Everyone knows the way to study infants with autism is through thorough testing of younger siblings of those with a diagnosis, who have a 15x greater chance of have a diagnosis themselves. Through these methods, new ways of identifying and predicting autism later on have been developed. On this week’s podcast: two very influential and recent papers on the study of motor issues in 6 month olds who go on to be diagnosed with autism, and those who don’t have an autism diagnosis but have signs and symptoms of ASD. Are motor issues related to an ASD diagnosis or ASD symptoms? And what about core symptoms of autism like language? Can early motor behaviors be used to predict who goes on to receive an autism diagnosis or has language problems? What should parents do? How should this influence an early intervention plan? Listen to the podcast here.
Even though more than 20% of people with autism have little or no language, research into ways to help this group have really been lacking. Several efforts to not just understand the abilities and disabilities of this group started a few years ago and we are just starting to hear about what works and what doesn’t work to improve communication in those with little or no language. This podcast summarizes the evidence, which points to combinations of things, rather than things in isolation, and peeks in on ways in which interventions can be better directed and made more effective. Scientists at Rutgers University—Newark, UCLA, and Boston University contributed to the research discussed this week by Dr. Alycia Halladay.