©Mary M Conneely T/A Advocacy in Action
|fMRI of the Brain (US Govt Photo)|
One goal identified by parents was for their child to take a shower without becoming distressed and exhibiting overly disruptive behaviors. Whereas this behavior would be treated by a behavioral therapist by providing rewards for incremental increases in time spent in the shower, an occupational therapist would assess whether there were any sensory factors affecting this activity. The occupational therapist would assess the child’s ability to tolerate the water hitting their skin, or managing the auditory, visual, tactile, and olfactory sensations during the shower, as well as whether the child was managing their body sensations—called proprioception—and use that information to design specific activities that address these difficulties. Then, the OT-SI therapist might work with the child in a large ball pit to decrease tactile sensitivity and improve body awareness. Importantly, the therapy is playful, and the child is actively engaged."One approach is shaping the behavior. The other is addressing the sensory needs and helping children manage them better,” says Schaaf.
|Neuron Structure by US Gov.|
"Many studies have found that people who have autism fail to focus on the eye region of others to gather social cues and process information about emotions," said Ueli Rutishauser, Ph.D., first author of the research article. "The amygdala – which is critical for face recognition and processing of emotions – is thought to be one of the principal areas where dysfunction occurs, but this is the first time single neurons in the structure have been recorded and analyzed in patients with autism."
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"A subpopulation of neurons in these patients with autism spectrum disorder showed abnormal sensitivity to the mouth region. The amygdala neurons appeared normal from an electrical point of view, and the whole- face-sensitive neurons responded normally. Thus, the subset of face-part-sensitive neurons was specifically abnormal in autism," Rutishauser said.
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