Thursday, October 31, 2019

Interest in Regional Interdisciplinary Autism Professional Development Network?

I am writing to let you know about an exciting new opportunity to participate in an ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) project designed to help providers improve the care of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participation is free and there is a possibility that CME (or other continuing education) credit will be available. 
The program will consist of presentations by experts on all aspects of care (e.g. Testing and Diagnosis, Evidence-based Interventions, Coordination of Care) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, case presentations by participants, and discussions with other providers from your area. The network connects virtually using telecommunication, so you can join from anywhere with an internet connection. If you are interested, please complete the short (~5 minute) survey below. Thank you for your time! 
Link for Survey:
Ethan Dahl, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist
Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) - []
University of Wyoming
Health Sciences Room 130 B

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Twelve Important Needs of Siblings and Tips to Address These Needs

  1. Siblings need communication that is open, honest, developmentally appropriate, and ongoing. Parents may need to deal with their own thoughts and feelings before they can effectively share information with siblings. Children may show their stress through their withdrawal or through inappropriate behaviors. Parents should be alert to the need to initiate communication with their son/daughter. Siblings may be reluctant to ask questions due to not knowing what to ask or out of fear of hurting the parent. While doing research on siblings, Sandra Harris found that developmentally appropriate information could buffer the negative effects of a potentially stressful event (Harris, 1994). 
  2. Siblings need developmentally appropriate and ongoing information about their siblings’ autism spectrum disorder. Anxiety is most frequently the result of lack of information. Without information about a siblings’ disability, younger children may worry about catching the disability and/or if they caused it. The young child will only be able to understand specific traits that they can see like the fact that the sibling does not talk or likes to line up their toys. School aged children need to know if the autism will get worse, and what will happen to their brother or sister. Adolescents are anxious about the future responsibility and impact of the disability on their future family. 
  3. Siblings need parental attention that is consistent, individualized, and celebrates their uniqueness. Many families make a major effort to praise and reward the child with the disability for each step of progress. This same effort should be considered for the siblings even if an accomplishment is somewhat “expected.” Self-esteem is tied to this positive recognition by parents. Remember to celebrate everyone’s achievements as special. 

Archived Webinar - Sensory Processing and Autism

Watch the webinar here. 

Webinar - PANS/PANDAS and ASD - Research Updates

Teaching Life Skills and Community Safety Signs

See more here at Teachers Pay Teachers. 

Severe Morning Sickness Tied to Autism Risk in Kids

The form of morning sickness in question is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and it occurs in less than 5% of pregnancies, explained a team at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Women with the condition have intense nausea and can't keep food or fluids down, which can lead to dehydration and poor nutrition during pregnancy.
The new study -- involving data on nearly 500,000 pregnant women and their children born between 1991 and 2014 -- "suggests that children born to women with hyperemesis may be at an increased risk of autism," said lead author Dr. Darios Getahun. 
The study couldn't prove cause and effect, but it found a 53% increased risk of a child being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder if their mother suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum. 
There was one silver lining from the finding, Getahun said: "Awareness of this association may create the opportunity for earlier diagnosis and intervention in children at risk of autism."
The earlier that women experienced severe morning sickness, the stronger the tie to autism. Getahun's team found that hyperemesis gravidarum in the first and second trimester was linked with autism risk in offspring, but not when it was diagnosed in the third trimester.
Girls were more likely to develop autism than boys if their mothers had severe morning sickness, the findings indicated.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Webinar - Self-Advocacy and ASD: Theory and Practice for All Ages Part 2

10/8/2019, 3:30pm Eastern

This webcast will continue to discuss the core components of self-advocacy., emphasizing the importance of disclosure, individual strengths and interests as well as civil rights. Essential self-advocacy theory will be connected directly to strategies people with ASD use to self-advocate. An emphasis on self-advocacy across the lifespan will be made, and resources and ideas will be shared to help attendees get started with self-advocacy supports.

Register here. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Extreme male brain theory of autism rests on shaky ground

This hypothesis, called the ‘extreme male brain’ theory, postulates that males are at higher risk for autism as a result of in-utero exposure to steroid hormones called androgens. This exposure, the theory goes, accentuates the male-like tendency to recognize patterns in the world (systemizing behavior) and diminishes the female-like capacity to perceive social cues (socializing behavior). Put simply, boys are already part way along the spectrum, and if they are exposed to excessive androgens in the womb, these hormones can push them into the diagnostic range.

Read more here at Spectrum. 

Standard screen misses majority of toddlers with autism

  • A popular screening tool (M-CHAT) for autism misses more than 60 percent of children with the condition.
  • The vast majority of children the screen does flag turn out not to have autism, but most have a related condition.
  • Children with autism who screen positive as toddlers are diagnosed more than seven months earlier, on average, than those who are missed.