Litter Kwitter Toilet Training SystemTrain your cat to use a human toilet in 8 weeks or less. The Litter Kwitter(R) is the award-winning 3-Step Training System designed to train cats to use a human toilet and thereby rid the house of an unhygienic litter tray. Sound weird? Well, not if you’re the one dealing with the litterbox twice per day – picking out the dirt and rinsing the drenched litter into the basin. In fact, Litter Kwitter(R) users claim their homes have never been so clean! No more mess, no more germs, no more smells, no more hassle! The Litter Kwitter(R) and the training protocol were developed with animal behaviorists, vets and cat breeders to make sure they work with the cat’s natural instincts. A happy cat is a successful cat and a great companion! So, it is a professional training product developed with the following three key objectives:The training is kind to catsThe training is based on an understanding of cats’ natural habitsThe training is easy (for cat owners) to understand and useThe Litter Kwitter(R) is used by professional cat breeders so they can offer fully or partially toilet-trained cats to their customers. The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the world’s key animal welfare agency. Mark Townsend, CEO in Australia has said: “If you own a cat, this product helps the cat to be house trained with ease and is one of the best pet innovations I have seen for years”. The Litter Kwitter(R) is a professional training product that delivers a genuine and valuable benefit to households. It removes one of the key points of conflict between cats and their owners and leads to more harmonious relationships. And that has to be a good thing, right?Is a toilet trained cat hygienic? With a regular litterbox your cat soils the litter then steps in it with their paws & tracks through your home on kitchen tops, beds and carpets. Meanwhile, the litterbox is an open sewer on the floor in your utility room. You know how that smell

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Hurricane Sandy

Like just about everyone else in the world at the moment, I have been keeping an eye on the updates on Hurricane Sandy. I know, I live in Perth Australia and am safe and sound on the other side of the world. But that doesn’t stop me from worrying still.

Sandy has received so much coverage that it can be a little overwhelming. Storms surges, tidal waves, there is just so much water that has been dumped on the eastern seaboard of the United States.  You have to ask yourself, how much more water can there be?

What has been spooky has been seeing the images coming out of New York. Here is a city that is probably one of the most well known places in the world and it has been crippled by Sandy. Normally lit up with tons of lights, it was a surreal feeling seeing the skyline plunged into darkness.

Scarier still, though, was watching the storm surges and how the water just came through. Where the water wanted to go, that was where it went. Hearing that Wall Street closed for the first time in 124 years just showed how big and fierce Sandy really is.

14 deaths caused by Sandy is depressing, especially that poor guy who was struck by a tree in his own home in Queens. Then there is the fire that raged on in Queens that fire fighters couldn’t contain because they couldn’t get their trucks in due to flood waters. How frustrating would that be, not only for the fire fighters themselves but also for the owners of the homes.

It will take New York a while to recover from Hurricane Sandy but I’m sure that it will bounce back better than ever 😉

Self-Injury: How to Stop this Dangerous Practice

Many wonder why anyone would practice self-injury, as it is painful and dangerous. However, with autistic children, self-injury occurs more often than not. There are several theories as to why this practice can be prevalent in autistic children, and there are some methods you can use to help ease this distressing practice.

Because autistic children are unable to communicate through language the way that others can, they often feel frustrated at not being understood or at not getting what they need or want. Thus, autistic children may commit self-injury, by banging their heads or biting themselves (among other tactics), to release some of that frustration that cannot be communicated through words. Also, self-injury is a way of getting attention. An autistic child’s frustration goes hand-in-hand with wanting attention. For instance, by scratching oneself until one bleeds, the autistic child will immediately get someone’s attention, and this person will work to understand what the child wants or needs.

This theory of frustration and attention has been the sole thinking for quite some time. Recently, however, studies have shown that self-injury can have a biochemical component that relieves some of the pain and frustration one feels by releasing endorphins, or “happy hormones,” into one’s system. The endorphins also provide a release for the autistic child, allowing him or her to temporarily forget about his or her frustration and pain. Furthermore, it is believed that if one practices self-injury enough, the endorphins will begin to help mask any pain associated with such behavior, making it an addictive action.

While some professionals say that ignoring the autistic child’s self-injurious behavior is an acceptable method of treating such practice, this can obviously be very difficult. Others have suggested that communication therapy and drugs may help an autistic child by providing him or her with another method of communication. There are drugs that will help stem the addictive behavior of releasing endorphins into the system, and thus help stop such behavior. There are also nutritional solutions available; vitamin B6 and calcium have been said to help many families with an autistic child.

