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Infactual Articles

Can a Child Display Autistic Traits and Still Not Be Autistic?

Posted in Health & Fitness on May 30th, 2008

With it featuring so heavily in the media (and rightly so) a fear that many parents hold is the possibility that their child or children may be diagnosed with autism.  However, before jumping to conclusions should you observe some symptoms or traits of autism in your child, it is important to get a professional diagnosis and to look carefully into that diagnosis to make certain that there isn’t something else causing the autistic behaviors to occur.  There are a number of other health problems and disorders that are commonly misinterpreted and misdiagnosed as autism.

Misdiagnosis of autism can occur among the various autism spectrum disorders, or it can be connected to a completely unrelated condition. Parents should make sure to share all observations and considerations with the child’s doctor so that possible alternate diagnoses the appropriate attention.

There are five conditions within the autism spectrum, and each of them can easily be mistaken for another.  These are:

1. Rett’s Syndrome – this is a condition found only in girls which was discovered back in 1966.  It is currently believed by scientists that this is not an inherited condition, but is the result of a random genetic mutation.  Symptoms of Rett’s Syndrome do not become apparent in babies until 6 to 18 months of age.  When Rett’s Syndrome starts to become apparent, the development of the baby begins to slow and their heads no longer grow in a normal way.  Normal speech does not develop and repetitive hand movements, unusual walking patterns, and torso shaking begin.  Children with Rett’s Syndrome also frequently experience seizures, breathing problems, rigid muscles, retarded growth, and other health issues.

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2. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – this disorder almost always occurs in boys, and is extremely rare.  Until the age of about 42 months, the child appears to be normal, but a dramatic linguistic and social skill loss then occurs.  The child may also start experiencing seizures and lose bladder and bowel control.  Typically, these children experience low intellectual development.  CDD is the easiest of the autism spectrum disorders for doctors to diagnose.

3. Autism – Autism itself is often referred to as Classic Autism, Kanner’s Autism, or Early Infantile Autism.  Until its recognition in the 1940’s, children with autism had been diagnosed as emotionally disturbed or mentally retarded.  Autistic children show many different kinds of symptoms that also occur in other physical and mental disorders, making it easy to misdiagnose.  Among them are issues with sensory integration and information processing, leading to a series of different kinds of behaviors.

4. Asperger’s Syndrome – Asperger’s Syndrome children are frequently mistaken for children with high-functioning autism.    The syndrome does not typically present itself until after three years of age, as these children tend not to show any issues with language acquisition and use.  Instead, they commonly form extreme interests in narrow subjects, and are often known for frequent (though not universal) ability to recite full book texts or movie lines, as well as a seemingly endless line of trivial facts. Some autism-like traits may present themselves, such as the desire for a strict routine, a struggle with social interactions and communication, and an inclination toward repetitive behaviors.  Some also struggle with vocal control.

5. Pervasive Development Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified) – PDD/NOS symptoms are difficult to classify.  This portion of the autism spectrum is essentially used as a “catch-all” diagnosis for children who present symptoms of autism that cannot be contained by the other four autism spectrum disorders.

Beyond the autism spectrum disorder, other disorders and health problems that can often cause children to display autistic traits – though they don’t actually have autism – are:

- Deafness or hearing loss – children who have a difficulty hearing may have impaired social responses, causing them to behave in ways similar to some autistic behaviors.

- Schizophrenia – though some symptoms of this disorder are similar to those of autism, schizophrenia normally presents much later in life than autism.

- Language delay, language disorder, or speech delay – children with linguistic disorders and delays can experience social impairments as a result of their inability to express themselves.

- Developmental delay or mental retardation – behaviors of developmentally delayed or mentally retarded children frequently mimic those of autistic children, but for completely different reasons.  Before the discovery of autism as a disorder many autistic children were regarded as mentally retarded.

