Behavior

Elevated Repetitive Behaviors are Associated with Lower Diurnal Salivary Cortisol Levels in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
Biological Psychiatry
Date Published: 
March 1, 2013
Abstract: 

This pilot study examined the relationship between repetitive behaviors (RBs) and cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress, in individuals with ASD. Multiple salivary cortisol samples were taken over three days for 21 children with ASD with high and low levels of RBs. Children in both groups showed the same pattern of cortisol change throughout the day, but the overall cortisol levels in the high RB group were significantly lower, suggesting RBs may work to soothe and decrease stress.

Beyond Autism: A Baby Siblings Research Consortium Study of High-risk Children at Three Years of Age

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
February 8, 2013
Abstract: 

This study is the first large-scale examination of ASD behavioral characteristics and developmental functioning in high-risk (HR), non-autistic 3-year-olds with siblings on the spectrum. 79% of HR children were either no different from low-risk children (LR; no known ASD family history) with respect to ASD behavioral severity and developmental functioning, or were developmentally on target with high levels of ASD-related behaviors. 21% of HR children with no ASD diagnosis had an "early manifestation" of a broad autism phenotype: high levels of ASD-related behaviors and/or low levels of verbal and nonverbal functioning. The authors highlight the importance of developmental surveillance and intervention for this HR subset.

Use of Social Stories to Improve Self-Regulation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
Date Published: 
February 26, 2013
Abstract: 

Social stories, an intervention used to define a skill, concept or situation in socially appropriate terms, were used to promote self-regulation techniques in a self-contained preschool classroom. While implementation of self-regulation strategies varied among the children, all showed an increase in desired behaviors with the intervention.

Examining and Interpreting the Female Protective Effect against Autistic Behavior

Source: 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Date Published: 
February 19, 2013
Abstract: 

This study examined the hypothesis that a protective component of the female sex protects females from autistic behavioral impairment. The results indicate that greater familial risk may be associated with ASD in females, and males may require fewer familial risk factors to reach a similar impairment threshold. The authors hope the study will provide insight into the ASD sex ratio and aid future genetic research.

Sleep Disruption as a Correlate to Cognitive and Adaptive Behavior Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
October 1, 2012
Date Published: 
Research in Developmental Disabilities
Abstract: 

This study examines the effects of sleep problems on daytime cognitive and adaptive functioning in children with ASD.

Six Developmental Trajectories Characterize Children With Autism

Source: 
Pediatrics
Date Published: 
May 2012
Abstract: 

"OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to describe the typical longitudinal developmental trajectories of social and communication functioning in children with autism and to determine the correlates of these trajectories.
RESULTS: Six typical patterns of social, communication, and repetitive behavior functioning were identified. These trajectories displayed significant heterogeneity in developmental pathways, and children whose symptoms were least severe at first diagnosis tended to improve more rapidly than those severely affected. "

The Effects of A Weighted Vest on Aggressive and Self-injurious Behavior in a Child with Autism

Source: 
PubMed
Date Published: 
January 2, 2013
Abstract: 

Research finds that despite their frequent use, weighted vests have little effect on managing challenging behaviors in children with autism.

Diuretic Drug Offers Latest Hope for Autism Treatment

Source: 
Science Magazine
Date Published: 
December 11, 2012
Abstract: 

A drug used for decades to treat high blood pressure and other conditions has shown promise in a small clinical trial for autism.

How Autism is Changing the World for Everybody

Source: 
i09
Date Published: 
July 26,2012
Abstract: 

Interesting article including interviews with Steve Silberman and Andrea Kuszewski about how studying autism is changing the world for everyone!

Researchers Grapple with Mixed Results from Cognitive Studies

Source: 
Simons Foundation Austism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
July 30, 2012
Abstract: 

Researchers at Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London are finding that some studies have suggested that people with autism have deficits in executive function, a set of complex mental processes involved in everyday life. But these results may instead reflect their difficulties imagining what other people are thinking.