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Aria Naphthali

Thriving with Autism
2 minute read
“When my son was 5 years old, he knew that fish ate plankton. He also knew that there were three kinds of plankton -- phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacterioplankton,” Professor Rosen said.

This kind of advanced knowledge is abundant among those diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. They are known to have specific fixations with minutiae of a topic, such as model numbers on World War II tanks or makes of toaster ovens. Asperger's Syndrome, named after Dr. Hans Asperger, a pediatrician, is a neurological disease that falls on the Autism Spectrum. Every Autism patient presents his or her symptoms differently. IQ has nothing to do with whether or not one has Asperger Syndrome. Patients diagnosed with Asperger’s are known as Aspies. Many have above average intelligence, even superior intelligence. Aspies are considered to have high functioning Autism.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 1 in 110 children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In addition to their passion for seemingly benign subjects, Aspies are frequently bullied by non-Aspies, otherwise known as “neurotypicals.” Misunderstanding by neurotypicals sometimes manifests as punitive action by administrators and staff at school who may not be familiar with this disease, leaving Aspies further alienated. This can result in an Aspie’s reluctance to interact verbally with others, which fuels future bullying.

Aspies tend to have difficulty with nuances, such as social cues and niceties. They can dominate the conversation without noticing that the listener has stopped listening. Explaining the meaning of these social rituals logically usually aids a high functioning Autistic person in understanding the situation and behavior modification. On the flip side, they tend to be more trustworthy and less prejudiced than the general population.

Low functioning Autistic patients are possibly the most difficult to assist. These individuals often sit alone and perform repetitive activities. This is known as “stemming.” Stemming occurs when the patient is unable to receive adequate stimuli from the surrounding environment. While stemming occurs in high functioning Autistic persons, it usually can be channeled into a more constructive activity by parents and professionals.

In the interest of confidentiality, the Baruch College Counseling Center was unable to release statistics regarding the demographics of those living with Asperger’s. The Center provides an array of services such as personal counseling, psychological and disability testing, and group therapy. These offerings are available to staff, alumni, matriculated and non-matriculated students. Even with therapy, there is often a feeling of frustration, both from afflicted individuals and the families that support them.

To make things more complicated, there are instances when adults do not know they have Asperger’s. This is due in part to the level of difficulty in treating the patient. Researchers and doctors still do not know what exactly causes Asperger’s Syndrome. The medical community suspects that it is genetic although no specific gene has been found.

“It’s difficult because when you have pneumonia, you are given antibiotics. With Asperger Syndrome, doctors have to treat you symptomatically.”

There is a high occurrence of comorbidity with other mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, resulting in the intake of many medications, all of which have serious side effects.

Cost is another factor to consider -- the sheer financial and emotional cost of supporting Aspie children has been known to be destructive to families. Perhaps the saddest part is that certain Aspies know just how difficult their situation is and commit suicide as a result.

Better drug treatments, therapies and more advocacy aid in addressing this issue. For those with speech and other Autism related difficulties, Applied Behavior Analysis is an effective method of treatment. Practitioners of Behavior Analysis focus on the behaviors themselves, versus what might be causing the behaviors. This approach is useful in a situation where doctors don’t understand the underlying cause. It also reinforces positive behaviors more expediently. Temple Grandin, one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, tours internationally to discuss her love for animals and Autism. Dr. Ami Klim, a former researcher for the Yale Child Study Center, continues to work with children to understand Autistic behavior.

With hard work, Aspies can thrive. Professor Rosen’s eldest son has a solid resume volunteering at a nature center and is anticipating a Regents diploma. His son also discusses socio-economic systems and various political theories at length. Professor Rosen’s youngest son will also earn a Regents diploma and his black belt in Karate.

“I know of one young man whom they said was going to pack bags at the grocery store for a living. Now he is at Pace University on a full scholarship. He is a computer genius. The FBI wants him, CIA, everybody.”
Published March 24, 2020
How to Prevent Colds and Flu in the Winter
1 minute read
Lost days at work, lack of sleep and poor general health can make your life (and your pockets) miserable when you get a cold. When your muscles ache, sometimes it’s hard to move at all. While your nose is congested and you can barely get out of bed, the last thing you want to do is face the day. Here are some tips to help you face the bitter cold and get rid of that nasty cough that simply seems to hang on forever.

Increase Your Garlic Intake This one is easy. Add fresh garlic to soups, pasta, salads, and sandwiches. Some take one clove and swallow it whole, following it with food or drink. A much easier way to take garlic and without the worry of garlic breath is a supplement called Kyolic. Garlic and its supplements help to boost the immune system and break up the mucus that is stuck in air passageways.

Employ Elderberry Syrup Elderberry is a dark purple berry from Europe. It grows on a tree and produces small yellow and white flowers that you can use to make tea. You can find Elderberry lozenges and syrup at most health food stores. The best way to take elderberry syrup is before you get sick, ideally before you leave the house, especially if you ride public transit or work with the public a lot.

Succumb to Your Sleepiness One of the best immunity boosts comes from a good old fashioned eight hours of sleep. The body repairs all day, but sleep time is the optimal time of the day the body takes to replenish and rejuvenate cells. This means faster healing, less body pain and a clearer mind.

Hold On to Your Lemon and Honey Lemon is known to cut mucus production the body as honey soothes the body’s airways. Vegans can use maple syrup if desired for a similar effect. You can boil water and squeeze the juice of half a fresh lemon into it, adding honey to taste.

Dodge the Dairy Dairy increases mucus production within the human body and as much as 70% percent of us are lactose intolerant. Being intolerant to foods means that the immune system is activated every time one of these foods are eaten, which leaves the body fewer resources to fight off a cold.

Of course, trying these tips along with common practices like washing your hands and keeping your spaces clean will help you get a leg up on those germs. While these are not cures for the common cold, these measures can successfully prevent a cold or lessen the effects should you catch one.
Published March 24, 2020
How to Deal with Tooth Pain
1 minute read

Tooth pain can be quite uncomfortable, making it difficult to enjoy food, to smile, and even to sleep. Most tooth pain is preventable and easily treated. Once the source of the pain is identified, adjusting your dental routine to soothe dental pain is ideal. Eliff Dental in Batavia, IL can alleviate your dental pain using preventative and other techniques.

Addressing dental discomfort is not a one-size-fits-all process. Some reasons you may be experiencing oral pain include:

Hypersensitivity of the tooth A cavity that has developed Infection of the gums An impacted tooth

However, aches in the teeth and gums are avoidable. With a little consistency and care, pain does not have to be an issue. Some tips to prevent dental pain are:

Brush regularly with a fluoride-containing toothpaste Floss one to two times daily Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that is low in sugar

You may already be experiencing sharp pain and tenderness. If you already experience dental pain, there are some simple things you can do:

Take over the counter medication like Tylenol or Advil Rinse your mouth with warm (not hot) salt water. Put an ice pack near or on the affected area. Try acupressure in conjunction with your normal dental routine.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help in addressing your pain. Some sources of soreness can not be addressed without professional help. You can help your dental team with treating your pain by doing these:

Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups Make an appointment with your dentist when experiencing acute pain that won’t go away within 1-2 days. Make sure that if you have seen the dentist recently you don’t have an infection

With these simple techniques, your dental pain should be an experience of the past. If you are in the Batavia, IL area and are experiencing long-standing dental pain, visit Eliff Dental to discuss your options for treatment. Contact (630) 482-7200 to make an appointment.

Published May 25, 2020