How a Hug Can Help Your Autistic Child


 How a Hug Can Help Your Autistic Child

How a Hug Can Help Your Autistic Child
How a Hug Can Help Your Autistic Child

Autistic children and adults often seek pressure in a variety of ways to calm themselves and cope with sensory overload. Oftentimes, hugs and squeezes from other people can cause more distress because autistic children or adults are often unable to communicate their needs by indicating a particular amount or length of pressure. This is both frustrating and ineffective for both the autistic person and whoever is hugging or squeezing them.

The hug machine was created to help relieve this frustration, putting autistic individuals in control of their situation. Both children and adults who suffer from autism sometimes crave pressure to help calm anxiety.

Because of this, one woman with autism developed the hug machine, also known as a hug box or a squeeze machine. The hug machine has two padded sideboards connected near the bottom of the boards to form a V-shape.

A lever helps push the sideboards together to create pressure; the lever also allows the autistic child or adult the ability to control the amount and length of pressure.

Studies are still being conducted to find out why those with autism respond to pressure and how it can produce a calming effect. The hug machine may affect the heightened sensory perceptions of those with autism who often feels disruptive or distressing behaviour.

By applying pressure, perhaps the autistic child or adult moves his or her focus to a single feeling-the pressure-which, in turn, produces a calming effect. For many autistic children and adults, anxiety can be completely incapacitating.

Not being able to function with the anxiety is frustrating, and so appropriate social behaviour is even more difficult. Sometimes, the only release from such anxiety is through pressure. To this day, the hug machine is used by several programs and researchers studying autism as well as therapy programs.

Remember that hugging or squeezing an autistic child may not help him or her. You may, in fact, increase their senses and cause more anxiety. Though you may not be able to purchase a hug machine, you may be able to create a similar object.

Try wrapping the autistic child or adult in a blanket, where they can control how much pressure to apply. You can also look into buying padded boards that more closely simulate the hug machine’s side-boards and perhaps tie or tape some heavy-duty yarn to each side to allow the autistic child or adult control over how much pressure to apply and for how long.

Contact your child’s school to see if there has been any interest in purchasing a community hug-machine. This may not be a cure to all your child’s problems, but it works well to help many autistic individuals cope with the world.

A modern twist on the hug machine is the weighted vest

How a Hug Can Help Your Autistic Child

How a Hug Can Help Your Autistic Child
How a Hug Can Help Your Autistic Child

How much weight should the vest have?

While there are no studies on how much weight a vest should have, most therapists recommend anywhere from five to ten per cent of a person’s body weight. This recommendation is based on studies on maximum weight allowances for backpacks. Too much weight can result in over-stimulation and/or injury.

How long should a child with autism wear it?

Some therapists recommend as little as fifteen minutes while others encourage wearing them throughout the academic time in class. The positive benefits of a weighted vest usually happen while the child is wearing the vest. However, in cases where it is calming, often it can be taken off and the child will remain calm.

Do all children with autism need one?

You should only use a weighted vest with a child when you are attempting to help them focus or calm down. They do not help all children because they can be uncomfortable and distracting for some. Pay attention when introducing one, especially if the child has significant communication challenges. Discontinue use if you see no benefit or it causes any distress.

Do weighted vests decrease “stimming” or stereotypical behaviours?

There is almost no research on whether or not weighted vests decrease stereotypical behaviours in children with autism. Therapists report observing some children decrease “stimming” behaviour while wearing one. However, there is little if any research on this topic.

What kind of therapy is a weighted vest?

They fall under the umbrella of Sensory Integration therapy. Sensory Integration therapy is usually performed by an Occupational Therapist trained in sensory integration. These therapists believe that inattentiveness and stereotypical behaviours are caused by over- or under-sensitivity to sensory input. Wearing one provides deep pressure sensory input that helps with sensory difficulties.

Please remember to consult with a therapist to make sure you add the appropriate amount of weight.

