Delaying a diagnosis of autism helps no one

by Karola Dillenburger – Many children with autism are put on waiting lists and miss out on early behavioral interventions and other benefits because health professionals are reluctant to diagnose autism early out of fear of labeling young children. Until recently “autism is a lifelong developmental disability” was repeated in nearly all descriptions and definitions […]

Study finds autism brain is no different from any other

by Neuroskeptic – A new paper threatens to turn the world of autism neuroscience upside down. Its title is Anatomical Abnormalities in Autism?, and it claims that, well, there aren’t very many. Published in Cerebral Cortex by Israeli researchers Shlomi Haar and colleagues, the new research reports that there are virtually no differences in brain anatomy between […]

Integrated Play Groups teach kids on the spectrum valuable social skills

It’s an often-agonizing challenge facing any parent of a child with autism: How can I help my son or daughter socialize with his or her typically developing peers? The solution, SF State’s Pamela Wolfberg found, may lie in a different type of playgroup that focuses on collaborative rather than adult-directed activities. A new study shows […]

Study links births by c-section with risk of autism

by Sophie Borland – Babies born by Caesarean section may be more likely to develop autism, research shows. Research found the procedure appeared to increase the chances by a quarter – although there is no clear explanation. But academics urge women not be alarmed by the findings as the overall risk of autism remains very […]

Life with autism once school supports are over

by Jenny Wells – Melanie Tyner-Wilson is facing one of her toughest battles yet. She wants nothing more than to help her son Jay Tyner-Wilson, who is a person with autism, land his first real job. Public school provided opportunities for Jay to gain volunteer vocational experience. There, he discovered he enjoyed working with animals—and […]

Tackling tooth brushing for kids with autism

by KJ Dell’Antonia and Catherine Saint Louis – Talk to any parent with a child with autism spectrum disorder and they’ll tell you that small events, like haircuts and dentist visits, can cause untold amounts of stress. As described in For Children With Autism, Opening a Door to Dental Care, finding a dentist willing to […]

Younger siblings of kids with autism may show symptoms by 18 months

by Karen Peart-Yale – About 20 percent of children who have older siblings with autism also develop the disorder. Of those children, 57 percent show symptoms as early as 18 months. The findings stress the need for early and repeated screening in the first three years of life so that, if necessary, intervention can begin […]

We mistakenly assume children with autism will not achieve literacy

by Dr. Marion Blank – In recent years, there have been a number of inspiring reports on non-verbal (i.e., non-speaking) children with autism displaying masterful language via reading and writing. One of the most recent appeared this summer in the recounting of a non-verbal autistic teen who, with the assistance of technology, gave the graduation speech at […]

Studies find little difference between boys and girls with autism

by Apoorva Mandavilli – After decades of describing autism as a disorder of boys, scientists have only begun exploring how it affects girls and women in the past few years. For example, there is some consensus now that females may need a bigger genetic hit to develop autism and that the current diagnostic tests may miss many […]