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Asperger Syndrome News

Treat Autism Even Before Symptoms Show?

Posted 13 days ago by

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – Treating emerging signs of autism in young babies who are at high risk for the disorder helped improve their attention, language, communication and social skills, preliminary research shows. In the first study of its kind, British researchers used months of video feedback to help the parents of 28 infants – at high risk of autism because a sibling has the disorder – understand and respond to their baby's individual communication cues. The children were tracked until they were 3 years old, an age at which autism symptoms often surface. "We wanted to see the downstream effects on this kind of development and see it play out over the next few years," said study author Dr. Jonathan Green. He's a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at University of Manchester. "By the end of treatment, babies in the treatment group showed an impact of therapy," he added. ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Program Helps Young Adults With Autism Find Jobs

Posted 13 days ago by

THURSDAY, May 11, 2017 – When kids with autism graduate high school, they may need adult services to help them find a job or live on their own. And parents may need a helping hand in navigating the new and confusing system, researchers say. In a small study, investigators found that young adults with autism fared better when their parents received help in understanding the adult services system. The young adults were twice as likely to be working or in some type of post-secondary education, versus their peers whose families were on a waitlist for the program. In the real world, it's often difficult for parents to figure out the system of services available to young adults with autism, according to Julie Taylor, the lead researcher on the study. That's, in part, because those services are not mandated like school-based services for children. "So they tend to be underfunded," said ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Tracking Devices May Ease Minds of Parents of Kids With Autism

Posted 19 days ago by

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017 – An electronic tracking device can calm worried parents who fear their child with autism might wander off and stumble into danger, a new survey shows. With the device, "parents were more comfortable letting their child spend time with family and friends," explained lead researcher Dr. Andrew Adesman. "When there is such a high wandering concern, parents are often not comfortable with their children spending any time outside of their direct supervision," Adesman said. "But an electronic tracking device provides an additional form of assurance that if something were to happen, the risks could be mitigated." A full 96 percent of parents surveyed who said they were using an electronic tracking device claimed it improved their quality of life, Adesman said. He is chief of developmental & behavioral pediatrics at the Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. "This is ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Could Smoking in Pregnancy Affect a Grandkid's Autism Risk?

Posted 27 Apr 2017 by

THURSDAY, April 27, 2017 – When a woman chooses to stop smoking during her pregnancy, the potential effects to her baby are probably on her mind. But a new British study hints that smoking in pregnancy could even affect the health of a woman's grandchildren – specifically, their risk for autism. "We already know that protecting a baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things a woman can do to give her child a healthy start in life," said study co-author Jean Golding of the University of Bristol. "Now we've found that not smoking during pregnancy could also give their future grandchildren a better start, too." The study can't prove cause-and-effect, but one U.S. autism expert who reviewed the findings said the researchers' conclusion is not farfetched. While the finding is new, "the mechanism by which it might be occurring has been a focus of study for half a decade," noted Alycia ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Young Adults With Autism Need Help Managing Money: Study

Posted 21 Apr 2017 by

FRIDAY, April 21, 2017 – Lack of financial skills is a big pothole on the road to independence for many young adults with autism, a new study indicates. University of Missouri researchers interviewed 16- to 25-year-olds with autism. Most participants saw the link between adulthood and such responsibilities as paying bills and filing taxes, but many were anxious about it. "Participants agreed that independence required managing finances and all expressed frustration in their own abilities when it came to knowing how to handle and use money," said study leader Nancy Cheak-Zamora, an assistant professor in the School of Health Professions. "According to the participants, the lack of financial skills has serious consequences on their ability to assume adult responsibilities," she said in a university news release. The study shows the need to help young adults with autism improve their ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Studies Question Link Between Mom's Antidepressant Use, Autism in Kids

Posted 18 Apr 2017 by

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Taking antidepressants during pregnancy doesn't appear to raise a child's risk of autism, once other factors that could influence the risk are taken into account, two new studies suggest. "For a woman who needs to take this medication for her mental health and for her psychiatric stability, these results certainly suggest she shouldn't go without treatment," said Dr. Simone Vigod, senior author of one study and a psychiatrist at Women's College Hospital in Toronto. Depression during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child. Pregnant women with untreated depression are more likely to have severe postpartum depression, and their children are more likely to be born prematurely or at a low birth weight, Vigod said. But earlier studies found a significant association between first-trimester exposure to antidepressants and autism spectrum disorder in ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Major Depressive Disorder, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR, Escitalopram, Savella, Nortriptyline, Elavil

Just 1 in 5 Mentally Ill Women Gets Cervical Cancer Screenings

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – Cervical cancer screening rates are much lower among women with severe mental illness than among other women, a new study finds. "The results of this very large study indicate that we need to better prioritize cervical cancer screening for these high-risk women with severe mental illnesses," said study senior author Dr. Christina Mangurian. She's an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Researchers reviewed 2010-11 California Medicaid data for the study. Of the women with severe mental illness, 42 percent had some form of schizophrenia. Almost a third of the women had major depression. Nearly one in five had bipolar disorder, and the rest had anxiety or another disorder. The study showed that 20 percent of women with severe mental illness were screened for cervical cancer. But 42 percent of women in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Sexual Dysfunction, SSRI Induced, Autism, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Neurotic Depression, Neurosis, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Excoriation Disorder, Dermatillomania

FDA Warns Against Bogus Autism 'Cures'

Posted 12 Apr 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – Don't fall for products claiming to cure autism, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns. There's no cure for the neurodevelopmental disorder, the agency said. Yet bogus "cures" and therapies abound – from toxin removal to raw camel milk. Some of these fraudulent treatments could be harmful, and should be avoided, the agency said Wednesday. Among them: chelation therapies, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and detoxifying clay baths. Autism spectrum disorder affects about 1 in 68 children in the United States, boys far more often than girls. "Autism varies widely in severity and symptoms. Existing autism therapies and interventions are designed to address specific symptoms and can bring about improvement," FDA pediatrician Dr. Amy Taylor said in an agency news release. Children with an autism spectrum disorder have difficulties with social interaction and ... Read more

