Social Interaction

Parent-child Interactions in Autism: Characteristics of Play

Source: 
Autism
Date Published: 
February 4, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers examine parent-child dyads during structured and free play and find that that joint engagement lasts longer when parents engage their child at or slightly above the child's current level of play. Parents of children with autism often find it difficult to estimate their child's level, which can result in parents engaging at too high of a level and shortening the interaction.

Improving Socialization for High School Students with ASD by Using Their Preferred Interests

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
January 30, 2013
Abstract: 

Not surprisingly, research shows that when the interests of adolescents with ASDs are incorporated into school activities, these students display higher levels of engagement and are more likely to initiate interactions with their typical peers.

Six Developmental Trajectories Characterize Children With Autism

Source: 
Pediatrics
Date Published: 
May 2012
Abstract: 

"OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to describe the typical longitudinal developmental trajectories of social and communication functioning in children with autism and to determine the correlates of these trajectories.
RESULTS: Six typical patterns of social, communication, and repetitive behavior functioning were identified. These trajectories displayed significant heterogeneity in developmental pathways, and children whose symptoms were least severe at first diagnosis tended to improve more rapidly than those severely affected. "

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."

Early Behavioral Intervention is Associated with Normalized Brain Activity in Young Children with Autism

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
August 31, 2012
Abstract: 

This randomized trial associated ESDM with normalized brain activity and behavioral improvements in young children with ASD.

Exploring the Social Impact of Being a Typical Peer Model for Included Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Source: 
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published: 
January 4, 2012
Abstract: 

Peer-mediated treatments are considered best practice in improving social skills in children with ASD, but parents and school staff have voiced concerns about the social outcomes of typically developing students who serve as models for their autistic peers. This study addresses these concerns, showing that typically developing children maintain stable and positive social status after acting as peer buddies in a social skills intervention for children with ASD.

Is He Being Bad? Social and Language Brain Networks during Social Judgment in Children with Autism

Source: 
PLOS One
Date Published: 
October 17, 2012
Abstract: 

This fMRI study on social judgment supports claims that autistic children may recognize socially inappropriate behavior but find it difficult to express why it’s inappropriate.

Interventions Addressing Social Impairment in Autism

Source: 
Current Psychiatry Reports
Date Published: 
October 4, 2012
Abstract: 

In this new review of intervention studies targeting social impairment in autism, authors encourage researchers to design new studies that: evaluate ingredients of effective interventions (e.g., required dose for therapeutic effect); include better outcome measures that can show that meaningful improvements have happened (e.g., spontaneous social initiations; sustained interactions); and include underserved and underrepresented participant groups, such as children with comorbidities, non-English speaking children, and minimally verbal children.

The Development of Referential Communication and Autism Symptomatology in High-Risk Infants

Source: 
Infancy
Date Published: 
October 1, 2012
Abstract: 

This study suggests that non-verbal communication delays in infants with autistic siblings can predict later ASD symptoms.

For a Science Daily article on this paper, click here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121001124802.htm

Experimental Drug may Treat Social Withdrawal Symptoms in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome, the Most Common Known Genetic Cause of Autism.

Source: 
Science Translational Medicine
Date Published: 
September 19, 2012
Abstract: 

Arbaclofen, also known as STX209, shows promise in its treatment of social symptoms associated with fragile x syndrome.