Autism: Clues to the Mystery Quiz

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Clues to the Mystery Quiz from Health IQ

Autism remains a mystery to doctors and parents. To learn more about the mysteries behind autism, test your knowledge with this interactive quiz…

Autism: Clues to the Mystery QuizAutism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been studied thoroughly and yet there are still numerous mysteries to these types of behavioral disorders. To make matters worse, there are several contradicting study results that only confuse the public more about ASD. For instance, a study released in 1997 claimed that the measles vaccine was linked to autism. This study has since been disproven across nine separate research reports. Thus, it’s easy to see why behavioral disorders like ASD are such a mystery to doctors and parents.

There is a lot more about ASD that we don’t know than we do, but it’s still important to understand as much as you can about ASD so that you can detect it early. We know that ASD can be diagnosed as early as age two and that screenings at a young age can help identify any behavioral disorders early on.

We have also learned a great deal about teaching parents to properly manage children that do have ASD. In fact, there are many training courses that parents can take to help better understand how to properly work with a child that has ASD. Even though there are no current cures for ASD, in many instances, proper management, behavioral therapy, and medication can all help mitigate the severity of the disorder.

Understanding ASD, its causes, and treatment are all important tools to help you work with a child who suffers from autism. If you’d like to learn more about the mysteries behind ASD, you can test your knowledge by taking the interactive quiz below.

About Health IQ

HealthIQ’s mission is to improve the health of the world. In pursuit of this mission, they’ve created over 2,000 quizzes and worked with innovative insurance companies to create financial rewards for health-conscious people. To date, Health IQ has helped thousand triathletes, vegans, runners, and other health conscious people secure billions in life insurance coverage, and they hope to expand to other financial rewards in the near future.

Health IQ’s Learn About Life Campaign:

Learn About Life is an educational campaign that aims to increase the world’s health & wealth literacy levels. To accomplish this task, Health IQ has partnered with a select group of nonprofits and bloggers to produce and promote thousands of health & wealth quizzes. If you’re a nonprofit or blogger and want to learn about how you can support this campaign, email teamiq@healthiq.com with subject line “Learn About Life…I’m In”

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides evidence-based behavioral interventions for the minimally verbal child with autism. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently seems to be holding steady at one in 68 children (or 1.46 percent). The communication challenges of these children are widely known and require specialized early interventions to overcome them. This course presents evidence-based strategies that can enable students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and others who are verbally limited, to become more effective communicators. The focus will be on the minimally verbal child, the child who has a very small repertoire of spoken words or fixed phrases that are used communicatively. Included are: an overview of autism spectrum disorder, an introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis, the use of manding in communication training, techniques for direct instruction programming, and inter-professional collaboration strategies. Major points are illustrated throughout by case studies from actual practice. Course #21-15 | 2017 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that summarizes proven approaches to screening, assessing and diagnosing ASD in children and young adults. Epidemiological studies indicate a progressively rising prevalence trend in the number of individuals identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decade. Yet, compared with general population estimates, children and youth with mild to moderate symptoms of ASD remain an underidentified and underserved population in our schools and communities. The DSM-5 conceptualizations of autism require professionals in clinical, school, and private practice settings to update their knowledge about the spectrum. In addition, professionals should be prepared to recognize the presence of risk factors and/or early warning signs of ASD and be familiar with screening and assessment tools in order to ensure that individuals with ASD are being identified and provided with the appropriate programs and services. The objectives of this course are to identify DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarize the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD, and describe a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. Course#30-94 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews diagnostic changes in autism as well as treatment options and nutrition interventions – both theoretical and applied. The first section traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed. Course #40-41 | 2017 | 62 pages | 25 posttest questions

Autism Movement Therapy is a 2-hour video-based online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches professionals how to combine movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Movement Therapy® is an emerging therapy that combines movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in meeting and achieving their speech and language, social and academic goals. Its purpose is to connect left and right hemisphere brain functioning by combining patterning, visual movement calculation, audile receptive processing, rhythm and sequencing into a “whole brain” cognitive thinking approach that can significantly improve behavioral, emotional, academic, social, and speech and language skills. This course is presented in two parts. Part 1 summarizes what is known about the brain functioning of individuals with ASD and illustrates how participation in dance, music and the arts can render the brain more amenable to learning social and language skills. Part 2 is a documentary created by Joanne Lara – Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts, which spotlights – from a strikingly positive perspective – the challenges and accomplishments of eight individuals with ASD. Course #20-82 | 2014 | 106 minute video | 14 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Course excerpt from Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism

“The National Standards Report may be the most important document that parents and practitioners ever read and the most important weapon in their arsenal to fight autism.” – Marjorie H. Charlop, PhD / Professor of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College / Director, The Claremont Autism Center.

