Associated conditions

Alexithymia

A condition involving lack of empathy.         A difficulty in experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses.         Some with autism have this lack of empathy but many do not.        Click icon for an easy reading interview.        Professor Geoff Bird says that alexithymia and autism are independent of each other.

For detailed and definitive information see:  Alexithymia info 

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly affects the way people read and spell words.        Click icon for an easy reading introduction.         Scroll down for comments.

  • For more detail, see  British Dyslexia Association  (BDA).         Includes FAQ.        They also have resources for parents.         And much more …
  • See Dislexia outreach for support in Lincolnshire.        They support parents, teachers, and pupils.
  • See also under handwriting aids below.

Demand avoidance

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) – part of the autism spectrum.            Click page icon on the left for PDA society website and PDF icon for a PDA Society PowerPoint presentation.

Demand avoidance sounds similar to Oppositional defiance, so what is the difference?         In the PDF file above, page 29, it says that PDA is an autism spectrum disorder rooted in anxiety, whereas ODD is not.

Echolalia

  • Here is an introduction to echolalia.        Mimicry is an efficient way to experiment with different sounds and practice emerging social language skills. 
  • This article offers a medical analysis.        People with echolalia repeat noises and phrases that they hear.      They may not be able to communicate effectively because they struggle to express their own thoughts.         If they struggle to do anything other than repeat what has been said, they may have echolalia.         Some children with autism are regularly tested for this during their speech lessons.
  • Here is a more detailed article about echolalia with autism Even echolalia is a normal way to learn language.        Most children use echolalia to learn language.         The majority of children babble in a rhythmic way, which is actually mimicking the cadence of our language. 
  • In adults Echolalia should normally disappear around two and half years of age.         It is often considered abnormal if it persists beyond age 3 years.

Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is having difficulty learning to:     1. recognise and write letters and words       2.  link sounds, speech and writing.

  • For an easy reading introduction, see  About Health.           See links for more detailed information.
  • This dedicated Dysgraphia website has been written by a mother and university lecturer, and an undergraduate with dysgraphia.

Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a specific difficulty with arithmetic, or maths.

  • The Dyscalculia website looks pretty definitive.           It offers a handy introduction
  • For more information see Dyscalculia Talks.         It has articles to read as well as video clips to watch.
  • The Dyscalculia Conference website is aimed at professionals, but might be interesting to anyone teaching their own child at home.

Dyspraxia

A Developmental co-ordination disorder.

  • For an easy reading introduction, see  NHS Choices.          Scroll down for comments.
  • The Dyspraxia Foundation has a great deal to offer, including introductionchildren,   FAQ.         See also:  Home for helpline and  Local groups – including Leicstershire and Peterborough
  • You may be surprised to learn that it can affect speech, see Speech and Language.

Handwriting aids

  • Fun to write “A simple step by step approach to encourage the correct method of forming letters and numbers and to develop writing skills.         Contents:   6 reusable writing cards, wipe-off pen, pencil, half-plain half-lined pad and guide.”         Amazon may be more familiar but maybe no cheaper.
  • Ultra pencil grip might be helpful to some children.         This cheaper pack with just 3 grips looks similar.        Note that some packs are for larger pencils.          Triangular grip  is another option.        There is also a mixed pack if you want to try several types.           This discussion mentions their use among.
  • Here is a video tutorial setting out several aids – including pencil grips.
  • This video tutorial demonstrates the sock method of teaching proper pencil grip.
  • This video tutorial demonstrates writing 3 letters of the alphabet. There are more related videos in the margin, too.
  • Some mums provide a sloping board/surface to write on.
  • Letter dominoes is a game that is easy to make yourself.

Doc iconSpecific Learning Difficulties

SpLD is an umbrella term used to cover a range of frequently co-occurring difficulties, more commonly:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia / DCD
  • Dyscalculia
  • D.D / A.D.H.D

Specific Learning Difficulties (or SpLDs), affect the way information is learned and processed. They are neurological (rather than psychological), usually run in families and occur independently of intelligence. They can have significant impact on education and learning and on the acquisition of literacy skills.

In general, a student may be diagnosed with a SpLD where there is a lack of achievement at age and ability level, or a large discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability.

See also an analytical view

Tourettes

Tourette’s syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.        See introduction

  • Tourettes Action website seems to be the go-to place for all things Tourettes.        Click icon on the left to browse.         They have a Find support menu.
  • The Lincolnshire support group meets in Lincoln and Grantham.
  • Discussions :  Netmums         Tourettes & Aspergers
  • Facebook videos might be worth a look.

Swallowing difficulties

Click icon to view help sheet for people with Autism about Dysphagia by a speech and language therapist.

More conditions

Here are a couple of help sheets about epilepsy and mental health for people on the autistic spectrum from the UK research charity Autistica.

See also Epilepsy ActionWebsite             Information           Help & support

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GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.

 

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