Research by Topic: Family

The extra benefit of caregiver mediated interventions

Published August 28, 2019 in ASF Podcasr

This week, a new systematic review published by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute looked at the existing evidence around caregiver (parent) mediated interventions and not child outcome, but family relationships and dynamics. While it isn’t the focus on the intervention, what effect does allowing parents to be involved and empowered on their child’s support on […]

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What’s new in the immune system and ASD

Published July 2, 2019 in ASF Podcast

This holiday weekend always triggers a reincarnation, a resurrection of the vaccine – autism hypothesis.  Many of you have read about the measles epidemics that are hitting many areas of the country.  But besides vaccines, there are other aspects of the immune system that may be linked to autism in some people.  The include family […]

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Getting kids with autism to eat

Published July 2, 2019 in ASF Podcast

This week’s podcast combines two important post Mother’s Day topics – parents and eating.  Two recent studies have shown the promise of using parent – delivered interventions to help improve food selectivity and food aversions in kids with autism. These two behaviors can be one of the most frustrating and challenging for parents and kids, […]

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Podcast: Super siblings!

Published October 15, 2018

This podcast is dedicated to siblings of people with autism who are typically developing. They play an important and beneficial role in development of socialization of those with ASD. But sadly, they also have issues of their own, such as a high rate of issues like anxiety and depression. Those siblings may be genetic carries […]

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Blog: My Journey to Becoming a Special Education Teacher

Published September 19, 2018

When asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” in elementary school, Allyson Schwartzman had one answer – “an autism teacher”. Read about how Allyson made her dream a reality by becoming a special education teacher on the ASF blog.

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Podcast: PMS – It’s not what you think

Published July 30, 2018

On this week’s podcast, highlights from the Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Foundation 2018 International Family Conference in Dallas, TX. People with Phelan McDermid Syndrome, or PMS, suffer from seizures and intellectual disability, and about 70% have an ASD diagnosis. This syndrome is caused by mutations of the SHANK3 gene, which is present in about 1% of people […]

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ASF renews grant to expand Baby Sibs research

Published July 2, 2018

ASF is proud to announce continued support for the Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC), a network of over 33 research sites around the world studying the younger siblings of people with autism. The Baby Sibs database now tracks over 5,000 younger siblings, with and without autism. The database has been used to develop more sophisticated […]

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Caregiver Burden as People with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder Transition into Adolescence and Adulthood in the United Kingdom

Published September 8, 2015 in J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry

This study conducted an observational study of 192 families caring for a young person (aged 14 to 24 years) with a childhood diagnosis of ASD or ADHD (n = 101 and n = 91, respectively) in the United Kingdom. A modified stress-appraisal model was used to investigate the correlates of caregiver burden as a function of family background (parental education), primary stressors (symptoms), primary appraisal (need), and resources (use of services).

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Advancing Maternal Age is Associated with an Increasing Risk for Autism: A Review and Meta-Analysis

Published May 8, 2015 in Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

The results of this meta-analysis support an association between advancing maternal age and risk of autism. The association persisted after the effects of paternal age and other potential confounders had been considered, supporting an independent relation between higher maternal age and autism.

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Service and Wider Societal Costs of Very Young Children with Autism in the UK

Published May 8, 2015 in J Autism Dev Disord

This study describes the services used by 152 children aged 24-60 months with autism, report family out-of-pocket expenses and productivity losses, and explore the relationship between family characteristics and costs.

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Evidence of Reproductive Stoppage in Families With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published June 18, 2014 in JAMA Psychiatry

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.

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Grandfather’s Age Linked to Autism

Published August 1, 2013 in JAMA Psychiatry

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.

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Dr. Peter Gerhardt Talks About Employment, Safety and Sex Education in Young Adults with Autism

Published July 25, 2013

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.

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Early Signs Of Autism: Does My Toddler Have It?

Published May 24, 2013 in The Huffington Post

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How Can Immigrant Families Get Help For Their Autistic Child

Published May 24, 2013 in ASF Blog

Guest blogger Marcela De Vivo shares insight on some of the difficulties immigrant families face when getting help for their child with autism in this week’s ASF blog post.

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The Legacy of the Wakefield Vaccine Scare: A Measles Epidemic in Great Britain

Published May 22, 2013 in NPR

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Ad Campaign Uses New Approach to Promote Early Autism Recognition in African-American and Hispanic Families

Published May 20, 2013 in The New York Times

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Parents Turn Their Skills to Furthering Autism Research

Published May 9, 2013 in SFARI

ASF President Alison Singer is featured in this article on how parent advocates help advance autism research.

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

Published March 28, 2013 in Journal of Pediatric Nursing

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.

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

Published March 20, 2013 in JAMA Psychiatry

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.

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Association of Maternal Exposure to Childhood Abuse With Elevated Risk for Autism in Offspring

Published March 20, 2013 in JAMA Psychiatry

This study examined the relationship between maternal childhood abuse and autism in children in a large population-based sample. Maternal abuse was significantly associated with increased autism risk even after researchers controlled for perinatal risk factors, including gestational diabetes, smoking during pregnancy, preeclampsia, exposure to intimate partner violence and premature birth.

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Mother’s Drive Helps Research on Rare Autism-linked Mutation

Published March 14, 2013 in SFARI

A mother with two sons with autism helps advance research on neuroligin-4 mutations.