As there are so many different symptoms of autism and the disorder never presents the same way from person to person, it is easy to misdiagnose disorders both inside and outside the spectrum as being autism.  This is especially prevalent among the various autism spectrum disorders.

Have a look at the following autism checklist for a list of typical autism symptoms to look out for.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about diagnosing autism and for a quick and easy autism checklist please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.

What is the Difference Between Apraxia and Autism?

Posted in Health & Fitness on May 5th, 2008

Apraxia and autism are two entirely different neurological disorders which can occur in a child independently of one another, or together in the same child.  While autism’s symptoms can impact and impair many different systems, behaviors, and thought patterns, apraxia occurs when the child struggles to plan and carry out voluntary physical movements. 

In terms of gross motor skills, apraxia may impact a child’s capabilities to stand up, sit in a chair, or catch a ball and with fine motor skills, a child may not be able to zip up a jacket, button a shirt, write or print, or even point at an object.

Children with apraxia may also struggle to produce sound patterns to make words, or even coordinate the various speech mechanisms to make the individual speech sounds such as the difference between a “g” and a “b” sound, or the hum of an “m” sound.  Even when a sound is modeled, a child with apraxia may not be able to mimic the same sound. 

However, though these symptoms may also cross over into autism, there remain important differences between the two conditions.  For example, when a child has only apraxia it is only the motor functioning and not the social and emotional skills that are impacted, as is often not the case with autism.

Apraxia and autism can become difficult to tell from one another when the child is exhibiting symptoms of verbal apraxia (officially known as oral-motor apraxia).  The reason for this is that children with either condition can be very aware of their struggle to communicate verbally, and therefore they may choose to avoid having to talk by staying away from social situations.  However, in the case of verbal apraxia, if you play with your child and don’t demand speech from him or her, you may find that they begin playing actively and engage others in their play. 

The child usually experiences relief from being able to socialize and have contact with others without being required to talk, which is frustrating for them and can create a fear of failure.  Often, with these children, when they are allowed to select the type of play and are allowed to go without having to speak, the relief and comfort they feel can make them more open to accepting the slow introduction of new sounds and syllables, which may eventually bring about simple words into their favorite games and play. Encouragement to vocalize or verbalize should be gentle in both apraxia and autism, and should be gradual, tailored to the pace of success rather than to a schedule.

In both motor apraxia and autism, children show social interaction problems, but in the case of motor apraxia, this is normally because they are not always capable of performing the physical movements that allows them access to others.  However, motor apraxia won’t usually make a child want to avoid social interaction altogether, such as failing to make eye contact, or specifically moving away from other people. 

It is easy to see why there is so much confusion between apraxia and autism spectrum disorders.  Especially considering children with these conditions can also both exhibit signs of over-reactivity to sensations.   However, there are differences between the two and it is important to speak to your doctor or a specialist if you are unsure.  Your doctor will be able to determine which condition your child may have, or if both are present.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about apraxia and autism and for information on levels of autism please visit The Essential Guide To Autism.  

What Causes Heartburn?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 20th, 2008

Acid reflux, commonly called heartburn, may be connected with a number of health issues such as IBS, but have you ever wondered what causes heartburn (heart burn)?  After all, heartburn isn’t the only symptom of acid reflux, so why is it the most frequent symptom associated with it?

Heartburn is the most common sign of acid reflux because it is one of the symptoms of this condition that can truly be felt by the sufferer.  Heartburn occurs when gastric acid has remained in the lower esophagus for a prolonged period of time.  The irritation the acid inflicts on the esophagus causes the sufferer to feel an uncomfortable, and often painful burning sensation behind the breastbone, which can rise to the level of the throat.  

Heartburn occurs when the muscle valve between the esophagus and stomach, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), fails to close while the stomach is digesting food.  When the LES opens during digestion, acid can be refluxed into the esophagus and heartburn is often the end result.  When the LES fails, this is often because it has become weakened.  There are many causes that can weaken the LES.  In fact many of these causes are the same factors that can make heartburn worse.

