Autism and Neurotransmitters – A link has finally been found

Researchers from Harvard University and MIT University have finally discovered a link between autism and brain neurotransmitters GABA – gamma-aminobutyric acid.

The function of GABA is to control and manage the information take-in so that the brain can process these information better and easier. Reduced GABA activity had been found to elicit autism-like symptoms in animals, and this is the first time that a link between autism and neurotransmitters has been made.

GABA is also responsible for a lot of sensory activities such as motor control, vision, and sensory inhibition. It helps to filter out the irrelevant sensory information, to make us learn to ignore the unnecessary sensory information.

While in individuals with autism, it is not that there is less GABA, rather there is something wrong along with the GABA inhibitory pathway. Though, more studies still need to be done to provide more evidence.

To read the original news article, please click here.

Robot helps children with autism?

A newly developed robot with the name “Leka” was introduced to the audience at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. This round robot ias said to be able to stimulate children with developmental disorders like autism, Down’s Syndrome, or other multiple disabilities, in multiple senses with lights, sound, and vibration.

Leka is designed to teach children through playing games. Current available game applications include hide and seek, color-based bingo, and touch-blink-spin. There will be more game applications in the future to help children with developmental disorders develop motor and intellectual skills.

As a robot, Leka is predictable and stable in its interactions. Thus, children with autism or other developmental disorders will feel safer and more trustworthy towards this little helper. The current Leka is still a prototype and the company that designed it is still raising funds on French  crowdfunding website sowefund to be able to mass produce this robot.

If you would like to read the original news article, please click here.

Sensory Friendly Cinemas

Many children with autism have hard time to enjoy movies in cinemas because of the loud sounds, flashy screen, and the dark surroundings. Well, with the technology nowadays, it is not a problem anymore for children with autism to enjoy movies in theaters. Regal Coldwater Crossing Cinemas, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana USA, had provided sensory-friendly settings, such as lower sound volume, dimmed light from screen, and larger lean-back seats for children with autism and their families to enjoy the newest Star Wars movie (Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

It is a good place to relax and enjoy for everyone. If you have a family member who has sensory processing issues and reside near Fort Wayne, Indiana, why not check this cinema out? To read the original article, please click here.

Book Review – The Mind Tree: A Miraculous Child Breaks the Silence of Autism

“Tito’s vivid autobiographical reflections reveal a sensibility and intelligence greather than his years.” -National Geographic
My rating: 4 / 5
Available on: Amazon.com
Content Summary

The Mind Tree consists of five sections. The first two sections, The Voice of Silence and Beyond the Silence depict the important life events happened around the author – Tito. The third section All Through the Rainbow Path is about some interesting life events Tito had gone through and the fourth section The Mind Tree, which I believe is the climax of this autobiography, may represent Tito’s personal philosophies and ideals, or it may represent Tito’s thoughts about his life. The last but not the least, Peoms from Tito’s Story, consists of 11 extra poems written by Tito.

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ABC in ABA

First of all, I need to describe what these acronyms stand for.

 

aba

ABA stands for Applied Behaviour Analysis, which is an applied behaviour science that utilizes classic conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theroy to modify behaviours, thus bringing beneficial changes to the organism’s life. ABA is not only used in treating individuals with autism, it is also used in many areas such as weight loss, time management, animal training, etc.

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How to support a child with autism?

As the prevalence of autism rising dramatically in recent years, many people have encountered someone with autism in their lives, either someone they know or simply someone with autism advocating for himself/herself on the internet. Some people may wonder how to support a child with autism. There are actually many ways you can do to support individuals with autism, especially if that is a child with autism.

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Two great books written by children with autism

If you want to check out these two books, simply click on the image and you will be re-directed to Amazon.com.

The Reason I Jump

The Reason I Jump was written by a 13-year-old boy with autism named Naoki Higashida and translated by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell. It was one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrated how an individual with autism perceivd, thought, felt, and responded. Naoki answered most delicate questions that people wondered. This book received very plausible reviews.

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