Monday, July 25, 2011

National Professional Development Center On Autism Spectrum Disorders






Click here to read more.Evidence-Based Practice Briefs
Evidence-based practice (EBP) briefs have been developed for all 24 identified evidence-based practices. Select a practice below to access the overview of the practice and downloadable PDF files for the EBP brief and the individual components. An evidence-based practice brief consists of the following core components:


EBP BRIEF COMPONENTS
Overview:
A general description of the practice and how it can be used with learners with autism spectrum disorders.
Step-by-Step Directions for Implementation:
Explicit step-by-step directions detailing exactly how to implement a practice, based on the research articles identified in the evidence base.
Implementation Checklist:
The implementation checklist offers a way to document the degree to which practitioners are following the step-by-step directions for implementation, which are based on the research articles identified in the evidence base.
Evidence Base:
The list of references that demonstrate that the practice is efficacious and meets the National Professional Development Center's criteria for being identified as an evidence-based practice.
Some practices include supplemental materials such as data collection sheets.
see updated website: 
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Autism Conference - Billings August 2011?

This conference will provide information and hands-on training in the latest technology being used to enhance communication and social skills for individuals living with autism. This conference is for everyone who loves and works with children and adults with autism every day. This year we will highlight Communication and iOS devices - iPads, iPods and iPhones. Today’s technological advances offer highly interactive tools that can be used to help build communication skills. During our event you will learn how to choose applications appropriate for your needs, whether you are a parent, educator or practitioner. Through demonstration and actual hands-on training you will be introduced to a variety of applications that use interactive text, illustrations, painting, animation, voice recording, stories, songs and speech/language based activities that may be helpful in developing communication abilities of children and adults on the Autism spectrum. Practitioners can use these devices to help people with cognitive-behavioral needs through applications that target social skills and executive functioning like planning, organization, attention and memory. We will also benefit from meeting and hearing from people of all ages who are navigating through life on the spectrum. Their stories will inspire, educate and bring us closer as a group as we take action to improve the lives of individuals with autism. 

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Debunking Dolphin Therapy For Autism

Near the top on the list of “therapies we consider ludicrous” for our 14-year-old autistic son Charlie is dolphin therapy. You will read different claims about “dolphin assisted therapy” and autism if you look on the Internet: Living From the Heart Dolphin Experience says that some quite high percentages of autistic children who receive dolphin therapy enjoy benefits lasting up to two years, though it should be noted that the benefits (longer attention spans, improved emotional control and improved speech communication skills) attributed to dolphin therapy are the same benefits that are often noted for other therapies for autistic children

.Read more: 

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Addressing the Behavior, Social, Sensory, and Self-Regulation Needs ofLearners With Autism Spectrum Disorders: Creating Successful Experiences

Grand Forks, North Dakota DAY ONE - August 8, 2011Planning for School and Life SuccessBrenda Smith Myles, Ph.D.Sessions on Day 1 will provide an overview of the latest research in ASD and how this information translates into evidence-based practices. Examples of social, communication,self-regulation, sensory, and academic interventions will be offered as well as how to create a comprehensive, yet manageable program for students with ASD in general and specialeducation classrooms.LEARNING OBJECTIVESAt the end of Day 1, participants will be able to:• Match evidence-based practices to the needs of students with ASD• Identify evidence-based social and communication supports for individuals with ASD• Identify evidence-based self-regulation and sensory supports for individuals with ASDDAY TWO - August 9, 2011Addressing the Behavior and Regulation Needs of Individuals With Autism Spectrum DisordersJudy Endow, MSWSessions on Day 2 will present interventions on how to outsmart the explosive behavior experienced by individuals with ASD. Specifically, attendees will learn what signs to look for and how to create and implement a plan to outsmart explosive behavior. In addition,attendees will learn to stabilize the learner with classic autism and teach the student toself-regulate.LEARNING OBJECTIVESAt the end of Day 2, participants will be able to:• Name academic modifications for students with ASD across settings• Develop a plan to assist students with ASD in outsmarting their explosive behavior• Identify and implement stabilization strategies to help individuals with ASD be ready to learn

 Click here for more information.

