Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit

single-speaker-Alex Doman

I’m very excited to share that I’ll be speaking Monday, June 19th at the Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit!

⇒ You can get your free ticket here http://adbn.co/childwillthrive

My good friend, Tara Hunkin, founder of My Child Will Thrive, has brought together 25+ of the top doctors, researchers, nutritionists, and therapists for this completely free online conference to teach you exactly how to…

  • Identify the root causes of your child’s symptoms of Autism, ADHD, and SPD
  • Tell you about the latest research and how this can be applied to help your child
  • Put the pieces of the puzzle together so you can help your child thrive now!

The great thing about online summits is you can watch from the comfort of your own home without expensive travel or time away from your friends and family to attend a conference.

That’s why I’m so excited that Tara is putting this together for you!

My session is about using music to heal your child’s brain, where you’ll learn:

  • Why sound is important to the early development of the brain
  • How sound impacts the ANS and why this is of particular importance to autism, ADHD and sensory processing disorder community
  • What symptoms parents will recognize in their kids when they are struggling with dysregulation/inappropriate development/function of the brain
  • How the ability to calm the sympathetic response through music will help emotional regulation and sleep etc.
  • Why improving the child’s ability to regulate the ANS and sympathetic response will translate to improvements in other areas of health such as immune function
  • What is The Listening Program?
    • What symptoms does it address?
    • How does The Listening Program do this?
    • What can a parent/child expect if they use The Listening Program?
    • What ages do you recommend starting with the program?
    • How long does it take to see results?
    • What types of results can the parents expect to see?
    • How they get access to the program?
    • How The Listening Program complement other therapies?

Make sure to grab your free ticket to the Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit http://adbn.co/childwillthrive

Join me along with more than 25 expert speakers and get inspired by the possibilities…

Sign up for the Summit for free http://adbn.co/childwillthrive and find the answers you are looking for!

Also, along with the expert talks, there are also free guides and discounts you’ll receive access to if you sign up!

Get your free access here!

 

Could a Simple Hearing Test Diagnose Autism?

Big Ear

A recent study published in Autism Research is stirring controversy over reports that a simple hearing test may help with early autism diagnosis. The test is the auditory stapedial reflex (ASR) test which measures how one of the two middle ear muscles called the stapedius contracts in response to loud sounds.  According to the authors of the study an absent reflex would indicate an autism risk factor.

The reflex attenuates sudden loud sound to protect the delicate inner hair cells from damage. Without this sound dampening the auditory system is bombarded by sound which results in a number of behavioral responses such as covering of ears, running from the sound, aggression, and more.  These are characteristically fight/flight behaviors seemingly in response to sound, in this case a stressor. Last year I published an article with Dr. Jay Lucker in Autism Science Digest identifying that in most cases the response is an emotional rather than auditory response that can be trained with music listening therapy and behavioral techniques and is not exclusive to people diagnosed with autism.

If you read the research abstract (link below) you’ll see the investigators are making an argument for absent reflexes as an autism biomarker. My concern is they tested children with autism compared to a smaller group which was “neurotypical” but not other neurodevelopmental disorders which based on my experience would very likely yield the same results… Auditory deficits are a common feature in autism chief among them hypersensitivity to sound in which the brain appears unable to filter out undesirable sound resulting in pain or discomfort.  However this is also true of Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorder, etc.

I’m pleased to see the attention on the auditory system in the autism research field, but caution looking to the ASR as a reliable autism biomarker without further study. What are your thoughts?

Abstract:  Quantification of the Stapedial Reflex Reveals Delayed Responses in Autism Autism Res 2013

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation 10th International Symposium

The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation is a leader in SPD research, awareness and advocacy. Their 10th International Symposium is the place to be on March 5th and 6th if you are a parent or professional with an interest in a deeper understanding of how sensory response patterns affect everyday life.

Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA  and Author of the Sensory Profile and Sensory Profile School Companion is a featured speaker. There will also be a special presentation by Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR and Founder and Executive Director of  SPF Foundation.

Please visit the SPD Foundation for additional information.

Study Demonstrates Effectiveness of The Listening Program® with Bone Conduction on Children with SPD

6 children who present with sensory processing disorder (SPD) and auditory processing concerns with ages ranging from 3 yrs 11 mo. to 8 yrs. 7 mo. 4 of whom were receiving therapy services participated in the study.  Results from standardized testing demonstrated a significant improvement in all children who completed the program, compared to just therapy alone. This demonstrated that The Listening Program® with bone conduction is effective in helping increase functional skills and outcomes in children who present with sensory integration and auditory processing concerns along with skilled therapists to help achieve maximum potential and independence in everyday tasks/skills.

