Friday, December 17, 2010

Living near a freeway was associated with autism.

Conclusions: Living near a freeway was associated with autism. Examination of associations with measured air pollutants is needed.

Background: Little is known about environmental causes and contributing factors for autism. Basic science and epidemiological research suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation may play a role in disease development. Traffic-related air pollution, a common exposure with established effects on these pathways, contains substances found to have adverse prenatal effects.

Objectives: To examine the association between autism and residence proximity, during pregnancy and near the time of delivery, to freeways and major roadways as a surrogate for air pollution exposure.

Methods: Data were from 304 autism cases and 259 typically developing controls enrolled in the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study. The mother's address recorded on the birth certificate and trimester specific addresses derived from a residential history obtained by questionnaire were geo-coded and measures of distance to freeways and major roads were calculated using ArcGIS software. Logistic regression models compared residential proximity to freeways and major roads for autism cases and typically developing controls.

Results: Adjusting for sociodemographic factors and maternal smoking, maternal residence at the time of delivery was more likely be near a freeway (=309 meters) for cases, as compared to controls (odds ratio (OR), 1.86, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-3.45). Autism was also associated with residential proximity to a freeway during the third trimester (OR, 2.22, CI, 1.16-4.42). After adjustment for socio-economic and demographic characteristics, these associations were unchanged. Living near other major roads at birth was not associated with autism.

Click here for full article.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Toddlers with autism show improved social skills following targetedintervention

Rebecca Landa, Ph.D., of Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, and colleagues randomly assigned 50 toddlers, ages 21-33 months old, who were diagnosed with ASD to one of two six-month interventions: Interpersonal Synchrony (IS) or Non-Interpersonal Synchrony (non-IS). Both interventions incorporated classroom-based activities led by a trained intervention provider, and a home-based component involving parents who received specialized education and in-home training. The interventions were designed to encourage children to make frequent and intentional efforts to engage others in communication or play. The single difference between interventions was that the IS group received more opportunities for joint attention, affect sharing, and socially engaged imitation. The toddlers were assessed at the start and end of the intervention and again six months later. Children in both groups made improvements in social, cognitive and language skills during the six-month intervention period. Children who received IS made greater and more rapid gains than those in the non-IS group. The researchers also noted that children in the IS group used their newly acquired abilities with different people, locations, and type of activity. This is noteworthy because children with ASD have particular difficulty doing so. They tend to use new skills mostly within familiar routines and situations. At the six-month follow-up, children in the IS group showed slower improvements in social communication compared to when they were receiving the intervention, but did not lose skills gained during the intervention period. In contrast, children in the non-IS group showed reduced social communication skills at follow-up compared to their performance during the intervention period.
 Click here for full article.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Advancing paternal age and risk of autism: new evidence from apopulation-based study and a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies.

Abstract Advanced paternal age has been suggested as a risk factor for autism, but empirical evidence is mixed. This study examines whether the association between paternal age and autism in the offspring (1) persists controlling for documented autism risk factors, including family psychiatric history, perinatal conditions, infant characteristics and demographic variables; (2) may be explained by familial traits associated with the autism phenotype, or confounding by parity; and (3) is consistent across epidemiological studies. Multiple study methods were adopted. First, a Swedish 10-year birth cohort (N=1 075 588) was established. Linkage to the National Patient Register ascertained all autism cases (N=883). Second, 660 families identified within the birth cohort had siblings discordant for autism. Finally, meta-analysis included population-based epidemiological studies. In the birth cohort, autism risk increased monotonically with increasing paternal age. Offspring of men aged 50 years were 2.2 times (95% confidence interval: 1.26-3.88: P=0.006) more likely to have autism than offspring of men aged 29 years, after controlling for maternal age and documented risk factors for autism. Within-family analysis of discordant siblings showed that affected siblings had older paternal age, adjusting for maternal age and parity (P

