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

 

My Anyway Friend

“ My anyway friend” I heard that term for the first time in December… I was laying in bed for several days binge watching the show, Private Practice…It’s not like me to basically stay in bed for a few days.

This time I had a really good reason.. I’m trying to work my way through my grief. One of my oldest and dearest friends… Passed away suddenly… I know for a fact she’s in a better place because Lisa lived her faith, Walked her faith and shared her faith.

I love the definition of an “anyway friend”… They know everything about you and they love you anyway… That was Lisa to a T!

Lisa didn’t have the easiest of lives, but she made the best of everything she had. She was a friend that everyone wants, an few are blessed to have.

I could give 100 stories of who Lisa was, but I’m gonna give you my favorite…

10+ years ago I was going through a really difficult divorce, I was a single parent of four kids …one being autistic… I was trying to work 40/50 hours a week,on top of many other things, but I hit my wall.

I was having a really rough time emotionally and mentally. I was living in Northern Virginia at the time, and Lisa was still in Florida… That’s where we had become friends.

I called her and told her that I was going to be coming home to Florida, to see the doctor.

I asked her if she would please meet me at the doctors office… Because I was afraid to go alone, she said no she was busy. This really hurt my feelings, because it wasn’t the way Lisa was. I reminded myself she was going through her own divorce.. so even though it hurt me, I knew she must have had a good reason.

I drove home and I went to see the doctor… That’s when I was diagnosed with GAD… General Anxiety Disorder.

After some time with the doctor, I walked out into the lobby… I felt a little better, because I felt like I knew what was wrong with me, and now I had to fix it.

There was Lisa standing in the lobby. I burst into tears and said I can’t believe you’re here. She said I’ve been sitting in the parking lot across the street for two hours. I wanted to make sure that you were going to come to the appointment, if you didn’t I was going to go find you and drag you here.

She then went on to say, I also knew that if I met you here, you would look at me as your safe haven… Your rock…and you would talk yourself out of going in and getting the help you needed.

She was 100% correct! she knew me like the back of her hand. That’s who Lisa was. She was my rock… she kicked me in the butt when I needed it, and she loved me unconditionally.

I miss her so much words can’t express. She was an amazing woman, mother, grandmother… Sister… Daughter.. but most of all she was my “anyway friend”.

She truly was that friend who knew everything about you, the good, the bad and the ugly and loved you anyway. She didn’t just talk it, she walked it… just like her faith. I would give anything to have 30 minutes with her again.

I wanted to write this blog and put it out on Valentine’s Day… Because she will always be in my heart. I miss you lees.. and I love you…

Until we see each other again, I promise I will be as awesome of an “anyway friend” to others as you were to me…❤️💔

Love is a Verb

Love is a verb… I love this phrase when love is portrayed in an unconditional way, these days it seems to be rare!
Love is something we really tend to reflect on during the Holidays season!

Almost all parents will and should tell you that they love their kids unconditionally. That is what gets you through the rough patches. All parents go through tough times, but many in the autism community go through rough patches much more often. This can be very tough, especially when a parent is a single parent. Most often they don’t have a break from the stress. Their unconditional love is truly tested. I think one of the hardest parts for some parents is that the love isn’t given back always.

Not all autistic kids share the emotion, no connection of love, however; many do… it isn’t true that most don’t show Love…

That said I consider myself lucky. Peyton says he loves me and shows love. He loves others as well, and for this I am so thankful. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to never hear the words I love you from my children. Although, Peyton says it and means it I cherish it in a way I can’t describe.

I love all my kids the same, but Peyton has a special place in my heart. One of my greatest joys is seeing how much my older kids truly love Peyton unconditionally. They celebrate his positives and hurt when he hurts. Life isn’t always easy for any of us, but for Peyton it’s tougher, But I also know that with mine, marks and my older kids unconditional love he will be just fine.

Love can be shown in so many different ways… it isn’t always just by saying it. It can be by doing even the smallest gestures…

In our home we believe in the saying “love is a verb” and we live it! I would love to hear from you… You’re awesome stories about how love is a verb in your life.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog…

Hope you are enjoying our 45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays!

Have an awesome day

The Park Bench

I wrote this piece several years ago for my book… I read it every so often and I remind myself it will be Okay.

There are times I really do worry about what is going to happen to Peyton, after I am gone… After my husband is gone… I know he has three older siblings, and I know they love him unconditionally… But I still worry.