This study was originally presented by John Esteves at the 2008 Advanced Brain Technologies International Conference in Midway, Utah, July 2008.  A summary is in the new book just published by Springer Vienna and New York,  edited by Roland Haas and Vera Brandes Music That Works: Contributions of Biology, Neurophysiology, Psychology, Sociology, Medicine and Musicology ISBN 978-3-211-75120-6  http://www.springer.com/springerwiennewyork/medicine/book/978-3-211-75120-6

 To read or download the full study please click here.

Sensory Processing Disorder DSM-V Inclusion

1 in 20 children experiences symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder that are significant enough to affect their ability to participate fully in everyday life. Symptoms of SPD, like those of most disorders, occur within a broad spectrum of severity. While most of us have occasional difficulties processing sensory information, for children and adults with SPD, these difficulties are chronic, and they disrupt everyday life.  Source: SPD Foundation

What’s an Sensory Processing Disorder? When the brain receives sensory signals that don’t get organized into appropriate responses. This creates challenges in all areas of life.  Through my work at Advanced Brain Technologies I interface with occupational therapists worldwide that treat children and adults with this condition on a daily basis. They generally have a good handle on how to provide effective treatment, often using The Listening Program® as part of a comprehensive treatment approach.  Yet, there is no diagnostic recognition for SPD, so insurance generally does not reimburse for treatment, meaning  many go without.     

The SPD Foundation is advocating inclusion of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), which will be published in 2012. The DSM classifies all childhood and adult mental health and developmental disorders. Currently, SPD is not covered by the DSM categories, and its absence limits awareness of the disorder and contributes to the misdiagnosis and inappropriate therapeutic treatment of children.

The inclusion of SPD in the DSM will foster correct diagnoses and will open doors for further research about the underlying cause of and treatments for SPD. The addition of SPD in the DSM will also facilitate reimbursement for treatment.

If you support diagnositic recognition for SPD please sign the DSM petition by clicking here  http://www.spdfoundation.net/petition.php

Autism Awareness Month-Best Possible Life

waa_day

It’s Autism Awareness Month. This is a time the world is bringing autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to light, so they can be better understood and appreciated.

The autism community is unfortunately divided. Lines are drawn in the sand, Accept/Cure, and on. This post will not delve into the divide. I am not a parent of a child on the spectrum and  have not walked in their shoes. 

However, I am someone who cares deeply for families touched by autism as my family has for generations. What I think important is that we recognize each individual labeled as having an autism spectrum disorder as the unique and special person they are. For they like everyone I want nothing more than the BEST possible life they can have.  And, for those that love them to appreciate they have infinite potential. We should do all that we can to understand the cause(s), develop reliable early indentification, and provide sufficient opportunities for growth, learning, and personal development.

My company is the developer of The Listening Program® method of music-based auditory stimulation. It’s used by parents, educators, and healthcare professionals with hundreds if not thousands of people diagnosed with ASD’s on a daily basis.  I am vested in this discussion.  We work with people across the globe challenged with how to provide the best opportunities for families touched by these disorders.  Ultimately we all want the same thing, a happy, fulfilling life for those we serve. That’s where my awareness centers, today and everyday. 

Here are a few links I hope you find helpful:

AutismSpot www.autismspot.com

Autism Hangout www.autismhangout.com

Autism Research Institute www.autism.com

Autism Treatment Center of America www.autismtreatmentcenter.org  

Autism-Asperger’s Digest Magazine www.aspergersdigest.com

DIR®/Floortime www.icdl.com

Dr.Charles Shidlofsky www.dr-s.net 

Enzymedica www.enzymedica.com

National Association for Child Development www.nacd.org 

SI Focus Magazine www.sifocus.com

The Listening Program® www.thelisteningprogram.com

Autism: What the Experts Know http://tinyurl.com/dd583n (Disclaimer, while a contributor to this resource I in no way see myself as an expert on autism).

Research Poster: Exploring Porges’ Theory of Social Engagement

Exploring Porges’ Theory of Social Engagement: Using a music stimulation program for an 8 year old boy with autism

This research poster was presented November 16-19 at the Mozart & Science 2008 – 2nd International Congress for the Interdisciplinary Research on the Effects and the Experience of Music at the Palais Niedrosterreich in Vienna, Austria.

This case study compares the elements, protocols, and reported outcomes of an enhanced music stimulation program and the listening project created by Porges to test his theory of social engagement on autistic individuals who are known to have difficulties in this area.

Read more http://www.thelisteningprogram.com/PDF/News/ABT_Porges.pdf

To learn more about The Listening Program® method of music-based auditory stimulation used in this research please visit www.thelisteningprogram.com.