Click here for more information


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Researchers one step closer to potential autism test

Scientists are finding more pieces of the autism puzzle of with the help of MRI scans of brain circuitry, according to a study published Thursday online in the journal Autism Research. By scanning the brain for 10 minutes using magnetic resonance imaging, researchers were able to measure six physical differences of microscopic fibers in the brains of 30 males with confirmed high-functioning autism and 30 males without autism. The images of the brains helped researchers correctly identify those with autism with 94 percent accuracy, says Nicholas Lange, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and one of the study authors. "No one has measured what we measured," says Lange of the MRI test he and Dr. Janet Lainhart from the University of Utah developed. While previous studies using different types of scans have been able to identify people with autism, Lange says, "no one has looked at it [the brain] the way we have and no one has gotten these type of results." Lange is quick to caution that this type of test is not yet ready for prime time. "We do not want to give anyone false hopes that this is ready for the clinic yet. This method, this test, needs to be tried [and confirmed] with many more subjects outside our laboratory," he says. Plus, the research needs to be expanded to many more study participants and tried on younger people with autism and those who are not as high-functioning as the subjects in this first trial.
 .Click here for full article


Friday, November 12, 2010

For Autistic Children, Therapy on Four Legs

?e are hearing more and more from families we serve that therapy dogs have had an overall positive effect on their children,?said Marguerite Colston, vice president of constituent relations at the Autism Society, a national grassroots organization.

Because each person with autism experiences it differently, there is no certainty a therapy dog will help, she said, but for certain individuals, a dog ?as eased their anxiety and has even helped some to open up to others, as individuals with autism are typically more withdrawn and less likely to socialize.?

Click here for full article.


Study: Chromosome change points to autism

People who possess a specific change in one of their chromosomes are nearly 14 times more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder or schizophrenia than those without this change, according to a new study. The change, which is called a deletion, happens when a section of chromosome 17 is missing. The deletion is found only in people who have an autism spectrum disorder, a developmental delay or schizophrenia, said study researcher David H. Ledbetter, a genetics professor at Emory University."This is just adding one more to that rapidly growing list of genetic mutations" associated with autism that doctors could use to measure autism and schizophrenia risk in children, Ledbetter told MyHealthNewsDaily. Not all people with autism, a developmental delay or schizophrenia have this deletion. But all people who have the chromosome change will develop some form of the disorders, whether it's mild or strong enough for a diagnosis, he said.

 Click here for full article.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wrong Planet

Wrong Planet is the web community designed for individuals (and parents / professionals of those) with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, PDDs, and other neurological differences. We provide a discussion forum, where members communicate with each other, an article section, with exclusive articles and how-to guides, a blogging feature, and a chatroom for real-time communication with other Aspies. Asperger's Syndrome, a pervasive development disorder, is a form of autism.
 Click here to see more information.


Making Sense of Death and Autism

It’s been three years since Liane Kupferberg Carter lost her father. While time has dimmed the pain, it hasn’t really helped her explain things to her son, Mickey, who misses his grandfather. Mickey is 18 and has autism. She has written often on Motherlode of the distinct challenges of parenting an autistic adult. Talking about death, as she writes in a guest blog today, is one of those challenges. Especially when you really don’t understand it yourself.
 Click here for full article.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

For Families With Children Who Have Special Needs, a Little Break

Thursday is the best day because that is the day Catalina Lopez — cheerful, well trained and all of 17 years old — comes to watch Spencer and Logan, each for an hour, separately, and peace descends on the family’s two-bedroom apartment in western Queens. Competent, reliable baby sitters are closely guarded treasures for most parents; for families who have children with special needs (but who do not qualify for state-supported respite care), such baby sitters may exist only in the realm of fantasy. Those who need a break the most, then, are often the least able to find someone they trust to provide it. Several such parents expressed that sentiment several years back to Joy Levitt, the executive director of the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. And so, since 2004, the center has been offering, occasionally, a six-week training class for young people interested in caring for children with autism or other developmental disorders. Catalina is one of 34 graduates of the class.
 Click here for full article.


