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21/Nov/2022

Mental Health & Autism Children

Autism is not a mental health problem, but autistic children can have good and bad mental health like anyone else. It’s a developmental condition that affects how they see the world and how they interact with other people. Children with autism do often experience mental health problems. seven out of ten autistic people have a mental health condition such as anxietydepression or OCD. It can be challenging to untangle autism and co-occurring mental health conditions.

The co-occurrence of mental health disorders among autistic children can complicate how clinicians understand the child’s behaviour, evaluate interventions they are participating in, and provide strategies for supporting them. When an child is showing signs of distress, knowing the cause of the symptoms can be rather challenging. For example, an autistic child in the classroom may begin to engage in disruptive behaviour, such as ripping up their paper. The teacher or other support staff may assume this behaviour is a result of autism; however, the child may be displaying an anxious behaviour because they do not understand the task at hand. There is little research into why this is, but it may be because autistic people:

  • Can struggle to try to fit into or make sense of the world, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety
  • May face delays in getting their mental health problems diagnosed
  • Children are more likely to face stigma and discrimination
  • Children are less likely to have appropriate support available. For example, group therapy might not be suitable for some autistic people, or therapists might not know how to adapt their approach to helping an autistic person

Research has shown that autistic youth with co-occurring anxiety, depression, OCD, and/or eating disorders often have difficulties in regulating emotions. Emotional dysregulation is the inability to adjust or control one’s emotions, making calming down and/or identifying one’s feelings much harder. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown positive results for assisting autistics to understand their emotions and develop the skills to manage their emotions. It is important for parents to have a positive and open communicative.

At Jeevaniyam, we support autistic children with co-occurring mental health conditions by understanding the triggers instead of making vague assumptions with the help of our doctors and supporting staff and digging into the root cause of the problems. Because of emotional dysregulation, autistic individuals are more likely to use maladaptive and involuntary emotional regulation methods, if an individual’s triggers have been addressed and supported yet the individual still demonstrates symptoms of anxiety, professionals should consider evidence-based treatments to provide the individual with healthier regulation methods. Getting an autism diagnosis with our team and developing a better understanding of themselves has helped many autistic individuals with depression to improve the overall mental health.


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17/Nov/2022

Special Kids Aren’t That Special, But They Are Amazing

Isn’t every kid special? We think so. But what do we mean when we say, “kids with special needs”? This means any kid who might need extra help because of a medical, emotional, or learning problem. These kids have special needs because they might need medicine, therapy, or extra help in school — stuff other kids don’t typically need or only need occasionally. Special kids have the same face value as others, they also have ego, fears and anxiety and they need to be happy and hear nice things. We should treat them as normal as we treat others.

No one likes to be excluded from a group. Think back to your own experiences from childhood or adolescence. Perhaps you weren’t invited to a party you wanted to go to or were rejected by members of a social group that you admired and wanted to be part of. To be excluded from a social group can bring up feelings of isolation, anxiety, doubt, confusion, humiliation, loneliness, and sadness, among many other painful emotions.

Knowing this, it is tragic to learn that most children with disabilities are excluded from being part of a normal school program. This perspective of society should change. There is no point in mentioning kids as special kids, they are not special they are just like any other child that wants to be loved and be friends with others. Kids are not only for us to form as good human beings but also to form a good society. All children are beautifully made. All children have different talents and strengths. We need to find those and  enhance those traits that the children are strong in.

At Jeevaniyam, we nurture the kids from a very young age and with our assessment techniques our team of doctors, psychologists and therapists train the children with the required therapies help the child learn new techniques and to remove blocks in the learning process.


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22/Oct/2022

Virtual Autism – A New Threat To Toddlers

Virtual autism is a condition that is understood to occur when young children under the age of four are exposed to excessive screen time. Studies have shown that children with autism show impaired social communication skills and repetitive behaviours. When children spend hours a day interacting with screens, it can lead to reduced brain function and challenging behaviour. It is thought that this may be caused by the fact that many of the games and apps we use on our phones, tablets, and computers have been developed specifically for children. This has led to an increase in prevalence among children under four years old.

