Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of childhood autism: a randomisedcontrolled trial

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy (HBOT) has risen in recent years as an “alternative” therapy for many conditions, autism included. The logic behind HBOT is rather fuzzy. For example, there was some discussion of using HBOT to reduce oxidative stress a few years back. How increasing oxygen in the body would decrease oxidative stress was not clear. Some other discussions focused on oxygen perfusion. Basically, some studies have shown that some areas of the brain may be getting less oxygen in autistics than in non-autistics. The idea was that increasing the oxygen to those areas might result in some improvement in some measure or another.

 Click here to read more. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

OAR Releases Free Book: Navigating the Special Education System

Every parent knows that getting any child through school is a challenge. But for parents of children on the autism spectrum, the vast majority of whom require special services in order to successfully access the curriculum, this task can be burdensome or downright overwhelming even before a child reaches school age. Now, with the school year well underway, OAR is excited to announce the release of Navigating the Special Education System, the seventh guidebook in its Life Journey through Autism series. Packed with information from cover to cover, this comprehensive resource is designed to help parents meet the unique needs of their child with autism. Here’s a glimpse of what you will learn about: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which governs how special education is administered in schools Each critical component of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the document that outlines a student’s target objectives and required services The timeline of services from early intervention through transition Becoming an effective advocate for your child Preparing for a move to a new school, district, or state Common special education terminology, including related services (e.g. speech language pathology) and accommodations (e.g. extended time) Crafting effective IEP goals Recommended reading and state-specific resources Navigating the Special Education System is the second of three resources developed as part of OAR’s “Autism in the Schoolhouse” initiative. The first, Kit for Kids, is a colorful, interactive program that teaches typically developing elementary and middle school children about their peers with autism. The final piece, Understanding Autism: A Guide for Secondary Teachers, is a one-hour DVD designed to help teachers support students with autism in general education settings. The project is currently in production and set for completion in December.

 Click here to access:


Monday, October 15, 2012

Stem Cell Therapy To Treat Autism?

In a newly planned trial, recently approved by the FDA, researchers will examine whether stem cells obtained through umbilical cord blood at birth may be an effective treatment for children with autism.

 Read more here. 


5-Step Exercise Proven to Significantly Benefit Children with Autism

According to recently published research in The American Journal of Occupational Therapy by NYU Steinhardt scientists, a 5-step yoga exercise program significantly benefits autistic children in the classroom. This 5-step exercise program is part of a “Get Ready To Learn” (GRTL) intervention program designed by occupational therapist and yoga instructor Anne Buckley-Reen. The yoga-based GRTL program was created in 2008 and is available nationwide with a focus on students ages 5 through 21 who have significant disabilities in a learning environment. The 5-step exercise can be performed in the classroom or at home and consists of: Step one: Mats out Step two: Breathe deep Step three: Assume poses Step four: Tense and relax muscles Step five: Sing.

 Read more here. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Study Confirms Autistic Wandering is Widespread

“Occurrence and Family Impact of Elopement in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” was published today in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 8). The study was conducted by the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute and indicates that half of children with autism wander away from safe environments. The study was funded by a coalition of autism advocacy organizations led by the Autism Science Foundation. Researchers surveyed 1,367 families with children between the ages of 4 and 17 who had been diagnosed with ASD. Nearly half – 598, or 49 percent – of the families reported that their child had attempted to elope at least once after age 4. Of those, 316 children went missing long enough to cause concern. Greater autism severity was associated with increased elopement risk. Children eloped most commonly from their home, a store, classroom or school. Nearly half of parents said their child’s elopement was focused on an intent to go somewhere or do something, versus being confused or lost. Close calls with calamities like traffic injury or drowning are frequent, with police called in more than a third of cases. Of parents whose children had eloped, 43 percent said the issue had prevented family members from getting a good night’s sleep, and 62 percent said their concerns had prevented family from attending or enjoying activities outside the home. For 56 percent of parents, elopement was one of the most stressful behaviors they had to cope with as caregivers of a child with ASD, and half said they received no guidance from anyone on preventing or addressing this behavior.



Monday, October 8, 2012

Capturing the Positive - Havre, October 13 2012

In this session, we will learn the connection between behavior and communication. The participants will understand the methods of communication and the function of behaviors. Participants will also be given an overview of strategies for positive behavioral supports. In break-out sessions participants will integrate strategies for home, school, and community that will allow students with ASD to thrive.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Application of DSM-5 Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder to ThreeSamples of Children With DSM-IV Diagnoses of Pervasive DevelopmentalDisorders

With much attention focused on the change from DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing autism, it is good to see more data coming out. As noted only a yesterday (Brief Report: Comparability of DSM-IV and DSM-5 ASD Research Samples) a large number of papers on the effect of the change have been published in 2012. Add another to the list today: Application of DSM-5 Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder to Three Samples of Children With DSM-IV Diagnoses of Pervasive Developmental Disorders. This paper includes Catherine Lord as one of the authors and includes a large number of individuals (both autistic and non-autistic), with ” 4,453 children with DSM-IV clinical PDD diagnoses and 690 with non-PDD diagnoses (e.g., language disorder)”. In addition, the full paper is available online. This may be the largest study so far, especially in that it uses recent DSM-5 criteria (earlier studies have used earlier versions). Here is the conclusion paragraph: To our knowledge, this study is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the newly proposed DSM-5 ASD criteria. Based on symptom extraction from previously collected data, our findings indicate that the majority of children with DSM-IV PDD diagnoses would continue to be eligible for an ASD diagnosis under DSM-5. Additionally, these results further suggest that the revisions to the criteria, when applied to records of children with non-PDD diagnoses, yield fewer misclassifications. Our findings also contribute to literature that supports the use of both parent report and clinical observation for optimal classification accuracy.

 Read more here. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Miss Montana speaks at autism convention in Helena.

For much of her first 11 years, Alexis Wineman was bullied and teased, staying quiet to hide her speech problems, descending into self-loathing, looking at herself as a punching bag, scratching her arms and even banging her head against walls. After one bout of frustration in school, a teacher told her she wasn’t getting paid enough to deal with her kind of behavior. “I felt so alone growing up, and I still do at times,” Wineman, now Miss Montana 2012, told a group of more than 300 people Friday at a conference on autism and Asperger’s syndrome, put on by the Helena-based ChildWise Institute. “Something was wrong with me and no one could tell be what it was.”

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