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Category: Sleep Disorders

Looking for an Autism Friendly Summer Camp?

Looking for an Autism Friendly Summer Camp?

A common right of passage for many children is the experience of summer camp and for children with autism that may not be an easy task. Fortunately, there are many camps that are specifically geared for children on the spectrum.

Here are a few items to consider in finding a camp that is the right fit for your child:

1. Is your child ready for camp? Is it just for the day, weekend or a sleep away camp?
2. What is the age range of the campers?
3. Does the camp have special needs standards?
4. What is the safety policy?
5. Are there any therapeutics activities such as equestrian therapy, behavior management, social skills groups or sensory integration?
6. What percentage of the campers have autism?
7. What is the camper to staff ratio?
8. Is an aide permitted to accompany a camper?
9. Are medical professionals available on site?
10. What are the fees and are scholarships available?

Check out the link below for camps in your area and start preparing for a fun and relaxing summer with your family.

https://www.mysummercamps.com/camps/Special_Needs_Camps/Autism/

April Is Autism Awareness Month

April Is Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism awareness month and is filled with activities to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all. The goal of autism awareness month is to assure that each person with Autism Spectrum Disorder is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. How can you participate in autism awareness? Below are a few suggestions that you can do in your own neighborhood to raise autism awareness.

1. Be aware that autism looks different for everyone. Autism embraces a “spectrum” of
behavior. Not all symptoms are overt and may range from physical symptoms such as
“flapping” to subtle emotional symptoms.

2. Volunteer or attend a local event. April is full of events from walks to golf
tournaments to help raise awareness and funds for autism.

3. Light it up blue! Recognition of UN-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day (April
2nd) and World Autism Month occurs throughout April. Join the thousands of people
across the world who wear blue in honor of the millions of individuals and families
affected by autism. You may purchase special light it up blue gear at
www.autismspeaks.org and don’t forget the hashtag #LightItUpBlue

4. Donate to your favorite autism charity. If you don’t have the funds you can always
donate your time at a local autism event in your city. Focus Formulations will donate
25% of all sales in the month of April to an autism charity that is suggested by one of
our followers/subscribers. Please leave a comment below and let us know about your
charity!

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Right For Your Child?

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Right For Your Child?

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) is a safe, non-invasive way to get more oxygen into the body at the cellular level by using pressurized air chambers and has been used since 2004 for some patients diagnosed with autism.

How does this help a child with autism?

When a typical person focuses on a task or speaking, the brain is doing more work and there is an increase in blood flow to the brain. This increase in the blood flow to the brain supplies the brain with more oxygen and glucose, giving the cells their needed energy to perform their task.

In children with autism, several studies have demonstrated that there is diminished blood flow in the brain to start with and when attempting to perform a task the blood flow does not increase resulting in an increased need for oxygen and glucose.

What will HBOT do for my child?

  • It removes toxins, such as heavy metals from the body.
  • It reduces inflammation in the brain
  • It builds new capillaries in the brain.
  • It reduces the inflammation in the gut

How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?

There are two types of mild HBOT therapy currently being used by physicians:

  • 100% oxygen – used in clinic only
  • Ambient or concentrated oxygen – used at home

Filtered ambient air is used with an additional oxygen concentrator to safely administer oxygen to the body. Allowing more oxygen to penetrate otherwise oxygen deficient areas enables the body to carry out oxygen dependent processes by dissolving oxygen directly into the blood, plasma and cerebrospinal fluids.

Is this therapy right for my child?

Please keep in mind that some of these therapies require a face mask or hood and your child may not be comfortable with this equipment.  Some doctors have units that are wired for music or watching videos which may make it more enjoyable for your child.  Although in chambers providing 100% oxygen, electronics of any kind are not allowed due to safety issues.

It is important to note that many doctors recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy for children on the spectrum in conjunction with antioxidant supplements. Focus Formulations products contain powerful antioxidants to combat oxidative stress and are a perfect combination therapy to pair with hyperbaric oxygen treatment.  Find out more about our products at:  www.FocusFormulations.com

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.

Sleep Disorders in Children

Sleep Disorders in Children

Nothing is better than a good night’s sleep but this is particularly critical in young children as sleep directly impacts mental and physical development. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems and cognitive problems that impact their ability to learn in school.

Studies have illustrated that rates of disturbed sleep are particularly high among children with Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD)[27]. Persistent sleep disturbances are known to have a negative effect on a child’s learning and behavior, which is particularly serious for children with ASD who already have difficulties in these areas.

Recently, researchers at the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute identified that approximately 90% of children diagnosed with autism have methylation impairments . Methylation impairment may alter the way the brain produces chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glutamate which are critical to initiating a normal sleep pattern. Calm Focus supplies serotonin precursors, GABA and glutamate along with other natural ingredients that support healthy sleep onset and maintenance. Calm Focus may also be taken at a lower dose to combat daytime anxiety without the risk of over sedation or addiction.