Archive for 'Blog'

How Stress Leads To Depression

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Not all stress is harmful to mental health. It motivates us and keeps us primed to respond to danger. But too much stress is very damaging to physical and mental well-being. In fact, chronic stress can lead to clinical depression.

Sustained or chronic stress elevates your “stress hormone” cortisol while reducing your levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Improper serotonin and dopamine levels are one of the main causes of depression. When the stress response fails to shut off ...

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Questions About Self-Injury, Answered

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Self-injury, also called self-harm, is the act of deliberately harming your own body in ways such as cutting or burning yourself. While it seems odd to a mentally healthy person, to someone with this impulse control disorder, self-injury seems like the best way to deal with emotional pain. About 90% of people who struggle with self-injury begin harming themselves as pre-teens or adolescents, so it is usually handled by a child psychiatrist.

Despite the way it seems, self-harm is not ...

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Halloween Safety For Kids With Special Needs

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Halloween can be a very fun time for children. But for kids with special needs like ADHD, autism and anxiety, it can also be scary and difficult. If your child falls on the autism spectrum, talk to an autism specialist about handling holidays like Halloween since the disorder is so diverse and every child is different. Here are some general tips for helping your special needs child enjoy this holiday:

  • For children with ADHD, the biggest obstacles they will face ...
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Boys with Autism Demonstrate Surprising Capacity for Grammar Processing

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One of the most prevalent characteristics of kids with autism spectrum disorder is a challenge with language and communication. But a study by neuroscientists found that boys with high-functioning autism were significantly faster when producing past tenses for regular verbs, one of the main tenants of English grammar.

The findings, which were published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, state that children with ASD may have a surprising strength in language use. Dr. Michael Ullman of Georgetown University was not expecting the ...

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Maternal Iron Intake linked to Autism Risk

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A new study released from researchers at the University of California, Davis’ MIND Institute in Sacramento and subsequently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has found that mothers of children who have autism spectrum disorder are less likely to have taken iron supplements than mothers of children without ASD.

Rebecca J. Schmidt, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and a researcher with the MIND Institute stated in the study that an iron deficiency, and its subsequent ...

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Text-to-Speech Apps Bring Help to Students with Dyslexia

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Speech synthesis, which is often abbreviated TTS for text-to-speech, has been helping individuals for decades. Take, for instance, scientist and great mind Stephen Hawking who communicates through a speech-generating device every day. TTS has become so common that it’s available for just about everyone through apps on smartphones and more. But it wasn’t until those apps became used in the classroom that researchers found them to help students with dyslexia.

Different apps can ...

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Pregnancy Intervals and Autism

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Pregnant_woman2A study that was recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that children conceived either less than one year or more than five years after the birth of their prior sibling were more likely to be autistic than children who were conceived between two to five years after their last sibling. The study was one of the most comprehensive ever to study autism ...

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October is ADD/ADHD Awareness Month

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In addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the month that the Pumpkin Spice Latte returns to coffee shops everywhere, October is also ADD/ADHD Awareness Month. In fact, 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of ADD/ADHD Awareness Month, which started as ADHD Awareness Day back in 2004. To commemorate the month, here are a few facts about the disorder.

Attention-Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity Disorder, abbreviated ADHD, is a real, brain-based medical disorder that’s ...

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Your Autistic Child and Halloween

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Halloween is just around the corner and just about every family is getting ready to celebrate with costumes, candy and festivities. But for families that have a child facing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can be overwhelming. A child with ASD might be in for anxiety and more when they’re exposed to more interaction with others, sounds and visuals that they’re unaccustomed to and the general chaos of Halloween. If your family ...

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Ann M. Martin, Author of Baby-Sitters Club, Tackles Autism with her New Book

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It’s been 15 years since the last meeting of the Baby-Sitters Club, but that doesn’t mean that author Ann M. Martin hasn’t been writing. Since the series ended, Martin has been tackling tougher issues with her young adult novels, including dyslexia and bullying along with the standard topics of first love, school dances and sisterhood. Martin’s latest novel addresses autism. “Rain Reign” features a fifth-grade narrator with high-functioning autism.

Rain Reign’s narrator Rose Howard isn’t Martin’s first character with autism, but ...

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Moving Past Inertia: Make a Decision, Any Decision

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We’ve all had moments of feeling stuck, unsure and unable to make a decision. But what happens when that feeling grows and magnifies and an initial feeling of being stuck gives way to avoidance and you soon find yourself mired in the quicksand of indecision?

Sometimes, we can push out of it by exploring it and asking ourselves what could possibly be causing the inertia? Is it a surface fear? Is there a deeper underlying reason? But there are times when ...

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Relaxing The Mind

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In today’s harried and always-connected world, it’s often tough to simply find a few minutes to unplug. But doing so is vital to our mental health — whether you are already working with someone for behavioral health services or just need in need of daily re-fresh. While therapy and medication are wonderful resources when used under the proper guidance of a skilled therapist, it is important to take daily steps to nurture ...

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