Thursday, June 21, 2018

Association of Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy With Risk of Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Offspring

Key Points
Question  What are the pooled estimates from existing literature examining the association between hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring?
Findings  Pooled estimates from this systematic review and meta-analysis of 61 studies suggest that exposure to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy is associated with a small yet statistically significant increase in the odds of autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in offspring compared with no exposure.
Meaning  Increased developmental screening of infants exposed to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy could allow for early intervention, which in turn may improve neurodevelopmental outcome.

Zones of Regulation Implementation and Fidelity Checklist

Evolving Definition Of Autism Prompts Questions About Prevalence

The latest government data shows that autism prevalence is on the rise, but a newly-adopted standard for diagnosing the developmental disorder may be muddying the numbers.

Now, for the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is factoring the changing definition of autism into its regular tracking of autism prevalence.
Figures released in April show that 1 in 59 children have autism — an increase from reports two years ago that found 1 in 68 children were on the spectrum. However, the latest numbers, which rely on data collected on over 300,000 children who were 8 years old in 2014, are based on the older definition of autism.
In the same report, the CDC then evaluated the children under the newer DSM-5 criteria, finding that 18 percent fewer would qualify for an autism diagnosis. Using the updated definition and also including children who had previously received a diagnosis of autism, 4 percent fewer children were found to have autism.

Was Autism a Nazi Invention?

Sheffer’s account of the “program of systematic child killing” that grew out of this mind-set is chilling. Starting in the summer of 1939, a Nazi decree mandated that all physicians, nurses, and midwives report any child under 3 with mental or physical disabilities. Sheffer goes on to explain: “The children would enter one of the Reich’s 37 ‘special children’s wards’ for observation and, regularly, medical murder.” Her descriptions of children’s pleading letters home or parents’ confusion as to their children’s sudden deaths are devastating in their routine matter-of-factness.
Sheffer’s pivot from describing deadly Nazi conceptions of community to Asperger’s complicity with the Reich’s killing machine is less effective. Because Asperger did not have a direct hand in any of the more than 700 children who were murdered in the regime’s child euthanasia program, she is left relying on conditionals and suppositions: An educational society Asperger helped found “may have disseminated the child euthanasia directive behind the scenes”; surviving documents “suggest” Asperger “had a hand” in transferring dozens of children to a killing pavilion. On one page, Sheffer states that a transfer to Am Spiegelgrund was a “lethal prescription”; on another, she writes that seven out of nine children the “staff” on “Asperger’s ward” transferred there did not die, although “it is possible that Asperger’s clinic still marked some of them for death.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Autism’s sex ratio, explained

Autism is significantly more common in boys than in girls. This skewed sex ratio has been recognized since the first cases of autism were described in the 1940s. The exact reasons for the ratio remain unclear. It could be rooted in biological differences between the sexes. Or, some experts say, it may be an artifact of the way autism is defined and diagnosed.

Here’s how researchers estimate and explain the sex ratio in autism.

What is the sex ratio for autism?

Researchers have consistently found more boys than girls with autism when estimating the condition’s prevalence. This has been true regardless of whether the data came from parent-reported diagnoses, reviews of school and medical records, or diagnostic evaluations of children.

The most comprehensive analysis of autism’s sex ratio, published in 2017, drew on data from 54 prevalence studies worldwide. That analysis estimated about 4.2 boys with autism for every girl.

Read more here at Spectrum.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Data for Montana Students with Autism

A note on the 2017 data: The OPI made a change in 2017 Child Count procedures. In previous years, the Child Count included ONLY students with autism who had an IEP in effect in the online IEP system on the first Monday in October. In 2017, this date was changed to include students who had an IEP in effect on the first Monday in October AND students who had an IEP in effect in September but whose IEP may have not have been in effect on the first Monday in October due to re-scheduled meetings. These student were still receiving special education services, but would not have been counted in previous Child Counts.

Other Data for Montana Students with Autism

Autism as a Percentage of All Disabilities:

Autism by Gender:

This is the gender ratio of 4:1 that is common in autism. The same gender ratio is present for Native American students. 

Note: 2011 was the first year in which, "multi-racial" was available as a racial choice.


Data for Montana Native American Students with Autism



Number of Students with Autism by County 2010 - 2017

You can also play or download a short animation that shows the above changes over time. At the bottom of the page you can pause the playback and then use the progress bar button to move more slowly from year to year.

In 2017, 74% of Montana public school students with autism live in nine counties.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Study: Drivers With Autism Just As Good As Other Motorists

Drivers with autism were more likely to exhibit varying speeds and trouble with lane management especially when the conditions were challenging — like in a construction zone — or in cases where the driver was distracted by the radio or conversation, the study found.
However, these difficulties were predominately seen in those learning to drive who did not yet have a license. Among study participants who already had a driver’s license, researchers found no significant differences in performance between those with and without autism.
Researchers behind the current study said their findings suggest that more individually-tailored driving instruction may be beneficial in helping people with autism prepare.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations

Unfortunately, boys and girls with autism often face barriers to participating fully in youth community organizations. And so with help from respected experts in the field of autism and special education, experienced parents and caregivers, we have created Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations, a guide for organizations to ensure that youth with autism have the same formative experiences through community programs that are available to their typical peers.
The purpose of this guide is to better prepare community organizations to serve youth and families with autism. The information will help organizations learn to integrate youth with autism into existing programs, communicate with parents, and train their staff.
Click here to download Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations Guide. You can also download individual sections at the links below: