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The Development of Referential Communication and Autism Symptomatology in High-Risk Infants

Source: 
Infancy
Date Published: 
October 1, 2012
Abstract: 

This study suggests that non-verbal communication delays in infants with autistic siblings can predict later ASD symptoms.

For a Science Daily article on this paper, click here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001124802.htm

Immunization Uptake in Younger Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Source: 
Autism
Date Published: 
October 8, 2012
Abstract: 

Study finds that parents who already have one child with autism spectrum disorder may delay or decline immunization for their younger children, potentially placing them at increased risk of preventable infectious diseases.

Background: Parental concerns persist that immunization increases the risk of autism spectrum disorder, resulting in the potential for reduced uptake by parents of younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder ("younger sibs").Objective: To compare immunization uptake by parents for their younger child relative to their older child with autism spectrum disorder ("proband") and controls.Design: Immunization status was obtained for 98 "younger sibs," 98 "probands," and 65 controls.Results: A significant group difference emerged for overall immunization status (Fisher's exact test = 62.70, p < .001). One or more immunizations in 59/98 younger sibs were delayed (47/98; 48%) or declined (12/98; 12.2%); immunizations were delayed in 16/98 probands (16.3%) and declined in only one. All controls were fully immunized, with only 6 (9.2%) delayed. Within the "younger sibs" group, 25/98 received an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis; 7 of whom (28%) were fully immunized. The rates of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis did not differ between immunized and nonimmunized younger sib groups, although small sample size limits interpretability of this result.Conclusion: Parents who already have one child with autism spectrum disorder may delay or decline immunization for their younger children, potentially placing them at increased risk of preventable infectious diseases.

Nearly Half of All Children with Autism Wander Off - Pediatrics Reports

Abstract: 

"Occurrence and Family Impact of Elopement in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” was published today in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 8). The study was conducted by the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute and indicates that half of children with autism wander away from safe environments. The study was funded by a coalition of autism advocacy organizations led by the ASF.

"Occurrence and Family Impact of Elopement in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” was published today in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 8). The study was conducted by the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute and indicates that half of children with autism wander away from safe environments.  The study was funded by a coalition of autism advocacy organizations led by the Autism Science Foundation.

Researchers surveyed 1,367 families with children between the ages of 4 and 17 who had been diagnosed with ASD. Nearly half – 598, or 49 percent – of the families reported that their child had attempted to elope at least once after age 4. Of those, 316 children went missing long enough to cause concern.

Greater autism severity was associated with increased elopement risk. Children eloped most commonly from their home, a store, classroom or school. Nearly half of parents said their child’s elopement was focused on an intent to go somewhere or do something, versus being confused or lost. Close calls with calamities like traffic injury or drowning are frequent, with police called in more than a third of cases.

Of parents whose children had eloped, 43 percent said the issue had prevented family members from getting a good night’s sleep, and 62 percent said their concerns had prevented family from attending or enjoying activities outside the home. For 56 percent of parents, elopement was one of the most stressful behaviors they had to cope with as caregivers of a child with ASD, and half said they received no guidance from anyone on preventing or addressing this behavior.

Full Study - http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/10/02/peds.2012-0762.abstract?sid=0ccc0ad5-2fe7-4b75-80ce-7cb4a9011203.

Read coverage in USA Today and the New York Times.

 

View a webinar on wandering by Interactive Autism Network News:
 

Effects of a Brief Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)-Based Parent Intervention on Toddlers at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
October 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

Contrary to their hypothesis, Sally Rogers and colleagues found that toddlers with ASD in a brief, parent-delivered ESDM program did not make greater gains or show reduced core ASD symptoms compared to autistic toddlers in a community ESDM program. Study strongly suggests number of intervention hours and younger age at initiation are key to maximizing intervention benefits, even for 1 and 2 year olds. Authors say, “the ‘wait and see’ approach to early ASD must be replaced by an ‘act now’ mentality.”

Application of DSM-5 Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder to Three Samples of Children With DSM-IV Diagnoses of Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Source: 
The American Journal of Psychiatry
Date Published: 
October 1, 2012
Year Published: 
2012
Abstract: 

Substantial revisions to the DSM-IV criteria for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have been proposed in efforts to increase diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. This study evaluated the proposed DSM-5 criteria for the single diagnostic category of autism spectrum disorder in children with DSM-IV diagnoses of pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) and non-PDD diagnoses.

