The MIND Institute’s Autism Phenome Project (APP), now in its 10th year, is devoted to gatherng biological and behavioral information from families to define “meaningful subtypes” of autism spectrum disorder. To date, more than 300 families have taken part, making APP the “largest and most comprehensive assessment of children with autism in the world.”
An encouraging new study comparing four-year-olds evaluated for autism in 2006 versus 2002 found that the children in 2006 received their first evaluation an average of five months earlier than those in 2002, that is, 27 months vs 32 months.
PLAY event at Nationals Park includes children with disabilities for the first time
Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth (PLAY) provides an opportunity for children to play in major league baseball parks across the country. Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), the sponsor of these events, has partnered with The Arc to include children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
A mouse study sheds light on a possible mechanism by which oxytocin affects social behavior: oxytocin stimulates the production of anandamide – a neurotransmitter that increases the desire for social interaction.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now publishes synopses of epidemiologic studies of ASD. In their February 2016 blog, they profile three studies: one on maternal obesity; one that examines beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist drugs used during pregnancy; and one that examines the prevalence of ASD in extreme pre-term infants.
An Italian single-case study described a 12-year-old boy with autism who was given probiotics for four months to treat gastrointestinal symptoms. Besides GI improvement, there was a marked lessening of his core symptoms of autism.