What can make heartburn worse?  There are many dietary and lifestyle factors that can cause heartburn flare-ups to be prolonged, frequent, or intense.  The following are the most common factors:

- Caffeine.  Drinks or foods that contain caffeine including regular and decaffeinated coffee and tea, soda, energy drinks and chocolate. 

- Fatty and spicy foods.  Red meats, deep fried and processed foods, spicy foods such as chili and curry.  These foods stay in the stomach longer and slow down digestion which places pressure on the LES.

- Tomatoes.  Tomato and tomato based products including sauces and juice.  Tomatoes relax the LES.

- Raw onion.  Raw onion does not appear to cause acid reflux in those who do not have it, but it often makes heartburn worse in those who suffer from the condition, especially when eaten in high quantities.

- Citrus fruits citrus juices.  Oranges, grapefruits, lemon, lime, etc.  Citrus relaxes the LES.

- Peppermint.  Mint candy, mint tea, or mint ice cream.  Peppermint is beneficial for the digestive system, but it relaxes the LES.

- Milk.  Milk is believed to help heartburn sufferers find relief from their symptoms because it can work as an instant antacid.  However, relief is often only temporary, as the calcium and protein in milk stimulate the production of acid, which can make your heartburn return worse in as little as 30 minutes of ingesting milk.

- Alcohol.  Wine, beer, liquors, spirits.  Alcohol relaxes the LES and also increases acid production in the stomach.

- Tobacco.  Smoking cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco weaken the LES and decrease saliva production.  Saliva helps to neutralize stomach acid.

- Large meals.  A large meal is any meal that leaves you to feeling ‘stuffed’ or ‘bloated’.  Large meals can promote an increase in acid production, slow digestion, and place pressure on the LES.

- Eating within 2 – 3 hours before bed.  Lying down directly after eating pushes the contents of the stomach against the LES.  Furthermore, when you sleep, all of your muscles naturally relax including the LES, which is why acid reflux is often worse at nighttime.

- Strenuous exercising.  Sit-ups, stomach crunches, etc.  Exercises that are tough on the abdominal muscles stress the stomach and the LES.  Furthermore, bending after eating can also make heartburn heart burn worse.

- Tight clothing.  Tight pants, girdles, corsets, belts.  Clothing that fits tightly around the abdomen squeezes the stomach and can force food up against the lower esophageal sphincter, forcing it to open.

- Excess weight.  Being overweight or obese places stress on the stomach which then places stress on the LES causing it to weaken.

- Medication.  Some medications can make heartburn worse including:
* Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.)
* Anticholinergic drugs (antihistamines and urinary tract disorders)
* Calcium channel blockers (high blood pressure)
* Nitrates (angina)
* Beta-2 agonists (asthma)
* Tricyclic (antidepressants)
* Diazepam(seizures and anxiety disorders)

If you are taking any medication for another health condition, talk to your doctor to find out if your medication is making your heartburn (heart burn) worse.

Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about heartburn (heart burn) and for information on the cause of heartburn please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now

Do You Have Autism Attention Deficit Disorder Confusion?

Posted in Health & Fitness on March 6th, 2008

Though it is not known why autism, attention deficit disorder, as well as other autism spectrum conditions have become increasingly common, their instances have continued to rise substantially over the past few decades. The controversy surrounding this issue is currently escalating as quickly as the rate of instances.  Another challenge is the diagnosis – and misdiagnosis – of these conditions, leading to common autism attention deficit confusion. 

The term “autism” covers a broad range of conditions and symptoms ranging dramatically in their severity, causing it to frequently be referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  ASD includes autism itself, Asperger’s syndrome, as well as other pervasive developmental disorders.  It does not, however, include attention deficit disorder (ADD) nor attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Nevertheless, the autism attention deficit confusion remains due to the similarity frequently witnessed in the symptoms of each condition.  As there is no single specified group of symptoms that occurs in every instance of either autism or attention deficit disorder it can make them hard to diagnose, especially for the lay person. 

