Anxiety in autism spectrum disorder

We are super excited to have an awesome guest blogger! here is his Bio!

Author Bio:- Ralph Macey has been working with an upscale psychiatric facility for quite sometime now. His work involves removing the social stigma associated with chronic mental disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dementia, ADHD, depression, loneliness, PTSD, etc. His work focuses on the integrated interventions to improve mental health and the alternative approaches to healing.

 

Anxiety in autism spectrum disorder – 6 Effective natural remedies

Parents often feel helpless when their children have anxiety along with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both are quite complicated medical issues and they need to be dealt with carefully. Autistic children with anxiety disorder have the same tensions and apprehensions as others. But when they get an anxiety attack, their behavior appears more like the symptoms of ASD. They resist any change in the routine. They show obsessive and ritualistic behavior and so on.

Medications can help. But are they enough to take care of these complex medical issues? Well, not necessarily. Some medications take a lot of time to start working in the body. Some medications don’t work at all. Plus, there are a lot of side effects of these medicines, which can lead to further complications. This is why people often look for natural remedies for anxiety in autism spectrum disorder.

Natural remedies or alternative treatments are an essential part of the integrated interventions in mental healthcare. Many people think that alternative treatments or natural remedies don’t go well with medication. But this is not true. Integrated interventions in mental healthcare include medication, psychotherapy, and alternative treatments. When they are used with cutting-edge technologies, the mental condition of individuals improves a lot.

6 Natural remedies to cope with anxiety in autistic people

Parents can try natural remedies even when their children are on medication or are undergoing therapies. Usually, individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy can help to bring some positive behavioral changes in autistic people with anxiety. When parents give natural remedies along with medications and therapies to anxiety-prone autistic children, they can adopt a holistic approach for mental well-being. This is essential for the overall mental care of the child.

Here are a few natural remedies you can give when you see anxiety symptoms in autistic individuals.

1. Vitamin B supplements: These supplements help to reduce stress. The dosage depends on the stress level. If someone is too stressed out, then he has to take more vitamin B supplements. If someone is stressed out occasionally, then he has to take supplements in small quantities.

Vitamin B supplements are water-soluble. As such, they need to be replaced often. The ideal candidates for vitamin B supplements are kids, adults, and caregivers who are under tremendous stress.

For best results, request the patient to swallow this supplement.

2. Osteomatrix: It’s a calcium-magnesium supplement, which acts as a relaxing agent in the body. You can give this supplement every day at any time. There is no fixed time for taking this supplement. If your child refuses to take this supplement, then you can crush it and mix it with any food item that he eats. But make sure you ask the psychiatrist before taking such a step. This supplement helps to prevent aggressive outbursts of the patients.

3. Omega-3 fatty acids: It’s the good fat in fish oils that you can get in supplement form in the medicine stores. Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely good for brain development and its smooth function. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to moderate the repetitive behaviors of an autistic child. According to the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, omega-3 fatty acids help to improve the social skills and behavior of a child with an ASD too.

4. Stress relief complex: This supplement is usually given to patients with OCD, Asperger’s Syndrome, and anxiety issues. It helps to calm the agitated mind and body with clinically tested components like beta-sitosterol, l-theanine, L-tyrosine, ashwagandha, etc. This supplement works in the body within 15 minutes and has no adverse effect when it’s taken with medicines.

5. Lecithin: This supplement helps to improve various functions of the body including the brain. Lecithin (more popularly known as Choline) is a component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, whose main job is to transmit messages in the nervous system and the brain. So somewhere down the line, this supplement helps to improve the brain function and nervous system.

6. Melatonin: Some autistic children with anxiety disorder suffer from sleeping problems like insomnia, restlessness, problems in falling asleep, etc. Lack of sleep can aggravate anxiety and the ASD symptoms, which shouldn’t be ignored at all.

A natural supplement known as melatonin helps autistic children to have a good sleep and reduce symptoms. However, many doctors say that melatonin should be used only when the reason behind sleep problems is autism.

When the anxiety level is very high, you may need to give more than one supplement to the autistic child. You can give one supplement in the morning and the other one at night. If you want to use only one supplement, then give the stress relief complex to your autistic child. Otherwise, you can ask a psychiatrist about the right combination of supplements.

How to know if your autistic child has anxiety

Usually, people with an anxiety disorder are always anxious and worried about others’ opinions. They are always worried about how other people will react or what they will think or feel about them. As such, they feel stressed out and worried.