Over-exposure to screentime is defined by experts as more than two hours per day. More than this has been found to affect brain development, leading to cognitive abilities being affected, speech delay and certain behavioural issues, resulting in children that are not able to interact positively with their peers. The age up to three years is very crucial for any toddler to develop language and speech skills. It is through observing lip movements of those around them that babies learn to speak. Experts opine that if this is replaced by mimicking characters as seen on TV, developmental issues are sure to develop in the child. To find features in children, parents should pay attention to every activity of the child, especially when the child is playing games on the mobile phone computer or PC, watching movies. If these symptoms are ignored, then your child will grow up with this idea. Takes this direction. The baby is small. As their symptoms start to appear, you have more time. You can stop your child early, which affects his mental capacity.

The symptoms of virtual autism are like other forms of autism. The main difference is that they do not have any physical symptoms. Some of the major symptoms found in children are:
  • They can’t interact in society and are unable to speak, read, or write.
  • Lack of eye contact.
  • inability to play with other people.
  • Unusual speech patterns.

 

Physical activities have a major impact on the emotional development of the child. Emotional health is very important for the development of the child and can be greatly stimulated by movement. With the help of sports, the child grows physically, mentally, and emotionally fulfilled. Sports stimulate interactions.

At Jeevaniyam, we are a team of experts who want to help as many parents as possible understand what is happening with their children so they can take adequate actions. Our protocol includes a combination of ayurvedic protocols, diet and physical activities which will enable the child to improve their physical, mental and emotional health.


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18/Oct/2022

Understanding The Effects of Autism on Brain

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that has been widely studied for over 30 years. Despite its high prevalence rate, the causes of autism remain elusive. What’s more, the treatment effect of autism varies considerably from person to person and often depends on the severity of symptoms present at birth. The causes for these differences in prevalence are not fully known at this time, although it is thought that genetic factors may play a role in some people’s risk for developing autism from birth onward. The term itself derives from the Greek word “autos” meaning ‘self’, and “-poiein”, or “to make or do”. Symptoms appear before age 3 and may be accompanied by some degree of delay in development. This disorder is characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication and restrictive, repetitive patterns of behaviour, interests, or activities.

No two people with autism are the same, in terms of their symptoms. For some people on the spectrum, it’s difficult to make eye contact or read other people’s facial expressions. Persons with autism experience information processing in their brains that is different from people without autism. The brain shows less coordinated activity in autism. Uncertainty exists on whether autism affects how specific brain regions function on their own. The brain’s grey matter, which controls the majority of its functions, is far more developed in children with ASD. Children with ASD have brains that are larger overall than those of typical children but underdeveloped in certain areas. This phenomenon might help explain why some kids with ASD excel at math and other subjects that require keen visual-spatial abilities and learning by role, while other kids struggle in these areas.

The human brain contains extensive structural and functional networks. Early brain imaging shows that a brain region can have different activity and roles with both brain network activities and functions. Functional connections and anatomical connections in the brain can be distinguished from one another. The physical connections that exist between the two hemispheres of the brain contain these connections.

At Jeevaniyam, our doctors have an integrative ayurvedic approach in identifying the symptoms of autism and treating it. There is no cure for autism, but there is evidence to suggest that the earlier a child with autism is diagnosed and treated, the better their life will be and our protocols play a major role in improving the quality of life for these children.

 


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08/Oct/2022

Behavioural Therapy For ADHD Kids

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be difficult to diagnose in children and adolescents because symptoms can vary greatly from one child to another. Behavioural therapy is a treatment that addresses behaviours and emotions that cause problems with concentration, organization, time management, self-control, and cooperation. This is also one of the most widely seen neurodevelopmental problems of children while growing up. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. One of the major treatment techniques used for controlling ADHD is behavioural therapy. Behavioral therapy is an effective treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that can improve a child’s behaviour, self-control, and self-esteem.

