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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team

LizK

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  1. Genetic key to autism found?

    The problem with the MMR-autism issue is the way it has been misreported and hyped in the media that you can barely see the wood from the trees and makes it hard to make a logical decision. You only have see the woefully irresponsible scaremongering headlines about swine flu in the press this week to get a flavour of this. Once you brush away the hype there are really only two things that are evident. Firstly from actually looking at the science there is little meaningful evidence or good quality research linking MMR and ASD and afaik no epidemiological evidence of ASD rates falling with the decline of MMR. Secondly though there are anecdotal cases reported by parents of ASD symptoms developing shortly after the MMR. How do you marry these two up? The large scale general conclusions to apply to a populatiom vs what might happen to an individual. If you are the 1 in 10000 child who has a severe reaction to a vaccine (as quoted by manufacturers) and ends up developing autism or other neurological impairment as a result then you don't really care what an epidemiological study states. If you are one of the 9999 children who don't react then protecting against the real harms of measles etc is important. I am quite angry with the media hype and biased info on both sides as it made it very hard to make an informed decision about MMR. And even though I logically could find no credible evidence linking the two the fear generated by the media was a bigger influence than rationale science. It is only know when DS is 7 years old that I can finally bring myself to arrange his MMR booster after procrastinating for three years and I still feel quite wobbly about it all. http://www.badscience.net/2008/08/the-medias-mmr-hoax/ This article is quite interesting Going slightly off at a tangent but read some interesting research looking at home videos taken of autistic children when they were babies. Even though the parents often reported the symptoms of ASD developing around 12-18mths (MMR time) there was actually signs on the videos of autism in the children when they were much younger i.e. the autism was already there Lx
  2. Doesn't want to write

    Will he write on on a computer? As well as physical aspects of writing he may have problems sequencing his thoughts or retaining them in his head in a coherant form to get them down on paper. Is he reluctant to do any sort of writing or is it a problem more with creative writing? Is he distracted by the sensory environment around him? Is it behavioural and that he simply doesn't see the point of writing. He sounds a bit like my son in getting dressed. He can do it but needs you to stand over him and chivvy and cajole him. Otherwise he will put on half an item of clothing and then drift off and forget the rest! It's hard work. Using simple and immediate rewards does help though - a bit! Lx
  3. Bullying

    Yes that is exactly right. If there were obvious child protection issues then they can breach confidentiality or become more directly involved. They have plenty of cases where a child's mental health is adversely affected by outside influences be it bullying, warring parents, school issues, dysfunctional families, social circumstances but CAMHS can only really treat the child itself, they cannot deal with the underlying cause for ethical, legal, financial, logistical or practical reasons. They can advise the parent how to ameliorate the cause but cannot really get that involved directly. If they do it has to be handled very sensitively. Also worth remembering that CAMHS is Health, school is Education and both have different remits. Education often don't listen to health and vice versa In my experience if you want school to do something getting an opinion from someone else from Education like an Autism Outreach teacher or possibly EP is listened to a bit more than that of a completely outside professional Lx
  4. Genetic key to autism found?

    My son had the cord wrapped around his neck tightly at birth. There is a link between difficult birth, cord around neck and ASD or related conditions. Not sure why yet. Is it the final physical insult in a genetically susceptible child so the difficult birth and mild lack of oxygen from cord around neck knocks off a few more brain cells to trigger autism? Or is it the other way round that the difficutl birth is a result of the autism not the cause, that the baby because of its autism doesn't 'know' how to be born so ends up in the wrong position or gets distressed. I certainly noticed a difference when pg with both my sons - DS1 (ASD) very erratic movements from manic to nothing, tranvserse lie until 36 weeks then as soon as engaged went into labour at 37 weeks, waters went early, cord around neck, ventouse delivery. DS2 (NT) had regular movements, head down from 32 weeks, born at 40+ weeks, quick intervention free delivery. I'm sure DS1 wasn't quite right from being a foetus though whether his birth contributed to his autism who knows Lx
  5. Length of annual review

    Thanks everyone. I think Chris has hit the nail on the head that it should take as long as it needs to and we just feel that given the restrictions upon the timing of the meeting *should* it need to be longer then it won't happen. It's not going to be changed though so will have to try to ensure the most is made of the time. Lx
  6. Length of annual review

    Interesting because the last two annual reviews have not really looked at the content of the statement at all and more been a discussion about how DS is 'getting on'. It is because of this that the wording of his statement is three years out of date. Though maybe in a special school it is easier if professionals are on site more often (is that how it works LOL!) The professionals involved with DS don't meet to discuss him aside from this meeting so tends to get sidetracked. Also as it falls at the end of the year planning about next year inevitably gets discussed. Maybe we should push for them to discuss the statement first and if other issues are raised to reschedule a separate meeting Thanks Lx
  7. COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)

    CBT can be less effective on children with asd because of the theory of mind issues. If a child is particularly concrete or rigid CBT will be hard wrok especially the cognitive aspect. The behavioural aspect may be more successful. Depends on the individual child though and how much they struggle with theory of mind. Lx
  8. What is reasonable progress

