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Monday, July 30, 2012

Salivary enzyme, pupil size possible biomarkers for autism

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have larger resting pupil size and generally steadier, higher levels of a salivary enzyme linked to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, according to University of Kansas researchers. The levels of the enzyme, called salivary alpha-amylase (sAA), were lower than those of typically-developing children in samples taken in the afternoon in the lab. However, samples taken at home throughout the day showed that sAA levels were higher in general across the day and far less variable on children with ASD. “What this says is that the autonomic system of children with ASD is always on the same level,” Christa Anderson, assistant research professor, said. “They are in overdrive.”

 Click here to read more. 

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Questionnaire filled by parents may help assess autism risk.

31 percent of children identified as at risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) at 12 months received a confirmed diagnosis of ASD by age 3 years, a new study has revealed. In addition, 85 percent of the children found to be at risk for ASD based on results from the First Year Inventory (FYI), a 63-item questionnaire filled out by their parents, had some other developmental disability or concern by age three, said Grace Baranek, PhD, senior author of the study and an autism researcher with the Program for Early Autism, Research, Leadership and Service (PEARLS) in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. “These results indicate that an overwhelming majority of children who screen positive on the FYI indeed experience some delay in development by age three that may warrant early intervention,” she said.

 Click here to read more. 

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AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS: GUIDE TO EVIDENCE-BASED INTERVENTIONS

You can download the guide here. 

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Agricultural Commmunities for Adults with Autism

Agricultural Communities for Adults with Autism (ACAA) is a consortium of existing and in-formation organizations focused on sharing best practices and advocating for holistic, agricultural based employment and housing models for adults with autism.

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When Words Hurt

When strangers are families say hurtful things about your child with autism, even if they don't mean to be hurtful, how do you respond? The attached article has suggested strategies from parents.

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Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies toImprove Processing - Missoula / Butte / Billings - Sept. 26 / 27 / 28,2012

Children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders present numerous challenges for therapists and educators. They have significant processing deficits that impact their functioning across domains, and can stretch the knowledge and resources of even experienced practitioners. Often viewed through the lens of "behavior," the symptoms these children display are more accurately described as manifestations of inefficient and ineffective processing. Understanding how information processing deficits impact these children paves the way for applying a new generation of strategies designed to address core processing problems and promote meaningful skill development. Objectives include: Describe the connection between information processing deficits and symptoms in autism/related disorders. Differentiate between methods that promote rote behavior and those that develop meaningful thinking. Explain how to adjust the pacing of activities to improve processing, communication and behavior. Discuss communication modifications that support processing speed and effectiveness. Describe how processing problems impact behavior and hot to respond in ways that diffuse behavior more quickly. Explain the importance of nonverbal communication development for overall communication and thinking abilities.

 Click here for more information. 

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Exploring the Proposed DSM-5 Criteria in a Clinical Sample

The potential effect of the change from DSM IV to DSM 5 has generated quite a lot of interest within the autism community. Yes, I realize that is an understatement. In her presentation to the IACC, Sue Swedo (chair of the neurodevelopmental disorders work group for the DSM 5) stated that comments to the DSM 5 committee are running 10x higher for autism than any other diagnosis. This week another study on the potential changes caused by the change to DSM 5 was published: Exploring the Proposed DSM-5 Criteria in a Clinical Sample. This from York University in Toronto, Canada. This study points, as others have, to the DSM 5 not diagnosing children who would meet the autism criteria under DSM IV. 19% of children studied with autistic disorder under DSM IV would not be picked up by DSM 5, according to this study. A much larger fraction–83%–of those with DSM IV PDD-NOS diagnoses would not receive ASD diagnoses under DSM 5 (again, according to this study).

 Source

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Why do (some) autistic kids struggle to recognise faces?

Faces are essentially very similar: two eyes above a nose and a mouth. Yet most people are really good at noticing subtle differences between faces, and interpreting accurately. This helps enormously with social interaction: we can tell who they are, if we know them, we can also tell if they are male or female, roughly what age they are, and what that person might be feeling.In autism, deficits processing facial expressions are widely acknowledged, but there is an increasing amount of evidence for impaired facial identity recognition from scientific studies as well as personal anecdotes.Several years ago I worked as an ABA therapist for a little girl, Clare (not her real name). She was profoundly autistic and her quirky ways and bounding energy made her popular with her classmates. Despite her popularity Clare was always getting the names of the other children mixed up. She was unconcerned by her mistakes and paid little attention to repeated corrections. But we were a little worried, figuring that after a while the other kids might be offended that she still couldn’t identify them. So, in an attempt to protect her social reputation, her mother took a photograph of each child and we Clare and I played various ‘who’s this?’ games. She did get better at naming the photographs. But I’m not sure she ever actually got better at naming the kids in real life.

source:

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Webinar - Increasing Peer Interaction

July 25th, 6pm EDT / 5pm CDT With Bridget A. Taylor, Psy.D., BCBA-D Executive Director- Alpine Learning Group Senior Clinical Advisor - Rethink Autism In this webinar, we will discuss: Research-based interventions to increase peer interactions Skills to target to improve peer relationships Strategies to make play dates more effective Register now: Wednesday July 25th at 6 PM EDT / 5 PM CDT This webinar is free and open to everyone!

