This week, we focus on how neurological symptoms may relate to behavior. Follow along on social media to gain additional insights on this topic.
Brain & Behavior: Science of Happiness
What is the most important way to assess whether or not a treatment is working? If you are a parent, it will come as no surprise….Your loved one’s HAPPINESS. But many professionals simply don’t include happiness, quality of life, or well-being assessment in programs. Hear professional and personal advice for supporting happy, successful children with autism, ADHD, anxiety disorders, and related neurological differences. The presentation includes existing research, curricula, and strategies for tracking happiness, providing enjoyable support, building relationships with kids, and creating programs that build on strengths. And, they explain the brain and behavioral science behind why professionals often inadvertently increase anxiety and make intervention unpleasant – and what to do about it. Most importantly, they share the surprising good news that spending time on happiness and stress reduction for kids and families can facilitate learning, skill development, and cooperation.
Sensory Smart Strategies During the Pandemic
So much has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, and its been especially hard on our children, friends, and clients on the spectrum who thrive on routine and predictability. Many have learned to self-regulate through physical outlets that have been limited or may no longer be available. Learn practical, safe strategies and activities they can use to meet sensory and motor needs at home, school, and in the community.
Neurological Issues and Autism
Neurologist Margaret Bauman, M.D., and Marvin Natowicz, M.D., Ph.D., discuss co-occurring neurological conditions associated with autism. Their wide-ranging conversation covers the diagnosis and symptoms of autism, as well as motor functions, sensory processing, underlying medical conditions, sleep disturbances, and epilepsy.
Depression and Autism
Depression can co-occur with autism and it presents some unique challenges for individuals, clinicians, and care providers. Signs and symptoms of depression may be more difficult to observe in individuals who also have symptoms of autism. Although treatments for depression are similar in people with – or without – autism, there is little research on how the combination of autism and depression may affect treatment outcomes.
Anxiety and Autism
A new book, titled Understanding and Treating Anxiety in Autism, is now available from Jessica Kingsley Publishers. The book is edited by ARI’s Executive Director, Stephen M. Edelson, and past ARI Board member Jane B. Johnson, and consists of chapters written by leading experts in the autism field. Understanding and Treating Anxiety in Autism summarizes the current perspectives and research on anxiety in autism, including neurology, medical, immunology, gastrointestinal, nutrition, sensory, and behavioral.
Strictly speaking, self-injury is not a symptom of autism. However, certain symptoms, situations, and co-occurring conditions may lead some people with autism to experience self-injurious behavior. Treating underlying illness and helping the individual learn additional communication and coping skills may empower them to find alternatives to self-injury and minimize the long-term effects of this behavior.
Learning Behavioral Strategies: Child and Parent Outcomes
Learn about emerging strategies for providing parents with the skills to provide positive, appropriate behavioral support.
- Behavioral interventions to support family members of children with autism
- Mindfulness-based interventions for family members of and professionals working with individuals with autism
- Effectiveness of behavioral intervention programs in under-served communities
Challenging Behaviors in Adults
Challenging behaviors such as aggression, destructiveness, and self-injury can take a toll. Each week, the Autism Research Institute hears from caregivers seeking help for their loved ones, sometimes under significant distress.
In this editorial, authors Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., and Marvin R. Natowicz, M.D., Ph.D., look at the scope of this problem, current approaches for treatment, and the steps the autism community can take to help people with autism and caregivers who are addressing this serious issue.