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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autism And The Brain; Tablets As Teaching Tools; Autism and Diabetes: Perhaps a Link? Autism Diagnoses Growing By 10-17% Annually; Making Halloween Fun For Children With Autism

"The only disability in life is a bad attitude."---Scott Hamilton

Autism and The Brain: New Research Findings

A recent research study by UCLA found that connections in the brain responsible for language and social skills grow much more slowly in boys with autism than in children who do not have autism.

Their findings appeared in the journal, Human Brain Mapping. Slower growth in the brain of a child with autism appears to occur in the most critical period of brain development. This may have an impact on social interactions, refining emotional skills and establishing the important personal identity. A total of 13 boys with autism were studied. The control group involved seven boys who did not have autism. Researchers found the white-matter brain connections between brain regions important for language and social skills were growing much slower in the boys with autism.

The study has implications for the use of alternative neuroscience techniques to identify the source of white-matter impairment. Any findings could lead to better interventions in the future. In addition, interventions in education may require a different approach.

Tablets As Teaching Tools For Children With Autism

This evening, 60 Minutes, ran a piece on the potential of tablet computers in better developing communication for children with autism. A University of Toronto study in association with the Beverley School in Toronto, will try to determine how effective IPads can be with students with autism. The mother of Josua Hood, one of the students in the study, said, "The day he started using the {IPad}, it blew me away. I wouldn't have known he preferred Coke to Pepsi. He's part of the community...and communication is the essence of being human."

Could Autism and Diabetes Be Linked?

Rice University is suggesting a possible link between diabetes and autism. In Frontiers of Cellular Endocrinology showed that both "Diabetes 2 and autism have a common underlying mechanism of impaired glucose tolerance."

Michael Stern, a biochemist at Rice, said, "When I read that the incidence of autism is increasing , it seemed reasonable that each increase could have the same ultimate cause---the increase in hyperinsulinemia in the general population."---Mediplacements: Medical News