One in 68 Children has Autism

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Meet The New Kid On ‘Sesame Street’: Julia, A Muppet With Autism

March 20, 2017 3:00 pm Published by

Sesame Street” just got a whole lot broader with its newest neighbor: Julia, a Muppet with autism.

The little girl Muppet with red hair and a favorite bunny clutched in her hand has been in “Sesame Street’s” online Digital Storybook series since 2015. But she’s making her TV debut surrounded by everybody’s favorite neighborhood gang on HBO and PBS in April… click here to read the rest

Another area of the brain linked to ASD

January 9, 2017 3:00 pm Published by
Dr. Joshua Henk Balsters and his colleagues performed MRI scans on individuals with ASD, and on a group of age and IQ-matched control subjects. Balsters et al found key differences in the brain activity between the two groups. The part of the brain that was affected plays a complex role in social interaction, affecting emotional intelligence and social cognition. 

Dr Balsters said: “A number of brain regions are activated when something unexpected happens, but there is a special part of the brain called the gyrus of the anterior cingulate cortex – the ACCg – that signals when something surprising happens to other people. We found that individuals with an ASD are less accurate at identifying other people’s expectations, but they also lack the typical response in the ACCg when surprising things happen to other people.”

Their findings were published this month in Brain: A Journal of Neurology. Click to read their abstract, Disrupted prediction errors index social deficits in autism spectrum disorder.

kdumoulin-blog

Kristen DuMoulin, Ph.D., BCBA, SAS, has been a devoted professional to the field of special education and individuals with autism since 1995. She joined Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC) in 2002 and is currently the Director of Children’s Clinical Services, where she is responsible for managing the clinical and administrative aspects of the Early Intervention (EI), Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEIT), Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) as well as the CPSE and OPWDD evaluation programs. She is a permanently certified New York State Special Education Teacher and School Administrator.

Unitus Therapy Intelligence

June 27, 2016 3:00 pm Published by

The SEIT department teachers began piloting, Unitus Therapy Intelligence, an Electronic Data Records system that delivers cloud-based curricula, and data collection in May.

This system creates securely backed-up electronic therapy recordsand allows us to eliminate program binders, allowing teaching staff to take data directly on iPads. The system then takes student’s raw data, performs analysis in real-time and produces instant graphs, saving valuable session time. It also allows supervisors to monitor staff and students progress from anywhere at any time and communicate instantly with parents and providers

We hope to expand this program to our other in-home educational programs to meet a variety of educational needs.

 

kdumoulin-blog

Kristen DuMoulin, Ph.D., BCBA, SAS, has been a devoted professional to the field of special education and individuals with autism since 1995. She joined Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC) in 2002 and is currently the Director of Children’s Clinical Services, where she is responsible for managing the clinical and administrative aspects of the Early Intervention (EI), Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEIT), Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) as well as the CPSE and OPWDD evaluation programs. She is a permanently certified New York State Special Education Teacher and School Administrator.

April 2nd – World Autism Awareness Day

April 1, 2016 9:00 am Published by

WAAdayTomorrow, April 2nd is the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day.
This years theme is “Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity”

Autism and other forms of disability are part of the human experience that contributes to human diversity. As such, the United Nations has emphasized the need to mainstream disability in the Organization’s development agenda. Mainstreaming disability requires an integral approach in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that inequality is not perpetuated.

Disability and persons with disabilities are explicitly referenced in the following goals: 4) Quality Education; 8) Decent Work and Economic Growth; 10) Reduced Inequalities; 11) Sustainable Cities and Communities; and 17) Partnerships for the Goals.

QSAC pursues this mission through direct services that provide a supportive and individualized setting for children and adults with autism to improve their communication, socialization, academic, and functional skills.

 

kdumoulin-blogKristen DuMoulin, Ph.D., BCBA, SAS, has been a devoted professional to the field of special education and individuals with autism since 1995. She joined Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC) in 2002 and is currently the Director of Children’s Clinical Services, where she is responsible for managing the clinical and administrative aspects of the Early Intervention (EI), Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEIT), Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) as well as the CPSE and OPWDD evaluation programs. She is a permanently certified New York State Special Education Teacher and School Administrator.

