July 2, 2012

What in the World is Going On - July 2012 Edition

Written by Maureen Bennie

Wandering can be a potentially dangerous behavior for those with ASD. Dennis Debbault, host of the Autism Risk Management website, has provided 8 helpful tips to keep your wanderer safe.

The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper recently ran an excellent article about undiagnosed husbands with Asperger Syndrome. Martial arts teacher Sandra Beale-Ellis was doing some Asperger Syndrome research for one of her recently diagnosed students. When she began reading, she realized her husband Joe fit the diagnosis. Joe, who is the founder of Kent Karate Schools, owns hundreds of salt shakers he has been collecting since he was ten, which sit in neat rows in their house. He is also obsessed with castles and runs an online tearoom review site.

After two years of persuasion by Sandra, Joe saw a psychologist and after a three-hour interview, he was diagnosed with mild Asperger’s. This late diagnosis points to a bigger issue - there is a lack of understanding among GPs in spotting autism, meaning a third of adults with undiagnosed autism go on to develop severe mental health problems. Read more about Sandra's story here.
Paul Shattock, lead researcher from the University of Sunderland in the UK, examined the prevalence and correlates of postsecondary education and employment among youth with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The results of their study showed that youth with an ASD have poor postsecondary employment and education outcomes, especially in the first 2 years after high school. Those from lower-income families and those with greater functional impairments are at heightened risk for poor outcomes. They concluded that further research is needed to understand how transition planning before leaving high school can facilitate a better connection to productive postsecondary activities. To read the full text version of this abstract, click here.

The International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) took place in mid-May in Toronto, ON this year. The latest research from all over the world was presented over the course of 3 days. Some topics covered included brain function, genetics, epidemiology, interventions, treatments, services and cognition and behavior. To view the program and abstracts, click here. To read more reports from that meeting in layman’s terms, have a look at the IMFAR page at Autism Speaks.

And speaking of Autism Speaks, they have 3 new free publications for parents available for download on Applied Behavior Analysis, Toilet Training, and An Introduction to Behavioral Health Treatments. All 3 tool kits are from the Autism Treatment Network through its participation as the HRSA-funded Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P).

new study shows that one in three children who have an older sibling with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) fall into a group characterized by higher levels of autism-related behaviors or lower levels of developmental progress. While younger siblings may not exhibit enough traits to receive an autism diagnosis, they show lower levels of verbal and nonverbal functioning and higher levels of autism-related problems. Overall, the research says the majority of high-risk siblings are developing typically at three years of age, but the development of a substantial minority is affected by... READ MORE >>