cognitive

definition of cognitive: Associated with memory, analysis, and problem-solving skills.

Weekly Music Therapy May Have Benefits for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Teaser: 

C.M. See of the Universiti Sains Malaysia recently published a study on the benefits of music therapy for kids with autism.

Body: 

C.M. See of the Universiti Sains Malaysia recently published a study on the benefits of music therapy for kids with autism. She studied 41 children over a 10-month period offering weekly music therapy sessions. See and her team found that inattentive behavior improved for the kids. Music therapy, along with movement therapy, has been used with autism to improve communication, social skills, manage stress, and increase cognitive skills.

Documentary to Highlight Music Therapy for People with Autism

Teaser: 

Michael Ricucci and Michelle Murphy are making a documentary on music therapy and its benefits for kids with autism.

Body: 

Michael Ricucci and Michelle Murphy, of Terra Rising Records, have travelled the US for a year making a documentary on music therapy and its benefits for kids with autism and people with other special needs. They filmed an interactive concert at Hochstein School of Music and Dance in Rochester, NY. The musicians were performing with a large group of kids with special needs who were shaking tambourines, hitting drumsticks together, and singing. Music therapy is used as a tool to help people who have physical, emotional, and/or cognitive problems. Maria Battista-Hancock, chair of Hochstein’s music therapy program, explained, “Music can bring up issues in a non-threatening way. It’s about being a whole human being.” Murphy said that she and Ricucci picked the concert at Hochstein because, “This is a perfect way to show therapists, clients and performers working together.”

Researchers Find that Intensive Treatment May Be Effective for Kids with High-Functioning Autism

Teaser: 

Researchers at Canisius College have found that intensive treatment can be effective for children with high-functioning autism.

Body: 

Researchers at the Institute for Autism Research at Canisius College have found in a second study that intensive treatment (what they call Summer Max) can be effective for children with high-functioning autism. The children in the treatment group received 5 weeks of 20 minutes of skills instruction followed by 50 minutes of activity to reinforce the skills. Researchers found that the kids had improvements in social-cognitive behaviors, which continued outside the treatment. Christopher Lopata, PsyD, explained, “The follow-up measures allowed us to determine that the positive treatment effects on social performance continued to be present 2-3 months after the treatment ended."

Wisconsin Early Autism Project Goes to Malaysia

Teaser: 

The Early Autism Project Malaysia is the first autism organization in Malaysia.

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The Early Autism Project Malaysia (EAP) is the first autism organization in Malaysia. The director, Jochebed Isaacs, trained at the Wisconsin Early Autism Project. Isaacs explained, "Through early intervention programmes, children with autism learn to express themselves better and recognise the basic skills of life like playing with other children and identifying bullies." EAP begins with children as young as 18 months and works with them one-on-one. The therapy focus of EAP is based on applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and therapists work with each child on language, social skills, cognitive skills, and preparation for school. Currently EAP charges parents a fee, but they are working on a budget-friendly plan and also offer a free blog, Autismmalaysia.

Indiana to Get New Autism Center

Teaser: 

The Foundation arm of Parkview Huntington Hospital in Northeast Indiana will open the area’s first autism center in 2013.

Body: 

The Foundation arm of Parkview Huntington Hospital in Northeast Indiana will open the area’s first autism center in 2013. The center will eventually provide applied behavior analysis (ABA), physical and occupational therapies, and cognitive and behavioral therapies to up to 40 children ages 2 through 18. Each child will have an individualized program to maximize social and communication skills. Darlene Garrett, chief operating officer of the hospital, explained, “This is a very exciting step in the treatment of autism in this area. Our center will be of tremendous help to local families.”

Early Intervention May Improve Brain Activity in Kids with Autism

Teaser: 

A recently published study on early intervention (EI) for kids with autism showed that EI may improve brain activity.

Body: 

A recently published study on early intervention (EI) for kids with autism showed that EI may improve brain activity. The EI in the study focused on improving cognitive and speech skills in children as young as a year old. One researcher, Geraldine Dawson, PhD, explained, “For the first time, parents and practitioners have evidence that early intervention can result in an improved course of both brain and behavioral development in young children. It is crucial that all children with autism have access to early intervention which can promote the most positive long-term outcomes.” The EI in the study was based on a combination of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and relationship-based approaches, such as Relation Development Intervention (RDI) and floortime.

Minnesota Autism Center Begins Use of Skills Online Program

Teaser: 

A few years ago we highlighted the Minnesota Autism Center (MAC) for their early intervention efforts in southeast Minnesota.

Body: 

A few years ago we highlighted the Minnesota Autism Center (MAC) for their early intervention efforts in southeast Minnesota. We’re happy to say, they are serving kids all over MN and have recently adopted the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Skills online program. Skills is a unique tool that provides 24/7 treatment progress for a child with autism. Skills features include: ABA-based treatment, 24/7 computer access, 4,000 lesson activities (social, motor, language, adaptive, and cognitive), and the ability for teachers, parents, and professionals to have access to the same information about a child. Skills co-creator, Dr. Adel Najdowski, explained, “Skills has an assessment with a corresponding curriculum that addresses every skill a child learns in typical development from infancy to adolescence across every area of human development.”

Joint Attention Therapy Provided at an Early Age May Help Long Term Language Skills in Children with Autism

Teaser: 

Children with autism who received joint attention therapy around the ages of 3-4 showed increased language skills when older.

Body: 

Children with autism who received joint attention therapy around the ages of 3-4, when tested again at ages 8-9, showed better language skills than children who received standard therapies. Alice Kau, PhD, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), explained, “This study confirms that intensive therapy to engage the attention of young children with autism helps them acquire language faster and build lasting language skills.” Skills attained included larger vocabulary, more communication with adults, and better cognitive skills. Connie Kasari, PhD, first author of the study, reported, “Our findings show that therapy focused on such basic skills as pointing, sharing, and engaging in play can have considerable long-term effects as children with autism spectrum disorders grow and learn to express themselves with words.”

Access to Autism Therapies is Topic of Discussion with Parents in Canada

Teaser: 

Caregivers of kids with autism attended a daylong conference to address lack of therapy options in the Kitchener Ontario area.

Body: 

Caregivers of kids with autism attended a daylong conference to address lack of therapy options in the Kitchener Ontario area. Irene Drmic, with the Offord Centre for Child Studies discussed the combination of autism and anxiety in some children with autism, and that cognitive behavior therapy is one option. “I think that probably the biggest frustration for caregivers in our area is that we are relatively deficient in therapies for autistic children,” said Dr. Bruno DiGravio, a local pediatrician. Therapies that are not offered by schools or organizations such as KidsAbility who sponsored the conference are often expensive and difficult to locate.

Dancin’ Dreams Provides Music and Movement Therapy for Kids with Autism

Teaser: 

When Mary Jane San Gabriel’s sister died, she adopted her two boys, one of whom has autism.

Body: 

When Mary Jane San Gabriel’s sister died, she adopted her two boys, one of whom has autism. Mary Jane became a nurse and for her master’s degree worked on music interventions for kids with autism. What she ultimately created was Dancin’ Dreams, a New Jersey non-profit dance workshop. In an article in The FilAm, Mary Jane explained, “The benefits of music and dance therapies in children and young adults afflicted with autism and autism spectrum disorders are well documented.” When an autistic child listens and moves to music, the process of repetition and sequencing improves cognitive functions.” Dancin’ Dreams is also an opportunity for parents and family members to relax as their youngsters aged 5-21 learn to play instruments, dance, and increase their social interaction skills.

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