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Birth Complications and Autism

July 11, 2011 The first scientific review of all research on birth-related risk factors for autism has clarified the conditions that may contribute to the development of this neurobiological disorder. The report appears in today’s issue of the journalPediatrics. Hannah Gardener and her colleagues at Harvard School of Public Health and Brown University reviewed the scientific literature for clinical studies on birth and newborn conditions that have been associated with autism. They identified 40 individual—and sometimes conflicting—studies suitable for “meta-analysis.” A powerful statistical technique, meta-analysis allows researchers to combine and compare findings across many scientific reports to clarify and strengthen their conclusions. In doing so, Gardener and her colleagues explored 60 different birth-related conditions suspected as increasing autism risk. These included complications such as prematurity, low birth weight, multiple birth, and birth injury, as well as broader factors such as season of birth. Specifically, the researchers identified the following complications and conditions as having the strongest association with increased risk that a child will develop autism:* abnormal birth presentations (e.g. breech),* umbilical-cord complications (e.g. cord wrapped around neck),* fetal distress,* birth injury or trauma,* multiple birth (twins, triplets, etc.),* maternal bleeding,* summer birth (possibly associated with pregnancy during winter flu season),* low birth weight or small for gestational age,* physical birth defects,* low 5-minute Apgar score (a rating of overall newborn health),* myconium aspiration,* feeding difficulties,* newborn anemia or hyperbilirubinemia.

 Click here to read more.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Why Autism Strikes More Boys Than Girls

Autism, a developmental disorder that causes deficits in social behavior and communication, affects four times as many boys as girls. Because of this extreme gender imbalance, some scientists posit that sex hormones may contribute to the disease. Now researchers have identified for the first time a gene that may help explain the gender discrepancy and underlie some common autism symptoms.

 Click here to read more.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Webinar - iPads and High-End Communication Apps: A Comparative Overview

Description: You've heard of Proloquo2Go? How about TouchChat? Predictable? Any other high-end communication apps? What have you heard beyond the names? What would you like to know? Join us for a comparative demonstration and discussion of these three and other communication apps in the $150 - $300 range. If you have experience with any of these apps, please bring perspectives to share. If you have questions about any of these apps, or about iOS device communication apps in general, send them in beforehand to jen@cforat.org and we'll work to include them in the presentation. Learning Objectives: Gain an understanding of current accessible technologies avialable for people using an iPad or iTouch. Learn the features of Proloquo2Go, TouchChat, and Predictable. Understand different considerations to make informed purchasing decisions.

 Click here for more information. 

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Good Cop - An Encounter With New York's Finest

I could have kicked myself for not getting the name of the wonderful New York City police officer who pulled me over the other night. I'm a safe,driver for the most part, but Asperger's sometimes interfere with my perceptions whether I'm standing still or navigating a dark road. It was rainy, I was distracted, and if I can't even read body language... Well, I was as I so often am, stumped. Even at my best I'm sometimes unclear as to why people honk their horns at me, so when the cop driving behind me started waving his hands I didn't know if wanted me to get out of his way or whether he was trying to pull me over. Turns out it was the latter. I know this because he used his loudspeaker to announce to all of Soho that I was to put my car in Park immediately. You'd think the police lights, would have cued me in sooner, but the sensory overload just made me freeze, and we aspies don't pick up on subtle hints. Like sirens. Anyway, I figured he'd want to see my license, but I was too scared to move. Eventually however after he pounded on my passenger side window and I managed to lower it, I knew I needed some answer to a gruffly phrased "Is there a problem, Ma'am?" Very slowly, I handed him the emergency autism card I always carry and asked if he would be willing to look at it before we spoke any further

.Click here to read more.