How to Stop Self-Injury in an Autistic Child


Many wonder how to stop self-injury in an autistic child as it is painful and dangerous. Self-injurious behaviour is where a person physically harms themselves. It’s sometimes called self-harm. This might be headbanging on floors, walls or other surfaces, hand or arm biting, hair pulling, eye-gouging, face or head-slapping, skin picking, scratching or pinching, forceful head shaking.

However, with autistic children, self-injury occurs more often than not. There are several theories as to why this practice can be prevalent in autistic children, and there are some methods you can use to help ease this distressing practice.  There are many possible reasons why a person may engage in self-injurious behaviour, ranging from biochemical to the social environment.

Because autistic children are unable to communicate through language the way that others can, they often feel frustrated at not being understood or at not getting what they need or want. Thus, autistic children may commit self-injury, by banging their heads or biting themselves (among other tactics), to release some of that frustration that cannot be communicated through words.

Also, self-injury is a way of getting attention. An autistic child’s frustration goes hand-in-hand with wanting attention. For instance, by scratching oneself until one bleeds, the autistic child will immediately get someone’s attention, and this person will work to understand what the child wants or needs.

This theory of frustration and attention has been the sole thinking for quite some time. If a goal is being blocked, people often become frustrated. The frustration-aggression theory states that frustration often leads to aggressive behaviour. This theory was proposed by Dollard, Doob, Miller, Mower, and Sears in 1939

Recently, however, studies have shown that self-injury can have a biochemical component that relieves some of the pain and frustration one feels by releasing endorphins, or “happy hormones,” into one’s system. The most popular ones are endorphins, dopamine and serotonin

The endorphins provide a release for the autistic child, allowing him or her to temporarily forget about his or her frustration and pain. Furthermore, it is believed that if one practices self-injury enough, the endorphins will begin to help mask any pain associated with such behaviour, making it an addictive action.

While some professionals say that ignoring the autistic child’s self-injurious behaviour is an acceptable method of treating such practice, this can obviously be very difficult. Others have suggested that communication therapy and drugs may help an autistic child by providing him or her with another method of communication.

Therapeutic communication is defined as the face-to-face process of interacting that focuses on advancing the physical and emotional well-being of a patient.

There are drugs that will help stem the addictive behaviour of releasing endorphins into the system, and thus help stop such behaviour. There are also nutritional solutions available; vitamin B6 and calcium have been said to help many families with an autistic child.

For the family members involved, communication training to learn how to communicate with an autistic child is also extremely important. Because normal adults, and even children and teenagers, are so accustomed to communicating through easily recognizable words or body language, they have to learn that communicating with an autistic child requires a completely different process.

These skills include using eye contact, gestures, body movements, imitation, and babbling and other vocalizations to help them communicate.  Some children with ASD may never develop oral speech and language skills. For these children, the goal may be learning to communicate using gestures, such as sign language.

By looking for solutions for both the family and the autistic child involved in self-injurious behaviour, one may be able to overcome this distressing practice.

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How Autistic Children learn?

Seeing how autistic Children learn is critical to instructing them with a similar force as you show other Children. This may appear to be a direct thought, yet medically introverted youngsters adapt so contrastingly that understanding mental imbalance itself is an absolute necessity when you show mentally unbalanced Children.

By getting taught in the turmoil, instructors can adequately figure out how to manage mentally unbalanced children and grown-ups, both all through the study hall, making an additionally understanding world for everybody.

Medically introverted kids are frequently visual masterminds. In this way instructing by talking won’t be altogether powerful. Instructors should join pictures with words for the medically introverted youngster to completely grasp the exercise.

For example, in the event that you are instructing about the creatures of the world,  you ought to have a blaze card with “mouse,” saying the word so anyone might hear gradually and obviously, and show the youngster an image of a mouse.

Maybe, in any event, acquire a live mouse for sharing time. Things might be simpler to instruct mentally unbalanced children since action words require activity and can be increasingly troublesome in delineating.

In the event that you are training medically introverted youngsters words, for example, “sit” or “stand,” you should finish these activities when you show the word.

