Executive function is a collective term for critical functions such as planning, working memory, impulse control, inhibition, initiation, and monitoring of tasks or actions. Executive functioning is mediated by the frontal lobe, meaning any developmental delay that implicates the frontal lobe typically results in executive dysfunction.  Executive dysfunction is observed in conditions such as attention

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSC

Your autistic child starts clearing his/her throat repeatedly, and while repetitive behavior may be an autism characteristic, you wonder whether the behavior may be a comorbid condition or something else…  Many parents wish they could know exactly how their kids feel; maybe then they could soothe and treat all their symptoms more effectively. When autistic

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Our brains are so immense and powerful that we are driven by their complex workings. Our ability to think, reason, relate, and engage with others and tasks is granted by our brain’s ability to process the information in our environment. The memories our brains store are a key part of our daily living. Memory helps

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSC

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably seen your child put something in his/her mouth that isn’t food. During the mouthing stage before the age of two, it’s normal for curious babies to try and chew on just about everything. But when children try to actually eat non-food items past this stage of development, they may

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Claire Delano, BA

Savantism—that mystical, psychological phenomena that’s captured the world’s imagination ever since the movie Rain Man showcased the prodigious memory of an autistic savant. More than a fascination with the extraordinary, research about savantism could unlock useful information about nurturing genius talent associated with the neurodivergent mind. Are savants neurodivergent superheroes? Savantism does conjure up an

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Cognitive disorders are impairments to cognitive function (mental processes) to a degree where normal functioning is not possible without treatment. The question of whether autism spectrum disorders fit in this category will be considered in this article. Many in the autism community feel offended by the use of the word “disorder”. For others it remains

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Our body’s overall functioning relies on the biological processes carried in our tissues and organs; if a particular part of the brain has not developed properly due to these underpinning processes, a respective physiological dysfunction may occur. Children with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions often also have common physiological conditions that impact their daily living

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSC

Eating difficulties are commonly reported in children and young people with autism. In a society saturated with the ever-evolving landscape of diet culture and often conflicting professional advice, these difficulties are an understandable source of worry for parents. We, as practicing clinicians, have observed an increasing trend in young people with autism visiting eating disorder

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Sharleen Woods and Fiona Fisher Bullivant

Autism isn’t an easy condition to diagnose. There is no standard medical test, so doctors tend to look at the child’s behavior and development with behavior rating scales and confer with parents and school staff to make a diagnosis. People with high-functioning autism (HFA), previously referred to as asperger’s syndrome, have average or above average

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Crystal Gallagher

Unregulated behaviors in children on the autism spectrum and the common reasons behind these are well documented with a wealth of strategies for parents and educators to try.  For those parenting a child with an actual or suspected dual diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) there is far less understanding

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Sandy Turner, BEd (Hons) NPQH and Danielle Donnelly

What is depression? Psychiatry.org defines depression as a medical illness that causes “feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.” People with autism, particularly teens and adults, are prone to depression. At this stage of their lives, autistic teens and adults have more social experiences. As a result, they can go

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Kim Barloso, AB

What causes autism? To this day, scientists and researchers are still investigating the cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). After years of studies and examination, it is apparent that a single factor may not cause autism. What is clear is that autism the result of a combination of physical and environmental factors that ultimately affect

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Kim Barloso, AB

According to research, approximately 20 percent of the population will experience depression at some point in their lives—this statistic increases to almost 60 percent in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mood disorders (including depression) do tend to be more common in those with developmental disabilities compared to the more general population. However, depression in

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Andres Fonseca, MD, MSc, MRCPsych, FRSA

Q&A with Matthew Fisher, MD, Medical Leader, Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health Psychiatric Residential Treatment Program and Outpatient Psychiatry Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) commonly experience other medical conditions or comorbidities that can sometimes mask or even exacerbate symptoms of autism. At the top of the list are psychiatric conditions, neurological issues, and even gastrointestinal

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Matthew Fisher

Anxiety and autism disorders Approximately 40 percent of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also have an anxiety disorder (Steensel, Bögels, & Perrin, 2011). Anxiety can exacerbate symptoms of ASD making communication and social interactions increasingly difficult. Helping a child with autism learn practical skills to manage his/her anxiety can improve quality of life

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Katherine G. Hobbs, AA

On top of the “duties” of everyday life, dealing with unscheduled meltdowns, potty training issues, countless therapy sessions, and endless fighting with the school system to get the much-needed and well-deserved accommodations and services, parenting a child with autism can be VERY stressful and overwhelming. Many parents may attest to the fact that we become

Continue reading

in Autism Health and Medical Info by Kendra Garcia, COTA/L