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As outsiders looking in, Autism Spectrum Disorder can be a daunting and confusing illness. Living with a child who bears the burden of autism requires exhaustive allocations of family time, resources, and commitment. It also requires the stronghold of a family, and to not let go of the hope of being able to communicate with each other and with the illness. Family counseling is a key factor in autism treatment because the whole family is affected, keeping that in mind, this article outlines the various ways to identify, reduce, and diagnose some of the signs and symptoms that make up the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders that used to be separate behavioral disorders. ASD includes a range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability. Below is a short list of some acute symptoms:

  • Continuing social problems noticed within the first two years of life

  • Difficulty communicating and interacting with others

  • Persistent behaviors while lacking interest in others

  • Symptoms which hurt the individual’s ability to function socially and professionally

 

While the symptoms of ASD may not impair all individuals, others are severely disabled. Treatment will always improve a person’s ability to function and live, but it will not always cure. The understanding that there is hope, but no answer, can sometimes cause families to pause treatment or even halt it in order to save the family time, money, and stress.

The Autism Spectrum Disorder, as defined within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) includes the previously separated Asperger’s syndrome. But, rather than generalizing ASD the new edition in the DSM-5 gives a broad range of the characteristics and severity of the illness, showing it as a spectrum from functional to highly disabled.

Signs and Symptoms

In the early stages of ASD, the two primary signs to identify behaviors on the spectrum are:

  1. Restricted / Repetitive behavior

    1. Repeating specific behaviors, and having unusual ticks or quirks

    2. Exceedingly focused on some interests, like moving an object

    3. Carrying on a deep-rooted interest in certain topics, like numbers and dates

  2. Social communication / Interaction behavior

    1. Making little to no eye contact

    2. Becoming less social, and interacting less with people

    3. Being triggered or upset by a change in routine, or a new situation

    4. Responding in unusual ways when others show emotion

    5. Slow response time when called to attention

    6. Being less able to carry a back and forth conversation

    7. Talking at length about an obsession oblivious to others interest in it

    8. Echolalia: repeating words or phrases that are heard

    9. Misusing words in order to convey personal and sentimental feelings

    10. Mismatched facial expressions

    11. Monotonous tone of voice

    12. Inability to understand multiple perspectives, or understand others actions

Other symptoms include sensitivity to light, noise, clothing, and temperature; which can evolve into sleeping disorders, eating disorders, and irritability.

Often, individuals outside the spectrum misunderstand ASD and assume it includes savant, or prodigal symptoms, which are romanticized in television and film. However, there are strengths and abilities which play a fundamental role in individuals with ASD:

  • Above average intelligence

  • Learning in detail and being able to retain information for longer periods of time

  • Strength in audio and visual learning

  • Excellence in math, art, science, and music

Diagnosing ASD

Reliable diagnostics of children with ASD occur by the age of two. By watching the child socialize, communicate and play, a diagnosis can be made. However, diagnosing adults with ASD is very difficult. Because the symptoms have been long unnoticed or ignored, they may overlap with other mental illnesses. Once diagnosed, The adult will be able to understand past difficulties, identity and practice their strengths while obtaining the help they require and desire.

Below is a general guide to diagnosing and identifying ASD:

  1. Early checkups

    1. Get a specific ASD screening within 24 months of age

    2. If a family member has ASD get check-ups frequently to prevent misdiagnosis

  2. Additional evaluation

    1. After an initial diagnosis is made with a pediatrician, a specialist can assist in the earlier stages

    2. The targeted areas of concern will include: developmental care, behavior care, psychiatry, and speech pathology

    3. Evaluation at this juncture will determine: cognitive level, language ability, skills needed to complete daily activities, blood tests, and hearing tests

  3. Diagnosis for older children and adults

    1. After a special education team identifies ASD they will prepare a plan

    2. Social difficulties and communication problems will be understood and identified. For instance: understanding tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, understanding figures of speech, humor, sarcasm, and trouble forming friendships

    3. Adults will need further treatment plans which include, psychology, psychiatry, and an ASD expertize

    4. Plans will be constructed to combat any concerns around: social interaction and communication challenges, sensory issues, repetitive behavior, and restricted interests

Recommended treatment plan

Getting treated with ASD early will help the outcome of success for therapy. It will also reduce any difficulty an individual with ASD has in learning new skills and able them to make the most of their strengths. There is no cure, no one pill, or one plan. Because ASD is on a spectrum, its treatment programs have a wide array of issues.

