Thursday, September 27, 2012

Little evidence supports autism treatment options in adolescents

Vanderbilt University researchers studying interventions for adolescents and young adults with autism are reporting today that there is insufficient evidence to support findings, good or bad, for the therapies currently used. “Overall, there is very little evidence in all areas of care for adolescents and young adults with autism, and it is urgent that more rigorous studies be developed and conducted,” saidMelissa McPheeters, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of Vanderbilt’s Evidence-Based Practice Center. Key findings: The researchers systematically screened more than 4,500 studies and reviewed the 32 studies published from January 1980 to December 2011 on therapies for people ages 13 to 30 with autism spectrum disorders. They focused on the outcomes, including harms and adverse effects, of interventions, including medical, behavioral, educational and vocational. Some evidence revealed that treatments could improve social skills and educational outcomes such as vocabulary or reading, but the studies were generally small and had limited follow-up. Limited evidence supports the use of medical interventions in adolescents and young adults with autism. The most consistent findings were identified for the effects of antipsychotic medications on reducing problem behaviors that tend to occur with autism, such as irritability and aggression. Harms associated with medications included sedation and weight gain. Only five articles tested vocational interventions, all of which suggested that certain vocational interventions may be effective for certain individuals, but each study had significant flaws that limited the researchers’ confidence in their conclusions.

 Click here to read the full article. 


Friday, September 7, 2012

How to open a combination lock/locker

It is the beginning of the school year and each new academic year presents new challenges. Opening a combination lock or a locker can be a very challenging experience. To help your son, daughter or student with this task, here are some resources on how to use a combination lock: • • • • • Locker cards - A sheet of printable cards to assist with practice of three steps to open a combination lock/locker. • Locker narrative - A one page narrative explaining lockers and how they work.

How to open your lock: 

Locker narrative: 

Locker cards


Monday, September 3, 2012

Adult Services

At Autism Speaks, our goal is to provide individuals with autism and their families with all the tools they need throughout the lifespan. Adults living with autism often have difficulty finding information about programs and supports that would allow them to live as independently as possible. Therefore, our Housing and Adult Services initiative will focus on resources that impact all facets of adult life including employment, housing, and post-secondary education. The Adult Services section of our website is divided into 5 sections: Housing and Residential SupportsAutism in the WorkplaceAutism Speaks Adult Services GrantsAdvancing Futures for Adults with AutismAdults with Autism in the News

Residental services :

Autism and employment

Adult services Grant Spotlight:

Adults with Autism in the news:


Autism Speaks - Transition Tool Kit

The Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood. Anyone can download the Transition Tool Kit for free! You can also view a PDF of each section by clicking on the links below. Click here to download the entire kit. Transition Tool Kit Sections Introduction Acknowledgments Self-Advocacy Why A Transition Plan? Community Living Employment and Other Options Post-Secondary Educational Opportunities Housing Legal Matters Health Internet, Technology and Safety Getting Organized Conclusion Resources Appendix

see transition tool kit here: