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Posts Tagged ‘apraxia’

Amazing Video- Nonverbal Autistic Teen Carly “Talks” about Autism

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012



In a recent video that’s sure to change your perception of autism, Carly Fleischmann, a not-so-typical autistic teenager tell us what it’s like inside her head, explaining why other autistic children act the way they do- bizarre behaviors that continue to puzzle autism experts, like head banging, swaying, and refusal to make eye contact with other people.  Only instead of using verbal communication, of which she is incapable, Carly has learned how to communicate using iPad apps for autism.


Branded “autistic” from birth

Born autistic, Carly started showing the first signs of autism as an infant; developmental delays like her inability to start crawling, sitting upright, walking, or talking at the same age as her twin sister Taryn told her parents that something was amiss.  Experts said that she was mentally retarded, and close friends recommended sending Carly to an institution, but her parents refused.

“I could never do it,” admitted her father.  “How can you give up your kid?”

Instead, they introduced Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), a popular therapy for autism, which also helped her with her severe verbal apraxia.  With ABA, autistic children learn small tasks, one at a time, at their own rate of learning, using positive reinforcement.  From the age of four, Carly started receiving 40-60 hours of one-to-one ABA per week.

“I am autistic, but that’s not who I am.  Take time to know me, before you judge me.”

Still, Carly suffered severe autism, and progress was slow; she would rock back-and-forth incessantly for hours, lash out, break furniture, have sudden angry outbursts, and didn’t seem to comprehend anything that was going on around her, or understand what family members would say in front of her.

But looks can be deceiving…

“You know, I can hear you.”

At the age of 11, Carly was working with a therapist, and she was not happy about it.  She was in one of her “off moods,” and didn’t feel like sitting still to learn her vocabulary.  Sitting in front of a touch-screen device, she communicated her first word- “No.”

That one word opened up the floodgates for her; she started typing more words like “hurt” and “help.”

“People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk.”

Over the course of months, and after much coaxing from therapists, Carly learned how to type every time she wanted to say something.  She learned how to say things to her parents that she was never able to express verbally, things like “I love when you read to me, and I love that you believe in me. I love you.”

For the first time, Carly, a teenager with autism, had control over her environment.  For the first time, Carly was able to have conversations with her parents.

“I stopped looking her as a disabled person, and started looking at her as a sassy, mischievous teenaged girl,” says her dad.  “She sees herself as a normal child locked in a body that does things that she has no control over.”

Carly describes her symptoms of autism

In her writing, Carly conveys a deep understanding of the world around her.  Likewise, she struggles to get others to understand what her world is like…

AMAZING VIDEO- NONVERBAL AUTISTIC TEEN CARLY “TALKS” ABOUT AUTISM, B12 PATCHOn chronic pain: “You don’t know what it feels like to be me, when you can’t sit still because your legs feel like they are on fire, or it feels like a hundred ants are crawling up your arms…I want something that will put out the fire.”

On head banging: “Because if I don’t, it feels like my body is going to explode. It’s just like when you shake a can of Coke.  If I could stop it, I would, but it’s not like turning a switch off.  I know what is right and wrong, but it’s like I have a fight with my brain over it.”

On covering her ears, moaning, and rocking: “It’s a way for us to drown out all sensory input that overloads us all at once.  We create output to block out input.”

On refusing eye contact: “People say that we have a hard time processing information.  It’s not really true, our brains are wired differently.  We take in many sounds and conversations at once.  I take over a thousand pictures of a person’s face when I look at them.  That’s why we have a hard time looking at people.”

On autism experts: “How can you explain something you have not lived or if you don’t know what it’s like to have it?  If a horse is sick, you don’t ask a fish what’s wrong with the horse.  You go right to the horse’s mouth.”

Carly becomes a delegate for autistic kids everywhere

Today, Carly communicates with other nonverbal autistic kids on the internet.  She Twitters like any other teen, and she has a large fan base on Facebook and her blog, Carly’s Voice.

Carly has been the subject of many television talk shows and news segments, like Larry King Live, 20/20, and Ellen, to whom she donated over $500.00 to the Make it Right Foundation.

“Everyone has an inner voice waiting to come out.”