Applied Behavior AnalysisApplied Behavior Analysis-based approaches for educating children have been extensively researched. In the last 30 years, ABA has been acknowledged as one of the best practices for teaching children with autism. As you already know, there are a variety of treatments available for students with autism. Their parents, understandably wanting what is best for their child, are often inundated. When helping them sift through the science versus pseudoscience, you can introduce them to the National Standards Project (NSP) (http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/), which works to answer the very crucial question: “how do we effectively treat individuals with autism spectrum disorder?” The National Standards Report (see Web Resources, in References), issued by the NSP, reviews interventions and identifies those that have been shown to be effective for individuals with ASD. The Report recognizes behavioral-based approaches – including ABA – as an established form of treatment.

The National Standards Project (Phase 2, 2015), a primary initiative of the National Autism Center, addresses the need for evidence-based practice guidelines for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Its primary goal is to provide critical information about which interventions have been shown to be effective for individuals with ASD. The interventions reviewed were given a rating. The possible ratings were “established,” “emerging” or “unestablished.” Behavioral interventions, as we will discuss in this course, were rated as “established.” These behavioral interventions are rooted in the science of applied behavior analysis. Below is a brief introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis and terms associated with the science. These terms will be used throughout the course, so this vocabulary section will set the stage for further application of this science.

As a formal definition of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), we offer simply that it is a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior (Cooper, Heron & Heward, 2007). In other words, ABA is the science of studying behavior, and applying data-supported techniques to increase and/or decrease behaviors that are meaningful to the client and the client’s social environment. It is a systematic way to look at human behavior, including verbal behavior.

Click here to learn more.

Applied Behavior Analysis for AutismApplied Behavior Analysis for Autism is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides evidence-based behavioral interventions for the minimally verbal child with autism. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently seems to be holding steady at one in 68 children (or 1.46 percent). The communication challenges of these children are widely known and require specialized early interventions to overcome them. This course presents evidence-based strategies that can enable students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and others who are verbally limited, to become more effective communicators. The focus will be on the minimally verbal child, the child who has a very small repertoire of spoken words or fixed phrases that are used communicatively. Included are: an overview of autism spectrum disorder, an introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis, the use of manding in communication training, techniques for direct instruction programming, and inter-professional collaboration strategies. Major points are illustrated throughout by case studies from actual practice. Course #21-15 | 2017 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment

New Online CE Course @pdresources.org

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and AssessmentAutism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that summarizes proven approaches to screening, assessing and diagnosing ASD in children and young adults. More children and youth are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than ever before. Epidemiological research indicates a progressively rising prevalence trend for ASD over the past decade (Wing & Potter, 2009). Autism is much more prevalent than previously thought, especially when viewed as a spectrum condition with varying levels of symptom severity. Surveys focusing on this broader definition of autism indicate that ASD is one of the fastest growing disability categories in the world. Recent findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network ADDM (2014) indicate that one in every 68 school-age children (or 14.7 per 1,000 eight-year-olds) in multiple communities in the United States has been identified with ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014). This estimate is roughly 30% higher than the estimate for 2008 (1 in 88), 60% higher than the estimate for 2006 (1 in 110), and 120% higher than the estimates for 2000 and 2002 (1 in 150). Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States and continues to be an important health concern (CDC, 2014).

The incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder is also evident in the number of students receiving special educational services. For example, the number of students receiving assistance under the special education category of autism with increased dramatically between 2003 and 2012, increasing from 1.5 percent to 7.8 percent of all identified disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). A number of explanations for this dramatic increase in the incidence and prevalence of ASD have been proposed. They include: changes in diagnostic criteria; improved identification; growing awareness among parents and professionals; conception of autism as a spectrum disorder; and greater availability of services (Fombonne, 2005; Wing & Potter, 2009). Whatever the reasons, autism spectrum disorders are no longer rare conditions and it is likely that most professionals such as clinical and school psychologists, mental health counselors, speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, and special educators will encounter an increasing number of children and youth with ASD who account for nearly 1% of the overall student population.

