- Brain Scans Reveal Autism (CBS News)
"No one is exactly sure what causes autism, but scientists may have found a way to spot the disorder in young children even earlier than before. A new study, out Friday in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that children who develop autism have abnormalities on brain scans that can be detected long before obvious symptoms advance." 04-12
- Diagnosis and Intervention (CBS News)
Provides a strong recommendation to get help if you see signs of autism. 04-12
- Early Signs of Autism (CBS News)
Provides early signs and recommends early evaluation if you see signs. 04-12
- Top Toys and Gifts for Children With Autism (CBS News)
"Children with autism, much like most children, gravitate to toys and activities for their entertainment, and parents have noticed their kids prefer certain games more than others. To find out the top gift and toy ideas for children with autism, MyAutismTeam recently surveyed 1000 of its members." 04-12
- Updates on Autism (CBS News)
Provides latest information on the diagnosis and treatment of autism. 04-12
- -05-19-09 Genetic Marker for Autism Found (Time.com)
"The newly discovered autism-risk gene, identified by authors as CACNA1G, is more common in boys than in girls (why that's so is still not clear), and the authors suggest it plays a role in boys' increased risk of the developmental disorder." 05-09
- -07-28-08 Early Diagnosis of Autism Emerges (Newsweek)
"A new study finds that autism can be identified at around 14 months, much earlier than previously thought. How early diagnosis can improve outcomes." 07-08
- -Genetic Link to Autism Found (Wall Street Journal)
"Scientists say that roughly 20% of autism cases can be linked to known genetic abnormalities, and many more may be discovered."
"Last week, for example, researchers reported that an experimental drug, arbaclofen, reduced social withdrawal and challenging behaviors in children and adults with Fragile X syndrome, the single most common genetic cause of autism."
"Researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia, have developed a test that looks for 237 genetic markers called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Some are thought to raise the risk of autism; others seem to protect against it. The test correctly predicted autism with more than 70% accuracy in people of Central European descent, but only 54% in those of Chinese descent, according to a study in the journal Molecular Psychiatry this month."
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (AutismSpeaks.org)
"Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe." 04-08
- Autism and Genes (MSNBC News)
"U.S. researchers said on Monday they had identified a genetic mutation that raises the risk of autism and could also explain some of the other symptoms seen in children with autism." 10-06
- Autism: The Hidden Epidemic? (MSNBC News)
"While the causes for the dramatic rise in autism cases over the past decade are the subject of much debate, one thing is certain: early diagnosis is crucial." 10-06
- Boy With Autism Records Alleged Abuse by Teacher (ABC News)
"Stuart Chaifetz, 44, described his 10-year-old son Akian as a 'sweet and gentle child' with a penchant for acrobatics and a deep bond with his three dogs."
"So Chaifetz said it was totally out of character when he began receiving reports from Horace Mann Elementary School that Akian was hitting his teacher and a teacher's aide." 04-12
- Diagnosis of Autism (The British Journal of Psychiatry)
"Sixteen thousand children in the southeast of England were screened for autism by their health visitor or GP, during their routine 18-month-old developmental check-up, using the CHAT (Checklist for Autism in Toddlers)." 3-05
- Diagnosis of Autism Through Mutant Genes (New York Times)
"Teams of scientists working independently to understand the biology of autism have for the first time homed in on several gene mutations that they agree sharply increase the chances that a child will develop the disorder, and have found further evidence that the risk increases with the age of the parents, particularly in fathers over age 35."
"There are probably hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand, gene variations that could disrupt brain development enough to result in social delays. An intensified search for rare mutations could turn up enough of these to account for 15 percent to 20 percent of all autism cases, some experts say, and allow researchers a chance to see patterns and some possible mechanisms to explain what goes awry."
"In one of the new studies, Dr. Matthew W. State, a professor of genetics and child psychiatry at Yale led a team that looked for de novo mutations in 200 people who had been given an autism diagnosis, as well as in parents and siblings who showed no signs of the disorder. The team found that two unrelated children with autism in the study had de novo mutations in the same gene and nothing similar in those without a diagnosis.
'That is like throwing a dart at a dart board with 21,000 spots and hitting the same once [sic] twice,' Dr. State said. 'The chances that this gene is related to autism risk is something like 99.9999 percent.' " 04-12
- Early Signs of Autism (Time.com)
"Among the telltale signs of trouble at 12 months: not responding to one's name; not sharing interests through pointing and eye gaze; lack of joyful expression; an absence of babbling; difficulty establishing eye contact; and staring too long at inanimate objects (see FirstSigns.org for more early-warning signs)." 05-09
- Genes Give New Clues to Autism (ABC News)
"Harvard researchers have discovered half a dozen new genes involved in autism that suggest the disorder strikes in a brain that can't properly form new connections."
"The findings also may help explain why intense education programs do help some autistic children - because certain genes that respond to experience weren't missing, they were just stuck in the 'off' position."
"But the study's bigger message is that autism is too strikingly individual to envision an easy gene test for it. Instead, patients are turning out to have a wide variety, almost a custom set, of gene defects." 07-08
- New Assessment of Autism (Time.com)
"There's been a lot of news recently about efforts to detect signs of autism in children earlier even before age 2, which is when doctors typically make the first diagnosis based on toddlers' behavior and development. (Read about these efforts here and here.) Now a new study sheds light on another key issue why autistic children tend to develop larger brains than those without the condition." 04-11
- New MRI May Test for Autism (AOLHealth.com)
"A new test that is not available to the public appears to allow doctors to spot autism more easily with the help of of an MRI scan. Researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., have determined that they can use MRI to detect high-functioning autism with 94 percent accuracy." 12-10
- Signs and Symptoms of Autism (MSNBC News)
"Children with autism and other autism spectrum disorders typically display a range of identifiable symptoms. By being aware of these signs, parents can help spot the disorder at an earlier age, which greatly improves a childs overall prognosis. Click on a category to learn more about the symptoms to watch for." 10-06
- Study to Measure Early Symptoms of Autism More Precisely (EarthTimes.org)
"Symptoms of ASD identified by Wetherby in 2004 include a lack of typical behaviors for this age group, such as looking at faces, smiling and sharing emotion, communicating with gestures and playing with objects. They may also have unusual behaviors that typical children do not display, such as repetitive movements with the body or objects. This study will allow researchers to measure these and other behaviors more precisely." 05-06
- Study: Autism Linked to Gene (EarthTimes.org)
"There is evidence now that a mutation of a gene called PTEN could be the cause of at least some forms of autism, the disease that affects human behavior."
"Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas said they have been able to create mice with autism features by deleting PTEN in certain parts of the brain." 05-06
- Study: One in 38 Children May Have Autism Spectrum Disorder (Time.com)
"In the first large-scale study of its kind, U.S. and South Korean researchers report that the rate of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may be significantly higher than previously thought, affecting as many as 1 in 38 children. The findings suggest that many youngsters may be going undiagnosed and untreated for the developmental disorder."
"In a study that involved students in both special needs and regular elementary schools in the Ilsan district of Goyang, South Korea, scientists led by Dr. Young Shin Kim at Yale University School of Medicine found that among 55,266 children aged 7 to 12, the rate of ASDs was 2.64% (or one case of ASD for every 38 youngsters). That percentage outstrips the current U.S estimate of 1 in 110 eight-year-olds around 1% a rate that has itself risen in recent years." 05-11