(Many thanks to Ann Marie for suggesting an activity I would never have thought of for myself)
I am afraid of heights, and especially of edges (acrophobia rather than vertigo), so the idea of voluntarily climbing up a tree and walking the tight-rope before launching my body into the air is terrifying. I have some issues with proprioception and balance that add to the fear. However, thanks to the clear instructions, the quality of the courses and the encouragement of the group (especially Ann Marie), this was an exciting and confidence-boosting day out. It was terrifying and it was tiring, but I went home with an exercise-high that lasted for several days. It also gave me a great sense of achievement and confidence – so much that I intend going back to attempt the higher two levels.
This network map of prescribed medication began with a couple of informal surveys on an autism web forum, where it was rapidly obvious that prescribed medication exceeded any guidelines for the treatment of autism. Remember that medication is not recommended for the core symptoms of autism, because there are no medications that improve core function. There are many medications that assist with symptoms associated with autism – anxiety, depressions, obsession and challenging behaviour.
Below is a graph of psychotropic medication taken from the latest edition of the British National Formulary (68th edition, 2014). Individual medication names as generic name (Brand name) appear down the centre column. To the left are the psychotropic family groups and to the right are the main symptom family groups. E.g. atypical antipsychotic -> aripripazole (Abilify) -> schizophrenia, linked in black. The coloured lines indicate that this treatment path is recommended for challenging behaviour in autism by the US National Institutes for Mental Health (blue), Cochrane Collaboration and Griffith’s pharmacy guide (green).
This image is a discussion topic, not a scientific finding, and feedback is welcome.
In The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion, 2012) we are introduced to Don Tillman, a socially inept professor of genetics who appears to have all the pre-requisite impairments for a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. However, he is not diagnosed during the course of the book, nor following marriage in the follow-up The Rosie Effect (Graeme Simsion, 2014). The possibility of mental illness is mentioned, although “no definitive diagnosis other than depression was ever recorded” (The Rosie Effect). Somewhere, twenty years in Don Tillman’s past, is a largely irrelevant medical file in which the tentative diagnoses of “‘depression, bipolar disorder? OCD?’ and ‘schizophrenia?’” have been suggested, but the best efforts of 1990s psychiatry failed to fit Don Tillman into any simplistic category (The Rosie Project).
Aspect is the A.S. support service of the Cork Association for Autism. Aspect offers a wide range of support services to adults with autism spectrum diagnoses living in the community in the Munster area.
Summary:There has been insufficient research to suggest any diet specific to ASD, but plenty to know that everyone requires a balanced diet and sufficient exercise. Some off-the-shelf supplements may help. One excellent guide is the (unfortunately titled) book “Nutrition for Dummies” by Carol Ann Rinzler and you will find similar books at shelf-mark 613.2 in any local library.
In an informal straw poll of the prescription drugs that a group of adults with autism, they reported using Antianxiety medication, Antidepressants (SSRI – venlafaxine / Effexor; SNRI – duloxetine / Cymbalta; tricyclic – amitriptyline), Stimulants (Dextroamphetamine; Ritalin, Concerta / Methylphenidate), Antipsychotics (chlorpromazine / Clonactil) and Mood stabilisers.
They also reported using Beta-blockers (propranolol), Atypical antipsychotics (quetiapine / Seroquel; Abilify / Aripiprazole), pregabalin / Lyrica, progesterone.
Of those who did use prescription drugs, the use was:
Antidepressant drug 25%
Anti-anxiety drug 22%
Antipsychotic drug 2%
A combination of these 27%
Other psycho-active drugs 16%
Other (non-psycho-active) prescription drugs 5%