The objectives of this course are to identify DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarize the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD, and describe a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. Course#30-94 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

 –
Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501) and the Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Autism: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment – Online CE Course Update

From PDResources

We have completely revised and updated our ASD course to provide you with the latest evidence-based information on screening and assessment:

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that summaries proven approaches to screening, assessing and diagnosing ASD in children and young adults. Epidemiological studies indicate a progressively rising prevalence trend in the number of individuals identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decade. Yet, compared with general population estimates, children and youth with mild to moderate symptoms of ASD remain an underidentified and underserved population in our schools and communities. The DSM-5 conceptualizations of autism require professionals in clinical, school, and private practice settings to update their knowledge about the spectrum. In addition, professionals should be prepared to recognize the presence of risk factors and/or early warning signs of ASD and be familiar with screening and assessment tools in order to ensure that individuals with ASD are being identified and provided with the appropriate programs and services. The objectives of this course are to identify DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarize the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD, and describe a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD.

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Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.

We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).

 

Effective Anxiety Screening Method For Children with Autism

From Drexel University

Effective Anxiety Screening Method For Children with AutismIn children on the spectrum, anxiety is often masked by the symptoms of autism. But a new variant to a standard anxiety screening method has now proven effective in separating the two and it is leading to important diagnoses.

“Anxiety is considered an internalizing symptom, in that it is mostly felt by the person inside their bodies and minds and is not always obvious to others,” said Connor Kerns, PhD, an assistant research professor in the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute of Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health. “For example, a child may avoid a social situation because they are not socially motivated — a symptom of autism spectrum disorder — or because they are afraid of being socially rejected — a symptom of anxiety.”

Since children with autism can have difficulties expressing themselves, it is often up to their parents to discern whether their behavior is actually a symptom of autism or of anxiety. But since those symptoms are sometimes difficult to tell apart, even for the child’s parent, clear clinical guidelines may greatly improve the ability to reliably diagnose anxiety issues.

Taking that into account, Kerns developed an autism-specific variant for a pre-existing anxiety assessment tool. Kerns’ Autism Spectrum Addendum (ASA) to the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule — Child/Parent (ADIS-IV-C/P) adds new questions that are woven into the original interview to help determine what behaviors might be part of the child’s autism and what might be related to anxiety.

With a correct diagnosis of anxiety, those children could begin crucial treatment.

“Treating anxiety is important in autism spectrum disorder because anxiety is associated with significantly more impairment for the child and their family,” Kerns explained. “That can include more stress, more self-injurious behavior and depression, and more social difficulties and physical ailments.”

She noted that research has shown that the majority of children with autism who received therapy for their diagnosed anxiety disorders were rated as “improved” or “very improved” afterward.

Kerns first developed the ASA method in 2014. She recently tested it in a study of 69 children with autism who had a concern about anxiety, but no prior diagnosis.
“All children interested in the study completed a comprehensive evaluation to determine if they did, in fact, demonstrate clinically significant symptoms of anxiety and autism according to the ADIS/ASA interview,” Kerns said. “All ADIS/ASA interviews were video- or audio-recorded and listened to a second time by a blind assessor, who came to their own conclusions about the child’s diagnosis.”

Those results were also run against other measures of anxiety to check if they came to the same conclusions.

In the end, Kerns’ autism-specific addition to the anxiety evaluation aligned with the blind assessors and other measures of anxiety, demonstrating its reliability as a diagnostic tool.

Read More: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161208125847.htm

Related Continuing Education Courses on Autism:

 

 

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Feeding Interventions for Autism

Course excerpt from Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition

Feeding Interventions for AutismRegardless of the cause, feeding problems left untreated can increase the risk for medical problems such as rickets, weight loss, dehydration, failure to thrive, as well as learning and behavioral problems. Among the best supported treatments for feeding problems in children with autism are Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-interventions, which include escape extinction, simultaneous presentation, behavioral momentum, and reinforcement procedures (Bui et al., 2013). Any existing medical issues (food allergies, oral-motor difficulties, GI problems) need to be addressed prior to implementing the feeding interventions described below.

Escape Extinction

There are two forms of escape extinction:

1. Non-removal of the spoon (the spoon is not removed until the child has accepted the food).
2. Physical guidance (involves a gentle pressure to the child’s jaw to open the mouth).

