Friday, March 31, 2017

4 Films Your Child Will Love Watching

There are some films that leave strong messages and life lessons, choose carefully.

There’s something about movies that attracts the attention of everyone in general. Perhaps the fact that they make viewers feel like being inside it; you feel their pain and celebrate their accomplishments. For some people, movies represent the art of involving the spectator into the events that occur to the characters inside it. These types of emotions can have a great impact on children, as it helps them develop empathy and strong emotions towards other people who are not members of the family.

The same rule applies for children who were born with autism spectrum disorder, as their difficulties to express themselves are greater. The struggle comes when your children close the doors for communications and even avoid eye contact, all of this due to the effects of this development disorder.

The solution shows itself in the shape of a movie; it has been proved that movies (mostly Disney and animated ones) are actually very helpful in the treatment of regressive autism in children, as they open a channel for communication in the early stages of their growth. Here, I will be posting some classic and new films for your children to connect with:
  1. The Lion King features the story of Simba, the young lion, and heir of his father, Mufasa. Things change when Scar (Simba’s uncle) plans to take the throne by setting a trap for both Simba and Mufasa. Simba manages to escape but his father dies. This movie is based on finding your own path in life, and with the help of people, you hold dear.
  2. Toy’s Story: This story happens in a world where toys are living things capable of having feelings, just like humans do. They pretend to be just toys when humans are around to keep the secret from them. Andy is a boy that loves having lots of toys and has Woody as his favorite. After acquiring Buzz Lightyear, Woody starts to feel neglected and left out by Andy. Another movie based on companionship and the value of friends when they are needed.
  3. Peter Pan: The boy who never ages. This is the story of a boy who lives in Neverland, with his fairy and a group of Lost Boys. They spend most of their time having adventures and facing Captain Hook and his pirates. This is a fantasy film made for children to imagine how it would be like to be young forever and enjoy youth. Every kid would have empathy towards Peter Pan.
  4. Inside Out: This movie is based on Riley, an 11-year-old girl who loves playing soccer when suddenly things change because of their parent’s decision to move out. The movie starts showing her emotions as if they were characters who control her feelings towards things in her daily basis. This is a message for children to associate feelings and communication as a way to open up and speak.

All those movies are perfect for special needs children because of the message they give; communication, family values, emotions, freedom to speak their mind and loving their close ones. There’s a kid who’s the living proof of how influential movies are for children: Owen Suskind, his story is very touching and is the example of the benefits of films in early stages of autism.

Do not miss the chance to spend an afternoon watching some films with your children, but also give them the opportunity to do things outside and meet new friends. With the people of Autism Soccer, you’ll have a place where your children can feel at home, contact with them for a fantastic experience, just like in the movies!
Let them see the message the movie is giving. Then ask about it afterwards.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Puberty and Autism: Be Ready

Your child is not a baby anymore, things have changed now. Don't let this come as a surprise.

Going through phases is a part of living. From the moment of birth, there are various challenges children have to face in the process of growing. Naturally, the early years are essential for the development of cognitive and social skills, in order to be prepared. Puberty is the part where teens experience changes in their bodies and mind. The days of just playing around are long gone and now questions related to identity, self-awareness and sexual needs start to arise. In the common cases, puberty is a challenge for parents and it requires time and understanding, whereas special needs children can make this process quite difficult.

In general, the physical changes occur to both boys and girls; the growth and changes in the sexual organs, softening or lowering of pitch, and the sudden increase of acne. Autism children can be seriously affected due to the fact they hate when things change. There are two things that will be affecting them the most, the environment, and their sexual feelings.

Social environment
While personal questions invade autistic teenager minds, they also have to face the fact that people will probably judge them as teenagers usually do. Bullying has a negative influence on teens dealing with this process, making it harder to get through the day.

Have a moment to talk to your child about what’s going on, explain the fact that puberty changes everyone and is not a bad thing or a reason to be bullied. Self-stem for autistic teens can be risen up by always telling them positive things and compliments.

During this period, it’s very normal that teens start having sexual tendencies and urges. Autism teens will also develop these, but might not feel comfortable about it since they cannot explain what’s going on.

The best thing you can do as a parent is to discuss this subject with your children, give them information and guidance about the meaning of those sensations, even if it’s uncomfortable. Autistic teens are able to understand these topics and they’ll be aware of how to react according to the moment.

