About Autism News and Views

Autism News and Views will provide regular updates on news about Autism. In addition, we have provided important links to a wide variety of web sites that will provide you with information on Education, Health, Safety, Advocacy, Service Providers and much more. Use Autism News and Views as your source for the best information on the Autism Spectrum.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

April 2014: Autism Awareness Month: What Have We Learned In The Last Year?

What Have We Learned In The Last Year?

There's been a lot of important and significant news affecting individuals with Autism in the past year.  Let's take a few moments to review some of these developments:

  • Last February, a new APP became available for parents of children with Autism. The APP---"My Socius"---was designed to be a digital tutor for parents. The APP is available by calling 402.423.2444. Cost: $24.99.
  • iSTAR program at the University of Utah developed a unique program teaching students with Autism how to use computers in 3-D modeling.
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association reported women who took folic acid four weeks before conception and through eight weeks of their pregnancy were 40% less likely to have a child with Autism.

  • A new study out of the University of Queensland in Australia found that children with Autism increase their positive social behavior around animals.
  • ABC News reported many individuals with Autism were finding jobs in information technology. One reason: those with Autism are able to spot patterns well according to AutonomyWorks
  • Researchers at the University of Toronto reported they were studying the link between Autism and gastrointestinal problems.
  • In early February, USA Today reported Royal Caribbean announced it will be the first Autism friendly cruiseline.
  • Yoga and other uses of calming techniques have proven to be invaluable in calming individuals with Autism prone to exhibiting behavior problems.

  • The New England Journal of Medicine reported  Autism may start in the womb. Brain tissue taken from children who died exhibited patches of disorganization in the cortex. This research appears to support earlier research by UCLA.
  • And just this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported rates of Autism climbed by 30% between 2008 and 2010. It is believed Autism now affects 1 of every 68 eight-year olds, up from 1 in 88 two years ago. 

For Your Bookshelf (Books Recommended Since Last Year)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What You Should Know About The Myths Of Autism

Autism Myths

It's unfortunate there are countless myths about autism. For example, people with autism are aggressive is one common myth. Another myth supposes people with autism are all geniuses. Let's put some of these myths to rest now:

  • People with autism are aggressive. While there are some individuals with autism who exhibit aggressive behaviors, most do not. Like most people, individuals with autism may get angry on occasion because of some type of discomfort. They may also feel frustrated because of their inability to communicate.
  • Individuals with autism are a danger to society, to themselves and others. Again, like the general population, there are some people with autism who exhibit such behaviors. Most do not. There is absolutely no reason to fear an individual with autism. In fact, it's rare that people with autism react violently.
  • People with autism are all alike. Nothing could be further from the truth. While some behaviors can be generalized, e.g. difficulty in social communication, they are as different as anyone else. 
  • Autism is a mental health disorder. What we now know about autism is that it's a biological disorder that affects the development of the individuals brain and its development.
  • Autism is the fault of the parents. I have only one word for that claim: absurd. As far as we now know, autism has nothing to do with how the child was raised. Genetics overrides that foolish belief. In fact, environmental factors have little to do with autism.  For example, identical twin studies show if one twin has autism, the other twin has a 90% chance of having autism as well.
  • Autism can be cured. As of this writing, there is no known cure for autism.

For Your Bookshelf:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Some Of The Best Autism Blogs For 2013; Staggering Cost Of Autism For Families; Noise: What Is It Good For?

Autism Is Not A Tragedy. Being Judged Is...Author Unknown

Some Outstanding Autism Blogs For 2013

While there are many good blogs on autism (allow me to add---like this one), we are also fortunate to be rich in the availability of diverse blogs targeting autism.

The following is a list of some of the best blogs on the subject of autism:

  • John Elder Robison
  • Autism From A Father's Point Of View
  • Fighting Monsters With Rubber Swords
  • The Third Glance
  • Just Stimming
  • Asperkids
  • Hope Saves The Day
  • Big Daddy Autism
  • Mostly True Stuff
  • Autism Daddy
  • Anybody Want A Peanut?

Families Can Be Overwhelmed By The Cost Of Autism 

The University of Calgary's School of Public Policy found that the life-long care-giving costs for a child with autism can reach almost $160,000 per year.

"A scan of provincial programs finds a patchwork of unequal and incomplete supports for individuals living with autism spectrum disorders," the report also found.
The Epoch Times

Some Children With Autism React To Noise 

Those of us who have worked with individuals with autism know that many react to noise more than others. A new study by Vanderbilt University may have shown the reason why.

The research shows that, while most people see others talking in sync, for many children with autism there is a delay between what they they see and what they hear, causing them to see speech out of sync. The researchers found that 90% of children with autism have some sort of "auditory processing delay."