It is widely believed that food refusal and other negative mealtime problems are primarily maintained by negative reinforcement. By being uncooperative at mealtimes, children succeed in escaping from eating, and this is highly reinforcing. In using escape extinction in feeding, non-removal of the spoon and physical guidance are both used as preventions from escaping from the feeding situation. If parents allow children to leave the table when they refuse to eat, they are reinforcing maladaptive feeding problems. This parenting behavior has been shown to cause some feeding problems (Bui et al., 2013).

Escape extinction has been demonstrated as an effective tool for increasing consumption of non-preferred foods. Adding positive reinforcement (access to preferred foods, toys, and attention) to the treatment improves compliance and reduces the level of problem behaviors during mealtime.

Simultaneous Presentation

Simultaneous presentation involves presenting both the child’s preferred and non-preferred foods at the same time. This method has been shown to increase acceptance of previously rejected foods. The child is either given the preferred food once the non-preferred food has been eaten (for example, asking the child to take a bite of carrots and allowing a bite of ice cream after the carrots are swallowed) or given the two food items together in one bite (gradually increasing the ratio of non-preferred to preferred until the non-preferred food is accepted on its own).

An example of simultaneous presentation of foods involves putting all the food to be eaten on a spoon at once with the test food at the tip and the reward food behind it. For example, ground carrot at the tip followed by ground chocolate chip cookie. Or if a child prefers juice and refuses water, a small amount of water can be added to a cup of juice. Over time, the amount of water added can be increased until the child drinks water alone.

Behavior Momentum

Behavior momentum involves presenting an initially empty spoon to the child’s mouth, followed by a small bite on the spoon. This technique has been reported to increase food acceptance and consumption. The amount of food on the spoon is gradually increased until the child accepts spoonful amounts of the food.

Reinforcement Procedures

Reinforcement of appropriate behaviors has been shown to be highly effective in motivating children with autism (Bui et al., 2013). Verbal praise is the most commonly used to reinforce, but alternatives such as ‘token systems’ where the child can earn tangible rewards (i.e. candy, stickers, etc.) is sometimes necessary.

An example of differential reinforcement of acceptance would be if a preferred video was shown before eating and then turned off. During the trial, when a food was tried or eaten, the video would be played for a specified period.

Premack Principle

Similar to reinforcment is a principle of operant conditioning originally identified by David Premack in 1965. According to this principle, some behavior that happens reliably (or without interference by a researcher), can be used as a reinforcer for a behavior that occurs less reliably.

For example, most children like to watch television — this is a behavior that happens reliably (they learn to like TV all on their own and it is something they will do willingly without any interference from their parents) — and parents often use this behavior to reinforce something children like to do less such as cleaning their room. So, some parents might condition children to clean their room by rewarding room cleaning with television watching. This procedure was often paired with shaping, another parent-reported successful technique.

Stimulus Fading

In stimulus fading, the overall goal is for the child to eventually eat without needing prompts. The least intrusive prompts are used so the child does not become overly dependent on them when learning a new behavior or skill.

Prompts are gradually faded out as new positive eating behavior is learned. For example, learning to unscrew the toothpaste lid may start with physically guiding the child’s hands, to pointing at the toothpaste, then just a verbal request. The same method can be used when trying a new food, guiding the child’s hand to pick up a fork or spoon with the food, pointing at the food on the plate, and then finally just asking the child to try a bite.

Appetite Manipulation

Using appetite manipulation, new foods are only presented when the child is hungry to increase the likelihood of trial behaviors. This method takes advantage of the natural reinforcers for eating (reduction in hunger, taste, etc.). Preferred foods should be limited to the greatest extent possible. Hydration should be offered in non-caloric liquids. This method is often difficult for parents who are concerned that the child may not get the nutrition they need if food is withheld to the point of physical hunger.

Shaping

Shaping is a teaching technique that comes from behaviorism, a field of psychology established by B.F. Skinner, by which a child is rewarded for successful approximation of a target skill. The goal is for the child to overcome his/her fear of trying something new. For example, a child might first only have to smell a new food, later would be required to lick it, and then asked to eat increasingly larger portions. It is important not to underestimate the extremely small amount of a new food which is tolerable to a selective eater.

Repeated Exposures

Still another procedure reported to be effective in treating food select`ivity is multiple presentations of non-preferred foods, in which parents continue to present a rejected food over many trials (even months). Eventually, the child will become less fearful of the novel food when it becomes familiar (Kral et al., 2013). This is a common strategy for other families with children without ASD and familiarity is commonly considered to occur after a child has had at least ten exposures to a new food item.