Tips and tricks

  1. Keeping a detailed notebook is an excellent way to keep track of the information doctors, special education teachers, and health care providers give you. It will lessen the amount of information you need to memorize, and help you store information, names and medical details for later.

  2. Keep a record of doctor visits, and diagnostics. This will also aid you in selecting programs for the family member with ASD. This tool is handy, even if you are the individual with ASD because it will assist in any memory gaps or attention problems.

  3. Continuously monitor and contact local ASD programs to stay up to date on treatments available in and out of your area.

  4. Find a specialist by talking to a pediatrician, school official, or physician to make a plan and gather resources.

  5. ASD support groups are an excellent way to share support, information, and relieve stress and emotions which have been gathering around your family. Going to a support group also helps to hear testimonials from families who have gone through similar processes.

Risks factors

No one knows the exact science hind ASD, not even scientists. The research compiled does suggest that genes and environment play a huge role in the causes of ASD; nature and nurture. Some research has gathered the following information:

  • Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls

  • When a family member has ASD, it might reoccur within the family

  • Parents who reproduce at older ages have a more likely possibility of carrying children with ASD

  • Genes: a gene conditioning can increase chances of having ASD in 20% of children.

Medication

Although there is no medication to stop or cure ASD, there are medications which can assist in decreasing health concerns and mental side effects.

Medication can assist in decreasing:

  • Irritability

  • Aggression

  • Repetitive behavior

  • Hyperactivity

  • Attention problems

  • Anxiety and depression

 

Medicine and psychology are practices; they are not an exact science. However, in many cases, medication does help the patient. When it comes to individuals who possess ASD, medicine seems to work only as far as it is taken or administered. Once treatment is halted or stopped, medication tends to wear off, and the patient will return to their original state of mental health.

In order to impact the individual with positive change, the brain needs to learn and create healthier patterns of connectivity. Once these are developed, the brain remembers the new patterns, and like riding a bike can comfortably make connections.

Clinical Trials

Joining research trials and clinical studies are necessary in order to develop new medications and treatment plans for ASD. Nonetheless, it is not recommended to push, force, or pressure anyone to join a study unwillingly. Clinical trials are not easy, and they require time and patience. As of currently, there is no cure to ASD, and joining a study will not ensure you or your family will receive a new cure to ASD. The goal of a trial is to determine if new treatment plans are safe and reliable. There may be positive progress and benefits to being in these trials. However, the primary purpose is to advance scientific knowledge for future generations. Another thing to keep in mind, the decision to join a trial may be yours, but the doctors and researchers are running the trial have the final say on the matter.

BrainPaint neurofeedback

Research has shown that BrainPaint neurofeedback reduced the symptoms associated with ASD. Dr. Robert Coben, a neuropsychologist from New York, and his colleague Dr. Ilean Padolsky conducted a study called, and published their work titled, “Assessment-Guided Neurofeedback for Autism Spectrum Disorder”. The study included 37 ASD children and showed an improvement of 89% in the experimental group, as reported by parents. Covering subjects from:

  1. Speech, language, and communication

  2. Sociability

  3. Sensory and cognitive awareness

  4. Health, physical ability, and behavior

BrainPaint Neurofeedback uses biofeedback technology in order to determine and establish the viable patterns in the brain. Individuals who have ASD have confused and dysregulated patterns in the brain, which means they different connections in the brain to certain areas, while others are lacking altogether.

