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Respite Care, Marital Quality, and Stress in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
March 2013

In a new study looking at parents of children with ASD, researchers found that parents were less stressed and had improved marital quality with each hour of respite care received.

Frequency and Pattern of Documented Diagnostic Features and the Age of Autism Identification

Journal of the American Academy of Child & Pediatric Psychiatry
Date Published: 
February 6, 2013

The age at which a child with autism is diagnosed is related to the particular suite of behavioral symptoms he or she exhibits, according to this study led by an ASF Grantee. Certain diagnostic features, including poor nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors, were associated with earlier identification of an autism spectrum disorder. Displaying more behavioral features was also associated with earlier diagnosis.

For more information about this study, read the guest blog from the lead author here: http://autismsciencefoundation.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/identifying-asd-...

Zumba Mania

Apr 6 2013
America/New York
Start Date: 
April 6, 2013
Mamaroneck, NY

On April 6, 2013,  super instructor Gustavo Lopez of Dance2BFit of Mamaroneck, NY lead adults and children of all ages and fitness levels in a three hour zumba marathon that resulted in over 100 zumba-ers coming together to raise over $2000 for autism research!

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Live Chat with Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

Date Published: 
April 5, 2013

Did you miss the live chat? Read the transcript here.

Global Increases in Both Common and Rare Copy Number Load Associated with Autism

Human Molecular Genetics
Date Published: 
March 27, 2013

Penn State researchers link autism to increased genetic change in "hotspots", regions of the genome that are highly susceptible to mutation.

Bridges and Barriers to Successful Transitioning as Perceived by Adolescents and Young Adults With Asperger Syndrome

Journal of Pediatric Nursing
Date Published: 
March 28, 2013

This thematic content analysis examined the expectations, and perceived facilitators of and barriers to transition to community as reported by adolescents and young adults with Asperger syndrome.

White House Announces New Brain Research Initiative

Date Published: 
April 2, 2013

ASF President Alison Singer joined President Obama for the official public announcement of the BRAIN Initiative.

Autism Science Foundation and Dance2BFit Host Zumba Mania on April 6, 2013

Date Published: 
April 2, 2013

Super instructor Gustavo Lopez will lead families in a Zumba marathon to raise funds to support autism research.




Get Fit! Feel Fab! Raise Funds!

(April 1, 2013—New York, NY)  The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) and Dance2BFit will host their first annual Zumba Mania, a fun and fun-draising event for families and individuals affected by autism, on April 6, 2013 at Dance2BFit Studios in Mamaroneck.

The event will raise money to fund research to find the causes of autism and develop better treatments for children, teens and adults with autism. 1 in 88 children is currently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.


Zumba Mania will run from 12:30pm – 3:30pm at Dance2BFit at 656 Van Ranst Place, Mamaroneck, NY.  Dance2BFit owner/instructor Gustavo Lopez, a Mamaroneck native and MHS graduate, will lead the zumba-ing. Dancers 12 and over, of all developmental and skill levels, are welcome to participate.


“Let’s face it; it’s stressful being the parent of a child with autism and zumba is a fabulous stress reliever,” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. “Gustavo is the best instructor I’ve ever met. It’s just impossible not to be happy when you’re doing zumba with Gustavo.”  


“Everyone can zumba,” said Lopez, who became a certified zumba instructor in 2009 and opened Dance2BFit in 2012. “Whatever your age, fitness level, or developmental level, zumba is a great workout and has great health benefits.”


Tickets are $25 and available online at http://asfzumbamania.eventbrite.com/. All advance ticket buyers will receive a free water bottle or size large t-shirt at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the door, space permitting.


Zumba is a dance fitness program created by Colombian dancer/choreographer Albert Perez. It involves dance and aerobic elements and incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, mambo and other dance moves.  According to Wikipedia, approximately 14 million people take weekly Zumba classes in over 140,000 locations across more than 150 countries.

100% of the proceeds from this event will benefit the Autism Science Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. ASF was founded by Scarsdale resident Alison Singer, who currently serves as president and Chief Zumba Officer.


To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation’s programs visit www.autismsciencefoundation.org.


Contact Information:    

Casey Gold

Program Associate

Autism Science Foundation

212 391-3913



Increasing Exposure to Antibody-Stimulating Proteins and Polysaccharides in Vaccines Is Not Associated with Risk of Autism

Journal of Pediatrics
Date Published: 
March 6, 2013

This CDC study casts further doubt on the link between autism and vaccines. The study found no connection between the number of vaccines received and autism risk.

Autism Risk Across Generations A Population-Based Study of Advancing Grandpaternal and Paternal Age

JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
March 20, 2013

Recently published in JAMA Psychiatry, this study put forth a new autism risk factor: advanced grandpaternal age. Compared to men who had children between 20 and 24, men who fathered a child at 50+ were 1-2 times more likely to have a grandchild with autism. The findings suggest some autism risk factors can accumulate over generations.