Social Modeling

For some children with ASD, parents have reported success in treating feeding problems with social modeling, which involves peers or family members serving as examples of appropriate eating behavior. Other, less reported procedures that have been effective according to parents include use of visual cues and menus.

Involvement in Food Preparation

The theory is that children who are involved in the growing, selection, and or preparation of food are more likely to eat it. Although, there have not been any studies that have addressed this for children with ASD, parents report this is not a helpful practice. Anecdotal reports indicate that children with ASD will participate in these activities, but participation has no relation to whether or not the child will accept the food.

Making Choices

Children with ASD need structured environments and having to choose what to eat may reduce the chance of a meal happening. Remember the division of responsibility. Parents should select and provide the food, it’s up to the child how much and what to eat of what is provided.

Conclusion

Practitioners who are working with families and children with ASD should be encouraged to consider whether the treatments they are using to deal with feeding difficulties are evidence-based. Feeding difficulties get no better or worse without treatment. However, they can and do impact nutritional status. Parents should seek treatment as soon as a problem occurs because these problems can lead to nutritional deficits that affect growth rates and the risk is greatest in children under age five. Little is known about how early and ongoing poor eating habits and nutrition affect the motor, cognitive, and behavioral development of children with autism. This is an important area for future research (Volkert & Vaz, 2010).

A literature review found only low-level evidence for the effectiveness of feeding programs in autism spectrum disorder. Twenty-three studies were assessed, but none had more than five participants. Positive results were seen in increasing the amount of food eaten, but inconsistent in improving the range of foods eaten (Marshall, Ware, Zivani, Hill, and Dodrill, 2015).

Because children with ASD often have a number of other traits that result in poor social acceptance, successfully addressing feeding problems could result in improved social acceptance in important settings such as school cafeterias, birthday parties, and restaurants.

Much more research is needed on effective feeding practices in children with ASD so that ineffective practices can be eliminated and subsequent nutritional deficits may be corrected early rather than after they result in negative effects on a child’s growth, development, and health. “Further research in the form of prospective randomized controlled trials is recommended to fully evaluate the impact of intervention in this group. Use of a well-considered range of outcome measures to capture long-term and wider-ranging impacts, as well as the involvement of a multidisciplinary team, are also advised given the complex nature of feeding difficulties” (Marshall, Ware, Zivani, Hill, and Dodrill, 2015).

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & NutritionAutism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews diagnostic changes in autism as well as treatment options and nutrition interventions – both theoretical and applied. The first section traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed. Course #40-41 | 2017 | 62 pages | 25 posttest questions

This online continuing education course is offered by Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.
We are approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).

 

 

ADHD May Be Overdiagnosed in Children with Autism

From Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

ADHD Overdiagnosed in Children with AutismPediatric researchers report that children with ASD may mistakenly be diagnosed with ADHD because they have autism-related social impairments rather than problems with attention. This is important for understanding what are the right services and treatments for a child.

The study team, including one of the psychologists who developed the ADHD screening tool, concludes that the tool needs to be refined to better identify the correct disorder, and that clinicians should supplement the screening tool with careful clinical interviews.

“One of our best current screening measures for ADHD may be over-diagnosing ADHD in children with autism,” said study leader Benjamin E. Yerys, PhD, a researcher in the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). “This is important because medications that work for ADHD may be less effective for a child on the autism spectrum.” Scale scores are used in recommending school-based services as well as treatment options.

The study, from researchers at CHOP, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Baylor University, appeared online Oct. 13 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

One complicating factor is comorbidity — an estimated 30 percent or more of children with ASD also have ADHD. The researchers suggest that the tool they analyzed, the ADHD Rating Scale Fourth Edition (ADHD-RS-IV), while well-validated in assessing ADHD in a general population of children, may overestimate ADHD in children with ASD. The scale asks parents and teachers to provide numerical ratings in reply to 18 items about a child’s behavior: nine items on inattention and nine on hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Study co-author Thomas J. Power, PhD, director of CHOP’s Center for Management of ADHD, developed ADHD-RS-IV in the 1990s (An updated version, the fifth edition, was published earlier this year, but not used in the current study). “I’m excited to be involved in this study, and in efforts to refine our screening tools,” he said, “especially since few researchers have previously investigated using this scale in children with ASD. Our research raises questions not only about this rating tool, but all such measures that rely on parent and teacher ratings to assess ADHD in children with ASD.”

