Autism is running prevalent today. My question was, is it getting worse or is it easier to detect due to new brain spects and other technology. I think it is a little of both. I enjoyed learning the facts below. I have great appreciation for all of you parenting and working with these precious children. Enjoy the following from the Autism Society. ~Sandy
What is Autism:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States – nearly twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125 – and almost 1 in 54 boys. The spotlight shining on autism as a result has opened opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve families facing a lifetime of supports for their children. In June 2014, researchers estimated the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism is as great as $2.4 million. The Autism Society estimates that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism. (This figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, related therapeutic services and caregiver costs.)
Know the signs: Early identification can change lives
Autism is treatable. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes. For more information on developmental milestones, visit the CDC’s “Know the Signs. Act Early” site.
HERE ARE SOME SIGNS TO LOOK FOR IN THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE:
- Lack of or delay in spoken language
- Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
- Little or no eye contact
- Lack of interest in peer relationships
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorder may be apparent in infancy (18 to 24 months), but they usually become clearer during early childhood (24 months to 6 years).
As part of a well-baby or well-child visit, your child’s doctor should perform a “developmental screening,” asking specific questions about your baby’s progress. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:
- Does not babble or coo by 12 months
- Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
- Does not say single words by 16 months
- Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
- Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age
Any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. But because the disorder’s symptoms vary so widely, a child showing these behaviors should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. This team might include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant or other professionals who are knowledgeable about autism.
When parents or support providers become concerned that their child is not following a typical developmental course, they turn to experts, including psychologists, educators and medical professionals, for a diagnosis.
At first glance, some people with autism may appear to have an intellectual disability, sensory processing issues, or problems with hearing or vision. To complicate matters further, these conditions can co-occur with autism. However, it is important to distinguish autism from other conditions, as an accurate and early autism diagnosis can provide the basis for an appropriate educational and treatment program.
Other medical conditions or syndromes, such as sensory processing disorder, can present symptoms that are confusingly similar to autism’s. This is known as differential diagnosis.
There are many differences between a medical diagnosis and an educational determination, or school evaluation, of a disability. A medical diagnosis is made by a physician based on an assessment of symptoms and diagnostic tests. A medical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, for instance, is most frequently made by a physician according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5, released 2013) of the American Psychological Association. This manual guides physicians in diagnosing autism spectrum disorder according to a specific number of symptoms.
A brief observation in a single setting cannot present a true picture of someone’s abilities and behaviors. The person’s developmental history and input from parents, caregivers and/or teachers are important components of an accurate diagnosis.
An educational determination is made by a multidisciplinary evaluation team of various school professionals. The evaluation results are reviewed by a team of qualified professionals and the parents to determine whether a student qualifies for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (Hawkins, 2009).
There is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism compared to in neurotypical children. Researchers do not know the exact cause of autism but are investigating a number of theories, including the links among heredity, genetics and medical problems.
In many families, there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities, further supporting the theory that the disorder has a genetic basis. While no one gene has been identified as causing autism, researchers are searching for irregular segments of genetic code that children with autism may have inherited. It also appears that some children are born with a susceptibility to autism, but researchers have not yet identified a single “trigger” that causes autism to develop.
Other researchers are investigating the possibility that under certain conditions, a cluster of unstable genes may interfere with brain development, resulting in autism. Still other researchers are investigating problems during pregnancy or delivery as well as environmental factors such as viral infections, metabolic imbalances and exposure to chemicals.
Autism tends to occur more frequently than expected among individuals who have certain medical conditions, including fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, congenital rubella syndrome and untreated phenylketonuria (PKU). Some harmful substances ingested during pregnancy also have been associated with an increased risk of autism.
FACTS AND STATISTICS:
About 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder. (CDC, 2014)
Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births. (CDC, 2014)
More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. (Buescher et al., 2014)
Prevalence has increased by 6-15 percent each year from 2002 to 2010. (Based on biennial numbers from the CDC)
Autism services cost U.S. citizens $236-262 billion annually. (Buescher et al., 2014)
A majority of costs in the U.S. are in adult services – $175-196 billion, compared to $61-66 billion for children. (Buescher et al., 2014)
Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention. (Autism. 2007 Sep;11(5):453-63; The economic consequences of autistic spectrum disorder among children in a Swedish municipality. Järbrink K1.)
