How to Stop Wandering: Some Tips for Parents

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Being a parent to autistic child is challenging but their love does miracles. Every child and every case is special and unique. Of course, parents have already surfed the Internet and other resources, including books, phone apps to help them … Continue reading

How seasons influence the risk of developing autism in children?

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Winter is a magical season… We usually wait for the holiday and for the presents, no matter how old we are. We start to believe in all good things, believe that this season will be special, our dreams will come … Continue reading

Recovery or Adaptation: Can one Lose an Autism Diagnosis?

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Furthermore, could people who adapt with an autism diagnosis perhaps be even more capable of communicating in a healthy manner than individuals who have “typically developed” and does this mean that these individuals have shed their diagnosis or adapted around it? Continue reading

Quick Behavioral Observations Frequently Overlook Signs of Autism

Lynn Burton reads to her daughter Adelaide. Many toddlers her age are not receiving potentially life-saving autism screenings. | Medical XPress

Parents should not rely solely on a medical professional to detect a child’s autism, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. Research shows that bringing a child to a 10-20 minute pediatric behavior monitoring session is not sufficient … Continue reading

Can Babies Exhibit Symptoms of Autism?

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Sally Rogers, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California-Davis MIND Institute, conducted a study that looked at treating subtle but telling signs of autism in babies. The findings, recently published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental … Continue reading

Autism & Success Stories

Mark Macluskie, around 12 months, about two years before his autism diagnosis; and at home last month before his 16th birthday.

Researchers are finding more cases where early, intensive behavioral therapy can improve language, cognition and social functioning in children on the autism spectrum. Deborah Fein, a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Connecticut conducted a study of 34 young people … Continue reading

Autism Screening App in the Making!

Researchers at Duke University are currently working on developing a software that tracks and records your infant’s activity during videotaped autism screening tests. They had very successful results in their trials, showing that the program has been just as good at spotting certain behavioral markers of autism as professionals who would be giving the test themselves and was actually more accurate than non-expert medical clinicians and students in training.

The study focuses on three specific behavioral tests that are used to identify young children who may be on the autism spectrum. The first test get’s the attention of the baby by shaking a toy on their left side and then counting how long it takes for them to shift their attention when the toy is moved to their right side. The second test examines the child’s ability to track motion as a toy passes across their field of view and looks for any delays. The last test involves rolling a ball to a child and seeing if they make any eye contact afterward, which would show some engagement with their play partner.

The new program allows for the person administering the tests to concentrate on the child while the program measures reactions times down to tenths of a second, giving much more accuratereadings. Amy Esler, assistant professor of pediatrics and autism at the University Minnesota, participated in some of these trials and says, “The great benefit of the video and software is for general practitioners who do not have the trained eye to look for subtle early warning signs of autismThese signs would signal to doctors that they need to refer a family to a specialist for a more detailed evaluation.”

Jordan Hashemi, a graduate student in computer and electrical engineering at Duke, further states that they are not trying to replace the experts by proposing this app, but rather are trying to provide a resource and tool for classrooms and homes across the country. They recognize the importance of early intervention and are hoping that this app can be a real tool in catalyzing how early we are able to help those on the autism spectrum.

For more information on how technology is paving the road to opportunity for children on the spectrum, look into day 3 of our upcoming International Autism Conference! Click here for more info! 

For more info on the Information Initiative at Duke and original article, click here.

Potential Causes for Increase in Autism Diagnoses

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Many reports and studies are coming out with startling statistics of autism on the rise. The CDC reports that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and according to USA Today, autism rates have jumped 30% between 2008 and 2010.  These numbers can be alarming especially when just one generation back, autism was something we rarely heard of.

A new study conducted in Denmark has looked at the incidence of autism reported on a yearly basis. Researchers included only people up to 65 years of age using records from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Registry. Between 1995 and 2010 nearly 15,000 people received a diagnosis along the autism spectrum. This was found to be an overall increase from 9 diagnoses per 100,000 people to approximately 39 diagnoses per 100,000 people.

Although researchers were not surprised by the increase, they were surprised that the number of males with a new diagnosis quadrupled from 13.2 to 58 per 100,000 people between 1995 and 2010. Whereas female diagnoses increased sevenfold from 2.6 to 18.6 per 100,000 people.

Professor of population health sciences and pediatrics, Maureen Durkin, says that better diagnostic practices could explain the increasing incidences of autism that we see worldwide. As more attention is given to symptoms as doctors are now screening much more than before, they are more likely to see it.

After analyzing their results based on age demographics, researchers found that children between 4 and 13 make up about 63 percent of the new autism cases. The fastest increases in new cases diagnosed are between 14 and 20 years old, and individuals between 21 and 65 years account for about 9 percent of new cases. However, the increase in diagnosis in adults has to do with the recognition of cases that were previously missed—an individual cannot develop autism as an adult.

Here at Shema Kolainu and ICare4Autism we understand the importance of increasing awareness and education surrounding the causes, consequences, and effects of autism. So although we are not alarmed by the increasing cases of autism we still remain concerned about misconceptions about autism and making treatments and therapies available to younger generations.

For a link to the original article, click here

Emory University Researchers Correlate Baby Eye Gaze with Autism

Researchers at the Marcus Autism Center at Emory University have identified a marker of autism in children as young as two months old. In an article published in the journal Nature, researchers Warren Jones and Ami Klin explain the results of their prospective longitudinal study; infants who are later diagnosed with autism tend to show a decline in the amount of time they spend gazing at another person’s eyes, a marker of social ability, between two and six months old.

Contrary to prior belief, infants who go on to later receive a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder do begin life looking at others’ eyes at an expected rate. The researchers explain that the decrease in eye gaze between two and six months represents a “developmental window, ” and the decrease of eye gaze as it occurs in this window is especially significant. Typically developing children, the researchers explain, increase their rate of eye gaze until approximately 9 months of age, at which point it remains relatively stagnant until toddlerhood. Interestingly, the researchers also found that infants who exhibit the steepest decline in eye gaze later go on to develop more pervasive forms of autism.

While the researchers are clear that their results need to be replicated in larger populations, they suggest that eye tracking may soon be used in a fashion similar to a growth chart to observe if a child is on an appropriate developmental trajectory.

To see the article in it’s original form: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12715.html

More information from the New York Times:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/06/a-babys-gaze-may-signal-autism-study-finds/?_r=0

By: Stephanie Millman