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Infant hearing test may flag autism risk

September 20, 2016

Study suggests inner-ear glitch interferes with language development and may help identify babies at risk for autism

Study suggests inner-ear glitch interferes with language development and may help identify babies at risk for autism


Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have identified an inner-ear deficiency that is particularly common among children with autism and may affect their ability to recognize speech. The findings, published in the journal Autism Research, might be used someday to identify babies at risk for developing autism so that they can receive early intervention support.


The University of Rochester Medical Center is one of 14 sites in the...

Photography gives voice to teens participating in autism research

August 16, 2016

‘Photovoice’ research method helps teens and young adults with autism to express stresses and comforts in the transition to adulthood

‘Photovoice’ research method helps teens and young adults with autism to express stresses and comforts in the transition to adulthood

As parents and autism researchers know well, the transition from school to adulthood can present significant challenges for teens who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Until recently, research aimed at identifying and addressing these challenges relied primarily on interviews with parents. Gathering firsthand accounts from teens remained difficult.   Now, researchers at the University of Missouri’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders report their successful use...

Parents seek autism-savvy advice on getting 3-year- old to interact

August 12, 2016

They know that pointing and shared attention is important, ask how to begin when their
preschooler ignores them.

They know that pointing and shared attention is important, ask how to begin when their preschooler ignores them.

Our 3-year- old was recently diagnosed with autism. We know it’s important to encourage him to interact with us, but we don’t know how. When I point to something, he pays no attention. He rarely points to show me something, and when he does point, he doesn’t look at me when he does it.

Today’s “Got Questions?” response is from speech-language pathologist Barbara Braddock. Dr. Braddock practices at the SSM Cardinal Glennon Medical Center of the Saint Louis...

Autism and learning to write: Our child won’t look at the paper

July 29, 2016

Our expert has tips for fun activities that encourage the important pre-writing skills of attention and intention

Our expert has tips for fun activities that encourage the important pre-writing skills of attention and intention.

Our son is 4 years old and has autism. How can I help him learn to write when he doesn't make good eye contact with the paper?

Today’s “Got Questions” response is by occupational therapist Desiree Gapultos, who practices in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, at Children's Hospital Los Angeles   Editor’s note: The following information is not meant to...

Research on pregnancy and autism: The need for perspective

July 26, 2016

With another study on what does – or doesn’t – increase the risk of autism, a call for doctors to help parents put it all in perspective

With another study on what does – or doesn’t – increase the risk of autism, a call for doctors to help parents put it all in perspective

This week in JAMA Pediatrics, Harvard epidemiologist Anna Sarah Oberg and colleagues report the good news that their large study of more than a million births showed no increased risk of autism with labor induction. Previous research had raised concerns that the use of oxytocin to induce labor might increase autism risk by reducing sensitivity to this crucial social-bonding hormone in the developing...

Toilet training dilemma: Our 6-year-old fights going near the bathroom

July 22, 2016

Perspective and stepwise advice from experts in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

Perspective and stepwise advice from experts in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network

I’m trying to toilet train our 6-year-old, who has autism. But every time I try to take her to the bathroom, she fusses and fights all the way. So far, I’ve just given up. Help!

Today’s “Got Questions?” response is by behavior analyst Daniel W. Mruzek and graduate student Angeles Nunez, a candidate for certification as a child-life specialist. Both...

Can exercise reduce anxiety in children with autism?

July 19, 2016

Investigators at our Autism Treatment Network site in Santa Ana, California, will find out – thanks to an ATN/AIR-P research grant

Investigators at our Autism Treatment Network site in Santa Ana, California, will find out –  thanks to an ATN/AIR-P research grant 

The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Santa Ana, California, has launched a study evaluating the effectiveness of exercise for reducing anxiety in children with autism, with a special focus on helping children in Latino communities and other underserved populations. The center is one of 14 sites in the ...

Help! Toddler on the spectrum jumps all night

July 8, 2016

Parents seek advice on safely transitioning crib jumper into a big boy’s bed; complication – twin sleeps in same room

I have a 2-year-old on the spectrum, and we’re having problems with him in his crib. He likes to jump in it, has caved in a mattress and broken the mattress springs twice. I'm worried that if I put him in a toddler bed, he’ll get out and bother his twin. I also know he can't stay in a crib forever. Any suggestions?

This week’s “Got Questions?” response is by pediatric psychologist Elizabeth Pulliam, of Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The university and medical center are part of the ...

Febrile seizures, epilepsy and autism: Your questions answered

July 1, 2016

A Q&A with neurologist Jamie Capal of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

A Q&A with neurologist Jamie Capal of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center  

Febrile – or fever-induced – seizures are common in babies, and pediatricians rush to assure us that they don’t cause harm. Still, they can be very scary, and we frequently hear from parents asking whether that might be the cause of their child’s autism. We asked a leading expert to address your questions and ours.

Neurologist Jamie Capal specializes in autism and other...

Distance training improves autism care, shortens diagnosis time

June 28, 2016

Study shows good results from ECHO Autism – innovative training for doctors in communities without autism specialists

Study shows good results from ECHO Autism – innovative training for doctors in communities without autism specialists 

Editor’s note: The following is adapted from a press release by the University of Missouri, whose Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders is one of 14 sites in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

In many communities, it can take months to see a specialist who can formally evaluate a child for autism. That wait can delay children’s...

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