1 percent of the adult population of the United Kingdom has autism spectrum disorder. (Brugha T.S. et al., 2011)
The U.S. cost of autism over the lifespan is about $2.4 million for a person with an intellectual disability, or $1.4 million for a person without intellectual disability. (Buescher et al., 2014)
35 percent of young adults (ages 19-23) with autism have not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school. (Shattuck et al., 2012)
In June 2014, only 19.3 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. were participating in the labor force – working or seeking work. Of those, 12.9 percent were unemployed, meaning only 16.8 percent of the population with disabilities was employed. (By contrast, 69.3 percent of people without disabilities were in the labor force, and 65 percent of the population without disabilities was employed.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014)
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO DONATE: https://www.autism-society.org/
Found this great video for quiet time for yourself or your students. I am falling asleep trying to write this little blurb. It creates relaxation so quickly. Let your mind be in the here and now. Don’t think about the past, can’t do anything about it. Don’t think about the future, it will come when it’s time. Think only about the NOW! Please try it! For more information on Mindfulness and helping students, educators and parents, go to Mindfulness in the Classroom~Sandy
Aloha, Eric Jensen here.
Recently, my wife’s mom has had some serious health issues. It has got us (that would be myself and my wife, Diane) to think a great deal about our health and our future plans.
One thing I would LOVE to do is find people who really want to do what I do. Yes, I LOVE doing my job, but it is time to be looking for the next generation of fresh faces.
That’s right; do amazing summer trainings for large groups to help both individuals and schools boost student learning.
Actually, you would have to more than WANT to do it. You would have to SERIOUSLY want it. Maybe you have already been building your career ladder so that you CAN do it. You would have to be COMMITTED enough to jump through the hoops to be READY to do it. You would have to have the RESOURCES (time, money and family support) to actually make it happen.
If I have described you, maybe it is time to make your move. Please complete the online application so I know you are “out there” and be ready for your next move.
Eric Jensen, Ph.D.
Update Your Information:
Jensen Learning Corp. PO Box 291 Maunaloa, Hawaii 96770 United States (808) 552-0110
7 Things You Don’t Know About ADD That Can Hurt You
ADD is the most common learning and behavior problem in children. But the issue doesn’t end there: It is also one of the most common problems in adults, and has been associated with serious problems in school, relationships, work, and families. Despite its prevalence, many myths and misconceptions about ADD abound in our society. Here are just a few of them:
MYTH: ADD is a flavor-of-the-month illness, a fad diagnosis. It’s just an excuse for bad behavior.
FACT: ADD has been described in the medical literature for about one hundred years. In 1902, pediatrician George Still described a group of children who were hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive. Unfortunately, he didn’t understand that ADD is a medical disorder and labeled these children as “morally defective.”
MYTH #2: ADD is overdiagnosed. Every child who acts up a bit, or adult who is lazy, gets placed on Ritalin or Adderall.
FACT: Less than half of those with ADD are being treated.
MYTH#3: ADD is only a disorder of hyperactive boys.
FACT: Many people with ADD are never hyperactive. The non- hyperactive or “inattentive” ADD folks are often ignored because they do not bring enough negative attention to themselves. Many of these children, teenagers, or adults earn the unjust labels “willful,” “lazy,” “unmotivated,” or “not that smart.” Females, in our experience, tend to have inattentive ADD, and it often devastates their lives.
MYTH #4: ADD is only a minor problem. People make too much of a fuss over it.
FACT: Left untreated or ineffectively treated, ADD is a very serious societal problem! Although previous research has demonstrated that ADD is associated with problems like job failures, relationship breakups, drug abuse, and obesity, recently published research in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatryconducted a systematic review of all the available evidence and confirmed the link between ADD and a wide range of health and psychosocial problems. The study demonstrates the importance of properly treating ADD early in life in order to potentially prevent these future adverse outcomes.
MYTH #5: ADD is an American invention, made up by a society seeking simple solutions to complex social problems.
FACT: ADD is found in every country where it has been studied. I once had a patient from Ethiopia who had been expelled from his tribe for being so easily distracted and impulsive.
MYTH #6: People with ADD should just try harder.
FACT: Often the harder people with ADD try, the worse things get for them. Brain-imaging studies show that when people with ADD try to concentrate, the parts of their brains involved with concentration, focus, and follow-through (prefrontal cortex and cerebellum) actually shuts down—just when they need them to turn on.
MYTH #7: Everyone who has ADD will get better if they just take stimulant medication.
FACT: ADD, like many other conditions, is not just a single and simple disorder; therefore, treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. With more than 120,000 brain scans in our database, we have identified 7 types of ADD. And each type requires a different treatment plan because of the diverse brain systems involved.
Amen Clinics has helped tens of thousands of people with ADD from all over the world and can help you, too. To learn more or schedule a comprehensive evaluation, contact the Amen Clinics Care Center today at 855-698-5108 orhttps://www.amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.
Clean Stormwater Grants
The 2017 Clean Stormwater Grants are now available. Go to the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District’s website, http://www.fresnofloodcontrol.org/clean-storm-water-program/community-assistance/clean-storm-water-grants/# for all the details and to download an application.
