Category Archives: autism

Debunking the Myths of Asperger’s and Autism

February 18 is Asperger’s Day and to observe this, we’ve decided to explore some of the common myths about Asperger’s Syndrome and autism.  Because Asperger’s, as well as all the spectrum disorders, are not easily understood, many people prescribe to several myths common to people with Asperger’s.

Autism Myths

Here are several that we found in no particular order:

Myth 1: Children with Asperger’s Syndrome will eventually grow out of it. – Asperger’s is a condition that can improve with treatment, but is something that does not go away.  It is a lifelong condition.

Myth 2: Asperger’s is a just a condition made up by parents to excuse bad behavior. – Wow!  I wonder about the people that truly believe this.  But, no.  Asperger’s syndrome is not made up, but a real, diagnosed condition.

Myth 3: ADHD and autism are the same thing. – Are color blindness and actual blindness the same thing?  Certainly not!  This may be a bad comparison, but it’s good enough to point out that these disorders are two very separate conditions.  Although, it is possible to have been diagnosed with both conditions, they are not dependent on one another.

Myth 4: People with Asperger’s just need to be taught social skills in order to be “normal”. – Normal – that’s a funny term.  Who among us is truly “normal” anyway?!  That aside, there is a whole lot more going on than just social skills.  For one, many people with Asperger’s experience a form of Sensory Processing Disorder – a neurological disorder in which individuals have a difficult time processing the senses.  When individuals with this disorder sense certain things, the brain has a difficult time analyzing them, which can cause confusion or distress.  Find out more about SmartKnitKid’s seamless sensitivity socks and underwear which help kids with SPD.

Myth 5: Autism is a mental health disorder. – Actually, autism and Asperger’s are neuro-developmental conditions.

Myth 6: People with Asperger’s are sociopaths, psychopaths and are prone to violence.  – This is a tough one that invokes a lot of emotion and debate, mainly because it has been heavily reported in the news of late.  In the last few years, we’ve had to come to grips with mass shootings perpetrated by people who are suspected to have Asperger’s – the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, Tucson, Arizona shooting, etc.  But, to say all people with Asperger’s are sociopaths, etc., is unfair.  Because our attention has been focused on these news-worthy events, many have erroneously drawn this conclusion.  The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services released this statement after the Newtown shooting to say that those with Asperger’s are no more likely to perpetrate crimes like these than the general public.

Myth 7: Autism is caused by vaccines. – The debates in the news about Asperger’s and sociopaths can only be rivaled by the debates about vaccines.  Although this one has been thoroughly debunked, the debate still rages on.  According to the reputable organization Autism Speaks, two decades of research have revealed that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

Myth 8: Autism is a new condition. – Although, autism was not actually diagnosed in the modern sense until 1943, there have been several detailed historical documentations of children whose symptoms resemble autism and Asperger’s.  The earliest probable cases appeared in the 1700s, but some writings as early as the 1500s may have been describing what we now know is autism spectrum disorder.

Myth 9: People on the spectrum are incapable of working. – Many people on the spectrum are able to obtain and keep jobs.  Also, there are organizations that help to train them and help them to find jobs.

Myth 10: People with autism will never achieve anything. – This is most certainly untrue.  Autistic people can achieve a multitude of things – just like the rest of us.  The website Autism Mythbusters has developed a list of amazing people that may have been on the spectrum.  These include: Albert Einstein, Amadeus Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, Michelangelo, Hans Christian Andersen, Andy Warholl and Emily Dickinson.  Of course, this is speculative, but that is some amazing company!

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AOTA 94th Annual Conference & Expo!

Bugsley is alive and well at the SmartKnitKIDS booth in Maryland this week!!

Lucky Wishlist Giveaway Official Rules

And the winner is . . . Tracie Dugdell! Congratulations for winning your own mini-bundle of SmartKnitKIDS seamless sensitivity socks!

SockGroup

Remember, to claim your prize you must email us at info@smartknitkids.com within 72 hours.

How Do I Enter? Pin your favorite item from our Sensory Solutions Pinterest board to any one of your own Pinterest boards to enter.

What Do I Do Once the Contest Is Over? The winner’s Pinterest ID will be posted here on this exact blog post on Friday, March 21st, 2014, so be sure to check back! Once the winner is announced, he/she will have 72 hours to email us at info@smartknitkids.com to claim his/her prize!

