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Young Adolescents With Autism Also Struggle With Mental Health Issues

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Adolescent mental health concerns extend to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

1 in 5 typically developing adolescents between ages 9 and 17 struggle from mental health disorders that cause some degree of impairment. The prevalence is higher for adolescents with ASD.

ASD, more commonly known as autism, is a developmental disability that affects 1 in 59 individuals. It is often associated with difficulties in social and communication skills. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, it affects individuals in varying severities with different symptoms.

Adolescents with ASD may experience mental health conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and depression.

Anxiety affects 42% of individuals with ASD.

It may arise from the separation of the parent or caregiver, or in social settings that require communication with strangers. Another cause of anxiety is a disruption or change in the individual’s daily.

In terms of depression, there is not a causation but a correlation between the condition and the diagnosis of ASD. However, the cause of the correlation remains unclear.

“I don’t think we know the answer to this yet. Sometimes, the social deficits experienced by an adolescent with ASD produce social that can trigger or contribute to depression,” clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology Hannah Hoch said.

Some individuals with ASD, who enter college, are aware of their “excruciating loneliness of exclusion.” These individuals are often bullied and shunned, thus magnifying depressive symptoms.

A study founded depression to be the leading cause of suicidal thoughts among children with ASD. 14% of the children had suicide ideation or attempt evoked by depression.

Source: hepingting

There are challenges to identifying and diagnosing mental health disorders in individuals with ASD. Firstly, there may be overlapping symptoms of ASD and mental health problems. For example, OCD can be confused as stereotypy (demonstrated in individuals with ASD) due to the repetitive nature of specific behaviors.

Secondly, symptoms of mental health conditions are presented differently in every individual. There is uncertainty about whether displays of behaviors are social-emotional challenges associated with ASD or are indications of a mood or psychotic disorder.

Thirdly, individuals with ASD experience difficulty expressing their emotions.

When treating mental health conditions of individuals with ASD, “a multi-disciplinary approach is often needed,” Hoch stated. The process not only include a clinical psychologist but also social workers and psychiatrists.

In some cases, oral medication has been. For example, anti-depressant pills have been used to treat depression.

Today, studies are tracking certain mental health conditions in individuals with ASD. The studies will help reveal connections between autism and mental health conditions, such as ADHD, personality disorders, and substance use disorders. Results will further guide clinicians in distinguishing and treating the disorders.

“Recent research is clearly demonstrating a rise in the prevalence of dual diagnosis of ASD and mental health disorders like anxiety and mood disorders. We are getting better at recognizing and treating these disorders but still have a way to go,” Hoch said.

By: Kahyun Kim

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A Loving Boyfriend Surprises his Girlfriend with a Wedding Proposal at the end of her Chemo Treatment

Sydney Murphy

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At the end of this lady's chemo treatment program, her boyfriend surprises her with a wedding proposal.
Source: Memorial Sloan Kettering | Youtube

Max Allegretti had the chance to prove his love for his girlfriend, Jillian Hanson, during a sensitive and challenging time in their lives.

Though Hanson was going through cancer treatment, Allegretti was her unwavering support system.

The couple met when Hanson signed up for a dodgeball tournament in her senior year of college and ended up playing on Allegretti’s team.

Allegretti and Hanson had known each other for a while before they started dating. It wasn’t until a couple of years after they had met that Allegretti asked Hanson out on a date. 

“I knew he was the one after a month of us dating. I never usually move that fast, but something about him was different,” Hanson said.

When Hanson was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in July 2017, Allegretti held her hand in support and said, “I’m not going to leave your side.”

This was an immense undertaking of Allegretti, which strengthened Hanson’s trust in Allegretti’s love for her and the strength of their relationship. 

“They tell you how sick you get during treatment, but no one can really prepare you for any of this,” Hanson said. 

When Hanson learned that her cancer had spread and that treatment was going to get more intense, Allegretti remained by her side. They went through radiation treatments, lymph node removal surgeries, and hair loss after chemotherapy. 

“I had 16 rounds of chemotherapy for five months, plastic surgery, 25 rounds of radiation for five weeks, and now I am finishing infusion treatments that I do every three weeks,” Hanson said

Allegretti never failed in giving his all to Hanson’s comfort by finding ways to distract her or brighten up her day. He planned little events like going to the movies or spending a night out for dinner.

Throughout Hanson’s treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital Monmouth, Allegretti was there supporting her and empowering her through it all. 

“He told me that I was the strongest woman he knew and that this whole experience has made him love me more,” Hanson said.

Allegretti was sure he was going to propose to Hanson and was excited about what their future together would hold.

He discussed his plan for the wedding proposal with Hanson’s family and friends to create the best experience he could for Hanson.

“We all decided it would bring a lot more joy even to the special day it was going to be already,” Allegretti said.

Hanson was thrillingly surprised when Allegretti proposed to her at the hospital. Though just the thought of having a wedding was exciting enough, the luxury wedding planner Lauren Grech offered the couple a free designer wedding as recognition for Hanson’s strength and Allegretti’s loyalty. 

This couple’s undying love is true inspiration to savor each relationship’s good health and the loyalty involved. 


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The Science Behind Chronic Tardiness and Procrastination

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Whether it be an annoying co-worker/ person or an assignment you just do not want to do, procrastination is a big factor on why we are late.
Source: MIKI Yoshihito | flickr

Are you always late to things? Whether it be to hang out with friends, working on an important assignment, showing up to class, or just going to work in general, more and more people are putting off important things. 

