Early Intervention

Socioeconomics Playing Reduced Role in Autism Diagnoses

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
April 6, 2011
Abstract: 

While there is an increasing equality in terms of the likelihood that children from communities and families across the socioeconomic spectrum will be diagnosed with autism, a new study finds that such factors still influence the chance of an autism diagnosis, though to a much lesser extent than they did at the height of rising prevalence.

Treatments Show Promise in Reducing Autism-related Behaviors, but Some have Significant Side Effects

Source: 
Agency for Heathcare Research and Quality
Date Published: 
April 4, 2011
Abstract: 

Some medical and behavioral treatments show promise for reducing certain behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but more research is needed to assess the potential benefits and harms, according to a new report funded by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The research results were published online in the journal Pediatrics.

A Systematic Review of Early Intensive Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Pediatrics
Date Published: 
April 2011
Year Published: 
2011

Researchers at Vanderbilt University reviewed the effectiveness of early intervention programs for children aged 12 and younger with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Overall, the strength of the evidence ranged from insufficient to low. Studies performed at the University of California Los Angeles /Lovaas-based interventions and variants reported clinically significant gains in language and cognitive skills in some children, as did 1 randomized control trial of an early intensive developmental intervention approach (the Early Start Denver Model). Data suggests that subgroups of children displayed more prominent gains across studies, but common characteristics of those who experienced greater gains are not understood. Studies into the effectiveness of Early Intervention programs demonstrated some progress in cognitive performance, language skills, and adaptive behavior skills in some young children with ASDs, but there is limited literature available on the topic.

Misreading Faces Tied to Child Social Anxiety

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
April 1, 2011
Abstract: 

Children suffering from extreme social anxiety are trapped in a nightmare of misinterpreted facial expressions: They confuse angry faces with sad ones, a new study shows.

Catching Autism Symptoms Early to Enable Effective Preventative Interventions Through Play

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
March 23, 2011
Abstract: 

Toddlers who played with a limited number of toys showed more improvement in their communication skills following parent-guided treatment than those receiving other community-based treatments.

Children With Autistic Traits Remain Undiagnosed

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
March 22, 2010
Abstract: 

There has been a major increase in the incidence of autism over the last twenty years. While people have differing opinions as to why this is (environment, vaccines, mother's age, better diagnostic practice, more awareness etc.) there are still many children who have autistic traits that are never diagnosed clinically. Therefore, they do not receive the support they need through educational or health services.

Interactive Program for Dealing with Behavioral Problems is Available as iPhone Application

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
March 18, 2011
Abstract: 

Behavior Breakthroughs™, an interactive program developed by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), uses game-based technology and 3-D imagery to help train people who work with children and adults with behavioral problems.

Less Invasive EEG With Chaos Theory Helps ID Autism Early

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
February 22, 2011
Abstract: 

For many years, behavioral testing and observation have been the only way to determine if a child is autistic, often causing distress and confusion for parents. However, now the application of the standard electroencephalogram (EEG) combined with borrowed math from chaos theory, may enable doctors to read brain wave patterns and identify levels of autism one to two years earlier with 80% accuracy.

Virtual Desktop Program Helps Connect The Autism Spectrum

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
February 13, 2011
Abstract: 

Touchstone Behavioral Health, a Phoenix-based treatment center that specializes in working with children has developed a virtual program that gives patients remote access to specialized autism treatment tools and allows therapists and patients to continue developing real-world life skills outside of traditional clinical environments.

Intervention Targeting Development of Socially Synchronous Engagement in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Source: 
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Date Published: 
January 2011
Year Published: 
2011

Two-year-olds with ASD showed improved social skills after completing an intervention targeting core social deficits in autism. It is the first randomized controlled trial to test such an intervention in toddlers and gives promise that a supplementary curriculum could improve social and communication skills in very young children. The researchers randomly assigned 50 toddlers with ASD, aged 21 to 33 months, to receive either an intervention called Interpersonal Synchrony - which targets social imitation, joint attention skills, and sharing of emotions - or a comparison intervention that does not target these specific social skills. Both six-month interventions were used for 10 hours per week in the classroom, and parents in both groups were given similar levels of training to continue the intervention at home. While toddlers in both groups showed gains in social, cognitive, and language skills during the study, children who received the Interpersonal Synchrony intervention, which encouraged them to communicate and play with others, had the greatest progress. At the end of the six months, these children had more than doubled the instances in which they engaged in social imitation (such as imitating the way a parent plays with a toy or mimicking a facial expression), while also making eye contact. Social imitation is believed to be critical in developing social communication skills -- deficits in such core social skills are a defining characteristic of autism. Importantly, children in the Interpersonal Synchrony group were able to generalize their newly developed skills to new people and settings. While their progress slowed in the six months following the end of the intervention, they did not lose any of the skills gained, unlike children in the comparison group who showed poorer social communication skills at the six-month follow-up.

--IACC 2011 Summary of Advances in ASD Research