Take the online Aspergers Test

For those concerned they may have Asperger’s Syndrome, the Autism Quotient or AQ Test can help with self diagnosis. This short multiple choice questionnaire was developed by Simon Baron-Cohen from the Autism Research Centre.

Many thousands of people of have taken this test which has proved to be an effective screening mechanism in the diagnosis of Aspergers and other Autism Spectrum Disorders such as PDD-Nos. It can be used by adults as well as parents taking the test on behalf of their children.

It is important to note that while this test can be used to give an indication of the likelihood of having Asperger’s Syndrome, it is not meant to replace a formal medical diagnosis. The AQ Test can be a great screening tool which can be used  which can be used to indicate the likelihood Aspergers, PDD Nos or other forms of Autism.

Please see this post for a more detailed explanation of the test format.

tests

 

Take the AQ / Asperger’s Test

The test is completely FREE and is comprised of a number of multiple choice questions.

For each question please indicate to what degree you relate to each statement ( ie definitely agree, slightly agree, slightly disagree, definitely disagree).

At the end of the test you will receive a score which can be used to assess the likelihood of having Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism.

Please visit the post entitled Interpreting AQ Test Results for an understanding of what these results mean in layman’s terms.

 
Please note we do not store the results of the test.
 

Detecting early signs of Autism in children

Just a quick blog aimed at parents that are concerned that their children may have Autism or Aspergers Syndrome.

Leslie burby who is one of the regular contributors of this site has just released a new book aimed at aiding the early diagnosis of children with autism.

The book is called early signs of autism in toddlers, infants and babies and is available on kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Early-Autism-Toddlers-Infants-Babies-ebook/dp/B00I5ETPWM or in paperback at http://www.amazon.com/Early-Autism-Toddlers-Infants-Babies/dp/1495297071

It gives practical advice how parents can pick up on symptoms and behaviors that may be indicative of autism.

Detailing Leslies own journey with the diagnosis of two her own children the book also includes the changes that parents need to be aware of in relation to DSM versions 4 & 5 in and the reclassification of Asperger’s Syndrome.

The book also includes a chapter about the effective therapies and treatments available following diagnosis.

Make sure to check it out:  Early Signs of Autism in Toddlers, Infants and Babies: Diagnosis and treatment options

What about parents that have Asperger’s?

Having Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism when you are parent is one of the most difficult things anyone on the Autism Spectrum can experience. There are probably times when you overwhelmed with sensory overload that you don’t know how to cope.

This special issue of Autism Parenting Magazine, is devoted to this very issue, featuring information that can help you deal with sensory overload and the challenges of parenting when you are on the Autism Spectrum.

The issue is available for immediate download or viewing via an ipad.

Make sure you check it out here: http://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/issue-3-focus-parents

What Would Einstein Say About Autism Today?

aspergers syndrome

 

A Short Story: Part Fiction, Part Science, Part Philosophy All Heart

Written By Cornelius (Bushy) Van Eck and Clayton Nuckelt 

Albert Einstein was one of the greatest and well known scientists of his time. If he were alive today, what would he say about autism? I believe it would go something like this: 

You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to say these words to those affected by autism. There are no words I can even conceive of to express my deepest concerns to those who are challenged with autism. For some people it has been a tragedy, yet for others it is considered a gift. But for all of humanity it is time we came to understand autism from the relativity of time.

To help me explain this I needed someone who would explore my theory of relativity and make their own great discoveries. I knew it would have to be someone like me, on the autism spectrum. Actually when you think about it, many of us are on the spectrum, be it even on the most miniscule level, because very few people’s minds perform at optimal perfection. Once you understand autism from a new perspective you will appreciate your own differences for what they really are. Furthermore and most importantly we get to respect each and every other person’s differences in a whole new way. So from here I have to leave it up to my brilliant friends Bushy Van Eck, Author of Prisoners of Our Minds, member of Mensa, with an IQ higher than most college professors, and his friend Clayton to help us understand autism from the relativity of time.

Bushy

By understanding autism from the relativity of time, you will understand how it can be a tragedy for some people as well as a gift to others.

