Some New Findings On Autism Spectrum Disorder

The past decade has given scientists a wealth of new information about autism spectrum disorder and how it affects people. A new article published by the Huffington Post highlights some of the newest and most important discoveries.

1. There may soon be a way to genetically test for the Autism Spectrum Disorder

This past decade has yielded the discovery of a genetic basis for ASD. Now it seems that scientists are       very close to developing a blood test for ASD. The hope is that these recent scientific breakthroughs will lead to more research on how environmental and genetic factors of autism.

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2. Researchers are developing new medications to address more symptoms of autism

Scientists are working on medications that can target specific neurotransmitters and help control some of the biggest symptoms of autism, such as difficulty communicating and repetitive behavior. These medications are very different than antidepressants and stimulants because they are engineered specifically for those with autism. They will also have less harmful side effects.

3. Children with ASD may have a higher chance of developing obesity.

Some of the factors that create a higher chance of obesity within the autistic community are delayed motor development, sleep problems, a picky palate, and side-effects of medications.

4. Severe stomach pain can cause children to exhibit stronger symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

Treatment of gastrointestinal issues could lessen the severity of symptoms of children on the autism spectrum. This opens the door for a new type of microbe-based therapy to treat ASD.

5. Children with autism spectrum disorder can be both over-sensitive or under-sensitive to sounds, touches, tastes, or smells.

This means that children with ASD may be annoyed or uncomfortable by certain types of fabric, or do not feel pain as quickly, leading to worse injuries. Researchers believe this is due to the fact that children with ASD have different brain structures than those without.

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6. More high-functioning children with autism are going to college than ever before.

Unfortunately, they are also at a higher risk for depression, and are dropping out of college more often. Research on students with autism is currently a top priority for scientists.

To read the full article, click HERE

 

Using Disney as a Treatment for Children with Autism

Disney-Castle-Wallpaper-640x360Disney has always been dubbed the “the happiest place on Earth,” but a recent study has shown that it cannot be more true for children with autism. Recent research on the autism spectrum has shown that Disney and Pixar movies can help children associate pictures with language, an incredibly useful tool for both children and parents.

Disney World is also a magical place for children with autism. The park is a great environment for children, regardless of their health status. Disney staff members are kind and knowledgeable on children with autism, creating a welcoming environment for all families. Children with autism who visit the park seem to be truly connected to the community.

It is unknown exactly why children with autism respond so positively to Disney. There are many treatments and therapies for children with autism, but it seems that an effective one can simply be watching Disney movies with their families.

Full article is available HERE

We’re back for our second year!

Hi there,

My name is Don Washington. As an individual with autism, I have been involved in the disability movement for years now, and I am passionate about the work that I do. I believe that the biggest struggle for the autistic community is the lack of a voice, which is why I founded the Missing Pieces Project. My goal with the Missing Pieces Project is to empower the friends, families, and communities affected by autism through a series of photographs.

This is the Missing Pieces Project’s second year, and I would absolutely love for you to be join us for Autism Awareness Month 2014. All I ask is that you submit a high-quality photo of yourself with 1-2 sentences answering our call to action, “What is your missing piece?”

If you’re interested in submitting, please attach your photos as an attachment to missingpiecesproject@gmail.com.

With your help, what I hope to teach others about individuals with autism is this: “We are human, we have something to say, but more importantly, we ALL have missing pieces.”

Thank you so much,

Don