Patient Voices: Autism

The autism-spectrumdisorders encompass a wide range of symptoms, from social awkwardness to a complete inability to interact and communicate. Here, six men and women speak about living with an autism-spectrum disorder.
 Click here to view the video.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Autism rates stabilize in Wisconsin schools: study

"The prevalence of autism in special education doesn't seem to be the same everywhere, and it doesn't seem to be increasing at the same rate everywhere," he said.
 Click here for full article.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Visual Strategies and Communication Systems to Maximize School Successfor Students with Asperger's Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism

Billings, December 13, $199

Specifically Designed for Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Speech/Language Pathologists, Counselors, and Administrators Serving Grades K-12

  • Dozens of practical ideas for developing visual tools and communication systems to increase school success and decrease disruptive behaviors of your students with Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism

  • How to effectively use visual supports throughout the school day to help students be productive and more successful in the school setting

  • Numerous ideas for developing visual power cards and social scripts that will increase student learning and time on task

  • Current, best strategies for designing unique routines and schedules for your students with Asperger’s Syndrome and high-functioning autism

  • Maximize your students’ learning with work systems that are easy to use and manage

  • How to address communication breakdowns which lead to socialization difficulties and eventually become behavior problems

  • Greatly increase your strategies for working with students with
    high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome using visual strategies and communication systems

click here to see more information


Vitamin B12 Deficiency Causes Vision Loss in Autistic Children WithSeverely Limited Diets

Autistic children with severely limited diets may be at risk for vision loss due to vitamin B12 deficiency, according to new research from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Doctors should consider this deficiency when evaluating and treating children with autism and vision loss, the authors said. The Children's Hospital study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, looked at three boys with autism who exhibited behaviors that indicated vision loss, such as groping for items or bumping into walls. Further evaluation and tests revealed optic nerve damage and low levels of B12. The researchers administered a shot of intramuscular vitamin B12 and visual behavior improved modestly in each case after normal levels were reached. All three patients, ages 6, 7 and 13, ate almost no meat or dairy products, important sources of vitamin B12. "To the best of our knowledge, these are the first three reported cases of vision loss related to a vitamin B12 deficiency related to poor diet in children with autism," said Stacy Pineles, M.D., lead author of the study. She conducted the research as a fellow at Children's Hospital and is now at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. "Clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for vitamin deficiencies and questions about diet should be part of routine history-taking in this population." There have been many associations between autism and feeding difficulties, with diet-related deficiencies causing such illnesses as rickets, scurvy and dry eyes. With such patients, the researchers said, parents should also be advised to seek evaluation by a pediatric ophthalmologist or neuro-ophthalmologist who can perform a careful examination to rule out optic nerve damage. "Children who refuse foods from animal sources, such as meat and dairy products, are specifically at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency," said Grant T. Liu, M.D., senior author of the study and a neuro-ophthalmologist at Children's Hospital. "In our experience, B12 deficiency optic neuropathy in autism is a recognizable, treatable, and at least partially reversible disorder." Robert Avery, D.O., of Children's Hospital was the third author on the study. "Vitamin B12 Optic Neuropathy in Autism," Pediatrics, published online October, 2010.
 Click here for full article.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

FDA cracks down on experimental autism therapy

Federal health officials are cracking down on a controversial therapy that has been promoted as an alternative for a variety of conditions, including autism, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. The Food and Drug Administration warned eight companies Thursday that their over-the-counter products used for a procedure known as "chelation" are "unapproved drugs and devices" and so are in "violation of federal law.""The companies that received the warning letters claim that their products treat a range of diseases by removing toxic metals from the body. Some also claim to treat autism spectrum disorder, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration and other serious conditions," the agency said. "Some companies that received the warning letters also claim their products will detect the presence of heavy metals to justify the need for chelation therapy."The drugs involved have not been evaluated by the FDA for treatment of these diseases, and therefore violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA said.
 Click here for full article.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Using the iPad to connect

Wall Street Journal Article
 Click here for full article


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Newborn jaundice may signal increased autism risk

Full-term babies who develop jaundice have a 67 percent higher risk of developing autism, Danish researchers say, a finding that contradicts a similar study published five years ago.

