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Below is a small selection of published autism research. Many articles do not appear here either because we are not aware of them ... but more often because the research has not reached a stage that warrants reporting generally.

What happens to children who move off the autism spectrum? Clinical follow-up study.

Abstract

Background

There is controversial information on outcome of school age individuals who lose the diagnosis of autism and achieve “optimal outcome” (OO). The present study assessed the autism symptoms and other psychiatric disorders in a group of children with a past history of autism.

Factors influencing the probability of a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in girls versus boys

Abstract

In order to shed more light on why referred girls are less likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder than boys, this study examined whether behavioral characteristics influence the probability of an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis differently in girls versus boys derived from a multicenter sample of consecutively referred children aged 2.5-10 years.

Survey about autistic girls

Yellow Ladybugs is conducting a survey about autistic girls, girls diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

More information about the survey, and the survey itself, are at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/yellowlad...


This survey is focused on the experience of autistic girls, aged under 18 years old.  

We invite parents, carers and autistic girls under 18 to respond to this very important survey.  

Words say little about cognitive abilities in autism

Nearly half of children with autism who speak few or no words have cognitive skills that far exceed their verbal abilities, according to the largest study of so-called ‘minimally verbal’ children with autism to date1. The findings call into question the widespread assumption that children with autism who have severe difficulty with speech also have low intelligence.

“What I think is really interesting is that among children who have very limited levels of language, there is more cognitive variability than you might expect,” says lead investigator Vanessa Bal, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

Sharing Treatment Decisions in Autism May Challenge Doctors and Parents

CHOP Researchers Find Gaps in Knowledge, Communication about ASD Treatment Choices

Parents of young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may experience significant difficulties in discussing treatment options with the child’s pediatrician, according to new research. Among the barriers are problems with communication, physicians’ lack of knowledge about specific ASD treatments and community resources, and uncertainty about the pediatrician’s role in making treatment recommendations for a child with ASD.

Many parents in the study reported that they did not discuss the choice of any treatment options with their pediatricians, and others said their physicians provided only general recommendations or referrals. The study team suggests that tools such as decision aids and practice guidelines may help foster more effective communication between families and pediatricians.

Variability of autism/ASD prevalence between Australian states

The histogram shows the prevalence calculated from the population of children who receive Carer Allowance for Autistic or Asperger's Disorders (DSM-IV) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (DSM-5) at June 2014 relative to the ABS population numbers for the age group ... on both a national and a state/territory basis. 

There is clear variability in diagnosis rates between states/territories with the Northern Territory, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory having notably lower diagnosis rates for autism/ASD, well below the national average.

Autism’s brain signature lingers even after loss of diagnosis

BY   /  1 APRIL 2016

Roughly 7 percent of children with autism eventually lose their diagnosis, swapping social problems and language difficulties for more typical skills and behaviors. But it is unclear whether this transition is associated with a return to typical brain function or reflects a compensatory process.

Autism biobank could lead to early detection of disorder, researchers say

Australia's first autism biobank will open in Brisbane on Monday, paving the way for what researchers hope will lead to an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of the disorder.

Nearly 5,000 samples of blood, hair and urine, taken from autistic children, their parents and a control group, will be stored in freezers and could one day deliver the answers to what causes the condition.

Autism Queensland said parents typically raised concerns when their child was 12 months old, however in general they did not get diagnosed until at least two years later.

PhD student presents research to United Nations

PhD student Alexa Pohl took on the impressive duty of speaking at a thematic briefing for the United Nations (UN). Ms Pohl, who has just entered the final year of her PhD, was asked to speak as a disability advocate at a briefing for the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 and defines what constitutes discrimination against women, as well as outlining the ways in which such discrimination can be eliminated. The Convention represents a large body of work by the Commission on the Status of Women – an intergovernmental body dedicated to gender equality and empowerment of women – and is often referred to as the international bill of women’s rights.

estimates of autism prevalence in the USA 2014 are 2.24% or 1 in 45

In the USA, another report shows autism rates of 2.24% or 1 in 45: see http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr08...

These latest values bring the results of three national surveys of autism prevalence into alignment. In addition to the NHIS, the US also identifies autism prevalence values from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM) and the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). The most recent results from the NSCH put autism prevalence at 1 in 50 children. This latest NHIS prevalence of 1 in 45 converges on that finding, and the agreement among the studies strengthens their conclusions.

see http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywilling...

and

estimating the cost of autism

A research paper has been published estimating the cost of autism in the USA is $268 billion to the USA in 2015.

The US population (~320 million) is about 131/3 times that of Australia (24 million). If we assume an Australian A$1 buys the same in Australia as a US$1 buys in the USA, then on the same basis the annual cost of autism/ASD to the Australian economy is roughly $20 billion in 2015. This is a substantial amount of money in the Australian economy.

Planning the transition from high school to study and work

Leaving school can be scary! And this time can be particularly difficult for teens with ASD. We are conducting a study that will help to improve the transition planning process for adolescents with high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Please contact Megan Hatfield for more information: megan.hatfield@curtin.edu.au

Or visit the Autism CRC website: www.autismcrc.com.au/transition

Study Finds Some Children Diagnosed With Autism As Toddlers Have No Symptoms Two Decades Later

It is possible to recover from autism, say researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and the University of Denver, who followed 85 children from the time they were diagnosed as toddlers until they were in their late teens.

Their study, reported online May 30 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, finds that 9 percent of the group improved to the point that they no longer met the diagnostic criteria for autism. Another 28 percent retained features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), such as impaired social functioning, but were doing very well in several areas, particularly cognitive and academic functioning, the researchers report. Many in both groups were enrolled in college

"This rate of improvement is much higher than has been reported before, and that fact offers some very good news," says the study's senior investigator, Dr. Catherine Lord, founding director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, a collaboration between Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The children who recovered from autism were not misdiagnosed with the disorder as toddlers, Dr. Lord says. At the time of their diagnoses, these children exhibited telltale ASD symptoms such as repetitive behaviors and social dysfunction.

Proceedings of Biennial Australian Autism Conference, Canberra, 2004

The attached papers were published in the peer reviewed proceedings of the 2004 Australian Biennital Autism Conference in Canberra. The Conference was run by Autism Asperger ACT (AAACT).

The papers are no longer available on their website, so A4 made it available here ...


Autism/ASD diagnosis rates in Australia

Bob Buckley

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