For more information, carefully read the Official Rules below:

You may not enter if you are not eighteen (18) years of age or older as of 3/17/2014.  Open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHEREVER PROHIBITED.

1. TO ENTER: Entrants must have a valid Pinterest account at the time of entry, must pin an item from the Sensory Solutions Pinterest board to one of his/her Pinterest boards to be considered. Entries become property of Sponsor and none will be returned or acknowledged except as provided herein.

2. WINNER SELECTIONS: One (1) winner will be selected in a random drawing from pool of valid email opt-ins we receive.  One (1) will be chosen on Friday 3/21/14. Odds of winning depend on the total number of acceptable pins in accordance with these Official Rules.

3. PRIZES: One (1) prize will be awarded on Friday, 3/21/2014.  The winner will receive the item pinned to the appropriate Pinterest board. Prizes for this contest will be available for US & Canadian shipping addresses only. Prizes are non-transferable and no substitutions will be made.

The winner must email info@smartknitkids.com to claim his/her prize within 72 hours to receive prize. Winners’ entries and acceptance of prizes constitutes permission for the Sponsor to use their name, photograph, likeness, statements, voice, and address (city and state) on a worldwide basis, and in all forms of media, in perpetuity, without notice or further compensation.

4. ELIGIBILITY: Giveaway open only to those who are 18 years of age or older as of 3/17/2014. Employees of Sponsor, advertising, promotion, and judging agencies and members of the immediate families or households of any of the above are NOT eligible to participate. For purposes of these rules, “immediate families” means spouse, parents or legal guardians, siblings, children, step-parents, step-siblings, step-children, and the spouses of each of the foregoing.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, WordPress or Pinterest. We hereby release Facebook, WordPress and Pinterest of any liability. Winner(s) will be announced on this blog on Friday, 3/21/2014. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email at info@smartknitkids.com.

5 Ways to Build Language & Vocabulary Skills for Children of the Autism Spectrum

How well a child communicates, listens and understands others is greatly affected by the level of encouragement he/she receives when it comes to language development, especially during the early years (1-5 years old.) One of the most difficult struggles during early development that children with Autism spectrum disorders deal with is the ability to communicate effectively.

That is why it is ever so important to always be looking for ways to encourage and promote language and vocabulary skills. Fortunately, the following list should help you get off to a great start!

1. Dress Up or Role Play
Children with Autism sensory disorders can range from only slight difficulty to severe difficulty with developing his/her imagination. Playing dress up not only encourages imagination but also promotes vocabulary development. Playing pretend is a wonderful way to foster creative thinking while you introduce new words. One idea is to take turns dressing up as people from different types of careers and letting your child be the “boss.” If he/she struggles with the concept at first, try being the guide first

Fireman Toddler

2. Sensory Activities
It can be difficult to know which senses your child struggles with the most when they are young (1 to 3 years old.) Every child benefits from engaging in sensory play, though you will want to take note of which ones to focus on primarily as your child grows older.

Check out our list of sensory activities that appeal to all senses to get you started!

3. Legos or Blocks

Regardless of which option your child prefers, both can help to develop cognitive and abstract skills like joint-attention and language skills respectively. As a guide, be sure to take your child’s lead and be mindful so as not to be overbearing on their creativity and concentration.

 4. Read Books Together

Reading plays an integral part in a child’s early development, let alone children who struggle with sensory difficulties. Fortunately there is a huge selection of books designed specifically for children along the Autistic spectrum. These books have a special focus on developing language skills, imagination and even emotion recognition. Consider scheduling a specific time during every day to read together, for example, right before bed.

(Some great books to consider include: My Friend Has Autism, When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live with Anxiety, and The Feelings Book)

5.      Be Mindful of Your Speech

All children learn language best by listening to their parents or guardians. Especially if your child has any speech learning difficulties, make sure to try your best to be mindful of your pronunciation. You will want to make sure you speak clearly and more slowly as this will help him/her have a better chance of developing a wider vocabulary.


What types of games or activities have you tried that have worked to promote better communication skills?

What words of advice or encouragement can you give to parents who might be at a roadblock as they seek ways to encourage language and vocabulary learning in their little ones?

*This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.


By Jenna Baker. Jenna on Google+

Tips for a Seamless New Year: 4 Ways to Help Your Child Get A Good Night’s Sleep

4 Ways to Help Your Child (And You) Get a Good Night's Sleep

1)       Make sure the bedroom environment encourages sleep.