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Autism/Aspergers Disorde Fall Conference September 2012

When: September 28 & 29, 2012

The ChildWise Institute is collaborating with the State of Montana's Office of Public Instruction to present this Fall Conference. Day 1 (Sept. 28th) we are very excited and thrilled to have two wonderful presenters:

 Patricia Wright, Ph.D.,MPH: National Director of Autism Services for Easter Seals Ellen Notbohm, BS: Nationally-recognized, bestselling author of "Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew" and several other books that have been written in eleven different languages and sold all over the world.

 Day 2 (Sept. 29th) will consist of six breakout sessions on topics including: The School's Responsibility Communication Strategies Transition into Adulthood (with several local/state agencies offering insight into their respective services) Nutrition & Brain Chemistry, presented by Nutritionist Julia Turner,MMSc, RD,LN. Insurance Providers: Q & A Ellen Notbohm presenting round table discussions on her current books and newly released book due September 2012 -- right at the time of our conference

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An 8 step guide to insurance coverage for autism

Health insurance can be an invaluable resource for families with children with autism to help make the often high-cost and high-frequency treatments for their child more affordable. However, making sure that services and providers are covered can be confusing and time-consuming. Below are some tips for how to make the process more manageable and to maximize coverage.

 Click here to read more. 

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Person First: An Evolution in Thinking

As John Robison points out in his book Be Different, when we talk about people having something, it’s something bad. He has cancer. He has a cold. He has the flu. When was the last time you heard someone say, “He has intelligence?” or “Wow, she really has giftedness and talentedness?”So when we say, “has autism” aren’t we conveying a message to our kid that what they “have” ain’t good? Click here to read more.

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Catch Me If You Can

When Robert Wood Jr. disappeared in a densely forested Virginia park, searchers faced the challenge of a lifetime. The eight-year-old boy was autistic and nonverbal, and from his perspective the largest manhunt in state history probably looked like something else: the ultimate game of hide-and-seek. This article describes the difficulties of doing Search and Rescue for someone with autism.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Why Are Boys More Prone To Autism? It's In The Genes

Autism is much more prevalent in boys than in girls, and researchers now think they know why, according to a new study, published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics. Five rare gene mutations appear to increase the chances that a boy will develop autism, researchers said. Researchers found that mutations on the AFF2 gene, which resides on the X chromosome, increase the risk for autism. While both boys and girls have an X chromosome, girls have a second copy which can compensate for a faulty gene, while men only have one.

 Click here to read more. 

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Carly's Voice: Technology Bridges Autism

Carly Fleischmann was unable to communicate. Diagnosed with autism and related disorders by the age of two, she screamed, threw herself to the floor, smeared feces, moved constantly, and barely slept at night. An attentive family plus hours of daily therapy helped teach her rudiments like walking and feeding herself. Experts advised her parents to consider residential care. But one day during a therapy session when she was ten years old, Carly reached for the computer. Slowly, using one finger, she typed help teeth hurt. Her therapists were astonished. It took months and much coaxing to get her to use the computer again (at that time, an augmentative communication device). But she began to recognize that communication was essential. Technology made it possible.

 Click here to read more. 

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

IACC/OARC ASD Research Publications Analysis: Pre-publication Draft

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) and the Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) in collaboration with Thomson Reuters, Inc. are pleased to announce the pre-publication release of the IACC/OARC Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Publications Analysis Report: The Global Landscape of Autism Research. (ZIP– 5 MB) This inaugural report describes several key aspects of worldwide ASD research publications, which can be used to inform planning and strategic funding decisions for future autism research. ASD-related research articles published between 1980 and 2010 were analyzed to identify historical trends and publication outputs across the seven critical research areas of the 2011 IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research. Information found in research publications was also used to assess the institutions conducting ASD research, funding organizations supporting the research publications, and the extent of collaboration between authors from different countries and research institutions. Additionally, measures such as citation counts were used as an assessment of the impact of this published research. By analyzing publications as a major output of the autism research field, this report complements the annual IACC Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Portfolio Analysis Report, which tracks major US inputs or investments into autism research, and highlights trends that can provide a useful perspective on the development and current state of ASD research. A finalized publication along with extended Web appendices will be available shortly.

 Click here to download. 

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Autism Spectrum Disorder Reclassified: A Second Look at the 1980sUtah/UCLA Autism Epidemiologic Study

In the 1980′S a major epidemiological study was performed by UCLA researchers focused on the population of Utah. This resulted in six publications. One study, the prevalence paper, has now been revisited recently with results indicating that the broadening of autism criteria with the shift from DSM III to DSM IV had a major impact on prevalence. In particular, on the prevalence of individuals with lower IQ’s. Yes, the the DSM III missed a large number of individuals with low. IQ.

 Click here to read more.

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