Low Birth Weight Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders

Low birth weight affects a child’s chance of having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study conducted by a Northwestern University researcher.

“Our study of discordant twins – twin pairs in which only one twin was affected by ASD – found birth weight to be a very strong predictor of autism spectrum disorder,” said Northwestern University researcher Molly Losh.

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Another Autism Suspect Eliminated: Mercury

ImageThere has been some concern that mercury may play a role in autism development. Several studies have been conducted but no clear link has been found.

A study was recently published online in PLoS One, in which researchers with the North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust found that even low-level mercury exposure is not likely to contribute to autism.

The team of researchers held a study of 56 children with autism spectrum disorders, and mainstream, special school and sibling controls.

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Increasing Support for Adults with Autism

Increasing support for adults with autismThe lion’s share of services for those affected by autism is directed at early intervention and those under the age of 21. A Philadelphia College has launched an initiative to address the increasing need for services for the adult population with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

“There is very little right now in terms of services when you reach 21”  says Paul Haughton, Ph.D., chief psychologist at CORA Services “We’re focusing on children, rightfully so, but as they move into adulthood and turn 21 it’s almost like they drop off a cliff in terms of organized systematic services for them.”

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African-American Children with Autism Diagnosed Later

A study by a Florida State University researcher has shown that African-American children receive a diagnosis of autism later than other children, which can negatively affect their treatment.

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Impact of ASDs on Parent Mental Health

Impact of ASDs on Parent Mental Health

A study by the York University, Department of Psychology in Toronto examined the impact of children problem behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) on parent mental health.

Raising a child with an ASD has often been associated with higher levels of parenting stress and psychological distress.

The study looked at relations among child problem behavior, parent mental health, psychological acceptance, and parent empowerment. Participants included 228 parents of children diagnosed with ASD, 6–21 years of age.

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Families Frustrated by Funding Cuts

In what is becoming an all too familiar story for families affected by autism, funding for programs for children has been slashed.

Parents of children with autism in Regina, Canada are disappointed and concerned as a number of popular summer programs have been scaled back or cut altogether.

“You fight every day for services, and the summer program is the one time a year you get intensive services for five weeks, and then you really have nothing for the rest of the year,” Rip Smith said, whose son Max enjoyed the summer program.

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Local Business Offers Internships to Those with Autism

Interships for people with autism

ICare4Autism consistently strives to help by working on an intensive global workforce program in collaboration with other countries and we’d like to spotlight another company in the United States doing similar work.

Jon Liniak is no ordinary intern at Spagnvola chocolate shop in Gaithersburg. He has autism, and lacking in social skills. However, interning has already given him skills he needs to move confidently through the workforce.

“Seeing the same people, it’s a very consistent staff, and being able to make those social connections and being able to reach out and learn that aspect too is very, very important to him and very meaningful,” the boy’s father, Tom Liniak, said.

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