Is it because we feel like they are not important? Or maybe we do it unintentionally? There are many reasons for our chronic lateness, here a few you probably didn’t realize could be causing yours.

We Believe We Have All the Time in the World 

Contrary to popular belief, time doesn’t slow down when we are running behind schedule.  When we make plans or wake up late, we underestimate how much time it actually takes us to get ready. We believe that time will slow down and allow us to get ready and go to our destination on time. 

As Christina Morgana, a junior at Hofstra University says,

“I feel like I am usually late to something because I didn’t allow myself enough time beforehand or I don’t anticipate the amount of traffic I am going to hit.”

While Christina may be a college student, the reasons behind her lateness are nearly universal. Once we get into a specific routine, we get so used to how long the routine takes that we forget how long it  actually may take. And in a world that is constantly moving, a routine is nice to have even if it may make us late. 

You Dread Dealing with a Specific Issue or Person 

Another reason for your chronic procrastination can be because you dread dealing with a certain person or issue. Whether it be an annoying co-worker/ person or an assignment you just do not want to do, procrastination is a big factor on why we are late. 

Putting these things are not going to make them go away or make them any less annoying. You might not even notice that your dread is making you late. Or even that you are dreading anything at all.

Being late gives you more time to prepare to deal with the inevitable. Ultimately this strategy doesn’t usually work out all that well and you are left being late.

You Prioritize Other Things Than Being On Time 

Usually people are late in the mornings because they want to get as much sleep as possible. For good reason, as getting enough sleep is key to being a healthy adult. So you put off getting ready and going to work because you want to get the most amount of sleep possible. 

Madison Spence-Moore, another junior at Hofstra University said,

“I feel like the reason [I am late] is because I really like to sleep in the morning, so I try to stay in bed as long as physically possible. And then I leave out of my room very last minute. But in terms of things happening in the afternoon, it’s usually my phone or not planning ahead. I get very distracted by my phone unfortunately.”

So while sleep may be a top priority in the morning, tardiness for afternoon events are usually caused by distractions. In the age of smartphones, it is easy to see why they would provide distractions that prevent you from being on time.

Prioritizing other things over getting ready and making the effort to be on time is a primary reason behind chronic tardiness

There Are Outside Factors that You Cannot Control

 Sometimes it might not even be your fault that you are always late.  Your car can stall as you are trying to get to work. Your usual route can be distrubed by an accident or another commotion of that sort.

The weather can slow you down as well. You can also have a medical condition that makes you late. Eduardo Guzman, another junior at Hofstra University, has a medical condition called IBS, or Irritated Bowel Syndrome. 

He cannot control this condition but it does make him late to things occasionally.

“I have IBS so whenever that acts up it’s kind of crappy and I don’t feel that well. If I am having a pretty rough day, I need to be careful of what I eat because my sensitive, irritable bowel will take it a certain way. So sometimes it acts up when I don’t want it to act up,” Guzman said.

Guzman may be chronically late to things unintentionally because of his medical condition. There is not much he can do to control this particular reason behind his tardiness, so instead he focuses on what he can control. His disorganization, which is another big reason behind his procrastination.

Being late or procrastinating is something that everyone does, not just young people. Sometimes there are  psychological reasons behind your tardiness, other times outside factors make us late, and other times it is only our fault and our fault alone.

Whatever the reason is, just know that you are probably not the only person running late.

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A Possible Drug Treatment for Coronavirus in the Works

Erin Albus

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As part of doctors' plan for medical treatment for curable diseases around the world, they are researching drug treatments for the current disease, coronavirus.
Source: Creative Commons

The coronavirus has been in the news almost everyday these past few months.

Labeled by the CDC as 2019-nCoV, or Novel Coronavirus, the new coronavirus is closely linked to Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), having mostly like mutated from a virus related to SARS.

Both of these are considered coronaviruses, but they are not the same bacteria that causes 2019-nCoV.

The CDC has issued a statement discouraging travel to China, and to look at travel advisories for other countries. While the disease is curable, it is spreading so fast it is now considered an epidemic. Over 40,000 cases and 900 deaths have been reported in China alone as of February 2nd. 

Despite the alarming statistics of this new virus, Doctors in Thailand have had some major breakthroughs in creating a drug treatment for novel coronavirus.

Separate from Mainland China, Thailand has had a total of 19 cases, eight of whom are now considered cured. The other eleven are still receiving treatment

What is the secret to this success? 

“A powerful cocktail of drugs“, said the Thai doctors. In severe cases of novel coronavirus, they administer a mixture of the anti-HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir and the flu medication oseltamivir.

While doctors stress that this is not a cure, the patients given this treatment have shown considerable improvement in 48 hours. 

On the other side of the world, scientists in America have been working on a universal treatment for all iterations of the coronavirus, including MERS and SARS, not just novel coronavirus.

This drug, remdesivir, has been shown to be effective in fighting off MERS and SARS.

Since novel coronavirus is related to SARS, scientists believe that it could be an effective way to fight off the virus. It, however, is still in development.

With all of the fear surrounding the situation, the CDC is very firm in reminding everyone that this is a evolving situation and to check advisories when travelling, as well as see if you are in an area of risk.

As of now, they are of the belief that the novel coronavirus is airborne but spread through close human contact—within six feet of another person. 

Even with the possible drug treatments in the works, it is always best to avoid putting yourself at risk of getting sick.

Practice normal precautionary methods for other respiratory diseases—wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and avoid crowded spaces while ill.

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