Likewise, in light of the inclination to be visual, mentally unbalanced kids are regularly incapable to follow long sentences. They can’t decode the succession and become befuddled. Accordingly, composing directions can be useful when administering tests or tests.

As visual masterminds, mentally unbalanced youngsters can frequently focus on a specific article or picture. If so, take a stab at fusing that article or picture into exercise plans.

On the off chance that the kid likes planes, take a stab at utilizing planes for visuals any place you can in the exercise. For instance, when showing math, make word issues about planes to intrigue the youngster.

Medically introverted youngsters likewise will, in general, be masterful or melodic, creating profoundly unique drawings and appearing better than expected capacities with instruments or voice. Put in a safe spot time in the day, for human expressions and energize exercises that the children appreciate.

Medically introverted youngsters may likewise experience difficulty composing due to the authority over their hands and development. This is disappointing for both the youngster and the educator.

To lessen dissatisfaction, permit the youngster to utilize a PC. On the off chance that you can do this, ensure the console and screen are near one another as the kid may experience issues recollecting what the person in question has composed as of late.

By being available to showing a mentally unbalanced youngster as well as could be expected, you are not just giving that person the best open doors throughout everyday life, except you are additionally being a decent good example to different kids in the class.

Try not to permit a medically introverted kid to demolish the learning experience for other people, yet rather consolidate their peculiarities into your exercises however much as could reasonably be expected. Making a more partiality free homeroom is the best blessing you can give this youngster.

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Autism Travel Tips


The following are autism travel tips to assist you in planning your family vacation with an autistic child.

Have you been looking for a family vacation with an autistic child?

In spite of the fact that arranging a family get-away with kids may make any guardians pull out their hair, it very well may be a remunerating experience for everybody at long last.

It is the same in the event that you have a mentally unbalanced youngster in the family. The significant thing to recollect is that you should be set up for whatever life tosses your direction.

To a mentally unbalanced child, excursions can be terrifying and befuddling, or they can be an extraordinary learning experience, abandoning brilliant recollections the whole family can appreciate.

To start with, pick your area dependent on your mentally unbalanced child’s needs. For instance, on the off chance that the individual is delicate to sound, an event congregation is presumably not the best thought.

Calmer get-aways are conceivable at little seashores and by going outdoors. By and large, you ought to have the option to discover an area that everybody in the family appreciates.

Once there, plan out your days in like manner. For instance, you might need to see attractions early or late in the day to stay away from swarms. You likewise should think about getting away during the slow time of year, on the off chance that your child’s schoolwork won’t be upset.

These give your mentally unbalanced child more solace on the off chance that the person is apprehensive in jam-packed circumstances, and furnishes you with a bit of psyche.

While picking an area, likewise note how far it is from your home. By what method will you arrive? In the event that you need to manage an air terminal, recollect that security may need to contact your child and be set up for this.

Pick an area and exercises that everybody can appreciate, yet in addition that give learning and social communication open doors for your mentally unbalanced child.

For instance, a child that doesn’t care for contact sensations may appreciate the delicate sands of a seashore, and the waves can give a totally different sort of feeling for the person in question.

Being outside, a seashore is likewise an incredible spot for your youngster to holler without disturbing others. children who are ordinarily non-responsive may profit by an exhibition hall, where they can pose inquiries and you can pose inquiries of them.

Recall that a great many people in the midst of a get-away at the area you pick will have never managed mental imbalance. Attempt to be the comprehension of their obliviousness yet, in addition, stand up for your child on the off chance that the individual in question is being dealt with unjustifiably.

Know your youngster’s protected laws, and furthermore be happy to settle. For instance, if a café is hesitant to serve you after your youngster caused a scene there the previous evening, clarify the circumstance and inquire as to whether it is conceivable to take your food to go, regardless of whether this is typically not done.

Do whatever it takes not to be discourteous to individuals; gazing regularly occurs, however rather than rude remarks or mean looks, overlook them however much as could be expected and centre around making some great memories with your family.