    DS has some of these difficulties though not to the same degree. Your example above of 'cat' - picking it out visually but not able to write it - sounds familiar. DS has difficulties with phonological awareness which is responsible for many of his reading and spelling difficulties. He simply cannot hear the sounds in words, struggles to blend phonically, did not get the concept of rhyming. From what I understand it is related to auditory processing and causes language difficulties as well? Presumably is aprt of being dyslexic. DS is a strong visual learner so has learned to read by sight. Could read a word like Beethoven' but not the word 'was' Apparently a child needs to have phonological awareness before they can move onto phonics but school had not realised he struggled with PA so it was no wonder that he couldn't do phonics. DS's PA difficulties wer picked up by the SALT who put a programme in place. At the same time he started Direct Phonics at school, I think he might also be doing Precision Teaching as well and a few months later his reading has come on in leaps and bounds. Spelling is still very hit and miss though I've been told this takes longer. We use coloured overlays, twas very sceptical but couldn't believe the difference it made. I probably should get him assessed for lenses really. Interested in your replies regarding writing. This is still a massive issue. His letter formation is poor, he has some coord problems and coupled with his difficulties in spelling and with sequencing as well as his complete disinterest writing is not his thing. He is allowed to use the laptop at school sometimes as he finds this easier and is something that may be encouraged more as he gets older as we think he will need to use a laptop at secondary school. Lx
  9. Length of annual review

    No sorry, what I meant is that is what the school chooses to do prefering to hold the meetings during school hours. It is a regular supply teacher who covers for PPA time so not someone unfamiliiar with the class. Lx
  10. I hate this time of the year, seem to have to go into battle with the various agencies involved with DS in preparation for his annual review. I want to ask a question about differentiated curriculums in mainstream. In brief DS1 is in year 2 at mainstream with fulltime 1-2-1 support. His LSA is fantastic. His reception and year 1 teacher was also the SENCO and he did very well with her. This year he has just had a 'normal' teacher. DS probably superficially comes over as a child with mild learning difficulties but in effect he has that typical autistic spiky profile, great at maths, ICT, has struggled somewhat with reading though catching up well, writing and spelling a real issue and anything at all creative or imaginary is over his head. The school curriculum is increasingly kinaesthetic, creative and imaginary based, experiential and self directed learning which doesn't really suit my fairly concrete little boy We have been concerned for sometime that there are aspects fo the curriculum that are completely bypassing him. They have done about castles and he has picked up b*gger all, done about Robin Hood and medievel times again over his head. I have not been sure whether this has been due to him lacking the cognitive ability to understand or whether the information has needing presenting in a different way. He has been observed by two different professionals recently both of whom have commented that the way the curriculum is being delivered (auditory, imaginary) is playing to all his weakness and he is missing large chunks as a result. They felt he had the ability to learn if it was presented in a more ASD-appropriate way. Since found out this has been mentioned to school earlier this year but apparently seems to have not been acted upon. I feel quite annoyed now about how much he is not able to access because of this. and how much he will struggle once he moves up to year 3. I don't think he has his own differentiated curriculum yet my SIL who is a SENCO herself said that in her opinion the teacher should be doing a differentiated curriculum for Adam when she plans the lessons and that this is fairly standard practice. We feel that DS will need more individual or small group teaching too rather than whole class teaching where he is distracted by the sensory environment or cannot the process the information given. Might be going back 15 years in terms of teaching practice but a more didactic rote way of teaching would suit him better. DS is part of a small phonics group where his reading has come on in leaps and bounds so we've seen the success of focused work. I think school are going to be resistant to this though. His current teacher says he is keeping up when clearly he is not. It is very frustrating. Lx
  11. Length of annual review

    DSs prev annual reviews have always been an hour long. The last two have not been long enough. They are held in the last hour of the school day so once the hour is up it is hometime with DH or I have to get the children, LSA has to leave to collect hers and the other teachers are bursting into the staffroom where it is held to make cups of tea. DH and I felt that the issues we wanted to discuss last time were not really deal with because we ran out of time. DSs annual review is now approaching. He is in year 2 so the jump to juniors next year will be a bigger transition for him. The wording of his statement has not been updated since he started school 3 years ago. I understand that going through the statement wording is part of the Annual review process but it has never happened. In view of all this DH and I have requested that the annual review start earlier so there is more time available if needed. The Head teacher has refused saying they cannot spare the staff any longer out of the classroom which I take it as meaning they don't want to pay for supply teachers to cover the classes for longer than an hour. DH and I are not impressed. The school has very few statemented pupils so it's hardly like they are doing reviews every two minutes and we feel that the allotted hour is not sufficient. His AO teacher agrees though the EP apparently thinks that an hour is sufficient and we should count ourselves lucky as we already had an informal meeting about DSs progress half way through the school year. Are we being unreasonable in asking for a longer meeting? How long does your child's annual review meetings last? Thanks Liz x
  12. If you get a more appropriate school placement he may end up not needing medication. Surely that is the better outcome Good luck Lx
  13. DILEMMA

    What sort of medication are you considering? I think you have to ask who is the medication for. If it will benefit your son directly then I would strongly consider it especially if it will help improve his quality of life, happiness or ability to learn. If it is to make life easier for school then I would be much more reluctant. You could always trial it for a couple of weeks and see what difference it made. Lx
  14. lactose free that doesn't taste odd

    Lactose is milk sugar, casein is milk protein. You can be intolerant to either (wind, bloating, diarrhoea, weight loss) and in fact a lot of time esp in children it is actually a milk protein not milk sugar intolerance. As you get older though the amount of the enzyme that digests lactose in your bowel decreases (because humans are not designed to have as much milk as they have beyond childhood) so you can acquire a lactose intolerance. Some ethnic groups are more predisposed to that. On top of this you can have a true milk allergy where you get a full blown allergic reaction to milk products - rash, swollen lips, difficulty breathing etc. In autism as far as the leaky gut Sunderland theory goes it is milk protein (casein) that is supposed to be one of the culprits Lx
  15. This Morning: Horse boy

    LOL! Can you tell we've had OT appointment this week Errr........... knowing where parts of your body are in relation to each other; movement Lx
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