 

I have been ridiculed most of my life for being different. I have felt both gifted and tormented at the same time. I became obsessed searching for the answer as to why my mind works so differently than others. My research is based on scientific data as well as my own observations and conclusions. For me my dream has come true, getting the answers I was looking for. Please don’t worry if you do not understand everything you are about to read, for it took me over 25 years to make this discovery. Have you ever noticed it seems like the oddballs of the world help move us forward the most?  For some people one profound moment of clarity opens them up to a whole new world of knowledge and takes them to a higher level of existence. I believe we are truly on the brink to this new expansion.  It happened for me and I know it can happen for you too if you give it a chance.  When I set out to discover the truth behind our existence, so many years ago, I certainly ended up getting more than I bargained for. I truly hope I can help you have one of those “Moments of Clarity” and it brings new meaning to your life and those around you a whole new way. When someone is interested in something they tend to want to learn more. Every person who opens their heart and mind can learn something that will have a deep impact in your own life. You can gain a new respect for autistic people, now having infinite empathy because you understand how it can be a tragedy for some people as well as a gift to others. We will now be able to respect each other’s experiences, struggles and opinions no longer offending one an other.

The Foundation to Understanding Autism in a Meaningful Way 

Because my intention is to make this simple and easy to understand, I am not going to clutter you with a lot of big scientific definitions but will include links for clarification.   Once you gain a basic understanding of this theory, it may become an instant realization that was always right in front of you but never explained in a meaningful way.

Just like we all have our own personal finger print, the same goes for our minds. To help us understand autism and how it relates to time we need to understand what a unit of time is and what a moment of awareness entails. For most of us we know what a minute of time feels like. But why does time seem to go by faster as we age and slower when we are younger?  How do our minds use up more time?  And the most important question is: How can time perception problems help explain autism symptoms?

 

The Theory of Time Perception by Cornelius (Bushy) Van Eck

Think of time as a sequencing of units. These units are called Planck Units in Physics.

Each Planck unit is equal to 1 bit of data (or information or knowledge); these bits of data form sounds, words, colors, thoughts, touch, etc. into moments of awareness.  In other words it takes so many required units of time, depending on the substance, to form a moment of awareness. Read this paragraph over and over until it sinks in deep into your psyche, the human soul, mind, or spirit.   

A Moment of Conscious Awareness: the “Miracle of life”

The more sophisticated and technological society gets the more time we are using. Each moment of awareness consists of past, present and future Planck Units of time.  Play almost any video game today for what seems like a few minutes and realize hours later “Where did the time go?”  As we get older we obtain great amounts of data and become more intelligent.  Each moment of awareness now requires much more Planck Units of time. Example: In a flash of a second when you see a picture of a steak dinner on the menu, you know everything about it from past, present and future.  Past   -what it tastes like, present  -how much it costs, future  -how much you will enjoy it! This moment of awareness took many units of time to process. The higher the definition of data per moment of awareness, the more time will be perceived to have gone by. The lower the data per moment of awareness, the less time will be perceived to have gone by. If we truly want to live longer lives, then we must consider limiting technology that steals away our time. You now have a whole new meaning to “Managing Your Time.” 

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

 Enhanced Motion Perception in Autism May Point to an Underlying Cause of the Disorder  Now back to understanding autism in a meaningful way so that you will be able to make sense of most new related research. How can an autistic person “see faster”? All of the data or units of time and information is first processed in the subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind is where it all takes place and for an average person the processing speed of data is very similar in performance. But what happens when the data is being passed on to the conscious mind too fast or too slow, or by too much or too little? For example, you are receiving too many sound bites of data. It will create havoc for a person’s sense of sound hearing all the voices in a room all at once. The same would go for any perception of touch, sound, sight, thought and so on.  Once you get to conceptualize my theory you will be able to apply it to many mental differences. You will understand people in a whole new way realizing our brains all work slightly differently and enabling you to appreciate and respect that we are all different. Do you know someone who seems to always talk faster than you?  Does the waiter or waitress seem to be on another time scale: -too slow or even too fast but never realizing it? Do you answer a ringing phone so quick it surprises the caller? You may be hearing sound slightly faster. The analogies are endless once you have a clear understanding of this theory.  Right now from this very moment of awareness you will notice a whole new world. Things about people you never noticed you will see and understand clearly. And it will change you forever. You will become much more empathetic and your humility will become limitless.  

Understanding Autism Continued

An abundance of information at the subconscious level, when not being sorted for relevancy to the situation with the rest being disposed of, will cause an overflow of data onto the conscious awareness. Your conscious mind will literally be drowning in data, suffocating you in information, literally slowing the world down around you.  During such a moment an autistic child will literally hear every word of every conversation, smell every fruit on every shelf, see every move of every motion, and feel the wind pushing him. It’s like time is standing still, being frozen up in the moment.

