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 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
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Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ later
17:18 01 December 2009 by Bob Holmes

Toddlers with symptoms of autism can show dramatic improvement if they are given early, intensive therapy. The finding, from the first randomised controlled trial in such young children, should settle the question of whether early screening and treatment of autism are worthwhile.

Sally Rogers, a psychologist at the Mind Institute of the University of California, Davis, and colleagues randomly assigned autistic toddlers aged 18 to 30 months to receive either conventional care or an intensive programme of behavioural therapy known as the Early Start Denver Model. This emphasises fun, child-directed activities rather than the repetitive exercises used in conventional autism therapies, which are less suitable for very young children.
Learning from fun

"Being able to follow children's leads and build fun into their interactions is an important teaching tool. That may sound like common sense, but with autism nothing is common sense," says Rogers.

After two years, the 24 children in the ESDM programme achieved significantly higher scores in IQ tests and in several measures of language use, everyday skills and social interaction than the children given conventional care. Psychologists who had not encountered the children before the treatment considered that seven of them no longer met the diagnostic criteria for autism, as compared with just one of the 21 who received conventional care.

Techniques for detecting autism in very young children have been improving for several years, but until now it has not been clear that parents and doctors could do much with the information.

Rogers's study should settle that question, says Laura Schreibman, a psychologist at the University of California, San Diego. "The cost of providing this treatment when the child is very young is way less than the cost of providing adult care to these individuals," she adds. "You have to look at it as an investment. There is a treatment we know is effective. Let's get on with it."
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18221-treating-toddlers-for-autism-boosts-iq-later.html

The article is based on the following study: Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009.0958
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2009-0958v1
 exogenist
Joined: 6/10/2009
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Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/1/2009 5:43:53 PM

Rogers's study should settle that question, says Laura Schreibman, a psychologist at the University of California, San Diego. "The cost of providing this treatment when the child is very young is way less than the cost of providing adult care to these individuals," she adds. "You have to look at it as an investment. There is a treatment we know is effective. Let's get on with it."


But why do we "need" to change them? Why should they be forced into behaving and actint according to what we define as normal?

What is apparent is that such a program will prove beneficial for...society. Or so it seems. I have a friend who has spent much time teaching autistic children and her opinion is that we need not "change" them. Instead we should work to create fruitful environments for them and instead try to learn from them. The sailent point is that we are attempting to "cure" autism. But is it something that needs a cure or should be cured? One opinion would be no. Since "curing" autism is essentially making someone very different from what we consider the norm and making them like us. In effect destroying the person. Should we cure homosexuality?

But an even more damning consideration. If autism represents genetic impurity, then aren't we doing the whole of humanity a disfavor by developing programs that allow such genetic impurities to persist in the human genome?

Personally I think that such programs are good if only in the short run. It would be even better if such programs were conducted with the opinion that the individuals in the programs should be allowed to mature in consideration of "self" and not society. That is we shouldn't try to "cure" autism but understand it such that those with it may be able to live fruitful and, dear I say, actualized (actualized here simply means the best of a person presented in reality) lives.
 hereshecomesagain
Joined: 11/13/2009
Msg: 3
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/1/2009 6:20:37 PM
This is a no brainer, early screening on all developmental delays and intensive therapy BEFORE they are 3-4 years old is a MUST. On top of that, the perfectly normal child needs the good put into their brain before this to stay NORMAL, because the neuronal pathways that develop in the brain at this time are the main streets for all cross streets that follow. Gifted children identified early need their little extra for them to stay gifted.

Most TV and violence and sex scenes are a what parents tend to just think the kid is not noticing and they start taking the child away from these influences AFTER they form sentences and it's way too late. well, never too too late but the horse is out of the barn and you'd think that most parents would know better, but they act differently from what they know.

If I ruled the world and had control of major laws, I would focus on prenatal care, parental LICENSING that requires training and renewal testing and I'd pay big for highly qualified foster care and the therapy and care and education for those under 4. PArents who failed licensing would be under the focus of a social worker who would be well paid and well-trained and not over worked. As these children grew, costs would shrink, but the opposite is true now, we pay a pittance for these resources and as the children grow to adulthood, we pay through the nose, year after year after year.
 James Bottomtooth III
Joined: 5/19/2008
Msg: 4
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/1/2009 6:29:48 PM
Step 1: Create Test to measure intelligence.