She has also interviewed celebrities like autism advocate Holly Robinson Peete and Joe Mantegna, who has a daughter with autism.  She is also working on her first novel.

Here is her story on YouTube

Why post this story on a vitamin B12 blog?

If it seems strange that a site containing information on vitamin B12 deficiency would also focus in autism, then know this:

  • Vitamin B12 is brain food. In a study focusing on 50 autistic children who were given vitamin B12 supplements, nine of the children experienced favorable results related to cognitive skills like language and socialization, in addition to changes in biomarkers for oxidative stress.
  • Vitamin B12 is good for the nerves. By supporting the myelin sheathe that insulates your nerve cells, vitamin B12 protects you from severe nerve damage like apraxia and paresthesia
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency correlates with autism. Many children with autism also have vitamin B12 deficiency.  By supplementing with extra B12, parents of autistic children note dramatic neurological health benefits.

Read more about autism:

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Autism Facts and Misconceptions- 9 Common Myths about Autism

Autism Videos for Kids, Teens and Parents: You Tube’s Top 10

8 Great Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids, GPS+

6 Great Diets for Autistic Children

Special Needs for Special Pets: Animal Therapy Success Stories


Autistic Girl Expresses Unimaginable Intelligence

Unlocking Carly: Using one finger, autistic teen uses iPad, laptop to communicate

Carly Fleischmann — Overcoming Autism

4 Promising Autism Treatments, From Vitamin B12 to Alzheimer’s Drug Namenda

Images, from top:

Pink Sherbet Photography, Horia Varlan

Enter to win a free iPad 2!

“Contest & Sweepstakes”

Born with it: Clumsiness and Two Left Feet from Dyspraxia

Monday, January 23rd, 2012



Were you called “clumsy child” a lot growing up?  It’s probably not your fault.  Dyspraxia (or apraxia) is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult for people to make their bodies behave.  Clumsiness, frequent stumbling, having a hard time focusing or remembering instructions- these are all symptoms that people with dyspraxia have to cope with all their lives.


What is Dyspraxia?

BORN WITH IT: CLUMSINESS AND TWO LEFT FEET FROM DYSPRAXIA, B12 PATCH“Clumsy child syndrome” or dyspraxia is a mild form of apraxia, a neurological disorder that makes it difficult for people to plan and execute physical actions like jumping, carrying items, or standing in line without stumbling or dropping.

Dyspraxia is also called motor learning disability and development co-ordination disorder (DCD).  People with dyspraxia might have difficulty walking without stumbling, catching a ball, or learning new skills, but that does not mean they are less smart than others are; they are able to learn the same things as other people, only at a slower rate.

What causes dyspraxia?

There are two main kinds of dyspraxia- dyspraxia that occurred because of a stroke or other illness, and developmental dyspraxia, which is inherited from birth.  Scientists don’t know what causes developmental dyspraxia, and there is no cure.

Approximately 10% of all people have some basic level of dyspraxia, although only 2% have severe dyspraxia.  About 75% of all dyspraxia sufferers are male.

What are the symptoms of dyspraxia?

Children and adults with developmental dyspraxia may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Disorganized
  • Slow reflexes
  • Difficulty dressing himself and tying his shoes
  • Tripping while going up and down stairs
  • Frequently bumping into furniture
  • Dropping things
  • Inability to compete in sport-like activities, like jumping, playing hopscotch, and catching, throwing or kicking a ball
  • Difficulty processing thoughts
  • Poor concentration
  • Overly affected by stimuli like scents, noise, and tactile sensations
  • Inability to filter out stimuli
  • Difficulty in learning new skills- low learning curve
  • Finds being in a classroom overwhelming, but is able to learn with a personal tutor
  • Difficulty learning math skills
  • Difficulty following instructions and remembering them later

Famous successful people with dyspraxia

Developmental dyspraxia is not a form of brain damage, and it does not reflect one’s intelligence.  In fact, many of the world’s greatest thinkers have suffered from dyspraxia.  Below are some famous people who have learning disorders like dyspraxia , and some who are rumored to be among the many sufferers of this disorder.