ASF's Brain Tissue Donation Awareness Campaign Featured in Disability Scoop

Source: 
Disability Scoop
Date Published: 
October 2, 2012
Abstract: 

After many of the world’s brain samples available for autism research were lost earlier this year, a new effort is underway to increase tissue donation from those with the disorder.

Autism Science Foundation to Develop Brain Tissue Donation Awareness Campaign with Support from Simons Foundation

Date Published: 
October 1, 2012
Abstract: 

ASF received a two-year, $600,000 grant from the Simons Foundation to develop a multi-media campaign designed to increase awareness of the importance of brain tissue donation to further autism research.

2-year grant from the Simons Foundation will support multi-media campaign designed to support and encourage brain tissue donation for autism research

(October 1, 2012—New York, NY)--The Autism Science Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and funding autism research, today announced that it had received a two-year, $600,000 grant from the Simons Foundation to develop a multi-media campaign designed to increase awareness of the importance of brain tissue donation to further autism research. 

"No effort is more important than raising awareness among families and scientists about the need for research on human brain tissue,” said Dr. Gerald Fischbach, Director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. “At this point, we have learned a great deal about the genetics of autism, and have important animal models with which to test genetic hypotheses. And now the next step in developing useful therapies, and even possibly preventative measures, depends on understanding more about the human brain itself.  This project is designed to help children on the autism spectrum, and although brain donation is a difficult issue for many, it is one of the best ways to help families."

“In every area of medicine,” said Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, “new diagnostics and new treatments have come from studying the affected organ.  In autism, we have been challenged by trying to understand a complex neurodevelopmental disorder without having enough brain tissue available for study.  This is especially unfortunate because today we have such powerful tools to interrogate any tissue that becomes available. This new public-private effort, called for by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Strategic Plan for Research, can launch a national effort to increase brain tissue donation.  In so many ways, our ability to deliver for families with autism depends on the success of this effort.”

ASF President Alison Singer will serve as principal investigator on the project. Prior to founding the Autism Science Foundation, Singer served as Executive Vice President for Communications and Awareness at Autism Speaks, where she developed and co-produced the award-winning “The Odds” autism awareness campaign in conjunction with the Ad Council.

“The need for more autism brain tissue is consistently described as a major roadblock to advancing autism research” said Singer, who also serves as a public member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. “We know that parents in our community are eager to do everything possible to move the research forward and this campaign will give them the information and tools they need to determine whether tissue donation is right for them.”

The Autism Science Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to meeting the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

ASF recently released a request for applications for pre and post doctoral fellowships. In the past 3 years ASF has funded close to a million dollars in training grants. Additional information about the RFA can be found at www.autismsciencefoundation.org/ApplyForaGrant.html. The application deadline is November 16, 2012.

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

 

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Contact Info:    

Dawn Crawford
Events and Media Manager
Autism Science Foundation
dcrawford@autismsciencefoundation.org

 

Autism Science Foundation to Develop Brain Tissue Donation Awareness Campaign with Support from Simons Foundation

ASF President Alison Singer Comments on National Funding for Autism Research in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Source: 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Date Published: 
October 1, 2012
Abstract: 

"The universities that were on the list were worthy of being funded" said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, "but there are many other projects that were deserving and critically important that were not funded. The problem is, the list is just too short. With all that we've learned in recent years, this is the time in autism research to step on the gas, not the brake."

ASF President Alison Singer Named an "Autism Champion" by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Source: 
American Academy of Pediatrics
Date Published: 
October 1, 2012
Abstract: 

A note from the publisher..."From autism and Asperger's syndrome through pervasive developmental disorders, this authoritative reference from the leading publisher in pediatric health care examines how autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are defined and diagnosed and reviews the most current behavioral and developmental therapy treatments available. Through this evidence-based guide, which reflects the new diagnostic thinking from the American Psychiatric Association, parents and caregivers will learn about the symptoms and the incidence of ASDs, screening tools, the roles of complementary and alternative medicine, and what to expect as these children grow into adolescence and beyond."

Announcing the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange, a Database of Brain Scans from Over 15 Medical and Research Institutions Worldwide

Source: 
Enhanced Online News
Date Published: 
September 24, 2012
Abstract: 

Researchers officially announce the creation of the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange, a database of previously collected brain scans from over 15 medical and research institutions worldwide. The founders aim to advance scientific understanding of ASD through this data sharing initiative.