According to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, being born between October and March and not being the mother's first child further increases the risk for autism for children who develop jaundice.

"This paper does not say that jaundice causes autism," cautions Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a neurologist at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, who was not involved with the study. He points to a2005 Kaiser Permanente study conducted in Northern California, which also looked at a jaundice-autism link and concluded high bilirubin levels in newborns is not a risk factor for autism.

Click here for full article.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Exclusive: First Autistic Presidential Appointee Speaks Out

When Ari Ne’eman walked onstage at a college campus in Pennsylvania in June, he looked like a handsome young rabbi presiding over the bar mitzvah of a young Talmudic scholar. In truth, Ne’eman was facilitating a different kind of coming-of-age ceremony. Beckoning a group of teenagers to walk through a gateway symbolizing their transition into adult life, he said, “I welcome you as members of the autistic community.” The setting was an annual gathering called Autreat, organized by an autistic self-help group called Autism Network International. Ne’eman’s deliberate use of the phrase “the autistic community” was more subversive than it sounds. The notion that autistic people — often portrayed in the media as pitiable loners — would not only wear their diagnosis proudly, but want to make common cause with other autistic people, is still a radical one. Imagine a world in which most public discussion of homosexuality was devoted to finding a cure for it, rather than on the need to address the social injustices that prevent gay people from living happier lives. Though the metaphor is far from exact (for example, gay people obviously don’t face the impairments that many autistic people do), that’s the kind of world that autistic people live in. Now, as the first openly autistic White House appointee in history — and one of the youngest at age 22 — Ne’eman is determined to change that. In December, he was nominated by President Obama to the National Council on Disability (NCD), a panel that advises the President and Congress on ways of reforming health care, schools, support services and employment policy to make society more equitable for people with all forms of disability.
 Click here for full article.


Social Demographic Change and Autism, Part II

Click here for full article.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

PECS Training in Miles City October 21 and 22 2010

Picture Exchange Communication System Training PECS is an alternative communication system using pictures for those who are non-verbal and was designed primarily for students with autism. Visit their website at Where: Veteran's Administration Building Auditorium 210 S. Winchester Miles City, MT When: October 21-22, 2010 Registration at 8:00 AM Presentation from 8:30-4:00. Cost: $100.00 Limit of 45 participants Please contact Karen Pickart, Coordinator CSPD Region I at or call 406-939-3418 or 406-377-6489 to pre-register or to ask questions. A flyer is attached.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Autism causation and the Hepatitis B vaccine: no link

One of the primary subjects for those promoting vaccines as a primary cause of autism is the Hepatitis B vaccine. This vaccine is given at birth and represents a child’s first exposure outside the womb to a vaccine and, in the old days, to thimerosal. David Kirby attempted to link the rise in autism prevalence to the introduction of the HepB vaccine. Others have claimed that the rates of special education placements are 9 times higher amongst children given the HepB vaccine at birth. Here is the abstract for (Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1–9 years

 Click here to read the full article.


STAR Autism Training in Miles City October 2010

Training to implement the STAR Autism Support Curriculum
Miles Community College
When: October 7-8, 2010 8:30
Cost: $100 for educators, FREE for para


PECS Training in MIles City October 2010

The PECS training in Miles City will be on October 21-22, 2010. 

The cost will be $100 per participant. 