The grants available are:
· Clean Stormwater Grant for water resources field trips; environmental restoration, enhancement and preservation; stormwater quality information and education; household hazardous waste information and education; business stormwater pollution prevention assistance and education; and environmental assessment projects. Grants up to $2,000.
· Clean Stormwater Grant – High Priority Requested Grant Projects for a San Joaquin River clean-up project or a low impact development demonstration project. Grants up to $4,000.
· 5th Grade Field Trips to Scout Island to take your 5th grade classes (or other grade levels) to the San Joaquin River for a field trip with Scout Island docents. Grant pays for Scout Island and the transportation.
Water Resource Education Program
Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District staff is available to come to your classroom or business to provide an educational presentation about local water resources, our watershed and pollution prevention. Contact Patrick Bryan at (559) 456-3292 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a presentation.
Earth Sciences Local Water Resources Classroom Tools
Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District offers free educational materials for schools and organizations. Materials available include infographics, posters and PowerPoint presentation for 6th – 8th grade students; an activity book for 1st – 3rd grade students; Fresno the Mountains to the Valley activity book for 4th – 6th grade students; Storm Drains 101 DVD; local water cycle poster and more. Go to our website at http://www.fresnofloodcontrol.org/educational-materials/ to order materials.
To keep up to date follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresno-Metropolitan-Flood-Control-District/231056563609284.
If you have any questions please contact me at the email address or phone number below.
Senior Staff Analyst, Environmental Dept.
Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District
5469 E. Olive Avenue
Fresno, CA 93727
(559) 456-3292, Fax (559) 456-3194
Brain-based learning refers to teaching methods, lesson designs, and school programs that are based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including such factors as cognitive development—how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
Brain-based learning is motivated by the general belief that learning can be accelerated and improved if educators base how and what they teach on the science of learning, rather than on past educational practices, established conventions, or assumptions about the learning process. For example, it was commonly believed that intelligence is a fixed characteristic that remains largely unchanged throughout a person’s life. However, recent discoveries in cognitive science have revealed that the human brain physically changes when it learns, and that after practicing certain skills it becomes increasingly easier to continue learning and improving those skills. This finding—that learning effectively improves brain functioning, resiliency, and working intelligence—has potentially far-reaching implications for how schools can design their academic programs and how teachers could structure educational experiences in the classroom.
Related terms such as brain-based education or brain-based teaching, like brain-based learning, refer to instructional techniques that are grounded in the neuroscience of learning—i.e., scientific findings are used to inform educational strategies and programs. Other related terms, such as educational neuroscience or mind, brain, and education sciencerefer to the general field of academic and scientific study, not to the brain-based practices employed in schools.
A great deal of the scientific research and academic dialogue related to brain-based learning has been focused on neuroplasticity—the concept that neural connections in the brain change, remap, and reorganize themselves when people learn new concepts, have new experiences, or practice certain skills over time. Scientists have also determined, for example, that the brain can perform several activities at once; that the same information can be stored in multiple areas of the brain; that learning functions can be affected by diet, exercise, stress, and other conditions; that meaning is more important than information when the brain is learning something new; and that certain emotional states can facilitate or impede learning—among many other findings.
Given the breadth and diversity of related scientific findings, brain-based learning may take a wide variety of forms from school to school or teacher to teacher. For example, teachers may design lessons or classroom environments to reflect conditions that facilitate learning—e.g., they may play calming music to decrease stress, reduce the amount of time they spend lecturing, engage students in regular physical activity, or create comfortable reading and study areas, with couches and beanbag chairs, as an alternative to traditional desks and chairs. They may also encourage students to eat more healthy foods or exercise more—two physical factors that have been shown to affect brain health.
The principles of brain-based learning are also being introduced into teacher-preparation programs, and an increasing number of colleges and universities are offering courses and degrees in the field. For example, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education now offers a Mind, Brain, and Education master’s-degree program.
Because educational neuroscience is still a relatively young field, the methods and technologies of cognitive science are still being developed and tested. That said, people are often predisposed to view scientific findings as incontrovertible “facts” rather than complex and evolving theories, so it’s possible that some educators may view scientific findings as being more “solid” than they actually are, or they may misinterpret scientific evidence and act upon findings in ways that would not be recommended by the research. In addition, “neuroscientific myths”—widespread misinterpretations of scientific evidence—can potentially give rise to educational practices of dubious value.
Another point of potential debate is how educators should balance the findings of neuroscience with the practicalities of teaching. For example, some neuroscientists might argue that teachers shouldn’t lecture for longer than ten minutes, but it is probably more practical to interpret that recommendation as a guideline, not a strict instructional prescription. Other findings might support the use of treadmills in classrooms—because the brain is more stimulated during physical activity—but such options may be impractical, unworkable, inadvisable, or financially infeasible in many school settings.
The Glossary of Education Reform by Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.