Asperger syndrome on the other hand is the transformation of a normal set of high definition conscious moments into only a few super enhanced moments of awareness, with the individual being oblivious to anything else for that duration. This is an explanation I am writing an entire book on; for those interested please follow our Facebook page ImAutisticToo

  

Biological Signatures of Autism: a Larger-Than-Normal Head

Why brain size is more significant than thought

 

A baby’s brain at birth is around half the size of an adult’s brain. As such the baby’s mind would encapsulate time to last twice as long as that of his parent and therefore would perceive each and every movement, every single sound and every touch, to be lasting twice as long hence everything being very slow in the mind of the baby. For more on this read Autism and Head Size Study.  When the brain of an autistic child develops too quickly, the whole scenario around him changes. Everything around him which was supposed to be transpiring at a very slow rate enabling him to follow through is now happening way too fast for him to comprehend, literally stripping precious time from his mind. Our every move, sound and even touch would become no less than terrifying for his now almost adult mind, a mind still in dire need of the relevant data and know how to help him make sense of the world around him.

Autism and Solutions

I believe there is much that can be done to rectify time perception simply by knowing how to manipulate awareness of time and steering it in the right direction. This can be achieved by means of virtual realities and the administration of very precise doses of task specific drugs directly related to the metabolic rates to bridge this problem during the important developmental stages. Some of the work of Bill Mueller is directly addressing issues with over sensitivity to sound.  It is my deepest intention to open up new ideas to help solve the struggles related with autism. 

Some of the many research studies supporting this theory

 

It is generally considered that the sensory inflow to the neural system is cut into fragments, which then are bidden to each other, based on their features, to result in sensory perception. This idea is supported by flicker-fusion of visual images, when perception of continuous movement might be provided by a series of fixed visual frames.

(Ruben Tikidji-Hamburyan and Witali Dunin-Barkowski Congress of Neuroinformatics

“Publicly announced in September 2013 Research led by Trinity University of Dublin in collaboration with a few other universities announced a remarkable discovery relating to the perceptions of time amongst the animal kingdom of which humans certainly are no exclusion.”  Flicker Fusion Frequencies

The pillars upon which my theory is based

No man has nor ever will be capable of any profound discovery no matter how small, without having trampled upon the hard built foundations constructed from the blood sweat and tears of others. Not even Einstein could claim otherwise.

Only by gaining a fundamental understanding of Time, Space and Energy, based on pure logical reasoning  will you be capable of understanding what the true realities of the Present, Past and Future really entail, being responsible for our perceived realities. Any one moment of awareness can never consist of anything less than an equal duration of the present, past and future no matter how long or short that duration might be.

Take careful note of the following statement which is fundamental in getting to understand the true realities of our existence, especially if you eventually want to gain a complete understanding of autism.

The only way possible to see into the future is by living in the past of which the present moment has already occurred.

Only by coming to understand this is it possible to understand the true nature of our realities. The transitional gates of our minds are responsible for the transformation of consciousness into any one single moment of awareness, of which the metabolic rates plays a critical role.

It is these transitional gates which are responsible for safeguarding us from the harsh realities of our physical interaction at the subconscious level constrained to a different level of time perception.

Yet these transitional gates for various reasons are quite often compromised causing all types of phenomena resulting in the likes of autism, aspergers, ADHD, sleep Paralysis, déjà vu, bipolar disorders, multiple personalities, schizophrenia, seizures and the list goes on.

In Conclusion

Although our realities are not that difficult to understand, there certainly is much more to be learned to gain a clear understanding thereof.

What you, the reader, has been exposed to so far is merely a taste of what our realities consist of. There are numerous mind blowing facts that will change the way you think and behave forever, for once the door is opened it can never be closed.

A Message from Clayton

Bushy Van Eck has spent his entire adult life working on his theory. Although being ignored by some, he has never given up hope to share his theory. Bushy was born and raised in Brakpan, South Africa. The school systems of the 1960’s and 1970’s in South Africa had no place for a gifted child. What he was especially ridiculed for even until this day is his lack of handwriting skills, writing he can mostly not even read himself. Bushy took on a normal life and a normal job until the internet allowed him to become self taught in Physics and much more. I have had the privilege to study and learn his theory. If you have read books like The Secret, The Law of Attraction and hundreds of other self-help books but still felt something was missing, Bushy’s work can help fill that gap.  Bushy is honored to be included this summer in the filming of the US Autism Road Tour.  There are no words that can express our gratitude to all the supporters, especially those affected by autism.  No theory that can expand our understanding of autism should be ignored, for that could be an injustice to those who need it the most.