Step 2: Create system to improve scores on said test.

Step 3: Profit.
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 5
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/1/2009 6:29:50 PM
Why should anyone be "forced" into behaving and acting according to what we call "normal"? Because we are the maority and the society we have set up doesn't need any more disruptions in it than it already has. The closer we ALL are to "the norm" the safer a society is. Bottom line is...we ALL want a safer environment in which to live, work, raise our kids, etc.
By emptying the psychiatric beds, the gov't did a grave disservice to society as a whole.
who pays for the costs of "caring for these people? Why should we NOT save ourselves the expense by intervening early in their lives and making it so that they are more able to look after themselves, just like anyone else?
Perhaps families that decide to bring these children into the world should bear the expense on themselves. But...as a society, we don't do that. Doesn't matter how sick a child is or what they have, we care for them, and put a lot of money into them. Looking at it by dollar value, that is a cold harsh way to look at anything. But we do it.

So...if we have the chance to reduce costs associated with this....then we should be doing it.
If the costs were NOT being covered by the taxpayer, then, and only then, should these children be allowed to "grow without intervention".
Personally...my heart goes out to those who have autistic children. They have no choice but to make statements like exogenist (^^^) made...otherwise they'd be really questioning themselves, their gods, whatever.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
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Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/1/2009 8:06:42 PM
RE Msg: 2 by exogenist:
But why do we "need" to change them? Why should they be forced into behaving and actint according to what we define as normal?
Because of several reasons:

1) "Normies" have no idea how to deal with autistics, generally treat them as at best anti-social, at worst human vegetables, and are 99.5% of the population. So if an autistic kid doesn't know how to deal with "normies", then they get treated like dirt, simply because they are so seriously outnumbered.

2) Autistic kids are often unresponsive, and just don't know how to interact with social situations. Even when they aren't treated as social pariahs, they still remain on the fringes of society, always watching, wanting to join in, but not knowing how.

3) Even when high-functioning autistics and aspies do interact, they seem to have absolutely no concept of deception. So they very often get taken advantage of by normies.

4) Because they don't know how to socialise, they really don't know how to interact to get ahead in work. So they are often isolated and unable to make use of their talents.

5) Because they don't know how to socialise, they don't understand dating, and often don't date. When they do, they often don't understand what's going on, and get very, very hurt.

6) Austistics really don't know how to deal with change. So they need to learn to deal with change, just to deal with life.

7) If autistics are taught how to deal with situations, then it is likely their parents will get education too, and then their parents will learn how to deal with them, and they will finally start enjoying a loving family.

8) If enough autistics are taught to deal with life successfully, then they will be able to form as a group, and fight for their own rights. Right now, they are left to the kindness of others to fight for their rights, and it's about as successful as when men were fighting for women's rights. Very slow.

What is apparent is that such a program will prove beneficial for...society. Or so it seems. I have a friend who has spent much time teaching autistic children and her opinion is that we need not "change" them. Instead we should work to create fruitful environments for them and instead try to learn from them.
Your friend sounds very well-meaning. But she's still treating them like the village idiot, who can only deal with environments prepared for them, and as if by listening to them, society will gain a few germs of knowledge, rather than treating them as they are, independent free-thinking people who would happily elucidate society on millions of things, as long as society stops treating them like a special case, and just listens to what they actually say.

The sailent point is that we are attempting to "cure" autism. But is it something that needs a cure or should be cured? One opinion would be no. Since "curing" autism is essentially making someone very different from what we consider the norm and making them like us. In effect destroying the person. Should we cure homosexuality?
If the aim is to force autistics to not think, and just be interested in boy bands, or getting laid, then that would be "curing" them. But it would never work. The ability to hold oneself to one's inner world, while being almost tortured on a daily basis by all around you, indicates such inner strength, that no-one could "cure" them of their autism. They are so strong, that autistics would never bow to the world. They would become part of it by choice, or not at all. Most times, their experiences are so negative, that they choose to not be part of it at all. But it would be nice for them to know that they can find positive ways to interact with normies.