The key to making sure that the right diagnosis is achieved, and that autism and attention deficit confusion is avoided, is to understand the signs and symptoms of both disorders.  Self-education is a parent’s best tool for understanding what he or she is and is not facing in their child. 

Both conditions will present in the same way at the beginning, both socially and biologically. Both conditions include a lacking in the executive functions (planning, decision-making and response control) within the brain’s frontal lobes, and have a number of shared symptoms.  Even autism and attention deficit disorder research have similarities in the behaviors and behavioral processes that are studied and believed to be linked to impairments in brain functioning.  Furthermore, both conditions include a form of deficiency in both fine and gross motor skills. 

However, despite these commonalities in symptoms, autism and ADD confusion is just that – a confusion between two entirely different disorders. That being said, when ADD and ADHD are diagnosed, doctors will not routinely screen for autism.   The onus is placed upon parents, teachers, and other caregivers to observe behaviors that deviate from ADD, and to identify a narrower perspective with regards to the child’s behavioral issues. 

Should misdiagnosis be suspected, it is wise for parents to familiarize themselves with the various behaviors common to both autism and ADD and then to recognize the differences. 

Behaviors frequently seen in autistic children include:

- Difficulty socializing with other children the same or different ages.
- Difficulty socializing with adults
- Lack of fear of danger
- Tantrums - showing large degrees of distress for no clear reason
- Inappropriate laughing
- Dislike of cuddling
- Little to no eye contact made
- Notable physical over- or under-activity
- Uneven fine and/or gross motor skills
- Impulsive working habits with frequent sloppiness and careless mistakes

On the other hand, behaviors frequently seen in children with ADD or ADHD include:

- Inability to speak or play quietly; disruptive in speech or behaviors
- Struggles to wait his or her turn in a game, line, or other similar activity
- Takes part in activities with a high risk of danger
- A lack of normal consideration for caution or consequences
- Extreme temper tantrums
- Disruptive, interrupting, speaking and behaving inappropriately
- Difficulty being held or soothed when very young
- Always active and moving, even while asleep
- Doesn’t appear to be listening when directly spoken to
- Uneven fine and/or gross motor skills
- Doesn’t pay attention to finder details and makes careless mistakes in tasks

With these lists of symptoms, it is clear to see why misdiagnosis and autism attention deficit confusion is so common.  Vigilance and education are the keys to overcoming these errors.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about Autism Attention Deficit Disorder links and for information on autism therapies please visit The Essential Guide To Autism

How Autism Visual Schedules May Help Your Child

Posted in Health & Fitness on February 14th, 2008

Autism visual schedules are an important part of a structured environment for a child with autism spectrum disorder.  This is because the visual schedule informs the child which activities will be occurring at a certain period of time, and in which order throughout the day that those activities will be occurring.

Visual schedules are beneficial for children on the autism spectrum as they:

- Help children who struggle with language comprehension to understand the expectations of them throughout the day.

- Focus on the challenge that many autistic children face with time organization and sequential memory.

- Help to minimize the anxiety levels of autistic children as structure is provided so that the children may organize and anticipate their daily and weekly activities, therefore reducing the possibility of behavioral symptoms. The use of pictorial schedules helps demonstrate the order of individual activities within a specific time frame.  For example, it may demonstrate that lunchtime is coming, but work time comes first.  Any changes to a schedule can also be illustrated through this tool.

- Help autistic children to transition independently among the various events and environments by instructing them where they will be headed next.  Autism visual schedules can be applied to any event or place. 

The format of the schedules is based on a strategy of “first-then”.  An example of this approach is “First you wash your hands, then you eat your lunch”.  This format demonstrates the expectation of what is to come first, and what is to follow.  Each can be modified as required.  Modifications are made in terms of the completion of each task, and the ability of the child to function with the provided details.  It also includes the child’s ability to transition among tasks smoothly and with minimal interruption.

