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Research by Topic: Parents
Delays in diagnosing and treating autism often occur when doctors ignore parents’ concerns about their child’s early development, a new study suggests.A team led by Dr. Katharine Zuckerman, of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, compared the medical records of more than 1,400 children with autism against those of 2,100 children with other forms of delayed intellectual development.
Effects of Risperidone and Parent Training on Adaptive Functioning in Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Serious Behavioral ProblemsPublished February 8, 2015 in J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs) have social interaction deficits, delayed communication, and repetitive behaviors as well as impairments in adaptive functioning. Many children actually show a decline in adaptive skills compared with age mates over time.
Research published in JAMA Psychiatry shows that parents who have a child with autism are about a third less likely to choose to continue having children compared to parents who do not have a child with ASD. In the study, this “reproductive stoppage” did not occur until the child started showing symptoms or received a diagnosis of ASD. This led researchers to conclude that it was a conscious decision to stop having children, rather than another factor such as fertility problems.
Babies born to women with gestational diabetes tend to be large and go through spells of low blood sugar within their first few days of life. They may also be at an increased risk for autism, reports a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The study also found that the risk extends to children born to women who had diabetes prior to pregnancy.
A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that men who fathered children at age 50 or older were nearly twice as likely to have a grandchild with autism compared to men who had children at a younger age. The study focused on age-related aspects and sought to control any other variables, such as socioeconomic status.
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.
Dr. Peter Gerhardt of the McCarton School joined us for a live chat. He answered several questions about employment, safety and sexual education in relation to teenagers and adults with autism.
This study shows that parents who have children with ASD show significantly higher levels of fatigue when compared to mothers of typically developing children. The study argues the need for interventions that specifically target maternal fatigue.
ASF President Alison Singer is featured in this article on how parent advocates help advance autism research.
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.
Changes in Prevalence of Parent-reported Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-aged U.S. Children: 2007 to 20112012Published March 20, 2013 in CDC
This report presents data on the prevalence of diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as reported by parents of school-aged children (ages 617 years) in 20112012. Results suggest 1 in 50 U.S. children is diagnosed with ASD based on parent report.
A mother with two sons with autism helps advance research on neuroligin-4 mutations.
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.
Researchers examine parent-child dyads during structured and free play and find that that joint engagement lasts longer when parents engage their child at or slightly above the child’s current level of play. Parents of children with autism often find it difficult to estimate their child’s level, which can result in parents engaging at too high of a level and shortening the interaction.
Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Children With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities: Associations With Ethnicity, Child Comorbid Symptoms, and Parental StressPublished January 30, 2013 in Journal of Child Neurology
Families of children with ASD and other comorbid symptoms, including behavioral problems such as irritability and food allergies, were more likely to use complementary and alternative medicine, and they were more likely to use more types of modalities as compared to families of children with other developmental disabilities.
Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future StudiesPublished January 16, 2013 in Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
The Institute of Medicine issues a report in response to questions about the safety of the vaccination schedule for children under age six. Thorough examination of the immunization schedule reveals no major concerns associated with adherence to recommended practices.
Autism Genetic Testing: A Qualitative Study of Awareness, Attitudes, and Experiences among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.Published January 3, 2013 in Genetics in Medicine
This study provides insight into awareness, perspectives and experiences of ASD genetic testing among parents of autistic children.
An estimated 32-92% of parents use complementary/alternative treatments for their children with ASD despite the lack of scientific evidence for the efficacy of these methods. In this article, researchers issue a call for a standardized way to select and evaluate treatments. Barriers to successful treatment, including high costs, limited availability, parental compliance and poor recommendations from professionals are discussed.
Effects of a Brief Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)-Based Parent Intervention on Toddlers at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Randomized Controlled TrialPublished October 1, 2012 in Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
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.
Researchers discover gross motor, communication and language score differences between minority and non-minority toddlers with ASD. The authors suggest that due to cultural differences, minority parents may not seek intervention services until more significant delays are present. Methods to improve early identification in these groups are discussed.
Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age, scientists reported on Wednesday, in the first study to quantify the effect as it builds each year. The age of mothers had no bearing on the risk for these disorders, the study found. Full article is here – http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org/sites/default/files/nature11396.pdf.
Maternal periconceptional folic acid intake and risk of autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay in the CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment) case-control study.Published July 1, 2012 in PubMed
Folic acid may reduce ASD risk in those with inefficient folate metabolism. The replication of these findings and investigations of mechanisms involved are warranted.
Maternal MCs may be broadly associated with neurodevelopmental problems in children. With obesity rising steadily, these results appear to raise serious public health concerns.