Autism Health Policy Forums

SafeMinds is forming Autism Health Policy Forums that address four potentially life-threatening, commonly co-occurring conditions with autism. They are:

The purpose of the forums is to identify current research findings that may have clinical application for patients with autism today—but are not yet being used in most settings. The forums will also identify gaps in research that are necessary for providing the safest and most effective treatments for people with autism.

SafeMinds research committee members are developing the parameters for each forum, and are identifying the most appropriate researchers and clinicians for them. We are also seeking funding sources, from both public and private sources, to implement the forums. If you are interested in supporting the forums, consider a donation to SafeMinds.

April 02, 2020

Robots Could Improve Socialization Skills for Children with Autism

A small robot, shaped like a bird, is perched on a desk in front of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While the child plays math games on a tablet, the friendly bird provides instruction and feedback–essentially coaching the child until each computer game is completed. This scenario is not a new plot line from an upcoming science fiction film.

April 02, 2020

Autism & Sleep Troubles

A Critical Concern and Least Studied Feature of the Spectrum – Ask any parent raising a child with autism about their daily challenges, a list will be produced fairly quick. Whether it is dealing with picky eating, rigid dressing and grooming routines, self-stimulatory behaviors, echolalia or all the above; managing these autism related issues takes an enormous amount of patience and dedication to remaining calm. By the end of the day, most parents are ready for peace, quiet and most of all rest. However, the respite that these parents desperately need is unlikely to easily occur.

April 02, 2020

As Coronavirus Curtails School and Therapy, Parents Can Turn to Exercise Instead

New Study Shows Therapeutic Benefits for Autism – Parents looking for therapeutic activities while their child with autism is home from school and therapists stay away due to the coronavirus outbreak can turn to exercise. A new study shows that physical activity has beneficial effects for core autism symptoms in addition to its benefits for physical health.

March 26, 2020

Autism Prevalence Still Rising per CDC

New Official Rate is 1 in 54, up 10% Since Last Report Progress Lacking in Early Diagnosis, Racial & Ethnic Disparities Found The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest prevalence estimates for autism. It reports 1 in 54 children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The rate is an increase of […]

March 23, 2020

Socioeconomic & Racial Divide in Autism Numbers

New Study Shows Rates Escalating Among Poor but Declining for Wealthy Whites in California: A startling new study out of the University of Colorado Boulder exposed an unexpected trend. Autism rates are escalating for African American and Hispanic families as well as economically disadvantaged families, while the rates for wealthy Caucasian families have declined.

March 19, 2020

Dealing with the Coronavirus Emergency For Autism Families

Let’s face it, we are living in unprecedented times. The threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted normal life in ways most people would never think possible. Fully functional individuals are full of worry about easing the risk of illness for their families. Add a family member with a disability into the mix, and anxiety is likely to reach sky high. Especially since the CDC recognizes that those with neurological and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, epilepsy (seizure disorders), intellectual disability, and moderate to severe developmental delay] may have an increased risk of serious illness due to COVID-19.

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