Author Topic: The special kids What is it that makes them stand out among the crowd?  (Read 13 times)


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What is it that makes
 them stand out among the crowd?
Their ever smiling faces?
The excited expression on learning
new effortless little things?

is it simply the astounding struggle with life,
 that they exchange blows, with so much ease,
 that we rarely stop to think how strong they must be,
 to be able to battle it out with life and
 yet live like as if it is not a big deal?

Maybe that is why
these angels are called
'specially abled children',
we can never be truly as special as they are.

Who are specially abled children?
The definition of specially abled given by the
United Nations is:
 "A person unable to ensure by himself or herself,
 wholly or partly, the necessities of normal individual
and/or social life as a result of deficiency,
either congenital or not,
 in his or her physical or mental capabilities."

Most of the specially abled children
 have a disability or physical impairment,
chronic illness, or mental retardation.

There are four types of disabilities among children:
mental retardation; hearing impairment;
 visual impairment and orthopedic impairment.

But out of all this,
which is caused mainly due to mental retardation
is the most affecting disability.

Autism is a complex developmental disability
that typically appears during the first three years of life.

The result of a neurological disorder,
autism is four times more prevalent in
boys than girls and knows no racial,
ethnic or social boundaries.

According to a survey, in India one in
approximately 500 children is born autistic,
quite a number to reckon with,
 And the saddest part is that there is no complete cure
for autism as of now.

Kids with autism typically have trouble maintaining
eye contact and reading social signs such as facial expression,
 body posture and gestures.

According to studies 90 percent risk of autism is hereditary.
Assuming a shared environment and no
other genetic or medical syndromes.

most of the mutations that increase the probability
of autism have not been identified.

Environmental factors that have been claimed
 to contribute to or worsen autism,
or may be important in future research,
 include certain foods, infectious disease,
heavy metals, solvents, diesel exhaust,
 phthalates and phenol used in plastic products,
pesticides, brominates flame retardants,
 alcohol, smoking, illicit drugs, and vaccines.

Autism also occurs due to other reasons some being:
genetic disorders.

About 10- 15 percent of autism cases have
an identifiable genetic syndrome;
mental retardation which is again divided as mild retardation,
mild to moderate retardation, and intense retardation;
 and epilepsy with variations in risk of epilepsy due to age,
cognitive level, and type of language disorder.

Handling autistic children is not an easy task;
 it requires a lot of love,
compassion and the most essential thing- patience,
as Meher a home maker puts it
"It gets very difficult occasionally and there are times
 I lose my temper, but then my child is all that I have got,
and is nothing short of a blessing to me,
he has taught me to accept life,
and live every moment happily".

With a loving family that supports them,
children with autism have been seen to make great strides,
kudos to all those amazing parents and supporting families,
who have and will stand by their kids.

Marilyn French puts it very beautifully in words
 "To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time,
any place, and more valuable than to fix bolts
 in cars or design nuclear weapons."


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Dr. Eric Hollander, psychiatrist and head of the Seaver and New York Autism Center of Excellence.
'Adults with autism live normal life spans and may require long-term medication, therapy and residential placement. Hollander says the average cost of caring for an individual with autism over a lifetime can be several million dollars. '


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Kids with autism often can't make connections that other kids make easily. For example, when someone smiles, you know the smiling person is happy or being friendly. But a kid with autism may have trouble connecting that smile with the person's happy feelings.They also may react to what's going on around them in unusual ways. Normal sounds may really bother someone with autism so much so that the person covers his or her ears. Being touched, even in a gentle way, may feel uncomfortable

A kid who has autism also has trouble linking words to their meanings. Imagine trying to understand what your mom is saying if you didn't know what her words really mean. It is doubly frustrating then if a kid can't come up with the right words to express his or her own thoughts.

Autism causes kids to act in unusual ways. They might flap their hands, say certain words over and over, have temper tantrums, or play only with one particular toy. Most kids with autism don't like changes in routines. They like to stay on a schedule that is always the same. They also may insist that their toys or other objects be arranged a certain way and get upset if these items are moved or disturbed.

If someone has autism, his or her brain has trouble with an important job: making sense of the world. Every day, your brain interprets the sights, sounds, smells, and other sensations that you experience. If your brain couldn't help you understand these things, you would have trouble functioning, talking, going to school, and doing other everyday stuff. Kids can be mildly affected by autism, so that they only have a little trouble in life, or they can be very affected, so that they need a lot of help.

The brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells called neurons (say: nur-ahns). Each neuron may have hundreds or thousands of connections that carry messages to other nerve cells in the brain and body. The connections and the chemical messengers they send (called neurotransmitters) let the neurons that help you see, feel, move, remember, and work together as they should.

For some reason, some of the cells and connections in the brain of a kid with autism especially those that affect communication, emotions, and senses don't develop properly or get damaged. Scientists are still trying to understand how and why this happens.

Figuring out if a kid has autism can be difficult. A parent is usually the first to suspect that something is wrong. Maybe the kid is old enough to speak but doesn't, doesn't seem interested in people, or behaves in other unusual ways. But autism isn't the only problem that can cause these kinds of symptoms. For example, kids who have hearing problems might have trouble speaking, too.

Usually, the results of lab tests and other medical tests are normal in kids with autism, but doctors may do them to make sure the kid doesn't have other problems. These medical tests can include blood and urine tests, a hearing exam, an EEG (a test to measure brain waves), and an MRI (a picture that shows the structure of the brain). Intelligence (IQ) tests also might be done.

Often, specialists work together as a team to figure out what is wrong. The team might include a pediatrician, a pediatric neurologist, a pediatric developmentalist, a child psychiatrist, a child psychologist, speech and language therapists, and others. The team members study how the child plays, learns, communicates, and behaves. The team listens carefully to what parents have noticed, too. Using the information they've gathered, doctors can decide whether a child has autism or another problem.

There is no cure for autism, but doctors, therapists, and special teachers can help kids with autism overcome or adjust to many difficulties. The earlier a kid starts treatment for autism, the better.

Different kids need different kinds of help, but learning how to communicate is always an important first step. Spoken language can be hard for kids with autism to learn. Most understand words better by seeing them, so therapists teach them how to communicate by pointing or using pictures or sign language. That makes learning other things easier, and eventually, many kids with autism learn to talk.

Therapists also help kids learn social skills, such as how to greet people, wait for a turn, and follow directions. Some kids need special help with living skills (like brushing teeth or making a bed). Others have trouble sitting still or controlling their tempers and need therapy to help them control their behavior. Some kids take medications to help their moods and behavior, but there's no medicine that will make a kid's autism go away.

Students with mild autism sometimes can go to regular school. But most kids with autism need calmer, more orderly surroundings. They also need teachers trained to understand the problems they have with communicating and learning. They may learn at home or in special classes at public or private schools.
Living With Autism
Some kids with mild autism will grow up and be able to live on their own. Those with more serious problems will always need some kind of help. But all kids with autism have brighter futures when they have the support and understanding of doctors, teachers, caregivers, parents, brothers, sisters, and friends.


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