IACC Top Papers

Limited Fine Motor and Grasping Skills in 6-Month-Old Infants at High Risk for Autism

Source: 
Child Development
Date Published: 
June 30, 2014
Abstract: 

"Atypical motor behaviors are common among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, little is known about onset and functional implications of differences in early motor development among infants later diagnosed with ASD. Two prospective experiments were conducted to investigate motor skills among 6-month-olds at increased risk (high risk) for ASD (N1 = 129; N2 = 46). Infants were assessed using the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) and during toy play. Across both experiments, high-risk infants exhibited less mature object manipulation in a highly structured (MSEL) context and reduced grasping activity in an unstructured (free-play) context than infants with no family history of ASD. Longitudinal assessments suggest that between 6 and 10 months, grasping activity increases in high-risk infants."

The cost-effectiveness of supported employment for adults with autism in the United Kingdom

Source: 
Autism: the international journal of research and practice
Date Published: 
April 29, 2014

"Adults with autism face high rates of unemployment. Supported employment enables individuals with autism to secure and maintain a paid job in a regular work environment. The objective of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of supported employment compared with standard care (day services) for adults with autism in the United Kingdom. The analysis suggests that supported employment schemes for adults with autism in the United Kingdom are cost-effective compared with standard care. Further research needs to confirm these findings."

Comparing cognitive outcomes among children with autism spectrum disorders receiving community-based early intervention in one of three placements

Source: 
Autism: the international journal of research and practice
Date Published: 
April 18, 2014

"Little comparative research examines which community-based preschool intervention placements produce the best outcomes for which children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism-specific placements can provide intensive evidence-based care; however, inclusion settings provide interaction with typically developing peers, the importance of which is increasingly recognized. This study examined the association between early intervention placement in three settings (autism-only, mixed disability, or inclusive) and cognitive outcomes upon entry into elementary school in an urban school district for 98 preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorders.. A consistent pattern emerged that suggested the particular importance of inclusive placements for children with initially greater social impairments, greater adaptive behavior impairments, and at least a baseline level of language skills. Opportunities to interact with typically developing peers may be particularly beneficial for certain subgroups of young children with autism spectrum disorders. The results provide preliminary insight into important child characteristics to consider when parents and providers make preschool early intervention placement decisions."

Oxytocin enhances brain function in children with autism

Source: 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Date Published: 
December 24, 2013

"Following intranasal administration of oxytocin (OT), we measured, via functional MRI, changes in brain activity during judgments of socially (Eyes) and nonsocially (Vehicles) meaningful pictures in 17 children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD). OT increased activity in the striatum, the middle frontal gyrus, the medial prefrontal cortex, the right orbitofrontal cortex, and the left superior temporal sulcus. In the striatum, nucleus accumbens, left posterior superior temporal sulcus, and left premotor cortex, OT increased activity during social judgments and decreased activity during nonsocial judgments. Changes in salivary OT concentrations from baseline to 30 min postadministration were positively associated with increased activity in the right amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex during social vs. nonsocial judgments. OT may thus selectively have an impact on salience and hedonic evaluations of socially meaningful stimuli in children with ASD, and thereby facilitate social attunement. These findings further the development of a neurophysiological systems-level understanding of mechanisms by which OT may enhance social functioning in children with ASD."

Association between maternal use of folic acid supplements and risk of autism spectrum disorders in children

Source: 
Journal of the American Medical Association
Date Published: 
February 13, 2013

 

 

The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between the use of prenatal folic acid supplements and presence of autism spectrum disorders in offspring. The study concluded that the use of prenatal folic acid supplements around the time fo conception was associated with a lower risk of autism spectrum disorders. These findings support the use of prenatal folic acid supplementation to reduce the risk of autism, however, the findings cannot establish causality. 