Region 1 CSPD


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Determining 'Brain Age' With A Simple Scan

A new type of brain scan could help doctors identify children whose brains are not developing on schedule, and may eventually explain what goes wrong in the brains of children with autism. The technique, called functional connectivity MRI, shows which parts of the brain are communicating. That makes it more useful for detecting developmental disorders than traditional MRI, which shows brain structures, says Nico Dosenbach of Washington University in St. Louis.

 Click here for full story.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Using Videos To Help Diagnose Autism In Babies

The causes of autism are still unclear, but evidence is building that early intervention — before age 1 — may help mitigate or even prevent the developmental disorder from occurring in the first place. Making such early treatment more possible, researchers now report a promising new way of detecting autism in infants as young as 14 months.

Neuroscientist Karen Pierce, director of clinical research at the University of San Diego's (UCSD) Autism Center of Excellence, found that autism can be predicted by identifying young babies who have a preference for repetitive geometric patterns. Pierce and her team studied 110 babies — some showed signs of autism spectrum disorders, some exhibited symptoms of other developmental abnormalities, and about half were developing normally. Babies sat on a parent's lap and were presented with two 1-min. videos, played side by side. One video showed children stretching or dancing in a yoga class, while the other showed abstract geometric shapes changing in a repetitive pattern. Among the toddlers aged 14 months to 42 months, 100% of those who spent more than 50% of the time watching the geometric shapes were autistic.
See videos and read more: 


Choosing the Best iPad Apps

"The iPad wasn't designed with autistic children in mind, but, anecdotally, the results are seemingly miraculous," say's well known technology bloggers (and Apple Critic) John Gruber. There is a lot of buzz in the autism world about the many ways that the iPad helps children with autism, for good reason. AsAshley Harrell of SF Weekly, reports, there are other computers designed for children with autism, but a growing number of experts say that the iPad is better. It's cheaper, faster, more versatile, more user-friendly, more portable, more engaging, and infinitely cooler for young people
.Read more: 


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Wonderful Short Film

Original Animated Shorts Q & A In early 2006, 12-year-old Joshua Littman, who has Asperger’s syndrome, interviewed his mother, Sarah, at StoryCorps. Their one-of-a-kind conversation covered everything from cockroaches to Sarah’s feelings about Joshua as a son.

 Click here to view the video.


Bullying and ASD

Being the victim of a childhood bully can have a lasting impact, including depression and diminished socioeconomic status, into adulthood. Many adults who were once victims of bullying vividly recall the feelings of intimidation, the sometimes-daily battering of self-esteem. Many also recall the hands-off attitude that used to be common among teachers, principals, and other adults. Fortunately, bullying, which was once considered a normal and unavoidable part of the schoolyard landscape, is now viewed as a much more serious matter. The issue of bullying may be particularly worrisome for parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this article, we will explore how children with ASD are particularly at risk of becoming victims of bullying. We will also discuss how they may act out in a way that leads to their being identified as bullies. In either case, parents, teachers, and school staff need to know how to help them through the difficulties involved.

Click here to see more information.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Autistic Children Slower to Integrate Multiple Stimuli

Children with autism spectrum disorders are slower at integrating various types of sensory information than those with a more typical development, researchers reported.The finding -- based on recordings of electrical activity in the brain -- is concrete evidence that children with autism spectrum disorders process information differently than typical children, according to Sophie Molholm, PhD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues.

 Click here for full article.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Autism explosion half explained, half still a mystery

Why have the numbers of autism diagnoses ballooned in recent decades? Researchers have long claimed that changes to the way the condition is diagnosed are the main cause. But now a series of a studies have shown that diagnostic changes alone cannot account for the increase. They suggest that other causes, perhaps environmental factors, are also contributing to the rise in cases. "These studies give me the feeling that there must be a true increase in the number of children affected," says Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health in Rockville, Maryland. The studies are the work of sociologist Peter Bearman at Columbia University in New York and colleagues. They have spent three years trying to disentangle the causes of the roughly sevenfold increase in autism rates seen in many developed nations over the past 20 years. They have identified three factors that are driving up autism rates, but found that these account for only half of the observed increase.
 Click here for full article.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quick brain scan could screen for autism.