This is achieved through the format’s encouragement to move from one task to the next.  That one thing comes first, and then another follows it.

These types of schedules also help children with their social interactions as they can work social moments into their daily routines.  For example, “first you arrive, then you greet your teacher and classmates”.

Parents and teachers are finding that the autism visual schedules also contribute to the child’s motivation level even when faced with less desirable tasks, as it shows that there will be a progression to a task that is more preferred later on.

When visual schedules are used, they must be taught directly to the children, and then used on a consistent basis.  They aren’t crutches from which the children will gradually work their way free.  They are tools that should be considered to be assistive technology on an ongoing level, and the longer the child uses this tool, the better it will help him or her function.  This is true even beyond childhood and into adult life.

When developing a schedule, a set layout should be established and consistently applied.  They should move either from left to right, or top to bottom.   There should also be a method that allows the child to manipulate the schedule to indicate the completion of an activity; for example, allowing the child to cross off the activity with a dry erase marker.  The schedule should present at least two items at any given time so that the child can begin to comprehend that events do not happen in isolation.  They occur in sequence one after the other.

Autism visual schedules can be designed to fit the unique needs and understanding level of the child, and therefore provide a tailored experience for each person.  Through symbols, images, the right number of activities per presentation, and consistency of use, this method can provide substantial support and understanding to an autistic child.

Grab your free copy of Rachel Evans’ brand new Autism Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you and your family find out about autism visual schedules and for information on autism education please visit The Essential Guide To Autism

Why Donate Your Car to Charity?

Posted in Car Donations on May 4th, 2007

Although most charities receive cash donations, the number of car donors has been steadily increasing through the years. Most car donors opt to donate their old cars instead of selling them since the resale value of their cars are way lower than they expect. Also, it can be hard to find buyers. Donating your car does not only give you a feeling of altruism and self-accomplishment (for being able to help others); it also earns you great tax deductions.

Giving your car to charity may generate more value than selling it at a really low price and is far more practical than just not using it. Through the years, people have been increasingly aware of the benefits that they can get from giving to charitable institutions. Donating used cars may solve the problem of getting rid of old cars.

It is common to have your old car appraised for less than its expected market value. Even if it gets a high resale price, chances are that only a handful might consider the possibility of buying it. Donating your car to charity proves to be a better option since it generates more value, especially since it is tax deductible.

When you donate your car, the charity you have chosen is responsible for the tax vouchers needed. It also saves you the hassles of having the car appraised, looking for buyers, or paying for car repair charges that often come with older cars. Also the cost of maintaining a used car may be far greater than just having it stored in your garage or a lowly parking lot. Cars that have seen the light of day, so to speak, usually entail more repair costs than you intend to spend on them. To save you the trouble of constantly paying these costs, it is better to consider donating the car instead.

There also have been cases when stolen cars retrieved by the owners are donated simply because the cars no longer “feel the same.” Donating to charity makes the donors feel more fulfilled since they feel that they have improved the lives of people who are in need. Being able to help and eventually make a difference in their lives may be reason enough for others to donate their cars.

How to Donate Your Automobile to Charity

Posted in Automobile Donation on May 4th, 2007

If you are ready to get rid of an old car, why not donate it to charity? You may help a person in need and even apply for a tax deduction. Most donated automobiles go to non-profit charity organizations and these benefiting groups usually will take care of all the cumbersome paperwork. Usually the automobile is then auctioned off, the proceeds going to the charity. Not only is donating your used car a smart, financial choice, but you can help out the community too.

Here are some tips for donating your vehicle.

First, find a charity that accepts automobile donations and avoid for-profit charities, as their integrity is more questionable than non-profit charities. Even the most reputable agencies often keep up to 50% of the value of your donation for internal needs – some keep as much as 90 to 100%. If you have a favorite charity or if there is an organization you’ve donated to in the past, find out if they have an automobile donation program. Make sure the charity that you donate to is worthy of your donation.

