Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Autism risk increases with air pollution exposure, study finds

Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy may increase the likelihood a child will develop autism, according to a new study. "Although additional research to replicate these findings is needed, the public health implications of these findings are large because air pollution exposure is common and may have lasting neurological effects,"

 Click here to read more. 

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Thursday, November 22, 2012



Monday, November 19, 2012

Mothers with ASD ask why scientists are missing girls

Autism is diverse, and mothers with ASD don’t all share the same traits. Of the six interviewed for this story, some said they, too, could be perceived as “cold.” Others said affection came easily. DubĂ© keeps a compulsive schedule, while another mom often forgets her appointments. But for a group of women who have never met, they share remarkable similarities. All were diagnosed late in life. Most overcame destructive childhood misdiagnoses, and only stumbled onto the correct diagnosis after raising a child who also had autism. Marriage had been a battle. All were diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning type of autism, and are highly educated. And every one of them said, forcefully, that the scant resources for adult women with autism peter out completely when it comes to the topic of motherhood. None has ever found a book devoted to ASD mothers, nor a scrap of published research. Counselling services are non-existent, they said.

 Read more here. 

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Popular autism treatment might not be effective, study finds

A popular treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders might not be effective, according to new findings from a group of 12 researchers, including professors from the University of Texas and Texas State University. The review examined 25 studies of sensory integration therapy, which involve activities that stimulate the senses and are believed to improve defects of the nervous system. Just three studies suggested the popular therapy was effective, eight found mixed results, and 14 reported no related benefits. Many of the studies, including the three that reported positive results, had serious methodological flaws, according to the review, which was published in the July-September issue of Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. “We’re not saying (sensory integration therapy) doesn’t work,” said Mark O’Reilly, a co-author and professor at UT. “It lacks scientific evidence.”

 Read more here. 

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Complementary and alternative medicine use in a large pediatric autismsample

The journal Pediatrics has a large number of autism related articles in a recent supplement. One of these covers a topic discussed a great deal by parent groups online: alternative medical approaches to the treatment of autism. In Complementary and alternative medicine use in a large pediatric autism sample, James Perrin (this one of his five articles in the Supplement; Dr. Perrin is the president elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics) and his coauthors use the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) to review parent report of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in regards to autism. The authors find that while CAM is used by a significant minority of parents, it is a minority: 28% (896 out of 3173). Special diets are the most common (548 respondents, 17%). Various methodologies are listed below: Characteristic NAny CAM 896Special diets 548Gluten-free diet 249Casein-free diet 289No processed sugars 69No sugars or salicylates 28Feingold diet 14Other specified special diet 293Other CAM 643Other vitamin supplements 413Probiotics 274Essential fatty acids 171Digestive enzymes 116Higher dosing vitamin B6 and magnesium 99Chiropractic 77Amino acids 59Antifungals 58Glutathione 33Chelation 19Hyperbaric oxygen 12Acupuncture 10Sulfation 7Other specified CAM 173

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Encouraging Picky Eaters with Autism to Try New Foods

If your child or grandchild is a picky eater, know that you’re not alone. Up to 70 percent of parents with children on the autism spectrum report problems with excessively narrow eating habits. Often, these tendencies continue into adolescence and adulthood. Researchers are still trying to fully understand what causes picky eating in many of those with autism and how to intervene to expand food choices. Our new Autism Speaks research projectfocuses on expanding food choices by addressing underlying anxiety, inflexibility and sensory issues. This new project focuses on older children and adolescents, whose eating habits and aversions have received less attention. Here are some strategies parents can use to diversify a narrow diet – no matter the child’s age.

 Read more here. 

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Autism Speaks Co-Sponsors Nature Supplement on Autism

Autism Speaks is pleased to co-sponsor a special supplement on autism spectrum disorders by the respected scientific journal Nature. Readers can access all articles free online here, and request a free print copy here
. Autism Speaks contributed to this special supplement with funding, content and expert interviews.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Metal-binding agents don't help autism

Metal-binding agent 2,3-Dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate, prescribed by some alternative practitioners to treat autism, does not work, U.S. researchers say.

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Positively Autism

Autism Training | Teaching Materials | Tutorials

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Flu During Pregnancy Linked to Autism, Says Survey

Mothers who reported having the flu during pregnancy were at least twice as likely to have a child with autism as those who did not report having the flu, according to new survey results from a Danish study. While the study does not suggest that high fever -- or flu -- causes autism, many experts said the correlation reinforces recommendations that all pregnant women should get the flu shot.

 Click here to read more. 

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Melatonin improves sleep in children with neurodevelopmental disorders

Melatonin increases the length of time spent asleep and reduces the time it takes to get to sleep for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, compared with placebo, show study results published in the British Medical Journal. The phase III trial took place over 12 weeks among children aged 3 to 15 years with conditions including autism, epilepsy, and developmental delay, note the researchers. Treatment doses were escalated to a total of 12.0 mg from the initial 0.5 mg if participants continued to fit the criteria for sleep disorder, defined as failing to fall asleep within an hour of bedtime in three nights out of five, or achieving less than 6 hours per night of continuous sleep over the previous 5 months.

 Click here to read more. 

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Autism Tough to Spot Before 6 Months of Age, Study Suggests

The development of 6-month-old babies who are diagnosed with autism in toddlerhood is very similar to that of children without autism, a new study suggests. "We always thought that if a child had autism, we would be able to tell during infancy . . . but we were wrong," said study author Rebecca Landa, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. "At 6 months of age, babies who end up with autism by age 3 are scoring similarly on tests to children who didn't have autism." The study also sheds doubt on the notion that cases of autism that are spotted early are necessarily more severe.

 Read more here. 

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

2011 Autism Distribution by County

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Archived iPad Webinars - Registration required.

Title: The iPad in Special Education: Why do you want one and what to do with it - 60 Minutes Presenter: Diane Gerads-Schmidt, M.A. & Jason Backes - OTClick here to watch webinarTitle: All About Computer Access: Adaptations and Alternatives to the Standard Keyboard and Mouse - 60 MinutesPresenter:Kelly Fonner, MSClick here to watch webinar Title: Course 1 - Switch Assessment: Determining the Optimal Switch Type and Location - 60 MinutesPresenter:Michelle L. Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMSClick here to watch webinar Title: Course 2 - Switch Mounting: I've Found a Location, Now How Do I Keep It There?- 60 MinutesPresenter:Michelle L. Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMSClick here to watch webinarTitle: Course 3 - Positioning for Optimal Access to Assistive Technology - 60 MinutesPresenter:Michelle L. Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMSClick here to watch webinarTitle: Assistive Technology to Support Game-based Learning - 30 Minutes Presenter: Brenda BrittonClick here to watch webinar Title: Best iDevice Apps That Are Switch Accessible - 60 Minutes Presenter: Jill Gonzalez, B.A., M.A.

Click here to watch webinars

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