- -04-25-09 Horse Therapy for Autism (CNN News)
"Autism specialists say that horse riding can be effective in gaining access to autistic children."
"Experts make a distinction between the kind of recreational therapeutic riding Isaacson was using with Rowan and hippotherapy, which is a medical treatment that uses horses and is supervised by a licensed speech-language pathologist."
" 'People perceive it's the interaction with the horse that's making the change. However, the movement of the horse is extremely powerful, and it's that movement that's having neurological impact on the autistic child,' said Ruth Dismuke-Blakely, a speech-language pathologist and hippotherapy clinical specialist in Edgewood, New Mexico." 04-09
- -04-08-09 A New Theory on Autism (Time.com)
"The brain region that drew the attention of the authors is known as the locus coeruleus, a small knot of neurons located in the brain stem. Not a lot of high-order processing goes on so deep in the brain's basement, but the locus coeruleus does govern the release of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline, which is critical in triggering arousal or alarm, as in the famed fight-or-flight response. Arousal also plays a role in our ability to pay attention — you can't deal with the lion trying to eat you, after all, if you don't focus on it first. And attention, in turn, plays a critical role in such complex functions as responding to environmental cues and smoothly switching your concentration from one task to another. Those are abilities kids with autism lack."
"Certainly, many other parts of the brain govern concentration and attention, but the locus coeruleus does one other thing too: it regulates fever. Generations of parents of autistic kids have reported that when their child runs a fever, the symptoms of autism seem to abate. When the fever goes down, the symptoms return. In 2007, a paper in the journal Pediatrics reported on that phenomenon and confirmed that, yes, the parents' observations are right. What no one had done before, at least not formally, was tie it to the locus coeruleus — that is, until Drs. Dominick Purpura and Mark Mehler of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine published the idea this week."
"Nobody recommends inducing fevers to kick-start the locus coeruleus, since that could lead to all manner of side effects and other ills. Instead, Mehler and Purpura believe the likeliest answer is in medications that target noradrenaline brain receptors." 04-09
- "Shocking" School Takes on Severe Autism (ABC News)
"One of the most controversial schools in the country, the Judge Rotenberg Center (J.R.C.) tries to eliminate the use of psychotropic drugs, and instead uses aversive stimulation — specifically behavioral skin shock — to treat children and adults with the most severe cases of autism and emotional and behavioral challenges." 02-07
- -Individualized Education Plan (Autism Society of America)
Provides a comprehensive overview of an IEP, according to legislation and gives practical examples. 08-07
- -Stem Cell Treatment for Autism (U.S. News)
"Autism researchers have been given the go-ahead by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to launch a small study in children with autism that evaluates whether a child's own umbilical cord blood may be an effective treatment." 10-12
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABC News)
"Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an educational intervention technique that can be used to teach children with autism. In ABA, skills are broken down into very small components and taught systematically — one skill building the foundation for the next." 3-05
- Autism Research and Treatment Advocates (AutismSpeaks.org)
"We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals."
"Autism Speaks aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle." 04-08
- Autism and Oxytocin (Time.com)
"Early studies of oxytocin's role in social interaction have yielded some interesting results. In a small 2006 experiment, Dr. Eric Hollander of New York's Mt. Sinai School of Medicine administered oxytocin and a placebo intravenously to 15 autistic adult patients; afterward, those who received oxytocin were better able to decipher emotions in tone of voice. Moreover, these improvements in social awareness lasted for nearly two weeks." 07-08
- Can Kids Recover from Autism? (MSNBC News)
"Scientists study the small group of kids who seem to improve."
- Cornale, Kayla - Music System for Children With Autism (Top20Under20.ca)
"Motivated to help her 9 year old cousin who has an autism spectrum disorder to learn to spell and read, Kayla Cornale invented "Sounds and SyllablesT", a teaching system which applies the musical component of 'pitch' to the process of learning language."
"Through extensive research, Kayla discovered that autistic children have an apparent talent for tone and pitch recognition." 12-07
- Dogs in School for Autistic Children (MSNBC News)
"Andrea found company from nine other high-functioning autistic teens who enrolled in a 14-week friendship boot camp earlier this year. More than 100 teens have graduated from the UCLA Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills, or PEERS for short, which costs $100 a session and is covered by many insurers."
"Unlike other autism interventions, parents also must participate. They learn to become social coaches for their children so that their new skills can be retained when the program is over." 08-09
- Dogs in School for Autistic Children (MSNBC News)
"Like seeing-eye dogs for the blind, trained dogs are now being used to help autisticchildren deal with their disabilities. But some schools want to keep the animals out, and families are fighting back." 08-09
- Early Treatment for Autism (New York Times)
"The treatment is based on a daily therapy, the Early Start Denver Model, that is based on games and pretend play. It has been shown in randomized trials to significantly improve I.Q., language and social skills in toddlers with autism, and researchers say it has even greater potential if it can be started earlier."
- Teaching Teens With Autism to Make Friends (U.S. News)
"Parents of the teenagers take separate classes in which they learn how to support their child's social efforts and help with "homework." At the end of 12 weeks, 33 teenagers ages 13 to 17 who participated in a study group were having more peer interactions outside of school and had increased the number of get-togethers they hosted. Their parents reported a significant increase in the children's social skills, and both parents and children reported better friendships, compared with a control group of teens who did not attend the classes." 04-09
- Treatments for Autism (Association for Science in Autism Treatment)
"ASAT is committed to science as the most objective, time-tested and reliable approach to discerning between safe, effective autism treatments, and those that are harmful or ineffective. ASAT supports all scientifically sound research on the prevention, treatment and cure of autism, as well as all treatments for autism that are shown to be effective through solid scientific research, regardless of discipline or domain." 3-05