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Autism Research and Treatment

Lei Xu, Linda Crane Mitchell, Alice R Richman, Kaitlyn Clawson
Background. Chromosomal Microarray Analysis (CMA) is increasingly utilized to detect copy number variants among children and families affected with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, CMA is controversial due to possible ambiguous test findings, uncertain clinical implications, and other social and legal issues related to the test. Methods. Participants were parents of children with ASD residing in the North Eastern region of North Carolina, USA. We conducted individual, face-to-face interviews with 45 parents and inquired about their perceptions of CMA...
2016: Autism Research and Treatment
Shylaja Srinivasan, Julia O'Rourke, Sara Bersche Golas, Ann Neumeyer, Madhusmita Misra
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have several risk factors for low bone mineral density. The gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet is a complementary therapy sometimes used in ASD that raises concerns for the adequacy of calcium and vitamin D intake. This study evaluated the prescribing practices of calcium and vitamin D supplements and the practice of checking 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels by providers in 100 children with ASD, 50 of whom were on the GFCF diet. Fifty-two percent and 46% of children on the GFCF diet were on some form of vitamin D and calcium supplements, respectively, compared to 18% and 14% of those not on this diet...
2016: Autism Research and Treatment
Ann M Sam, Stephanie S Reszka, Brian A Boyd, Yi Pan, Kara Hume, Samuel L Odom
The ability for a child to engage in the classroom is associated with better academic outcomes. Yet, there is limited information on how child characteristics of autism and adult behavior impact engagement. This study examined (1) the pattern of adult participation and child engagement in preschool classrooms that serve children with ASD, (2) the associations between child engagement and adult participation, and (3) how characteristics of ASD (autism severity, language ability, and challenging behavior) moderate the relationship between adult participation and child engagement...
2016: Autism Research and Treatment
Martin A Volker, Elissa H Dua, Christopher Lopata, Marcus L Thomeer, Jennifer A Toomey, Audrey M Smerbeck, Jonathan D Rodgers, Joshua R Popkin, Andrew T Nelson, Gloria K Lee
The Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-Second Edition (GARS-2) is a widely used screening instrument that assists in the identification and diagnosis of autism. The purpose of this study was to examine the factor structure, internal consistency, and screening sensitivity of the GARS-2 using ratings from special education teaching staff for a sample of 240 individuals with autism or other significant developmental disabilities. Exploratory factor analysis yielded a correlated three-factor solution similar to that found in 2005 by Lecavalier for the original GARS...
2016: Autism Research and Treatment
R Deonandan, E Y Liu, B Kolisnyk, A T M Konkle
We examined patterns of Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) funding on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research. From 1999 to 2013, CIHR funded 190 ASD grants worth $48 million. Biomedical research received 43% of grants (46% of dollars), clinical research 27% (41%), health services 10% (7%), and population health research 8% (3%). The greatest number of grants was given in 2009, but 2003 saw the greatest amount. Funding is clustered in a handful of provinces and institutions, favouring biomedical research and disfavouring behavioural interventions, adaptation, and institutional response...
2016: Autism Research and Treatment
Giorgio Pini, Laura Congiu, Alberto Benincasa, Pietro DiMarco, Stefania Bigoni, Adam H Dyer, Niall Mortimer, Andrea Della-Chiesa, Sean O'Leary, Rachel McNamara, Kevin J Mitchell, Michael Gill, Daniela Tropea
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by an apparently normal development followed by an arrest and subsequent regression of cognitive and psychomotor abilities. At present, RTT has no definitive cure and the treatment of RTT represents a largely unmet clinical need. Following partial elucidation of the underlying neurobiology of RTT, a new treatment has been proposed, Mecasermin (recombinant human Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1), which, in addition to impressive evidence from preclinical murine models of RTT, has demonstrated safety in human studies of patients with RTT...
2016: Autism Research and Treatment
Tawny Tsang, Kristen Gillespie-Lynch, Ted Hutman
Subclinical variants of the social-communicative challenges and rigidity that define autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are known as the broader autism phenotype (BAP). The BAP has been conceptualized categorically (as specific to a subset of relatives of individuals with ASD) and dimensionally (as continuously distributed within the general population). The current study examined the compatibility of these two approaches by assessing associations among autism symptoms and social-communicative skills in young school-age children with ASD, children who have a sibling with ASD, and children without a sibling with ASD...