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The 10 Commandments of Parenting a Child with Autism

Click here to read

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When A Child With Autism Grieves

The grief of a child with autism, be it for a cherished pet, a grandparent or other close family member is very hard for a parent to experience. While most children openly cry and seek comfort for their loss, a child with autism will likely become more isolated than ever as they seek methods to block their intense and overpowering emotions. Dr. Tony Attwood advises that you will see an intensification of typical autistic behaviors that will last for many months as the child feverishly works to keep his or her emotions at bay. Attwood points out that a child with autism is thrown not only by the loss of the individual, but the careening emotions of everyone around him and the disruption of the world as he or she knows it.Modeling a child’s behavior and helping them appreciate why others are acting upset are essential. Explaining that “mommy is crying because she is very sad about grandpa dying and when people are sad they appreciate a hug," then praising the child when the hug is given goes a long way towards the child with autism navigating this new and treacherous terrain.Of course, every child is going to react to loss in their own unique way. And losses can be great or small. Social stories can help deal with a friend moving away, the end of a wonderful vacation and other pain that is inherent in being human. As parents, we can’t spare them as much as we’d like to and it’s difficult to even help them. I once read a poem by Kathy Pollitt in The New Yorker whose last line has stayed with me for years, “…my death is my own, it has nothing to do with you.”The same can be said for grief.
 Source

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What does bottle feeding have to do with autism?

As if there weren't already enough tension between bottle-feeding and breast-feeding moms, now a researcher at the State University of New York at Albany is courting controversy by suggesting that bottle-feeding is associated with an increased risk of autism. In actuality, it's not bottle-feeding per se that may be linked to autism, but the absence of breast-feeding, contends evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup in an article published in June in the journal Medical Hypotheses. Gallup didn't do his own research but based his theory on data from a January study in the journal Pediatrics

.Read more: 

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Anti-Depressent use during pregnancy linked to higher risk of autism.

Children whose mothers use antidepressants during pregnancy may be more likely to develop autism than kids whose mothers do not, say researchers in California. In a study involving data on more than 1,800 children — fewer than 300 of whom had an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — and their mothers, the scientists found that women who were prescribed drugs to treat depression in the year before giving birth were twice as likely to have children with an ASD, compared with women who did not take antidepressants. The risk was even greater for women who were prescribed the drugs in the first trimester: their children were nearly four times more likely to develop autism or a related disorder

.Read more: 

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Hell No, We Don't Stay Home: Outings with Children with Autism

Shannon des Roches Rosa, who is, among other things, the iPad for autism queen, has also mastered the art of taking her three children, including her son Leo, who has autism, on excursions.

Read more:

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Antidepressant use in pregnancy may raise autism risk

Children whose mothers take Zoloft, Prozac, or similar antidepressants during pregnancy are twice as likely as other children to have a dianosis of autism or a related disorder, according to a small new study, the first to examine the relationship between antidepressants and autism risk. This class of antidepressants, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may be especially risky early on in a pregnancy, the study suggests. Children who were exposed to the drugs during the first trimester were nearly four times as likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared with unexposed children, according to the study, which appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The study included fewer than 300 children with a diagnosed ASD and does not prove that taking SSRIs during pregnancy directly causes ASDs, which affect approximately 1 percent of children in the U.S. The findings will need to be confirmed in larger studies, and should not dissuade women from starting or continuing to take SSRIs, experts on prenatal drug exposure and mental health say. The lead author of the study, Lisa Croen, Ph.D., the director of autism research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a large nonprofit health plan based in Oakland, emphasizes the preliminary nature of her team’s findings. “This is the first study of its kind to look at the association, and the findings have to be interpreted with a lot of caution,” she says. “We can’t detect causality from one study.”

 Click here to read more.

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Colored My Mind: The Movie

As Mom Warriors, we have a new enemy to fight. It hides itself in ignorance, and blankets itself beneath generational fear. It is attacking our children at epidemic proportions. They call this new enemy: Autism. We answer that call with a battle cry of new stories, new songs, and new truths that destroy old lies. In this story, we will slay yet another giant.

 Click here to watch the trailer.

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