Should You Explain the Diagnosis to the Child?

BY: Tony Attwood, Ph.D. The immediate answer is yes. Clinical experience indicates that it is extremely important that the diagnosis is explained as soon as possible and preferably before inappropriate compensatory mechanisms are developed. The child is then more likely to achieve self-acceptance, without unfair comparisons with other children, and be less likely to develop signs of an anxiety disorder, depression or conduct disorder. When and How do you Explain the Diagnosis? At what age […]

The Challenge of Physical Fitness for People with Autism

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network ian@kennedykrieger.org You’ve probably seen the headlines: studies say that children and adults with autism are at risk for an inactive lifestyle and obesity. While the reasons are subject to debate, it’s clear that people with ASD often face unique challenges to physical fitness. The core features of autism – social, communication and behavior problems – can make joining a game of kickball at recess or playing tag with neighborhood kids […]

What does a student with Asperger Syndrome need in a school program?

BY: LYNDA GELLER, Ph.D. Anyone who knows many children and adults with Asperger Syndrome knows that every person’s manifestation of the condition is very different. While they share significant social disability, some are very successful academically, some struggle with accomplishing work; some have intense intellectual interests that lead them to career paths, and others have intense interests that seem to have no practical use; some have a few friendships, others are desperately alone and lonely. […]

Sleep Problems Linked to More Severe Autism Symptoms

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute ian@kennedykrieger.org In autism, lost sleep means more than just a drowsy morning: it’s linked to serious problems. A new study of children with autism shows that those who slept less also had lower intelligence scores and more severe autistic symptoms than kids who slept more.1 This is important because insomnia affects from 50 to 80 percent of children on the spectrum, according to estimates.1-5 They are […]

A Complicated Landscape: Parents’ Perceptions of Stress, Control in Autism

Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute ian@kennedykrieger.org A decade ago, Sarah S. Mire helped assess autism symptoms in children who came to Baylor College of Medicine in Texas for a research project. She got to know their families and appreciate the time they devoted to the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), an autism study that recruited families at university centers throughout the United States and Canada. Like other families affected by autism,1-3 many […]

Autism Risk Determined by Health of Mother’s Gut

Summary: Researchers have successfully identified autism risk in young mice by examining their mother’s microbiome during pregnancy. The study, which may offer the earliest detection of autism, could pave the way to developing preventative measures against forms of autism by altering the maternal diet and probiotic intake. Source: University of Virginia Health System. The risk of developing autism-spectrum disorders is determined by the mother’s microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that naturally live inside us […]

Dyspraxia – Movement Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Steven R. Wertz What is Motor Control and Why Does It Matter? Throughout the day, each of us performs numerous sequences of movements with little effort or thought, such as showering, brushing our teeth, dressing, driving, typing, etc. The list of these actions is vast, considering that most behavior involves muscle movement, including looking, talking, swallowing and even breathing. Some of the most complex motor movements take years of practice, such as the twists […]

Northeast Arc, Flutie Foundation and Accion Team Up to Launch New Opportunity Lending Program

Lending program will provide microloans to advance business goals and employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism Boston, Mass. (July 16, 2018) – Northeast Arc, the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and Accion announced today the launch of a new program, Opportunity Lending, which will provide microloans to enhance employment and business opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. Loans ranging from $1,000 to $250,000 will be available to individuals who wish […]

ASPB Therapy Pathways Opens Its Doors in Naperville to Help Families Impacted by Autism

(Naperville, IL) With a commitment to helping families whose young children are affected by autism and other developmental disabilities, ASPB Therapy Pathways recently opened its Naperville center to offer specialized pediatric services. Kiya Olson, ASPB’s owner, a licensed professional counselor and board certified behavior analyst, explained that the agency has been providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and other developmental therapies for in-home programming since 2007. Its board certified behavior analysts, child development specialists and state credentialed […]

Not on the Same Page: When Families and Doctors Differ on Autism

By:Marina Sarris Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute ian@kennedykrieger.org Families often come to psychologist Emily E. Neuhaus with one question: Does their child have autism? Maybe their concerns are their own, or come from the child’s pediatrician or teacher. Often families agree with her answer. “We’re on the same page as to how their child is doing. We see the same strengths and weaknesses. When that happens, they are more likely to agree with […]