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Recurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Full- and Half-Siblings and Trends Over Time

Source: 
JAMA Pediatrics
Abstract: 

Children who have an older sibling with autism are seven times more likely than other kids to be diagnosed with autism themselves, according to a new study from Denmark. A higher-than-average risk was also detected for children who have a half-sibling with ASD, especially if the two children had the same mother.

Preferred Play Activities of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Naturalistic Settings

Source: 
North American Journal of Medicine and Science
Date Published: 
July 25, 2013
Abstract: 

Play is important to children's development, and a new study has found the types of play that appeal most to children with ASD: play that provides strong sensory feedback, cause-and-effect results, and repetitive motions. Incorporating this type of play in recreational facilities, after-school programs, and playgrounds encourages inclusion and social interaction with peers.

Pediatrician Identification of Latino Children at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
Pediatrics
Date Published: 
August 19, 2013
Abstract: 

Latino children with autism are being diagnosed less often and later than non-minority children. This new study in Pediatrics shows that this may be due to a language barrier between doctors and patients, along with a lack of dissemination of culturally appropriate ASD materials to Latino families.

Autistic Kids Who Best Peers at Math Show Different Brain Organization

Source: 
Biological Psychiatry
Date Published: 
August 16, 2013
Abstract: 

Children with autism and average IQs consistently demonstrated superior math skills compared with nonautistic children in the same IQ range, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

New Technique Maps Topography of Autism Brain Connections

Source: 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Date Published: 
July 22, 2013
Abstract: 

A technique borrowed from geography bolsters the idea that altered wiring of the brain’s gray matter plays a role in autism, according to a new report. This is the first study to examine intrinsic connectivity in the living brain.

Autism Four Times Likelier When Mother's Thyroid is Weakened

Source: 
Annals of Neurology
Date Published: 
August 13, 2013
Abstract: 

A study from the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute and Erasmus Medical Centre discovered that mothers who do not produce enough of a thyroid hormone, thyroxine, are nearly four times more likely to have a child with autism. In the past, this hormone has been shown to be important in the migration of fetal brain cells during embryo development.

Diagnosis of Toddlers with ASD supported by changes to symptom structure in DSM-5

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
May 13, 2013
Abstract: 

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry analyzes the changes made to the DSM-5 in regards to autism symptom structure in toddlers with ASD. The DSM-5 model was found to be a superior fit to the data than other models used during toddler assessment.

An article about this study in Medical News Today can be found here

Multinational Resource Combines Autism Risk Factors

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
August 5, 2013
Abstract: 

A new database compiles health data from seven countries, greatly expanding sample size for epidemiological autism studies. This project, the International Collaboration for Autism Registry Epidemiology (iCARE), combines data from 80,000 individuals diagnosed with autism from the years 1967 to 2009.

Induced Labor Associated with Autism Risk

Source: 
JAMA Pediatrics
Date Published: 
August 13, 2013
Abstract: 

A study posted in JAMA Pediatrics shows an association with induced and augmented labor with an increased risk of autism. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center studied over 625,000 live births, of which 5,500 were documented as having autism. The study adds, ”While these results are interesting, further investigation is needed to differentiate among potential explanations of the association, including underlying pregnancy conditions requiring the eventual need to induce/augment, the events of labor and delivery...and the specific treatments and dosing used."

Autism’s Unexpected Link to Cancer Gene

Source: 
The New York Times
Date Published: 
August 11, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers have recently discovered that two seemingly unrelated conditions, autism and cancer, share an unexpected connection. Some people with autism have specific mutated cancer or tumor genes that scientists believe caused their autism. While this does not apply to all people with autism, just the ones with the mutated gene, it is a very illuminating discovery in the field.