Behavioural Therapy an umbrella term for types of therapy that treat ADHD. This will benefit your child by limiting their destructive behaviour, strengthen their good behaviour and most importantly enable the child to express their feelings in a peaceful manner. Behavioural therapy is used to treat the following symptoms like:

  • Eating Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Social phobias
  • Self-harming behaviour

The four most common treatments for ADHD under behavioural therapy are:

Applied behaviour analysis (ABA): This is a form of therapy where the child’s environment is changed to help them learn how to behave in a more normal manner. It involves using rewards and punishment to encourage or discourage certain behaviours.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is based on the theory that many of the problems experienced by people with ADHD stem from their thoughts, feelings, and actions. CBT focuses on helping the individual understand their own behaviour as well as why it may be inappropriate.

Cognitive behavioral play therapy: This type of therapy uses play to help children learn about certain situations and challenges they might face in life. The therapist helps children think about how they would react if they were faced with these challenges and then works with them on how best to handle them.

Exposure therapy: This type of therapy involves exposing the individual to something that scares them so that they can become desensitized to it over time. In this way, the person will eventually stop responding so strongly when faced with similar situations in the future

At Jeevaniyam, we have an integrated approach, which comprises of ayurvedic therapies and behavioural therapies by doctors and professionals, as ADHD is a serious mental health disorder that can make it difficult for some people to work, study and get along with others. Behavioral therapy can help people with ADHD manage their symptoms, so they are less disruptive and more manageable.


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14/Sep/2022

How Social Skills Are Affected By Autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder that can impact the way a person communicates, interacts with the world around them, and manages emotions. The treatment of social skills deficit remains one of the most challenging areas in meeting the needs of people with autism. Social skills are formed through regular interactions with people. Since children with autism have a hard time understanding and reading others, social skills often need to be taught differently.

Social skills can be limited or different in a child with autism regardless of the severity of the disorder. Generally, a higher degree of disability means a more significant impact on behaviour, communication skills, and social interactions. Autistic children can find it difficult to use social skills they’ve learned. For example, your child might be able to share pencils at home with their siblings but not at school with their classmates. They may become easily overwhelmed or frustrated when they try to develop and sustain friendships. Making friends can be frightening, confusing and anxiety-provoking for autistic young people. There are various reasons why people with autism may find it challenging to make and maintain friendships.

The difficulties  related to  social skills and interactions include:

  • Poor non-verbal communication skills and behaviour.
  • An inability to “read” others.
  • Difficulties with back-and-forth conversations and interactions.
  • Difficulty understanding non-verbal communication cues in other people.
  • Trouble adjusting behaviour to the situation, often resulting in inappropriate behaviour.
  • Lack of interest in peers.
  • No desire for imaginary or collaborative play.
  • Inflexibility with routines and schedules.

 

At Jeevaniyam, we have a team of doctors, Behaviour Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Speech and Language Pathologists who evaluates each child and help them attain social skills. We guide the child about the importance of social skills with the help of stories, videos and other presentation tools as an introduction. Based on this, as the next step, we ensure that the child participates in all activities and games that makes it easy for the child to understand and follow. Once the child is familiar with this, we make the child  practice the same with different sets of people so that the child becomes less resistant in interacting with people. Some of the most important social skills that we improve are greeting others, sharing with others, helping others, appropriately expressing emotions, manners, interacting with other kids and adults, following multi step directions and complimenting the tasks achieved. Once all the above things are achieved, we would encourage the child to develop friendships.  We have buddy programs like learning ladders which helps the child to have an integrated play group.


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28/Jul/2022

Everything you need to know about a late talker!

A toddler between 1.5 years – 2.5 years who has good social skills, thinking skills, typically developing play skills, motor skills, and understanding of language, but has a limited spoken vocabulary for his or her age is usually referred to as a late talker. Usually most of the kids start talking from 9 months to 18 months. If you have a child that hasn’t spoken any words at that age, we want to look carefully at that child.