Being a teenager is the most difficult challenge children can have, not only because of the changes it brings but for the way children start perceiving things. Be prepared for those changes and always look up for them. Don’t forget there are places you can go if you need help and guidance; among these are the people of Autism Soccer and their group of professionals. They are a great alternative to your children, contact with them.
Get to a therapist or an expert to guide you in order to help your child.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Getting the Handle of Autism

If there's a point where you feel like you cannot take it anymore, get a break and find peace.

Life has the tendency to come up with surprises and unexpected turns; parents have lived long enough to know this very well, as they have lived experiences that made them who they are now. Having children with special needs is something not everyone is ready to face. But every life that comes should not be taken for granted, any parent must be grateful for the gift that is having children, no matter the conditions they’re born with.

At first, things go like they normally should; the baby’s growing just fine in an environment filled with love and attention. There are some times when you feel about to lose the temper, but after putting some thought to it, calmness returns. Suddenly, things complicate more as you notice your children start showing signs of having autism.

Of course, knowing this doesn’t change the love you feel towards your children, but things are about to change and sacrifices will be made.  The early stages of life in children require attention and assistance, but in cases of autistic kids things are drastically different; they need to be monitored and helped most of the time. In order to be able to do this, parents must stay close and keep an eye on them to make sure nothing bad happens.

Quitting the job became necessary since finding someone to look after your children is not having the expected results; none of the caretakers are able to understand and deal with the kid. You start to feel stressed out and things are going out of control, the tension can be felt in the house from fighting with your partner and arguing on how to solve this.

Finally, a ray of light comes; you and your partner find the caretaker that suits your children perfectly. You grant the information needed to keep your children calm and under control. Things go back to “normal”, not the normal that non-autistic children have, but a point in between that works. In the end, the only thing that matters is what you do for their future, not because you’ll feel better as a parent or being recognized. You’d do everything to give your children a life filled with joy and good times; the realization that your children will always treasure those moments, which means everything.

For all parents, no matter how challenging the situation is: never stop trying, keep on searching for alternatives, investigate more and ask for help if needed. This is not a fight you’re in alone, if you knock on doors at least one will be opened for you and your children. Organizations like Autism Soccer are waiting for you to try them, with professionals like them your children is guaranteed to have the best experiences.
Make autism part of the routine, so everything else becomes special.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Autistic Dreams: Make a Sleep Journal

It's common that autistic kids have a hard time to sleep properly, get them to an expert inmediately.

Sleep behavior in kids is already complicated as a standalone; kids tend to stay up until late hours at night playing games, running around or watching TV. No matter the causes of the lack of sleep, kids are very active in general. In order to create a sleep time routine, rules must be set and there’s a chance the kid won’t accept them at first. Eventually, it will become a custom to sleep at a set hour at nights and to wake up early.

With the case of special needs children, things can be more challenging for parents as ASD children have a bigger chance of developing sleeping disorders at a young age (between 40%-80% of the cases). This is not only a concern for the kids, but for the parents and family as well. There are many theories to explain the lack of sleep in autistic kids, but the main reason is believed to be the fact that they’re highly sensitive to stimuli during sleep, making any noise an interruption.

These sleep patterns are hard to deal with since the reason for that sensibility can’t be cured. Treatment would be a good idea depending on the extension of the spectrum, so checking a specialist would be the best decision. Lack of sleep affects the brain in severe ways, and it’s even worse if it’s a young kid because of the fact that he’s growing. Kids who usually have interrupted dream-time develop these conditions: bad mood or aggression, poor learning skills, depression, and even worse behavioral problems.

Making a sleep journal for your kids could be an alternate solution to help them out. As the kids wake up, ask details about their sleep; if they slept well and had dreams, or if they woke up several times during the night and mostly anything that can be written down helps. The reason of this is to keep track of how often they sleep. That’s something important to have when going to therapists, as they use this information to provide guidelines and better strategies for the kids. There are some other options you can follow for the sake of your kids:
  • Create the habit of sleeping: Try to establish a time for sleeping and make sure the kids get used to it.
  • Put some soft music: Try some music in the room to relax your children, read a book for him or tell a story.
  • Turn any distraction off: Anything like the TV or the video games.
  • Avoid sugar and sweets: This is a no-no before going to bed.

Not having any sleep does no good, and leaves children tired and irritable during the day; do the best to help them out. Take them to a pediatrician to check on them. If you put them to practice some sports, their mind will be distracted while making exercise, that’ll sure get them tired when they return home. With Autism Soccer, you’ll have that covered, they do the best to help special needs children in their growth while practicing and learning in a team.
Keep a journal of their sleep time, write down any dreams and interruptions they might have while sleeping.