The current study analyzed ratings of 386 children, aged 7 to 17, who had ASD without intellectual disability. To test whether the ADHD rating scale was valid in children on the autism spectrum, the research team used a procedure called factor analysis. They found that some questions on the ADHD rating scale were high for children with ASD instead of being high just for the subset of children who had significant ADHD symptoms.

“One underlying problem,” said Yerys, “may be in how we ask these questions.” For example, he explained, parents and teachers are asked “Does the child respond when spoken to directly?” However, supplying a yes or no answer to this question doesn’t distinguish between actual inattention (a symptom of ADHD) and a child’s lack of understanding about how to behave in a social situation in responding to another person — a social impairment often found in ASD. Similarly, other questions focus on how well a child stays on task with play activity. ADHD may cause a child to be easily distracted from an activity, but another child may instead stop playing because of ASD-related difficulties with social play.

The study team recommends modifying the rating scale to better minimize the influence of ASD on ratings of target ADHD behaviors. Moreover, until a more nuanced rating scale is available, clinicians need to combine the ratings with a follow-up interview with parents to better understand whether a child’s behaviors stem from ADHD symptoms or social impairments.

Ideally, said Yerys, a clinician should be experienced in evaluating both ADHD and ASD. Large pediatric facilities such as CHOP are particularly well positioned to provide such evaluations, having premier clinical and research centers in both conditions. Yerys added that, as precision medicine efforts expand, differentiating ADHD from ASD will be essential in providing safer and more effective treatments based on a child’s specific condition.

“Until we’re able to develop and validate a new rating scale that takes symptoms of autism into account, parents who are concerned should seek out clinicians who are conducting evaluations for ADHD and are also taking into account the possibility of autism,” added Yerys.

Going forward, concluded Power, it will be important to strengthen local resources by improving training for community-based providers such as pediatricians and school psychologists in recognizing key distinctions in diagnosing and treating both ADHD and ASD.

Note: Power receives financial compensation for the ADHD-RS-IV. The National Institutes of Health (grants MH086111, MH092615, MH088791 and HD026979), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Philadelphia Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pfizer, Inc. provided funding support for this study.

Original Article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161027143526.htm

 

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Epidemiological studies indicate a progressively rising prevalence trend in the number of individuals identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decade. Yet, compared with general population estimates, children and youth with mild to moderate symptoms of ASD remain an underidentified and underserved population in our schools and communities. The DSM-5 conceptualizations of autism require professionals in clinical, school, and private practice settings to update their knowledge about the spectrum. In addition, professionals should be prepared to recognize the presence of risk factors and/or early warning signs of ASD and be familiar with screening and assessment tools in order to ensure that individuals with ASD are being identified and provided with the appropriate programs and services. The objectives of this course are to identify DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarize the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD, and describe a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD.

 

The first section of this course traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed.

 

Autism Movement Therapy® is an emerging therapy that combines movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in meeting and achieving their speech and language, social and academic goals. Its purpose is to connect left and right hemisphere brain functioning by combining patterning, visual movement calculation, audile receptive processing, rhythm and sequencing into a “whole brain” cognitive thinking approach that can significantly improve behavioral, emotional, academic, social, and speech and language skills. This course is presented in two parts. Part 1 summarizes what is known about the brain functioning of individuals with ASD and illustrates how participation in dance, music and the arts can render the brain more amenable to learning social and language skills. Part 2 is a documentary created by Joanne Lara – Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts, which spotlights – from a strikingly positive perspective – the challenges and accomplishments of eight individuals with ASD.

 

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Professional Development Resources is a non-profit provider of online continuing education courses accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).

 

Drama Enhances Communication in Kids with Autism

By Rick Nauert PhD

Communication in Kids with Autism Enhanced by DramaResearchers at the University of Kent suggest that creativity and intermedial languages can be used as a bridge to communicate with autistic children.

In a new study, researchers engaged autistic children in an all-surrounding drama experience. This immersion environment exposes children to lights, sound, puppets, and masked characters. Moreover, the intervention allows children to free play and respond, drawing out eye contact, speech, and shared play within the rich sensory context.

In a joint article, “Material voices: intermediality and autism” appearing in the journal Research in Drama Education, Dr Melissa Trimingham and Professor Nicola Shaughnessy say autism continues to be regarded as a community that is difficult to access due to “perceived disruptions of interpersonal connectedness”.

Their pioneering research using drama with autistic children started with a project “Imagining Autism: Drama, Performance and Intermediality as Interventions for Autistic Spectrum Conditions” (2011-2014). The intervention began in special schools and has now extended to working with families.