Now think about the condition of autistic children with an anxiety disorder. They can’t even tell their parents that they are tense or worried. Instead, they show behavioral changes like:

  1. They throw tantrums and show temper
  2. They tend to stick to routines
  3. They scratch skin continuously or bite nails incessantly
  4. They bang their hand and hurt themselves
  5. They can’t sleep at night
  6. They try to avoid the social circle
  7. They tend to depend more on obsessions and rituals

Once you find these symptoms in your child, take him to a psychiatrist as quickly as possible. The psychiatrist can suggest various ways to cope with this new mental condition of your autistic child.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, integrated interventions in mental healthcare have helped to treat anxiety in autism spectrum disorder to a great extent. The typical signs of anxiety in autistic individuals are irritation, aggressive behaviors, escapist attitude, suicidal tendency, etc. If your child has both autism and anxiety symptoms, then try to give integrated interventions in mental healthcare. This will help to bring a harmonious balance between the brain and the nervous system.

 

Sincerely,

Ralph Macey

 

Throwback: My hero by Peyton

I thought since we are doing the 45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays… and it is Throwback Thursday…. what better time than now to bring out this blog from 4 years ago! The Holidays are a time that we reflect on the things that we are thankful for… People we love… and what unites us! I think this blog is truly a great example of all those things. Every once in awhile someone comes into your life, that truly makes a difference. Everett Dawkins is one such person. I hope you enjoy this blog… and as always, thanks for reading and Hope everyone has an awesome day!

 

 

 

I’m 16, I’m autistic, and I love sports. 2 of my most favorite sports are Football and Basketball.

My favorite teams in NFL are Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My favorite teams in NBA are Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors. My favorite Colleges are Florida State Seminoles and Texas A&M Aggies.

I always cheer for FSU because all of my family are FSU fans. My cousins, Troy and Jodie both went to FSU. I cheer for Texas A&M because that’s where my stepdad, Mark got his master’s
degree. I do sometimes cheer for TCU because Mark’s dad went there.

My favorite team is FSU football, I am very lucky because I have a buddy who went to FSU. He played football for FSU and later became a pro and played for several teams in NFL, Everett Dawkins, also known as Big E. We call him Big E because he is huge and hard as a rock. He talks to me on E-mail, text messages and Twitter. He always remembers my Birthday, and that means a lot to me.

I also know Daniel Glauser, who also went to FSU and played football. He also follows and talks to me on Twitter, he is my friend. Both Everett and Daniel are very nice and they would never treat me like I’m autistic.

Although, I don’t have many friends because I’m autistic, and I don’t talk very well, but Everett thinks I’m cool, and he really cares about me. Everett teaches himself how to become a better player in Football. Everett started the foundation called Underdog Kids.

I am currently working on a book for it, and it’s about what is like to be an underdog. The book is also about me and my youth group when we went bowling.

Everett makes me feel safe, and he is like a big brother to me. Everett teaches me that it’s okay to be different and to be an underdog. He encourages me to exercise because I needed to get stronger and have more energy.

On October 5th, I went to the Fall Festival, and I won the medal for the horse race, because I ran fast, I’ve been exercising for a year so that I have more energy. Everett taught me that I may not be great at talking or sports, but I matter.

I love Everett because he makes me feel like I can do anything, even though I am autistic. Many people want to be friends with him, because he plays football and is so nice, but he chooses to be friends with me.

When something good happens and I tell him, he always makes a big deal out of it. I am so happy he chose to be friends with me and my family!

I’m glad he started the Underdog Kids because it will help kids feel better about themselves. I hope that it becomes really big so lots of kids can get support. I wish more Sport stars were so nice and cared about Autism and would help autistic kids. I am so glad Everett does, because he made a big difference in my life.

Why I Love Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

My mom asked me if I would be a guest blogger as part of our 45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays, and I said “Yes, of course!”

In this blog, I’m going to be talking about why I enjoy watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade very much.

I love watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, because they have creative floats and marching bands, which I find it really cool.

I also like watching it with my parents and my siblings. I’ve been a big fan of the parade since I was young. I always look forward to it and watch it every year on Thanksgiving in the morning when we wake up.

Floats from the Macy’s Parade I liked the best are Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Spider-Man, Sonic and Spongebob. In case you forget what channel it’s going to be on, it airs on NBC. If you want to, you can record it or set a reminder so that you don’t miss out the parade coverage!

We found an article where they talk about the origins and history of Parade in Southern Living called Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade History & Photos. Here are some cool facts about it:

  • Macy’s Parade officially debuted in 1924, originally titled “Macy’s Christmas Parade” as a kick off of the holiday season.
  • During the first year of Macy’s, real animals were brought from the Central Park Zoo in NYC but discontinued after 1926 and replaced with inflatable floats.
  • Premiered on local TV stations for the first time in 1946 and national coverage in 1947.
  • Eddie Cantor was the first person to be ballooned.

Here’s the link of the article if you’re curious to read more information: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade History & Photos.

Macy’s Parade is one of the things I love about Fall season, because it airs on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is also my second favorite holiday, my first favorite is Christmas!

