Your Child with Autism and Spring: Are You Prepared?

This week has been a culmination of somewhat a perfect storm for our kids with Autism, at least her in the Memphis area. For the past few weeks, their Autism brains, especially their Sensory Processing Systems, have taken a beating. From being cooped in their homes due to the winter storms, to the disruptive timing of Daylight Savings Time, as well as the loss of structure during Spring Break…No wonder they have started to show more of their defensiveness and maladaptive behaviors to this world: increased self-stimulation behaviors, decreased frustration tolerance, lots of crying, lots of anger, lots of aggression,  lack of focus, even a decrease in eye contact and definitely, lots of stress.

Before I continue, I would like to say to the world out there that the parents or guardians of these lovely kids are not crazy, they are not out of their minds. This is reality for them. They are facing their kid’s defensiveness every day and they deserve any help we can give them and understanding, at the very least, educate ourselves.

They and the kids need the help for they are facing another onslaught, and this time from Mother Nature: SPRING!!! Now that this season is officially starting in about 3 days, as of this writing, there is a need to prepare our kids with Autism to the onslaught of Seasonal Allergies.  Most of us, even individuals without Autism are susceptible to this onslaught. The itchiness in our eyes and throat, the sneezing, the sore throat, some irritability and even headaches are just some of the symptoms that we feel….and them as well. They probably will even feel it first before we do.

It is even worse for children with Autism due to existing medical conditions that are simultaneously affecting them, such as sleep disorders, gastro-intestinal conditions, and presence of certain yeast and bacteria in their bodies. In most instances, the lack of ability to communicate what they feel, wreaks lots of havoc in how they are able to balance themselves socially and emotionally. Also, allergies usually causes histamine release in the body and this means inflammation. This inflammation may cause neurological changes that bring about all the negative and regressive behaviors that we see during this time. It may also aggravate conditions such as yeast, usually Candida, and bacteria such as clostridia.

If you are starting to see patterns of the above behaviors mentioned, especially during the early parts of spring, then it is time to prepare your child. Here are my recommendations:

  1. Try to structure your day. Use of a picture schedule really helps during these times.
  2. Make sure to keep and go to your scheduled therapy sessions. Let your therapist know the behaviors that are  starting to show, so that they can update their treatment approaches.
  3.  Consistently do your therapy home programs such as brushing-joint compression program or home exercises.
  4. Regular baths / showers and clothing changes may help in getting rid of pollen and other airborne allergens especially after being outside.
  5. Use of over-the-counter medicines for allergies such as Claritin may help. As with any drugs, please seek the advice of your pediatrician especially if your child is taking other medications, to prevent unwanted drug interactions.
  6. Read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721702

Hopefully, with this information, you can improve your child’s health. Good Luck and God Bless.

allergies

 

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