A news study shows that it may one day be possible to detect [yadawiki link="Autism Spectrum Disorder" show="Autism"] with a blood test. Shaun Heasley tells how researchers may have discovered unique identifiers in blood that signal Autism may be present in the subject.
Autism May Be Detectable In Blood
The study involved blood samples collected from 83 children with autism and 76 neurotypical children ages 3 to 10 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Rather than examining one particular gene or a single biomarker, researchers used big data techniques to take a broader look in order to find statistically significant patterns.
Many children with Autism are seem to explore their world differently than their non-autistic piers. The following article looks into this.
Autism and the Drive to Explain and Explore
A new study looks at whether kids diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and those without differ in how they explore and seek explanations in physical and social domains. Tania Lombrozo explains.
As with all children, we should encourage exploration and explanation of the world around them. Parents of ASD children are in for a real treat with this behavior, just have patience.
More genetic level studies are being done to try and discover the keys to the Autism puzzle.
Mapping Of Genomes Leads To Breakthrough Study On Disorder
A new study on Autism released Tuesday reveals 18 new candidate genes.
The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, was the largest study of whole genomes ever done. More than 5,000 people were studied who either had autism or had a child or sibling that did. In other words, the researchers looked at the genes of people who are in families with autism spectrum disorder, according to the study.
This gentleman is an inspiration to all on the Spectrum and their parents. Sure, not everyone with ASD will be able to accomplish this, but it is great to see that there is potential for those that are higher functioning.
I'm sure every parent with a child on the Spectrum has heard all of these at some time. What is great is that the article offers those unfamiliar with our challenges alternative statements to use.
Things Not to Say to Parents of Children with Autism
Autism and picky eating usually go hand-in-hand, but it's caused by much more than a parent simply not making a child eat certain foods. A clinical study focused on sensory processing and eating problems in children on the spectrum estimates that about 80 percent of children with developmental difficulties, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), struggle with selective eating.
Autism is a very difficult disability to understand. Usually, there are no outward signs pointing to an individual having the syndrome. Autism is also not a "one size fits all" syndrome, it is a spectrum of disorders that have to do with developmental, social and behavioral issues. An organization has put together some very useful tools to help others understand what you and you autistic loved one are going through.
In an effort to ease the fears of and provide encouragement to all people with individuals with autism in their lives, Autism Speaks has created four support tool kits, each designed specifically for the following groups:
The purpose of each kit is to help teach family members and friends more about autism and its effects on families, and provide resources and support to enable them to lead happy and successful lives with their loved ones with autism.
This is just a starting point in helping others to understand the Autism Spectrum Disorder, I encourage you to use these resources and grow in your understanding of the disability.
Thanks to #popular culture, #Autism has become the "cute" syndrome, but is this a true reflection of those on the spectrum?
Autism and popular culture have had a complicated relationship for a long time. In 1988 the film Rain Man introduced the disorder to the general public. After its release diagnoses in the United States skyrocketed, and so did the presence of autistic characters in pop culture. In the 1980’s there were only two films starring autistic characters. In the next decade there were thirteen. The older the movie or book or show, the less autistic the characters often seem, some of them carry the label ‘autistic’ but with very few symptoms. Instead, the characters are inflicted with some generic mental disability, which when labeled as autism sells more tickets.
Rain Man, however, was nuanced. I’ve always appreciated the story, not just on a personal level, but also as a writer. It told a story set in a time when the common way to deal with a diagnosis was to send it away, to a mental institution. The filmmakers show the institution as a welcoming, safe, comfortable place for the character Ray, but in reality, these places were often run terribly, and kept up worse. A real life Ray would have found his handicap intensified by such a place. Many autistic children born in this era grew up to have severe mental deficiencies because so little of their nature was understood. Dustin Hoffman showed immense respect in his performance, painting a multifaceted character that felt human, but because of his place on the spectrum he is often a nuisance to the story, or worse, a vehicle solely there to move the plot forward. I don’t mean to bash Rain Man, which I consider a great first step, but it’s just that; the first step.
There is more to Autism than the savant and this should be seen more in popular culture.
#Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, and occurs in about one out of every 68 births. Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic or social boundaries.
Take some time this month to learn more about Autism and what you can do to help someone you know affected by it.
Learn More About Autism
Kids Health: a website that explains autism in simple language for kids.
Growing Up Together: a printable 4 page brochure, explains autism and how to be friends with someone with autism, from Autism Society
Children who participated in an early intervention designed to target #autism symptoms at very young ages are continuing to see benefits from the treatment years later, a new study finds.
The Early Start Denver Model is a nonmedical treatment for children age 12 to 48 months who show symptoms of the developmental disorder. While autism is usually diagnosed in children between the ages of 2 and 3, a growing body of research suggests that diagnosing it early and intervening with one-on-one, parent-led treatment can reduce symptoms in the long run.
This seems to be a very promising development. Will be interesting to see what further research will hold.
One of the most consistent findings in autism, and perhaps the most perplexing, is that it affects about four boys for every girl.
In the new study, researchers analyzed two large genetic databases of girls with and without autism and found no evidence for such a DNA hotspot.
Researchers used a scanning method called diffusion tensor imaging to compare the corpus callosum in 112 boys and 27 girls with autism, and 53 boys and 29 girls without the disorder, all aged 3 to 5 years.
Compared with the controls, boys and girls with autism show different patterns of fibers projecting to the brain’s frontal lobe.
The researchers saw no difference here between girls with and without autism.
In girls with autism a smaller section of the fiber bundle connects to an adjacent region, the anterior frontal cortex, than in typically developing girls.
It’s unclear how these differences might affect the workings of the brain, but the researchers speculate that they could contribute to the apparent resistance of girls to autism.