By the way, here’s a blog I wrote about why I love the Fall/Autumn season nearly 2 months ago. Here’s the link: Why Fall is My Favorite Season.

What are things you love about the Macy’s Parade? What are your favorite floats? I would love to hear feedback from you!

If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Flipboard, please give a follow to my accounts! Also, check out my website I started, as well as the blogs: Team Awesomism. We will soon be rebranding it by expanding our concepts.

As always, thanks for reading this blog, I hope you have a wonderful week and enjoy eating dinner with your family and friends on Thursday!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Peyton

Lloyd’s Thanksgiving Motivation

I am so happy and honored to have Lloyd as my guest Blogger… he inspires me everyday! he is an autistic adult, who is blind in one eye. He has gone through so many challenges in his life, yet he gets up every morning happy and is always there to help others. I ask that you please share this blog with others… At the bottom of his Blog I will have links for him on social media as well as some other Blogs he wrote for Peyton’s company.

 

Thanksgiving will be upon us all very soon. So many in this country has gone through a great deal of good, bad, & in between. My family & I have gone through a great deal of many things.

We lost love ones so dear to us. We dealt with health issues involving love ones. We have & are dealing with issues that cannot share with others, but God truly know what we are going through.
Last month I took a vacation with my aunt & uncle in TN. I have never had a vacation that I can remember. We almost lost our mom but God healed her, she still have a few issues involving her health & we sure do need the prayers in more ways than one.
There are or could be others who are or going through what we are going through right now. I will try tell you this, don’t give up! It WILL be tough & hard but you can make it!
While we all go through these moments in our lives, just stop for a moment & give thanks for any & all who have helped you & what you have. Be cause there are many who have nothing & who are alone.
I ask you all this, if you know someone who does not a have anyone in their life or who are lonesome, try to reach out to them. A little help from others can be a great blessing.
Two last things that I will share with you all before I close this blog.
Most suicides happen during the holidays, so if know someone who is going through a lot & you who are at risk, please I ask you reach out to them & help.
Lastly please pray for those who have an empty chair at their table this holiday season. The empty was once filled with a love one who is now gone. Please pray & thank you all!
Happy Thanksgiving & God Bless You All!
Check out Lloyd’s blog on Team Awesomism where he talks about his eye problems, he has gone through: Where I learned to live with my eye problems.
Please follow him on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Flipboard. He is truly one of mine and Peyton’s favorite people!

Chef Lyn’s Dinner Cooking

Thank you, Lynne, AwesomismMom for this honor and the opportunity to be a guest blogger/writer for your wonderful site. Our community of people are important family and I am happy to be able to share my experiences both as a Personal Chef and mother of an autistic child.

Chef Lynn < The Personable Chef, talks about Dinner time and feeding our autistic kids/adults

 

Creating dinner each night takes planning and thought. Each person has their own likes and dislikes for sure. When you add an autistic/adhd child/adult into the mix you may be finding yourself becoming the short order cook you never wanted to be.

My younger daughter is almost 8 and was diagnosed with autism at age 2.( I don’t usually use the term higher functioning but that shares her story a bit)

From the beginning there were sensory eating concerns. As much as I could, I gave her various textures/colors and types of food so that she wouldn’t limit the already limited diet anymore.

At this young age she preferred smooth and sweet things. yogurt, sometimes hummus, juicer fruits those kinds of things. Getting enough protein was always the challenge. As she ages what her food looks like and smells like are very important to her.

“Its yucky or I hate it” is the famous phrase here even when she hasn’t tried something, (we hear this daily.)

Beyond my family…….

One of the biggest obstacles I have found over the years is the parent(s) (me included)

Many parents can be picky eaters and so what they don’t like they pass that off, the child(ren) decide that they won’t like it either.

And believe me when I say, even our body language about food teaches our kids how we feel about what we see and might be eating or not eating.

Typically, the biggest food obstacle is the food rut…. “My child(ren) young/adult won’t eat that, “

Did you ever try? Did you ever try again?

Eating the same thing each week too can become such a rut with the food becoming tired.

Now what…

Our taste buds are ever changing and reintroducing something may take some time but is usually worth the pay off.

We’re all guilty (me included) of staying with what we know works. It’s just easier and there are no challenges/meltdowns if we stay safe.

In order to expand their eating needs and foods we must stay diligent and teach them about what’s healthy eating and how to over come the challenges they may face.  All that we do for our autistic kids (therapies/ schooling, feeding, etc.) is a process. Life skills are of course helpful for life and very necessary.

What I know to be true, I’ve encouraged through many questions……

Having taught and cooked for autistic kids and their families I am asked frequently what can I do? Need help for getting them to eat something new.

My experience has been that all autistic kids, verbal, nonverbal with various functional limitations or otherwise will somehow communicate with us about food. We just need to watch/listen and deduce their wants/needs.

