Just weeks before the scheduled release of the newest edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM-5), the head of the National Institute of Mental Health has criticized the validity of the work. In a recent interview, Dr. Thomas R. Insel noted that diagnosing mental illness based on symptomology rather than biology can be highly problematic. Changes in how autism is diagnosed are expected in the DSM-5, causing widespread concern about impact on service eligibility.
A couple in Ottawa has reliquished the care of their autistic adult son to the government, according to CTV. On Tuesday, Amanda Telford dropped her 19-year-old son off at the Ottawa office of Developmental Services Ontario, stating that she and her husband can no longer care for him. CTV quotes Telford as stating, "I did everything within the system I could think of to do and I really felt I had no other recourse,” adding, "It wasan absolutely brutal decision.”
A new study surveying 100,000 parents across the United States found 1 in 50 children received an ASD diagnosis. This research was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration, and is thought to reflect previously undiagnosed cases.
A research team from Harvard Medical School has suggested that, based on their examination of two large samples of twins, girls may be genetically "protected" from autism.
University of Missouri researchers have found that youth with ASD receive fewer services to transition them from pediatric to adult health care than youth with other special health care needs. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, points out that youth with ASD and comorbid conditions are at greatest risk for inadequate health care transition services.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health has demonstrated that some children who present symptoms of autism in childhood may lose those symptoms and the autism diagnosis by adulthood. “Although the diagnosis of autism is not usually lost over time, the findings suggest that there is a very wide range of possible outcomes,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. “For an individual child, the outcome may be knowable only with time and after some years of intervention. Subsequent reports from this study should tell us more about the nature of autism and the role of therapy and other factors in the long term outcome for these children.”
The New York Times has published a profile of Danish company, Specialisterne, which employs autistic adults as technical consultants. Founded by Thorkil Sonne, Specialisterne is in the process of expanding in Europe and the United States.
A study published online on November 1 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders examines the rate of college enrollment among young adults with ASD. Findings indicate that young adults with ASD also have one of the lowest overall college enrollment rates, and tend to gravitate toward Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics (STEM). According to Washington University professor and co-author Paul Shattuck, "STEM careers are touted as being important for increasing both national economic competitiveness and individual career earning power. If popular stereotypes are accurate and college-bound youth with autism gravitate toward STEM majors, then this has the potential to be a silver lining story for a group where gloomy predictions about outcomes in adulthood are more the norm.”
According to a supplemental article published today in the journal Pediatrics, spending more time in inclusive educational settings doesn't seem to result in improved future outcomes for students with autism. Researchers found that "Compared with children with autism who were not educated in an inclusive setting (n = 215), children with autism who spent 75% to 100% of their time in a general education classroom (n = 82) were no more likely to attend college (P = .40), not drop out of high school (P = .24), or have an improved functional cognitive score (P = .99) after controlling for key confounders."
A study published today in PLOS One examines differences in how high-functioning autistic men and women experience ASD. The study supports the theory that women are better able to "camouflage" their autism than men, and notes that. " ... the implications to clinicians might be that diagnosis or phenotypic characterization for adults assessed for possible ASC should include not only direct interview and observation, but also the collection of childhood behaviors, self-reports and neuropsychological assessments."
Last Monday I gave a lecture at Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ on “Transitioning with Autism from Pediatrics to Adulthood.”
Victory is ours! I've just received a text message from my mom, alerting me to the fact that she and my dad are signing their will and Willie's special needs trust papers this morning. ...
It is that time of year again, when families get together for holidays and people start Christmas shopping.
My daughter wrote a monologue for an acting class about growing up with a sibling on the spectrum.
I’ve come down with an early case of the “Bah Humbugs” this year.
Last Tuesday my sister Connie had to have a surgery.
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