Self Restraint in children with Autism

Self-restraint is an aptitude that most medically introverted children experience difficulty getting. This incorporates wrong upheavals, yet in addition propensities that can be conceivably perilous, for example, being forceful towards others or making hurt themselves, for example, slamming their heads off dividers.

To forestall these and different practices, one method guardians and instructors can use to control medically introverted propensities is self-administration.

Giving the child control over oneself is frequently the way to keeping authority over vicious circumstances and might be a positive advance towards learning different practices too.

Self-administration works in light of the fact that the youngster is not, at this point completely constrained by others. By showing self-administration during explicit occasions of day, for example, while the youngster is at school or treatment, the child will be bound to keep on rehearsing discretion during all times.

The key is to actualize a program where the individual in question screens their own conduct and exercises. Start with short measures of time, and keep on observing the youngster from an increasingly aloof point of view.

Each ten to fifteen minutes remind the child that the person is in charge and needs to screen and know about great and awful conduct.

This checking is a type of self-assessment. At the point when a child is in charge, the person may contemplate conduct in the over a wide span of time. Set clear objectives with the youngster, for instance, an evening with no hostility towards others or a day at school with no self-injury.

At regular intervals ask the child how the person in question is getting along. Is the objective being met?

In the event that the appropriate response is no, maybe the youngster isn’t prepared for self-administration, or maybe the objectives are excessively out of reach. You need to ensure that the objectives are anything but difficult to reach from the outset, and afterwards move the youngster towards progressively troublesome objectives later on.

At the point when a child is fruitful at self-checking, the person in question will have an increasingly inspirational disposition towards the experience.

Obviously, a significant piece of self-administration is a prizes framework. Have the youngster thought of their own prize, contingent upon intrigue? Support will make these great conduct objectives all the more plainly set apart in the youngster’s psyche, and by picking and compensating oneself, the child will feel totally in charge of the self-administration framework.

Pick basic compensations to begin, for example, smiley faces for each objective met and pitiful appearances for each objective not met, and work up to a bigger objective, for example, a unique movement or new toy when a specific measure of smiley faces has been achieved.

These sorts of projects don’t grow for the time being, so it is significant that you and the youngster have sufficient opportunity to dedicate to a self-administration experience.

By fortifying great conduct with remunerations, as controlled by the child rather than by a grown-up, the person in question will be bound to convey this on in any event, when not partaking in the program. On the off chance that your mentally unbalanced youngster is full-grown enough, this could be a decent treatment program to attempt.

Coping with Autistic Teenagers

For most parents, one of the most trying times in their lives is during their child’s teenage years. When puberty hits, young adults go through serious changes in their bodies and minds, and parents have little or no control over many situations. In an autistic child, puberty is no different.

Although your autistic child is not experiencing puberty in quite the same ways as others his or her age, major hormonal changes still occur in the body. This can lead to extreme results, and this can be either good or bad depending on how your child reacts to the new hormone levels.


One of the scariest side effects of changes in an autistic person’s body is the onset of seizures. Many autistic individuals experience seizures from birth to adulthood, but even if your child does not suffer from these episodes, he or she may begin to experience seizures during puberty and afterwards, due to the new levels of hormones in the body.

Strange as it may sound, violent shaking seizures are not necessarily a bad thing. Almost a quarter of autistic children experience seizures, but many go undetected because they are not textbook versions of seizures.

If you recognize that your child is experiencing a seizure, you can do something about it, and doctors will be able to better treat your child. However, if the seizures are subconsciously happening, you and your child may not realize it.

The result of these small hidden seizures can be a loss in function, which can be devastating, especially if your child was improving before puberty. Regular check-ups during puberty, therefore, are extremely important.


The changes might not necessarily be a bad thing. New hormone levels in the body and the other changes associated with puberty might help your autistic child grow and succeed in areas in which he or she normally had no skill or interest. Many parents report that their child’s behaviour improved and that learning in social settings was easier.


