Monday, December 29, 2014

Archived Webinar on Autism and GI/Nutrition Issues

Please join speaker Dr. Timothy Buie, Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Lurie Center for Autism; Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Harvard Medical School for a free one hour presentation on the recognition and management of GI and nutritional issues in children with ASD. 

Recognize the prevalence of GI issues in children with ASD and how these issues may be identified.

Describe the most commonly occurring GI symptoms and potential nutritional deficits in children with ASD. 

Discuss assessment needs and management strategies for children with ASD and GI and/or nutrition issues. 

Identify 2 ways in which amino acid-based formula/semi-solid food may be indicated for children with ASD with GI and/or nutrition issues.

View the archived webinar here.


Masculine features support extreme male brain theory of autism spectrum disorder

Recent research from Bangor University has revealed a new spin to a long-standing theory of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). They created two sets of composite images made up of the facial appearance of individuals scoring high and low for symptoms of ASD. When these images were rated they found males with more symptoms of ASD to be rated as more masculine in appearance.

The 'extreme male brain' theory proposed by Simon Baron-Cohen, speculates that ASD is a consequence of elevated pre-natal testosterone levels. In a study recently published in the journal, Clinical Psychological Science, Naomi Scott and colleagues at Bangor University's School of Psychology investigated the possible implications this has for a physical appearance associated with ASD. 

This finding not only lends support to Baron-Cohen's theory but also connects physical traits and behaviour through hormonal effects. The implications of this are two-fold; firstly from a clinical perspective they demonstrate the existence of facial traitsassociated with ASD that are identifiable by untrained observers - that males with ASD are hyper-masculine in facial appearance. Second are social consequences of these perceptions. Highly masculine males are perceived to be dominant and aggressive, characteristics not in tune with the classic perception of individuals with ASD.

Read more here.


Friday, December 26, 2014

What is it about autism and trains?

Trains certainly seem to be a popular topic for the children we see in our autism clinic. I see several probable reasons for the wide appeal among individuals on the autism spectrum – regardless of their ages. First, trains have wheels, and this will appeal to those whose sensory interests include watching objects spin. This is certainly common among children with autism. In fact, spending an extraordinary amount of time spinning and rotating toys is among the signs that a toddler may be at increased risk of going on to be develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Second, trains can be categorized into different models, types, sizes, etc.

 Read more here. 


Teen Transition

In the last full IACC meeting, Prof. Burton-Hoyle gave a presentation on the “Teen Transition”. She presents on the program to support autistics at Eastern Michigan University. The program seems like an excellent support system for autistics in college.

 Watch the video here. 


10 Things to Know About the ABLE Act

1. Briefly explain the ABLE Act and why it is so important? The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities and their families to set up a special savings account for disability-related expenses. Earnings on an ABLE account would not be taxed, and account funds would generally not be considered for the supplemental security income (SSI) program, Medicaid, and other federal means-tested benefits. 2. How does this differ from current law? Current law makes savings for disability-related expenses difficult. Individuals and families can face the loss of federal benefits if savings exceed certain limits. 3. Once signed into law by President Obama, how soon would people be able to set-up ABLE accounts? Possibly in 2015. Before accounts can be set up, regulations will have to be written and ABLE programs established in states.

 Read more here. 


Archived Webinar - Girls under the Umbrella of ASD Part 1: Diagnosisand Gender Differences

Girls and women with ASD are often underdiagnosed and lack effective comprehensive services to establish and maintain a quality of life. During this webcast, Dr. Lori Ernsperger will highlight the core gender differences between males and females with ASD. The focus of this webcast will be to review the current research and findings on girls and women with ASD and provide recommendations for future research. It is free for those who choose Virginia as their state of residence.

View webinar here: 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Brain inflammation a hallmark of autism: study

While many combinations of genetic traits can cause autism, the disorder is related to inflammation in the brain, according to a new study that may pave the way for new treatments. An analysis of data from autopsied human brains shows that brains affected by autism share a pattern of ramped-up immune responses. "There are many different ways of getting autism, but we found that they all have the same downstream effect," said Dan Arking, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

 Read more here. 


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Explaining the Increase in the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Results For Danish children born during the study period, 33% (95% CI, 0%-70%) of the increase in reported ASD prevalence could be explained by the change in diagnostic criteria alone; 42% (95% CI, 14%-69%), by the inclusion of outpatient contacts alone; and 60% (95% CI, 33%-87%), by the change in diagnostic criteria and the inclusion of outpatient contacts. Conclusions and Relevance Changes in reporting practices can account for most (60%) of the increase in the observed prevalence of ASDs in children born from 1980 through 1991 in Denmark. Hence, the study supports the argument that the apparent increase in ASDs in recent years is in large part attributable to changes in reporting practices.

 Read more here. 


Signs of Autism Infographic



Monday, December 1, 2014

75 Quick "On the Spot" Techniques for Children with Emotional and Behavioral Problems

The Montana Autism Education Project is delighted to bring Dr. Steve Olivas back to Montana. He has presented before at the Montana CEC Conference and MBI conference to rave reviews.
This workshop is not just for educators of students with autism spectrum disorder but is for anyone who works with children.

The Workshop will be held February 11, 2016 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Hampton Inn, Kalispell.

And previously on . . . 

Great Falls – December 2nd, 2014

Missoula – December 3rd, 2014'

* There are a limited number of travel scholarships available for public school paraeducators, special education teachers and SLPs in CSPD regions I and III who are traveling over 75 miles to attend this workshop. Please contact Doug Doty, for further information.
Utilize 75 effective, proven techniques for individually treating children with behavior problems.
  • Identify simple, teachable tools and strategies specific for parents and teachers.
  • List different medication categories and explain potential effects and side-effects.
  • Explain differential diagnostics regarding acting-out disorders such as anxiety, ADHD, bipolarity, oppositional defiance, conduct disorder and depression.
  • Develop skills for building a therapeutic relationship with difficult children and teens.
  • Describe a spectrum of interventions representing many major theoretical orientations.
This is a just a link for future use.