Browsed by
Month: February 2017

GOT SLEEP?

GOT SLEEP?

We all want a good night’s sleep and if our children don’t sleep well that means parents don’t sleep well. Researchers estimate that 26 percent to 32 percent of typically-developing children experiences sleep problems. An even larger portion of children (estimates range from 53 to 78 percent) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience the same issues .

One theory contributes the over-arousal of the sympathetic nervous system and under arousal of the parasympathetic nervous system for the sleep and concentration issues that are seen in children with autism. It is also common for children with autism to have higher levels of anxiety. Higher levels of anxiety often occur as the child matures and sleep disturbances improve but daytime anxiety increases. In one study by Kushki, children with autism demonstrated atypical responses to stressful tasks and had higher levels of anxiety compared to the control group.

Sleep is essential and is necessary for restorative processes to take place in the body. When we don’t sleep well, we don’t feel well and have trouble concentrating. Establishing a healthy sleep routine as well as the use of Focus Formulation products to balance the two parts of the autonomic nervous system may be the key to a restful night’s sleep.

Routine is also important in developing any sleep routine but this is of particular importance for a child with autism.
 Set an age appropriate bed time
 Allow time to wind down with low key pleasurable activities 20 minutes before
bedtime. This may consist of bath time and story time.
 Keep the room free of light and sound distractions
 Maintain a comfortable temperature in the room

The use of Cognition Focus during the day to help over stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and the use of Calm Focus during the night to support healthy sleep may be the first step to a restful night. Visit us at FocusFormulations.com to learn more and share your story, we would love to hear from you.

Malow, B.A., Byars, K., Johnson, K., Weiss, Shelly, Bernal, P., Goldman, S.E., Panzer, R., Coury, D.L., Glaze, D.G. (2012). A practice pathway for the identification, evaluation, and management of insomnia in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 130(2), 106-124

Kushki A, Drumm E, Pla Mobarak M, Tanel N, Dupuis A, Chau T, Anagnostou E. Investigating the autonomic nervous system response to anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders. PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e59730. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059730. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Puppy Love

Puppy Love

A wet nose, warm fur to snuggle into on a cold night and unconditional love, these are just a few things that make us smile when we think about dogs. Our history of companionship with dogs goes back a long way from an indispensible part of a work team and protection to part of the family. Whatever role a dog may play in your family, more and more dogs are becoming trained as “support animals”. Support animals provide therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability and can also provide emotional support.
Research has demonstrated that petting a cat or dog helps your body release a relaxation hormone and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone, which can lower your blood pressure. This ability to help humans relax has made dogs a perfect companion for children and adults with autism that often find certain situations overwhelming to handle. Children with autism may especially benefit from interacting with dogs, which can provide unconditional, nonjudgmental love and companionship.
Parents should consider their children’s sensitivities carefully when choosing a pet to ensure a good match. For example, a child who is easily agitated or is sensitive to noise may have difficulty with an extremely active dog or one that tends to bark. Bringing a dog into a home is a lifetime commitment and care should be taken that the dog is a good fit for your family. Ultimately, a well thought out decision to bring a support animal into your home is one that will bring years of joy and fulfillment to the family.
To learn more about autism check out our website at www.FocusFormulations.com. We provide the latest on autism treatment and advances and we would love to have you share your story with us.

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

 

What could be better than a hug from your child?  Unfortunately, for many parents of children with autism this may be a rare occurrence and often ends with screams and cries.

 

Children that avoid physical touch often have Sensory Processing Disorder and may be either oversensitive or under-sensitive to physical contact. Over-sensitivity may lead to sensory overload, (crying and frustration) from the feeling of being touched. Children with under-sensitivity may feel unaffected by physical contact, becoming unresponsive.

 

Sensory Processing Disorder may involve several senses not just touch.  Difficulty processing sensory stimuli can also express itself with oral sensations, auditory, olfactory, visual senses along with proprioception.

 

In either scenario, your child may choose to avoid physical contact.  For children with over-sensitivity the sensation of touch may be too overwhelming to handle. Children with under-sensitivity simply don’t seem to care about the contact.

First and foremost, do not take the avoidance personally. This behavior is not a reflection of your parenting skills, nor does it demonstrate whether or not your child loves you.  This is an opportunity for you to discover how best to communicate with your child, everyone is different and it may be a process of trial and error.
Exercise patience and let your child come to you. Take time before entering into your child’s personal space bending down to his/her level. Smile and see how your child responds.  Sometimes a simple smile and a thumbs up is a simple start.

 

We would love to hear your stories as they may serve as an encouragement to others.  Please leave your comments below and your story may be featured in our newsletter!

.