Thursday, July 25, 2013

Autism Link to Mercury in Fish Not Supported

Mercury in fish does not appear to contribute to autism, researchers reported. The finding comes from analysis of a large cohort of mothers and children in the Seychelles, an Indian Ocean nation where residents consume about 10 times the amount of ocean fish as people in the U.S., according to Edwin van Wijngaarden, PhD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY, and colleagues. But despite prenatal methylmercury levels that were approximately 10 times those of mothers in the U. S., there was no association between methylmercury and their children's scores on autism screening tests, van Wijngaarden and colleagues reported online in Epidemiology.

 Read more here. 


Gait analysis of teenagers and young adults diagnosed with autism and severe verbal communication disorders.

Both movement differences and disorders are common within autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These differences have wide and heterogeneous variability among different ages and sub-groups all diagnosed with ASD. Gait was studied in a more homogeneously identified group of nine teenagers and young adults who scored as "severe" in both measures of verbal communication and overall rating of Autism on the Childhood Autism Rating Scales (CARS). The ASD individuals were compared to a group of typically developing university undergraduates of similar ages. All participants walked a distance of 6-meters across a GAITRite (GR) electronic walkway for six trials. The ASD and comparison groups differed widely on many spatiotemporal aspects of gait including: step and stride length, foot positioning, cadence, velocity, step time, gait cycle time, swing time, stance time, and single and double support time. Moreover, the two groups differed in the percentage of the total gait cycle in each of these phases. The qualitative rating of "Body Use" on the CARS also indicated severe levels of unusual body movement for all of the ASD participants. These findings demonstrate that older teens and young adults with "severe" forms of Verbal Communication Impairments and Autism differ widely in their gait from typically developing individuals. The differences found in the current investigation are far more pronounced compared to previous findings with younger and/or less severely involved individuals diagnosed with ASD as compared to typically developing controls. As such, these data may be a useful anchor-point in understanding the trajectory of development of gait specifically and motor functions generally.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bringing the Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders Into Focus

To improve recognition of the early signs of ASD among pediatricians, parents, and early intervention providers, autism researcher Dr. Rebecca Landa of Kennedy Krieger Institute has developed a free 9-minute video tutorial on ASD behavioral signs in one-year-olds. The tutorial consists of six video clips comparing toddlers who show no signs of ASD to toddlers who show early signs of ASD. Each video is presented with voice-over explaining how the specific behaviors exhibited by the child, as they occur on screen, are either indicative of ASD or typical child development.

 View the video here. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Teach Children to Swim With Autism

The following tips may help your Autistic Spectrum child learn to swim.The steps outlined in this article are aimed at assisting you to help your autistic spectrum child learn to swim. Autism can cause children to fear or dislike water, so additional effort is required to ease the anxiety over above that experienced by children in general.

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