We know our kids of course…. Sometimes you need to go the extra mile and encourage otherwise. A healthier diet is but a trial and error situation away.

Here has been some of my suggestions

For the older more independent eater I usually suggest this (of course works with younger too) . If you eat “family style” put something you know they will like and chose on the table, this way they’ll have a success with choosing something when you want them to try something new. Praise them with what they chose and do encourage the new food. (example put the chicken nuggets you know they’ll eat if you’re going to introduce cooked carrots.) Do encourage a taste but don’t push if there’s hard push back. (keep re-introducing over a number of days)

When introducing a new vegetable offer it with no flavor added first (especially cooked) this way they get the flavor and texture without the added butter/seasoning or dip) Always add those later

Our OT told us in the beginning that at first, they may just have to see the new food. From there touch it, lick and then taste. Do these steps slowly and without much fuss from you. Remember sensory kids are often easily put off. The goal here is to get them to try something new. Take your time, remain calm and be as noncritical about their choices as you can, you never want food to be a battle.

If your child/adult comes grocery shopping with you experience the store if you can. Let them touch and smell the foods. Talk about what’s there. If they show interest perhaps purchase the food in hopes they will try. (Helping to plan the weeks menu and grocery list is also a way to add some excitement and skills as you talk about what will be created each night. This allows for some food confidence building should they be interested. )

Farmers markets are a great way to taste various foods. If your child/adult can stand crowds and all that entails a visit can be a great way for them to be outdoors and experience what is local in food.

Bringing our kids in some capacity into the kitchen, if they are receptive is also a great way for them to touch the food, perhaps wash and tear it up. To cut and taste it. Teaching the life skills again and giving them self esteem goes a long way for sure.

Kids in the kitchen

The above page will give age appropriate kitchen tasks should you go this route and need some insight.

I will admit that right now we are pushing her to try more and strongly encouraging her to eat. Broccoli and cauliflower have been the vegetables. Now she will also eat a meatball.

Dinner here is a great conversation sit down time , where we share about our day and talk food. When you’re a chef there is ALAWYS talk about food.

Enjoy your food, encourage new things through time and there will be success I promise.

“I love what I do and its reflected in the delicious food I create”  Chef Lynn

A few recipes ….

once you’ve introduced cauliflower in the raw state this is a great way to eat them, like mashed potatoes but yummier

 Equipment

Microwave safe bowl, sharp knife, cutting board, colander, potato masher, towel or paper towel

California mashers:

Serves 4

Head of cauliflower washed, and florets cut off stem

Either steam, microwave or boil on top of stove

Butter or butter substitute 2tbsp (more is you desire)

2tbsps cream cheese

¼ cup shredded cheese of choice (mozzarella usually good for our kids as it has a milder flavor)

Salt to taste, pepper if you’d like

¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese is delicious too but can be a much more pungent flavor, some kids like where others not so much. If you do use parmesan you won’t need the salt.

 

 

Putting it together…..

I like to micro-wave them

In microwave safe bowl add the flowerets with a tbsp or two of water, cover bowl with paper towel. Microwave on high in increments. Start with 3 minutes. You want the cauliflower to be really soft. May take up to 6 to 8 minutes (depends on your microwave and yes climate) (add more water if dry as you check)

Careful taking bowl out of microwave will be very hot…

Now you need a potato masher (older child/adult could do this)

While still hot to melt the cheese add the butter (butter substitute) and cheeses, mash until desired consistency.

Enjoy this delicious side dish

PS if there are leftovers can add an egg and mix-up, form into patties and in a pan sauté them on medium high heat turning once for about 8 to 10 minutes roughly. Another way to use the leftovers.

Breakfast for dinner

Everyone loves pancakes….

Equipment:

Bowl, wooden spoon, spatula, fork, measuring cups, frying pan or griddle, spoons , small bowl to melt butter

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

2 tablespoons sugar (when I use apple sauce or banana I don’t use)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter(melted)

1 large egg

¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

Dash of cinnamon ( I use ¼ tsp or more as I like the flavor, could also use pumpkin spice)

Other variants … unsweetened apple sauce in place of egg,

2 tbsps. natural peanut or almond butter (good for protein)

mashed small banana

¼ cup oatmeal for texture

Instructions

Mix all dry ingredients together in a big bowl, add the egg or unsweetened apple sauce or banana, milk and melted butter

If using cinnamon or other flavoring add now before mixing.

Stir until combined.

Heat pan to medium high (turn down once first side is on pan/griddle)

…For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto pan or skillet.

Cook until surface of pancakes has some bubbles approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

Flip carefully using spatula, and cook until browned on the underside,

1 to 2 minutes more.

Serve with your favorite topping

Enjoy

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@shapingherworld (autism)

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