The same research found that there are video games and other means available to accelerate the auditory processing so that it gets in sync. See book below on the "Out Of Sync Child."
CBS News

For Your Bookshelf

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

LEGOS Improve Social Skills In Children With Autism; Cell Types + Regions Of The Brain Identified In Autism

The Benefits Of LEGOS For Children With Autism

Recent research at the University Of Cambridge found that LEGOS play therapy improves social skills in children with autism. The researches found LEGOS therapy groups encourage collaboration, pretending and non-verbal communication.
Autism Daily Newscast

Yale University And UCSF Pinpoint Cell Types And Brain Regions Affected By Autism Gene Mutations

Historically, it's been difficult to target the genetic causes of autism considering several hundred genes have been linked to autism spectrum disorders.

But a new study by researchers at Yale University and UCSF claim to have pinpointed the cell types and brain regions affected by genetic mutations associated with autism. Their findings suggest that new targeted treatment approaches could provide answers.

"Identifying gene variants that boost risk is the step of unraveling disease," said Dr. Daniel Geschwind, an expert in human genetics, neurology and psychology. "We need to figure out where genetic changes occur in the brain...Only then will we understand how mutations cause autism," he added.
Red Orbit

Dr. Doreen Granspeesheh, Ph.D. To Host Free Seminar

Dr. Doreen Granspeesheh, a noted author and expert in autism, will be hosting a free two-hour seminar in Ft. Myers on December 5, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Edison State College, 8099 College Parkway.

Dr. Granspeesheh's topic will be creating a comprehensive and individualized treatment program for a child with autism.

Contact: D.Plump@centerforautism.com Seating is limited.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Blood Test Hopes To Diagnose Autism Early; Motor Development Important; Hit The Pool

New Blood Test In Diagnosing Autism Early

The average age of children diagnosed early with autism is now 4. This may soon change. Diagnosing children earlier can get children treatment earlier. The earlier the treatment; the better the outcome.

Emory University researchers in Atlanta, GA, and 20 other universities nationwide have recently joined clinical trials to evaluate blood tests that could diagnose autism as early as 12 months to 2 years old.


Importance Of Motor Development

Studies published in Research In Autism Spectrum Disorders found toddlers and pre-school children with autism having better motor development were better in socializing. In addition, their communication skills were also often better. The researchers studied 233 children between the ages 14 and 49 months.

Hit The Pool

Monday, September 16, 2013

Unique Web Sites + Resources For Parents Of Children With Autism; The Physical Effects Of Bullying; Siblings + Autism

Web Sites + Resources For Parents Of Children With Autism

The resources for parents of children with autism are many. Below is a unique list parents should find helpful for information, research, news, latest products and support (from Friendship Circle):

The Physical Effects Of Bullying

We've known about the emotional effects of bullying from depression to anxiety for a long time. But what about the physical effects or manifestations?

According to a review of the literature, the University of Padua in Italy analyzed 30 studies of 219,000 children and adolescents. They found those bullied experienced more headaches, stomachaches, bedwetting and sleep difficulties.

The results of this review indicate psychosomatic effects tied to bullying "are very real." The researchers advise parents to take these symptoms seriously.
Huffington Post

7 Times More Likely To Be Diagnosed

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back To School Tips; Can A Simple Blood Test Confirm Autism In Infants?; Noteworthy Autism Sites

Getting Ready For School

Preparing to return to school after a long summer vacation can be challenge for both parents and students, especially children with autism. A little preparation can go a long way to make the transition more uncomplicated. Follow some of these tips:
  • Schedule appointments with your family physician for required physicals, health forms and immunization records.
  • Start preparing your child with new bedtimes, waking up earlier and adjusting to new morning routines.
  • Get organized a week before school begins.
  • Meet with your child's new teacher. Review the current IEP. Ask questions now.
  • If your child will be attending a new school, visit the school before school starts with your child. Ask for a tour of the school.  Familiarize your child with his/her new surroundings including classrooms.
  • Remind school officials and teachers you are available to meet with them prior to the beginning of school and after classes begin.
  • When your child returns home after the first day of school, ask him/her how it was in school today. Ask about the teacher. Ask about friends. Ask about the school schedule.
  • Carve out some of your time to help your child with homework.
  • After a week or two, contact your child's teacher and ask the teacher how things are going including problems encountered.
  • Every child adjusts to school differently. It's your job to make that adjustment a smooth one and to help alleviate any anxiety on the part of your child.
Oakland County Moms,  Crozer-Keystone

Can A Simple Blood Test Confirm Autism In Infants?

A research team at the University of San Diego's Autism Centre For Excellence recently announced a breakthrough in the detection of the genetic signature of autism.

Professor Eric Courchesne made the announcement at the Asia-Pacific Autism Conference.

Dr. Couchesne's team scanned the brains and analyzed the blood of 600 children from 12 months to 4 years of age. The team identified several gene networks that are a common thread in the development of autism. In addition, his team identified four gene networks that are a biological signature of autism in babies as young as 12 months. He also announced that a screening blood test is currently being developed.

Catholic Online