Neurofeedback enables specialists to monitor and stabilize brain function. Many positive results have been identified as research and treatment continues on the subject. Some noted improvements are listed below:

  • Accomplished touch and contact

  • Decreased emotional outbursts

  • More concise speech

  • More creative and imaginative thought

  • Better initial responses to instruction

  • Fewer outbursts to change

  • Less impulsive and hyperactive activity

  • Less anxiety

  • Increased social skills and relationship progress

  • Ability to identify feelings and emotions

Results

One of the best applications of BrainPaint Neurofeedback is that its results have yet to have any adverse side effects. The common misconception about BrainPaint Neurofeedback therapy is that once the session is over, the individual is cured. Every type of medicine is time relevant; meaning it takes time to see the results. However, time is only one aspect of healing. Our brains are affected by our environment, and what we feed it. Good nutrition, exercise, therapy, and healthy relationships are all a prescription for better results in treatment. These things are not easy to come by because more often than not, an individual cannot be in full control of their world and surroundings. Therefore, it is ok to ask for help from a specialist in how to find a proper balance for yourself.

In Conclusion, Family counseling is a helpful and successful treatment plan for individuals who suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder. These sessions enable families to begin to work together and see ASD as something to build on, rather than fear. The strengths that individuals with ASD can harness are dramatically improved after working with BrainPaint neurofeedback because it works in a similarly to exercise. The short term goals are to determine what areas of the brain are working and which areas are n dysfunction. The long term goals are to utilize the networks in the brain which are working, as well as strengthen new patterns of neurological connectivity. ALthough it is hard work, sessions with BrainPaint have had immense success with no negative side effects because it is not an intrusive or medicated treatment. An all natural and alternative modern force to change the way we have classified ASD individuals has finally made its way into the psychotherapy field and is being backed up by many researchers and specialists. If you or someone in your family suffers from ASD, after a screening, reaching out to a specialist to determine a fitting treatment plan is ideal.




As a human, we possess many emotions. Anger is one of the most common emotions that humans have. It is healthy and normal but gets disastrous when flared up. When your anger is out of your control, it’s a  wake-up call for you. Chronic anger is a terrifying thing that can cause those around you to be fearful, and distant. Seeking therapy is essential, but there are some small effective life changes you can make to have anger management over yourself.

Ways to control your anger through anger management therapy

There are several effective ways available to control your anger. Among all, anger management therapy is the most effective and reliable solution. What makes anger so difficult to control is that it creeps up on a person. No one voluntarily signs up to be angry all their life! There is usually an underlying issue, concern, or mental health illness that the individual is unaware of. Anger outbursts effect the entire family, and they can cause the people around you to become fearful of their well being. Also, many anger fits occur during a blackout phase; the person who is having the fit may not be aware that they are out of control. These factors have broken up many homes, and seeking family counseling is a tool that has helped piece together families which are in need of a better support system. Listed below are some simple, free, and effective ways to control anger in the short term, as well as over time.

 1. Counting:

Believe it or not, but one of the easiest ways to control your anger is by counting.  If your anger is flaring up, it is suggested to start counting from 1-10. The time you spend in counting will give you some moments to cool down, as well as distract you from the present anger you feel. This tactic has worked over centuries and throughout different countries. Counting uses breathing and meditation, but you have to want to calm down. So, next time when your anger becomes out of controlstart counting.

2.  Breathe slowly:

Like counting, and many times in harmony with counting, breathing works to take your anger’s temperature down. When your anger is going out of your control, it is suggested to breathe slowly. By doing so, you will be able to calm down instantly and effectively. Slow breathing also helps you understand and think in a better way because it allows you to take into account the different perspectives of your surrounding, allowing you to see if your anger is out of place.

3. Regular exercise:

Doing exercise on a daily basis not just provides you a healthy body, but is an effective way to shape your mental health too. As far as the anger management therapy is concerned, exercising can actually take your anger away. In fact, you can add yoga, running, cycling, walking, meditation, and swimming in your routine to get rid of anger and irritation. When you exercise, endorphins working in your brain and nervous system help produce a better overall mood.

4.  Proper sleep:

We all have heard that 7-8 hours’ sleep is very important for a stress-free life. But do you know that a sound sleep of adequate hours is also helpful in controlling your anger? When you have a mental illness, it is important to keep a healthy routine; sleeping consistently works to regulate a person’s daily routine. If sleep is hard to come by, avoid alcohol and overly caffeinated drinks in order to avoid restlessness.  

