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Many children with autism on medication without behavioral therapy

May 1, 2017

Study by Autism Speaks ATN raises red flag because, in most cases, first-line treatment should involve non-drug behavioral approaches

Study by Autism Speaks ATN raises red flag because, in most cases, first-line treatment should involve non-drug behavioral approaches Editor’s note: The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as appropriate, with a qualified healthcare professional and/or behavioral therapist.

A new study out of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) found that around a third of children who were taking anti-psychotic...

Help! Our 4-year-old has autism and won’t stop pinching

April 18, 2017

Strategies and perspective from a behavioral therapist in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

My son is 4 years old and has autism. Several months ago, he started pinching people. It could be anybody – adult, child or baby. He’ll just run over, pinch the person and run away. We’ll give him time outs for this, and he’ll say “sorry” the minute he does it. Can you recommend any solution? It's getting quite embarrassing when we go to playgrounds or people's houses.

This week’s “Got Questions?” response is by psychologist Kenneth Shamlian, director of the behavioral treatment program at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The University of Rochester is among the 13 sites in the ...

One in three teens with autism earns driver's license

April 12, 2017

Large study yields insights into family decision-making around the balance between safety and independence

Large study yields insights into family decision-making around the balance between safety and independence

A large new study found that a third of teens who have autism without intellectual disability earn a driver's license. Nearly 90 percent of them do so within two years of getting their learner’s permit. That’s strong evidence, the researchers say, that most families are making an informed decision about whether a teen with autism has the potential to be a safe and successful driver before he or she ever gets behind the wheel.

Appearing in the journal Autism, ...

College student asks: Should I pursue an autism diagnosis?

March 20, 2017

Parents avoided having him evaluated as a child; is it worth the effort as an adult? Options and perspective from a specialist

Parents avoided having him evaluated as a child; is it worth the effort as an adult? Options and perspective from a specialist

I am 24, and all my life, teachers, counselors and therapists have been trying to get me diagnosed with autism. My parents fought having me diagnosed because they believed that I would be left in the Autistic Room at my school. Now that I am in college, I'm a struggling with sensory issues. I panic in crowds. I get overstimulated. I have no friends. I took a whole bunch of ASD tests online and scored really high. I want to know what benefits would come from getting a diagnosis as an adult. Is it worth the testing and effort?...

Can cognitive behavioral therapy ease autism-related sleep problems?

March 13, 2017

Researchers at Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism are evaluating the approach; families can participate through videoconferencing

Researchers at Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism are evaluating the approach; families can participate through videoconferencing
 

Editor’s note: The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as appropriate, with a qualified healthcare professional and/or behavioral therapist.

For little understood reasons, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep are particularly common among kids – and possibly adults – on the autism spectrum. Sleep problems, in turn, can worsen...

Autism & turn taking: How can I teach our son this crucial life skill?

February 27, 2017

Strategies and perspective from a behavioral therapist in the Autism Speak Autism Treatment Network

 

This week’s “Got Questions?” response is by Janine Stichter, professor of special education and an applied behavioral analyst at the University of Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, in Columbia. The university and its autism center are among the 13 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Editor’s note: The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as appropriate, with a qualified healthcare...

Teacher seeks advice: Student with autism intimidates others

February 14, 2017

Strategies for addressing apparent bullying that may result from an inability to communicate and wait his turn

I teach in a self-contained classroom for students who have autism. I hear a lot about kids with autism being victims of bullying. But can they be bullies themselves? One of my students tends to get physically aggressive and scare other students away when he wants something such as art materials or games. Advice greatly appreciated.

Today’s “Got Questions?” response is by child psychologists Rebecca Hellenthal (left) and Megan Norris, of Nationwide Children's Hospital Child Development Center and Ohio State University. The hospital and university are among the 13 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network.

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Autism 'treatment pathway' helps docs find causes for problem behavior

January 24, 2017

Guidelines from the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network help doctors identify physical causes for behavioral problems; download a free copy to share with your doctor

Guidelines help doctors identify physical causes for behavioral problems; download a free copy to share with your doctor - from the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network in its role as the nation's Autism Intervention Research Network for Physical Health

Adapted from an article originally appearing in Pediatrics Nationwide, a blog by Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Issues causing...

Autism and difficulty gauging time: Strategies for a common challenge

January 17, 2017

This reader seeks help for a challenge that has plagued her since childhood; tips from an expert in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

I’ve been reading about studies suggesting that people who have autism have trouble gauging and tracking time. Boy oh boy, does this ever apply to me ever since I was a little kid! Do you have any tips or insights that can help?

Today’s “Got Questions?” answer is by psychologist Cathryn Lehman, of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The medical center is one of 14 sites in the ...

Study links heightened stress reaction to autism-related GI problems

January 10, 2017

Might anti-anxiety interventions ease GI symptoms that often accompany autism? Study suggests they may; research needed on new approaches

Might anti-anxiety interventions ease GI symptoms that often accompany autism? Study suggests they may; research needed on new approaches

Editor’s note: The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as appropriate, with a qualified healthcare professional and/or behavioral therapist.

As many readers of this column know, chronic gastrointestinal problems are unusually common among people who have autism. Now, researchers in the Autism Speaks...

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