Researchers continue to seek a more objective way to diagnose autism

January 4, 2016 3:00 pm Published by

Currently, there is no medical test that can diagnose autism spectrum disorder. Getting an ASD diagnosis relies on a multidisciplinary team of trained professionals who interview parents and administer specific behavioral assessments and parent questionnaires.

Researchers of The Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials (ABC-CT), which is made up of Yale University, Duke University, Boston Children’s Hospital, the University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles, are seeking to develop reliable and objective measurements of social function and communication in people with ASD.

The scientists are recruiting both typically developing children and children with a diagnosis of ASD between the ages of 4 and 11 years old. They plan to measure children’s brain waves with an EEG and track the child’s eye movements while given certain tasks to perform. They will also use automated recording techniques to assess behavior and speech, which are approaches that have the most support from previous research.

The Yale researchers and their collaborators hope to show that EEG and eye tracking can be used as autism biomarkers. The ultimate goal is to validate a set of tools that will enable clinicians to objectively measure and predict how children with ASD respond to treatment.

 

kdumoulin-blog

 

Kristen DuMoulin, Ph.D., BCBA, SAS, has been a devoted professional to the field of special education and individuals with autism since 1995. She joined Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC) in 2002 and is currently the Director of Children’s Clinical Services, where she is responsible for managing the clinical and administrative aspects of the Early Intervention (EI), Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEIT), Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) as well as the CPSE and OPWDD evaluation programs. She is a permanently certified New York State Special Education Teacher and School Administrator.

Apple’s ResearchKit is branching into autism research

October 12, 2015 3:00 pm Published by

ResearchKit is an open source framework introduced by Apple that allows researchers and developers to create powerful apps for medical research. Most research is limited to who can be recruited based on geographic locations. By expanding clinical trials to a mobile device, researchers can reach a more diverse population of participants and expand the scope of their studies.

 

Researchers at Duke University have developed a free IOS app called, Autism & Beyond app to learn more about autism in young children living around the world. According to its iTunes description, “Autism & Beyond is a groundbreaking new study of childhood mental health powered by Apple’s ResearchKit. The study aims to test new video technology that can analyze a child’s emotion and behavior. We hope that this technology may one day be used to screen young children in their homes for autism and mental health challenges, such as anxiety or tantrums. We want parents to have tools that will help them understand their children and find help if they need it.”

 

The Autism & Beyond app is a six-month study, with tests administered at the beginning, three months and six months. Each test takes about 20 minutes to complete. After a guided set of screens that inform users of the purpose of the research and ask their consent to participate and share their data, the app combines questionnaires and short videos to gather information about a child.

 

Researchers are able to map a child’s reaction to approved stimuli to determine their reaction, which can be linked to possible signs of autism. The idea is that they can amass thousands of these reactions as well as potential autism diagnoses to create an app that can assist in recognizing the disorder, which would be particularly valuable in areas with few child psychologists who specialize in autism.

 

kdumoulin-blog

 

Dr. Kristen DuMoulin has been a devoted professional to the field of special education and individuals with autism since 1995. She joined Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC) in 2002 and is currently the Director of Children’s Clinical Services, where she is responsible for managing the clinical and administrative aspects of the Early Intervention (EI), Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEIT), Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) as well as the CPSE and OPWDD evaluation programs. She is a permanently certified New York State Special Education Teacher and School Administrator.

When children with ​ASD grow old

May 29, 2015 3:00 pm Published by
Excerpts from San Diego State News
​​
ASD is a lifelong condition. But unfortunately research on its affects through adulthood is lacking. Luckily a recent grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help researchers at San Diego State University understand how the disorder plays out across the lifespan.
 
SDSU psychologist and principal investigator Ralph-Axel Müller states, “It’s hard to even find older adults who have been diagnosed with autism. Diagnostic criteria have changed enormously over the decades.”
 