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Changes to Children’s Study Threaten its Value, Experts Say

Published March 7, 2013 in SFARI

Autism researchers and advocates are concerned about changes to the recruitment strategy of the National Childrens Study, which aims to enroll 100,000 pregnant women, monitor environmental exposures, and examine gene-environment interactions in the women and their children. The changes, which include forgoing door-to-door recruitment, may limit the generalizability of the findings.

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The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: Reliability in a Diverse Rural American Sample

Published February 6, 2013 in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Researchers at Virginia Tech examine M-CHAT performance in a very low socio-economic status setting and find it lacks internal consistency across ethnic and educational groups. Caregivers who reported a low maternal educational level or with minority status were more likely to mark items suggestive of autism compared to those with higher maternal education or non-minority status

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Parent-child Interactions in Autism: Characteristics of Play

Published February 4, 2013 in Autism

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.

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Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Children With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities: Associations With Ethnicity, Child Comorbid Symptoms, and Parental Stress

Published 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.

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Autisms Invisible Victims: The Siblings

Published November 30, 2012 in Time

Earlier this week, Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform held a hearing on how the federal government can better respond to the dramatic rise in autism rates. Yet for all this concern, one large affected group is being routinely overlooked: the siblings.

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New Supplement in Pediatrics: Improving Health Care for Children and Youth With Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Published November 1, 2012 in Pediatrics

Access full articles on interventions, sleep and GI problems, health care coverage and more.

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Common Genetic Variants, Acting Additively, Are a Major Source of Risk for Autism

Published October 15, 2012 in Molecular Autism

Study finds that together, a large number of inherited, common genetic variations of very small effect can increase risk for autism. Suggests risk of inherited ASD is approximately 40% in simplex families and 60% in multiplex families.

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Rate of De Novo Mutations and the Importance of Fathers Age to Disease Risk

Published August 23, 2012 in Nature

The diversity in mutation rate of SNP’s is dominated by the age of the father at conception of the child. The effect is an increase of about two mutations per year.

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Rate of de novo mutations and the importance of father’s age to disease risk.

Published August 23, 2012 in PubMed

These observations shed light on the importance of the father’s age on the risk of diseases such as schizophrenia and autism.

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Fathers Age Is Linked to Risk of Autism and Schizophrenia

Published August 22, 2012 in Nature

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 –

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The First Year Inventory: A Longitudinal Follow-up of 12-month-old to 3-year-old Children

Published August 2, 2012 in Autism

“The First Year Inventory is a parent-report measure designed to identify 12-month-old infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder. First Year Inventory taps behaviors that indicate risk in the developmental domains of sensory-regulatory and social-communication functioning. This longitudinal study is a follow-up of 699 children at 3 years of age from a community sample whose parents completed the First Year Inventory when their children were 12 months old. Parents of all 699 children completed the Social Responsiveness Scale-Preschool version and the Developmental Concerns Questionnaire to determine age 3 developmental outcomes. In addition, children deemed at risk for autism spectrum disorder based on liberal cut points on the First Year Inventory, Social Responsiveness Scale-Preschool, and/or Developmental Concerns Questionnaire were invited for in-person diagnostic evaluations. We found 9 children who had a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder from the sample of 699. Receiver operating characteristic analyses determined that a two-domain cutoff score yielded optimal classification of children: 31% of those meeting algorithm cutoffs had autism spectrum disorder and 85% had a developmental disability or concern by age 3. These results suggest that the First Year Inventory is a promising tool for identifying 12-month-old infants who are at risk for an eventual diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.”

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Migration and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Population-based Study

Published August 1, 2012 in The British Journal of Psychiatry

Results of this study show that while children of migrant parents are at an increased risk of low-functioning autism, they are at a decreased risk for high-functioning autism. Researchers call for further research to determine if environmental factors associated with migration influence the development of autism.

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Family History of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder as Risk Factors for Autism

Published July 2, 2012 in Archives of General Psychiatry

Researchers discuss the association between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and ASD, and suggest the conditions share etiologic factors. Family history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder was associated with increased ASD risk across three data sets. Individuals with schizophrenic siblings were 12 times more likely to have autism compared to those with no family history of schizophrenia.

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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 May 30, 2012 in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Maternal periconceptional folic acid intake may reduce ASD risk in those with inefficient folate metabolism

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Six Developmental Trajectories Characterize Children With Autism

Published May 1, 2012 in Pediatrics

“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. “

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De Novo Gene Disruptions in Children on the Autistic Spectrum.

Published April 26, 2012 in Neuron

FMRP-associated genes are under greater purifying selection than the remainder of genes and suggest they are especially dosage-sensitive targets of cognitive disorders.

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Sporadic Autism Exomes Reveal a Highly Interconnected Protein Network of De Novo Mutations

Published April 4, 2012 in Nature

Researchers demonstrate that de-novo point mutations are overwhelmingly paternal in origin (4:1 bias) and positively correlated with paternal age, consistent with the modest increased risk for children of older fathers to develop ASD.

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Mothers of Autistic Children Earn 56% Less Income, Study Says

Published March 19, 2012 in CBS News

On average, families with a child who has autism earn 28% less than those of a child without a health limitation; nearly $18,000 less per year.

Mothers of Autistic Children Earn 56% Less Income, Study Says

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