If the aim is to add to the autistic's bow, to teach them HOW to deal with "normies", while still retaining their inherent incredible concentration, their incredible imagination, their ability to create an inner vision as big as entire worlds, their ability to look at the world from entirely different angles, and their much greater physical sensitivity, and much greater physical strength and endurance, then they are not being "cured", but are learning how to cope with being brilliant in a world of people bereft of their incredible talents, and how to use those talents for their own benefit, as well as others' benefit, in this world.

But an even more damning consideration. If autism represents genetic impurity, then aren't we doing the whole of humanity a disfavor by developing programs that allow such genetic impurities to persist in the human genome?
Autistics would be quick to contemplate the problem, and to point out, that we don't really understand the brain all that well anyway. So we cannot say they are examples of "genetic impurity". They could equally be a reaction to this society's tremendously over-stimulated environment, to have people in it who simply are able to "shut down" from over-stimulation and process things in their own time, without having to be overwhelmed by society's messages and just do what they are told.

Personally I think that such programs are good if only in the short run. It would be even better if such programs were conducted with the opinion that the individuals in the programs should be allowed to mature in consideration of "self" and not society. That is we shouldn't try to "cure" autism but understand it such that those with it may be able to live fruitful and, dear I say, actualized (actualized here simply means the best of a person presented in reality) lives.
I think that's the point of these programs. Parents have tried for years to "train" autistics, even to beat it out of them. It doesn't work. It just makes them retreat further into their shell. That some are willing to teach autistics how to deal with the world and respond to others, seems to be a huge step up in the understanding of normies, as they are finally grasping that these kids are not socially inept, but simply not social "naturals", just as normies are not "naturals" when it comes to concentrating for long hours at anything they are interested in.
 ZenBeth
Joined: 2/23/2009
Msg: 8
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/1/2009 11:15:22 PM
I know the Mind Institute of the University of California, Davis very well, as its near me. They do some good work which began with a few professional families who had children with serious autism issues. Not high functioning aspergers like myself. Stanford is also doing some good studies.

In most ways its no different than having a child in dance or martial arts classes in order to help them learn skills that will enrich their lives. In fact the high functioning aspergers men/women who work in the high tech industry have had some type of learning environment where they learn how to deal with social skills.

Dr. Temple Grandin has written various books on her first hand experience, being seriously autistic all her life.

~Beth~
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 9
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/1/2009 11:31:54 PM
Autism is definitely one of the saddest conditions I have worked with in my work with pre-school children. The original post gave me another view into this saddest of challenges to be born with. Let them have fun! I wish this was true.... but I remain cautious and skeptical. The gap between the autistic brain and the typical brain is so vast. In my innocent dealings with autism, I was dumbfounded by the claustrophobic tunnel these individuals lived and breathed in. Let there be light, let something invade the desert! A condition, in its worst form, worse than Down Syndrome.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
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Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/1/2009 11:42:03 PM
Hmm, I'd like to believe everything in that article but I must admit a little skepticism. Usually when kids are diagnosed with autism that young it is because they are on the severe side of the autistic spectrum. And there is a trend I've noticed in mental illness where the more severe the disability, the harder it is for them to improve. Perhaps I'm wrong about her and her treatments - I certainly hope I'm wrong.


But why do we "need" to change them? Why should they be forced into behaving and actint according to what we define as normal?
That is a lovely sentiment and I see where you're coming from.

I'm reminded of one autistic kid that I look after from time to time. The tiniest disturbance would result in a violent rage where he would smash his head through walls, choke himself, bite his hand hard enough to draw blood, punch himself in the head repeatedly, attack people, and cause property destruction. Should we try to help him change these behaviours or should our inaction and our complacency allow this poor soul to live a life of anguish and anxiety? His behaviours ostracise him and he desperately wants to fit in.