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Beginners

Asperger's Syndrome isn't that severe, but it has its difficulties as well.

There are things about the human brain that are out of men’s reach, most brain diseases like Alzheimer’s aren’t still fully understood and are yet incurable. Cognitive and social development diseases like Autism and Asperger have become a challenge for most specialists on the subject. Meanwhile, alternatives for the treatment of those diseases have made their way to aid parents in their process of raising special needs children.

Asperger’s Syndrome is part of the Autism Disorder Spectrum, meaning that is one of the profiles of autism and that it has part of the difficulties this disorder bears. This condition affects the way the kids perceive the world. Whereas non-autistic kids have no problem with understanding thoughts and feelings towards others, Asperger’s kids have a hard time in interpreting these.

Children with Asperger’s have a different way of understanding things, their language interpretation is literal in most of the conversations they hear and are part of. Jokes are an enigma to them, as they require a certain grade of irony or sarcasm. Also, they have problems to recognize the changes in speeches (like tones, accents or pitches).

Their sense of right and wrong is very clear to them, and if needed, they’ll let others know that what they’re doing is wrong or should not be done. But that doesn’t apply to them since they’re not aware of their own mistakes or behavior.

They do things following patterns and with a certain range of predictability. That answers to their need of feeling safe and comfortable, meaning that things like, going out or going to unknown places, are horrible to them. Anything that takes them out of their comfort zones can lead to shutdowns (situations where they just turn off from the world outside and stop listening or paying attention), so it’s very important to leave things as they are or prepare them properly for any change if needed.
Asperger’s kids are in a way, egotistical. If they have the need for something, in particular, they’ll express it no matter the context or the moment. That means they can easily disturb a serious conversation just because they want something. This is added to the fact they can’t process emotions and feelings from others properly, making it difficult for parents to express and communicate with their kids.

They have difficulties with multi-tasking; they can’t focus on various tasks at the same time. But they’re good at details and solving simple tasks that require focusing on one thing at a time. Knowing how their minds work serves as a tool when needing to deal with special needs children, especially Asperger’s. But the most important tool parents need in order to deal with their kids’ behavior is patience; remember, it’s not the kids’ fault being born with a condition like that.

Asperger shouldn’t be a reason for kids not to play sports or trying new things, and with professionals like the people at Autism Soccer, there won’t be reasons to worry about. The best team special needs children could have, contact with them.
Get him/her to a specialist so your child works on those skills and improves them.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Alternative Foods for a Healthy Meal

Check a nutritionist before doing this, he can give you the best advice on which foods he can or should eat.

In the last entry, the subject of drinks and their effect on children was covered with some examples and how harmful they are for special needs children. The point of that entry was to give awareness and start looking towards healthy alternatives. Same should be for foods, this should be a matter to discuss and work on for the sake of the kids.

Parents need to check what their children are eating at all times (snacks included), as for some of the cases the food can cause complications like choking or gagging. Also, most of the kids with special needs take different sorts of medications and most of those are linked to gaining weight. It’s important to make weekly checks on the kid to avoid any risk of obesity.

Consider these alternative foods to help him strive towards a healthy diet:

Linseed: The seed of the flax plant is rich in vegetal fibers which make it a great cereal for kids. It’s a natural source of vitamins from the B group and reduces levels of stress you kid might have.
Almond: Almond has various ways to be consumed, and it’s a great source of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Although almond seed can be hard to ingest for kids, almond milk is the solution and a great choice for kids who are lactose intolerant.
Rice: A cholesterol-free source of energy. Rice is a great alternative for kids as it improves the immune system. The brain is positively affected by rice as well, as it stimulates the growth and activity of neurotransmitters. To make it easier to ingest, soften the rice with hot water and make a cream with some milk.
Corn: Its health benefits include vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that are vital for a growing kid. Maize contains thiamin, which serves for maintaining nerves and develops the brain. The color of the seeds comes from zeaxanthin, a biochemical that improves eyesight, essential for growing children.

Do not stop with these options and look for more alternatives, you need to have diversity when feeding your kid. But try not to force the kid and make the changes progressively so he doesn’t feel uncomfortable. Also, take a look at all food-related posts here; this might help to decide which fits your kid better. Remember, kids need to be active and exercise too, try with the people of Autism Soccer. They’ve been working with ASD children for a while now, contact with them and give your kid an unforgettable experience.
There are lots of healthy choices for your kid, just make sure you choose the one that fits him.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

3 Drinks That Affect Your Children’s Behavior

Many popular drinks in stores have chemicals that might affect your kids, be cafeful on what you're giving to them.