Also, when donating a car, make sure to minimize the costs this may incur on the charity group. Drive the car to the destination yourself – don’t require it to be towed.

Next, if you are using an intermediary agency to process your donation, research the percentage amount that it will scrape off of the funds that will finally end up with the charity. Try to find a “middleman” that only asks for a small percentage. Many non-profit groups are afraid to criticize agencies that process donations because they understandably don’t want to lose money. State attorney generals frequently investigate these agencies for fraud and deception, but you must do your part to make sure they are legitimate.

Lastly, it is time to transfer the automobile to the charity! Some organizations will ask you to leave the ownership title blank, as they don’t wish to re-title it just yet. This is not a good idea – because in this scenario, you can then be liable for any parking violations or crimes that are committed with the car.

Donating an automobile is beneficial to both you and your community but it is a task that must be taken seriously.

How Drug and Alcohol Testing are Carried Out on Drivers

Posted in Drug and Alcohol Testing on May 4th, 2007

Drug and alcohol tests vary – testing is required for most driver’s license applicants and before a driver’s license renewal. Nevertheless, it depends on the state a driver resides in really.

Some states have passed laws that empower the police to randomly test drivers for the presence of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol), commonly known as marijuana, and methamphetamines, commonly known as speed ice or crystal meth. Even a driver’s saliva can be tested with an “absorbent collector” – whereby an individual presses their tongue to a “collector” and then chews on it. If a driver tests positive for any of these drugs, their license is immediately cancelled.

“Drug driving” is the term used for those who operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. There are different consequences for those guilty of “drug driving” that depend on precisely what substances were in their system at the time.

Also, “drugs” has a different connotation to authorities than they would to let’s say, a pharmacist. When a police officer thinks of drugs, he means depressants like cannabis, methadone and heroin, stimulants like speed, cocaine and ecstasy, and hallucinogens such as LSD. Even so, there are some prescription drugs that affect driving, like tranquilizing drugs (rohypnol and oxazepam), which cause drowsiness and render a person unfit to operate a vehicle.

Surveys show that the number of road accidents is directly related to the amount of drivers under the influence of illegal drugs and alcohol on the road. And sadly, a large number of those who are involved in accidents due to “drug driving,” die. Some studies show that because the prevalence of different drugs has increased over the decade, so has the number of car accident casualties.

While it is easy to correlate drug use with motorist deaths, there is not a cause-effect relationship that can be proven as of yet but it is still interesting to note. And clearly, a diver who is free of drugs and alcohol is a safer driver than a driver under the influence. Legislators have the responsibility of carefully designing laws that limit “drug driving” and ultimately, the number of dangerous and fatal car accidents.

A person’s capacity to handle the effects of drugs and alcohol certainly play a role in determining the degree of impairment they will experience while on the road. But this is very difficult to determine, as a person’s tolerance of various substances is based on many different factors, like genes, past exposure, and even their diet that day. Likewise, the specific combination of drugs and alcohol can have unpredictable effects on a person. Essentially, it’s all a precariously inexact science.

Hence, police officers must make general observations in order to determine if a driver is a potential threat on the road. Those abusing depressants tend to have slow reactions and reduced concentration – for example, cannabis users usually have trouble keeping their car in the correct lane and encounter difficulty maneuvering on busy roads and intersections.

Playing Fantasy Football and Choosing Top Picks

Posted in Football Picks on May 4th, 2007

Fantasy football is a huge industry. Every fall, millions of people around the world participate in the games. Some do it for money, some for just fun, and others for the ever-important bragging rights. Playing fantasy football and choosing top picks are the obsession of so many as the NFL season approaches, that taking a look at strategies for making the right picks is appropriate. Here are some strategies you should consider employing when it comes time for you so start playing fantasy football and choosing top picks this season.