If your child has a Speech or Language Delay, there are a few signs to look for:

  • Incapable of communicating by the age of 2 years.
  • Inability to speak in short sentences before the age of 3 years.
  • Inability to follow instructions.
  • A lack of communication or word pronunciation.
  • Difficulty forming a sentence together.
  • Leaving out words from a sentence.

 

There are two types of late talkers:

  • Speech delay:

    Alludes to the words we say and how we say them. Kids with speech deferrals might battle to figure out words, and you might find them experiencing issues understanding what you are talking about.

  • Language Delay:

    Language alludes to the way we speak with others. Youngsters who are deferred in their language improvement might have the option to say a couple of words yet have a restricted jargon or can’t put multiple words together.

 

Speech or Language delays in children have many possible causes. Some common causes include the following:

  • Several Psychosocial Issues:

    These can cause language delays, as well. For example, severe neglect can lead to problems with language development.

  • Hearing Impairment: 

    It’s common for children who have a hearing impairment to have a language impairment as well. If they can’t hear language, learning to communicate can be difficult.

  • Intellectual Disability: 

    A variety of intellectual disabilities can cause language delays. For instance, dyslexia and other learning disabilities lead to language delays in some cases.

  • Autism:

    While not all children with autism have language delays, autism frequently affects communication.

 

Dealing with a late talker is a stressful experience for parents. A parent should start to raise concerns if you think your child may be a late talker, it’s never too early to seek help. Recognizing and treating speech and language delays early on is the best approach. At Jeevaniyam, we do early intervention using out tailor made assessment protocols and our speech-language pathologist listen to your concerns and will work with your child to improve speech and language skills.


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30/Jan/2022

Ayurveda Feeding Practices for ASD Kids

A healthy diet becomes one of the biggest hurdles when feeding the kid with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). It can relieve us of all the additional concerns about alternative diets. Nutrition can change the essence of your autistic kids. The good news is that Ayurveda has solutions for multiple problems.

Ayurveda has long used diet as a principal means of creating health within the body and mind. Hundreds of years before Hippocrates instructed, “Let food be thy medicine,” Ayurveda defined principles for making that advice practical.

Choosing foods according to your constitution, paying attention to food and eating as per your capacity are some of the Ayurvedic practices that could bring about a great deal of change in your overall well-being.

Cultivating healthy eating habits is essential for maintaining healthy body weight and the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda has some principles pertaining to just that. Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that goes back 4000 years. It believes in maintaining the balance of the bodily system through diet, natural herbs and some yogic practices.

A lot of these Ayurvedic practices are being studied in labs across the world and many of these practices have been shown to have scientific backing too. An ideal Ayurvedic diet talks about many eating habits that have the potential to cure so many of our modern and urban woes.

key areas Ayurveda concentrate related to food:

  • Digestion – Eating involves sight, smell, taste, chewing, swallowing and digestion. Suitable nourishing diet for each individual need to be set and monitored by the Ayurvedic professional.
  • Allergies – Individuals need to be monitored for food allergies.
  • Toxins – causes of illness could be related to undigested, unsuitable foods that can lead to the accumulation of toxic material.

 

Things to remember while feeding kids with ASD

  • Try to be a vegetarian maximum. Stay away from shellfishes and meat.
  • Maintain a minimum gap of 1.5 hours between food and sleep.
  • Ensure an absolute gluten-free diet.
  • Wash hands, foot, ears, mouth, and face before food with normal water/cold water.
  • The amount of food should be strict as per his/her appetite- not as per the nutritive value or affinity towards that food.
  • Food should always be warm and fresh.
  • Avoid too spicy and fried food.
  • Prefer a calm and quiet place for eating or feeding.
  • Ensure the use of an ash guard.

Food & food practices that parents need to avoid

  • Microwaved food.
  • All refined processed and chemical food (this includes white sugar, chips, chocolates, white flour, legumes other than green and white mung, soft drinks and most anything you would find on a modern supermarket shelf).
  • Dairy Products, including tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers, Citrus Fruits, Peanuts. Preservatives, colours, food additives, Leftovers, Old cheeses, Cold foods and drinks.
  • If you are lactose intolerant and can’t take organic milk, then make almond or rice milk (do not purchase readymade milk powders).

