What In The World Is Going On In Autism Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Autism Awareness
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What In The World Is Going On In Autism

All the blog posts based on Maureen Bennie’s monthly blog for the Autism Calgary Association. News, research, events relating to autism and ASD

What in the World is Going On – February 2014 Edition

This month’s blog post includes: new report from the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary addresses the costs for caring for an adult with autism. Although individuals with ASD tend to have a good memory for details, most will struggle to remember the details of events in their own lives. Getting involved with animals and plant life seems to have a positive effect for those on the spectrum. Feeding issues can present significant challenges for those on the spectrum. Challenges can range from a limited diet, overeating or not eating, oral motor difficulties, sensory issues around food such as texture, and digestive issues. Hand flapping has been a puzzling behaviour for neurotypicals to understand. Autism can cause an associate catatonia in teens. Excellent new book published about mental health issues and autism.

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What in the World is Going On – January 2014 Edition

As we begin the year 2014, it seems appropriate to reflect back on this past year to see what we’ve accomplished. By looking back and reflecting on process and results, we can set new goals and aspirations for 2014. If you’re interested in research, Autism Speaks listed their Top 10 Advances in Autism Research for 2013. Top 10 Apps for Special Needs for 2013. The benefits of probiotics. Women on the autism spectrum are being under diagnosed. Fear in autism is exhibited in unexpected ways. Sexual health and sexuality can be difficult subjects for parents and caregivers to broach with autistic children, made more challenging when children are at the severe end of the autism spectrum.

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What in the World is Going On – December 2013 Edition

Last month, Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks created an international controversy on her Call to Action plan to Washington.  Suzanne Wright is the co-founder of Autism Speaks, one of the largest autism organizations in the world. Autism advocacy is a big part of what they do. Ms. Wright’s Call to Action painted a bleak picture of what life with autism…

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What in the World Is Going On – November 2013 Edition

This will come of no surprise to most parents, but a recent study in the Archives of Disease in Childhood on sleep revealed that children with autism have poorer sleep quality than do other children. They both sleep less overall and are prone to frequent night wakening. “Clear differences in sleep patterns began to emerge around 30 months of age…

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What in the World is Going On – October 2013 Edition

We’re now starting our second month of school with IEP meetings, extra-curricular activities and upcoming report cards. How is your child/student settling in? Parents want to know how each school day went, but asking a child with autism “How was your day?” is a very complex question and one that’s not easy to answer. Answering this question requires language processing,…

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What in the World is Going On – September 2013 Edition

September is back to school month and educational issues are uppermost in many people’s minds. I came across a good article on effective IEP meetings on a site dedicated to ADHD. The article gives tips on how to prepare for an IEP meeting, what to do during it, and how to follow up afterwards. Since student accommodations are critical to…

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What in the World Is Going On – August 2013 Edition

We often think of summer as a slower, laid back period but it certainly has not been so for new research. We’ve had two groundbreaking studies released this past month – the first one led by Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children’s Dr. Stephen Scherer and the Centre for Applied Genomics lab. This new research identified genetic risks for autism in…

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What in the World Is Going On – July 2013 Edition

Another theory has emerged on a possible cause for autism – pollution. Lead researcher Dr. Andrea Roberts, of the Harvard School of Public Health, found that exposure to vehicle fumes and industrial air pollution dramatically raises a woman’s risk of having a child with the autism. Researchers analyzed information from about 325 women who had a child with autism and…

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What in the World Is Going On June 2013 Edition

Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 16th. Dads are not always recognized for all that they do for their children with ASD. The Father’s Autism Network group, hosted by Autism Calgary Association, recognizes the need for fathers to have a place where they can talk about their feelings and challenges they face having a child on the spectrum. The support…

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What in the World Is Going On in Autism May 2013 Edition

A story that’s grabbing headlines this month is the Telford’s struggles with their adult son who has severe autism. Amanda Telford left her son at the Ottawa offices of Developmental Services Ontario, the Ontario government agency that connects adults with disabilities to services in the community because she said she can no longer care for him. Phillipe has complex needs…

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What in the World is Going On April 2013 Edition

April is Autism Awareness month. April 2nd marks World Autism Day, which was created by the United Nations in 2008. Autism Speaks celebrates this day with their Light It Up Blue Campaign. Check out their blog which gives daily updates as they count down until April 2nd. See how people around the world are planning to light it up blue…

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What in the World is Going On March 2013 Edition

It has long been thought that music therapy has a positive effect on children with autism. Pertanika Journal highlighted a study where improvements were seen, particularly in inattentive behaviours over a ten month period, in 41 children with autism. Music and movement therapy has been used to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. The researchers hope that their research will help children and young adults with autism to modify behaviour. To read the article, click here.

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What in the World is Going On, February 2013 Edition

The beginning of the 2013 has been peppered with new research studies. Chuck Hensel, an author on the new research study which has identified 24 new gene variants associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), was published in PLoS ONE. Hensel is the senior manager of research at the genetic diagnostics company Lineagen. This research confirms that 31 variants previously linked to ASD may serve as useful genetic markers for identifying those with the condition.

Hensel worked with researchers from University of Utah and the Children’s Hospital of Philadephia and created a two-pronged approach for hunting down genetic markers of autism. “First, the researchers chose 55 people living with autism, all from families with many members diagnosed with ASDs. The scientists then sequenced the genomes of these subjects, and compared the genetic profiles to those from a reference population, using the Utah Genetics Reference Project. That allowed them to find regions where the autistic individuals differed from people without the disorder, and led to 153 gene variants, or genetic red flags for the condition.”

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What in the World is Going On January 2013 Edition

The big news this past month was the finalizing of the DSM-V which will be published May 2013. There was much discussion around the possibility of Asperger Syndrome no longer being classified as a separate diagnosis. Asperger Syndrome will now be a part of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a new term added to the manual. ASD is a term already used by many experts in the field. The new category will include individuals with severe autism, who often don’t talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms. Catherine Lord, an autism expert at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York who was on the psychiatric group’s autism task force, said anyone who met criteria for Asperger’s in the old manual would be included in the new diagnosis.

The changes to the manual are important for the insurance industry in deciding what treatment to pay for, and for schools to decide how and what to fund for special education. Experts have weighed in on the new changes to the DSM-V. The changes to the DSM-V will continue to be a hot topic once published because assessments and the diagnostic process may change according to the new ASD classification.

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What in the World is Going On – December 2012 Edition

Principal investigator Johanna Montgomery, from Auckland University’s Centre for Brain Research in New Zealand, has discovered a genetic mutation in people with autism that cuts communication between brain cells to about one-tenth of normal levels. The study found that a protein which helps brain cells transfer data through neurological pathways called synapses was mutated in autism sufferers. This could be a reason for their cognitive and behavioural difficulties. Published in the October Edition of Journal of Neuroscience, Johanna Montgomery said the mutated protein called Shank3 provided exciting possibilities in the search for autism treatments. Even with this new discovery, treatment is still years away.

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