ABA can cause a life-changing effect

Tracy and Freya Holliday.

by Lucy Benyon – When interior designer Tracy Holliday was told that her daughter Freya was autistic, she wasn’t surprised. What did  astound her was the lack  of support available for her child.  “Freya, who has a twin Chloe,  was different from the start,” recalls  Tracy, 43. “She was difficult to  settle and found it […]

Autism research is more collaborative than ever

by Helen Tager-Flusberg – Science is, at its heart, a collaborative process. This is especially true for research addressing complex problems, and autism is certainly complex. For example, to tackle fundamental questions about causes and to move toward targeted treatments, we need to collaborate across disciplines. Another key reason to collaborate is that autism’s enormous heterogeneity requires large samples […]

Farms as workplaces for individuals with autism

by Christina Scotti – In the middle of the English countryside, Lydia Otter has made it her life’s mission to work with people like Peter Griffin, a 26-year-old with severe autism. Griffin can hardly speak, but he has flourished at Pennyhooks Care Farm, a farm community focused on therapeutic agriculture, taking up woodworking and working […]

Six ways to use nature to improve social learning

by Elizabeth Sautter – Outdoor activities foster opportunities for exploring new things, building imagination, and increasing social competence. Getting in touch with nature gives your child a chance for outdoor play and exploration and also offers teachable moments where you can step in to nurture social and emotional skills. Next time you are outdoors, practice one […]

Hospital “gizmo” reduces anxiety for patients with autim

by Jim Douglas – Nine-year-old Christopher Sanchez held out his arm to a nurse in an exam room at Cook Children’s Medical Center. “This arm,” she said. “Perfect. Thank you.” Christopher knows the drill. He gets tagged, poked, and jabbed a lot. This time, he’s in for a painful muscle biopsy. “It was time to […]

Family joins brain tissue donation program for autism research

by Sandra Levy – As the number of children with autism climbs, a new network of research institutions is hoping to acquire brain tissue donations from people with autism in order to support research that may ultimately lead to a cure. The Simons Foundation and Autism Speaks have established the Autism BrainNet, a new network […]

Autism male-female ratios are biased

by Virginia Hughes – Imagine you walked down the street and asked random people what autism is. What would they say? My guess: They’d talk about social skills, and the rising prevalence, and probably the vaccine nonsense. And they’d almost certainly mention that it happens to boys. The idea that autism is a mostly male […]

Autism ABA treatment coverage bill pending passage

by Georgia Parke – Advocates for autism treatment are making one last push this legislative session to require health care insurers to cover behavioral therapy. Their hopes are on Senate Bill 493, which started life in the Senate as a regulatory bill about vehicle headlights and ended up – after going through the House – […]

Stem cell trial for autism treatment is debated

by Nidhi Subbaraman – A team at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, is set to launch a $40 million clinical trial to explore stem cells from umbilical cord blood as a treatment for autism. But experts caution that the trial is premature. A $15 million grant from the Marcus Foundation, a philanthropic funding organization […]