So while I share your desire to help autistic people maintain their individuality, I do think it is in their best interest to help them deal with aspects of their illness that diminish their quality of life. I suppose I don't really want them to be forced into my idea of whatever "normal" is, but I would like to see them happy.
 monalee1
Joined: 10/22/2007
Msg: 11
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/2/2009 9:06:03 PM
hi... every child needs to be taught, with autism the situation is not about what to teach but how to teach... every single human being can be taught, we just need to tap into the method that works best... autism is complicated because often there are language barriers ... the person with autism can not express their needs/wants, even basic ones, so in their frustration they scream, hit, self abuse... when we started using the PECS program with autistic children> using pictures to express/ communicate, the behaviours decreased ~dramatically~... now we have children who can communicate their needs and therefore learning can happen simply because there is less stress in their day to day lives... I can not wrap my head around the post about "changing someone with autism"... if the "change" enhances a persons life where is that bad?? the autism is not changed but the non productive coping and social skills and the destructive behaviours are.. anyone on the planet would benefit from those essential skills... blessings
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 12
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/2/2009 10:43:43 PM
Any baby/toddler has huge capacity for learning how to learn and the norm is to stifle this ability.
Geez they learn a foreign language despite the the fact their teachers are normally pretty incompetent. If their teachers are half way competent the toddler will learn multiple languages with out much difficulty.
The way they learn best is when they enjoy what is presented to them.
When Adults wake up to these facts, all babies/toddlers will gain in capacity to enjoy their lives.
 hyoid
Joined: 5/12/2009
Msg: 13
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/3/2009 6:41:13 AM
I don't think autism has any correlation to low IQ. The high incidence of savants among the autistic proves this. Its effect is on the capacity to test IQ. ie
an autistic child doesn't complete a test because he can't be stimulated to perform, not because he's incapable of solving the problems.
 chaswhatif
Joined: 4/30/2005
Msg: 14
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Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/3/2009 10:17:13 AM
My company cleaned Seattle Children's Home,a group of homes for autistic 'teens.
They who gain some control are not head-banging but using a piano or? to express what they must.
Someone knows the name of a mild autism,fixation to the point of tears if ...
For physicians,musicians-cool...
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 15
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/4/2009 9:28:31 PM
Island Home...autistic children do not learn due to gifted teachers and parents. Not the children who are truly blighted with this terrible condition. They only seek the distance between the complex human beings and human condition and themselves. Now, I believe that profound autism is due to evolution and another reminder to everyone that compassion, civility and patience are necessary and required components of what masks itself as an advancing civilization. Autism is the most profound, sad and final farewell to engagement. Individuals with Down Syndrome present with divergent emotional responses. True and profound autistics have only one response to this very complex life....distress and shut down.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 16
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/4/2009 9:53:44 PM
60to70...I have no experiennce of autisim so definately dont claim to be an expert. How ever if someone was reporting improvements in capabilities through a method of education. I would investigate it before condeming it. From what you say there are two options.
Remove any thing they may respond too.
Look for ways to improve response capabilities
Either one of those options doesnt negate the other from investiation
As usual it seems to me the more we learn about others the more we learn about ourselves and we are all capable of improvement of ourselves

Teachers and parents dont need to be gifted only open to possibilities
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 17
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/4/2009 10:08:17 PM

behavioural therapy known as the Early Start Denver Model. This emphasises fun, child-directed activities rather than the repetitive exercises used in conventional autism therapies, which are less suitable for very young children.
Learning from fun

This says it all
"Child directed activities". In other words respond to childs needs rather than imposing predetermind requirements
"Learning from fun" way better than punishment as the driver
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 18
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/4/2009 11:52:51 PM
Island home....autism is not where I am most experienced but it is certainly somewhere where I am familiar and the condition is not responsive to words and theories. the end. I am not closed minded and I welcome any avenue that diverts from this horrible life sentence. There are degrees, for sure, choose high functioning if you need or do brush up to autism. The state of being of those caught in its trap is blind and suffocating. Autism is where the sun does not shine, where J and A are not interacting, where the moment is not filled with potential, where the only thing that matters is your hands flapping and the little string holding the toy truck is where your reality begins and ends. Or the sock you flap over and over and over again. What is missing? What is the key?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 19
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Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/5/2009 1:17:18 PM
RE Msg: 19 by 60to70:
Island home....autism is not where I am most experienced but it is certainly somewhere where I am familiar and the condition is not responsive to words and theories. the end. I am not closed minded and I welcome any avenue that diverts from this horrible life sentence. There are degrees, for sure, choose high functioning if you need or do brush up to autism. The state of being of those caught in its trap is blind and suffocating. Autism is where the sun does not shine, where J and A are not interacting, where the moment is not filled with potential, where the only thing that matters is your hands flapping and the little string holding the toy truck is where your reality begins and ends. Or the sock you flap over and over and over again. What is missing? What is the key?
I am high-functioning. I have a bit of insight to bear.