Related support groups: Abilify, Risperidone, Risperdal, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Aripiprazole, Risperdal Consta, Abilify Maintena, Risperdal M-Tab, Abilify Discmelt, Aristada

'Video Feedback' Program Might Help Treat Autism in Babies

Posted 11 Apr 2017 by

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 – A "video feedback" intervention program may help babies at risk of autism, a new British study suggests. "Parents often sense their child is developing differently very early on, yet getting a diagnosis of autism can take years," said Jon Spiers in a news release from Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, which published the study. "Being able to deliver an intervention during this uncertain period would be a promising step forward for many thousands of families," he said. Spiers is CEO of the British autism research charity Autistica, which helped fund the study. The research included 54 families with babies. The infants had an increased risk of autism because they had a sibling with autism. Of the 54 families, 28 took part in the video feedback program. The remaining families were the study's control group. The program included a minimum of six home ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

1 in 3 Teens With Autism Licensed to Drive, Study Finds

Posted 11 Apr 2017 by

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017 – Many teens with autism want to hit the open road on their own, and new research shows that about one-third are following through on those dreams and getting a driver's license. "We know that driving can increase mobility and independence for adolescents with ASD [autism spectrum disorder], but little was known about their rates of licensure," said study principal investigator Allison Curry. She's a senior scientist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention. "Our results indicate that a substantial proportion of adolescents with ASD do get licensed, and support is needed to help families make the decision whether or not to drive before these adolescents become eligible for a learner's permit," she added in a hospital news release. For the study, researchers reviewed data on New Jersey teens. The investigators found ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Muppet With Autism Makes Her 'Sesame Street' Debut

Posted 10 Apr 2017 by

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 – A half-century into its run as an iconic staple of children's television, "Sesame Street" will introduce a character with autism to its world-famous neighborhood. The new Muppet, a 4-year-old girl named Julia, makes her debut on the show on Monday in a special episode, "Meet Julia." It's slated to air simultaneously on both HBO and PBS. "Our goal is inclusion," said Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, which produces "Sesame Street." "By introducing this character we want to focus more on the things that children share, rather than their differences. We do want to acknowledge the differences, but then through them find commonalities," she said. The "Sesame Street" team sees the addition of Julia as an opportunity to offer preschoolers an eye-opening window into the challenges faced by children with autism. Julia, ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Parents of Kids With Autism May Sacrifice 'Couples Time'

Posted 31 Mar 2017 by

FRIDAY, March 31, 2017 – Raising a child with autism can be so demanding that it saps time from the parents' relationship, a new study suggests. On average, couples of a child with autism spend 21 fewer minutes a day with their partner than a comparison group of parents, the study found. That's a 128 hour gap over the course of a year. Still, couples felt they were supporting one another as they navigated everyday life, dealing with issues like who would take their child to occupational therapy or who would cook dinner, said study lead author Sigan Hartley. "But what did seem to kind of go by the wayside was this time to connect, to just share thoughts and feelings," said Hartley, chair of human ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Whether they're discussing weekend plans, joking around or engaging in sex, that one-on-one time is "so important" for maintaining intimacy, she ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

Teens With Autism More Likely to Land in ER, Study Finds

Posted 25 Mar 2017 by

FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 – U.S. teens with autism are four times more likely to visit an emergency room than those without the disorder, a new report says. The Penn State College of Medicine researchers said the likelihood of an ER visit for a teen with autism increased five-fold from 2005 to 2013. The findings suggest that young people with autism may require better access to primary and specialist care, the researchers said. "We believe if their regular medical and behavioral specialist services served them better, a big portion of them would end up with fewer emergency department visits," said study author Guodong Liu, an assistant professor of public health sciences at Penn State. In the United States, it's estimated that 1 in 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder. This is the term for a range of conditions that may involve problems with social skills, speech and nonverbal ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Autism, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome

Autism Greatly Boosts Kids' Injury Risk, Especially for Drowning

Posted 21 Mar 2017 by

TUESDAY, March 21, 2017 – Children with autism are at extremely high risk of drowning compared to other kids, a new study reveals. Analysis of death records found that kids with an autism spectrum disorder are 160 times more likely to die from drowning compared with the general pediatric population, the researchers reported. Children diagnosed with autism – usually between 2 and 3 years of age – need swimming lessons as soon as possible, even before they start other therapies that will improve the long-term quality of their lives, said senior author Dr. Guohua Li. "Pediatricians and parents should immediately help enroll the child in swimming classes, before any behavioral therapy, speech therapy or occupational therapy," said Li. He is a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. "Swimming ability for kids with autism is an ... Read more

Related support groups: Seizures, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Schizophrenia, Seizure Prevention, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Seizure Prophylaxis

Could a Blood Test Spot Autism in Childhood?

Posted 16 Mar 2017 by

THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 – Researchers say an experimental blood test has shown promise as a novel way to diagnose autism in children. The test appears to be nearly 98 percent accurate in kids between the ages of 3 and 10, the researchers claimed. "The test was able to predict autism, regardless of where on the spectrum an individual was," said study co-author Juergen Hahn, referring to varying degrees of autism severity. "Additionally, the test indicates with very good accuracy the severity of certain autism-related conditions," added Hahn, who is head of the department of biomedical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y. The study was small, involving just 83 children with autism and 76 children without the disorder. More follow-up research is planned, the researchers said. And a senior official with a leading autism advocacy group said he had some ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome

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