Podcast: The good and evil sides of technology use by autistics

This year’s Day of Learning included two presentations on the use of technology among people with autism.  As it turns out, technology can be great.  In fact, a new study using Google Glass shows promise in improving socialization.  On the other hand, sometimes technology can have a downside.  People with autism spend more time than typical peers on their iPads, iPhones and other devices.  What could be wrong with that?  Well, problematic internet use is linked to autistic traits and suicidality.  This link is NOT a clear line and obviously causes of suicide are multifactorial.  However, new data demonstrate that obsessive internet use is not making things better for people with ASD. Listen to the podcast here.

On this week’s ASF podcast, regression—what is it and who can see it? Using the right tools, both parents and clinicians can see that many more children with autism than thought show regression, a gradual decline or loss of skills starting at around 12 months of age and showing continual declines until 36 months of age. In 2016, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) committee concluded that regression is due to biological events that disrupt the formation of specific brain circuits at critical times in development.