Adults

MU Expert Identifies Employment Resources, Tips For People With Autism

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
October 14, 2011
Abstract: 

Statistics show that the number of people diagnosed with autism has increased steadily over the past 30 years resulting in a surge in the number of adults with autism graduating from high school. However, preliminary employment studies indicate that this population may earn less and be employed at a lower rate compared to other people with disabilities. Now, an autism expert at the University of Missouri is identifying employment resources that are available for people with autism and steps employers can take to improve the workplace and hiring process for this population.

Emerging New Practices in Technology to Support Independent Community Access for People with Intellectual and Cognitive Disabilities

Source: 
Neuro Rehabilitation
Date Published: 
2011
Year Published: 
2011

New technology holds promise for helping people with cognitive disabilities access their community. A recent paper describes the various electronic devices and software applications currently on the market to help individuals navigate their community on foot and by public transit. While being unable to navigate one's community without assistance is a major barrier to community inclusion, little research has been devoted to exploring technologies that could promote community access. The authors review some of the advantages and drawbacks of emerging technologies for community access, and report results from a case study of a smartphone application in use. Of the technologies discussed, computer based video instruction (CBVI) has shown promise in small trials. Using CBVI, individuals are able to rehearse their routes using video shot from a first-person perspective while a voice-over gives instructions such as "push the request for stop signal when you see the Target sign." A three- person trial of CBVI found that two of the three participants were able to successfully generalize the skills they had rehearsed while on a public bus. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology used together with pictures of landmarks and audio cues has also been shown to be effective -- 24 out of 26 participants successfully traveled to a new destination unaccompanied using the system. A case study of a 19-year-old man with Down syndrome documented his use of a similar smartphone application to complete routes to four new destinations. Both he and his parents were extremely positive about the technology. In addition to enhancing self-determination and community integration, enabling people with cognitive disabilities to use public transit offers cost-savings. For example, a mid-size city would save more than $4,500 annually for each individual with cognitive disabilities who took a standard bus rather than specialized para-transit services.

--IACC 2011 Summary of Advances in ASD Research

Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults in the Community in England

Source: 
Archives of General Psychiatry
Date Published: 
May 2011
Year Published: 
2011

 

Approximately 1 percent of adults in England have autism spectrum disorder, based on one of the first studies of adult prevalence in the country. Previous studies have relied primarily on self-report which can be unreliable. To determine what proportion of the English population age 16 years and older is affected by autism, researchers conducted a multiphase study to screen adults in the community. They hypothesized that the rate of autism would be much lower in older adults than in children and that adults on the spectrum would be predominately male and socially disadvantaged. In the first phase of the study, participants selected from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey in England completed the Autism-Spectrum Quotient self-questionnaire. The answers to this and other self-assessments helped the investigators select 618 individuals from the initial 7,461 respondents to interview using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-4). Based on the results of screening using the tool, 19 people met the criteria for autism spectrum disorder representing a prevalence rate of 9.8 per 1,000 individuals, or nearly 1 percent. While only a small number of individuals were identified, many were living in social housing and had the lowest levels of education, reinforcing the authors' hypothesis that those with autism are more likely to be socially disadvantaged. None of these associations, however, were statistically significant. The authors note that the prevalence rate identified in this study is similar to the rate reported among children, supporting the idea that autism rates have not changed significantly over time. Due to the small sample of adults with ASD, they were unable to examine differences in adult prevalence by age. The findings suggest that adults with ASD may be undiagnosed and socially disadvantaged, which has significant public health implications.

--IACC 2011 Summary of Advances in ASD Research

Most Adults with Autism Go Undiagnosed - New Findings, UK

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
May 4, 2011
Abstract: 

Dr Brugha, who is also a consultant psychiatrist working in the NHS with the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, said none of the cases with autism found in the community survey throughout England knew that they were autistic or had received an official diagnosis of autism or asperger syndrome.

Virtual Conversation Simulator Found Beneficial for Adults with Autism

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
March 20, 2011
Abstract: 

Simulated interactions in which adults with autism converse with a virtual partner may help them develop better social interaction skills, according to a novel study presented in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Relatively Few Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders Receive Assistance After High School

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 7, 2011
Abstract: 

Use of medical, mental health and case management services for young adults with an autism spectrum disorder appears to decline after high school, according to a report.

Understanding the Autistic Mind

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
February 1, 2011
Abstract: 

A study from MIT neuroscientists reveals that high-functioning autistic adults appear to have trouble using theory of mind to make moral judgments in certain situations. Specifically, the researchers found that autistic adults were more likely than non-autistic subjects to blame someone for accidentally causing harm to another person. This shows that their judgments rely more on the outcome of the incident than on an understanding of the person's intentions, says Liane Young, an MIT postdoctoral associate and one of the lead authors of the study.

Autism and Increased Paternal Age Related Changes in Global Levels of Gene Expression Regulation

Source: 
PloS One, Alter et al.
Date Published: 
February 2011
Year Published: 
2011

This study, performed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed the level of gene expression in children with autism, compared with a control group. The researchers hypothesized that the variability in the pattern of the overall of gene expression levels would be associated with variability in hippocampal-dependent behaviors, which include short-term memory and spatial navigation. Additionally, the group tested whether increased paternal age was associated with variance of gene expression. A decrease in the variability of gene expression levels was associated with the diagnosis of autism and increased paternal age. The research team believes this change to be caused by the down-regulation of gene expression pathways involved in protein synthesis regulation in the blood of children with autism and children with older fathers. Thus, the researchers concluded that alterations at the gene level of gene expression regulation are related to autism and increased paternal age.

Post-High School Service Use Among Young Adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, Shattuck et al.
Date Published: 
February 2011
Year Published: 
2011

Researchers conducted a telephone survey to determine the rates of service use among young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) during their first few years after high school. Rates of service ranged from 9.1% for speech therapy to 41.9% for case management. 39.1% of youths with an ASD represented by the survey received no services. The adjusted odds of no service were higher among African American participants and those with low incomes. The adjusted odds of case management were lower among youths with high functional skills and those with low incomes. The researchers concluded that rates of service disengagement are high after exiting high school. Furthermore, due to the disparities by race and socioeconomic status indicate a need for targeted outreach and services.