I worry that I’m not giving him enough in his life… There’s so many things parents of adult children with autism, worry about… We don’t always talk about them… But they are very real and in our mind, and in our thoughts and in our hearts…

When I get really stressed about it, I read this piece… And I remind myself Peyton is not alone… Rather he is surrounded in love, and I have that faith that whether I’m here or gone… That love Will stay around him.

I can only do what I can do and plan for his future.Stressing isn’t going to help…planning is.

So as we celebrate this holiday season and we come to the end of the year where we all make our New Year’s resolutions… Let’s each and everyone of us pause, and realize what is the most important… That we are there for those who need us, and we surround them with love.

I see a park bench alone, no one pays attention to it. It reminds me of my son… You see my child is autistic, he fights battles every day I can’t even imagine. As I see the park bench all alone even though there are people everywhere.. I realize how my son must feel. Connecting with others isn’t always easy for him, my heart hurts… But I also become more determined to help him. I look around me and I see the beauty of nature that surrounds the bench. It soothes me and heals me… There are so many wonderful things about nature… I am re-invigorated as I walk away from the park bench. I look back at it sitting empty, I stop and smile… As children run up to it and compete to all sit on the bench. It’s at that moment, that I suddenly realize my son will be fine… as he really isn’t alone… He has us, and we love him unconditionally.. We see his strengths.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog and for following us on our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays. Without everyone’s support we wouldn’t be able to accomplish the things that we are. I hope you’re enjoying it and we look forward to “talking” to you again tomorrow!

have an awesome day

Red-Angry Blue-Sad

We are so honored to have an amazing blogger as our guest blogger this week! She’s an amazing mom… Who openly discusses her life. My hope is that after you read her blog… You come away with the same emotions/thoughts  that I did.. we need more mental health help!!! People need to stop talking and start doing.. this is not a political issue, this is a human issue! Please check out her other blogs here http://thoughtswithn.blogspot.com/

Also, We have her books for sale on our website https://teamawesomism.com/

 

I remember the day that I saw a piece of work completed by my oldest son. He was 6 at the time. His class was learning about emotions, and had them associated with colors. The piece of paper asked them to identify the 2 emotions they most commonly feel, and draw it in the associated color. His was Red – Angry, and Blue- Sad.

 

I remember the tears that sprung to my eyes. The feeling of failure I felt. My little boy was always angry at this point.

 

I had always struggled with him, since the beginning, but now it was at a new high. The Police were now involved, as he had begun threatening his baby sister.

 

Oh, and I was 6 months pregnant. I had high blood pressure, so I was supposed to be relaxing.

 

There, in front of me lay the evidence of the state of my sons mental health. He was so angry, and so sad. He didn`t know what to say, or how to say it, so his anger dragged on, day after day.

 

This was such a hard time for all of us. I have scars on me from his intense temper, and I am pretty sure my daughter is emotionally scarred.

 

Despite struggling for so many years, and trying to get him help, I had failed. The counsellor agreed that this paper was slightly alarming for a little boy, and sent off the papers for a Psychiatric Assessment.

 

We waited.

 

We waited.

 

Months and months went by. While my son struggled.

 

So many days I just wanted to run away and disappear. I questioned my capabilities of being a mother. I questioned how I was going to raise another boy. I have never in my life felt so lost as what I did at this time.

 

To be honest, I am not even sure how we all made it through. Maybe it is just the power of love. I one day told my son very clearly, I know you are angry, and I will be here whenever you are ready to talk, but there is not anything you can do to me to make me stop loving you, or to make me give up on you. You are my son.

 

We got the call for the assessment a year after the referral was placed. A YEAR. A family in a crisis situation, and such a sad and confused little boy.

 

We declined the assessment at this point, because he had already been through three and he was tired of doing it. No one saw what we saw. His intense temper. His neediness for everything to be a very specific way. His amazing abilities with numbers, and recognizing patterns. No one saw it. They always just told us, he is a very bright boy.

 

I decided, rather than trying to change him, I was going to accept him. Accept him exactly how he is.

 

He is almost 8 now. I can`t believe so much time has passed since my feelings of hopelessness. He is in Grade 2 and an intense math whiz. He still struggles with his temper, but he is far less violent.

 

Now he talks to me. He tells me what is wrong. Then we can figure out how to fix it.

 

You may not always be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I sure didn`t when I was locked in my room, trying to protect the baby in my belly, and my 1 year old daughter. I could not see any light in my life what so ever. I wanted to run away.

 

The light is there. It will shine.

 

Love

N 💜