Archived News Entries

A study published online on November 1 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders examines the rate of college enrollment among young adults with ASD. Findings indicate that young adults with ASD also have one of the lowest overall college enrollment rates, and tend to gravitate toward Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics (STEM). According to Washington University professor and co-author Paul Shattuck, "STEM careers are touted as being important for increasing both national economic competitiveness and individual career earning power. If popular stereotypes are accurate and college-bound youth with autism gravitate toward STEM majors, then this has the potential to be a silver lining story for a group where gloomy predictions about outcomes in adulthood are more the norm.”

According to a supplemental article published today in the journal Pediatrics, spending more time in inclusive educational settings doesn't seem to result in improved future outcomes for students with autism. Researchers found that "Compared with children with autism who were not educated in an inclusive setting (n = 215), children with autism who spent 75% to 100% of their time in a general education classroom (n = 82) were no more likely to attend college (P = .40), not drop out of high school (P = .24), or have an improved functional cognitive score (P = .99) after controlling for key confounders."

A study published today in PLOS One examines differences in how high-functioning autistic men and women experience ASD. The study supports the theory that women are better able to "camouflage" their autism than men, and notes that. " ... the implications to clinicians might be that diagnosis or phenotypic characterization for adults assessed for possible ASC should include not only direct interview and observation, but also the collection of childhood behaviorsself-reports and neuropsychological assessments."

A presentation at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting on October 13 provided results from the first study on Temple Grandin's brain. To conduct the study, Grandin was given a battery of psychological tests and brain scans using a variety of imaging technologies. Her brain showed a number of structural and functional differences from controls.

An autistic teenager in Irvine, California is suing his school district for mishandling a behavioral incident, according to the Orange County Register. Adam Stone was removed from an Irvine High School classroom in April 2011 for behavioral issues. The incident escalated to the point of Stone's arrest by police. Stone was 18 years old at the time of the incident.

A 19-year-old autistic man from Ontario, Canada, may become homeless at the beginning of October when community funding for his current residential placement runs out. Miles Kirsch, who is largely nonverbal and is self-injurious, can no longer be cared for by his family. The social service agency working with the family reports that expected government support for Miles has not been forthcoming and that, "Miles is not the only one."

A Belleview, Florida man has been charged with molesting a 26-year-old nonverbal autistic woman at a care facilty where he works, according to Ocala.com. Edward Joseph Morgan, 62, is an employee of Community Links, Inc. Another employee videotaped Morgan allegedly engaged in touching the woman inappropriately. Morgan was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail.

The journal Neuron has published results of a study that demonstrates via MRIs that autistic adults experience inconsistent neural responses. Conducted at Carnegie Mellon University, the study involved having autistic adults and a control group engage in sensory experiments while undergoing MRIs. The study presents the first time that researchers have investigated multiple sensory systems—at a primary brain function level—within the same autistic individual.

A study published by the American Medical Association's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that teens with ASD were bullied at the rate of 46.3 percent compared to 10.6 percent for the general adolescent population. Spending more time in inclusive settings was correlated with a higher rate of victimization. 

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a total of $100 million in grants to support autism research. The money will go to nine "U.S. Centers of Autism Excellence," according to NIH officials, and is slated to be provided over a period of five years.