The project aims to help the whole family through teaching them new play skills using drama and puppetry, multi-sensory materials, and even comedy to help with challenging behavior.

The family program developed from workshops with teachers and caregivers in NAS (National Autistic Society) schools and was funded by the University of Kent.

The writers are parents of autistic children themselves and have personal experience of family life with autism.

Through detailed observations of two children, they demonstrate how “intermediality” unlocked some of the many and various languages autistic children use, facilitating their self-awareness.

They argue for wider use of creative ‘material’ languages such as puppetry, costumes, projection, microphones, lights, and sound in play as a bridge between the lived experience of autism and practices of education and care.

Original Article: http://psychcentral.com/news/2016/07/29/drama-enhances-communication-in-autistic-kids/107836.html

Related Continuing Education Courses on Autism

Autism Movement Therapy® is an emerging therapy that combines movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in meeting and achieving their speech and language, social and academic goals. Its purpose is to connect left and right hemisphere brain functioning by combining patterning, visual movement calculation, audile receptive processing, rhythm and sequencing into a “whole brain” cognitive thinking approach that can significantly improve behavioral, emotional, academic, social, and speech and language skills. This course is presented in two parts. Part 1 summarizes what is known about the brain functioning of individuals with ASD and illustrates how participation in dance, music and the arts can render the brain more amenable to learning social and language skills. Part 2 is a documentary created by Joanne Lara – Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts, which spotlights – from a strikingly positive perspective – the challenges and accomplishments of eight individuals with ASD.

 

This is a test only course (book not included). The book can be purchased from Amazon or some other source.This CE test is based on the book “Apps for Autism” (2015, 436 pages), the ultimate app planner guidebook for parents/professionals addressing autism intervention. There are hundreds of apps for autism, and this course will guide you through them so that you can confidently utilize today’s technology to maximize your child or student’s success. Speech-language pathologist Lois Jean Brady wrote this book to educate parents and professionals about the breakthrough method she calls “iTherapy” – which is the use of mobile technology and apps in meeting students’ individual educational goals.For those who are new to the wonderful world of apps, worry not! This award winning reference will review hundreds of excellent apps, accessories and features organized into 39 chapters for parents and professionals alike. There are also helpful sections of how to choose apps, evidence-based practices, choosing an iDevice, internet safety, a helpful toolbox and much, much more.

 

This is a test only course (book not included). The book (or e-book) can be purchased from Amazon or some other source.This CE test is based on the book “Early Childhood Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Developing Potential in Young Children and their Families” (2012, 304 pages). This text includes the work of many researchers and practitioners from music therapy and related disciplines brought together to provide a comprehensive overview of music therapy practice with young children who present with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The authors present an overview of ASD including core characteristics, early warning signs, prevalence rates, research and theories, screening and evaluation. The book explores treatment approaches and strategies as applied in music therapy to the treatment of ASD. The authors present a wealth of practical applications and strategies for implementation of music therapy within multi-disciplinary teams, school environments and in family-centered practice.

 

The first section of this course traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed.

 

Professional Development Resources is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA): the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners. We are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion.

 

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Professional Development Resources, Inc. is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) that offers 150+ online, video and book-based continuing education courses for healthcare professionals. We are approved by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (b); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Wilczynski, Susan M, PhD, BCBA; Sutro, Leslie, PhD. The Exceptional Parent 38.9 (Sep 2008): 77.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Treatments for Autism Spectrum DisordersWhen considering different treatment options for a child with autism, it’s important to know if research has verified that a treatment is effective. There are lots of treatment options available, and while many of these may be supported by personal testimonials, many have not been shown to be effective by scientific studies. How do parents know what studies to look for and where to find them?

To be a sawy consumer, it is critical to determine which treatments are based on good science and which are based on pseudoscience. Good scientific studies involve:

* a solid research design

* strong tools for measuring change

* accurate identification that the children really have autism

* evidence that the treatment was provided accurately

* efforts to show the treatment produced positive outcomes over time or in different situations

Many studies do not meet these standards and are therefore not fully contributing to our knowledge about treatment effectiveness. Pseudoscientific studies involve information that sounds scientific, but in reality is not; they are not based on good scientific methods.

The Importance of Peer Review

One way to decide if a study is science or pseudoscience is to look at whether or not the study is a peer-reviewed study. The peer review process involves having other experts in the field read the study to determine if it is of good enough quality or makes an important enough contribution to the field to be published in a professional journal. Peer review is an important process because it ensures that a study meets the minimum acceptable standards of science.

