Archived News Entries

A study published today in the journal Pediatrics points to the lack of good data on how well vocational interventions are working for youth and adults with autism. The study concludes that "Research to quantify the degree to which these interventions are effective, under what specific circumstances, and for which individuals with ASD is critical for the growing number of adolescents and young adults with ASD who are approaching the transition to adulthood."

To learn more about the research on autism and the age of the father recently published in the journal Nature, visit Nature.com for a podcast. Genetic mutations in sperm appear at a higher rate as a man ages, which may lead to autism or schizophrenia.

Results from a study conducted by investigators at Bond University in Queensland indicate that students with autism are often bullied without teachers knowing. The study of 50 autistic primary and secondary school students found 80 percent of them have experienced bullying that has gone unnoticed by teachers. Because students with autism often misunderstand verbal taunts, bullying may escalate to physical violence before adults become aware of it, according to researchers.

A study to examine whether children with autism show improvement after injections of their own umbilical cord stem cells is getting under way today. According to the principal investigator, Michael Chez, director of pediatric neurology at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, California, this study is the first of its kind to be approved by the FDA. 

According to the blog Babble, a 23-year-old man with autism has been denied a heart transplant due in part to his autism diagnosis. Paul Corby, who has autism with comorbid mental health issues, sought treatment through PennMedicine, which is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania.

Disability Scoop today summarized a report from the Government Accountability Office which expresses federal concerns regarding difficulties navigating Transition services. Information for the report was compiled by interviewing people in five states.

A study published today in PLOS One concludes that pets can help children with autism develop social skills. French researchers studied 40 families and found that when a pet was added to the household, children with autism demonstrated an increase in prosocial behavior. 

A 28-year old autistic man from Colorado was rescued after spending three weeks wandering in the remote Escalante Desert in Southern Utah. William Martin LaFever had been attempting to walk 90 miles from Boulder, Utah to Page, Arizona. Extremely emaciated when found, LaFever has been hospitalized.

The New York Times reports today that two pharmaceutical companies, Roche and Seaside Therapeutics, are joining together to bring drugs to treat autism to market. One of the drugs is Seaside’s arbaclofen, which is in late-stage testing for Fragile X and in midstage testing for autism. Arbaclofen may help with management of challenging behaviors.

A freezer malfuction at a hospital affiliated with Harvard Unversity has resulted in the loss of one-third of the tissue collected by Autism Speaks as part of its Autism Tissue Program. According to Carlos Pardo, a neuropathologist and associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University. this loss could set autism research back a decade.