How We Made Our Vacation Work for Sammy and the Family

Is it truly vacation if we are constantly hovering over Sammy to make sure he doesn’t ruin something that doesn’t belong to us? Going away is supposed to be an exciting activity for most yet, at the same time, finding the right vacation spot can end up being a big stressor. My family and I know this from experience. We’ve always needed to find vacations that fit the needs of my brother, Sammy, who has […]

Key Findings: Autism Symptoms Among Children Enrolled in the Study to Explore Early Development

The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders has published a new analysis looking at autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms among young children enrolled in CDC’s Study to Explore Early Development (SEED). Researchers assessed children with ASD, children with other developmental delays, such as language delays and physical delays, and children from the general population. Children with ASD had more problems with early learning, challenging behaviors, and interacting with others than children classified as having other […]

Zebrafish model gives new insight on autism spectrum disorder

University of Miami study of zebrafish reveals how dysfunction of SHANK3 or SYNGAP1 genes play a role in the development of autism spectrum disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological condition that affects approximately two percent of people around the world. Although several genes have been linked to multiple concurring conditions of ASD, the process that explains how specific genetic variants lead to behaviors characteristic of the disorder remains elusive. Now, researchers are utilizing […]

Autism and rare childhood speech disorder often coincide

Some children with autism should undergo ongoing screenings for apraxia, a rare neurological speech disorder, because the two conditions often go hand-in-hand, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Over the course of a three-year study, 64 percent of children initially diagnosed with autism were found to also have apraxia. The study also showed that the commonly used Checklist for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD) accurately diagnoses autism in children with apraxia. “Children with apraxia […]

Sleep quality influences the cognitive performance of autistic and neurotypical children

One night of poor sleep significantly decreases performance on intelligence tests in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and also in neurotypical children (without ASD). This is the conclusion made by researchers at the Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, affiliated with the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and Université de Montréal. Sleep Quality Influences the Cognitive Performance of Autistic and Neurotypical Children One night of poor sleep significantly decreases performance on intelligence tests in children with […]

Researchers unravel a genetic link with autistic behaviors — and find a way to undo it

Proteins that regulate actin filaments — essential for neuronal communications — are potential therapeutic targets for autism, UB researchers report Scientists at the University at Buffalo have identified the mechanisms behind a genetic mutation that produces certain autistic behaviors in mice, as well as therapeutic strategies to restore normal behaviors. The research describes the cellular and molecular basis behind some autistic behaviors; it also suggests potential biomarkers and pharmaceutical targets. Published May 28 in Cell […]

I’m Just His Sister

SIBLING TIES BY PAIGE TALHELM What makes things perfect is when he and I can just sit around and watch TV or listen to music together. We don’t have to talk, or we don’t have to be working on his socialization skills. As the end of the school year approaches, I find myself cramming for finals, preparing for graduation, and planning my summer. This is about the same for everybody, where some are asking that […]

Providing Dental Care For Patients With Disabilities

BY CARRIE STETLER With a shortage of special needs facilities, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine clinic serves a vulnerable population. Dennis Fitzpatrick had 17 cavities by the time he arrived at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine’s special care center seven years ago. Fitzpatrick, 27, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had regular checkups throughout childhood, but his dental decay had progressed so far, four of his teeth had to be removed. Because of his disability, […]

Lurasidone Improves Function in Patients With Autism Spectrum Disorder

As published in PracticeUpdate® May 18, 2015—Toronto, Ontario, Canada—Lurasidone has been proven effective in patients with autism spectrum disorder. This outcome of a retrospective chart review of the drug in seven patients from a developmental disability clinic was presented at the 168th Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association from May 16 – 19. Aadhar Patil, MD, of St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital, New York, explained that his group’s report is the first on the use of […]

Autism: A New Theory

BY JOHN J. CANNELL, MD It’s time to look at autism a new way – with a new theory. If the CDC’s worst-case scenario of a 12 percent yearly increase in the incidence of autism proves to be true, we will be in serious trouble in terms of caring for these individuals. Over the past 20 years, scientists have assured us that effective prevention and treatment of autism are just a matter of time. However, […]