Many public libraries have access to databases that contain links to peer-reviewed articles. University libraries and the Internet are also excellent resources for locating research databases, such as PsyclNFO (http://psycnet.apa.org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/index.cfm?fa=search.advancedSearchForm) and Medline/PubMed (http://www.pubmed.gov), which often contain a number of articles related to autism treatment. There are also certain Web sites for locating peer-reviewed articles (such as http://www.scholar.google.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu).

The National Standards Report, a document that identifies the quality of research support for educational and behavioral treatments for schooled children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders is expected to be released by August 2008 by the National Autism Center. This new resource will make it much easier for parents to determine the effectiveness of various treatments for autism.

Other Considerations

Scientific support is only a first step. There are several other key considerations when making treatment decisions. First, professional judgment should play a significant role. Even if a treatment has good scientific research support, it may only be applicable under certain conditions that may or may not be available. second, the thoughts and opinions of parents and sometimes the children themselves should be taken into account. Third, ongoing treatment decisions should be based on data whenever possible. Data collection is crucial to determining if a child is responding positively to a particular treatment. Finally, the training and knowledge of those implementing a treatment should be considered. Once a treatment is chosen, the child’s treatment team should determine what they need in terms of training, feedback, and materials in order to provide that treatment accurately.

There are several “red flags” that parents should be aware of when trying to decide which treatment to choose for their child. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure for autism. When considering a treatment, parents should watch out for exaggerated claims of a cure, especially if the treatment requires a significant financial commitment. In addition, parents need to be aware of the marketing aspect of what they read. No one will advertise a treatment with testimonials saying that a treatment does not work, but positive testimonials do not always mean that treatments are effective. Additionally, when pursuing biomedical treatments, parents should always consult with a pediatrician or some other medical professional. Finally, they should be cautious of treatments that may cause direct physical harm to their child.

Source: Wilczynski, Susan M,PhD., B.C.B.A., & Sutro, L., PhD. (2008, 09). Evaluating the efficacy of treatments for autism spectrum disorders. The Exceptional Parent, 38, 77. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/docview/223507947?accountid=3783

Continuing Education Courses on Autism

This is a test only course (book not included). The book can be purchased from Amazon or some other source.This CE test is based on the book “Apps for Autism” (2015, 436 pages), the ultimate app planner guidebook for parents/professionals addressing autism intervention. There are hundreds of apps for autism, and this course will guide you through them so that you can confidently utilize today’s technology to maximize your child or student’s success. Speech-language pathologist Lois Jean Brady wrote this book to educate parents and professionals about the breakthrough method she calls “iTherapy” – which is the use of mobile technology and apps in meeting students’ individual educational goals.For those who are new to the wonderful world of apps, worry not! This award winning reference will review hundreds of excellent apps, accessories and features organized into 39 chapters for parents and professionals alike. There are also helpful sections of how to choose apps, evidence-based practices, choosing an iDevice, internet safety, a helpful toolbox and much, much more.

It is well-established by research that many learners on the autism spectrum benefit from the use of visuals. How can we go beyond a basic use of symbols to create and implement individualized visuals that will help our students learn and communicate more comprehensively? Participants will learn about considerations and strategies to take into account in order to put more effective visuals in place for their students on the autism spectrum. Topics covered include: broadening symbol selection, adding layers and additional components to visuals in order to make them more motivating and meaningful, providing visuals for a wide variety of expressive communicative functions, and using visuals for comprehension and organization as well as expression.The course video is split into 2 parts for your convenience: part 1 is 56 minutes and part 2 is 57 minutes.

The first section of this course traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed.

Autism Movement Therapy® is an emerging therapy that combines movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in meeting and achieving their speech and language, social and academic goals. Its purpose is to connect left and right hemisphere brain functioning by combining patterning, visual movement calculation, audile receptive processing, rhythm and sequencing into a “whole brain” cognitive thinking approach that can significantly improve behavioral, emotional, academic, social, and speech and language skills. This course is presented in two parts. Part 1 summarizes what is known about the brain functioning of individuals with ASD and illustrates how participation in dance, music and the arts can render the brain more amenable to learning social and language skills. Part 2 is a documentary created by Joanne Lara – Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts, which spotlights – from a strikingly positive perspective – the challenges and accomplishments of eight individuals with ASD.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).