Can You Tell If A 2 Year Old Has Autism Autism Anxiety Overload

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Autism Anxiety Overload

Renowned autism expert Tony Atwood likes to put it this way: “Autism is anxiety in search of purpose.” Autism and anxiety go hand in hand. Autism affects a person’s ability to communicate with others or understand the world around them, and this inevitably causes anxiety and panic at times.

Anxiety becomes even worse when there is a change in the autistic child’s routine. Even positive and “fun” changes, such as a school trip or a visit to the zoo, can increase anxiety and aggressive behaviors.

For parents, the best course of action is to anticipate upcoming changes and help your child prepare for them. Many parents find it helpful to use stories and pictures to prepare children for impending disruptions. If it’s a trip to the zoo, for example, use pictures to show your child what he’ll see at the zoo, what the zoo will be like, and what things to expect. Do this every day for three or four days before the trip. That way, when the trip actually takes place, the child will not be completely out of his element, but will already understand and appreciate some of what will happen.

Other changes in the routine are less pleasant but still necessary. Getting a new teacher can be traumatic, just like moving to a new house. If at all possible, try to spread out the major changes. If you’re moving to a new house, try to do it over the summer so your child doesn’t have to deal with the added anxiety of getting a new school and a new teacher in the middle of the year.

You can also introduce your child to the concept of “change” in a positive way by practicing with non-negative things. For example, just for practice, give him a little extra TV time instead of homework one night to show that changes in routine can often be fun and good. Then practice with a neutral change (homework after dinner instead of before dinner), then with a negative (changing playtime into work). This process can help your child get used to the idea of ​​change and learn to adapt without becoming anxious.

For continuous, ongoing anxiety, many parents have started using anti-anxiety medications for their autistic children. Usually, the drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and are also used for obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Prozac, Luvox, Zoloft and Anafranil are all common for anxiety in autistic children.

For behavioral problems, antipsychotics such as Haldol, fluphenazine and chlorpromazine may be prescribed. These can reduce aggression in autistic children, but sometimes also cause sedation and muscle stiffness.

All patients are different. You and your doctor should monitor your child’s progress very closely, using the lowest dose of medicine possible, to see if any improvements are made and if there are any adverse reactions. Medication should be the last resort for autism, not the first. There are a number of natural remedies available if you don’t want to go down the drug route. But try behavioral and dietary modifications first to see what improvements can be made naturally.

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