Müller and Carper, a neuroscientist at SDSU and a co-investigator on the project, recently were awarded a five-year, $3.5-million NIH grant to recruit older adults with autism and perform a series of cognitive and neuroimaging studies. In collaboration with scientists and health workers at the University of California, San Diego, and Alliant International University in San Diego, they are seeking to recruit 70 adults between the ages of 45 and 65 with autism spectrum disorder and an additional 70 control participants.
 
Using a variety of functional and anatomic brain imaging techniques, the researchers will explore the brain connections of adults with autism to see how they might differ from younger people with the disorder and from adult peers without ASD. They will also give participants assessments of cognitive, social, and language abilities, and measure their executive functioning, motor functioning and memory. Participants’ families and caregivers will respond to questionnaires about their daily living skills.
 

Even though very little scientific research has been done in adults with autism, there are smatterings of anecdotal reports that suggest certain aspects of the disorder might improve over time. For example, Carper noted, some parents have reported that their children’s language abilities continue to improve into older age, as do their social skills. Determining whether these improvements are related to normal aging or the natural course of the disorder could help guide therapeutic and support services and suggest new avenues of research.

Reliable Autism Screening Takes More than Mere Observation at Checkups

March 9, 2015 3:00 pm Published by

new study finds that even experts can’t reliably detect autism by merely observing a child during a 10- to 20-minute well-child checkup. The finding underscores the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that all toddlers receive formal screening for autism at 18 and 24 months.

In the study, at Brigham Young University, autism experts viewed two 10-minute videos for each of 42 children, ages 15 to 33 months, receiving checkups. Unknown to the experts, 14 of the children had been diagnosed with autism. The experts viewing the videos missed just over a third of the autism cases.

Autism and Pollutants

December 22, 2014 4:30 pm Published by

About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (CDC, 2014). While genetics plays a significant role in ASD, evidence suggests that environmental exposures also affect ASD risk.

Several studies have explored associations of air pollution with ASD. These studies suggest increased odds of having a child with ASD with higher exposures.

Last week, researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the risk of autism spectrum disorder doubled in women exposed to high levels of air pollutants during pregnancy. Higher maternal exposure to particulate matter during pregnancy, in particular the third trimester, was associated with greater odds of having a child with ASD.

They recruited over 115,000 mothers. Participants were asked whether any of their children had been diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s syndrome or ‘other autism spectrum’, and 245 children were classified as ASD cases. ASD diagnosis was validated by telephone administration of the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R). For each child, exposures to particular matter before, during, and after pregnancy were estimated by averaging monthly concentrations for the mother’s residential address.

Findings suggest that air pollution is a modifiable risk factor for autism, and reduced exposure during pregnancy could lead to lower incidence of ASD.

The full article appears online in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.

First Autism-Friendly Screening Showcasing People on the Autism Spectrum

May 19, 2014 11:24 am Published by
sproutfilm2014

sprout film festival

On Saturday, May 31st in NYC, the Sprout Film Festival will be presenting an autism-friendly screening of 7 short films featuring people on the autism spectrum.

The program, ON THE SPECTRUM, will take place at 2:00pm on Saturday, May 31st at the SVA Theatre, located at 333 West 23rd Street in NYC.

The following are trailers of some of the films in this program:

Stephen Wiltshire: https://vimeo.com/91734706#at=0

For the Love of Dogshttps://vimeo.com/91729005#at=0

Tommy! The Dreams I Keep Inside Mehttps://vimeo.com/91737466#at=0

For the complete schedule of films and programs in the festival please visit: http://gosprout.org/film-festival/film-guide/

ABOUT US

QSAC is a New York City and Long Island based nonprofit that supports children and adults with autism, together with their families, in achieving greater independence, realizing their future potential, and contributing to their communities in a meaningful way by offering person-centered services.

QSAC pursues this mission through direct services that provide a supportive and individualized setting for children and adults with autism to improve their communication, socialization, academic, and functional skills.