2016: Autism Research and Treatment
Jay R Lucker, Alex Doman
Professionals working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may find that these children are overly sensitive to sounds. These professionals are often concerned as to why children may have auditory hypersensitivities. This review article discusses the neural mechanisms identified underlying hypersensitive hearing in people. The authors focus on brain research to support the idea of the nonclassical auditory pathways being involved in connecting the auditory system with the emotional system of the brain...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Sudha M Srinivasan, Maninderjit Kaur, Isabel K Park, Timothy D Gifford, Kerry L Marsh, Anjana N Bhat
We assessed the effects of three interventions, rhythm, robotic, and standard-of-care, on the imitation/praxis, interpersonal synchrony, and overall motor performance of 36 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) between 5 and 12 years of age. Children were matched on age, level of functioning, and services received, prior to random assignment to one of the three groups. Training was provided for 8 weeks with 4 sessions provided each week. We assessed generalized changes in motor skills from the pretest to the posttest using a standardized test of motor performance, the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd edition (BOT-2)...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Brandy E Strahan, Jennifer H Elder
Adolescent obesity has tripled in the past two decades, and adolescents with disabilities, specifically autism spectrum disorders (ASD), may be at greater risk for obesity due to the behavioral, physical, and psychosocial complications related to their disorder. This case study reports the effects of video game playing on an obese adolescent with ASD and illustrates the use of a multiple baseline single subject design. Over 12 weeks, the participant played inactive (6 weeks) and active video games (6 weeks) on the Wii console...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Anne M Roux, Paul T Shattuck, Jessica E Rast, Julianna A Rava, Amy D Edwards, Xin Wei, Mary McCracken, Jennifer W Yu
Approximately 80% of college-going youth with autism in the US attend a 2-year college at some point. These community-based, universally accessible institutions offer both academic and vocational courses and have experience in teaching diverse learners. This study used nationally representative survey data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 to describe the characteristics and services experiences of adults with autism who attended postsecondary education after high school, focusing on those who attended a 2-year college...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Louisa M T Silva, Mark Schalock, Kristen R Gabrielsen
Evaluation for sensory impairment is a routine part of autism diagnosis. Sensory impairment of hearing, vision, or touch results in developmental delay and must be addressed before delay can resolve. Recent studies confirm that tactile impairment is present in autism and can be effectively treated with a tactile stimulation protocol. The research suggests a change in management at the time of autism diagnosis to include evaluation and treatment of tactile impairment. Here we validate screening and management tool for tactile impairment, the Autism Touch and Self-Regulation Checklist, in 404 typical and autistic preschool children...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Greet Lambrechts, Jarymke Maljaars, Hannah Boonen, Lotte van Esch, Karla Van Leeuwen, Ilse Noens
Parents of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encounter many daily challenges and often experience much stress. However, little research exists about parenting behavior among these parents. With this study, we aim to address this gap. We examined the structure and internal consistency of a questionnaire intended to measure parenting behavior among mothers of young children with ASD. Furthermore, we compared parenting behavior among mothers of young children with and without ASD between two and six years old...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Soichiro Matsuda, Yasuyo Minagawa, Junichi Yamamoto
Atypical gaze behavior in response to a face has been well documented in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Children with ASD appear to differ from typically developing (TD) children in gaze behavior for spoken and dynamic face stimuli but not for nonspeaking, static face stimuli. Furthermore, children with ASD and TD children show a difference in their gaze behavior for certain expressions. However, few studies have examined the relationship between autism severity and gaze behavior toward certain facial expressions...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Deirdre Kindregan, Louise Gallagher, John Gormley
In recent years, it has become clear that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have difficulty with gross motor function and coordination, factors which influence gait. Knowledge of gait abnormalities may be useful for assessment and treatment planning. This paper reviews the literature assessing gait deviations in children with ASD. Five online databases were searched using keywords "gait" and "autism," and 11 studies were found which examined gait in childhood ASD. Children with ASD tend to augment their walking stability with a reduced stride length, increased step width and therefore wider base of support, and increased time in the stance phase...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
T May, K Cornish, N J Rinehart
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience high anxiety which often prompts clinical referral and requires intervention. This study aimed to compare parent and child reports on the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and a child-reported "worry thermometer" in 88 children aged 8-13 years, 44 with ASD and 44 age, gender, and perceptual IQ matched typically developing children. There were no gender differences in child report on the SCAS and worry thermometers. Results indicated generally good correlations between parent and child self-reported SCAS symptoms for typically developing children but poor agreement in parent-child ASD dyads...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Louisa M T Silva, Mark Schalock, Kristen R Gabrielsen, Sarojini S Budden, Martha Buenrostro, Gretchen Horton
Tactile abnormalities are severe and universal in preschool children with autism. They respond well to treatment with a daily massage protocol directed at tactile abnormalities (QST massage for autism). Treatment is based on a model for autism proposing that tactile impairment poses a barrier to development. Two previous randomized controlled trials evaluating five months of massage treatment reported improvement of behavior, social/communication skills, and tactile and other sensory symptoms. This is the first report from a two-year replication study evaluating the protocol in 103 preschool children with autism...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
E E Eseigbe, F T Nuhu, T L Sheikh, P Eseigbe, K A Sanni, V O Olisah
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with serious implications in childhood. There is a significant gap in the identification and provision of health and social services for autism in Africa. The knowledge of autism among health care providers and identifying challenges associated with its management could facilitate bridging the gap and ensuring better outcomes. A self-administered tool, the Knowledge about Childhood Autism among Health Workers (KCAHW) questionnaire, was used in assessing knowledge of autism among 175 medical doctors (participants) attending an annual scientific meeting in northwest Nigeria...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Grace T Baranek, Linda R Watson, Lauren Turner-Brown, Samuel H Field, Elizabeth R Crais, Linn Wakeford, Lauren M Little, J Steven Reznick
This study examined the (a) feasibility of enrolling 12-month-olds at risk of ASD from a community sample into a randomized controlled trial, (b) subsequent utilization of community services, and (c) potential of a novel parent-mediated intervention to improve outcomes. The First Year Inventory was used to screen and recruit 12-month-old infants at risk of ASD to compare the effects of 6-9 months of Adapted Responsive Teaching (ART) versus referral to early intervention and monitoring (REIM). Eighteen families were followed for ~20 months...
2015: Autism Research and Treatment
Elena Patten, Linda R Watson, Grace T Baranek
Temporally synchronous audio-visual stimuli serve to recruit attention and enhance learning, including language learning in infants. Although few studies have examined this effect on children with autism, it appears that the ability to detect temporal synchrony between auditory and visual stimuli may be impaired, particularly given social-linguistic stimuli delivered via oral movement and spoken language pairings. However, children with autism can detect audio-visual synchrony given nonsocial stimuli (objects dropping and their corresponding sounds)...
2014: Autism Research and Treatment
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