For the family members involved, communication training to learn how to communicate with an autistic child is also extremely important. Because normal adults, and even children and teenagers, are so accustomed to communicating through easily recognizable words or body language, they have to learn that communicating with an autistic child requires a completely different process. By looking for solutions for both the family and the autistic child involved in self-injurious behavior, one may be able to overcome this distressing practice.

Sibling Rivalry: How Brothers and Sisters can Cope with Autistic Family Members

When a family member is diagnosed with autism, there is a vast amount of information teaching parents how to cope with an autistic child, and there is also information for parents about dealing with an autistic child’s different behaviors. However, there are fewer learning tools for those who have an autistic sibling, even though this is a very stressful situation for brothers and sisters of an autistic child. The following tips can help children cope with an autistic sibling.

Sometimes parents are so involved in preparing themselves and their autistic child for the transition ahead that they forget that their other children must also deal with the new situation. Often, siblings of an autistic child may feel the new situation acutely. They may feel neglected by parents or jealous of the autistic child who is now receiving more attention. Also, they may find their peers constantly teasing them about having an autistic sibling, which can lead to more stress. This may lead to behavioral issues, with the sibling acting out and becoming a “problem child” to receive attention. In some cases, the sibling may even try to hurt the autistic brother or sister in an attempt to remove him from the family environment.

However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, having an autistic sibling forces one to “grow up” and become responsible. There can be a strong emotional attachment to the autistic sibling and a keen desire to keep him or her safe in all situations. Furthermore, living with an autistic sibling can teach one to be more open about another person’s differences. In this way, having an autistic sibling is a life-enriching experience that pushes individuals to be emotionally and mentally stronger and to be more tolerant towards others in life

One tip for siblings to cope with their autistic brother or sister is to find a support group. There should be resources available at the local chapter of the Autism Society of America. This is especially important in helping siblings feel that they are not alone and isolated in this unfolding situation-others are dealing with the same sorts of problems. Also, try to increase family interaction. Schedule a regular family day or family night each week, where all children can spend time with parents or other family members and share their day or week experiences and any problems. The best thing to remember is to be open about how you are feeling. If children feel that their parents are neglecting some aspect of their life, simply asking them for a moment of their time is often the best solution. It is important for parents to be understanding towards their children’s needs for attention, whether they are autistic or not. Communication is the key to helping the entire family run smoothly.

Sounding Off: How Auditory Stimulation Helps an Hurts and Autistic Child

Sounds are a part of our everyday life, and so when dealing with an autistic child who has sensory problems, sound is one of the first things you should learn to control, especially in a learning environment. Sound can both be hurtful and helpful for an autistic child. Because each autistic individual is different, you must closely observe him or her to find out what types of reactions you can expect from auditory sensory stimulation.

Loud or frightening sounds may be the most difficult type of sensory stimulation in an autistic child’s life. Many of our routine daily activities include such sounds, hurting the growth process. Autistic children can not and will not learn if they are frightened. For example, parents often find that they have a difficult time toilet training their autistic children. This may be due to the scary sound of the toilet flushing; witch could be overpowering to and autistic child. Instead, try using a potty seat away from the actual toilet until they get used to the idea. Another example is loud or crunchy foods. If your autistic child is a picky eater, try to notice specifically which foods he or she blatantly refuses to eat. Sometimes, food simply sounds too loud when crunching in an autistic child’s mouth, and these loud noises can hurt his or her ears. If this is the case with your child, provide alternative soft foods instead of crunchy carrots, apples, or potato chips. Other loud sounds, such as a vacuum cleaner, may hurt your child’s ears. Try to do these activities when he or she is not in the room, or consider providing your child with earplugs that he or she can use if the world gets too loud.

Sounds can also cause fixation. Some children, for example, constantly hum and seem fixated on the sights and sounds of lawn mowers. Use this fixation to be beneficial. For example, read stories about lawn mowers or use the humming in conjunction with a song. Music is a great way in which autistic individuals can learn, because sound is a form of nonverbal communication. Teachers and parents should use this tool in learning environments. The key is to make sound work for you and your child. Autism is a difficult disorder to handle, so by being sensitive to your child’s specific needs, you can help him or her learn to deal with the sounds of everyday life.