The problem I have found, is that most people do what they do in most things, they look at the autistic child's actions, they think of what they might do, and then they attribute to the child those behaviours and patterns that best approximate what they would do in their daily life.

It might help to understand this, if I gave you an example. Say your friend has diabetes. She is lethargic, thirsty, tired, sleeping a lot, showing all the symptoms of someone with diabetes. She goes to see the doctor. The doctor sees many people who have depression, and they are all very lethargic, very tired, sleep a lot. He concludes that she must have depression. So, he gives her pills for depression. They do nothing for her. He says she needs to take them for at least 6 weeks before they kick in. She does. He says try them for a bit longer. Now it's 3 months, and they're not working to improve her condition. He says that THESE pills don't work, and to try another pill. So she does. She goes through 12 different pills, and is suffering for 3 years. Then one day, the doctor is ill. She comes in, complaining that the pills don't work. He asks her for her symptoms. She says what she always says: lethargic, thirsty, tired, sleeping a lot. He immediately calls for a diabetes test. He asks her why she wasn't tested for diabetes right away. She doesn't know. He's furious that anyone didn't consider diabetes, as being thirsty with the other symptoms are all symptom of diabetes, and the others are only indicative of depression when thirst isn't a symptom. The other doctor simply saw that 3 out of 4 symptoms matched to the conditions that he saw all the time.

People do the same with autistics. They look at the autistic, and say "As I am now, why would I be acting like that?" They wouldn't, ever. They'd only do a few things that autistics do, and certainly none of the other symptoms. But they gloss over the details. As a result, they put a square peg in a round hole.

What they NEED to do, is to list ALL the symptoms of the autistic child. Then they need to ask how they would need to be, to have ALL those symptoms. It takes a while. Then suddenly the penny drops, and they suddenly understand the autistic child completely.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 20
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/6/2009 6:41:46 PM
Finding the essential key is always the answer to the problem. Frankly, the designation of the umbrella that now defines Autism and its spectrums, here arises the confusion. I have a nephew who was diagnosed as Autistic and he thrived in his early childhood due to intervention and etc. Now that he is a young man, the condition has halted any progress. He will never be free and independent. Never. So, was it a matter of no key? You do not change Down Syndrome children into typical beings and you also do not alter the course of severe Autism. You work diligently and with love and patience with what you have.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 21
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Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/7/2009 11:03:27 AM
RE Msg: 21 by 60to70:
Finding the essential key is always the answer to the problem.
Yes, it is. Bacon outlined how to find the key, in the Baconian Method:
The Baconian method consists of procedures for isolating the form nature, or cause, of a phenomenon, including the method of agreement, method of difference, and method of concomitant variation.

Bacon suggests that you draw up a list of all things in which the phenomenon you are trying to explain occurs, as well as a list of things in which it does not occur. Then you rank your lists according to the degree in which the phenomenon occurs in each one. Then you should be able to deduce what factors match the occurrence of the phenomenon in one list and don't occur in the other list, and also what factors change in accordance with the way the data had been ranked. From this Bacon concludes you should be able to deduce by elimination and inductive reasoning what is the cause underlying the phenomenon.

Thus, if an army is successful when commanded by Essex, and not successful when not commanded by Essex: and when it is more or less successful according to the degree of involvement of Essex as its commander, then it is scientifically reasonable to say that being commanded by Essex is causally related to the army's success.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baconian_method

Too often, we do not follow Bacon's method, though. That's where we get into problems. We look at only SOME of the qualities of Autistics, and often only intermittent ones, because those qualities are the ones that bother us, rather than looking at ALL of the qualities that are consistent with autistics. If we only look at the things we get annoyed about, then we get an accurate picture of how the autistic annoys us, and our conclusions will be the simplest way for us to get rid of that annoyance.

