A “Top Ten Advances in Autism Research 2013” Selection
See all the year’s “Top Ten” here.
Lorenzo Miodus-Santini, now 11, was never a big talker. As an infant he didn't babble or coo. When he began to speak as a toddler, he’d learn one word but forget another. At 13 months, he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Lorenzo’s older brother, Christian, doesn’t have autism but likewise struggles with language. Christian has difficulty reading, processing spoken words and speaking clearly. Doctors gave him the diagnosis of specific language impairment.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers found no link between autism and celiac disease, a severe intestinal disorder triggered by an immune reaction to gluten. However, the study also confirmed a strong association between autism and the presence of antibodies to gluten. Such antibodies indicate a significant immune reaction to the protein, which is found most commonly in wheat.
Infectious yawning is a near-universal experience.
The Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) is creating the first statewide registry of children and adults with autism. The voluntary registry will support autism research and public advocacy by providing a rich source of anonymous information about families affected by autism, their health and quality of life, and their access to services.
On Saturday the 7th, Autism Speaks organized two important events aimed at lowering the age of diagnosis and increasing access to early intervention in both Chicago and Los Angeles. These outreach events brought together volunteer clinicians, partner organizations and evidence-based resources and resource providers all together in the same place. The goal was to allow families from underserved communities to have access to clinical information and guidance about their child they had not yet received and might be unlikely to see otherwise.
A Pennsylvania emergency room doctor and three professors from Indiana University of Pennsylvania have created a training manual and DVD to help ER clinicians deal more effectively with patients on the autism spectrum.