Siblings and Autism

For any child, the arrival of a sibling with autism can be a big adjustment.

A 2007 Harvard Review of Psychiatry article mentions studies that document “distressing emotional reactions such as feelings of anxiety, guilt and anger” and “more adjustment problems” as well as research noting that “some siblings benefit from their experience, others seem not to be affected.” The studies used different methodology, but even so, the difference perhaps should not be surprising.  Just as no two people with autism are alike, no two siblings are alike in how they adjust to their family situation. Continue reading

Researchers, Educators and Policymakers Meet in Jerusalem to Combat Escalating Crisis

ICare4Autism conference call for posters from students in autism research

On August 1-2, 2012, more than 1,500 leaders in autism research, educationand policy from every continent will gather in Jerusalem, Israel, for ICare4Autism‘s 2012 International Conference, “Autism: A Global Perspective“.

Dr.Joshua Weinstein, CEO & Founder indicated that the, “Conference will highlight groundbreaking research into the causes and treatments of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and serve as a catalyst for powerful new collaborations to tackle the global autism crisis”.

Students from around the world are invited to present their autism research at a poster session. One poster will be selected by the review committee to receive a scholarship to attend the Conference.  The scholarship will cover travel, hotel accommodations and conference registration fee. The scholarship winner will also be invited to participate on one of the Conference panels. The Poster Session consists of physical displays (aka posters) of information shown during a 60-90 minute session, with presenters standing by their poster reporting empirical research and pilot projects for future research.  Attendees have the opportunity to speak with the presenters about their work.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, The British Government’s Founding Ambassador for Philanthropy, and Chairman of the Shirley Foundation, will deliver the Keynote Address and The First Lady of Panama Mrs. Marta Linares de Martinelli will be giving opening remarks.

They will be joined by distinguished researchers and practitioners from more than 20 countries who will unveil their latest biomedical discoveries andeducational innovations. Attendees will tour the campus where ICare4Autism will open the world’s first Global Autism Research and Education Center in 2015.

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

Autism: Still on The Rise

autism still on the riseIf you float in online autism circles you may be well aware of the new autism figures released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday.  While it has been evident for many years that the number of those with autism is steadily rising, yesterday’s announcement that the number of cases has risen 78 percent in the last ten years is a sobering reminder.

The number of autism cases in the United States has reached one in every 88 children, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports. The figures vary wildly between girls and boys with one in every 54 boys affected, five fold the prevalence in girls: one in 252. Continue reading

Workshop on Employment for those with Autism keeps all Engaged

Autism Workshop

Dr. Stephen Shore presents "Employment Opportunities for People with Autism: Observations on Promoting Success"

Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices was pleased to host a workshop presented by Dr. Stephen Shore this morning. Dr. Shore is an Assistant Professor at Adelphi University and has published several books and chapters on autism including his personal experiences. 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

Hear Our Voices Looking to Include iPads to Classrooms

With the onset of more accessible visual electronics such as iPods and iPads,

Visual electronics have been booming. Their popularity, of course, is due to their vibrant colorful graphics, simple touch interfaces, and endless supply of new applications that help users do everything from order a cup of coffee to produce a symphony.

As the accessibility of these products becomes more open to those younger and younger, even showing up in schools. While some parents and teachers disapprove of their personal use in classrooms, stating children may waste time on site like Facebook and not pay attention, other teachers, especially those of special needs and autistic students, are quickly taking advantage of such a powerful tool. Continue reading

Animal-assisted Therapy Yields Amazing Results for Autistic Children

Animal-assisted therapy has proven to be very successful in providing physical and emotional benefits to children with autism.

Animal-assisted therapy can vary from something as simple as bringing a pet into the home to something as structured as programs that offer horseback riding or swimming with dolphins. Interacting with animals can help children with autism to develop physically and improve their strength, coordination, and physical abilities.  Most importantly the relationship formed with animals can help autistic children have a better sense of well-being, more self-confidence and can offer transferable skills of empathy and relating to others. Continue reading

Debate Over Whether it’s Possible to ‘Grow Out Of Autism’

Researchers believe they have shown that children who had been diagnosed with autism at a young age can cease to display symptoms when they are older.

In a study, they found one-third of parents with children who had ever been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder believed their child no longer had the condition, the Daily Mail reported.

A team, led by Dr Andrew Zimmerman from Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, studied data from a phone survey of 92,000 parents of children aged 17 and younger in the U.S in 2007 and 2008. Continue reading