But if we want to help the autistic, then we must look at what annoys HIM. Then our conclusions will be the simplest way for us to help him rid himself of HIS annoyances, and what hinders HIM in his life.

Frankly, the designation of the umbrella that now defines Autism and its spectrums, here arises the confusion.
The definition of Autism is generally correct. But it's a definition of how "normies" would see it. It's rather like looking at a patient with diabetes, and saying they are very lethargic. You have to understand it from the patient's perspective, not your own.

I have a nephew who was diagnosed as Autistic and he thrived in his early childhood due to intervention and etc. Now that he is a young man, the condition has halted any progress. He will never be free and independent. Never. So, was it a matter of no key?
My family said the same of me, and yet I am doing way better than they imagined I could. I can tell you, that I repeatedly asked them for the right type of help, but that they just didn't listen to what I needed from them.

I cannot speak for all Autistics, High-Functioning and not, and all Aspies. But they do seem to share common traits. One of these is a lack of ability to understand social cures. Another is a lack of response to others. Another is a strong concentration. What all of these share in common, is not so obvious.

Most humans have what we might call "perception filters". Say you meet someone in a coffee shop. In that shop, you will be talking to your friend, and responding to what she says. You give her eye contact, paying attention to her facial expressions. You do this by focussing on her voice, and her face.

But in that room, there are 50 others, all talking as well. There is also music playing on the stereo. There are many faces in the room, and plenty of decor to look at. Yet, you don't notice everything else going on. Why not?

Your brain filters out the rest. It's got an in-built graphic equaliser on all of your senses. If raises the volume on your friend, and lowers the volume on everything else. It raises the visual focus on your friend's face, and filters out everything else to a soft but blurry background. So, you end up seeing and hearing your friend very clearly, and everything else is there, but as a soft blur, easily ignored.

The same happens with your thoughts. When your friend starts talking, you have 15 thoughts going on in your head. Suddenly, they all go rather quiet, pushed to the back of your mind, with only the thought of listening to your friend being uppermost in your mind. It's as if your mind had applied the same perception filter to its own thoughts, raising the volume and the clarity of the thoughts expressed by your friend, and lowering the volume and the clarity of the rest of the thoughts in your head, to a soft whisper.

All this happens so automatically, that most people don't even notice it. But it has to happen. If it didn't, then it would be like if you were in a crowd of people talking, and one said something to you at random. You wouldn't know who to listen to, or who to watch. So it happens, but is handled by the subconscious for you, so well, that you don't even realise it was ever happening.

This doesn't seem to happen in autistics. They hear the volume of the music on the stereo, and everyone's voices, equally loudly. They don't know which to listen to. So they listen to whatever is the loudest, or makes the most booming sounds just like you would, if you lacked a perception filter. They see your face. But they also see everyone else's faces, and the decor. They look at whatever is the brightest, which is often the decor. They look around a lot, as they don't really know what to watch, just to see what else is going on, that they should watch. They find that their thoughts are not drowned out by the thought of paying attention to you. So they don't pay attention to your thoughts more than any other, and so they don't pay special attention to you.

However, when they do think that something needs attention, then they do it consciously. They concentrate on someone, or something, a painting, numbers, whatever. But then they push everything else to the background, and so everything else remains in the background, until they stop consciously concentrating. They only know to stop, when the task is finished, or they have tired of it. Till then, they just keep focussing. That continues for a long time, because they don't get distracted by new things. Everything else is pushed to the background consciously, and the subconscious is not automatically filtering in a new activity, such as someone asking them something.

That is also why they like rules, and why some have emotional fits. They like rules, because rules tell them when to concentrate on something. They get angry and stay angry, because nothing is telling them when to stop being angry.

That is why they often display savant ability, but only in certain fields, where they are distracted by the same thing, again and again. Each autistic has to make up rules for himself/herself. So they will internally come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to concentrate on drawing buildings. Then, whenever it strikes them to draw a building, they will automatically just start concentrating. They're not breaking their concentration, as they never had anything specific to concentrate on before, than any other. They had aimlessness, and now they have concentration. That will end, once the task is done.

