Research for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Gets a Boost


A Canadian University received praise in response to their use of a treatment for autism called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. The research program at Simon Frasier University received this prize in the form of a $500,000 grant from Central City Brewing … Continue reading

Different ways to Celebrate Autism Awareness Month

Different ways to Celebrate Autism Awareness MonthAs a parent of a child of autism it is very easy to get behind a movement such as Autism Awareness Month but a bit harder to figure out how to put this into action.  Friends and family of those affected by autism are the least likely to need awareness raising but here are some ways to make the most of Autism Awareness Month. Continue reading

Early Detection of Autism: Ten Signs to Look For

Early Detection of Autism: Ten Signs to Look ForChild can start showing signs of developmental delay before their first birthday but autism is often not diagnosed until the age of three. Early detection and treatment can take full advantage of the young brain’s remarkable plasticity. Intensive treatment may help to rewire the brain and reverse the symptoms.  While not all infants and toddlers with delays will develop autism spectrum disorders (ASD), experts point to early detection of these signs as key to capitalizing on early diagnosis and intervention. Continue reading

Siblings of Those with Autism

Research indicates that the majority of brothers and sisters of children with autism cope well with their experiences. That does not mean, however, that they do not encounter special challenges in learning how to deal with a sibling who has autism or a related disorder.

With more children being diagnosed with autism, and many within a family where several children are neuro-typical, it’s raised some questions on how these children feel about their sibling with autism taking more time and attention from their parents. Continue reading

Depression in Young Adults with Aspergers: Elusive, but Common

Depressions in Young Adults with Autism: Elusive, but CommonDoctoral student Tove Lugnegård has shown in her thesis published earlier this year that mood disorders and anxiety disorders are very common among young adults with Asperger syndrome. Despite this, there has been little research into this issue.

People with Asperger’s or autism may face increased stress, greater difficulty with relationships, difficulty managing their own emotions, and often fewer skills for dealing with these problems. Continue reading

Children with Autism Choose Inanimate Objects Over Faces

A new study using eye-tracking technology has provided insights into the way children with autism observe social interaction.

Researchers tracked eye movements as the children were shown movie scenes of school-age children in age-appropriate social situations.

Investigators discovered children with autism were less likely than typically developing peers to look at other people’s eyes and faces, and were more likely to fixate on bodies and inanimate objects. Continue reading

25 Words to Determine if Your Child is a Late Speaker

25 words to determine if Your Child is a Late SpeakerResearchers have compiled a list of twenty five words that every toddler should know by age two. While being slow to talk is not necessarily a cause for concern, in some cases it can be a sign of greater problems from deafness to autism.

The words and phrases identified by the scientists, which cover toys, food, animals and, of course, include ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ and ‘bye bye’ are designed to detect children who may be late speakers or have more serious issues with speech.

The 25 ‘must have’ words are part of a much larger list that are designed to be ticked off in 10 minutes by parents to determine their toddler’s vocabulary. The average child will know 150 of the words in the Language Development Survey but scores of 75 to 225 are normal. Continue reading

Autism, Not Hereditary Traits, Affects Motor Skills

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that autism, not hereditary traits, is the cause of impaired motor skills in those with Autism.

The study was conducted by studying 144 children from 67 different families where at least one child had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder with at least one biological sibling in the same age group. Children were tested by observing them performing various tasks like placing pegs in a pegboard, cutting with scissors, copying forms, imitating movements, running, throwing a ball and doing push-ups. Continue reading

FDNY Trained How to Rescue Autistic Children During Emergencies

Capt. Bill Cannata has been training the FDNY in what to do when handling an autistic child in an emergency.  Cannata, an autism first responder educator has first hand experience with his autistic son, Ted.

“A lot of the time, people with autism don’t understand what’s going on so they don’t know what’s expected of them,” said Cannata. “They’re going to do opposite of what a first responder would think.”

Cannata, from the Westwood, Mass. Fire Department, travels the country, teaching emergency responders how to deal with autistic children.

Autistic children can suffer sensory overload from the loud noises and flashing lights associated with an emergency situation. Sometimes lacking a natural sense of danger, they may resist rescue, run into a fire instead of away from it, or even attack and bite the very person trying to rescue them.

Cannata’s son, “can be very aggressive; Ted’s a biter. If you keep getting into his personal space, he’s probably going to bite.”  Cannata uses this example to illustrate that rescuers first need to approach in a quiet, non-threatening manner. He goes on to instruct rescuers to be wary of touching: some might fight back, so try not to touch near the shoulders or face.

Cannata recommends the use of simple, short instructions like “Get up” or “Wait here,”. And never to use slang like “Are you cool?” as it will be taken literally. Be prepared for a forced entry, warns Cannata. Parents often have to lock every door in the house to keep an autistic child from wandering out.

Wednesday’s seminar was recorded so that autism training can happen in every firehouse and for all new recruits at the fire academy on Randall’s Island.

Infant Lip Reading Could Lead to Earlier Diagnosis of Autism

Research into the way babies learn to talk could have a big impact on allowing earlier diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.

New research suggests that babies don’t just learn from hearing sounds but also learn through lip reading.

Florida scientists discovered that starting around age 6 months, babies begin shifting from the intent eye gaze of early infancy to studying mouths when people talk to them.

“The baby in order to imitate you has to figure out how to shape their lips to make that particular sound they’re hearing,” explains developmental psychologist David Lewkowicz of Florida Atlantic University, who led the study.

This fascinating study into the way babies develop language skills could provide insights into identifying when there are blocks in this process. Continue reading