Adults with autism usually understand in theory when and why others may feign emotions, but they don’t recognize those expressions in real-life situations, reports a study published in Autism Research. This inability to guess what triggered someone’s subtle expression can lead to social missteps — congratulating instead of consoling a disappointed friend, for example.
Researchers have standardized labels for nearly 300 traits of autism, drawn from 24 diagnostic tests for the disorder, they reported in Neuroinformatics. They can use these terms to search for certain traits among large catalogs of the genetics and symptoms of people with autism. The new study aims to build a defined list, or ontology, of the traits these tests assess. The goal is to allow researchers to compare results across different diagnostic tests and identify the same features, regardless of the test used. The new tool can also help classify individuals with autism into subgroups, which may reflect different causes of the disorder.
Peer solicitation – a child inviting another to play – can improve reciprocal social interaction among children with autism, according to a recent Vanderbilt University study. While the children with autism in the study initiated and engaged in less play overall than typically developing children, the researchers found that other children can facilitate and increase interactions by simple requests. These findings highlight the pivotal role that peers have in social interaction, noting that it only takes a single child to prompt other children – with or without autism – to interact.
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A study published earlier this year in the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders found aggressive behavior in more than half of autistic children and adolescents. These behaviors are notoriously difficult to treat; a 2005 British study confirmed that aggressive and self-injurious behaviors don’t improve as children age—rather, they worsen in intensity and frequency over time.
This symposium will address the treatment of dangerous behaviors, including:
•What types of behaviors are more likely to respond to medical treatments than behavior strategies
•Which medications have been most successful treating these behaviors
•What can be done if medications fail, including ECT and neurobehavioral units
An extensive question and answer session will follow the presentations. A light dinner will be served during the break.
Register online at easifoundation.eventbrite.com. Registrations will be accepted at the door if space permits.
About one fourth of people with autism are minimally verbal or nonverbal. Early intervention programs have been helping children develop language skills, but researchers say that seemingly unrelated issues such as motor skills and joint attention may hold the key to communication development.
In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to identify the neural correlates of successful response to Pivotal response treatment (PRT) in two young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) have social interaction deficits, delayed communication, and repetitive behaviors as well as impairments in adaptive functioning. Many children actually show a decline in adaptive skills compared with age mates over time.
The goal of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of using oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a glutamatergic modulator and an antioxidant, in the treatment of behavioral disturbance in children with autism.