At Jeevaniyam we have professionals & specialists to guide parents or caretakers to create a food habit like this for the child from a very young age.


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24/Jan/2022

Why Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets For ASD Affected Children

One of the most important issues faced by parents having children affected with ASD is eating disorder. This will result in lower gut health thereby affecting the general health of the child. In Ayurveda, we manage this gap by suggesting & cultivating healthy food habits for the kids.

A gluten-free/casein-free diet is also known as the GFCF diet. It is one of several alternative treatments for children with autism. When following this strict elimination diet, all foods containing gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye) and casein (found in milk and dairy products) are removed from the child’s daily food intake. The benefit of a gluten-free/casein-free diet is based on the theory that children with autism may have an allergy or high sensitivity to foods containing gluten or casein.

Children with autism, according to the theory, process peptides and proteins in foods containing gluten and casein differently than other people do. Hypothetically, this difference in processing may exacerbate autistic symptoms. Some believe that the brain treats these proteins like false opiate-like chemicals. The reaction to these chemicals, they say, leads a child to act in a certain way. The idea behind the use of the diet is to reduce symptoms and improve social and cognitive behaviours and speech.

Autistic children can be notoriously fussy eaters, this diet may be very difficult to implement. Also, some supporters of this diet suggest parents stick with the diet for a year ideally, which can be a long time simply to evaluate this type of intervention.

Cutting any food from one’s diet unnecessarily and without guidance from a dietitian or other medical professional may lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients. There have only been a few scientific studies regarding whether a gluten and casein-free diet is effective for those with ASD. It is important to make sure that the child (or other people) receives ample fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Ayurveda feeding practices and dietary interventions will help your child to have a healthy gut and a healthy brain.

At Jeevaniyam once we adopt these kinds of diet changes and make sure the there are no deficiencies for our young patients, the majority of their parents reported significant improvements in various aspects of their child’s wellbeing on a gluten and/or milk-free diet with significant improvements in bowel habits, general health, sleeping patterns, concentration and social communication.


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10/Jan/2022

Dietary interventions & Correct Feeding Practices In An ASD Child

 

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are commonly affected by eating disorders. Parents and loved ones of individuals with autism know only too well that autism often goes hand-in-hand with picky eating. Children and adults with autism may exhibit strong food preferences and aversions, making it difficult to give them a nutritious diet. 

This is a vicious cycle, because various nutrient deficiencies, suboptimal digestive function, and gastrointestinal problems—which many individuals with autism also exhibit—may exacerbate the behavioural aspects of the condition. Their preference for energy-dense food with low nutrition can alter their metabolism, leading to the accumulation of oxidative radicals, causing them to deteriorate mentally and physically. Although dieting and losing weight are now commonly seen in the general population, it has become hard to bring awareness to children with special needs about diet, nutrition, and obesity. Despite efforts, parents of such children usually cannot help control their eating because tantrums and behavioural problems are common.

dietary intervensions

Children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are the commonest population to manifest with an eating disorder when compared to the general population. Recent studies indicate that up to three percent of children or at least 23 in 1000 children in India may have autism and ASD with eating disorders. Many studies also indicate that parents of children with ASD have no formal education, belong to high socioeconomic status, have reduced sleep and affective problems that significantly contribute to their condition. Reports indicate that at least 30 percent of autistic children fall under the obese category. It is now imperative for doctors and parents to work alongside nutritionists and dieticians to help these children eat healthy to be fit and improve their quality of life. A trial and error of diets is a must to see what suits them best.

At Jeevaniyam it is our duty as doctors to educate parents to nourish the culture of eating healthy as children with special needs may not completely understand the concept and the benefits of healthy and nutritious food. We prescribe diet patterns which are rich in macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, acts as antioxidants and improves these children’s better functioning. This will help in improving the gut health thereby reducing the stress that is suffered by children.


Copyright by Jeevaniyam Ayurveda Hospital. 2022. All rights reserved.