Remove TVs, radios and anything with an LED light. Research suggests that prolonged exposure to LED lights can affect serotonin levels (a hormone that regulates your body’s internal clock) and make it difficult to for you to fall asleep. Additionally, during the day if your child is able to listen to music or watch TV in his/her bedroom it makes it easier to associate the bedroom with lively or loud activity making it more difficult to get him/her to sleep.

Consider having a separate room for loud or lively engagement. Check out these neat activity room ideas to get you started!

2)       Establish a bedtime routine.

By implementing a consistent routine every evening, your child quickly understands the activities which mean “it’s time for bed” and they’ll be more prepared to wind down. Some activities might include 1) reading a bed time story, 2) dimming the lights 3) brushing teeth and 4) having an evening snack that’s high in tryptophan (increases sleepiness) like turkey, peanut butter, banana slices or cheese and crackers.

3)       Consider using a white noise machine.

For children with a higher auditory sensitivity, it can be difficult getting to sleep with all of the noises they might hear at night – i.e., house creaking or a dog barking outside. There are several white noise machines on the market that offer a variety of different sounds to choose from. Some white machines even have a customizable sound feature which allow you to create your own. (Where to start: Which white noise machine should I get?)

4)       Consider sleepwear.

Perfect for any time of day, our SmartKnitKIDS seamless sensitivity products provide pressure in all the right places, helping your child feel safe and comfortable. Our super soft socks, undies, under-tees and bralettes for sensitive skin don’t wrinkle or bunch and are proven to reduce irritation. Our products have no padding, lining or underwires and our moisture-wicking technology guarantees to keep your child odorless and dry.

For more information or to browse SmartKnitKIDS seamless sensitivity products, visit http://smartknitkids.com!


By Jenna Baker. Jenna on Google+

Thanks for a Great Giveaway

We just wanted to thank everyone for participating in our giveaways last month!  We had a blast tweet, blogging and facebooking about them.  We hope you did too!  There will be more giveaways to come, so keep your eyes peel and get ready to win!  To all our winners from April, congrats!

World Autism Day

It’s World Autism Day! We know lots of exciting events helping promote Autism Awareness and Autism Research are happening today. If you know of any, please leave a comment! We’d love to hear and help promote these great events! We’ll also re-post your comment on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

KC Walk Now For Autism

What a great event! We had a booth at the KC Autism walk this past Saturday to help Sock it to Autism! So many people were there for such a great cause. It was wonderful! The weather didn’t exactly cooperate, temperature was in the 30’s. I almost froze my antennae off! Even though it was a bit chilly, there was still a great turn out. We got to share our SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks and pass out all sorts of goodies to kids and parents. We had a super time. I want to thank everyone who stopped by our booth to check out our socks. I hope everyone loves the samples they got! Thanks again to everyone!

Bugsley

I’m Ready to Rock and Roll!

I know it has been awhile since my last post, but I’m back and ready to write. My little bug fingers are itching to type. The last few weeks have been a whirl wind. Summer is winding down and many of my nieces and nephew are leaving the mound for the first time. They are so excited about striking out on their own. It can be a scary world out there and I hope they will be smart and safe. (they need to avoid fly paper, and shoes) Some of my other nieces started school this year and are so excited! They’ll be learning many exciting things like how to steal picnic food and how to be a good bug. It’s all very exciting!

There are also lots of exciting things happened at SmartKnitKIDS. We are starting to work on adult socks that are similar to the kid’s socks. They will be made out of the same material and they won’t have a heal! I’ll keep you posted on its progress, promise! We’re also starting to get ready to the SPD conference and the Kansas City Autism Walk. We’re very busy bugs.

I’ve got to jet, but I’ll be in touch! Can’t wait to share more of the exciting things that are happening at SmartKnitKIDS.

Autism Research

My employer, SmartKnitKIDS, believes in Autism research. As many of you know, sensory issues can be associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our socks have been great in the Autism Community. Since they are seamless, there is nothing to irate the toes. Our form-fitting design means the socks gently “hug” the foot. The closeness and the pressure that the socks provide are often soothing to a child.

This morning I came across an Autism research group call EARLI. They are studying how environmental factors and genetic susceptibility are related by studying families with Autistic child who plan to have another baby. The more information we have the better. Knowledge is power, right? If you’re interested, please take a look at their site. http://www.earlistudy.org/

Bugsley