Autism Research

Temperament in the First 2 Years of Life in Infants at High-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
August 24, 2012
Abstract: 

"The current study investigated early temperament in 54 infants at familial high-risk of ASD and 50 controls. Parental report of temperament was assessed around 7, 14 and 24 months of age and diagnostic assessment was conducted at 3 years. The high-risk group showed reduced Surgency at 7 and 14 months and reduced Effortful Control at 14 and 24 months, compared to controls. High-risk infants later diagnosed with ASD were distinguished from controls by a temperament profile marked by increased Perceptual Sensitivity from the first year of life, and increased Negative Affect and reduced Cuddliness in the second year of life. Temperament may be an important construct for understanding the early infant development of ASD."

Precursors to Social and Communication Difficulties in Infants At-Risk for Autism: Gaze Following and Attentional Engagement

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
October 2012
Abstract: 

"Whilst joint attention (JA) impairments in autism have been widely studied, little is known about the early development of gaze following, a precursor to establishing JA. We employed eye-tracking to record gaze following longitudinally in infants with and without a family history of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at 7 and 13 months. No group difference was found between at-risk and low-risk infants in gaze following behaviour at either age. However, despite following gaze successfully at 13 months, at-risk infants with later emerging socio-communication difficulties (both those with ASD and atypical development at 36 months of age) allocated less attention to the congruent object compared to typically developing at-risk siblings and low-risk controls. The findings suggest that the subtle emergence of difficulties in JA in infancy may be related to ASD and other atypical outcomes."

Toward Brief “Red Flags” for Autism Screening: The Short Autism Spectrum Quotient and the Short Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers in 1,000 Cases and 3,000 Controls

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
February 2012
Abstract: 

Ten items were taken from the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and the Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (Q-CHAT) to develop brief screening tools for ASD. Researchers hope these new measures will help doctors decide whether to refer families for full diagnostic assessments.

Autism Genetic Testing: A Qualitative Study of Awareness, Attitudes, and Experiences among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Source: 
Genetics in Medicine
Date Published: 
January 3, 2013
Abstract: 

This study provides insight into awareness, perspectives and experiences of ASD genetic testing among parents of autistic children.

The Autism Sequencing Consortium: Large-Scale, High-Throughput Sequencing in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Neuron
Date Published: 
December 20, 2012
Abstract: 

Dr. Joseph Buxbaum and team discuss the current state of ASD gene discovery and the benefits of a genomic technology called high-throughput sequencing.

The Effects of A Weighted Vest on Aggressive and Self-injurious Behavior in a Child with Autism

Source: 
PubMed
Date Published: 
January 2, 2013
Abstract: 

Research finds that despite their frequent use, weighted vests have little effect on managing challenging behaviors in children with autism.

The Association Between Bullying and the Psychological Functioning of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
PubMed
Date Published: 
January 2, 2013
Abstract: 

A new study finds that children with ASD are more likely to be bullied compared to their typical peers. Children with ASD with an additional clinical or educational disorder have an increased risk of being bullied and becoming bullies themselves.

Whole-Genome Sequencing in Autism Identifies Hot Spots for De Novo Germline Mutation

Source: 
Cell
Date Published: 
December 21, 2012
Abstract: 

UCSD researchers suggest genes linked to autism have higher mutation rates than other genes.

Notable Papers of 2012

Source: 
SFARI
Date Published: 
December 26, 2012
Abstract: 

SFARI's top ten autism research papers of 2012