The important thing about puberty is to learn to monitor the changes in your child very carefully and to ask your doctor lots of questions. Remember that puberty is a difficult experience for any young adult, and so it will be even more difficult for someone with autism.

Try to practice patience and understanding with your teen, and be careful to regulate his or her autism so that the transition from child to adult will go more smoothly.

Dealing with Autistic Adult Family


When a family member is diagnosed with autism, there is a vast amount of information teaching parents how to cope with an autistic child, and there is also information for parents about dealing with an autistic child’s different behaviours.

However, there are fewer learning tools for those who have an autistic sibling, even though this is a very stressful situation for brothers and sisters of an autistic child. The following tips can help children cope with an autistic sibling.


Sometimes parents are so involved in preparing themselves and their autistic child for the transition ahead that they forget that their other children must also deal with the new situation.

Often, siblings of an autistic child may feel the new situation acutely. They may feel neglected by parents or jealous of the autistic child who is now receiving more attention.

Also, they may find their peers constantly teasing them about having an autistic sibling, which can lead to more stress. This may lead to behavioural issues, with the sibling acting out and becoming a “problem child” to receive attention.

In some cases, the sibling may even try to hurt the autistic brother or sister in an attempt to remove him from the family environment.


However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, having an autistic sibling forces one to “grow up” and become responsible. There can be a strong emotional attachment to the autistic sibling and a keen desire to keep him or her safe in all situations.

Furthermore, living with an autistic sibling can teach one to be more open about another person’s differences. In this way, having an autistic sibling is a life-enriching experience that pushes individuals to be emotionally and mentally stronger and to be more tolerant towards others in life.


One tip for siblings to cope with their autistic brother or sister is to find a support group. There should be resources available at the local chapter of the Autism Society of America.

This is especially important in helping siblings feel that they are not alone and isolated in this unfolding situation-others are dealing with the same sorts of problems.

Also, try to increase family interaction. Schedule a regular family day or family night each week, where all children can spend time with parents or other family members and share their day or week experiences and any problems.

The best thing to remember is to be open about how you are feeling. If children feel that their parents are neglecting some aspect of their life, simply asking them for a moment of their time is often the best solution.

It is important for parents to be understanding of their children’s needs for attention, whether they are autistic or not. Communication is the key to helping the entire family run smoothly.

Autism Stereotypes.


As with anyone with a physical or mental disorder, autistic people deal with a wide range of reactions from others, from full support to uncaring ignorance.

Unfortunately, even those who support autistic family members, co-workers, and friends may not understand autism very well. This leads to stereotypes, which can result in hatred, embarrassment, or other unhappy situations.

By becoming educated about autism, you can help others in your community cope with this disorder.

It is most important to note that not all autistic people are the same. Other diseases and disorders have their own sets of rules, but autism is such a complex medical condition, that everyone reacts differently to it.

Autistic people are usually rated on a functional scale, with high-functioning people being able to hold jobs and low-functioning people needing 24-hour-a-day care.

Symptoms include behavioural challenges, uncontrollable movements, speech and communication difficulties, and emotional inadequacies.

Some show all symptoms, while others show few, and still, others may have most under control to the point where you cannot tell they have autism at all.


Because every person is different, no one thing can be said about autism and be true overall.

However, most autistic people have trouble communicating emotions. This does not mean that an autistic person does not feel. He or she simply cannot express this feeling.

It also does not mean strong relationship bonds are not possible. On the contrary, many autistic people are happily married and in love. Forming relationships is more difficult for most but can be accomplished over time.


Many people believe that being autistic coincides with being a genius in some aspect. While it is true that some autistic individuals have extraordinary math, music, and art skills, this number is nowhere near the majority-in fact, relatively few autistic people function outside of the normal range in any skill.

This stereotype is perpetuated in the movies and on television because the story of a talented person fighting disadvantages (such as autism) makes a good plot.

However, this is not the norm, so nothing more than the best they can personally do should be expected from an autistic person. However, it is important to note that autism is not a form of mental retardation. Some autistic people are mentally retarded as well, but most are not and should not be treated as such.