Please give Bushy your support by following our Facebook page ImAutisticToo.

Contact Info:

Bushy: bushy@prisonersofourminds.co.za

For inquiries on lectures, speaking engagements, etc. in the US please contact Clayton:

clayton@imautistictoo.com

Thank you

Clayton Ulrich Nuckelt is a creative writer and promoter of the “The Ultimate Understanding of the Human Existence” a collaborative effort of Bushy Van Eck’s Theory of Time. Although he has a degree in marketing and worked in the fresh produce industry for many years, he has always had a passionate desire to work in the humanitarian fields. He has held the belief that no child should ever suffer from inhuman actions and that humanity is responsible to itself. Proud Husband, Father of six and Grandfather of three, Clayton currently resides in Indiana and was raised in Southern California where he gained vast amount of exposure to many different cultural and spiritual beliefs.

 

 

Applying Mindfulness Strategies to Manage ADHD and Aspergers

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is very common in people with Asperger’s. In children with Asperger’s, it is the most commonly diagnosed comorbid psychiatric condition. Nearly half of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder are also diagnosed with ADHD. Because both of these conditions persist into adulthood, it is likely that there are also a significant number of adults who have both AS and ADHD. While the strategies discussed in this guest post by Sang H. Kim, are geared toward individuals with ADHD, they can also be applied to the impairments with executive function that many people with Asperger’s experience.

Applying Mindfulness Strategies to Manage ADHD

Even at the best of times, our mind naturally tends to wander, browsing for something more immediately pleasurable to settle on. For those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), staying focused on one thing is a daunting challenge unless the activity is inherently rewarding.

However, in contrast to the inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity that characterize ADHD, individuals with ADHD also have the unique capacity for superfocus on what they love. Unable to control their impulses, they move from one thing to another, until they find something that captivates attention. Then they dive in, with no fear of getting lost in time. Forgetting everything else, they often miss deadlines at work or school. Then the last-minute frenzy required to get back on track exacerbates their already high anxiety.

How Mindfulness Can Help

Many people find that applying strategies from mindfulness practice can help to reduce the inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity characteristics of ADHD. Mindfulness can also help when it comes to putting the strengths of ADHD to work. Recognizing and working with the two contrasting characteristics of inattention and superfocus can be a powerful way to positively manage ADHD symptoms.

Inattention, one of the core traits of ADHD, is a deficit in holding attention on a task. It diminishes our ability to put things together cohesively, to plan and to organize our behavior.

Mindfulness, on the other hand, is simply paying attention to what you do. Being mindful can help to guide your attention to a specific activity, thought or feeling. It begins with recognizing what is happening inside and around you, with openness and curiosity, non-judgmentally. It is the ground zero, so to speak, from which your awareness builds.

Ideally, in that neutral state of mind, you can reflect on and discern habitual thought patterns and reactions, and choose alternatives to change impulsive behavior. Choice is the key. However, for individuals with ADHD, reaching this neutral state can be hard. Beginning with simple strategies drawn from mindfulness practice can help to reduce distractions and draw on the ability to superfocus that most people with ADHD have.

Mindfulness Strategies to Promote Focus

1. Develop attention anchors. Having a tangible way to bring your mind back to the present can help you stay on task. Taking a few deep breaths, clapping your hands or spending a minute pacing can all serve as ways to re-anchor yourself in the present. Rather than trying to stop your attention from drifting, give yourself permission to wander off any time, enjoy a short diversion, and then use your anchor to bring yourself back to the present before the distraction derails you from your task.

2. Be aware of your needs. Stepping back and reframing a problem can help us get a fresh look at difficult issues. Often those with ADHD need to change the way they are approaching a challenging task. For example, if you have difficulty in understanding verbal instructions, ask for or use visual or written directions. If you find it hard to get back on task when interrupted, hang a do not disturb sign on your desk, cubicle or door. Identify your best working style and invite those around you to support it.

3. Pause before you act. A short time delay between the occurrence of an idea and acting on that thought can reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity by creating a mental buffer zone. People with ADHD tend to generate many ideas and have difficulty following through. They end up with many half-finished projects, bouncing from one idea to the next. By taking a short timeout, you will find that you become more discriminating about acting on your ideas, which makes you more likely to complete the things you do start.

