Research Articles

August 26, 2020

Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism

A new Canadian study which examined 500,000 births in Ontario between 2007 and 2012 found that .6% of pregnant mothers used Cannabis while pregnant. Of the total birth cohort of 500,000, 1.4% of children later received an autism diagnosis. That number increased to 2.2% for children whose mothers used marijuana during pregnancy. Public health institutions in Canada and the United States have long warned pregnant women to abstain from Cannabis while pregnant.

August 26, 2020

New Study Links Autism and Melatonin System Disturbances

Authors Hope Their Research Leads to New Treatments for ASD The majority of individuals with autism have low melatonin levels which can lead to a myriad of conditions including sleep disturbances, emotional regulation disorders, sensory processing dysfunction, inflammation throughout the body and gastrointestinal disorders. A new study out of China believes that understanding the interplay […]

August 17, 2020

Young Adults with Severe Autism Need Fewer Supports if Competitively Employed

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University published an additional analysis of an on-going study of employment outcomes using the Project SEARCH model for young adults who are significantly impacted by autism. The model is a partnership of local hospitals, schools, and the departments of vocational rehabilitation.

August 17, 2020

Recommended Autism Screenings Occur About 50% of the Time Per AAP Guidelines

A new study published in Pediatrics reported that autism screenings recommended at 18 and 24 months per American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines take place only 54% of the time. This lower than predicted percentage rate may be due to screening gaps found in two populations: Hispanic children and children who see family practice physicians instead of pediatricians.

August 17, 2020

Could Oxytocin be the Key to Normalizing Social Behavior in Autism?

Swiss researchers have discovered that a mutation of the neuroligin-3 gene disrupts the hormone oxytocin’s signaling pathway in the brains of mice causing reduced social interactions in the rodents. When the study’s authors repaired the oxytocin system of the mice using a pharmacological treatment their social behavior normalized. This exciting new finding may point to new pharmacological treatments focusing on improved social behavior for individuals with autism.

August 10, 2020

School-Based Mindfulness Program Shows Promise for Children with ASD

Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are faced with an additional challenge called executive dysfunction. A properly working executive function system provides a person with the ability to plan, problem solve, use working memory, monitor impulse control, manage inhibitions, make decisions, manage time, and initiate and scrutinize actions. However, these skills are typically missing in children with autism. Without proper executive functioning skills, classroom learning becomes especially difficult.

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