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Girls Get Autism Diagnosis Later Than Boys

Girls are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) later than boys, possibly because females exhibit less severe symptoms, according to a study to be presented Tuesday, April 28 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego.

To study gender differences in age at diagnosis and compare symptom severity between boys and girls, researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Md., analyzed data from the Institute’s Interactive Autism Network. This online registry includes almost 50,000 individuals and family members affected by ASD who work with researchers to better understand the nature of the disorder. In the registry, age of first diagnosis was available for 9,932 children, and 5,103 had completed the Social Responsiveness Scale, which identifies the presence and severity of social impairment.

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Some children lose autism diagnosis but still struggle

About one in 14 toddlers diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) no longer met the diagnostic criteria in elementary school, but most continued to have emotional/behavior symptoms and required special education supports, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 26 at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego.

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Helping Children with Autism Understand Emotional Cues

One of the diagnostic criteria for autism is social impairment. This is often evidenced by the child’s inability to pick up on emotional cues or perhaps not understanding that what is being said by another person does not match that person’s facial expression as well as not demonstrating joint attention.


Research reported in the Journal of Neuroscience states that not only do children with autism have trouble understanding social cues, but they often have ‘atypical gaze’ often focusing on another person’s mouth or another part of their face in isolation, instead of taking in the entire expression.

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Online Autism Rating Tools

You have received the news that your child has autism, is on the spectrum or is 'at risk' for autism.  There are many different treatment options available for your child, but how can you measure if they are having an impact? 

 

Bernard Rimland and Dr. Stephen Edelson developed the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) with the intent to assist parents, physicians and researchers evaluate virtually any treatment for autism - at no charge.  The scores are weighted according to the response and the corresponding subscale.  

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Causal Link between Vitamin D, Serotonin Synthesis and Autism Discovered

Dietary Interventions Will Have Relevance for Prevention and possibly for Treatment of Autism

 

A new study by Rhonda Patrick, PhD and Bruce Ames, PhD of Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) demonstrates the impact that Vitamin D may have on social behavior associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Dr. Patrick and Dr. Ames show that serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin, three brain hormones that affect social behavior, are all activated by vitamin D hormone. Autism, which is characterized by abnormal social behavior, has previously been linked to low levels of serotonin in the brain and to low vitamin D levels, but no mechanism has linked the two until now.

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