It has become very normal to consume and eat foods that are widely known and famous for their years in existence; products like soda, hamburgers and even food additives have made their way into people’s minds because of the brands behind them. The only thing that people tend to ignore is the risk and consequences of ingesting products like those, because of the acceptance they get in our society. This gets even worse when talking about children with ASD since they’re more susceptible to becoming addicted and risking their health.

This article’s objective is to bring awareness of the risks of certain drinks and the effects they have on the child besides the dependence they cause.

Soda/Soft drink: This is the main drink that’s consumed almost on every part of the globe. It’s mostly composed of carbonated water, a sweetener, artificial flavoring, and coloring. The main problems with these types of drinks are the sweeteners and artificial coloring:
  • Aspartame: An artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute. Its use has been the subject of many controversies. Known to have caused adverse reactions after its consumption like fatigue, irritability, insomnia, headaches and migraines.
  • Artificial Coloring on food: Causes many negative effects that go from chromosomal damage (from Blue #1), to lymphomas and hyperactivity (from Red #40), and most of those are found in drinks.

Sugar Drinks: After soda, these are the next in the list of negative effects on the organism. Sugar ingest can increase the risk of gaining weight on kids, causing heart disease in the long-term. Dental cavities are more likely to happen in children who ingest sugar on a daily basis. All of this without taking the chemicals added to those drinks into account, which make these an option to be put out off their habits for good.

Fruit Juice: Most of the processed juices today have stopped being healthy and are now as harmful as any junk food out there. The main reason for this is because of the amount of sugar found in most of the juices, causing hyperactivity and the risk of type 2 diabetes. It’s better to swap for the natural choices and stop the consumption of those for ASD children (and non-autistic children, too).

There’s no need to add more drinks to the list since those are the worst, and hopefully this information will bring awareness on parents with special needs children to change the drinks kids have, with healthier alternatives to help them in their growth. Autism Soccer also has great tools to allow your children have a change in their routine and become fit to grow properly, in an environment made just for him. Contact with them on their website!
Natural fruit juices are the best option as an alternative to sodas, they're healthy and have a great nutritional value.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Personal Tutoring: Should You Try It?

Autism children need a little push to learn and express their knowledge, a personal tutor can bring that out.

Every kid has a period of his life where it’s easier to learn and develop cognitive skills; their young brains have this to their advantage. Autism children depend on this period of time to gain social and communication skills in order to learn and grow, all that knowledge will set the basis for their future as independent members of society. School is one of the best ways to accomplish this, but not all special needs children can adapt to the way schools work. Kids with severe autism can have a really hard time dealing with others and completing tasks or assignments, even if the school is specialized for special needs children.

If your kids aren’t enjoying being part of the school’s environment after all your attempts, do not hesitate and take them out until you’re able to control their tantrums. But meanwhile, they’re going to need someone to look after their education; a personal tutor. Personal tutors might be the answer for all autistic parents’ problems, they’re capable of teaching and dealing with the kids’ unexpected actions and any situations they can cause. Here are some reasons why there’s no losing by having a personal tutor at home:

Control: This is one of the main pros of having a personal tutor in the house. He/she can look after your children teachings while the parents are there, checking on them. The tutor needs time alone with the kids as well, so they share some trust with the tutor and open up to him/her.

Teachings: A well-prepared tutor can teach them all the basics any school have, with the comfort of being in the house. This positively helps the kids, as they feel better and less stressed than at the school. Also, there’s no losing when it comes to communicating, as the tutor will be in charge of helping the kids to express themselves.

Annotations: The tutor can be asked to write down any progress or changes the kids start showing, and keep them as an evaluation of their growth. Keeping things like these are essential to look for tools related to the skills the kids are developing.

Personal tutors are a viable choice for your kids if they can’t adapt to a classroom filled with other children, which is very normal depending on how severe is the ASD of your kids. But don’t let them be indoors all day, this may be harmful to them as well. Put them to do something different, like practicing sports. My recommendation is that you contact the people of Autism Soccer, they are the best choice your kids can have as they offer the proper environment for special needs children.
Special needs children have the tendency to get distracted, make sure their environment doesn't add to this.

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