Category Archives: News

Study: Kids With Autism Do Well Learning New Words

Children with autism learn new words the same way as other children do, but it takes them longer, a small study found.

The researchers compared 15 children with autism, aged 18 months to 7 years, and a control group of 15 children without the developmental disorder.

A series of tests showed that both groups of children relied heavily on the same technique to learn new words — they followed a teacher’s gaze as the teacher named an object, the investigators found.

Read More…

Securing the Future of a Child with Autism

There’s a saying repeated in the autism community: “If you know one child with autism, you know one child with autism.”

That speaks more to the special support a child on the autism spectrum might require, but it also reflects the financial implications such a diagnosis has for a family. Estimates of the lifetime costs of raising a child with autism range from $1.4 million to $2.5 million, says Adam Beck, professor of health insurance and director of the Center for Special Needs Planning at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. That compares with about $300,000 up until age 18 for a typical child.

Read More…

Program Helps Autistic Workers Find Their Niche

Michael Sanchirico is a whiz with a camera and works effortlessly with software like Photoshop. Yet for years, the talented artist and writer toiled at a retail job, sweeping floors, unloading trucks and feeling frustrated that employers couldn’t see his potential.

With the help of a program known as Power to the Grid, Sanchirico now collaborates with the staff at Detroit’s American Jewelry & Loan to create product photography and online sales projects. It’s a position ideally suited for Sanchirico, who is on the autism spectrum and struggled with the hiring process.

Read More…

Costs for Autism Care Soaring

Overall, healthcare costs are on the rise; however the increase in some areas are front-runners. According to a new study. One of the front-runners is care for autism spectrum disorder. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have reported that they have calculated for the first time the total costs of caring for individuals with autism spectrum disorder in the US today and 10 years in the future. They published their findings online on July 28 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Read More…

Autism: From Behavior to Biology

Autism is estimated to affect one in 68 children in the United States — almost 2% of our population. Autism is usually a lifelong disorder that starts in early childhood and continues into adult life. It affects the whole family, caretakers, the educational and medical systems, and the community at large.

Autism is diagnosed by the behavioral abnormalities that define it, including difficulties in communicating, socializing, and restricted and/or repetitive interests. However, it has become increasingly recognized that many with autism have major medical conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, altered metabolism and immune system function, food intolerances, allergic disease, anxiety, and seizures.

Despite these insights, we still have few treatments and few clues as to its causes. This situation is changing, however, and the future looks bright because of new discoveries. As previous blogs in the Huffington Post suggest, we may be on the verge of a paradigm shift in our understanding of autism.

Read More…

ADHD drugs lacking in safety studies, Boston researchers find


Nearly 1 in 9 children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but drugs they take to treat symptoms — which include methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall) — have not been investigated in drug clinical trials to determine whether they’re safe to take long term, according to a new study by Boston Children’s Hospital researchers. The study’s authors emphasized that this doesn’t mean ADHD drugs pose safety risks but that the initial approval trials — which made the drugs available to thousands of children for long-term use — largely ignored the possibility of safety issues

Read More

Enhanced Visual Attention May Be Early Predictor of Autism

Enhanced Visual Attention May Be Early Predictor of Autism

Infants who can quickly recognize unusual visual patterns may be more likely to develop autism symptoms
By Jessica Schmerler | June 11, 2015

The characteristic of “seeing the world differently” may manifest in early infancy.
Approximately one in 68 children is identified with some form of autism, from extremely mild to severe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. On average, diagnosis does not occur until after age four, yet all evidence indicates that early intervention is the best way to maximize the treatment impact. Various tests that look for signs of autism in infants have not been conclusive but a new exercise could improve early diagnosis, and also help reduce worry among parents that they did not intervene as soon as possibleRead More…

Research team finds bacterial biofilms may play a role in lupus, MS, other auto-immune diseases

Research team finds bacterial biofilms may play a role in lupus, MS, other auto-immune diseases

Lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type-1 diabetes are among more than a score of diseases in which the immune system attacks the body it was designed to defend. But just why the immune system begins its misdirected assault has remained a mystery.

Now, researchers at Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM) have shown that bacterial communities that form biofilms play a role in the development of the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus — a discovery that may provide important clues about several autoimmune ailments.

Read More…