Mindfulness Strategies That Capitalize on ADHD Traits   

1. Take advantage of superfocus. People with ADHD have the ability to superfocus on activities that interest them. This ability can be an asset if you can harness it. When you find yourself in surperfocus mode, enjoy what you are doing to the fullest, but be sure to stop on a positive note. This can be hard, because we have a tendency to drive ourselves to exhaustion in this mode. Instead, try to stop when you are feeling good about yourself. Doing so creates a positive behavior pattern that is inherently rewarding and will increase your feelings of control while capitalizing on your asset.

2. Use your strengths as an entry point. We all have responsibilities, whether for work, school or family. It can be very hard for people with ADHD to initiate activities that they have little interest in or find difficult, like certain types of homework or chores. Using your strengths can help to make initiation less difficult. For example, if you are a visual thinker, begin a homework project by creating the visual aspects of a report first and then writing the background once you get “warmed up.” Or make a visual map of a project to help you organize your thoughts before you begin.

3. Use time to your advantage. Some people with ADHD work well in big chunks. Once they begin an activity, they are most productive if they can work for several hours uninterrupted. Others find that the pressure of a time limit helps them focus. For example, Elton John says that he never spends more than 40 minutes on composing a song because beyond that he gets bored. By knowing the limits of his attention, he can avoid the problems that arise from boredom, including distraction, poor productivity and a loss of creativity.

Being mindful does not necessarily mean that you will always be focused on the task at hand. Instead, it means that you are actively working to be aware of where your attention is and discovering ways to deliberately guide it to where you would like it to be. For individuals with ADHD, mindfulness can be a powerful strategy for engaging with the mind and getting to know ourselves better. Until we understand how we work best, it is impossible to begin developing strategies that work for us.

About Sang H. Kim

Sang H. Kim, PhD is a lifetime martial artist and author of books on mindfulness, motivation, fitness and martial arts. His most recent book is Mindful Movement. He also blogs at OneMindOneBreath.com.

 

 

Sensory processing issues and social events

With the weather turning cold, most people can’t resist the urge to start baking and/or eating comfort foods.  October and November always brings about a difficult situation – birthday parties and fall weddings. The noise, the crowds, and then the unhealthy party food, it’s almost too much to bear.  However, here are some sensory solutions to help keep your proprioception in check during these social situations.

Oral Sensitivity

First of all, if you are doing a gluten-free diet, offer to make or buy the cake or a dessert to the occasion.  This way you know that you can eat something at the function that won’t wreck havoc on your body. Betty Crocker has a huge selection of recipes online that are gluten-free but still delicious.  Check it out http://www.bettycrocker.com/search/searchresults?st=6&term=gluten%20free%20cakes#/?st=6&term=gluten%2Bfree%2Bcakes&pi=1&ps=9.  If it is an event that you can’t bring food to because food is being provided such as a wedding or banquet of some kind, then eat before you go to the event.  This way you don’t have to eat when you get there.  If you are driving to the event, leave a few snacks in the car.  This way if you try the food and find it unacceptable you can go take a walk to your car and have a snack.  People forget stuff in their cars all the time.  Just quietly say excuse me and don’t explain that the food is not to your liking because you will most likely offend someone.  If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Location

Do your research.  Find out where the party will be and the layout of the place.  Go online and see if there are pictures or a floor plan.  This can alleviate anxiety of the unknown and help you plan for an escape.  For instance, if the noise level gets too loud or if it is too crowded, have a quiet place to go.  Is there a porch or a balcony where you can go and calm down?  Excuse yourself and go to the restroom.  Go to your car and regroup. Another suggestion to help you self regulate in a stressful social situation is to bring a lap pad to lie on your lap (if you are sitting at a table for dinner).  The site www.sensorygoods.com has a wide range of them, but I recommend buying something that isn’t so noticeable such as the denim print.  Weighted belts or vests worn under your clothes are always an option.  You can always leave a weighted blanket in your car and excuse yourself and go take a ten minute break to help self regulate your proprioception, too.

Sound

If you are going somewhere that will be blaring music, and have a sound sensitivity then consider bringing some ear plugs to help reduce the intensity of the sound.  However, it is important to note that you should NEVER wear ear plugs every day.  Most ear plugs are made small to not be visible by others.  To find the right ear plug for your ears, I recommend buying a variety pack and trying them out.  This site http://www.earplugstore.com/unfoamtrialp1.html sells a variety pack so you can try the different sizes before you go and buy a bulk pack of 100 or 200, (which is the way most ear plugs are sold.)

Autism Parenting Magazine