A 15-minute brain scan could in future be used to test for autism, helping doctors diagnose the complex condition more cheaply and accurately.

 Click here for full article.


Monday, August 2, 2010

The Geek Syndrome - Autism - and its milder cousin Asperger's syndrome- is surging among the children of Silicon Valley. Are math-and-tech genes to blame?

In the last 20 years, significant advances have been made in developing methods of behavioral training that help autistic children find ways to communicate. These techniques, however, require prodigious amounts of persistence, time, money, and love. Though more than half a century has passed since Kanner and Asperger first gave a name to autism, there is still no known cause, no miracle drug, and no cure. And now, something dark and unsettling is happening in Silicon Valley. Click here for full article.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Controversial supplement to come off shelves

Pharmacies are halting sales of OSR#1, a compound marketed as a dietary supplement to parents of children with autism, six weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called the product an unapproved new drug. Several pharmacists told the Tribune they received an e-mail last week from Boyd Haley, president of the company that makes the product, informing them that OSR#1 would not be available after Thursday. One online pharmacy, Forrest Health, posted this message: "CTI Science has voluntarily agreed to remove OSR#1® from the market effective Thursday, 29 July 2010."
 Click here for full article.


More unidentified autistic adults found

One of the recurring themes heard in online discussions of autism is “where are the autistic adults?” Click here for full article.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Is Picky Eating An Early Sign Of Autism?

In addition, say experts, the new study suggests that feeding problems may be considered an early sign of autism. Most cases of ASD are diagnosed after age 2 or 3, when symptoms such as an inability to verbalize or a lack of development of language and social skills emerge. But Emmett and her team say changes in feeding patterns, which can materialize as early as several months after birth, could signal the presence of early autism.

 Read more here.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Voice analysis may help ID autism early

Analyzing a child's voice may someday be a way to screen children for autism, according to a new study."What the study does is apply a technology that is capable of identifying sound differences in children's speech," says Steve Warren, a behavioral psychologist at the University of Kansas and one of the study's authors.

 Click here for full article.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Making Sense of Autistic Spectrum Disorders - A critical review offact, fiction, and speculation in the field of autism

You are out for a drive, when a policeman waves you over. He looks at your dashboard, and declares "I see that you have a full tank of gas. I'm giving you a ticket for speeding!" Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Yet, lots of otherwise sensible people make a similar error when they equate the increase in the percent of children with an ASD diagnosis (prevalence) with an increase the rate at which new cases of ASD are occurring (incidence). You have both a gas gauge and a speedometer on your dashboard, but you cannot equate one with the other; the same is true for prevalence and incidence of ASD.

Click here for full article.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Sensory Processing Workshops

This seminar is a pivotal training experience for anyone concerned with helping a child or adolescent with Sensory Processing issues. Every child is different and when one treatment plan may work for one, it may be ineffective for another. This seminar emphasizes many factors that can decrease SPD symptoms, and you will be able to immediately create and implement a specifically designed Sensory Diet upon return to your practice or home. This thorough seminar features extensive diagnostic information and hundreds of specific corrective activities for children and adolescents with SPD. Throughout the day, Dr. Taylor describes and demonstrates safe forms of movement and appropriate, fun and easy activities that avoid sensory overload while providing corrective and therapeutic sensory inputs.
07/19/10 - Helena, MT
07/20/10 - Missoula, MT
07/21/10 - Kalispell, MT


Thursday, June 17, 2010

First Look: Data on Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Please Note: These Findings Are PreliminaryThe analyses presented here by the Interactive Autism Network are preliminary. They are based on information submitted via the Internet by adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or their guardians from the United States who choose to participate. They may not generalize to the larger population of adults with ASD. The data have not been peer-reviewed -- that is, undergone evaluation by researchers expert in a particular field -- or been submitted for publication. IAN views participants as research partners, and shares such preliminary information to thank them and demonstrate the importance of their ongoing involvement.

