Thursday, February 16, 2017

Converge Autism 2017 Conference Day 2

Yesterday’s post was about day 1 at the Converge Autism Conference hosted by Springbrook Behavioral Health. Today was the second day and it was just as awesome! I was happy to see that there were some teachers in attendance.

There are also 4 blog posts on the Springbrook Behavioral Health site that are worth checking out:
Using Deep Pressure Stimulation to Improve Sensory Processing
Enhance Sensory Processing Skills With At Home Vestibular Activities
Activities That Support Sensory Integration for Children with Autism

The first session of the day was Autism Spectrum Disorders with Dr. Fisher.
1.     Dr. Fisher likes the definition of Autism under DSM4.
2.     Autism Spectrum Disorders covers Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegration Disorder, Retts Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) – not otherwise specified.
3.     DSM5 has taken out Aspergers and PDD
4.     Affects mostly boys; 5-1 ratio
5.     3 Primary areas of Impairment: social deficits, communication problems, repetitive behavior
6.     Other frequent findings in ASD: Obsessive compulsive/repetitive behaviors, Visual/Concret learners, hypersensitivity to stimuli
7.     Brain Abnormalities in ASD
a.      increased head circumference between 6 and 9 months of age due to an increase in overall brain mess
b.     As you grow, brain “prunes” dendrites, but autistic patients have less “pruning.”
c.     More pruning, the more efficient your brain gets (walking through the park vs. the jungle)
8.     Causes of Autism
a.     No single cause of autism
b.     Symptoms due to an abnormality in the brain
c.     Research indicates a genetic/hereditary lik to the disorder
d.     Some research points to a trigger
e.     Similar to a Two-hit hypothesis of cancer and other disorders
9.     Medicine
a.     It works
b.     SSRIs – anxiety medicine
c.     Atypical Antipsychotics
d.     Anti-seizure medications
e.     ADHD meds – makes anxiety worse.
10.  Resources
a.     SC Autism Society
b.     Autism Society of America
c.     Youtube Video – The Womean Who Thinks Like a Cow

The next session I attended was Autism Spectrum Disorder, Treatment Strategies and Understanding Love Languages with Jennifer Ammacher.
1.     You can never love too much.
2.     Keep your love language tank full.
3.     Natural instinct to touch things.
5.     Physical Touch such as sit close together, pat back/shoulder, play Twister, sing a song, hold hands, help with hand over hand assistance, dance, side hugs, high fives, apply lotion
6.     Physical Touch for parents: hugs and kisses, comb hair, stroke head or back, ask if they want to be held or cuddled, bear hugs, hug them after applying discipline, tickling, hold a special toy, family group hug, hold on your lap
7.     Words of Affirmation
a.     powerful way to communicate
b.     Affection, praise, encouragement, guidance
c.     Nurtures child’s self-worth and security.
d.     Teach children to develop positive self help.
8.     You can change your world by changing your words. Remember death and life are in the power of the tongue. – Joel Osteen
9.     Words of Affirmation in school
a.     Verbally affirm their actions
b.     Cards and notes
10.  Words of Affirmation at home
a.     record your feelings of love for your child to listen to when you are absent
b.     talk about their accomplishments
c.     lunch box notes
d.     encouragement jar
e.     notes/emails/cards each day when you are gone
11.  Quality Time
a.     Giving undivided attention
b.     Focused attention = feelings of love
c.     Time spent together = loving memories
12.  Quality Time in School
a.     Being a reliable presence
b.     Undivided attention
c.     Allow “wait time.”
d.     Share thoughts and feelings         
e.     Follow their lead
13.  Quality Time at Home
a.     Daily chores together (modeling)
b.     Pleasant loving eye contact
c.     Cook and eat together
14.  Acts of Service
a.     Perform a service the child views as valuable
b.     Modeling love when we do for others
15.  Acts of Service in School
a.     Show hospitality
b.     Fix a toy
c.     Practice a favorite skill
d.     Provide stickers they like
16.  Acts of Service at Home
a.     Tying their shoes
b.     Perform daily duties with a loving heart
c.     Show charitable acts to others
d.     Select one specific act to do daily
17.  Gifts
a.     Undeserved gift as payment
b.     More than just a tangible object
18.  Gifts in School
a.     Cards with pictures
b.     Stickers
c.     Wishing stone
d.     Materials to make a gift
e.     Arts and crafts
f.      Friendship bracelet
19.  Gifts at Home
a.     Special presentation
b.     Small gifts
c.     Personalized gifts
d.     Song or letter
e.     Scavenger hunt

After lunch (which was provided for us), I attended Dr. Killion’s session on The 4 T’s: Tantrums, Timeout, Toileting, and Talking.
1.     Choice vs. orders – best technique to prevent a tantrum.
2.     First protect from harm by any means.
3.     Consistent warning is followed through
4.     Time out is most misused strategy
5.     Time out pad – symbol of time out
6.     Show no emotion when putting in time out – no explanations or lecture
7.     Gentle persistence – same way every time
8.     Take away from something that is good
9.     First –Then is better than If-Then
10.  Keep sentences short
11.  Toileting – Task analysis
12.  Talking – task analysis

The last session we attended was I Want to Move It Move It with Jeffery Cohn.
1.     He shows a lot of tools to use for movement such as a scooter, jumping stones, bean bags, bouncing ball, stomp rocket, hula hoop, and isometrics. You can sing songs and have them add different movements.
2.     Gross Motor Bingo
3.     Hula Hoop Circle

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