In the end, the most important lesson to take away from your studies on autism is one of tolerance.

You will probably need to be patient when dealing with autistic people, but by understanding a little more about the disorder, perhaps this will be easier.

Learn what you can and spread the knowledge to those you know to help create a more tolerant setting for autistic individuals in your community.

Laws and Autism

If you or your child has autism, some of the most basic things you can study and learn are your rights. Every American citizen is protected under the constitution, and there are special laws that have been passed to help protect people with autism and other disabilities.

By knowing the laws that protect you or your autistic loved ones, you can live in a world that provides better opportunities to everyone, regardless of not only disability, but also race, gender, and ethnicity. This is simply the first step to creating a more tolerant world in general.

The first law with which you should become acquainted is I.D.E.A. or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The I.D.E.A. covers children ages 3 to 21 and provides autistic children with the special educational programs they need.

The I.D.E.A. gives parents the right to be involved with education decisions concerning their child made by the school. Your child first needs to be assessed to qualify under the I.D.E.A., and this is best done by a private professional.

In the end, your child has the right by law to receive a free public education that is appropriate for his or her skill level. If your public school has no such program, they are required to find one or create one at no cost to you.


Also, become familiar with and knowledgeable about the American Disabilities Act. Under this act, discrimination due to disability is prohibited in the workforce, as well as with state and local government, public accommodations, the United States Congress, public transportation, and telecommunications.

For example, if you are autistic, but have the skills to do a certain job, you cannot be refused the job because of your autism.


Other laws provide rights for people with autism so that they are constitutionally equal to others. One such law says that people with autism have the right to vote, and accommodations must be made so that this is possible. Another says that autistic individuals cannot be refused housing based on disability. Others provide equal rights in all other aspects of life, and these should especially be studied if your loved one with autism is in a health care institution.

By knowing the law and how it applies to yourself or others with autism, you can be sure that justice is upheld. If you have questions, local law officials should be ready and willing to answer you or provide you with material to answer your own questions.

Remember that ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for anyone, so be an advocate for yourself or others with autism to prevent mistreatment.

Medication Options for Autistic Patients.

As with any illness, disease, or disorder, there are a number of medicine options available to help control these symptoms.

It is important to remember that none of these medications will “cure” autism; they simply help control some of the effects of the disorder. There are advantages and disadvantages to each drug, as they all have side effects as well as benefits.

When choosing medicines to effectively treat autism, your doctor can make recommendations, but since autism is a disorder which varies from person to person, you should use drugs very carefully, watching to see how the body reacts to the treatments.

First, consider the safety of the drug.

Some cannot be used in children or in people under a certain weight. Make sure the dosage is easy to understand and before you choose one medicine or another find out how it is administered (pills, injections, liquid, etc).

This is important if you are not comfortable with certain methods, such as injecting yourself or your child. Also, find out how safe the drug is to individuals who do not suffer from autism.

If you have small children in the house, you’ll want to be sure that the drug is not lethal if it gets into the wrong hands. Find out what to do in case this happens, just to be on the safe side.


Also, consider the side effects of the drugs you are considering.

While they may be very good at controlling aggression, responsiveness, hyperactivity, or other autistic tendencies, they may also cause sedation or other side effects such as nausea or dizziness.

Weigh your options carefully before beginning one of these treatments, or you could find yourself with ten bottles of pills, each taken to counteract the side effects of another.

Also, remember that medications may have long-term effects. Will you or your child become dependent on the drug? Will you be tolerant? How else will it affect the body over time? These are all important questions to ask your doctor before beginning any medication.


You can research many studies on these drugs at your local library or on the Internet.

Publications such as journals and healthcare magazines are probably most current and most reliable, whereas you may get some altered information on the World Wide Web, so be careful about following the advice you find without first consulting your doctor.

He or she may also be able to provide you with literature about the medication options available for autistic patients. Do your researching on the many choices before making any decisions, and you’ll be able to better control your health.

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