 Click here for full article.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Star Autism Program Training Missoula October 5-6 2010

Participants will learn the techniques of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and teaching functional routines. Participants will receive examples of the STAR Autism Program lesson plans at each instructional level in order to practice their skills in implementing the program The STAR Autism Program can be used to teach children with autism the critical skills identified by the 2001 Na-tional Research Council. The ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) instructional methods of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and functional routines form the instructional base of this comprehensive program for children with autism.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

PECS Training in Belgrade, August 3-4th, 2010

This intensive two-day training is designed to teach participants the theory behind the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and the protocols for how to appropriately implement the six phases of PECS. 

What Will You Learn: · 
 The key Pyramid components to designing effective educational environments · 
 Strategies to create an abundance of opportunities for communication · 
The relationship between PECS and traditional communication training approaches · 
How to implement all six phases of PECS with target individuals using a behavior analytic orientation · 
The criteria for transitioning from PECS to other communication modalities. 

 Tuition includes: The Second Edition PECS Training Manual with Data Forms CD (a $69.00 value) - Detailed Handouts with space for note taking - Certificate of Attendance


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Picture Exchange Communication System - Kalispell

August 19 and 20, 2010

This intense two-day training is designed to teach participants to appropriately implement the Picture Exchange Communication System. It begins with an overview of the Pyramid Approach to Education to explore the key components of designing effective educational environments. A historical overview of language training programs used with non-verbal individuals is discussed along with how to set the stage for an abundance of communication opportunities. Participants will learn how to implement the six Phases of PECS, including attributes, through presenter demonstrations, video examples and role-play opportunities. Participants will leave the workshop with a basic understanding of how to implement PECS with individuals with autism, related developmental disabilities, and/or limited communication skills.

No Link Between Childhood Infections, Autism

FRIDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Infections during infancy or childhood do not seem to raise the risk of autism, new research finds. Researchers analyzed birth records for the 1.4 million children born in Denmark between 1980 and 2002, as well as two national registries that keep track of infectious diseases. They compared those records with records of children referred to psychiatric wards and later diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Of those children, almost 7,400 were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The study found that children who were admitted to the hospital for an infectious disease, either bacterial or viral, were more likely to receive a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. However, children admitted to the hospital for non-infectious diseases were also more likely to be diagnosed with autism than kids who were never hospitalized, the study found. And the researchers could point to no particular infection that upped the risk

.Click here for full article.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Television Review - The Vaccine War on PBS

Much of the program is taken up with a rehashing of how the battle lines came to be drawn on this issue: suspicions by parents when autism and other problems seem to descend on their children right after vaccination; the now discredited 1998 research paper published by The Lancet linking a particular vaccine to autism; celebrity advocacy by Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, who are concerned that vaccines cause harm; scientific studies from around the world finding that they don’t. The shouting continues, occasionally in demonstrations, but 24 hours a day on the Internet. And the Internet, as the program points out, is the reason that vaccines will never be fully exonerated, no matter how many studies clear them. “The original myths are still there, and they’re hard to counteract,” Dr. Cynthia Cristofani, a pediatric specialist in Oregon, says. “Conspiracy theories tend to be popular, and it’s hard to undo that kind of damage.”

 Whichever side is right, that moment between Dr. Shames and the mothers who don’t have their children vaccinated reveals that beneath the heated do-they-or-don’t-they words about vaccines themselves, there’s a more delicate question that no scientific study can answer. It involves whether parents’ rights to make choices about their children trump the needs of the community.

Watch the video here.


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Use of Psychedelic Agents with Autistic Schizophrenic Children

This is a 1969 journal article. It is disturbing to see what was once considered science.

 Click here for full article.