  2. David Bailey (An English photographer whose subjects included The Beatles and The Rolling Stones)
  3. Richard Branson (the billionaire who owns the Virgin Group
  4. Bill Gates
  5. Robin Williams
  6. Einstein (although many rumor that he had Asperger’s disorder)
  7. Marilyn Monroe
  8. Stephen Fry
  9. Isaac Newton
  10. Emily Bronte
  11. Picasso
  12. Mozart
  13. Ernest Hemingway
  14. George Orwell


How does this relate to vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency and apraxia symptoms both include similar neurological disorders; gait disorders like difficulty walking, jumping, and running, decreased hand-motor coordination, and frequent clumsiness are some common indicators of vitamin B12 deficiency and dyspraxia/apraxia.  But unlike the latter, vitamin B12 deficiency has a cure; routine vitamin B12 supplements quickly cure any neurological impairment caused by low B12 levels.

Question:  What do you think of the statistic that boys are 75% more likely to suffer from apraxia than girls are? Do you think that’s a true statement, or is it more likely that girls are better able to disguise their disability and adapt to social norms, and that deficiencies in physical performance are more noticeable in boys than in girls?

Do you know anybody who would be interested in receiving this information?  Please share!

Read more about neurological disorders:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Myokymia is not a Hawaiian Island- Eyelid Twitching and Eye Spasms



Apraxia Information Page


What is dyspraxia?

What Is Dyspraxia? How Is Dyspraxia Treated?

Images, from top:

ellasportfolio, Jim Summaria, Tomas Fano, SantaRosa OLD SKOOL

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Education experts are raving over the Apple iPad, but not for its ability to help kids with their homework or influence secondary language fluency; in the spotlight today is the way Apple’s new iPad touchscreen device is revolutionizing the way we teach children with autism.

Even small children like 3-year-old Hudson Holmquist, diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, are learning to utilize the iPad as a means of communicating with the outside world. Gone are the hourly meltdowns which resulted from Hudson’s frustration at not being able to ask for something or say, “I feel sad.”

Says mom Laura, “The iPad has given us our family back.”

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Approximately 1/110 children born in the US are autistic, according the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Below are 5 basic skills which autistic children learn by playing games and puzzles on their iPad:

  1. Social skills
  2. Fine motor skills
  3. Language and communication skills
  4. Sensory skills
  5. Stress reduction

Mark Coppin, the Assistive Technology Director at the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, North Dakota  says that the iPad is used in their special education programs for autistic children; the hands-on design of the iPad interface is much simpler for autistic children to use than a keyboard and monitor.

Thinking of purchasing an iPad? You can save money by ordering here:Apple iPad 2

Here are 10 popular iTunes apps which are marketed towards parents and educators of children with autism:

  1. Proloquo2Go Highly recommended for kids and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental disabilities, apraxia, ALS, stroke or traumatic brain injury, this app-turned-AAC device utilizes colorful stick-figure illustrations and features an up-to-date vocabulary, text-to-speech voices and automatic conjugations.
  2. Grace This innovative app allows special-needs children to communicate through complete sentences by linking together colorful images and symbols in this fully customizable application.
  3. iCommunicateCreate pictures, flashcards, storyboards, routines, visual schedules and record custom audio in any language with this versatile program; incorporates pictures from your camera or Google images. Helps to teach social skills for children with autism.
  4. First Then Visual ScheduleEase transitioning for children with developmental delays such as Autism Spectrum Disorders by introducing this easy-to-customize scheduler into your special-needs curriculum.
  5. iConverse An inexpensive program designed for iPhone and iPod touch, this app functions as a picture exchange communication system (PECS) for autistic children and autistic adults alike, as well as others with communicative disabilities.
  6. AutismExpress This free app displays basic facial expressions in a way which is comical and instructional; excellent for children who have difficulty understanding emotions.
  7. stories2learn Illustrate your own social stories for children with autism,  using pictures, text and audio with this customizable program geared towards enriching the curricula of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  8. MyTalk MobileThe MyTalk Mobile is an AAC device for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; it also boasts the “My Talk Workspace,” which saves all info on a backup file in case of device crashing.
  9. TapToTalkMake your own AAC albums with this app, currently including a library of 2,000 pics. Children can tap on each image to hear fun audio.
  10. iComm Children who have cerebral palsy or autism will appreciate this fundamental communication system; iComm is an affordable alternative to many of the pricier communication devices.


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