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  1. Teen With Autism Makes 20 Points in 4 Minutes (ESPN)
      "Jason McElwain [also known as J-Mac] had done everything he was asked to do for the Greece Athena High School basketball team -- keep the stats, run the clock, hand out water bottles."

      "That all changed last week for the team manager in the final home game of the season. The 17-year-old senior, who is autistic and usually sits on the bench in a white shirt and black tie, put on a uniform and entered the game with his team way ahead."

      "McElwain proceeded to hit six 3-point shots, finished with 20 points and was carried off the court on his teammates' shoulders." 03-06

  2. 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

  3. -12-10-06 Congress Passes First Ever Autism Act (MSNBC News)
      "Autism is as disturbing and distressing as it is mystifying. It's a diagnosis with no known cause, no known cure." 12-06

  4. Pediatricians: New Guidelines for Detection and Treatment of Autism (US News)
      "In an effort to make it easier for pediatricians to spot and begin early treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released two new reports with recommendations for identifying and managing these conditions." 10-07

  5. Cornale, Kayla - Music System for Children With Autism (
      "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

  6. -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

  7. -04-02-09 Progress on Autism Slow (CNN News)
      "It's been a year since the first U.N.-declared World Autism Awareness Day. In those past 365 days, nobody has discovered the cause of autism, which the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest affects one in 150 children. Nor has a cure been found. However, new research and major court decisions have emerged to explain further what may contribute to the developmental disabilities of the brain known as 'autism spectrum disorders' or ASDs." 04-09

  8. -04-08-09 A New Theory on Autism (
      "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

  9. Can Kids Recover from Autism? (MSNBC News)
      "Scientists study the small group of kids who seem to improve."

  10. -05-04-09 Early Signs of Autism (
      "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 for more early-warning signs)." 05-09

  11. -05-19-09 Genetic Marker for Autism Found (
      "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

  12. -12-05-09 Face Recognition in Babies May Help Diagnose Autism (ABC News)
      "Nelson's work has shown that infants are capable of distinguishing happiness, fear, anger, sadness and disgust even before they can speak. Humans are especially good at recognizing fear." 12-09

  13. -11-02-10 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."

  14. -New MRI May Test for Autism (
      "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

  15. -05-03-11 New Assessment of Autism (
      "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

  16. -05-09-11 Study: One in 38 Children May Have Autism Spectrum Disorder (
      "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

  17. -04-04-12 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

  18. -09-08-12 Autism and Bullying (CNN News)
      "A new study finds that children with autism spectrum disorders are bullied far more often than their typically developing peers — nearly five times as often — but parents of autistic kids think the rate is even higher than that." 09-10

  19. -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."

  20. -01-12-13 Miss America's First Contestant with Autism (
      "When Alexis Wineman, 18, takes the stage at the 2013 Miss America pageant this Saturday in Las Vegas, the reigning Miss Montana will become the first autistic contestant to compete for the crown. Diagnosed at the age of 11, Wineman’s platform is to raise awareness about the developmental disorder." 01-13

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