Autism News

Superior Math Skills Can Accompany Autism

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
October 3, 2013
Abstract: 

Some children with autism show unique patterns of brain activation while solving math problems, particularly in a brain region normally used for face processing, suggests a study in Biological Psychiatry. They also seem to use more sophisticated mental strategies to solve these problems than do their typically developing peers, the researchers found.

Kids with Autism Often Have Trouble Sleeping

Source: 
Archives of Disease in Children
Date Published: 
September 23, 2013
Abstract: 

The results of a recent study will probably come as no surprise to most parents of children with autism: children with ASDs have more sleep problems than their peers. In fact, between ages 2.5 and 11.5, kids with autism average 43 fewer minutes of sleep per night when compared to their typically-developing peers. The next step is to research how less sleep may play a part in behavior problems.

Autism Symptoms Change Over Time

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Abstract: 

Siblings of children with autism who are later diagnosed with the disorder themselves become more active, less adaptable and less likely to approach others over time, according to a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The results reinforce the observation that autism symptoms evolve as children age, the researchers say.

Parents Create Custom Jobs for Adult Kids with Autism

Source: 
USA Today
Date Published: 
September 28, 2013
Abstract: 

Parents of adult children with autism are creating job opportunities for their kids that cater to their strengths. It can be very difficult for someone with autism to find employment that is matched to his or her unique needs, but some organizations, such as Extraordinary Ventures in Chapel Hill, NC are doing just that.

Study Finds No Link Between ASDs and Celiac Disease

Source: 
JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
September 25, 2013
Abstract: 

A new nationwide study conducted in Sweden and published in JAMA Psychiatry found there to be no link between celiac disease and autism spectrum disorders. There was, however, some evidence that people who have been diagnosed with autism are more sensitive to gluten, even though they don't have celiac disease. The design of the study did not allow for a conclusion that gluten sensitivity caused autism, nor vice versa.

Autism Drugs in Some Countries have Serious Side Effects

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
September 20, 2013
Abstract: 

The most popular drugs prescribed for autism in some countries often have serious side effects or have not been vetted in robust clinical trials, finds a survey published in the journal Psychopharmacology. Additionally, children with ASDs take more drugs than adults with ASDs. ADHD in children with autism may play a factor in this.

People with Autism Don't Always "Catch" Yawns

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
September 17, 2013
Abstract: 

A new study finds that people with autism often miss facial cues that lead other people to "catch" yawns. Because individuals with autism often avoid looking at other people's faces, they may not pick up on the cues, such as closed eyes, that would encourage them to yawn. However, when asked to look at someone's face as they yawn, people with autism do yawn just as often as people without autism.

Grandfather's Age Linked to Autism

Source: 
JAMA Psychiatry
Date Published: 
August 1, 2013
Abstract: 

A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that men who fathered children at age 50 or older were nearly twice as likely to have a grandchild with autism compared to men who had children at a younger age. The study focused on age-related aspects and sought to control any other variables, such as socioeconomic status.

Autism Genes are Surprisingly Large, Study Finds

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
September 16, 2013
Abstract: 

In a study recently published in the journal Nature, researchers discovered that autism genes are three to four times longer than the average gene expressed in neurons. According to the study, most mutations found in long genes tend to be discounted due to the fact that long genes generally have a higher probability of having a mutation, but the study says researchers think mutations in long genes should be looked at more carefully from now on.

Most People Who Work with Special-Needs Children Lack Knowledge About Fragile X

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
September 13, 2013
Abstract: 

According to a recent study in the journal Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, most people who work with special-needs children lack basic knowledge about Fragile X syndrome, even though it is the leading cause of inherited intellectual disability. Most people studied did not know many of the symptoms of the syndrome or how best to support children with Fragile X syndrome.