5. Indulge yourself in creative work:

Give sufficient time to your hobbies. If painting, singing, dancing, or writing is your hobby or passion, then you can use your hobby as a strong tool against your anger. By indulging in such activities, you can divert your mind from the stressful things towards the happier ones. Creative outlets also work to express your feelings in ways that would have otherwise been difficult. For instance, being able to draw how you feel can help communicate it with your family, rather than bottling it up.

6. Discuss your feelings:

Sometimes anger is caused by hidden or unsaid feelings. If you are facing such situations, then it is suggested to sit with your friend or any close family member to discuss your feelings or problems with them. By doing this, you will get a completely different perspective on a particular situation.

Useful Tips to Find the Best Psychologist

 Whenever we want to make our body better, we are always anxious about finding productive ways to do it. Especially, when it comes to our physical appearance, which we are very conscious about. Be it a gym, or a salon, we have the details of what we want and how to get it on our phone. But, when you need help to improve your mental health, you feel blank. In that scenario, various questions start running in your head like ‘How would I find the best psychologist near me?’, ‘Where would I get their contact details from?’. Undoubtedly, it is not an easy goal to achieve. You need to research a lot for the best and the perfect psychologist. By doing some ground work and some homework, you can easily find the one that better understands your condition and requirements.

If you are willing to find the most trusted psychologist for yourself and the family counseling, then just keep the following points in your mind for the best and desired results.

1. No more yellow pages

 Well, many of us believe in the yellow pages listing. But it’s a big book and expensive. You’ll even need to know what you are looking for before you even search. So, even if there is a good psychologist listed, it will become hard to locate them without knowing their information. If you sign up for other locater services that promise results, you may just end up wasting money. High charges never ensure the best results. So, remove this thought from your mind and check for the best psychologist through other mediums.

2. Blogs are your best friend

 If you don’t want to waste your time, try reading a few blogs to discover what others in your situation have done. Many excellent researchers, doctors, and clients have provided their hard work on the internet so that you can get their benefits without all the pain. In fact, you can search for your problem, so that you can get the specialist for that issue. By doing this, you will be able to save your precious time and some bucks as well.  

3. Say hello to the internet

 If you are worrying and feeling a little hesitated to meet the psychologist face to face, you can connect with him/her by using the internet. Being online helps you connect to  psychologist and chat or discuss your problem with them at any hour or location. There are many well-known psychologists available in Los Angeles who provide online family counseling and other consultations as well. Having an online presence allows for doctors to help more people around the world. It also helps you discover your mental health issues without feeling fearful of judgment or pain.  

4. Ask for the referrals

If you are unable to find the right psychologist for your particular needs, then you can ask your family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors for referrals. Ask them whether they have any suggestions or contact details of any psychologist. You can also take help from the social media platforms by asking your online friends about it. There are chances you may get the best psychologist through people who you would never have had the courage to ask. Keep in mind that there are many specialists for each issue concerning mental health; it is not a one size fits all department. A person should not feel marginalized because their specific concerns do not fit the norm, branching out will help you more than you know.

 

Is your young child facing behavioral problems that seem beyond your control? If yes, then there are several reasons behind this problem. There is no right or wrong way to help a child, however, communication and parent and child interaction therapy (PCIT) is a useful tool to bring harmony to your relationship. While growing up, children must deal with the social pressures of learning to fit it, as well as general learning about the world. These can convert to burdens when the child’s parent is unable to explain larger issues to the child. Sometimes these become larger issues if the parent has a mental illness.

 In that case, you need to be very patient with your child. Times are changing, so are the relationships between family members. Today’s family is built on communication, respect, and emotional support rather than a hard fist. No form of physical control or punishment is ever the solution to helping children.

 Behavioral Problems

Behavioral problems can include anger, depression, loneliness, anxiety, and lower level of confidence. To learn to maintain these issues, you should contact the best therapists for complete family counseling.

Why you and your child needs parent child interaction therapy?

