Later-born siblings of children with autism or ADHD are at elevated risk for both disorders

(SACRAMENTO) — Later-born siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at elevated risk for both disorders, a new study led by Meghan Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and at the UC Davis MIND Institute, has concluded. The findings appear today in JAMA Pediatrics. The study suggests that families who already have a child diagnosed with ASD or ADHD may wish to monitor younger […]

What is stimming?

By Lori Smith BSN MSN CRNP Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP Repetitive body movements or repetitive movement of objects is referred to as self-stimulatory behavior, abbreviated to stimming. Stimming can occur in people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Some people will stim when nervous, employing behaviors such as pacing, biting their nails, hair twirling, or tapping their feet or fingers. In this article, we will examine why stimming occurs and the different […]

High functioning autism through my eyes

Contrary to what professionals thought when I’d been diagnosed, I loved fiction and cultural critique. By Jonathan Rowland At the risk of explaining the obvious to the neurotypicals — people not on the autistic spectrum — in the audience, I know that I am not every autistic person. I can only speak of my experience as a thirtysomething white cis man who grew up in semirural Hertfordshire. This is still an autistic experience and, while […]

Early intervention in autism improves language, IQ and social skills

Major study confirms pioneering treatment approach (SACRAMENTO) —Breakthrough research demonstrating that children with autism as young as 18 months can vastly improve their language, cognition and social skills with an early intervention developed by UC Davis Professor Sally Rogers has been replicated in a major new study. Sally Rogers working with a child Rogers, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the MIND Institute, began work on a novel developmental approach to autism in […]

Disability-Inclusive Communities

July 26, 2019 marks the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities at work, school, or other community settings. Learn what CDC is doing to include people with disabilities in public health research and health promotion activities. An estimated 61 million people are living with a disability in the United States,1 and many people will experience a disability at some time […]

What are the symptoms of autism in a 3-year-old?

By Jayne Leonard Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP Parents and caregivers who notice particular changes or challenges in a 3-year-old may wonder if these could indicate autism. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects approximately 1 in 59 children. ASD covers a range of conditions that doctors used to believe were different, including autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Behavioral symptoms often develop in early childhood, with research suggesting that parents and caregivers tend to notice some […]

Prenatal vitamin intake may reduce autism recurrence in high-risk families

Starting prenatal vitamins even before pregnancy may cut risk Editor’s note: Watch video of Dr. Rebecca Schmidt talking about prenatal vitamins and autism risk (SACRAMENTO) —High-risk younger siblings of children with autism are less likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have significantly lower autism symptom severity, and higher cognitive scores if their mothers take maternal prenatal vitamins during their first month of pregnancy, UC Davis research has found. Rebecca Schmidt The study appearing in […]

Tapping into Your Child’s Potential

By MaryAnn Bennett 700 hours, 11 months and 56,000 Legos went into creating the world’s largest Titanic replica. At the center of this creation was a 10-year-old boy from Iceland with a passion for Legos and a deep interest in the Titanic. Brynjar Karl Bigisson, now 15, is on the Autism spectrum. Like many children with autism, he struggled with communication and constantly needed help in school. In a recent interview, Bigisson said those struggles […]

Researchers call for the term ‘high functioning autism’ to be consigned to history

Summary: Researchers argue the term “high functioning autism” be abandoned by the scientific community as it is misleading and may create harmful expectations of abilities for children on the autism spectrum. “High functioning autism” is not a diagnostic term. The term is based on IQ assessments rather than functional assessments. While children with ASD may exhibit normal-to-higher IQ for their age, many experience skill based, social and behavioral difficulties that impact their daily lives. Source: […]

Autism advocacy and research misses the mark if autistic people are left out

By Liz Pellicano Autistic people have been routinely misunderstood, ignored, and excluded for decades – including from campaigns designed to promote awareness of autism itself. But this is beginning to change. Autistic self-advocacy organisations and autistic activists have long criticised autism awareness initiatives. The criticism is they too often emphasise the “deficits”, or difficulties of autism, rather than the profound possibilities of autistic lives. In part, this is because those campaigns are designed by non-autistic […]