This week’s podcast is dedicated to the “T” in LGBTQ – trans. Several studies over the past few years have linked higher rates of gender variance in people with autism and higher rates of autism traits in those who are trans. Why? Are they biologically or psychologically linked or both? This is important for understanding, not treatment or intervention. This week’s podcast celebrates trans people who are also autistic.
What do Princess Kate and Amy Schumer have in common, and what does it have to do with autism? The answer: Hyperemesis Gravidum. It’s linked to autism, but not strongly, but it does show more evidence of significant overlap between many neuropsychiatric issues and disorders.
More importantly though, those with low verbal ability and low cognitive function are harder to study than most people with autism. Two new research studies documented what they had to do to make studies in this population possible, and how this group was different from those with average IQ and some words. One looked at brain structure, and the other was a treatment for minimally verbal girls with autism. Listen to the podcast here.
People with autism have higher levels of GI problems than people without a diagnosis, and the microbiome is associated with GI function. So, is the microbiome linked to autism? Some studies say yes, but this week, studies in China look at non-caucasian people with a different diet. Do the differences still hold? Also, while GI symptoms have been studied in relation to core autism features, they have not yet been linked to psychiatric issues like anxiety, ADHD, and aggression. Until now, thanks to Raphael Bernier and Sara Jane Webb and their team at the University of Washington who addressed this very issue. This week’s podcast features three new studies looking at GI issues, and the causes of those issues, in kids with autism. Listen to the podcast here.
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 of a specific mutation and not have an autism diagnosis, but have increased risk for schizophrenia and cognitive disability. Finally, just because they are considered “typically developing” doesn’t mean they don’t have challenges with adaptive behavior. However, they have a very special relationship with their brothers and sisters, and the world needs these strong advocates for the community.
This week’s ASF podcast focuses on how co-occuring conditions with autism, like anxiety, depression, and OCD, have changed over time. The increase in these conditions may help in defining different subgroups of autism. Listen on asfpodcast.org or on your favorite podcatcher!
On this week’s ASF podcast: By looking directly at the brains of people with autism, researchers at UC Davis MIND Institute, led by Dr. Thomas Avino and Dr. Cyndi Schumann, show a disruption of neuron number in the amygdala in autism. The amygdala is important because it is linked to emotion, fear and anxiety in people with autism. The shift in too many vs. too few neurons that occurs in adolescence may help explain anxiety in people with ASD. Read the full open-access article here.
Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who is revered for his contributions to justice, tolerance, equality and service. In this week’s podcast, Dr. Alycia Halladay highlights a Supreme Court case which affects how those with special needs are fighting for justice and equality. Also, over the holidays, Dr. Connor Kerns from Drexel University published how a new tool to diagnose anxiety in those with autism was validated, setting the stage for its use by physicians and clinicians who don’t have a lot of experience with autism to help better understand the symptoms of their patients. Click here to listen.