Coexpression networks implicate human midfetal deep cortical projection neurons in the pathogenesis of autism

Source: 
Cell
Date Published: 
November 21, 2013

"As techniques for studying the human genome have advanced, an increasing number of genes are being associated with ASD; it is important to find the connections between these ASD-linked genes in order to understand how they may contribute to ASD. A new resource called the BrainSpan1 atlas provides researchers with three dimensional maps showing when and where genes turn on and off in the human brain, from embryonic stages through older adulthood. This study used the BrainSpan atlas to identify commonalities in when and where ASD-associated genes are expressed.By using the shared characteristics of different gene mutations implicated in ASD, this study creates a picture of the developmental processes that are changed in these cases. This image provides a sharper focus for the development of targeted treatments, and even holds potential for the development of personalized interventions based on genotype."

Gastrointestinal problems in children with autism, developmental delays or typical development

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disororders
Date Published: 
November 6, 2013

"To compare gastrointestinal (GI) problems among children with: (1) autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (2) developmental delay (DD) and (3) typical development (TD), GI symptom frequencies were obtained for 960 children from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) study. We also examined scores on five Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) subscales comparing ASD children with high versus low frequency GI symptoms. Compared to TD children, those with ASD [aOR 7.92 (4.89-12.85)] and DD [aOR 4.55 (2.51-8.24)] were more likely to have at least one frequent GI symptom. Restricting to ASD children, those with frequent abdominal pain, gaseousness, diarrhea, constipation or pain on stooling scored worse on irritability, social withdrawal, stereotypy, and hyperactivity compared with children having no frequent GI symptoms. Frequent GI problems affect young children with ASD and DD more commonly than those with TD. Maladaptive behaviors correlate with GI problems, suggesting these comorbidities require attention."

Gastrointestinal problems in children with autism, developmental delays or typical development

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disororders
Date Published: 
November 6, 2013

"To compare gastrointestinal (GI) problems among children with: (1) autism spectrum disorder (ASD), (2) developmental delay (DD) and (3) typical development (TD), GI symptom frequencies were obtained for 960 children from the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) study. We also examined scores on five Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) subscales comparing ASD children with high versus low frequency GI symptoms. Compared to TD children, those with ASD [aOR 7.92 (4.89-12.85)] and DD [aOR 4.55 (2.51-8.24)] were more likely to have at least one frequent GI symptom. Restricting to ASD children, those with frequent abdominal pain, gaseousness, diarrhea, constipation or pain on stooling scored worse on irritability, social withdrawal, stereotypy, and hyperactivity compared with children having no frequent GI symptoms. Frequent GI problems affect young children with ASD and DD more commonly than those with TD. Maladaptive behaviors correlate with GI problems, suggesting these comorbidities require attention."

Developmental trajectories in children with and without autism spectrum disorders: the first 3 years

Source: 
Child Development
Date Published: 
March 2013

"Retrospective studies indicate 2 major classes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) onset: early and later, after a period of relatively healthy development. This prospective, longitudinal study examined social, language, and motor trajectories in 235 children with and without a sibling with autism, ages 6-36 months. Children were grouped as: ASD identified by 14 months, ASD identified after 14 months, and no ASD. Despite groups' initial similar developmental level at 6 months, ASD groups exhibited atypical trajectories thereafter. Impairment from 14 to 24 months was greater in the Early-ASD than the Later-ASD group, but comparable at 36 months. Developmental plateau and regression occurred in some children with ASD, regardless of timing of ASD diagnosis. Findings indicate a preclinical phase of varying duration for ASD."

Effectiveness of developmental screening in an urban setting

Source: 
Pediatrics
Date Published: 
January 1, 2013

The goal of this study was to determine whether developmental screening could aid identification of developmental delays, early intervention referrals, and eligibility for early intervention. The study concluded that children who received developmental screening tests were identified for developmental delays, early intervention referrals, and early intervention eligibility services in a more timely fashion than those who received only surveillance. This research supports policies that endorse developmental screening.