Social skills are a problem, because social skills don't require any great intelligence, just paying attention to everything that's going on, a kind of regular small amount of concentration to lots of different things, one at a time. It's rather like flicking the channels on your TV, just to see what's on, and what you might want to watch, and what you might want to buy from a home shopping channel. You stop periodically in your flicking, because something catches your eye, and you want to buy it. The autistic doesn't have the instinct to stop and watch something for a minute, and then move on. It's conscious effort for him/her. Either he/she keeps flicking endlessly, or he/she sees something he/she likes, and then just watches that channel endlessly. It doesn't even occur to him/her to buy it, because his conscious thought is taken up by just watching. In the same way, for an autistic, he just keeps watching people's facial expressions and conversations, without taking anything in. He just keeps flicking. When he does stop and watch one person, he watches THAT person with almost endless concentration. But that person's social interactions also depend on what everyone else is doing, and that's something the autistic is plainly not aware of. So he doesn't understand most of what he sees and hears.

The skills that autistics need to learn, are:

1) To concentrate at will, easily. That can be practised by regular memory tests, of focussing on one thing, and remembering as many details as possible in a short span.

2) To be flexible, to switch at will, easily. That can be practised by regular memory tests, of focussing on a group of many things, and remembering as many things in a short span.

In both, candy, or anything the person desires, can be used as an incentive, starting off rewarding the autistic child to for remembering 3 things, building up to 20.

3) To regularly re-evaluate whether to concentrate or to switch, and to not spend too long on the decision process, as that is in itself concentrating, and the purpose is to make a decision on what to do, not to do itself. That can be practised by placing one candy randomly on one test and then giving the child the option of which test to choose, giving the child the incentive to make a decision based on which type of test has the candy on it. That can be built up more, by putting candies on each test, but always ensuring only one test has more candies. It can then be built up more, by using different types of candies, but ensuring that one test will always have more of the candies the child likes the most.

The same skills can be used to develop the same abilities in adults, but only as long as an equivalent incentive is used. The candies or other rewards are what gives the child or the adult the incentive to develop his/her skills.

Over a series of months of such tests, the brain will become more and more experienced and familiar with making these types of choices, giving the autistic the ability to concentrate at will, to switch at will, and to choose whichever is better for him/her to choose, as quickly as possible.

It can even be used to develop skills in eye contact, in noticing facial expressions, in noticing tones of inflexion, and in body language, and in responding to them. But it has to be built up in a logical manner, first to notice one factor, then more, then more, then making any response, then a more appropriate response, until eventually the autistic becomes so adept at noticing social cues, and in responding to them appropriately, that others think they are "normal", and don't even notice their autistic tendencies.

It doesn't guarantee perfection. But it does develop the skills that the autistic clearly lacks, to as much as makes the autistic able to enjoy his/her life, in whatever ways they feel comfortable with.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 22
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/8/2009 9:19:51 PM
Thank-you Scorpio for your beautiful offering. We, they, all sometimes do not make the mark, but we are certainly should be valued in our very own individual ways worthy of the surge and power embodied in the act of love. Yep. As we are, so be it.
 Island home
Joined: 7/5/2009
Msg: 23
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 12/9/2009 4:56:55 PM
Thanks scorpio for msg 22
It is enlightening beyond autism as well
I have book marked it for future reference
 Liv luv laf
Joined: 8/19/2009
Msg: 24
Treating toddlers for autism boosts IQ
Posted: 1/26/2010 10:47:04 AM
I like your response to this topic. As the father of two autistic children and with my ever increasing exposure to this subject and the community, the approach to helping autistic people lies in understanding them more. Since ASD encompasses a wide range of behaviours and cognitive abilities there isn't any one strategy that works for all of them. Being accepted in society goes a long way for the autistic person to lead a fulfilling productive life. In order to be accepted, the general public needs further education on the subject and also some kids will need help in order to present themselves in a manner where it's more likely they will be accepted. In these cases, IBI, using it's pavlovian theories, will help kids behave in a manner which is more accepting in today's society. However beyond that, I agree, that autistic kids/people should be allowed to explore who they are and what they are capable of without having to feel like their always conforming. It's a great topic and more discussion along this line will help people's understanding.
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