First of all, when your fantasy draft rolls around, think depth. Rare is the fantasy season in which all of your players go untouched by the injury bug. Couple that with bye weeks and you will see how important depth is. So how do you draft depth? You have to think about what you are going to look for as the draft progresses. Watch for third year wide outs that may come into their own once they understand their team’s offense. They make great backups because it can take a few weeks for the breakout to happen. Also, look for hot rookies who may surge late to sure up your second and third string.

Secondly, you can’t really over manage your team. Every week that you are playing fantasy football you need to be paying attention to the details of your team. Because you drafted for a deep team, you are going to have decisions to make about your starting lineup every single week of the season. Look at matchups and how your players have done against opponents in the past. Trends can help you a lot if you see them. So use the internet to get information, stats, and to know when an injury can sway things your way or away from you.

Third, throughout your season of playing fantasy football, you should keep a close eye on free agents, the waiver wire, and try to make at least a couple of trades. Even if you had a really good draft, the way the season develops will help you with what changes you need to make to get over the top. Use your deep draft to sure up your starters and tighten your lineup as crunch time approaches.

Finally, make sure you are highly familiar with your league’s scoring system. Different fantasy football leagues emphasize different stats. Make sure you know, as you make trades and sign players, whether you need yards, touchdowns, or some other stat to catch those players ahead of you. It is easy to make assumptions, but sometimes a mediocre player can be great for your team if he can get you that one stat you need.

Playing fantasy football and choosing top picks is a science to many. However, these tips mostly fall under the category of common sense. If you follow them then you will have a fantastic chance of making the playoffs. Once you are in the playoffs, anything can happen; anything, including you winning it all and taking home money or bragging rights.

Getting Discounts From Your Auto Insurance Company

Posted in Auto Insurance on May 4th, 2007

Let’s face it an auto insurance company is a business that is created to make a profit and if we are not careful we might end up paying super high premium rates when we could have paid much lower premiums if we only did some research.

Here is a list that I hope will help car owners in lowering their premium rates:

• Safety devices against car thieves

Who would ever think that theft devices are valuable not only in guarding your car against thieves, but also in lowering your premium? Theft devices come in various types. Some are automatic while some need to be manually operated. All these theft devices provide extra premium discounts. In some states window sketching may also be a source of additional premium discounts.

• Multiple car discount

Let us say that you have two cars (for the sake of the illustration) that you want to insure with an auto insurance company. Usually you have to pay separate premiums but did you know that you could actually save a great deal on the premium that you will be paying for your second car? How? Consult your insurance agent to help you.

• Choose Yearly Renewable Auto Insurance Policies

Purchasing a yearly auto insurance policy will provide you with greater savings since the premium rate is fixed for one year compared to buying a six-month policy which changes rates every six months. If you purchase a six-month policy the premium you paid on your first semi-annual premium will not be the same as your second annual premium payment. So instead of saving, you tend to pay more for the same amount of benefits.

• Comprehensive storage coverage

The comprehensive storage coverage is ideal if you are thinking of storing your car for a period of time. It is a great savings idea to keep only the comprehensive coverage during the time you store your car since other coverage will not be required. A car in the garage is unlikely to get into a collision thus it will not require liability coverage.

• Mileage

The mileage that your car travels everyday has a significant effect on the premium rate that you are to pay since the mileage will determine the particular class in which your car belongs. Each class has a different premium rate.

• Organization affiliation

There are many auto insurance companies that offer a discount for being affiliated with certain organizations. These organizations may range from credit unions, college sororities and fraternities, or just having a certain credit card may also earn you a considerable discount on your premium. To be sure, call your service center and ask them for a list of the organization affiliations that they accredit, the same goes with the credit cards.

• Defensive driving course

Some auto insurance companies provide considerable discounts simply by attending defensive driving courses. For more details just check with your state insurance commissioner or you insurance company to see if you qualify and also to inquire on their accredited driving centers.