Below we have listed some of the common major issues that signify the need for parent child interaction therapy:

•    Temper tantrums

•    Fighting

•    Swearing

•    Arguing

•    Denial to obey all the rules

•    Low frustration inception

•    Low self-confidence

•    Blaming others for own mistakes

•    Lying and hiding things

If you find any of the above-listed changes in your child’s behavior, then you should immediately contact the professional parent child interaction therapist for the family counseling. Apart from these symptoms, there are many more behavioral issues which are less obvious that can lead your child’s future mental health being threatened. If you want to make your child’s life better, it is best to pay attention to his activities and take him to the therapist.

Benefits of parent child interaction therapy

If your young kid is experiencing any of the above-listed issues, then this parent child interaction therapy is the best way to improve his or her condition. Therapy will allow a family to overcome the issues they face early rather than late. It helps parents and children communicate is a safe zone where no one feels threatened or judged. Below are immediate benefits to interaction therapy.  

•    Better parent-child relationship:

One of the most amazing and the best things about this therapy is that you can actually improve your bonding with your child. Parents want to develop a special and a strong bonding with their child, but they don’t know the right ways. If you are also looking for such ways, then parent child interaction therapy is the easiest and most effective way.

•    It reduces child abuse:

Another major benefit associated with the parent child interaction therapy is that you can actually reduce the child abuse through it. When parents are angry and frustrated, they say many emotionally abusive and hurtful things to their child. Unfortunately,people don’t realize the things at the moment. To avoid such situations, you should take this therapy at least once. Through this therapy, you will be able to learn the things those are actually emotionally abusive to your child. By having the knowledge, you can prevent yourself from saying such hurtful things to your child.

Lastly, whenever you see some behavioral issues in your child, the reason might be your anger. Connect with an expert for family counseling to ensure a better life for you and for your child.

 

 

The teen years, (10-19) is the age when your child becomes moody, egocentric, rebellious and goes through a bunch of countless emotions. To support them, it is very important to stay patient with them all the time. It is very important to talk to your teenager, even if it seems like they don’t want to hear it. Try to spend some quality time with your child once they entered into the teen age. This phase of life is very critical. During this phase, your child faces many good and bad changes both physically and emotionally. It is very important to be with them and provide your support. Many teenagers fall prey to depression in this crucial phase of life. But, the good thing is that teenage therapy is there to help your kid. By your support and this therapy, your child can combat with depression.

Support your depressed teenager through teenage therapy

In this particular phase of their life, they become extremely unpredictable. Some become angry,while some get depressed easily. Believe it or not, but teenage therapy is a boon for suchteenagers. Take a look at the ways to support your depressed teenager:

1. Be supportive always:

The very first thing you need to do is be supportive. Try to strengthen your relationship with your teenager. Establish the better level of understanding with them. Sometimes your teenager may try to break your patience, but you should try to stay calm and relaxed. Because this behavior is caused due to the phase of life they are in. You need to understand their perspective and  provide your support to your teenager. When your teenager is depressed, your support is the only thing that can take him away from the darkness of depression. So, keep the level of your support up all the time and make them realize that you are always there for them.

2. Spread positive vibes:

When your teenager is going through the most difficult phase in their life, it is imperative to spread positive vibes all around. For this, you can take your teenager for a short trip, or an outing, or for a long drive, etc. It is best to maintain positive aura in your house too. You can cook their favorite food. Discuss things about their friends, favorite TV show, but not about their grades. Try to divert their mind from the daily stresses they face, rather adding to the pressure.. If you are willing to make your teenager happy, it is best to maintain a friendly atmosphere in the house so that they can freely discuss their problems with you.

3. Teenage therapy:

When you don’t find the right way to take out your teenager from depression, you can contact a professional and expert teenage therapist for help. The therapist will definitely suggest a better direction to head towards for solutions. If you want effective results, it is best to take your teenager to the reliable and the professional therapist only.


For the best results, incorporate your love and care with this therapy. Depression, anxiety, loneliness, anger, and stress are usual in this age, but they shouldn’t fill all a teenagers time.

Meditation for the Month