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Autistic Children Can Miss Non-Verbal Cues When Listening

Source: 
Developmental Science
Date Published: 
September 10, 2013
Abstract: 

Due to the fact that many people with autism spectrum disorders have difficulty holding eye contact during face to face interaction, these people can miss out on important non-verbal cues during this interaction. The study also found that most people, whether typically- or non-typically developing, have difficulty holding eye contact when thinking, such as if asked to answer a challenging math problem.

ASF Blog Post: ASF Encourages American Academy of Pediatrics to Increase Resources for Wandering Prevention

Source: 
Autism Science Foundation Blog
Abstract: 

ASF President Alison Singer writes about meeting with leaders at the American Academy of Pediatrics to encourage them to devote more resources to the prevention of wandering and about why wandering is such an important issue.

In Autism, Head and Body Size Varies with Gender

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
August 29, 2013
Abstract: 

Girls with autism tend to have smaller heads and bodies than their typically developing peers, whereas boys with the disorder tend to have average-sized heads and slightly larger bodies, report two recent studies. This shows another way that autism affects males and females differently.

Young Adults with Autism Found to Have Difficulty Transitioning Into Employment

Source: 
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date Published: 
September 5, 2013
Abstract: 

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry notes that young adults with autism spectrum disorders are experiencing particular difficulty in successfully transitioning into employment. Approximately one half of young adults with an ASD have worked for pay outside the home in the first eight years following high school. The study concludes that further research is needed to determine strategies for improving outcomes as these young adults transition into adulthood.

Genome-Editing Tools Compose New Models of Autism

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
September 5, 2013
Abstract: 

New synthetic biology tools have allowed for great advances in genetic testing of many mutations. This technology known as CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) allows researchers to create molecular scissors that cut and paste essentially any mutation into the genome of any cell, including a human stem cell.

Researchers Discover a Potential Cause of Autism

Source: 
Natue
Date Published: 
August 28, 2013
Abstract: 

Researchers at UNC have discovered that problems with a key group of enzymes known as topoisomerases can have profound effects on the genetic machinery behind brain development and potentially lead to autism spectrum disorder. Researchers believe this finding represents a great step forward in the search for environmental factors behind autism.

Information on this study at UNC can be found at
http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2013/august/researchers-discover-a-potential-cause-of-autism

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative Opens 2014 Request for Applications

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Abstract: 

SFARI's annual RFA will provide funding for investigators conducting bold, creative and rigorous research into the underlying biology, causes and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. SFARI will consider proposals in diverse areas, including genetics, molecular mechanisms, circuits, anatomy, sensory perception, cognition, behavior, translation and therapeutics.

You may access this RFA and accompanying guidelines here. Letters of intent should be submitted online and are due 11 October 2013. Full applications are due 14 February 2014. Final funding decisions should be made before June 2014. 

Study of Nonverbal Autism Must Go Beyond Words, Experts Say

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute
Date Published: 
September 2, 2013
Abstract: 

About one fourth of people with autism are minimally verbal or nonverbal. Early intervention programs have been helping children develop language skills, but researchers say that seemingly unrelated issues such as motor skills and joint attention may hold the key to communication development.

New Blog Post: Music Therapy May Help Children with Autism

Source: 
Autism Science Foundation Blog
Date Published: 
August 30, 2013
Abstract: 

A 2004 study from the Journal of Music Therapy found that music in interventions used with children and teens with ASD can improve social behaviors, increase focus and attention, increase communication attempts (vocalizations, verbalizations, gestures, and vocabulary), reduce anxiety, and improve body awareness and coordination. Read all about it in our newest blog post written by Marcela De Vivo.

Risk of Epilepsy Linked to Age and Intelligence

Source: 
Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
August 19, 2013
Abstract: 

Children with autism who are older than 13 years and have low intelligence are at the greatest risk of having epilepsy, says one of the largest epidemiological studies on the issue to date. The presence of epilepsy among the general population is around two percent; the prevalence of epilepsy among people with autism is around thirty percent. This study breaks down occurrence of epilepsy by age, with children ages 13 to 17 having the highest prevalence.